Monthly Archives: October 2011

Don’t Let the New Bank Fees Get You Down. You Have Alternatives.

banksThe big banks have been making headlines lately for increasing fees on their basic checking accounts. Bank of America first announced a $5 fee for using debit cards, then, days later, Citibank announced it was also raising fees. Folks, you don’t need to put up with this BS. Protest these changes with your wallet and move your money to a bank or credit union that values you as a customer. This is not only a frugal way to save money, but it sends a message to these companies that consumers won’t stand for the new ridiculous fees.

How to Find a Credit Union

You can use the National Credit Union Administration’s Find a Credit Union Tool to locate a credit union near you. Don’t be intimidated by the long form; just choosing a state and clicking “Find” will bring up a list of all of the credit unions in your state. Start narrowing down the list from there.

How to Find a Bank

The best way to find a local bank without the fees is to use Bankrate.com’s Find a Checking Account Tool. Simply type in your zip code, and they will give you a list of banks in the area along with their minimum balance rates and fee schedules. This makes it extremely easy to compare local banks and find one without outrageous fees.

ING Direct: No Minimum Balances. No Fees. No BS.

I strongly recommend opening an account with ING Direct. I’ve had an account with them for years without a problem, and I haven’t been charged a single fee in that time. Additionally, they pay great interest on checking accounts. That”s right—they pay you to handle your money! Among other ING Direct perks:

  • No minimum balances. You do not need to maintain a minimum balance in your checking or savings accounts in order to earn interest or avoid fees.
  • No debit card fees.
  • Generous interest rates on savings accounts and checking.
  • Free use at over 35,000 Allpoint ATM locations.

The reason why ING Direct is able to keep its costs low is because it’s an online bank. The way ING Direct works is that you are required to have a “feeder” checking account at another bank, which you then use to transfer money to your ING Direct account. You can access your money from ING Direct by either transferring between the accounts or using your ING debit card to get cashback at stores or ATMs.

October is National Seafood Month. Time to Stock Up on Cheap Seafood.

Seafood Sale

October is National Seafood Month, which means frugal people should be on the lookout for special deals on seafood over the next few weeks. My local supermarket is currently running several good sales on fresh seafood , and they’re also stocking a few varieties of fish that they don’t normally carry. I expect to see frozen fish sticks and fish products on sale between now and the end of the month, so you might want to print off some coupons for Gorton’s products now before they run out.

Additionally, expect to see some good seafood specials at your local restaurants. They will undoubtedly take advantage of the cheap seafood prices and promotions as well.

If you’re looking for new ways to cook fish, then I highly recommend Alton Brown’s Beer Batter Fish recipe. I have tried this recipe with haddock, tilapia, and pollock, and it came out extremely tasty each time. This is an easy way for beginners to prepare fish, although the accompanying homemade chips recipe is what I would call a “medium difficulty” recipe.