Fandango Movie Tickets: Buy 1 Get 1 Free This Weekend (3D/IMAX)

Fandango has been offering the equivalent of Buy 1 Get 1 Free movie tickets on weekends when you use Visa Checkout and promo code DEALSTHATCLICK9. This time it runs from 9/22 to 9/24/17. Technically, you have to buy 2 tickets and one of them will be free. Up to $25 value so 3D/IMAX/etc should work, and the convenience fee is also waived for one ticket. Perhaps in response to pressure from MoviePass, which doesn’t include 3D/IMAX?

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Local Ethnic Grocery Stores: Why Are Fruits and Veggies So Cheap?

Bittermelon picture.  Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bittermelon_(5926208390).jpgMost cities have local ethnic food stores that sell produce for a lot less than the big grocery chains. I suppose they are called this because they are often started by immigrants to serve other immigrants (ex. Mexican, Vietnamese, Armenian). But why are they cheaper? One popular theory was that they bought the “ugly” stuff that the chains wouldn’t buy. (Driscoll’s became dominant by breeding beautiful strawberries, even though in my opinion it tastes like they crossbred with styrofoam.)

In the case of New York City Chinatown at least, the WSJ found (non-paywall link) that a major reason behind the lower prices are special, local supply chains.

Her discovery: Chinatown’s 80-plus produce markets are cheap because they are connected to a web of small farms and wholesalers that operate independently of the network supplying most mainstream supermarkets.

My personal theory is that these are family businesses and everyone pitches in. The article doesn’t directly address cheap family labor, but minimal overhead is discussed:

Indeed, Chinatown’s green grocers make Costco look like Dean & DeLuca. Some are mere sidewalk stands renting space in front of a nail salon or a drugstore. Shelves are typically made of plywood and lined with newsprint; prices are hastily marked on strips of cardboard. Shoeboxes serve as cash registers. The scales are still analogue, and good luck using a credit card.

All this translates into low overhead for the retailers—and low prices for shoppers. The typical Chinatown produce markup is just 10% to 12% over wholesale, said Wellington Chen, executive director of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corp.

This special sourcing can vary. Unfortunately I don’t live near NYC Chinatown, but in my local ethnic market, some of the produce will also be from a local farm, often the lesser-known asian vegetable or herbs that grow like weeds but wilt quickly. However, some of these vendors also offer everything from watermelon to tomatoes in December. In that case, then they are probably buying some things directly from a commercial wholesaler. (It still might be cheaper than a chain.) I usually look for a sign that says “local” or simply ask them what is locally grown.

Health Insurance Premiums: Average Annual Cost $19,000 Family, $6,000 Individual

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The Wall Street Journal recently published (paywall?) a chart showing how the average cost of employer-provided health coverage for a family has changed from 1999-2017. The total average annual cost was $18,764 for a family and $6,690 for an … [Read the rest]

Museum Day: Free Tickets Nationwide On Saturday, September 23, 2017

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This upcoming Saturday! Museum Day Live! is an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors to anyone presenting a Museum Day Ticket for free. This is in following the spirit of … [Read the rest]

Robinhood: Free Share of Stock for New Users – Estimated Value

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Robinhood is a sleek smartphone app that's a brokerage account with unlimited $0 trades with no minimum balance requirement. They've been around for a few years now and I've been impressed that they've kept up the free trade business model, … [Read the rest]

Robinhood App Review: $0 Stock Trades, Easy-to-Use Interface

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Updated. The Robinhood app wants to "democratize the financial markets" by creating brokerage account in your pocket that offers unlimited free trades with no minimum balance requirement. That is a pretty bold move, and I was skeptical as I've been … [Read the rest]

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card Review – 50,000 Bonus Points

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After some sneak peaks and rumors, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card is now officially live. This card is a new addition to Bank of America's rewards card line-up, and the question will be if the added benefits outweigh the $95 … [Read the rest]

University of Berkshire Hathaway: Notes From Annual Shareholders Meeting (Book Review)

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If you are a Buffett & Munger follower, you should be intrigued by University of Berkshire Hathaway: 30 Years of Lessons Learned from Warren Buffett & Charlie Munger at the Annual Shareholders Meeting by Daniel Pecaut and Corey Wrenn. Anyone can … [Read the rest]

5% Cash Back Credit Cards: Rotating Categories Update 2017

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Activation for 4th Quarter 2017 is live. The credit cards below offer a hefty 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but I also rack up over a hundred dollars in additional rewards per year without … [Read the rest]

Free 100 Air Canada Aeroplan Bonus Miles

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New offer. Even small amounts of bonus miles can be handy as Air Canada requires activity every 12 months to prevent Aeroplan miles expiration. Give some feedback on a short video at get 100 bonus Aeroplan miles. 100 bonus miles will be … [Read the rest]

Amazon Prints Promotional Code: 50 Free 4×6 Photo Prints + Free Shipping

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New code for 50 free prints. Amazon Prints is offering another round of 50 free 4x6 photo prints, with free shipping for Prime members. Use promotional code FREE50PRINTS by September 17, 2017 11:59pm PT. This current code should work again even … [Read the rest]

Surprise! A Few Reasons for Hope and Optimism

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The amount of negative information that surrounds us can sometimes feel overwhelming. To be sure, there is plenty to be concerned about. However, here are some reasons to be hopeful. You probably won't find them on the front page of any major … [Read the rest]