Lisa Rowan - The Penny Hoarder

The Trump administration wants to reduce the number of federal student loan servicers from nine to one, according to a statement released by the Department of Education on May 18.

The change will reportedly save taxpayers more than $130 million over the next five years, but critics are concerned that having a single student loan servicer will create a monopoly that harms borrowers.

One Student Loan Servicer to Rule Them All?

Student loan servicers will bid for a new contract that will start when current contracts expire in 2019.

Many say having nine student loan servicers — Telnet, Navient and Great Lakes are some of the most familiar names — is cumbersome.

Under the current system, loans can be transferred to another servicer, forcing the borrower to create a new login, learn to navigate a new online payment system and get to know the servicer’s customer service procedures.  

“Borrowers can expect to see a more user-friendly loan servicing interface, shorter email and call response times and an improved payment application method that will maximize the benefit of each payment the borrower makes,” U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos said in a statement.

Is Simpler Better for Student Loan Servicing?

Trump’s Department of Education is focused on streamlining student loan payment processes, but some worry it may be oversimplifying the entire operation.

The amended contract solicitation will not require the winning loan servicer to provide information in Spanish, nor will it require the servicer to host online calculators for borrowers to monitor their repayment status, “Diverse: Issues in Higher Education” reports.  

“With zero competition, we are concerned about a ‘too big to fail’ student loan company that has zero incentive to work for students, borrowers, and their families,” Natalia Abrams, director of advocacy group Student Debt Crisis, told U.S. News and World Report.

This isn’t the only change to the student loan world the Trump administration has made. In late April, DeVos rolled back two mandates from the Obama administration that were intended to make the collections process more transparent for borrowers and penalize student loan servicers that received complaints about customer service.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

Whether your favorite team is in the NBA Finals or you still don’t understand why the NBA Finals seem to take an eternity to resolve, you can still benefit from this potential giveaway.

For the second year, Taco Bell and the NBA will offer the “Steal a Game, Steal a Taco” promotion.

“The first team to steal a win on the road during the 2017 NBA Finals also wins a free Doritos Locos Taco for everyone in America,” a press release states.

How the ‘Steal a Game, Steal a Taco’ Promo Works

The NBA Finals start Thursday, June 1. If the road team wins any of the first three games, you can get your free Doritos Locos Taco on Tuesday, June 13, between 2-6 p.m. If the road team wins game four, five, six or seven, you can claim your free taco on Tuesday, June 20, from 2-6 p.m.

If you don’t want to keep up with the nightly chapters of this year’s hoops marathon, you can head over to Taco Bell’s Steal a Taco promotion site to check your freebie status.

No purchase is necessary for this free taco. One per person at participating Taco Bell locations, please.

Just don’t complain about the scores, refs or key players to the Taco Bell cashiers, OK?

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

Ready to head outdoors this summer? Whether you’re on the coast or deep within America’s heartland, a camping trip could be the perfect vacation for you.

And camping can not only provide a breath of fresh air (yes, pun intended) but it can also be an affordable vacation for a group of friends or family.

If you’re ready for a digital detox with a healthy heap of nature, here’s how to have an amazing camping trip on a budget.

Research Camping Options

The idea of camping might make you think of sweeping, far-flung national parks. But you can find camping locations in a variety of public and private areas — some much closer than you’d expect.

[caption id="attachment_56979" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Children play in the water at sunset. Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Check out county and state parks, national park campgrounds, and private sites to compare prices and amenities before choosing a favorite that fits your budget.

Check Your Discounts

If this is your first time camping in your area, ask an experienced local if they know of any camping discounts. If you have a pass to a national park, for example, you can probably snag a campsite discount. Campground management chain KOA offers a rewards card that grants members 10% off camping fees.

[caption id="attachment_56963" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] The Pathway that led to gorgeous views at Ft De Soto.  Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Jen Cowart, blogger at The Whole Bag of Chips, said her family relies on the Good Sam Club, an RV club similar to AAA, and on Passport America memberships to get major discounts on campsites.

