Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Inexpensive Kitchen Tools Everyone Should Own

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether you're a newlywed, recent grad moving into your first apartment or one of the reported 32 percent of millennials who -- as Pew Research Center reported -- are living at home with Mom and Dad, surely the idea of furnishing a kitchen has crossed your mind. I'd love to help you get started.

Here's the deal: There are a few basic kitchen ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: You Paid How Much for Your First Computer?!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I just read something that made me laugh out loud -- mostly because it's funny, but also because it's poignantly true.

"I wonder what my kids are going to tell their kids. ... 'It was so rough back in my day. I didn't get a phone till 4th grade, and sometimes the Wi-Fi didn't work upstairs!'"

You're laughing, too, aren't you? Well, I want to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Humidity -- Not too High, Not Too Low, But Just Right

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Humidity is a popular topic among friends and neighbors where I live in northern Colorado. It's like we have no humidity at all. Well, not exactly, but it averages around 20 percent during the summer and fall months. We have a humidifier in our home to keep the air moist, and it runs 24/7 year-round. Low humidity does have its benefits, not the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Need Cleaning Supplies? Check the Pantry

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The next time you need cleaning supplies take a trip to your pantry, not the store. You already have the basic household items needed to mix up any number of cleaners and keep your place sparkling clean and germ-free. Recipes? You need recipes? Well, this must be your lucky day because I've got recipes!

All-purpose cleaner. Mix 1/2 cup white ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Wash Clothes Inside Out and Other Laundry Tips and Tricks

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love to do laundry. I'm crazy that way. I also enjoy discovering ways to do it more efficiently, and by efficient I mean cheaper, better and faster.

In fact, I was about ready to give myself a proper title, The Laundress, until I discovered that a couple of very bright young women in New York City beat me to it. It's OK. They can keep the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Things to Know About Lestoil

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever found something and wondered, "Where has this been all my life?" That was my reaction to a simple, heavy-duty cleaning product: Lestoil. Apparently it's been manufactured right here in the U.S. for more than 80 years and is loved by many. Curiously, I'd never heard of it until just a few months ago. On the off chance you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Give Yourself an Extreme Money Makeover

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's nothing like being laid off, getting a call from the bank saying you've bounced your account to the moon or in my case (back in the '80s) hearing that your home is about to be foreclosed to tell you that you need an extreme money makeover.

BEFORE PICTURE. You need a great "before" photo for any makeover to be worth its salt. A snapshot ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers Share Secrets

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Here are some more tips from my readers on ways to make everyday chores a bit simpler and easier.

REJUVENATING BOOTS. Olive oil removes salt and stains from leather boots and shoes. It shines the leather, too. It's an Italian thing. -- Lysa

GOOD TO THE LAST BIT. I hate wasting any little bit of a product I paid for. After I've squeezed the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Smart, Savvy Readers Send Kind Responses

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My favorite thing about being the humble EC columnist is getting feedback from my readers. Your letters are so kind and encouraging. Only now and then do I receive a note saying, "Shame on you!" or "Please choose your words better," comments I take into consideration for as long as it takes to hit "Delete." But your messages frequently contain ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Rabbit-Bait Buffet

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

DEAR MARY: I love your column! During spring I put out beautiful, young plants hoping they would bloom flowers all summer long. But I've been having a problem: rabbits! They munch my plants right down to the ground. There's a fence around my vegetable plants, so they're safe, but my perennials and annuals are out in the open, and they're getting...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Life Lessons From a Daffodil Garden

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love the story author Jaroldeen Edwards tells in her book "Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner," when she took a trip with her daughter Carolyn one drab, rainy day. Her daughter wanted to drive more than two hours to see some flowers a woman had planted. She wasn't too thrilled, but her daughter insisted, saying, "You're going to love this, Mom!" ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Secrets of Super-Savvy Grocery Shoppers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Buy produce from that store where nothing costs more than a dollar? I flinched at the thought. I probably came across as a snob when I asked my friend if it's safe to do so. I mean, where would food that cheap come from? But she pushed, so I agreed to tag along, but only as a spectator.

Oh, the bargains I found there. I picked up beautiful, top...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Do-it-Yourself Gardening Tips, Tricks and Recipes

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Is there anything more gratifying than having a beautiful home garden? Considering the cost of gardening products, though, one trip to the garden center to pick up soil amendments, weed-barrier cloth and weed killer can pretty much zap all the joy out of the experience. That's why I love today's tips, tricks and -- back by popular demand -- ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Crime Alert for Grandparents

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There is a very real and very terrible scam happening in the U.S. in which con artists are targeting and scamming money from grandparents.

It begins with something most grandparents want more of: a phone call from a grandchild, or so they think. The caller pretends to be in distress about something; he's been hurt in a car accident or arrested ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Deal with Extremely Offensive Odors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Many years ago, Nok-Out and I met completely by accident. We found each other during my desperate search for ways my readers could deal with extremely offensive odors. I've used Nok-Out continuously in my home and business since then, and have recommended it to readers facing serious and potentially expensive odor issues.

DEAR MARY: I am a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Confused by Food Product Dating? Yes, We Are!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Pop quiz: You take a chicken out of the fridge to fix for dinner and notice that yesterday was the "Sell By" date. What should you do?

A. Throw it away because not many emergency rooms offer a stomach-pumping family plan.

B. Cook it to an internal temperature of 195 F minimum to kill any possible salmonella, and serve it with a pungent sauce ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How Can We Get a Good Hot Cup of Coffee?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

So, you like coffee -- a lot. Me, too. I like it so much that I'm a home roaster and an importer. That's right. I import green coffee beans directly from the La Minita farm in the Tarrazu region of Costa Rica. Why? Well, because -- get ready -- it's the best inexpensive way to enjoy the best gourmet organic, free trade coffee on Earth.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Cool Things Readers Do to Save Time and Money Every Day

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you are taking salad for lunch, pour the amount of dressing you will need into a small plastic bag. Tilt the bag so the dressing goes into the corner. Tie a twist tie above the dressing to cut it off from the rest of the bag. When you are ready to eat just snip off the corner and pour the dressing onto your salad. -- Kristine

My toddler only...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Can't Remove the Carpet Stain? Cut it Out!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

DEAR MARY: How can I fix carpet that has bleach spots on it? I tried using a fabric pen that's about the same color as the tan carpet, but the spots turned orange! -- Carol

DEAR CAROL: Bleach is a done deal. There is no way to un-bleach those spots. If you have a piece of spare carpet leftover from when the carpet was installed, you can cut out...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: These Bugs Detect Water Leaks You Cannot See

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My readers often come up with their own great tips, tricks and ideas for how to save time and money. Today is no exception. From bugs and tomato paste all the way to puppy poop and phone chargers, we're about to cover a lot of ground.

THE CUTEST LITTLE LEAK DETECTOR. I had a toilet leak that cost me $500 because it went unnoticed for too long. ...Read more


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