Take 5: A Roundup of Reads From Around the Web

This week: How houseplants can save you money, studying abroad, myths about personal loans, shopping resale stores and how to keep your veggies from rotting before you can eat them.


1. How to Eat Your Veggies Instead of Letting Them Rot

[Credit.com] “My usual routine goes a little like this: I buy a lot of produce in a delusional fit of self-betterment, then allow it to rot in the fridge while I order pineapple fried rice in defeat. It’s a double waste of money and I’ve decided that 2016 is the year when the madness stops. So here are the strategies I’ve been using and so far, so good.

We’ve done lots of similar stories (see 21 Tricks to Make Groceries Last Longer), but I still learned something from this article. Ideas include avoiding the vegetable drawer (it hides your stuff), admit what you don’t like, stop buying “value packs” and more. Check it out.

2. Be Stylish for Less With Online Clothing Resale Shops

[The Dollar Stretcher] “Buying brand names for pennies on the label isn’t the only big benefit of befriending my local thrift stores. When I tire of the bright green Coach handbag or soft ivory Free People tee that once made me weak in the knees, guess where I take it? Back it goes to the place we first met to be sold for cash or exchanged for lucrative shopping credits.”

Designer duds for less is another well-worn topic here, but there’s always something new to try on. This post suggests buying clothes at online and brick-and-mortar clothing stores, then selling them at the same places when you’re done. The author also mentions five of her favorite stores. Fun fact: One chain store she mentions, Buffalo Exchange, started many years ago with one store in Tucson, Arizona. I went to that very first store with one of my very first girlfriends in 1975.

3. 7 Myths About Personal Loans That Are Crucial to Know Before You Decide to Borrow Money

[Credit Sesame] “Five years ago and before, the fear surrounding personal loans was more understandable. Then, personal loan rates could be three to five times higher than a mortgage or car loan. Today, borrowers can get personal loans at rates just a point or two above a car loan rate and maybe 50% higher than a mortgage.”

There are many myths regarding personal loans, including the beliefs that only those with great credit will qualify, that banks are the best source, that all personal loans are unsecured and that personal loans are always better than borrowing from credit cards. This story helps debunk those myths.

4. Can You Afford to Study Abroad in College?

[Debt.com] “Now more and more colleges and universities are offering an array of study-abroad programs that allow students to take classes in a foreign country while earning credit toward their graduation requirements. So if you or your child is thinking about taking advantage, it’s a good idea to evaluate the opportunity from all sides.”

This article looks at the study-abroad question from several angles, including cost, employability (and salary) after graduation, the challenge and opportunity of culture shock and how a change of scenery can make life more interesting.

I never studied abroad, but after reading this article, it sure sounds like fun and potentially a good investment.

5. 6 Surprising Ways a Houseplant Can Save You Money

[Wise Bread] “If you have considered adding a houseplant to your home or office decor, you may be surprised to find just how much they can improve your life and even save you money.”

Since I’m continually allowing my plants to die of thirst, I’m way more used to plants costing me money than saving it. So exactly how can plants save money? According to this author, they save by adding humidity to the air, thus saving on humidifiers, making the air in your home healthier, helping with allergies, making you happy, helping you sleep and saving on home decor.

Skeptical? Me too. Check out the article and see if you change your mind.

Stacy Johnson

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