Groceries Rotate Their Stock

Frugal Living Tips
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June 7, 2002 Issue

Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin OUR NEW BOOK! Just published
Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything

by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin
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List of index of all topics with links Financial calculators - printer friendly Cut budget 5000 dollars a year Only $8 / month for all long distance? coupons, free samples, catalogs, close-outs Rebel Consumer Blog

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Published 1st & 3rd Friday Of Each Month
Vol. 8, June 7, 2002

Here is the latest issue. Enjoy!
Editor, Rick Doble

  1. Father's Day:
    e-mail a free e-card
    *MEMBERS ONLY* Section
    Get fresher food at every trip
    to the supermarket
    Float your troubles away
  4. IN DEPTH:
    Credit Card Hell
    What to look for
    How to stay out of trouble
    A real world example of
    late payment charges
  6. JOKE:
    What some doctor's say about
    new prescriptions
  7. In the next newsletter
  8. About our advertisers
    We looked for good values from reputable merchants. Read our pledge to our readers if you encounter a problem.
  9. About

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Sunday June 16, 2002 is Father's Day. If your father, grandfather, godfather or favorite uncle is on the Internet, you can send an e-card for free. If they have never gotten an e-card before, it can be quite exciting. You might want to send one in addition to a paper card just for the fun of it.

Choose from thousands of free e-cards at our *MEMBERS ONLY* area which also includes sites for jokes, quotations, and song lyrics. You can use these words in most cards as part or all of your message. Sending an e-card will also save you money, use less paper and even allow you to send at the last minute.

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Check the Expiration Date

Supermarkets rotate their stock. This means that most have a policy in which the oldest items are put first and the newest ones put toward the back of a shelf. So if you are buying milk, the freshest is often well behind the one up front.

While stores need to get rid of their older items that are not out of date, you may find yourself buying a container of yogurt that is only good for a few more days.

Always check the date when you buy food that can spoil. If the date is less that a week away, reach toward the back for ones with longer expiration dates.

For example, I recently bought a carton of orange juice. The one at the front was due to expire in just a few days. The cartons at the back were good for another ten days.

NOTE: You may be able to get products that are close to their expiration date at a deep discount. Read our article at the site:
Buy milk, bread, fruit, cereal and meat at your local supermarket for 50% off.

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Check out the specials!
Such as:
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Chicago from $68
San Francisco from $79
Washington DC from $69

Float your trouble away
Why not an inflatable boat?

"...there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Mr. Toad in The Wind in the Willows (1908) by Kenneth Grahame (1859-1932)

Boats can be very expensive and require a lot of space and maintenance. However, small inflatables are cheap, light, easy to store and you don't need a trailer. They start at about $20 and come in a variety of sizes. I have found that you need at least one size bigger than the boat specifies. For example, a "three man" boat is just barely big enough for two people. Larger boats can even accommodate motors. They will last about three years.

You can find these boats at sporting goods stores and large department stores such as Wal-Mart. Modern inflatables have two chambers for safety. If you get a puncture in one, the other will still keep you afloat. However, you should also carry life jackets. If you like to row, you might want to buy a better set of oars than the ones that come with the craft.

You can inflate these boats quickly with a foot pump or an electric blower that attaches to your car battery or plugs into the car's cigarette lighter. I prefer the blower because I like to get on the water as fast as possible; either way it takes at most five minutes to inflate.

When the boat comes out of the water, simply rinse it down, towel it off and then deflate by opening all the valves. I leave the boat on the cars hood for a few minutes while the air goes out of it, then roll it up and store it.

My wife and I have a "three man" boat which is perfect for a couple of hours of rowing and swimming. It costs us about $25 a year.

We pay about $8 a month for all long distance
including out-of-state, in-state,
local long distance, during the day
and on the road.

Credit Card Hell

In the summer many of us take time off. This means you can easily overlook a credit card payment deadline. It also means that many of us use our cards to pay for vacation expenses.