Camping during the week can reduce your fees, as can longer stays. “We've done ‘stay four days, get the fifth free’ types of deals, too,” Cowart said.

Camp Adjacent to the Busy Season

Some camps have different rates depending on when in the camping season you go. It’s just like hotel and airline price hikes, except on a very crunchy level.

[caption id="attachment_56980" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Friends relax by the campfire while playing card games. Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Can you wait until May to camp instead of doing it in April, when sites are an extra couple of bucks per night? (The Penny Hoarder headquarters are in Florida, so our high season is in winter and spring.)   

If you can handle the weather variables, consider camping on the edge of the season. Just remember to bring warmer layers or your swim suit, depending on which shoulder you camp during.

Also consider that location matters, too. Do you need a waterfront campsite? Probably not -- go ahead and knock a few bucks off your nightly fee.

Borrow or Rent Equipment

Camping equipment can get expensive fast. If you can’t borrow a tent or sleeping bag from a  friend or neighbor, consider renting.

[caption id="attachment_56956" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Our campsite at Ft De Soto. String lights are a cute, affordable way to light the whole area.  Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Many colleges and universities have recreation offices that rent equipment to students and beyond. At the University of Maryland, students, faculty, staff and local alumni with a campus recreation membership can rent backpacks, coolers, tents and headlamps, among other camp and outdoor adventure essentials.

Renting equipment doesn’t make financial sense if you want to be out in the woods every weekend this summer. But if you take an annual trip or are going on your first adventure, renting can save you time, money and storage space when you get home.

Plan Your Meals

You’re packing more than hot dogs and bacon, right? You might want to eat more than just stick-bound foods.

[caption id="attachment_56968" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Lisa Rowan grills up our delicious camp food. Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

We tested a few campfire recipes if you’re looking to branch out from your typical recipes. But sometimes, your favorite meals at home can easily be transported to camp.

Either way, a cooler is your best friend at camp. “Freezing meats helps keeping things cold in coolers if you don't have a refrigerator,” Cowart said. “So if you're grilling burgers or pork chops, freezing them first and then thawing as needed helps to keep everything else cold.”  You can even marinate meat in a Ziploc bag and freeze it, she recommends. “They’re essentially big ice blocks.”

Don’t Shop at the Camp Store

If you want to pay a premium for hot dogs, marshmallows or charcoal, head to the camp store. While it can be fun to take the gang over for a treat, it’s best to plan for most of your camp meals and supplies and pick them up before you go.

[caption id="attachment_56982" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Lisa Rowan walks the grounds on our way to the camp store.  Heather Comparetto/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

On our recent Penny Hoarder camping trip, we rented a fire pit (got to follow the rules!), but we could have saved by buying a bundle of firewood before we arrived.

We also made sure to bring unplugged forms of entertainment, including a deck of cards, a book of poetry, a hula hoop and a ukulele.

The best part about camping might be that every camping trip is a little different. No boring cookie-cutter hotels here -- nature decorates in its own way, and a quick tour around your campground will reveal the many ways you can set up a campsite. It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure book! But dirtier.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. All her Girl Scout training came back to her on this camping trip.

Struggling to pay your student loan debt?

Like, really struggling?

If you’re working your way out of default status, you should be aware of this major hangup borrowers like you face.

When you get out of default status, you keep paying your loans. Pretty simple.

But if you’re not set up with an affordable income-driven repayment plan, you’re getting set up to fail all over again. A new report by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau revealed that half of previously defaulted student loan borrowers default again if they’re not set up with an affordable income-driven repayment plan.

What You Need to Do After Student Loan Default

If you’re one of the more than 1 million borrowers who defaulted on federal student loans last year, you were probably placed in a rehabilitation program run by a debt collector. Under this program, you can exit default status if you make on-time online payments for at least 9 out of 10 months.

