Virus Outbreak California

Beware these boat and camper scams during pandemic

John Matarese  |  June 27, 2020

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for ways to avoid crowds. So buying a boat or camper might sound like a great option to keep your family safe on vacation — as long as you avoid getting scammed. Tracey Beers is a single mom and watercolor artist who wanted a way to spend …

Virus Outbreak Latin America Restaurants

Prepare to pay high prices for meat ahead of Fourth of July

John Matarese  |  June 26, 2020

Are you looking for some steaks to throw on the grill this weekend or on the Fourth of July? You may want to bring extra money — the pandemic is sending meat prices up sharply this month. High prices are starting to impact consumers, restaurants and anyone who cooks meat for their business. Tyrique Ramsey …

Best Men's Soccer Cleats

Parents are having a hard time getting refunds for kids’ spring sports leagues

John Matarese  |  June 21, 2020

Thousands of youth sporting events were canceled this spring due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s tough enough that kids are missing a whole season of baseball or soccer. But now, soccer moms and dads everywhere are growing frustrated. Many paid hundreds of dollars for their kids to participate in spring soccer leagues that ended up …

10 items that are still hard to come by because of COVID-19 pandemic

John Matarese  |  June 13, 2020

Just when stores started filling their toilet paper shelves again, other items are suddenly in short supply. Most of them have nothing to do with cleaning. You’ll recall that first, it was hand sanitizer and Lysol wipes that became impossible to find back in February — which feels like it was three years ago in …

Amazon Prepares For Black Friday Sale

Amazon Prime members are complaining about delays during the pandemic

John Matarese  |  June 13, 2020

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.If you are an Amazon Prime member, you may have noticed something different during the COVID pandemic. …

Streaming TV HBO Max

Is HBO Max worth the $14.99 cost per month?

John Matarese  |  June 3, 2020

If you are someone who doesn’t get enough shows from Netflix, Disney+, Amazon Prime, Apple TV Plus and Hulu, now you have another option for TV programming. The already crowded streaming wars have a new challenger: HBO Max, which costs $14.99 a month. But why would you need it, especially if you already subscribe to …

Stores that won’t be reopening after the pandemic

John Matarese  |  June 1, 2020

After a two-month COVID-19 lockdown, stores all across the country are starting to reopen. But local malls may never look the same, because some stores that closed may never come back. Kelly Stevens runs an independent toy store. She plans to reopen in June, and hopes that shoppers come back quickly. “It’s a very tough …

The IRS wants people to return stimulus funds accidentally sent to dead people

John Matarese  |  May 24, 2020

Bruce Bachlor is coping with a lot these days after his beloved wife recently died from an illness. With money tight, Bachlor was looking forward to receiving a $1,200 stimulus check. “I was expecting a stimulus check to help with the bills,” Bachlor said. So he was thrilled to discover a deposit in his bank …

Virus Outbreak Pennsylvania

What you need to know about the meat shortage

John Matarese  |  May 23, 2020

First, it was hand sanitizer. Then toilet paper and cleaning products. Now, some of the biggest staples of American dinner tables — beef, pork and chicken — are suddenly in short supply. Shoppers say they have found meat coolers more empty in recent days, despite signs limiting customers to two packs of meat or chicken …

Virus Outbreak Payments to the Dead

Stuck in limbo: Why some young adults and students aren’t getting stimulus checks

John Matarese  |  May 17, 2020

By now, nearly 100 million Americans have received or will soon get a stimulus check. But millions of other people who desperately need money will not be able to participate in this part of the rebound. Daniel Barnes is among them. He is doing odd jobs right now, a month after being laid off from …

Best Vitamins

Don’t be scammed into buying fake ‘coronavirus treatments’

John Matarese  |  May 16, 2020

While standing in long lines at grocery stores in recent weeks, shoppers may have seen the National Enquirer headline shouting, “Coronavirus Cures Finally Found!” If that’s true, why is everyone fighting over toilet paper and staying home? The reality is that doctors say there is no known cure for COVID-19 yet. Dr. Carl Fichtenbaum, infectious …

Toilet paper shortage coronavirus panic buying man hoarding carrying many rolls at home in fear of corona virus outbreak closing shopping stores.

