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The 10 Most Traffic-Jammed Cities

The 10 Most Traffic-Jammed Cities

We play the radio, listen to CDs or enjoy audio books. Many of us talk on our cell phones and, if our observations over the years are any indication, some motorists apply their makeup, shave and even catch up on their reading while stuck in traffic.

April 16, 2014 10:35 am

Multiples Madness

Coupons that require the purchase of two or more items continue to plague or delight my readers, depending on a person’s perspective. When readers complain about having to buy two or more of an item, others have responded with ideas – everything from, “It’s good to have one extra on hand,” t…

April 13, 2014 3:30 am
What Can HARP Do For You?

What Can HARP Do For You?

The Home Affordable Refinance Program has evolved since its introduction in 2009. With some real estate pros calling for yet another iteration, we take a look back at how the program helps underwater homeowners

April 12, 2014 3:08 pm
Pickup Sheds Pounds But Is No Lightweight

Pickup Sheds Pounds But Is No Lightweight

The redesigned 2015 Ford F-150 leverages aluminum to minimize weight and boost its fuel economy, but without sacrificing utility.

April 09, 2014 10:33 am

Cashiers speak

The majority of my reader mail comes from consumers, but I always enjoy hearing from people who work on the “front lines” of where we consumers spend a lot of our time – the supermarket. This week, I’ve got two emails to share with stories from the checkout lanes:

April 06, 2014 3:30 am
How to Be a Good Client

How to Be a Good Client

A real estate transaction is a two-way street. Knowing how to best communicate with your agent will make their job easier, and make the process of buying or selling home a lot smoother

April 05, 2014 5:35 pm
Soul Power

Soul Power

Kia’s Soul gets a makeover for 2014 that adds both style and substance to this already endearing compact hatchback

April 02, 2014 1:36 pm
Where to Upgrade in 2014

Where to Upgrade in 2014

Remodeling magazine's annual project report ranks with home improvement efforts pay off.

April 01, 2014 6:41 pm

Return of the ridiculous shrinkage stories

No topic that I’ve written about in this column has generated more reader responses than the topic of product shrinkage. While I primarily focus on coupon savings, product shrinkage is also of concern to any shopper that wants to maximize her dollars. So, if you’ll indulge me for yet another…

March 30, 2014 3:30 am
‘Minicars’ Fail Latest Crash Test

‘Minicars’ Fail Latest Crash Test

The laws of physics dictate that, all else being equal, a larger and heavier vehicle will always fare better in a crash than will a smaller and lighter one. For years, automotive engineers have been fairly successful at rewriting the rules by taking out bulk from cars to save fuel economy wh…

March 26, 2014 2:25 pm

Navigating errors at the checkout

As a frugal shopper, I’m always closely watching my grocery budget. When I plan a shopping trip, I know roughly what my pre-tax, post-coupon total should be before I get anywhere near the checkout lane. This is helpful when coupons don’t scan correctly or worse, when an item I buy scans at a…

March 23, 2014 3:30 am
All’s Well That Appraises Well

All’s Well That Appraises Well

An appraisal is an important yet tricky-to-navigate part of the real estate process. Ensure you’re getting a fair quote with these expert tips

March 22, 2014 4:56 pm
Tomorrow’s Hottest Old Cars

Tomorrow’s Hottest Old Cars

A leading classic car insurer looks into its crystal ball to predict which of today’s new vehicles could become valued collectibles down the road

March 19, 2014 2:05 pm Photos

Photos

Longer Shelf Life

I’ve long advocated stocking up on the products we consume most often in order to save money. When you have a reserve on hand, you’re never forced to pay full price for a bottle of laundry detergent, can of vegetables or box of cereal.

March 16, 2014 3:30 am
Performance Particulars

Performance Particulars

Some resources will give you plenty of data on a potential agent, but numbers alone don’t give the full story when it comes to agent performance

March 15, 2014 1:11 pm
Going for the Green

Going for the Green

Picking a car that pollutes less can also minimize the cost of a fill-up.

