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Pay Dirt
A daily look at what we buy, how we spend, and the companies that do right - and wrong - by their customers.

deals - All posts tagged deals

  • Jul 7, 2011
    3:06 PM ET

    How to Buy Designer Jeans At a Discount


    Designers are betting that the economy has improved enough to support new jeans priced at $200, $300 — or more. Savvy shoppers, however, can easily save 50% on those same pairs.

    Much of the high price tag on so-called premium denim comes from higher costs of manufacturing in the U.S. rather than abroad, according to a report in today’s Wall Street Journal. There’s also the allure of signature cuts or details, like elaborate shading that slims and elongates legs, and a hefty dose of brand reputation. “People are getting hung up on the hype,” says Kathryn Finney, the founder of “It’s ridiculous to spend $300 on a pair of jeans.”

  • Jun 13, 2011
    12:15 PM ET

    5 Ways to Buy Organic Groceries for Less


    Apples just became public enemy No. 1 to shoppers looking for pesticide-free foods.

    A recent screening from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found pesticide residue in 98% of the popular fruit, the highest rate of all the produce it examined. That was enough to push apples to the top of the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” shopping guide of items to buy organic. The free list, released today, aims to help shoppers on a budget figure out which items are best purchased organic. Last year, apples ranked fourth.

    “Consumers should shop with an abundance of caution,” says Mark Kastel, the co-founder of The Cornucopia Institute, a farm policy research group. Although all of the foods screened meet government guidelines for acceptable pesticide levels, he says, studies have pointed to problems stemming from even minute levels of exposure.

    Although buying organic may be desirable, it’s not always in the budget. At online grocer, regular strawberries — which placed third on the Dirty Dozen — are half the price of organic ones, while a half-gallon of organic milk at Safeway sells for a 27% premium.

    But there are ways to make going organic more affordable. Try these five:

About Pay Dirt

  • Pay Dirt examines the millions of consumer decisions Americans make every day: What to buy, how much to pay, whether to rave or complain. Lead written by Quentin Fottrell, the blog examines these interactions, providing readers with news, insight and tips on shopping, spending, customer service, and companies that do right – and wrong – by their customers. Send items, questions and comments to or tweet @SMPayDirt.