Personal Finance 
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Cellphone insurance: Is it worth it?

Is cellphone insurance worth it?When you buy a new cell phone, most companies take the opportunity to offer you insurance that’s supposed to protect you in case it breaks. But does it really help?

A couple of Christmases ago, I splurged and bought my boyfriend a smartphone. Because it seemed like a good idea at the time, I also paid for an insurance plan at about $10 a month.

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 Bank Notes 
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Can rappers be frugal?

Phonte's got some advice for you on personal financeMaking good financial decisions is hard — if it was easy, everyone would do it. I’m a big believer in finding motivation and wisdom in the art I choose to consume, including music. So I’m going to start highlighting music I think has something smart or interesting to say about money.

Today’s Bank Notes highlights a song featuring rapper and R&B singer Phonte, formerly of Little Brother. It might seem a little ridiculous to take money advice from a rapper — rappers generally spend a lot of time boasting about the money they’ve blown on cars and gold chains that cost as much as your house.


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 Family, Frugal Living 
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‘Sell by’ dates on food lie to you, waste your money

Problems with food dating cause people to waste foodEver find food past its “sell by” date in the fridge and just throw it away without looking at it? If so, you’re almost certainly throwing away perfectly good food, according to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic.

There’s a temptation to treat the dates on food as infallible predictors of when food will go bad, but in a lot of cases they’re basically bologna. Many dates aren’t based on food safety, but on when the manufacturers thinks the food will taste best. That causes a lot of retailers and consumers to toss food that’s perfectly fine to eat.

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 The Home 
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Frugal Methods on Dealing with Garden Critters

My husband and I started a raised garden in April and our tomatoes are looking pretty good.  They are plump but are still very green and hard.  I was getting excited last week until I woke up one morning and something had taken big bites out of my best looking tomato!  It looked like gnaw marks, so our best bet is that a squirrel has been in our garden.  Here are a few frugal methods I have found to deal with garden thieves.

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 Frugal Living 
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Five Tips to Save Money on Your Laundry

Holiday Coin LaundromatMy husband and I don’t usually embrace ultra-frugality for the sake of saving a buck or two.  But we will change our habits if the changes are easy or we can save a significant amount of money over time.  When we realized we were doing more than 5 loads of laundry a week for two people, we decided to try out a few things (homemade laundry detergent did not make the cut).  Some suggestions worked very well but others were complete flops.  Here are a few tips we have come up with to save some money and time on laundry.

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