Typically, a debt collector oversees you as you make your required payments, then transfers you back to your servicer or the government for assignment to a student loan servicer. Then, that servicer can help you enroll in an income-driven repayment plan.

It seems pretty simple.

The catch: The CFPB found that 9 out of 10 high-risk borrowers who completed a rehabilitation program were not set up with an affordable repayment plan nearly a year after exiting default status.

“Fewer than two percent of borrowers accessed this protection immediately after paying a debt collector to get out of default,” the CFPB reported.

It’s as if DJ Khaled was onto something when he declared, “They don’t want you to win.”

A Better Way to Repay Student Loans if You’re Struggling

Meanwhile, there’s another way you can get out of default on your federal student loans. You can refinance your debt into a new Federal Direct Consolidation Loan, which will automatically set you up with a post-default affordable repayment plan.

The CFPB found that 95% of highest-risk borrowers don’t default again within the first year if they consolidate their loans into an affordable repayment plan.  

The CFPB wants to overhaul student loan repayment programs to simplify repayment options, create industrywide servicing standards and provide a more steady footing for “economically vulnerable” borrowers (isn’t that all of us?!).

But just about every aspect of federal financial aid and student loan repayment is on the chopping block with President Trump’s new budget proposal, so stay tuned. This could all change in an instant.

For now, troubled graduate, here’s what you can do:

  1. If you’re in default and headed toward collections, ask for loan consolidation over a rehabilitation program.
  2. If you’re exiting default or expect to do so soon (good job!), ask for an income-based repayment plan to make it easier for you to continue making on-time payments.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder. She will be paying off her graduate school loans until the rapture, and probably after.

Do you have a hard time resisting the pull of a free dessert or snack left out for enjoyment in the office kitchen?

Maybe you have a co-worker who buys Mega Stuf Oreos, eats six of them and leaves the package out for everyone — which inevitably means you, and you go on to eat six more.

(Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s fallen victim to the Mega Stuf Oreos.)

If you feel like you’re carrying a little extra weight around as a result of your snacking desires, read on — it looks like we’re all blaming our jobs for it.

A CareerBuilder survey found that 56% of American workers think they’re overweight, and 45% of them blame it on their job.

The survey, which CareerBuilder conducted this spring and released today, consulted 3,400 full-time employees who work in various industries and company sizes across the country.

Here’s what we’re saying about why we gain weight on the job.

Our lack of time for exercise is a major reason we gain weight. But our sedentary work environments also get a lot of the blame — and even more so, the way we eat in those seated positions.

Employees who reported weight gain said stress eating, skipping meals, workplace celebrations and the evil office candy jar were notable culprits.

CareerBuilder also found that 73% of workers snack at work, with 77% of women doing it, compared to 69% of men. The 35-44 age group snacks the most (79%).

What to Do if Your Office Eating Habits Need a Makeover

It might be time to rethink your office eating.

Tired of the same old selection at the vending machine? Nearby deli cashier knows you by name?

We’ve been there.

Stop the daily deluge of money from your pockets to the cafe’s tip jar. Here’s how to eat better and be healthier on the job.

Make Your Own Snacks

Try making your own snacks to keep at work. Homemade kale chips are considerably cheaper than the store-bought kind, and you can customize the flavor of this healthy snack.

Making your own hummus, granola or Lunchable-style snack packs can satisfy your midday cravings while saving you a few bucks a week. Alternatively, the kids at heart among us can prep any of these easy-to-make and cost-effective school-lunch alternatives.

If you don’t want to spend time prepping snacks, opt for healthy fruits and veggies. Buying what’s in season near you can help shrink your produce bill.

Make Meal Prep a Habit

Meal planning can be time-consuming, but the benefits last all week — or longer, if you really plan ahead.

Preparing more filling breakfast and lunch options can help you curb the urge to snack nonstop. Try making a batch of healthy muffins you can freeze and grab each morning.