March 12, 2014 10:59 am Photos

Photos

The New Rules of the Game

The New Rules of the Game

Recently implemented laws from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau are designed to protect borrowers.

March 10, 2014 4:23 pm

How to Handle Unused Coupons

My recent column on “coupon fairies” – people who leave unwanted coupons on store shelves for others to pick up ¬– generated a lot of comments from readers and retailers alike. Not surprisingly, the store employees that wrote in were grateful that the issue of unwanted coupons littering shel…

March 09, 2014 3:30 am
Long-Term Bargains

Long-Term Bargains

New-car shoppers can save big money by choosing a model that’s most affordable to own in terms of depreciation, fuel costs and other factors

March 05, 2014 1:13 pm
Rules of Attraction, Highway Style

Rules of Attraction, Highway Style

Ford introduces the all-new Ford F-150, the reinvention of America's favorite truck. It is the toughest, smartest and most capable F-150 ever -- setting the standard for the future of trucks.

March 05, 2014 1:07 pm
Car Seat Recall

Car Seat Recall

3.8

March 05, 2014 11:10 am
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Tired Tires?

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Tired Tires?

Q: We’ve got a beautiful old Mustang we drive only about 3,000 miles a year, usually for a couple of long trips. The tires have only 30,000 miles on them, but they’re nine or 10 years old. Is that a problem?

March 05, 2014 8:00 am

Large city, less coupons

“Dear Jill,

March 02, 2014 3:30 am
Tips for First-Time Landlords

Tips for First-Time Landlords

Renting out a property has the potential to be a lucrative endeavor, but there are many to-do’s to cross off your list before you start taking in tenants

March 01, 2014 7:43 pm
All About the Specs

All About the Specs

Car shopping is a numbers game, but few motorists know what a vehicle’s specifications really mean

February 26, 2014 10:55 am
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Jump Smarts

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Jump Smarts

Q: We’ve been trying to impress on our son the importance of being much less sloppy when he’s jumpstarting his friends’ cars. He’s not especially detail oriented, and we’ve told him it’s possible to injure himself or someone else badly if he doesn’t slow down and make sure the jumper cables …

February 26, 2014 8:00 am

I’ve got a coupon - where’s the product?

“Dear Jill,

February 23, 2014 3:30 am
Stage Direction

Stage Direction

Staging often is called upon to help a for-sale home fetch a higher price, but a new study says it doesn’t make as much of a difference as we’ve come to believe

February 22, 2014 1:51 pm
Most Fuel Efficient New Cars

Most Fuel Efficient New Cars

Choosing a model that can run farther on a tank of gas – or one that can avoid the pump altogether – can help save cash and the environment.

February 19, 2014 10:54 am
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Redesign Reservations

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Redesign Reservations

Q: We’re looking at the 2014 Jeep Cherokee, and we’re enthusiastic about it, but we’re afraid that all the bad press about the redesign will spoil its resale value in five or six years. What do you think?

February 19, 2014 8:00 am

Checkout lane rituals

Do you have a special ritual or method for getting through the checkout lane in a speedy manner? Some of my readers do, and I found many of their tips so thoughtful and clever that I’m going to share some this week.

February 16, 2014 12:00 am
What Today’s Buyers Want

What Today’s Buyers Want

Depending on who’s looking, your home may have just the thing that today’s homebuyers’ desires. Here are the features that buyers must have to close the deal — and they might be right inside your home

February 15, 2014 11:02 am
Packing Heat

Packing Heat

Turbocharged, supercharged, diesel and electric powerplants dominate the list of ‘best new-car engines’ for 2014.

February 12, 2014 10:44 am
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters:Compact Takeover

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters:Compact Takeover

Q: It seems to me that there’s an exorbitant amount of attention given to compact SUVs compared to sedans and other types of vehicles that appear, when I’m driving around town, to be a lot more popular. So tell me. What percentage of vehicles that are sold every year fall into that compact S…

February 12, 2014 8:00 am

Solving the multiples conundrum

Coupons that require the purchase of multiple items seem to be the bane of many of my readers’ shopping experiences. As a mother of three, multiple purchases are part of my stock-up strategy each week, but some shoppers are less than thrilled with having to buy more than one of something.

