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Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty: March 2007

Deals That Are Nifty by Sister Thrifty

Great Steals and Deals around town and online to save you the big bucks and help you keep more of your hard-earned money!

Monday, March 26, 2007


Banks are reducing the rewards you normally get for using their credit cards. So, it may be time to find a better card. Fidelity Investments used to offer a card that paid 2% of all your charge volume into a college savings plan. Well, that program is no longer available to people other than those who already have the card. Now, the company has reduced the benefit to 1.5%. And there is now a cap on how much you can earn each year for your child's education. Unfortunately, many other banks are following this trend. That doesn't mean you should close the accounts you have. Keeping them open helps your credit score. Just don't use that card anymore. On another note, Fidelity has a new Visa card that gives you 1.5% back into a Fidelity investment account. There is no limit on earning power. Capital One has a card that earns you 1% each month, plus an additional. .25% at the end of the year. Of course, that could change too. Always keep your options open.
Lenders and borrowers are both drowning these days. One in eight people are delinquent in mortgages these days and typically they are people who put no money down on their homes. They borrowed 100 percent of the purchase price and now they can't pay it back. So, lenders are not getting paid and are having to foreclose on those properties – something they hate to do. As a result, the pendulum is swinging back toward more stringent policies and requirements for borrowing. The likelihood of putting no money down, for instance, is dwindling. Countrywide, one of the largest lenders out there, is telling customers already that they will need at least 5 percent. If you're thinking of buying a home, remember that. It's protection for you and the lender. Whatever you do, do NOT get a "Pay Day Loan." They're so damaging to you they have been banned in several states!
Saving for retirement has become so confusing these days that it's very possible for people to get scammed by con artists. The biggest targets are senior citizens and people who are close to retirement. Insurance companies and brokerage houses are duping older people out of their hard-earned money in trashy variable annuities. There are stories published about this all the time. The latest one is going on in Massachusetts, where "certified senior advisers" were putting older folks into garbage annuities. One 82-year-old got taken in an annuity sale and her money was locked up for two years. She had no money on which to live as a result. Annuities have massive commissions and horrible tax treatments. You are the only cop on the beat in this game because there are no laws preventing what these people do. Don't go to any free breakfasts, lunches or dinners where salespeople try to help you with your money, and don't let your loved ones go.
February 17, 2009 will be the last day TV stations can broadcast analog signals and must go entirely digital. For many people with older TVs, they will no longer be able to pick up signals over the air without a digital-to-analog converter. The government has been fussing around with the idea of converter rebates and coupons for people who want to keep using their old TVs. Now they have a plan -- to give each household a max of 2 coupons for $40 each (with a 3-month expiration date) starting next year. No one's saying yet how much each converter will cost. Here are the details: . If you are in the market for a new TV, don't be fooled by low prices, make sure you get a digital TV!
And now for some fun freebies:
Sea World and Busch Gardens are inviting active military and their families to enjoy their theme parks for free for one day. Click on this link for more information go to:

For a free travel bag with sunscreen, hand gel & bandages for kids go to
If you've always wanted to become a writer, then you might be interested in the free course M.I.T. is offering now. You don't get college credit, but you get some great instruction. Check out
For a 1 year free subscription to "Computer Shopper" go to
And finally, register for a free child's first aid kit at First Register at: go to: click on Request Sample
Wal-mart will send you a free sample of Alavert (allergy medicine) by clicking here
Wal-mart will also send you a free sample of Curel Cream by clicking
Domino's will give you some free MP3's at
And finally, if you love to throw parties then check out this offer for a free Presidential Debate House Party Kit! (It includes coasters, cocktail napkins, stickers, and more)

Have a terrific week!
Sister Thrifty

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Sunday, March 11, 2007

3/11/07 Newsletter

Hi everyone! There is a new website ( whose mission is to stop the advance of bad customer service. Anyone can enlist and fight to improve the customer experience. Customers can go to the website to write reviews about their customer service experience for any business, organization or government agency within the United States whether it was in person, over the phone, or online. Businesses can also use the website to measure their real-time customer satisfaction for free. Currently, there are 1,173 "soldiers" on active duty. Yay!

