Alpha Consumer

April 2008


Defining Your Dream Life

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Dear Alpha Consumer,

I am interested in taking more control of my financial future, but I feel that I'm more ahead of the game then some of my peers. I have a 401(k) that I contribute to, I save regularly, and I am pretty frugal—I learned to use the library instead of constantly buying new books and ...

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TAGS:
personal finance

Video: Cutting the Grocery Bill

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For more tips on saving money at the grocery store, you can watch my discussion with Good Morning LA's Jean Martirez here. As I've mentioned, one of my favorite ideas is to use ingredients that are already at home. Martirez wanted to know what she could do with ketchup, garlic, and some old cheese.

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Breakfast for Dinner

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Rosalie from Allentown, Pa., sent in some additional ideas for how to cut down on food prices. In addition to planning menus in advance and checking out the week's specials, she writes:

Don't overlook making "breakfast" entrees for suppers. With our lifestyles so hectic, when do you get ...

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Should Shoppers Hoard Rice?

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With Sam's Club and Costco stores limiting how much rice customers can buy, shoppers are asking themselves: Should I stock up on the staple? After watching a news report on the rationing last night, I suggested to my husband that we should go buy several bags of the grain. He immediately made fun ...

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Popcorn and Soda? That's $10

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Here's another reason to hate going to the movies: The prices for popcorn and other "frill" items are inflated to enable movie theaters to offer cheaper tickets. (Not that the tickets are all that cheap, either.) According to research from the University of California-Santa Cruz and the Stanford ...

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TAGS:
movies

EBay Wins a Business Award

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The Better Business Bureau this week honored CarMax, Ritter Daniher, Kraft Foods, and eBay with its annual Torch Awards for their "integrity in the marketplace" and "advancing trust between businesses and consumers."

Wondering why eBay was included, considering the recent uproar over its new pricing ...

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TAGS:
eBay

CBS: Cheap Is the New Black

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As Katie Couric reported on the CBS Evening News last night, it's now trendier to save than to splurge. Shame has been replaced with pride when it comes to getting discounts, shopping at more affordable stores, and avoiding pricier items.

Thank goodness this shift has taken place. It's exhausting to ...

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TAGS:
CBS
savings

The Right Way to Complain

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The Simple Dollar has a great post on what to do when you find out you've purchased a defective product. The takeaway points: Respond quickly, document the problem, and don't get emotional. Blogger Trent Hamm writes:

Document the exact problem, with photographic evidence if possible


As soon as you ...

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TAGS:
products