Blog Posts by Farnoosh Torabi, Yahoo! Finance

  • Top 5 Wasted Foods

    Ever buy certain foods you can never manage to finish before they go bad? Here are five of the most wasted foods likely in your fridge or cabinets right now - and what you can do about it.

    Also See: Food Fraud: 5 Common Counterfeits

    SOUR CREAM

    First, there's no need to stock up on sour cream. In most cases, recipes just call for a dollop or one to two tablespoons. And unlike other condiments, sour cream is dairy-based, so it won't last as long. Advice? Stick with smaller containers. "What's great about sour cream is that it comes in new smaller cups…also use light sour cream. You have half the fat and one-third fewer calories," says Lisa Gosselin, Editor In Chief at EatingWell.

    Gosselin's tip: To use up sour cream fast make a quick dip using lemon, salt, and herbs. Or, substitute it for mayo in chicken or tuna salad.

    Also See: Healthy DIY Meals For Less Than $4

    PRODUCE

    If you think dairy spoils fast, produce actually gets tossed more than any other food group.

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  • What NOT to Wear to Work

    Styling a wardrobe that's both appropriate for work and fashion forward can be a challenge, but according to fashion guru Amy Salinger by following some basic rules you can safely show off your personality and dress to impress.

    Also See: Designer Trends at Knock-Off Prices

    First, a couple tips on what NOT to wear to work:

    Too-Casual Attire

    Work is not the place for sloppy or ill-fitting clothes, says Salinger. In our accompanying video, you'll see a white skirt that's fun and flirty, but too causal based on its texture and frayed edges. Pairing it with a T-shirt only pushes it in the direction of weekend fun, says Salinger. Another too-common casual no-no: wearing yoga pants to work. Despite the convenience of sporting an outfit that transitions easily from work to your workout, it's best avoided. "Keep the yoga pants for the yoga studio," says Salinger.

    Short Hemlines
    Watch the length of your skirt, too. "Hemlines are the biggest issue, I think," says Salinger. "Don't push

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  • Best Budget Vacuums

    A good vacuum should effectively clean the dirt off your floors, be easy to use, and if you spend your dollars wisely, last you a long time. But with prices ranging from $100 up $1,000, how to know which models offer the best value?

    For shopping advice and some high-rated picks I caught up with Carolyn Forté at the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, where her team has tested over 40 vacuums for overall performance.

    Upright or Canister?

    When shopping for a vacuum the first consideration is likely to be style -- upright or canister. Both clean effectively. "It depends on the kind of house you have and what you need to vacuum," says Forté. A canister vacuum is generally more versatile. Like uprights, they handle carpets well, but are also great at cleaning bare floors, vacuuming stairs and sucking up dirt from corners. However, "if you've got one floor and lots of wall to wall carpets, then the upright is the way to go," she says.

    Also See: Major Product Flops 2012

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  • 6 Tricks to Slash Your Cell Phone Bill by $1,000 a Year

    Good news for those of us feeling trapped by our cell phone plans: It is possible to eliminate certain fees and even score some freebies.

    We spoke with Janet Bodnar, editor of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine for some lesser-known strategies. Altogether, the advice is worth a savings of close to $1,000 a year.

    Also See: Common Money Traps to Avoid

    Don't Pay For Text

    If you have an iPhone or Android, you can easily save $240 a year by downloading the "Textfree" app, which allows you to send and receive texts and picture texts for free over a data or Wi-Fi connection. Of course, it may require you to watch an ad or two.

    Also See: 7 Ways to Score Free Stuff

    Prepaid Perks

    If you're a light caller and hunting for a new plan, consider switching to a p repaid calling plan. For example, Virgin Mobile, which now includes iPhone plans, start s at $30 a month for unlimited text and data, as well as 300 minutes. To determine whether prepaid is right for you, review six

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  • Food Fraud: 5 Common Counterfeits

    Did you know that the olive oil in your kitchen's pantry could be an imposter? In fact, according to a UC Davis study, 69% of olive oil is not what it claims to be. Instead, it might be a high-priced oil diluted or mixed with inferior oils and passed off as the real thing.

    Beyond EVOO, items from milk to honey to fruit juice can be mislabeled or diluted. Researchers at Michigan State University found that manufacturers and marketers of food are sometimes guilty of so-called "food fraud," defined as the adulteration, dilution or mislabeling of goods.

    I tapped Pervaiz Shallwani from Chow.com, to discover five more commonly counterfeited foods.

    Also See: Common Money Traps to Avoid

    Balsamic Vinegar

    Balsamic vinegar could be labeled as "Made in Italy," when in reality it might be bottled or produced there, but has been made with inferior ingredients shipped from a different country. It's not exactly a lie, but if you're seeking 100% Italian balsamic vinegar, you could be

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  • Don't Apologize to Your Kids, and 5 More Secrets to "Having it All"

    Can women truly "have it all?" It's an ongoing debate in our culture, but for entrepreneur Rosie Pope, who's juggling both a fast-growing family and career, the answer is a resounding yes. She admits it's a constant work-in-progress that takes confidence, commitment and, unapologetically, lots of coffee.

