Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Borax vs. Washing Soda: Which Laundry Booster Wins?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When it comes to doing laundry, sometimes you need a little extra help to tackle tough stains, eliminate odors, and make your clothes cleaner and fresher. That's where laundry boosters like borax and washing soda can come in. In this post, we'll compare these two popular laundry additives, exploring their similarities, differences, and the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: But Baby, It's Cold Outside!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's not only the price of heating oil that has shot through the stratosphere this fall. Homes that heat with electricity are at risk because many utilities run on natural gas, and the price of it has gone up, too.

Thankfully, there are steps we can take to reduce high heating bills. Experts say it is not unreasonable that you could reduce your...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Copycat Dawn Platinum Powerwash Spray Recipe OR How to Make the Ultimate Dish Cleaner

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was February 2020 when Procter and Gamble introduced a new product to the homecare market, Dawn Platinum Powerwash Spray. "It's magical, better than anything we've ever come up with! Dishes almost clean themselves!" they said. I scoffed. And then millions of social media comments, reviews and videos have proven me wrong. Given that kind of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Live Your Life for Half the Price

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's a benchmark, a goal, a mindset -- a kind of game I play with myself. Whatever the price tag -- real or perceived -- I challenge myself to find a way to get it down to "half the price." Here's an example.

Harold and I make a business trip to California about every month, to take care of a business we have there and to stay connected with ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Keeping Things Frugal Definitely Pays Off

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As the cost of basic consumer goods continues to be much higher than a year ago, frugality is fast becoming its own art form. I hope the following encouraging tips from your fellow readers on how to be a frugal rockstar will inspire all of us to pay attention and embrace ways we can immediately begin to see more money left in our wallets.

Over ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Going Cardless, Misleading Deals and More Reader Questions

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Cheapskate: I hardly ever carry cash and rarely use credit. I use only a debit card. But still, there are times I feel out of control. How can I get some control over my spending? -- Rob K., Nebraska

Dear Rob: Merchant research groups have proven it over and again: Customers who shop with plastic spend about 30% more than those paying with...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Tyranny of the Company Store

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If we sang it once, we sang it a thousand times. "Sixteen Tons" was No. 1 on the Lowell Elementary School hit parade, holding the record as the most requested song in fourth-grade music class.

To be perfectly candid, I hadn't thought much about the old miner and his doleful lament until just recently. We were having dinner with friends when the...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Why I Appreci-Hate Credit Cards

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Erma Bombeck, the late humorist, summed up family relationships when she spoke of "the ties that bind ... and gag!" That just makes me laugh because it is such a colorful word picture. Maybe you've thought this from time to time: "Family -- can't live with 'em, and can't live without 'em!"

The same thing could be said about credit cards in ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Stuffies in the Dishwasher, Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's been such a good week, as measured by my bulging email inbox! I just love to wade through reader mail and clever money- and time-saving tips sent in by my dear readers! Enjoy this small sampling!


I wash my children's stuffed animals in the dishwasher. I run it on a normal cycle, soap and all (although I use much less ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Gift Cards Are Not Gifts

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What to give for Christmas when you don't have time to shop, don't want to put much thought into it and just need to check someone off your list? A gift card, of course.

At this point, I will resist the urge to list all the reasons that gift cards are not really gifts, why they are so problematic for both the giver and the recipient, or ask if ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When you Should (and Should Not) File an Auto Insurance Claim

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Car insurance is a funny thing. You pay a small fortune to get it and keep it. Then, if you have the blatant audacity to actually file a claim, the company either increases your premiums or cancels you altogether. OK, that may be a bit extreme, but you get my point.

While the world of insurance can at times be so confusing as to be maddening, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers Share More Great Time- and Money-Saving Tips and Tricks!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sharing our hope, strength and super money-saving ideas is one of the best things about this Everyday Cheapskate family! My virtual mailbag has been full and running over as of late. Today, it's time to share a few of your great ideas.


Explore your preferred thrift store for 100% silk shirts or blouses. I am always amazed by ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Be Brave and Save ... on Haircuts!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you or someone in your family could use a haircut but you're a little short on cash this month, don't let this challenging economy keep you from looking your best. Check out these tips and tricks for saving cash on family haircuts and other salon treatments.


Go online and search for beauty schools in your area. BeautySchoolsDirectory....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: This Is How I Feel About Groupon and Similar Coupon-Like Plans

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My virtual mailbag is turning up questions and situations that I doubt are exclusive to only the writers. We all face the same kinds of problems and situations, so I hope that these few letters I answer today will have far-reaching answers and solutions for many of you. Or at least give you some entertainment!

Dear Cheapskate: What do you think...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Super Easy Way to Keep Tomatoes Perfectly Fresh for 10 Days or Longer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A perfectly ripe, fresh, slightly crisp tomato elevates so many things, from salads to BLTs. But here's the problem: At my house, we frequently cannot consume them in the short window of a couple of days before they turn mushy and slightly spoiled.

I have tested so many ways to keep tomatoes fresh long enough to use them -- on the counter, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Simple, Budget-Friendly Meal the Whole Family Will Love

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Broke till payday? No worries when you know how to make Peanut Sauce Noodles -- only three ingredients! What a fantastic, quick, anytime meal -- kid-friendly, too. Even a fifth grader could get this meal on the table (with supervision).

First, I am going to give you the complete instructions as I would tell you over the phone. Then I will ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Deep Clean a Stinky Kitchen Sponge

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When asked, "What is the dirtiest spot in the typical household?" most people say the toilet seat. For sure, that would have been my response, until I discovered studies on bacteria and household diseases by Dr. Chuck Gerba, professor of microbiology at the University of Arizona. According to him, the filthiest place in our homes is the kitchen ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How Much Debt Is OK?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

These days, as my virtual mailbag fills with messages and pleas for help, I'm noticing a decided increase in those that are related to debt. I pulled out a couple to share with you today.

Dear Mary: Is it ever OK to have debt? How much debt can I afford? -- Deanna

Dear Deanna: Sure, it is OK, under the right reasonable and safe conditions. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Shaving Cream to Clean Upholstery and Other Helpful Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I hope you enjoy the following tips from your fellow readers as much as I have. There's just something satisfying about discovering even the smallest ways to do better while saving time and money.


A clever way to avoid a possible carjacking is to be always aware of what's going on around you. If you think someone is following ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 12 Improvements That Will Improve Your Home's Selling Price

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Selling soon? You're about to learn that when it comes to selling a house, you can judge a book by its cover. Some call it curb appeal. I call it the little things that get potential buyers through the front door, and that's what matters most.

If you have a limited budget -- and these days, who doesn't? -- here are 12 home improvements...Read more



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