Frugal ethics

By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget Have you seen the updated coupon redemption rules from Proctor and Gamble? Check out a snippet of this policy as posted on the Rite Aid digital coupon program: Consumer: Limit ONE coupon per purchase of products and quantities stated. Any other use constitutes fraud. Coupons are not […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget When is the last time you or your family posed for a studio portrait? Although this is not our tradition, Christmas is when many families in Monroe County, Mich., make an annual visit. My husband and I have been more inclined to do this less frequently, and […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget The buzz started on the couponing bulletin boards this week, and I got a tip about the situation today on Facebook. I did quite a bit of searching and reading on other coupon forums and blogs to see what was up. Even Jill Cataldo’s Super Couponing web […]

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There’s a conversation erupting on The Monroe Evening News Facebook on a rumor that someone is reselling Huggies wipes that she purchased on a coupon deal in hopes that she makes some money from others who are not coupon-savvy. I don’t know anything about that situation other than the Facebook chatter. That being said, I […]

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I have seen discussions go viral on social media during the past week about brides expecting more of a gift that the guest presented. I don’t know the validity of the stories, as it appears even the news feeds where I saw them may have picked up the information second hand. Therefore I’m not going […]

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There was once an apple tree that was on property that belonged to my great-grandparents. Great-grandma had given my grandma, her daughter-in-law who lived next door, permission to pick the apples from that tree. As a result, both households could use the apples for for pie, applesauce and other treats during harvest season. After my […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget I know that my opinion on the Michigan bottle deposit law is not popular, based on conversations I’ve had with people over the years who support the recycling concept it was based on. There’s also been recurring discussions about expanding the program to include non-carbonated beverages such […]

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Did you see this Associated Press story in The Monroe Evening News or elsewhere in Michigan this week? Headline: Bills hit stores taking Bridge Cards for Alcohol LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Legislation to crack down on stores that let people buy alcohol or lottery tickets with food assistance benefits is nearing final approval in Lansing. […]

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National Public Radio has a piece that’s probably better suited for an ecological, global affairs, or fashion blog than a money blog at The Global Afterlife of Your Donations. But stay with me. The discussion point is what happens after the donated clothing has already had a shelf life at the second-hand stores. Much of […]

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I’ve found some cool stuff in recent years at flea markets, garage sales and estate sales: a bread machine, America Bicentennial commemorative plates, doll furniture, and crafting supplies. But if you want to turn me away from buying anything from your vendor space, here’s a sure-fire way to do that: Put retail groceries that you […]

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Have you ever got the impression when applying for financial assistance that the process not only asks whether you are in financial need, but whether you deserve the help? Today’s example: comments are flying fast and furious on The Monroe Evening News‘ Facebook page in response to an Associated Press article about pending legislation on […]

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One of the trends I’ve picked up on lately while reading up on poverty and living wage issues is the belief some people have that it is the church’s role – but not the government’s role – to help the poor. I’ve heard and read this more than once, so it’s not an isolated opinion. […]

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By Paula Wethington / Monroe on a Budget columnist and blogger Given that the economy is showing improvement, at what point is it time to get off assistance and “make it on your own” again? That happens when you no longer honestly meet the eligibility requirements for a specific program or service. Do remember that […]

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Sometimes I wonder when reading the headlines, “What on earth are people thinking?” Here’s the example this morning: The Monroe Evening News has posted an Associated Press report about Michigan Rep. Tim Kelly of Saginaw’s pending legislation to have the Michigan Bridge Card rolls cross-referenced with the Social Security Death Index on a monthly basis […]

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Does it seem like a bit of red tape is involved before a federal Pell Grant check is deposited to your college student account? The Detroit Free Press explained why today in a piece called Plundering Pell Grants: Scammers ripping off colleges for millions. Guess who pays for the fraud in the long run? It’s […]

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One of the most read and talked-about newspaper columns I’ve written was on the history and explanation of the Lifeline phone program for low-income individuals and households that has picked up the nickname “Obama phones.” The Lifeline program, as explained by the Federal Communications Commission at http://www.fcc.gov/lifeline, is this: each eligible low-income household can sign […]

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I suppose I should expect this reaction by now, given what I’ve seen during the past six years of covering this beat. But a headline that started last night on the Michigan news feeds and is continuing on the morning news cycle about a glitch in Michigan food stamp allocations that were to have been […]

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I’ve talked about the challenge of frugal vs. lavish birthday parties for kids since the earliest days of this blog, but I admit that Aloysa at The Broken Coin has run into a social dilemma I haven’t seen yet. She’s noticing birthday parties for adults also are starting to get out of hand. Yes, I’ve […]

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I went into some detail a couple of weeks ago explaining the household income brackets for specific financial assistance programs in a newspaper column called How tight is your budget? Beyond the family income brackets, individual resources and programs also can invoke additional requirements. For example, Pell grants for college have a lifetime limit on […]

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Have you seen the snarky cartoon that is going around Facebook and perhaps other social media with this line? “Oh, you spent your welfare check on the new iPhone and now you’re broke? Better ask Siri where you can get a job like the rest of us.” I saw similar chatter in a trending topic […]

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