How to avoid being duped into buying fake Charmin toilet paper

John Matarese  |  May 8, 2020

If you are struggling to find hand sanitizer, face masks or toilet paper, ads on Facebook and Instagram can be very tempting during the COVID-19 pandemic. But one man has a cautionary tale. Ben Hart thought it was his lucky day when he spotted a pop-up Facebook ad for 30 rolls of Charmin for $40. …

Congress Ticket Prices

Here’s what you need to know about getting Ticketmaster concert refunds

John Matarese  |  May 8, 2020

People everywhere are looking at tickets for upcoming concerts and wondering if their favorite artist’s scheduled show will actually happen. Some tours have been canceled outright. Others have postponed to a fall date. Many music fans, looking at the hundreds of dollars they have spent on shows in limbo, would just like a refund. But …

What to do if you can’t pay your bills because of the coronavirus pandemic

John Matarese  |  May 6, 2020

For many of us, rent, mortgage, car payment and other bills are coming due again. But what about those who are out of work amid the coronavirus pandemic and can’t pay those bills? Many families have yet to receive their stimulus check or have not yet received an unemployment check, leaving their bank accounts on …

What you need to know about getting a refund from VRBO

John Matarese  |  May 4, 2020

Millions of Americans are now canceling their spring and summer travel plans. Most are getting refunds. But if you booked through Vrbo — Vacation Rentals By Owner — it’s complicated. Kathy Saalfeld is one such frustrated renter. She spends her days now tending to her spring flowers at her home. Until COVID-19 hit, she was …

How to clean your workstation to kill germs

John Matarese  |  April 26, 2020

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, doctors advised everyone to wash their hands more and try not to touch things that other people have touched. But workspaces — even home workspaces — can pose a problem. Any desk can be full of mucky items. Luckily, there are simple steps to sanitize the area around home workspaces. Diamond …

What to know about getting a haircut or color during the pandemic

John Matarese  |  April 24, 2020

Need a haircut soon? Or maybe your roots are getting dark and not looking great on all those Zoom chats? Weeks into a mandatory salon shutdown in most states, some clients are wondering if they can get a cut and color. And stylists, who are going into their fourth week with no income, are grappling …

You might notice higher prices for beef and pork during your next grocery run

John Matarese  |  April 24, 2020

Grocery store supplies remain tight, with items from Tylenol to chicken in short supply. And it appears beef and pork could soon be added to the list. But at the same time we are finding less on the shelves, prices keep creeping up and we are paying a lot more for less. Remember when eggs …

How to check the status of your stimulus check

John Matarese  |  April 24, 2020

Still waiting for your stimulus check? If you you haven’t found the funds waiting in your bank account, you could be waiting a while for that $1,200 in stimulus money. Individuals without direct deposit of their tax refunds will have to wait for a paper check in the mail, which could take as long as …

Virus Outbreak Illinois

Beware these coronavirus face mask scams

John Matarese  |  April 17, 2020

You know how tough it is to find masks and other protective gear for sale. Stores have been sold out for months. Then why is it every time you get on your phone, ads for respirator masks and hand sanitizer pop up? The CDC is now recommending we wear masks when grocery shopping, and New …

Parents are furious that they can’t get full refunds for student trips

John Matarese  |  April 10, 2020

Sarah Hignite and her high school-aged daughter had been looking forward to a school trip to Europe. “My daughter and I had signed up with her high school, her art history class to go to Spain,” she said. The 10-day EF Tours trip was expensive but would be the trip of a lifetime. “My husband …

Virus Outbreak Maryland

Small business owners plead for more help during coronavirus shutdown

John Matarese  |  April 3, 2020

If you work for a small business or own one, these are trying times. Companies don’t want to lay off trusted workers, but many are running out of cash and say loans really aren’t enough right now. One example: an almost-new Holiday Inn Express that is still open for business. Its rooms are getting deeply …

Kroger is hiring 10,000 workers amid the coronavirus pandemic

John Matarese  |  March 20, 2020

Kroger is making changes in its stores, effective immediately, to help shoppers get the basics they need and prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Kroger spokesperson Erin Rolfes said the biggest change shoppers will see is the closing of all personal-service meat and seafood counters, as well as salad bars. “You will see closures of …

Homeowners are rushing to take advantage of lower interest rates

John Matarese  |  March 13, 2020

Tom and Alex Moonitz are a young couple getting ready for a new baby in their lives, so they perked up when their mortgage broker called them about the possibility of refinancing their home. “Being able to save any kind of money would be awesome for us and for our family,” Alex said. Their lender …

What to know about canceling your travel plans because of coronavirus

John Matarese  |  March 12, 2020

Amanda Stewart was planning a big Disney World trip for her family this spring, booking flights for her family on Southwest Airlines. But in recent days, this nervous mom decided she’d rather stay home for now. “With coronavirus popping up in the United States, we started getting worried,” she said. “So, we just wanted to …