A recent report on CBS Evening News (5/9/02) pointed out that credit card companies want to keep you in debt. The report stated "card companies target people with modest incomes, and inundate them with offers of easy credit, knowing they're the most likely to pay late." The Wall Street Journal (5/21/02) reported that almost 60% of card carrying consumers had to pay a late fee in the last year.

Once late payment charges are levied, higher interest rates can also kick in. For example, you could find yourself paying a $1,500 balance over 30 years, at a 29.9% interest rate with a total of $6,000 in interest costs.

Mail your payment well before the due date. Many recommend mailing a full week beforehand. That week should include five business days (Monday-Friday). If there is a holiday during that week add a day or two. There are also ways to pay in a shorter period of time. Most credit cards have an online payment system which is generally free and many offer a pay-by-phone system which may cost you a small fee.

Fortunately there is something you can do and it generally works. However, it will be up to you to keep an eagle eye on your credit card statement and to act promptly if needed.

The good news is that many credit card companies will refund a late fee if a payment is postmarked before the due date. However, you must call immediately when you notice a late charge on your statement. If the company agrees to refund the charge, write down on your statement: 1) the name of the person you talked to, 2) the location of the office where they are located, 3) the agreement you made, 4) the time and date of the call. When you get your next statement, check that the charges were refunded as promised.

This usually works the first time you are charged for a late payment and maybe even the second, but after that many companies will refuse to forgive the fee.

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An Example Of Late Payment Charges

Recently, I made a payment to a credit card company that was well in advance. However, they credited it to the wrong account so that the proper account did not get paid. The consequences were astonishing to say the least.

My interest rate went from 10.15% to 19.9%, I was charged with a $29 late fee and my available credit was reduced to the amount I owed on the card. Surprisingly my minimum payment changed very little!

In the next issue of this newsletter, I will discuss how I got the company to find the error and refund these fees. Many of the resulting charges were hidden (like interest on the late fee that should not have occurred) and would never have been refunded if I had not made the company aware of them.

A comprehensive, sensible plan
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With many people being sold the latest prescription drugs as beneficial, you might want to hear what doctors have to say. Physicians know that the side effects of many drugs are not known until they have been used for a number of years in a large population. So they tell the following joke:

"Wait a year before prescribing a new drug to your patients; wait five years before prescribing the same drug to anyone in your family."

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Look for an in-depth examination of how unnecessary and expensive new prescriptions are being marketed. We'll show you how to save a bundle. Plus we'll have a savings calendar for deals in July, one of the best months to take advantage of sales. And we'll tell you about our incredibly simple way to check if your car is running right (or a car you might want to buy). You don't need tools or even have to open the hood!


Your purchases help support this free newsletter and web site. We have carefully selected these merchants for value and reliability.

In the event of any problem with a merchant that we list, we will try to help resolve your dispute. Your purchase must have been processed though a link on our newsletter or web site.
As a consumer publication for 8 years, we at have considerable experience in consumer and complaint matters. Further if we experience a large number of complaints from any merchant, we will no longer list that merchant with our newsletter.
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    is used by the national media, such as:
  • ABC-TV's TheView (Supermarket Secrets)
  • Woman's Day (3 articles)
  • Woman's World (6 articles)
  • Mademoiselle
  • Bottom Line/Personal (12 articles)
  • SweepsFeed - a TV syndicated news service for national distribution (2 interviews)
  • Editor, Rick Doble interviewed by WTVJ (NBC) Miami, FL, May 2002
  • Editor, Rick Doble is under contract with Penguin Books to write a book tentatively entitled Breaking the Price Barrier WEB SERVICES

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Read these popular articles at our site:

17 Supermarket Secrets
We helped ABC-TV's TheView research these tips

Impulse Buying
Are you being manipulated into buying more than you need or can pay for?

How to save up to 70% on prescriptions
14 tips reviewed by a licensed pharmacist plus many more tips.

Buy milk, bread, fruit, cereal and meat at your local supermarket for 50% off.

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