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Everyday Cheapskate: It's Only Too Late to Save for Retirement If You Don't Start Now!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Does the dreaded question "How much money will I need for retirement?" tie your stomach in knots? Millions of your peers are in the same boat, having saved little, if anything at all, to supplement their Social Security benefits during retirement.

Waiting until age 50 or 60 to start saving for retirement is not ideal. It's late -- but not too ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Five Legal Documents Every Adult Needs

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's been at least 20 years since my husband and I sat in an attorney's office for hours, slogging through dozens of questions and giving answers regarding our minor children, the title on our home, where we wanted to be buried. Some of this we found humorous because we were young. But we did it and months later became the proud owners of a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Florida's Mold and Mildew Is No Match for Magic Tub and Shower Cleaning Potion

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The only thing better than figuring out for myself how to do things cheaper, better and faster is teaching readers about my tips and tricks. Helping Mike was the best! His response just made my day.

Dear Mary: I can't thank you enough for telling us about your magic shower and tub cleaner. I live in an older home in moldy ol' Florida, and I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Kitchen Knife Set

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If your kitchen is anything close to typical, it is likely furnished with a few mismatched pots and lids; a stack of pans that may or may not be the right size for the task at hand; a drawer crammed with utensils in a variety of conditions and configurations (some of which you don't know how to use, though some day you might learn); and several ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Go Cheap This Halloween

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I have no one to blame but myself for the fact that our boys grew up favoring Halloween over all other holidays, with the possible exception of Christmas.

From the time they could walk, I poured my heart and soul into making sure they had the best costumes. One year they were Popeye's-a-Pair (two tiny boys dressed identically as the sailor). ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Should You Sell or Donate Your Used Stuff?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A very strange phenomenon exists in the average American household, wherein items that are no longer needed, such as clothes, shoes, toys, games, seasonal decor, sports equipment, electronics, appliances and kitchen utensils, seem to accumulate in the dark of night, filling cupboards, closets, attics and basements to the brim and beyond. I call ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Back to School Means Shopping Lists and Fundraisers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have I been sleeping in a cave for 100 years? It sure feels like it.

I just read that Americans are expected to spend $75.8 billion getting their kids outfitted to go back to school this year. And by outfitted I mean set up with electronic gear, shoes with all the bells and whistles (I like those sneakers with little wheels embedded in the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Remove Moss, Mold, Mildew and Algae from Outdoor Surfaces

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Something weird is going on in Washington, D.C., and I'm not talking about politics. It's the big white marble dome of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. The caretakers of the beautiful structure are flummoxed by the moldlike gunk that has begun collecting on it, turning it from white to a dingy, dirty mess!

So far, experts have managed to give the...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: For the Love of a Good Iron

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

While it's true that life is uncertain, there's at least one thing I am very sure of: I will never be held hostage for refusing to iron.

A woman in Villa Rica, Georgia, was held at gunpoint for six hours by her son because she refused to iron his clothes (as reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution). Unlike her, I love to iron. I'm not ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Think Sacrifice, Not Deprivation

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I have what could be characterized as a dark financial past. I didn't set out to ruin my life. In fact, I truly believed I was improving things for myself and my family. I used all the bank credit I could get my hands on to create a lifestyle I so richly deserved.

I tried to stop using credit cards in order to not spend money we didn't have. I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: For Every Problem There's WD-40

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's not new. The blue-and-yellow can is about as familiar as anything I remember from my childhood. Because it was banished to a shelf in the garage, I assumed WD-40 was for cars. Boy, was I wrong! WD-40 is amazing -- and cheap. A 12-oz. can costs less than five bucks when purchased online or at Home Depot or Wal-Mart.

Here's the WD-40 rule: ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Your Own Copper Cleaner, Aluminum Cleaner and Dishwasher Detergent

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: The copper post tops on my deck are becoming tarnished. Do you know of a natural (cheap) way that I can clean them without damaging the copper? I'm enclosing a photo, too. -- Patti

Dear Patti: I really like this beautiful treatment on your deck. Thanks for sending the photo (that's always a good idea, by the way). Yes, I do have a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Three Best Steam Irons

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I just asked Siri,* "How do most people relax?" She rattled off a list of activities, including "nosh on chocolate," "rub your feet over a golf ball," "count backward," "meditate," and "drip cold water on your wrists."

Siri completely missed my favorite way to relax. When I want to relax, I iron (not to be confused with "I pump iron," which I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Credit Cards in the Hands of Financially Immature Students

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Your kids are fortunate to be growing up in this most progressive and exciting time in history. That's the good news. The bad news is the very culture that offers them the world is also perpetrating this lie: You are entitled to have everything you want, even if you don't have the money to pay for it. It's not a problem -- just charge it!

There...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Other Uses for Ordinary Dryer Sheets

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Perhaps you've seen a list of uses for dryer sheets floating around the internet. Who knows where that list came from. What we do know is that not all of the alternative uses can be verified as true. For example, we have no confidence that Bounce or any other brand of dryer sheet will repel mosquitoes. But can they repel spiders and flies and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Better than Fast Food, Cheaper than Eating Out

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

On those superbusy days when you don't have time to cook at home but it's too expensive to eat out, semi-fast food, combining quick-service food with home cooking, is a great way to get the best of both worlds.


The takeout pizza store in my neighborhood sells premade pizza dough. I can buy a large ball of dough for $2.50, which makes a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers in Search of Help with Ants and Sharks

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The best part of my job as your humble columnist is the mail I get from my loyal readers. I had to laugh today when the first two letters I pulled from my inbox requested help with ants and sharks.

Dear Mary: Once again, this summer I am dealing with an invasion of ants in my kitchen. Please advise. Exterminators are terribly expensive. -- Lola...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite, transmit terrible diseases, and from what I've read have no unique or redeeming value in the ecosystem. And if that's not reason enough to hate them, during mosquito season they can turn a beautiful backyard, deck or patio into a nightmarish area for humans. But it doesn't have to be that way provided ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Selling? Get the Top Dollar for Your House

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

So you're getting ready to sell your house. Just thinking about it can be an overwhelming experience.

Should you hire a Realtor? Do a FSBO (for sale by owner) to keep from paying that big commission? Should you spend a lot of money to paint and put in new carpet --at least in the front rooms? Where do you start, and what can you do to make sure...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Best Inexpensive Double Stroller

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: Thank you for your column, I really enjoy it! We went with your recommendation and purchased your "best inexpensive stroller," hoping it would stand up against the cobblestones of Rome, Italy. Well, after three months of living in Rome with our 2-year-old little girl, I can tell you the stroller has done fantastically! It has held up ...Read more


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