Spend Matters Friday Latte

It really isn't fair.
Why Women Pay More -- THREE YEARS AGO, Janet Floyd, the cofounder of a Manhattan market research firm, spotted a neighborhood dry cleaner that offered the following deal: Launder four shirts and get the fifth laundered for free. Button-downs are a staple of Floyd's wardrobe, so she returned carrying an armload of oxfords. But when she dropped the shirts on the counter, she was told that the offer applied only to men's shirts, not "blouses." "The owner of the store insisted women's shirts didn't fit on their machines and needed to be hand-pressed," says Floyd. (The cleaner charged roughly $2 to launder a dress shirt versus $6.50 to dry-clean a blouse.) Floyd then asked if she could pay the higher price on four of her shirts and still get the fifth cleaned for free. The owner declined. "It was outrageous. They were giving this huge discount to men, and we weren't getting one," she fumes.

The true cost of owning a pet: what you're willing to pay?
New Treatments to Save a Pet, but Questions About the Costs -- Treatment like this comes at a price, both monetary and emotional. Improved veterinary care for all pets has increased consumer spending in this area to $13.4 billion last year from $9.2 billion in 2006, according to the American Pet Products Association. Pet insurance rarely comes to the rescue, since less than 3 percent of Americans carry it, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. Those who do can expect reimbursement, according to their level of coverage, from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, but bills for the most advanced forms of treatment far outpace even the most comprehensive plans.

This is one of the reasons I don't eat meat.
Could 'pink slime' be rebranded? -- Three out of the four US factories making "lean beef trimmings" are to be shut down following a public outcry. Is "pink slime" - as critics call it - finished or could it be relaunched under a new name? The look on shoppers' faces as Jamie Oliver sloshed ammonia into a bowl of what he calls "pink slime" said it all. They were horrified. They appeared to have no idea that the burgers they had been buying all these years contained anything other than prime cuts of beef.

Check, recheck, and recheck your data.
Pecan Buyers Shelled by Bad Data -- Pecan broker Daniel Zedan spends his days in his Wayne, Ill., office matching buyers and sellers and meditating on the global market for nuts. But late last summer he took on the role of sleuth--and unearthed a big mistake by the U.S. government. Mr. Zedan was poring over government data on pecan exports, which he tracks to gauge global demand. But the numbers weren't matching up--exports suddenly looked much lower than previously reported.

- Sheena Moore

First Voice

  1. Morris:

    On the topic of pet insurance, personally I’m more of a fan of vet discount programs, such as United Pet Care, or Pet Assure…

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