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thI’ve written before about Swagbucks, the rewards site that awards points for doing things like online searches, playing games, taking surveys, watching short videos and keeping an eye out for special codes.

You can trade the points (“Swagbucks,” or SBs for short) for gift cards or other goods, or use them to enter contests. My favorite premium is the Amazon gift card, which let me do a fair amount of birthday and Christmas shopping for free last year.

I’m something of a brand evangelist for the site, and not just because I get extra points for referring newbies. Of all the programs out there, this is my favorite because it’s easy, it pays out things people want and it has a sense of fun.

So yes, I think you should join, with or without my referral link – and through May 31 newcomers can get an extra incentive.


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thI mailed my taxes on Tuesday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh? Since some of you may be finishing up the paperwork, or may be glum about the paperwork you just mailed, I’m hoping this week’s giveaway will cheer you up.

And if not, maybe my upcoming Swagbucks announcement (more on that below) will do the trick.


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thGot health insurance? If not, you can get some free testing this Saturday at any Sam’s Club location that has a pharmacy.

From 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., both members and non-members can take advantage of:

  • Total cholesterol test
  • Blood pressure reading
  • Vision screening
  • Glucose test
  • Body mass index screening
  • Oral health questionnaire
  • “Dental tablets,” which show up any spots you’re missing when you brush

Oral health issues may indicate other health conditions. People with serious gum disease are 40 percent more likely to have another chronic condition. Dental health professionals will be on hand to offer tips about proper care for teeth and gums.

Should it turn out that you need glasses, see this article on Frugal Nation for info on getting your specs for less (as in, $7 or less). For tips on saving money on all sorts of medical treatment – or not having to pay at all — see “Surprising ways to save money on health care.”

If you don’t have insurance, by all means take advantage of the free screenings. Knowledge is power, especially when it comes to your health.


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A disenchanted April.

thEarly this month it seemed that breakup — local parlance for “spring” — was marching right along. The days were warm (high 30s-low 40s) and the nights were chilly (teens and 20s). Between actual melt and sublimation, we’d gotten glimpses of roads and even bits of sidewalk here and there.

Several dumps of snow later, I remembered just how big a tease breakup can be. Sort of like a stripper who never shows you all the good stuff at once, and who covers up with both fans and the stage curtain just when you’re getting all worked up.


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th-1Know someone who’s graduating from high school or college in the next few months? Have I got a grad gift for you.

Zac Bissonnette’s “How to Be Richer, Smarter and Better-Looking Than Your Parents” would actually be good for any young person who’s flailing around right now. Say, someone who finished a degree in December but hasn’t been able to find himself, a passion or even 40 hours of work per week.

The author was 23 when the book was published — and it wasn’t his first book. Slacker.


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