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Understanding money, debt and income. Deceptive advertising and marketing manipulation, how to get the best values, the Columbine tragedy, and even a little history of mass marketing. Editorials by Rick Doble, Editor.
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Cheaper: Insiders' Tips for Saving on Everything by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin OUR NEW BOOK! Just published
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by Rick Doble and Tom Philbin
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Many people these days are trying to save money and at the same time trying to simplify their lives.

With all the demands of work, family, keeping up a house, trying to stay healthy and pay the bills, it is no wonder that a lot of people have decided they've had enough.

They want time for themselves, time for the people they care about, time to smell the roses.

The popular perception is that saving money takes more time and more work. But this simply is not true. If you buy less stuff, then you have less stuff to manage: less stuff to store, keep track of, maintain, rummage through.

For example, if you return clothes that you don't like, as we suggested in the Clothing Issue, you will end up with more money in your pocket and fewer clothes to sort through, clean, store, and feel guilty about. Although it takes a little time to return clothes (if you use the method we suggested it should take only a few minutes), you will save dozens of hours wading through the items in your closet and bureau.

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Today there are a lot of marketing schemes, that appear to save you money but actually require a lot of work. A good example is frequent flier miles. At best you are getting about a 2 percent discount. But the paper work involved means that it is not worth it. You have to file the statements you receive, contest any mistakes, plan a trip and use your miles before they expire.

It is much simpler and much much less expensive (for most people) to just pick the cheapest flight available regardless of the airline and forget about all the "Bonus Award" gimmicks.

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Another example is coupons. Now I realize that many people do very well with coupons and save a lot of money, but for the rest of us, it is just too much work.

We believe you can save as much or more buying store brands. Even during a trial period ( when you test two or three store brands a week and return any you don't like), it will take just a few minutes. Once you've decided on the ones you like, it will take you no more time.

You will have saved the coupon hassle: clipping, filing, shopping for specific items, and keeping track of expiration dates.

Most people simply do not have time for this, which is why only about 5 percent of coupons that are printed ever get used.

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| Impulse buying | Introduction; How To Cut Your Household Budget By $5000 A Year | Price comparison book -- how to compare prices. |

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