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Everyday Cheapskate: Help! I Can't Get Rid of These Rust Stains

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: Our water pressure is very high, which has created rust-colored stains in our fiberglass bathtub. I tried scrubbing with Comet, but that did nothing. How can I remove these terrible stains? -- MaryAnne

Dear MaryAnne: I'm going to assume you've also already tried using a paste made of baking soda and white vinegar. If neither solution...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Cheap and Easy Way to Build a Great Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: You have said that it's important to keep our credit cards active even if we keep them at zero balance. How often should we use them to keep them active? Does it matter how much we put on them? Will making small purchases and paying them off immediately suffice? -- Nancy

Dear Nancy: Using a credit card twice a year is more than ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Making the Shift to Living with Cash

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Banks and retailers have benefited greatly the past few decades by promoting a cashless lifestyle. They convinced us that it's safer and more convenient to carry plastic. They declared cash old-fashioned and clunky, and plastic hip and cool. We gradually fell for the pitch and eventually got more than we bargained for -- going cashless has ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 4 Steps to Stop Worrying Forever

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Somewhere in my life, I picked up the habit of worrying. I worry most about money, but I can worry about anything, really. I don't believe I was born a worrier, so I must have learned to worry from past experiences and watching others worry -- probably my parents. But when I thought about it, this is actually good news. If you, like me, have ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How Credit Inquiries and Co-Signing Can Affect Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: My son is looking for an apartment near his new job in order to avoid a horrendous daily commute. He recently told me that each time a landlord/manager runs a credit check on him, his credit score drops 15 points. What recourse does he have?

Dear Judy: Most potential landlords and their management companies do check a potential ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Cheap Ways to Fly, Stay Cool and Clean Up, Too!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I have discovered a website, (also a companion smartphone app) for finding super cheap airfares. I have comparison shopped but have found nothing cheaper, and I fly a lot. The secret: one-way flights. Often you are skipping the second leg and your destination is actually the stopover city. It's the best thing since ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Got Red Carpet Stains? This Reader Has the Solution.

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever had a big ol' ugly red stain in your otherwise beautiful carpet, you know the meaning of heartbreak. You've tried everything to get it out, but still it's there. What you wouldn't give to find some kind of magic potion that would erase it once and for all. Right? Well, today is your lucky day because you're about to discover just ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Rebooting My Spirit

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

To say that I am impressionable would be to put it mildly. I am prone to take on the circumstances and the weight of people, places and things around me. Here's an example: I watched the movie "Castaway," and for the next seven nights, dreamt that I was drowning.

I'm like a giant sponge. I absorb whatever I allow myself to be exposed to. Of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Cool Gadgets that Put Money Back in Your Pocket

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's an old marketing adage that says a business has to spend money to make money. There's truth in that for businesses, but not for personal money management, except when it comes to these inexpensive, yet handy gadgets capable of reducing the high cost of your electricity, water and gas.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying you can't reduce ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How I Book Really Cheap Travel

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, while packing up files and expense records I came across a file for a business trip that could have been very expensive but was so cheap. I am still amazed.

I traveled from Los Angeles to Denver to be the speaker for the Department of Interior Employee Book Forum. I had plenty of notice, making it possible to book everything well in ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Take the Luck Out of Potluck

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I grew up as a preacher's kid in the era of the all-church potluck, a ritual event that took place regularly in the basement of the church. The food was bland, at best. That is until the advent of lemon Jell-O, when things took a turn for the worse.

To this day, I don't know where it came from, but my father became the proud owner of two 55-...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Throw That Out!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever walked into the kitchen to make your morning cup of coffee only to discover someone left milk on the counter all night? Or the ice cream?

Often, in warm weather milk goes sour before it can be used. But don't throw it out, even if there is only a little bit left. Sour milk is a valuable kitchen asset! Pour however much you have ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Throw That Out!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If your refrigerator is like mine, it harbors an odd assortment of leftovers and jars of almost-gone food. So can you do with these items? Try these suggestions on for size:

Salad dressing. It's a rare refrigerator that doesn't have an assortment of almost-empty salad dressing bottles. With any oil and vinegar dressings like Caesar, Italian or ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A College Grad's Guide to Paychecks

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There you are, a college graduate with your newly minted degree in one hand and new job in the other -- or the confidence that you will have one soon. For years you've waited for a real job with a real paycheck so you could get a decent car, apartment and a respectable wardrobe. After all, these are the things you so richly deserve for having ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Eliminate Gasoline Odor Inside Family Vehicle

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently a message showed up in my inbox that made my heart sink. I couldn't help imagine what it would be like to lend my car to someone, only to have him or her return it in worse condition. And what if that condition is not reversible?! Thankfully, I have good news for the desperate reader.

DEAR MARY: I have a problem that I can't solve and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Rid of Annoying Insects Fast and Easy Without Poisons

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got insects like ants, centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish, fleas, even -- gasp! -- bedbugs trying to take over your home or garden? Don't call an exterminator quite yet. This is a problem you can fix yourself -- cheaper and faster!

If you want to treat your home for insects, but you don't want to poison yourself, your pets or the earth, your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: You Definitely Need a Slow Cooker

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's an ingenious appliance because it's simple. It cooks slowly -- really slowly. It can take up to 8 hours to prepare a meal, whereas other methods take 30 minutes. But unlike that 30-minute meal, a slow cooker doesn't need to a babysitter. There's no coddling required. You can just throw the ingredients in, set the timer and walk away.

But ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Another Raving Review for Chromebook Laptop and More Reader Feedback

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I just read your recent column about the ASUS Chromebook laptop, and I wanted to send a belated thank you. A couple years ago I needed to replace my laptop. I had read about the ASUS laptop on your blog, and I purchased one. The price fit well within my budget, and I have been very happy with it. Thank you very much! -- Wendy

Dear ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Back at Your Creditors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Late fees, punitive interest rates and over-limit fees are piling up on your credit reports. It's enough to make you scream!

It's not that your creditors are doing anything illegal. You just didn't understand the power you gave them when you opened that credit card. (It was buried in the fine print.) And now it seems like they're staying up ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Trap Wasps and Other Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Are you aware that your health insurance provider might cover the cost of your gym membership? Or that the things you need to take care of those annoying wasps flying around your home this summer are right in your kitchen pantry? Do you know how to approach buying good-quality, name-brand men's belts? Your fellow readers know these secrets, and ...Read more


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