Go Easy on the Fast Food

No time to cook? We get it. But man cannot subsist on curly fries alone. If you’re heading toward the fast-food counter, check out your healthiest options under $5. By choosing sides wisely and going light on sauces and dressings, you can enjoy a fast fix without too much guilt.

Move Around More

Now, even if you bring your own snacks to work, you should probably still move around a bit more. Even a quick walk after lunch can reduce stress and boost your metabolism, and we love exercise methods that don’t cost an arm and a leg. (Pun intended. Come on, lighten up a little!)

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

Have you embraced paperless billing? Have you opted out of mailed statements, choosing instead to access your accounts online only?

Your file cabinet probably feels a lot lighter. But skipping this one paper statement could put your retirement plans at risk — and it’s not even your fault you’re not receiving it in the mail.

Getting a paper Social Security benefits statement by mail can encourage workers to delay claiming their benefits, according to a new report by researchers at the Social Security Administration and the University of Connecticut.

The Social Security Administration began mailing benefit statements to select workers in 1995. Starting in 2000, these mailings arrived like clockwork for workers ages 25 and up.

CNNMoney reported a dip in mailing volume in 2011, but the SSA soon restarted mailing annual statements to workers age 60 and up. In 2014, the SSA again began sending statements every five years to most workers age 25 and up.

In January 2017, the SSA announced it would save $11.3 million by reducing those mailings to people ages 60 and older.

Why You Might Want a Reminder of Your Social Security Contributions

Your mailed benefits statement spells out how much you’d get each month from Social Security if you stopped working and started collecting payments at age 62 and compares that to your benefits if you delayed retirement until 67 or 70.

The statements also explain how much you’d get each month if you became disabled, along with the benefit your family members would receive if you died.

The mailed statements also include an earnings record so you can see how your Social Security and Medicare earnings have grown since you started paying in — perhaps since you first started working decades prior.

“Preliminary estimates suggest that receipt of the Statement significantly reduces claiming [Social Security benefits] at earlier ages and increases it at older ages,” Barbara A. Smith, senior economist for the Social Security Administration’s Office of Retirement Policy, noted in a presentation about her research. “The effect varies across gender and race and earnings levels. Receipt of the Statement is also related to delayed labor force withdrawal.”

Smith and co-author Kenneth A. Couch noted that the ease of accessing the information found in the mailed statement can benefit the labor force (you and me) by addressing concerns about retirement security, encouraging workers to delay benefits and motivating healthy older workers to stay employed longer.

You can start claiming your Social Security benefits at age 62, but delaying retirement offers larger checks to support growing lifespans. If you can delay your retirement until you’re closer to age 70, in theory, you’ll have a more comfortable retirement.

Social Security: To the Cloud!

It’s not as sexy as signing up for pizza coupons or the latest subscription box, but now might be a good time to visit the Social Security Administration online to set up a My Social Security account.

This free account allows you to access the information you would have gotten in your mailed benefits statement. And instead of waiting for the mail, you can check your account any time.

Personal finance rockstar Suze Orman even makes a video appearance to encourage My Social Security sign-ups.

“Social Security uses your highest 35 years of earnings to calculate your benefit,” she lectures through the screen. “That’s why you should check your earnings every year to verify that Social Security has your correct earnings history.”

Go ahead, put it on your to-do list. I’ll wait.

Your Turn: Can you remember when you last received a Social Security statement by mail?

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

We’ve been telling you the best way to save on pizza is to always order the biggest size.

But unless you’re inviting the whole neighborhood over for pizza (helloooo, call me), this money-saving method presents a new challenge for pizza lovers: How do you retain the leftover pie’s pizzalike qualities?

“Just throw it in the microwave,” you’re shouting at your screen.

Sure, I could do that if I’m in a rush. But I could also eat a slice of damp cardboard, sprinkled with crushed red pepper and folded in half.