Drugstores are begging shoppers to stop hoarding hand sanitizer

John Matarese  |  March 9, 2020

First, it was face masks that disappeared after a run on stores by nervous consumers. Now it’s hand sanitizer and any type of disinfecting wipes, leaving pharmacists begging people to stop hoarding. Pharmacist Troy Stinson says his store Mullaney’s Pharmacy ran out of masks weeks ago and has no idea when more may come in. …

Ransomware is back, attacking computers during the coronavirus pandemic

John Matarese  |  March 6, 2020

With coronavirus spreading and shoppers clearing out store shelves, it seemed we had enough to worry about. Nope, because computer ransomware is making a comeback. Charlene Stone was working on her home computer when a “support alert” took over her screen. “All of a sudden this popup, the whole thing, this thing popped up on …

A Target clerk saved a shopper from falling victim to a $1,000 grandparent scam

John Matarese  |  February 6, 2020

Many times these days we hear about seniors who have fallen victim to phone scams, losing thousands of dollars that they can never recover. But thanks to a quick-thinking Cincinnati-area shopper, and a Target store clerk, one older woman has been saved from a scam that was about to cost her $1,000. Karen Rodder was …

Watch out for this Amazon delivery notice scam

John Matarese  |  December 17, 2019

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.Many people are waiting for Amazon holiday packages right now. If you’re one of them, take a …

Things you should buy used to save hundreds of dollars

DWYM Staff  |  December 11, 2019

We all love new stuff, especially around the holidays. But buying new can be costly. So when it comes to buying for yourself, we have a list of things you should consider buying used instead. A recent report from CNBC lists some things you that can save you a small fortune, if you purchase them …

Black Friday Bargain Hunters Hit The Streets In Madrid And Barcelona

Black Friday ads are starting to roll out

John Matarese  |  October 18, 2019

We are still almost 6 weeks away from Black Friday 2019, but Harbor Freight Tools has just released the first big ad for its sale on Friday, Nov. 29, and running all weekend long. has posted a full scan of the Harbor Freight Ad. The discount tool seller is traditionally the first major retailer to …

The hidden downsides of winning a home

John Matarese  |  August 27, 2019

Wouldn’t it be great to win a house? It’s a lot like winning the lottery, but in most cases, you have much better odds, such as 10,000 to one instead of 10 million to one. Unfortunately, if you don’t know what you are in for, that dream home could turn out to be a financial …

Why you should never wait to open a TV or appliance

John Matarese  |  August 23, 2019

Valerie Merritt was looking forward to putting up a big new 4K TV in her living room, until her handyman tried to hang it up. “He was putting up the bracket,” she said, “and then he opened the box.” The two of them couldn’t believe what was inside. “I said that thing is all smashed …

Best Autobiography Movie

Read this before you send your old family movies to a conversion company

John Matarese  |  August 21, 2019

Do you have a bunch of VHS tapes of family memories? A baby’s first steps, graduations or one of grandma’s big birthdays? Then you need to know what happened to one woman when she mailed in some of her priceless tapes to have them converted. Debi Fields wants to remember her grandmother. “She lived to …

Center For Disease Control Reports Highest Number Of Measles Cases In 20 Years

What you need to know about being denied medical care for unpaid bills

John Matarese  |  August 14, 2019

A mom says she took her daughter to a walk-in clinic, but was denied treatment simply because a past bill had not been paid. Are medical facilities allowed to do that? What we learned may surprise you. Takes daughter with fever into clinic Jessica Vance wanted to avoid a $1,000-plus emergency room bill when her …

Germany Presents Ebola Medevac Plane

Can you resell an unwanted airline ticket?

John Matarese  |  August 12, 2019

Have you ever bought an airline ticket, then discovered you couldn’t go on the trip? At that point, you may have wondered if you could transfer it to a relative, or sell it to someone who wants it. But you can’t. Wouldn’t it be great if you could sell a plane ticket — and even …

This woman lost $1,000 to a Social Security phone scam

John Matarese  |  August 2, 2019

Many believe they would never fall for a phone scam. But one young woman just lost hundreds of dollars and wants to warn others about how easy it can be to fall victim to a scam. Mary Kulik was heading home from her job as a payroll clerk when her cell phone rang. “The caller …

Dollar Tree Store,

Dollar store wars: Which is the best value?

