Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Join a CSA for Your Health and Your Wealth

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The locally grown food movement has been gaining momentum. At the same time, the high cost of food is challenging all of us to find new ways to cut costs without sacrificing healthy eating.

Community Supported Agriculture programs, or CSAs, are popping up all over the country. Through a CSA, consumers can choose to buy shares in a local farm ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Free Doggy Poop Bags (and More Great Reader Tips!)

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My readers come up with the greatest tips, tricks and ideas for how to save time and money every day. Today is no exception. From tomato paste to puppy poop and better space-saver bags -- fasten your seatbelts because we're about to cover a lot of frugal ground.


Many times, a recipe will call for a small amount of tomato ...Read more

Cheapskate Gourmet: Salad Dressings

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you think eating well means eating out -- home delivery, pickup or dining in -- you may be feeling the effects of restaurant dining in your wallet, as the cost of restaurant meals is now soaring in ways we've not seen before.

Just this week, I was shocked to read the new (disposable) menu at a small local hamburger joint in our town. The ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Ways to Wage War Against Mosquitoes -- and Win!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite, transmit terrible diseases to people and pets and, from what I read, have no redeeming value in the ecosystem.

Malaria, transmitted by the female mosquito, infects some 247 million people worldwide each year and, in 2018, killed 405,000 people. Mosquitoes spread yellow fever, dengue fever, Japanese ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The 1 Simple Thing You Must Have in Your Home

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My heart was pounding. The smoke alarm was screaming, and I was in full-on panic mode. Flames were reaching toward the upper cabinets. It happened so fast! I didn't have time to run to the pantry to search for baking soda.

I had a rip-roaring fire on my hands, and I was moving in slow motion.

I'd turned my back for a few seconds to find a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Grow Your Own Food 1 Square Foot at a Time

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For years, I tried to grow a decent vegetable garden. It was the high cost of fresh produce -- $3.50 for a few measly, wilted basil leaves; ditto for a pound of somewhat reddish tomatoes or mostly pink strawberries -- that prompted me to try.

I started with tomatoes, basil and peppers (a salsa garden!). In no time, I added zucchini and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Smart Saving Tastes Like Chicken

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

With the price of beef skyrocketing, chicken is becoming the backbone of the frugal kitchen. And why not? Chicken is much less expensive than beef or pork and useful down to the bones.


Chicken is always on sale somewhere. If you don't want to store-hop, you can always find some cut of meat, fish or poultry on sale in your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Replace or Repair?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You're worried the washing machine may be on its last spin cycle. It makes a horrible screeching sound and needs a lot of coaxing to make it all the way through a full cycle. Should you spend $319 to fix this inefficient appliance or replace it with a $999 new model that will use less electricity and water?

Deciding whether to repair or replace...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: All You Need to Know to Fire Up the BBQ and Get Grilling

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Assuming I'm not the only one who fails to do a deep clean on the outdoor grill after every use, today, I have lots of tips and tricks for cleaning and cooking on a grill.

Let's hear it for summer; let the grilling begin!


Pour these ingredients into a 16-ounce spray bottle, and shake to mix well:

2 cups hot tap water

2...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: More Creative Ways My Clever Readers Save Time and Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sometimes, I wonder how "Everyday Cheapskate" readers discover their handy ideas. I mean, who would have thought something that cleans brake parts would also remove stains from clothes?


I have found that using my husband's brake parts spray cleaner, Brakleen, works really well for getting out grease stains. It doesn't ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Fruits and Vegetables Last Longer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

According to the World Resources Institute, the average U.S. household of four people throws out about $1,600 in rotten food every year. Wow. That makes my head spin! Even if that number is far less in your home, consider these simple ways all of us can stop throwing our food dollars into the garbage.


Fresh produce is not cheap...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Ways to Use Borax

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A recent letter from a reader who used borax to solve her dishwasher woes got me thinking about all the ways I use this handy product to clean and fix problems around the house.


Borax is actually a salt that is found naturally in evaporation lakes. It is used as an ingredient in many detergents, cosmetics and enamel glazes. You ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Redecorate on a Dime

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Changing your environment can greatly improve your outlook. And that doesn't have to cost a fortune. The key to great decor isn't how much money you spend. It's about seeing the possibilities in what you have already. You'll be surprised at what you can do for little or no cost.


I have a friend who calls herself a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Easy-To-Make Body Scrubs To Keep Your Skin Vibrant and Healthy

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Body scrubs are an effective way to exfoliate your skin. Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin cells from the surface of your skin using a chemical, granular substance or an exfoliation tool.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your skin naturally sheds dead skin cells every 30 days or so to make room for new cells. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Practical Ways to Stretch Your Food Budget

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If soaring food prices are getting you down, help is on the way! Here are some basic saving strategies, practical solutions and novel ideas to stretch your food budget and make your life easier.

Granted, one of these strategies on its own is not likely to make a huge difference in your bottom line. But lots of small strategies working together ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Homemade Outdoor Window Cleaners

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Homemade window cleaners are easy to make using common household ingredients you probably have already.

Whether cleaning windows inside or outside, each of these cleaning solutions work to polish and remove debris from the surfaces. Homemade solutions are also safer than commercial cleaners that contain harmful chemicals with toxic fumes.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Financially Confident Starting Now

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For a good deal of my life, I lived under a dark cloud of fear that I would end up financially destitute -- a bag lady. Studies reveal that I'm not the only one. Most of us have felt that way, not because we're broke but because we lack confidence. That makes us timid, worried and financially insecure.

Look, we don't have to accept financial ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How a Simple Request Turned Into $1,000 of Savings

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: In a past column, a reader wrote saying it didn't work to call her credit card company to ask them to lower her credit card's interest rate. Your response reminded me that I had a 14.99% interest rate on a Visa card with a credit union that I have belonged to for 32 years.

I made the call and simply asked for a review of my account. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love my Instant Pot. It's the greatest time-saving, magic-producing, easy-to-use kitchen appliance known to (wo)mankind. I use it almost every day to make everything from eggs to pot roast and -- wait for it -- cheesecake! Yes, the BEST cheesecake.

But I have to admit the idea of making spaghetti with meat sauce in a single pot, all at the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: With Kids, Travel Kit Can Save the Day

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether it's anticipating a back-seat disaster, coming up with a quick dinner solution or keeping memories alive, my wonderful readers always have the perfect solutions. Oh, how I love to open my virtual mailbag (otherwise known as email) to find all of your fun tips, tricks and life hacks.


I have a little kit I keep in the car. It ...Read more


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