It's gardening season and I found a neat web site that is filled with money-saving ideas for your garden this year. Go to It also has tons of thrifty ideas on pretty much everything else you can think of! You might want to bookmark that site as a great frugal resource!

I found a quaint magazine about country living that includes tips on gardening, animal-care, simplifying your life, etc and the best thing about it is that you can get a free three year subscription! Check out

Planning spring break in Florida this year? Here's a great deal: Stay 4 or more nights at any of the 3 Universal Loews Hotels, and get 2 FREE TICKETS to Universal Studios
Florida and Islands of Adventure theme parks PLUS admission to the Universal CityWalk clubs. Just show your hotel room key and bypass the regular attraction lines** at both theme parks!
Rates start at $209 per night.Two (2) free adult tickets per room. Passes are valid for up to seven (7) consecutive days of unlimited admission to both Universal Orlando theme parks from the first day of use. Promotion applies to rack rate only which varies by season and is not combinable with any other offers or discounts. Subject to availability. Blackout dates and restrictions may apply. Go to

And now for some fun freebies. This week they're all about pets:
Free Desktop Kitty from Meow Mix

Free sample of wagging dog treats

Free sample Yappy dog treats

Free feline greenies cat treats sample

Free nature zone reptile snacks

Benny Bully's dog or cat treat sample

Gourmet cat food sample

Have a GREAT week! Ta ta for now!
Sister Thrifty

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Tuesday, March 06, 2007

3/5/07 Newsletter

Last week I mentioned the vacuum rating done by Consumer Reports. They have just recently published their famous annual auto issue. The issue is considered one of the most reliable and thorough sources when reporting on which cars to buy and not to buy. Surprisingly, the least reliable of all cars this year is Mercedes. It has been moving slowly down the list, and this year the German automaker – with its 36 brands – is dead last. In fact, the report stated that a 10-year old Lexus is more reliable than a new Mercedes. Next to last was Land Rover, preceded by Hummer, Jaguar and Cadillac was fifth from the bottom. So, what are the most reliable brands? The top five are either Toyotas or Hondas. The No. 1 most reliable brand is Toyota, No. 2 is Honda, No. 3 is Scion, No. 4 is Acura and No. 5 is the Lexus. The cars that retain the most value over time are Toyotas and Hondas, so the cost is actually less than what it appears to be.

Citigroup, the country's biggest credit card issuer, has initiated two customer-friendly initiatives. You may have heard about credit card companies raising rates whenever they want for any reason. It may have even happened to you personally. Credit card terms of service usually include a clause saying the bank can do that anytime. Well, Citigroup, which now goes by Citi, is doing away with that practice. Secondly, the company is no longer going to use what's called "universal default" to boost your rate. Under a universal default clause, a company can jack up your interest rate significantly if your credit report shows any late payments. That means you could pay your electric bill a few days late and your credit card company increases your rate because that late payment is on your credit report. Citi is eliminating its universal default clause, which is great for the consumer. YAY!

The cruise industry is struggling these days. The industry just wants to cover the most basic expenses in what they charge you for the room. That's because the real money is made once you get on board. Shore excursions, drinking and gambling are just a few of the activities that will cost you much more on a cruise. But, with all the bad press of late, people aren't cruising. As a result, companies are heavily discounting cabin costs. Ten-night Caribbean cruises are as cheap as $75 a night, according to the Miami Herald. Ocean-view rooms are minimally more for ten-day and weeklong cruises. So, if you've never been on a cruise, this could be your chance. If you've never gone on a cruise and have minimal knowledge of the industry, you may want to pay a bit more and sit down with a cruise travel agent. If you've been before, have at it. To hear the good, bad and ugly about different cruise lines go to To book travel and save money check out
And now, for some fun freebies:
Free Almay hydracolor lipstick
Free Set of Gamma Asterisk 16 Gauge Tennis Strings
Free Head & Shoulders Restoring Shine Shampoo and 2 in 1 sample

Free Pantene Texturize Shampoo and Conditioner sample

Free Makeup Sponges and Cloths

Ultra Downy Experientials Tahitian Waterfall or April Fresh Sample
Snail Mail Minute Maid Coupon

Have a great day!
Sister Thrifty

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