John Matarese  |  July 23, 2019

Shoppers these days are abandoning expensive stores at the mall, evidenced by the thousands of store locations closing in the past year. Many are turning to bargain stores like Marshalls, TJ Maxx and the biggest bargain retailer of all: dollar stores. But which provides the best bang for your buck? Shoppers love the deals We …

Toyota's New Prius Hybrid Cars To Go On Sale In October

These hybrid car owners are angry over new fees and taxes

John Matarese  |  July 22, 2019

Buying a hybrid or electric car used to get you a tax break, back in the Obama era. Now, though, it’s just the opposite in several states, where hybrids are being hit with new taxes. Across the country, states are asking them to pay new fees for road upkeep as lawmakers say these cars don’t …


What to buy and what to skip at Aldi

John Matarese  |  April 29, 2019

Aldi has shaken up the grocery scene the past couple of years, moving from a small retailer of cheap no-name products to a major threat to big supermarkets. The German grocer is expanding into a 2,000-store deep discount chain across the U.S. So if one has opened near you, you may want to know the …

An Amazon Fulfilment Centre Prepares For Black Friday

People Say They Are Accidentally Joining Amazon Prime Without Realizing It

John Matarese  |  April 25, 2019

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website.A growing number of people do not want to be Amazon Prime members these days, because they …

Chrysler Reports 16 Percent Sales Jump In November

These cars hold their value the best over a five-year span

John Matarese  |  April 23, 2019

When buying a car, everyone wants a good deal. But there’s one part of the decision-making process many skip, and it can turn out to be very costly in the end. When looking for a new ride, most are concerned about the interior space — the touchscreen and cameras, handling, and of course how soft …

California Begins Furloughs For State Jobs

These DMV lookalike websites trick drivers into paying a fee

John Matarese  |  April 17, 2019

Drivers who apply for new license plate tags should be careful how they do it, according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB). The BBB has received dozens of complaints about lookalike BMV and DMV websites, and one driver says he fell for a phony site. Brian Morgan recently received a letter explaining it was time …

Still on Windows 7? You must do this critical update

John Matarese  |  March 5, 2019

  Still use Windows 7 on your PC or laptop? Don’t be embarrassed: almost 40% of personal computers around the world still run it, according to Microsoft. But if you still use it, you need to make a very important upgrade soon. Windows 7 is now 10 years old. If you’re still using it, watch …

Are there toys in your kid’s closet that may soar in value?

John Matarese  |  February 28, 2019

The products and services mentioned below were selected independent of sales and advertising. However, Don't Waste Your Money may receive a small commission from the purchase of any products or services through an affiliate link to the retailer's website. Remember those Star Wars figurines you used to have, that you (or your mom) tossed in …

How free video games can cost hundreds of dollars

John Matarese  |  February 12, 2019

If you have kids between 4 and 14, it probably seems like they always want a new video game. Many times they’ll say, “But mom, it’s free!” But caution: That free game can end up very costly, because of a catch many parents don’t quite understand. The days of just driving Mario Kart, or playing …

Used car powertrain warranties come with many catches

John Matarese  |  January 11, 2019

If you’re buying a used car, the promise of a warranty often brings peace of mind. But do you know what kind of warranty you are getting? One woman just learned there’s a big difference between bumper-to-bumper and powertrain warranties, and it can be very costly if you need a repair. College student Ashley Lorenzen …

3 reasons a store may deny your holiday return

John Matarese  |  January 4, 2019

The end of Christmas season signals the start of return season, when Americans take their gifts back to shopping malls and online retailers in pursuit of different sizes, different colors or full-blown refunds. The good news is that stores have loosened return policies in recent years. Many allow customers 30 days after Christmas to make …

Online retailers overwhelmed by orders this year

John Matarese  |  December 11, 2018

WEST CHESTER TWP., Ohio — The coffee was good and hot this December day, here at Cavu Coffee Shop. Unfortunately, customer Nikki Wissel was hot too, after Kohl’s canceled her online order of a Nintendo Switch gaming system. “I ordered it a Thursday night,” Wissel said. “But come Saturday morning, I get an email from Kohl’s saying …

Burger King 1-cent Whopper deal put to the test

John Matarese  |  December 7, 2018

Have you heard the newest promotion from Burger King? The restaurant chain is offering Whoppers for just 1 cent. However, it’s a bit complicated, and it may not be as quite as easy to get your grub as the ads claim.     You first need to visit… McDonald’s To get the deal: You need to have the …