February 09, 2014 12:00 am
Now Playing: HomeTube

Now Playing: HomeTube

A picture may tell a thousand words, but a well-produced, marketed video of a home for sale can lead to a faster sale worth thousands more. That’s the belief among many real estate professionals who continue to urge their clients to use the power of video to help buy or sell a property.

February 08, 2014 12:00 pm
The Hottest Selling New Cars for 2014

The Hottest Selling New Cars for 2014

Don’t expect to see much in the way of discounts on what are thus far the most popular models of the year

February 05, 2014 1:09 pm
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters:Puff, Puff, Gone

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters:Puff, Puff, Gone

Q: We have a law in our city against “puffing” – a term they use for starting your car and leaving it running in the driveway to warm it up (and that’s something that we all like to do during these sub-zero days). I can’t imagine we’re the only place in the country where puffing is illegal a…

February 05, 2014 8:00 am

Rural couponing

Is couponing easier in the city, the suburbs or rural areas? As a suburbanite who lives in Chicagoland, I have to argue that couponing usually is easiest in the suburbs, particularly if you live within a radius of a major city. Why? Shopping options tend to be plentiful, with several superma…

February 02, 2014 12:00 am
Home Equity: To Borrow or Not to Borrow?

Home Equity: To Borrow or Not to Borrow?

With the growth in home equity, it can be tempting to borrow more. Learn more about what this means for your finances

February 01, 2014 12:06 pm
Cash-Saving Hybrids

Cash-Saving Hybrids

Though most are priced higher than comparable gas-only models, several hybrid cars can prove to be more cost effective over a typical ownership period

January 29, 2014 11:17 am
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: VW’s New Nav

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: VW’s New Nav

Q: We’re in the very early stages of researching for a new car purchase next year, and are hearing GM’s OnStar will be in Volkswagens soon. What do you know about that?

January 29, 2014 8:00 am

Clearance etiquette

Recently, a supermarket chain in my area announced that it was closing its doors, and the stores would reduce everything to 50 percent off. As you can imagine, my blog readers at JillCataldo.com were pretty excited about the opportunity to pick up groceries at great prices, busily discussing…

January 26, 2014 12:00 am
Mortgages: Go Small

Mortgages: Go Small

As big banks stay stingy with mortgage money, small community banks fill in the gaps

January 25, 2014 12:49 pm
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: In and out with ease

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: In and out with ease

Q: My mother-in-law is a good and cautious driver. But she has begun having trouble, due to a failing left knee, getting out of her car. Any suggestions?

January 22, 2014 8:00 am
New cars that hold on to their value

New cars that hold on to their value

Depreciation is typically one of a motorist’s largest ownership expenses and it pays off down the road to choose a model that’s predicted to have the highest resale value in its class.

January 22, 2014 12:00 am

Attack of the coupon fairies

What’s a “coupon fairy?” Coupon fairies are people who leave unneeded coupons in the store for others to find. Do you do this? As it turns out, some of my readers do.

January 19, 2014 12:00 am
Sustainable, Social and Simple

Sustainable, Social and Simple

The three L’s of real estate are giving way to three S’s

January 18, 2014 7:41 pm
Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Rule Breaker Rant

Steering You Right with Sharon Peters: Rule Breaker Rant

I heard from a reader regarding my recent rant against hideously self-absorbed drivers who ignore traffic rules and put the rest of us at risk. This gentleman put forth a different point of view, and one that I hear (different words/same message) often lately:

January 15, 2014 8:00 am
Road Warrior

Road Warrior

The 2014 Jeep Cherokee is a stylish and comfortable five-passenger crossover SUV, with solid on- and off-road capabilities and a long list of high-tech options

January 15, 2014 12:00 am
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