The Frugal Duchess

From Miami Herald columnist Sharon Harvey Rosenberg: a fun, frugal & fashionable way to save money & live well.

Latest Posts from The Frugal Duchess (page 3)

Guest Post: Consumers Union: Beware of Prepaid Card Pitfalls

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, offers this guest post on the dangers of prepaid cards:"While prepaid cards are becoming an increasingly popular alternative to check cashers and traditional bank accounts, a new Consumers Union report finds that the cards come with high fees and don’t offer consumers the same kinds of protections as other forms of plastic payment.Prepaid cards are r […]

Thrifty Reader Seeks Help: Spoiled Kids & Too Many Yard Sales!

What do you tell a thrifty mom who thinks her kids are spoiled? That scenario recently landed in my e-mail box. Here's the note:Hi, I am concerned because I finally realized how spoiled my kids are. I've been buying them whatever they liked, although it's from thrift stores and yard sales. Because it's so cheap, I get them more than five things. […]

Free Family Entertainment: Watch the Sky Tonight

We're hitting the roof tonight for an evening of free family fun. There's going to be a meteor shower, and it won't cost a thing to share the skylights with the kids. But how can you get the most fun and education from the evening? For answers and insights, I turned to David Dickinson from Astroguyz: http://www.astroguyz.com/"Stargazing," says Astroguyz, "is a completely free hobby. […]

Cheated By a Ferret: One Child's Lesson

My daughter feels cheated by a six-inch stuffed ferret, which recently took a $4 bite from her allowance. But I believe the furry ferret provided a long-term investment in my daughter's financial education.The back story: While shopping at a national chain store, my 11-year-old daughter stopped to watch an in-store infomercial, which featured an endless loop of a toy ferret executing tricks. […]

State-by-State Guide to Tax Holidays - A Guest Post From Kiplinger's

"Sixteen states and the District of Columbia will let you skip sales taxes on school supplies, computers, clothes and other merchandise on specific dates in August. Perhaps you’ll have to cross state lines to save an extra 5% to 10% -- but the journey is worth it.Kiplinger.com and Kiplinger’s Personal Finance magazine have put together a list of sales tax holidays, which begin in August. […]

Spend Less for School Supplies: Price-Matching Tips & Other Strategies

Back- to-school budgets are taking a hit this year. The average family will spend $548.72 for school supplies, down 8 percent from last year's average tab of $597.74, according to the National Retail Federation. […]

Pick a Savings Sacrifice: An August Challenge

Is there fat or folly in your budget? During the next month, I'm going to carefully examine my spending habits and make a list of areas where I could cut back and save more. It's my August challenge. During the first week of September, I'll publish my areas of weakness and opportunities for increased savings.The ritual of saving should be sacred during a recession. A survey from Women & Co. […]

Frugal Thrill Rides for Last Days of Summer: Low-Cost Vacations

Between seasonal discounts and neighborhood promotions, my kids are staying busy this summer -- and we're saving money. Here's how:• Theme parks: Seasonal promotions are available to Florida residents at Busch Gardens, Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and others. […]

To Shred or Not To Shred? Paper Management Tips

When should you shred old bills, financial records and other documents? Consumer Credit Counseling Service (CCCS) of Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast offers these tips for managing the paper trail of home documents.Out with the Old"Do you really need to keep that water bill from 1998? How about your tax returns? […]

Be Green. Forget Race: Consider Police, Gates & Customer Service

If you’re puzzled by the fallout from the conflict involving Harvard Professor Gates and the Cambridge police, forget about race, politics and racial-profiling. Instead, view the situation as if it were a business or shopping scenario. Forget about black-and-white issues. Let's be green* --as in money.Be honest: What would happen if you were mistakenly accused of shoplifting in a grocery store? […]