It’s time to stop resigning yourself to sad, limp leftover pizza. It’s time to get more from whatever you paid for that large pie.

The Best Way to Reheat Pizza (Once and for All)

Follow these steps. It’s easy, I swear.

  1. Figure out how to best smush your large pizza box in the fridge. I have no advice for this step. You’re on your own.
  1. Decide you want leftover pizza. Congrats. Welcome to my daily life.
  1. Get out a pan. Yes, you read that correctly. Get a skillet, frying pan or whatever else you use to make food.
  1. Does that pan have a lid? You’re going to need the lid.
  1. Follow Christine Gallary’s method from The Kitchn. We could also refer to this as “Lisa’s Dad’s Method,” but since he hasn’t documented his way on the internet, we’re going to go with Christine on this one. Instead of waiting for the oven to preheat or trying to shove a jumbo slice into the toaster oven, Gallary says to turn your burner to medium heat, put the slice(s) of pizza in the pan, and cover with the lid for six minutes. “After six minutes, check on the pizza — the bottom should be crispy and the cheese on top should be melted,” she writes. “If it’s not, just cook it for a few more minutes.”
  1. Eat that pizza. Savor that pizza. Forget it was ever relegated to leftover status.

There you have it. Save per slice by buying the largest pizza you can get your hands on. Then enjoy it for the next few days (or beyond, if you’re good at freezing leftovers) with renewed crustiness and cheesiness. This is probably one of the few times being crusty is a positive feature for just about anything.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder, frequently covering pizza-related topics.

If you live in certain parts of the country, Safeway might already be a household name. For many, Safeway has long been familiar — the brand dates back to 1915!

The chain has always focused on helping people save on groceries. In fact, the name “Safeway” refers to the “safe way” to shop: with cash, instead of on credit.

Now, you can use cash, debit, credit or whichever futuristic payment method I can’t keep up with at Safeway stores. Likewise, you have lots of options for shopping your way to get the best deals on groceries.

Get started with these eight tips for saving money at Safeway.

1. Sign Up for a Safeway Club Card

[caption id="attachment_55823" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Deborah Morris shops in the produce aisle at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

The Safeway Club Card is your ticket to discounts and sales at your local Safeway store. Take a moment to sign up, and make sure to attach your phone number to your account so you don’t have to worry about carrying your card!

2. Join Safeway Just for U

[caption id="attachment_55742" align="alignnone" width="1200"] A Just for U sticker is seen on display in the freezer aisle at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Just for U is Safeway’s hub for digital coupons. Register and link your account to your Club Card to save coupons before you head to the store. Then all you need is your Club Card to get your discounts at checkout!

Just for U even lets you know when a product you like is on sale.

3. Earn Safeway Gas Rewards

[caption id="attachment_55738" align="alignnone" width="1200"] The Safeway Gas Rewards program allows you to earn one point per every dollar you spend. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Register for Safeway Gas Rewards to earn one point per every dollar you spend in the grocery store or at Safeway’s pharmacy. When you buy retail gift cards at Safeway, you’ll receive two points per dollar spent. Then, save at the pump.

Once you’ve earned more than 100 points, you’ll get a 10-cent-per-gallon discount, and when you achieve 200 points, you get 20 cents off per gallon. Then, start earning again for your next fill-up! You can track your progress in the Safeway app. Participating gas stations include Sunoco, Chevron and Texaco.

4. Stock Up to Save

[caption id="attachment_55733" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Buy one get one free items are displayed at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Safeway is generous with its discounts on multi-item packages. Look for two-for-one, two-for-$4 and two-for-$5 sales. Sometimes, you can even win big with a deal, like 10-for-$4 on Safeway’s house-brand yogurt.  

