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Mortgage rates, grocery bills, airline fees all heading up: The Marketplace consumer cheat sheet

If you’ve been too busy this week to keep up with health and consumer news, CBC’s Marketplace is here to help.

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Bills bills bills

Both Royal Bank and TD Bank have raised the rates on some fixed-rate mortgages. Ugh. 

In slightly better homeowner news: It’s going to get a tiny bit easier for some first-time Ontario homebuyers

Teach us your ways

A Toronto family of five spends less than $200 a month on groceries. Not kidding. Their secret? A collection of apps and some extreme couponing.

The approach seems pretty appealing, considering that food prices are on the rise.

News from the cheap seats

United Airlines

United Airlines is rolling out a plan to charge lowest-fare flyers to use the overhead bins. (Mike Hillman/CBC News)

Want cheap airline tickets? Get ready to board last and pack light.

United is getting ready to premiere “basic economy,” which means your bag has to fit under your seat. So if you want a real bargain on your flight, kiss goodbye to using the overhead compartment and getting pre-assigned seating

Cord cutters keep cutting

Andrew Hiscock rogers cable

Andrew Hiscock, of Mount Pearl, N.L., would like to cut down his TV bill. But he doesn’t believe the basic TV package will ever appeal to him. (CBC)

Canada is probably going to lose almost 200,000 TV subscribers this year. Why? One woman summed it up pretty succinctly: “I just don’t want to pay the cable bill anymore.”

The CRTC required cable companies to offer basic TV packages for $25 a month, starting March 1. But most of us just aren’t buying it.

In other news

Cool car, but it needs to be louder: The U.S. is going to require that hydrids make more noise so they can’t sneak up on you so easily.

Your private drug plan is probably about to get more expensive.

Check your home for one of these smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: They may not work.

We read this online, and it could save your shirt, so we thought we’d share: Here’s how to decode the laundry tags on all of your clothes.

What’s the worst place to park in Canada?

Parking signs

CBC’s Marketplace analyzed more than 15 million tickets given out over the past five years in Toronto, Winnipeg, Calgary, Vancouver and Halifax to find out where drivers get ticketed and why. (CBC)

We crunched parking ticket data from major cities across Canada, more than 15 million tickets total, to find out where drivers get ticketed and why.

And we took a closer look at private parking tickets: Do you really have to pay them? 

Recommended reading

Interested in a cheat sheet on health news? We’re big fans of Second Opinion, the new newsletter from the CBC Health team.

Every Friday, you get the week’s most thought-provoking and best off-the-radar bits of health and medical science delivered straight to your inbox. Get it here

Article source: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/marketplace-watchdog-mortgage-grocery-airline-cable-1.3857016?cmp=rss