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Press & Media » USA Weekend

Endless Summer Savings

USA Weekend (Newspaper) - 6/21/2009 by Constance Kurz
Don't let a lack of funds mean a lack of fun. To help your summer sizzle, we've found ways to be smart, smarter, smartest about the things you purchase every day.


SMART: Pick up "pre-read" books through local library, community and church fundraisers, and check yard sales, too. Go on free book swap websites such as and to find other readers who are eager to trade hardbacks, paperbacks and audiobooks with you.

SMARTER: Spin this book club idea: Invite six to eight friends to bring a couple of favorite titles they've loved and are willing to share. Ask each guest to attach a notecard with his or her name and a short "selling pitch" to each book. Display everyone's picks along with a checkout clipboard, if books are to be returned to their owners. Let people browse while they socialize.

SMARTEST: Who needs expensive satellite radio? Break up a long drive with a (normally very pricey) audiobook from Cracker Barrel Old Country Stores, the down-home chain often located along interstates. Purchase a title at one location (CDs run $9.99 to $48), save your receipt and return it to any one of 588 stores in 41 states. Cracker Barrel will refund your money, deducting $3.49 for each week you've had it.
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