5. Try the Store Brands

[caption id="attachment_55719" align="alignnone" width="1200"]safeway club card Store brand canned corn is pictured at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

As a longtime Safeway shopper, I relied on its house brands to fill out my pantry. Signature-label products are easiest to find, but you’ll also find a nice selection of O Organics and Lucerne dairy products. All offer considerable savings over many brand-name choices.

6. Switch to the Safeway Pharmacy

[caption id="attachment_55722" align="alignnone" width="1200"]safeway club card A person gets their prescription filled inside the pharmacy at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Want to pick up your groceries and prescriptions in the same trip? Switch to the Safeway pharmacy. You’ll receive a $25 Safeway store gift card when you transfer your prescriptions from another pharmacy or bring your new prescription to Safeway. Then, you’ll get a prescription stamp card. Fill five prescriptions and redeem your stamp card for a $50 Safeway store gift card.

Government-sponsored health care plans are not eligible for this reward, but Safeway does offer a 10% coupon to active and retired military personnel who show their ID card at the pharmacy.

7. Skip the Extra Trip to the Liquor Store

[caption id="attachment_55734" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Various wines are pictured at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Last-minute trips to the liquor store before a dinner party are a total drag. Stock up at Safeway instead. Mix and match spirits and wine to save 10% when you purchase six items. Or look for buy one, get one free deals on select brands — you’ll be a wine connoisseur in no time.

8. Use Ibotta to Earn Cash Back

[caption id="attachment_55735" align="alignnone" width="1200"] Lofta Bedingfield, 7, Lisa Bedingfield and Liam Bedingfield, 4, check out with employee Bridget Harkin at Safeway in Largo, Fla. Tina Russell/The Penny Hoarder[/caption]

Penny Hoarders know Ibotta makes it easy to earn cash back on groceries. Search the Ibotta app for rebates as you make your shopping list, then verify your receipt once you get home with the goods.

Your Turn: Do you shop at Safeway? What savings tips would you add to our list?

Disclosure: Here’s a toast to the affiliate links in this post. May we all be just a little richer today.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

History’s largest cyberattack is working its way around the world, and it’s looking for you.

The ransomware virus “WannaCry” spread across much of Asia and the United Kingdom over the weekend.

But before you assume only tech novices and the clueless click on links that allow viruses to infiltrate your computer, be warned: you don’t need to make such a mistake to be victim of this ransomware.

“There’s no user interaction required. You just have to have a vulnerable system and it’s gonna find you,” Adam Kujawa, director of malware intelligence for Malwarebytes, told CNN in an interview.

How WannaCry Ransomware Targets You

This attack doesn’t care who you are -- it only cares how old your Windows system is. WannaCry freezes your computer, inserts a pop-up to alert you your files have been encrypted and demands a payment of $300 to $600 via bitcoin before it vaporizes all your data, NBC News explains.  

For the British government’s National Health Service, that means computers hit by the ransomware caused thousands of canceled appointments and operations, NBC News reported.

Major corporations like FedEx have also been affected by the attack.

How to Fight Back Against Ransomware Attacks

First and foremost, make sure your Windows software is up to date.

NBC News notes that Microsoft recently released a patch to protect Windows computers, but many large corporations may not have ensured its employees installed the patch on their workstations.

If you back up your data with an external hard drive or cloud service, now would be a great time to do so.

Meanwhile, CNN reports the malware is still spreading. Better call mom and dad -- and your best friend, and your boss and everyone, please -- and make sure they installed the latest security update.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

If you normally swipe over to the Ibotta app when you’re grabbing your keys to head to the grocery store, stop.

Mark your calendar. Plan ahead. You want to log in to Ibotta on Sunday, May 14.

This Sunday only, Ibotta will offer a $5 rebate for a mimosa. Happy Mother’s Day, mom! Let’s celebrate you with some breakfast booze.

Make it ‘Momosa’ Day With This Mother’s Day Deal From Ibotta

Open the “restaurants and bars” category in Ibotta starting at midnight May 14. Unlock the “Mimosa for Mom” rebate. Then scan your receipt with the Ibotta app after brunch. You’ll get $5 cash back on your mimosa purchase.