    I recently sat down with the wife, mom (to three young children, baby Vivienne just 8 weeks old!), and maternity fashion designer and star of Bravo's Pregnant in Heels for her take on managing life and money.

    Stick to a Strict Schedule
    These days, Rosie rises at 5 a.m. when her middle son wakes up and soon after starts her day with a steady go-go-go schedule. Her mornings are spent tending to her children, until 8 a.m. when her nanny arrives and Rosie dashes to work with baby Vivienne -- who's still breastfeeding -- in tow. When she's not shooting her show or traveling for business, a typical work day consists of picking out styles for her retail collection, updating her Read More »from Don't Apologize to Your Kids, and 5 More Secrets to "Having it All"
  • Road Trip Savings: 7 Ways to Save 15 percent

    Between airfare, meals, and lodging, the average American spends about $1,600 on a summer vacation. By taking a road trip, however, you can dramatically reduce your overall travel budget, especially amidst falling gas prices.

    Here's how to manage your fuels costs, and save more than 15% on gas alone.

    Optimize Your Car
    First tip is to prep your car. Ask your mechanic for a maintenance check that optimizes your car for fuel efficiency. This should include making sure your tires are properly inflated, and a general inspection of all fluids, belts, hoses, air filter, your battery and air-conditioner.

    Map It
    Next, avoid long detours and getting lost by using a free online road trip planner to build a custom map and itinerary with planned stops for gas and restroom breaks. This means you can research the best gas prices ahead of time. For example, Gas Buddy is a free site and mobile app that shows you where to find the cheapest gas for both short and longer trips, calculating up-to-dateRead More »from Road Trip Savings: 7 Ways to Save 15 percent
  • Is an Expensive Haircut Worth It?

    Would you believe: $950 for a haircut? That's what's on the menu at the famous Ted Gibson Salon in Manhattan. Our Financially Fit team recently interviewed Gibson, star of TLC's What Not to Wear, to learn just what goes into this uber-expensive haircut and how we can all keep our hair in glam-shape on a much smaller budget.

    Also See: When It Pays to Spend More

    At that price, you're getting more than just a trim, says Gibson, who will style your hair himself at that triple-digit price. "It's really not about the haircut. It's about getting that luxury five-star experience," he explains. We should mention that haircuts at the salon do begin at $75, and even Gibson says you don't need to spend a fortune - or get the royal treatment -- to receive a solid haircut. "You can get a great haircut at $20. Where it can get a little expensive is if you have those add on services like color or getting deep conditioning treatments in the salon."

    Also See: 5 Major Mark-Ups

    In fact,

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  • Picnic Savings: Healthy DIY Meals for Less Than $4

    Summer season is picnic season, and if you're looking for some creative ways to save on dining this month, EatingWell magazine's deputy food editor Jessie Price offers us some delicious meals for less than $4 per serving, sure to impress friends and family.

    Smoked Turkey and Farro Salad

    - 1 cup cooked farro- 6-oz smoked turkey in 1/2-inch cubes
    - 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
    - 1 large stalk celery, chopped
    - 1 ripe avocado, diced
    - 3/4 cup slivered soft sun-dried tomatoes
    - 1/2 cup diced smoked Cheddar or Gouda
    - Dressing made with olive oil, red-wine vinegar, diced shallots, ground pepper

    See Also: Guilt-Free Homemade Snacks

    This whole-grain salad is one of Price's favorite go-to picnic meals. It includes cubed lean turkey and crunchy vegetables like bell pepper and celery, a little smoked cheese and avocado for flavor -- perfect for a hot summer night. "Farro is a whole grain. It's actually a type of wheat. You can find it in natural food stores or in

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  • 8 Cleaning Tips That Save

    Staying ahead of household chores is a challenge for any busy person. In fact, 68% of people wish housecleaning took up less time. Still another challenge is keeping all your cleaning products to a minimum so you can save money, as well.

    We met with Carolyn Forte of the Good Housekeeping Research Institute for some solutions.

    Start With Your Sink

    Forte's first tip to help you accomplish more in less time is to start by cleaning the sink. If you only have 15 minutes to clean, pick the one chore with the most impact, and, she says, that's your sink. It's inspiring to see quick progress, and it's also one of the top places in your home that attracts bacteria.

    Stay Up Top

    While you're there, here's another time saving trick: clean surfaces before floors. This way you're not wiping crumbs or dust onto your clean tile or rug.

    See Also: Common Money Traps to Avoid

    Take Your Shoes Off

    Next, believe it or not, 85% of the dirt on your shoes comes off in your home,

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