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Grab Bag Guard Your Debits:

According to Yahoo Finance, here are 10 places NOT to use a debit card, and opt for using a credit card instead:

  1. Online Purchases
  2. Expensive Items
  3. Deposit Required
  4. Restaurants
  5. You’re a New Customer
  6. Buy Now, Pick Up Later
  7. Recurring Payments
  8. Future Travel
  9. Gas Stations and Hotels
  10. Checkouts or ATMs that look “Off”

Read all the hows and whys for the above list here at Yahoo Finance.

Grab Bag Handy Stuff:

Ran across and grabbed these great travel containers not too long ago:

You can get the larger ones with or without suction cups, the former of which can come in handy when you’re in a hotel shower with few options to store your stuff:

Not only do they have a wide, easy-to-fill opening, but they also have a special valve which makes leaks and spills far less likely. They are BPA-free and PC-free, those plastic bad-nics we want to avoid. Thinking things ALL the way through, they even have likely contents spelled out on the neck – just rotate the collar window to show the correct contents when you fill it. Genius. Click Humangear here to learn more, or Google GoToob for online retailers.

Grab Bag “Two Birds with One Bag”:

The “bring your own reusable bag” concept is gaining ground, but it will take ALL of us to partake in order to spread the concept as fast as it needs to. The amount of trees we can save with this one habit is astounding. As I have said before, I carry 6 or 7 reusable bags in my purse at ALL times (and that’s how this really works… none of that, “Oh, I forgot them in the car… oh well, next time).

So here’s the perfect opportunity to start or cement the habit in yourself, and spread it to others. Get some for yourself AND…. use them as gift wrap to double up on the gifting! Here’s how:

Reusablebags.com is offering a 5-pack of Baggu bags in jewel tones and neutrals – all 5 fit in one sack – on sale for $20 (reg. $35). Singles and groups of 3 are also available.

Grab Bag “Best of” Organic Picks:

Men’s Health magazine picks these products as stand-out organics in their field (some, literally)….

Best Eggs: Eggland’s Best Organic

Best Cereal: Kashi Whole Wheat Biscuits, Cinnamon Harvest

Best Milk: Stonyfield Organic Reduced Fat

Best Steak: Full Circle Bison Ranch Organic Grass Fed Buffalo (This Rib Eye steak beat all the beef samples in taste tests!)

Best Frozen Meal: Amy’s Roasted Vegetable Tamale

Best Wine: Scribe 2008 Pinot Noir

Best Crunchy Snack: Newman’s Own Organics Honey Wheat Mini Pretzels

Grab Bag Reach for Reason:

On this day, when Congress struggles to pass or not pass landmark health care legislation, we might want to take a moment to consider some other major changes that could have profound effects as well.

Sometimes you come across something that just makes so much sense. Sadly, it seems the best solutions are often the last to be considered, especially when orbiting in the atmosphere of politics.

And I am SO not about addressing politics. But when something makes sense, one must share, n’est-ce pas?

Fareed Zakaria – a voice of reason in a sea of chaos. Born in Mumbai, B.A’d. 🙂 at Yale, Ph.D’d. at Harvard, this guy is no dummy. FZ is one of the only pundits that captures my sensibilities (along with Thomas Friedman), and here he offers these three fixes for the U.S. economic woes. I kinda think he might have something here. See if you agree:

1. Adopt a VAT (Value Added Tax- which is basically a national sales tax), like more than 100 other countries have. This is a way of taxing the rich, because they choose to be taxed. Go to the high end, say, 25%, reduce income tax a bit to balance things out and, according to calculations done by University of Virginia Tax Review, it would bring in enough money to balance the federal budget, pay for health-care expansion, eliminate income tax for those earning less than $100,000, and cut the top-tier tax to 25%. It also stops us from over-consuming and encourages savings. Lord knows we need that – we’ve been behaving like financial first-graders for far too long.

2. Stop government subsidizing of homeownership, health care and agriculture. These three subsidies distort their markets and have given us the illusion of a false economy. They cost the federal government $250 billion a year. For more specifics, see link below.

3. Reduce entitlements. Tie benefits to rises in income, not wages. Raise the retirement age, and link it to a life expectancy norm. If we all retire at 65, but keep living longer and longer in retirement, it’s obvious that social security and pension funds cannot last.

For Zakaria’s full reasoning, see his article here.

OK… that’s my political post for this decade.

Grab Bag Attitude-Is-Everything:

Thanks to sister Tally D., herself  a testament to positive attitude,  for sending this to me.

And what was your last excuse for not exercising?

Grab Bag Brain Game:

SIDE EFFECT

Grab Bag Funny Stuff:

This just might work….. enjoy as Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard shares the secrets French women have known for years on how to keep a man looking into your eyes – sort of. Of special note is Lesley Ann Warren’s turn in this …. she’s a very good sport 🙂 Thanks to reader Corinna G. for sending this in.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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