Since this is a one-day offer, don’t forget to scan your receipt! Too many mimosas could do that to you. (Don’t pretend you’ve never ended up on the couch for six to eight hours after a good brunch.)

A few ideas for using this Ibotta offer:

1. Call your mom. Take your mom to brunch, lunch or just to the bar. We won’t judge.

2. Go to brunch with your mom friends. You could all order mimosas and all get your $5 cash back if you all use Ibotta (which you do, right?).

3. Take yourself out to brunch, lunch, or just to the bar. You deserve it. You don’t even have to be a mom.

Remember, this cash back offer doesn’t cover tips. Tip your servers, y’all.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. We’re letting you know because it’s what Honest Abe would do. After all, he is on our favorite coin.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

The Y is pulling in reinforcements to help end child hunger this summer.

(You thought the good old YMCA was just a place for affordable workout options? Nah. There’s way more going on.)

The Y’s Summer Food Program isn’t new — this is its seventh summer partnering with the Walmart Foundation to curb child hunger.

“The free program, estimated to serve over 7.2 million meals and snacks to nearly 300,000 youth this summer, provides nutritious food, as well as activities, to keep kids’ minds and bodies active when the school year ends,” a release said.

A Y infographic notes that more than 22 million kids get free or reduced lunch during the school year — but only 3.8 million have access to similar programs during the summer.

How Kids Can Get Free Meals Through This Summer Lunch Program

This program is available at nearly 1,900 locations across the country. To find a participating Y facility near you, visit the Summer Food Program website. To find dates and details for the Summer Food Program, your best bet it to call or visit your nearest participating Y.

If you’re in the right region, you might get extra help from a cookbook star. Leanne Brown, author of Good and Cheap: Eat Well on $4/Day,” will help raise awareness for the organization’s seasonal effort to provide kids with healthy meals — and provide some lessons from her book.

Brown and Y-USA spokesperson Stacey McDaniel will visit Y locations in Greater Boston, Greater Rochester, Middle Tennessee and Greater Indianapolis to share tips on shopping for healthy foods, cooking on a limited food budget and using what you have in your pantry to make that budget go further.

“Good and Cheap” was Brown’s master’s thesis project. It went viral on Reddit before Brown raised $144,000 to print hard copies of the book. For every book sold, Brown donates one to nonprofits that distribute them to people in need.

Read our interview with Brown to learn 11 tips for eating healthy on a budget.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.

Amazon’s throwing it back to the good old days with its latest change in shipping terms.

The online shopping monolith has played with its minimum order requirement for free shipping over the past few years, presumably hoping to push casual users into becoming $99-per-year Prime members.

But Amazon’s going back to basics with its new free shipping minimum of just $25.

How to Get Free Shipping on Amazon if You Don’t Have Prime

“This is the first time since 2013 that non-Prime members have been able to qualify for free shipping on orders of $25 or more at Amazon,” Phil Dengler, who first reported the change at Best Black Friday, wrote. “Since Amazon has now adjusted their minimum twice in less than three months, it is unknown how long the $25 figure will last.”

Minimum order requirements jumped from $35 to $49 in May 2016, but the hike only lasted eight months before Amazon quietly dropped the requirement back to $35.

Best Black Friday noted the change happened sometime in the last week. Since reports claim nearly half of American households are Amazon Prime members, there’s a swath of Amazon shoppers who haven’t kept up with free shipping thresholds because they haven’t needed to care.

Meanwhile, Dengler points out that Amazon’s free shipping for non-Prime members is, uh, not great, with deliveries taking five to eight days.

Walmart launched free shipping in two business days for orders of $35 or more earlier this year, while Target is testing a program to offer next-day delivery for online orders of household items.

Lisa Rowan is a writer and producer at The Penny Hoarder.