Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Look at All the Hidden Benefits in Your AAA Membership

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When I pulled out my AAA membership card to get a discount for Universal Hollywood tickets, I locked eyeballs with the words "Years as Member: 43" printed on the card. I nearly passed out.

That seemed absolutely impossible until I did a little calculation. It's true. AAA has been an important part of my life for more than four decades.

If you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Live Your Life Above Your Circumstances

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Her letter was long. Page after page she went on about every aspect of her miserable life.

In between the accounts of her husband's unemployment and her high blood pressure, this woman managed to weave each and every detail of their broken-down cars, leaking roof, busted faucets, ungrateful children, delinquent taxes, nosy neighbors, empty ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Chicken Labeling at the Supermarket: Prepare to Be Surprised

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever stood in the supermarket wondering if paying more for chicken that is free-range, antibiotic-free, no hormones added, farm-raised, natural and organic is going to make you healthier, wealthier, wise -- or just a better person -- you're not alone.

Recently, as I was doubting myself on my chicken choices, I decided to get to the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean a Shark Vacuum and its Filters

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You know by now just how much I love my Shark vacuum cleaner. And given my readers' letters and comments, I know that many of you have Sharkies, too.

I love your messages. They make me smile because I understand the range of emotions that come from using a Shark vacuum for the first time -- from amazement to flat-out embarrassment.

Where on ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Cooking Mistakes We All Make and How to Fix Them

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Just the other night, I suffered a kitchen disaster. I hate when that happens. I ruined an entire pot of pasta because I got busy and was not paying attention. By the time I realized, the pasta had cooked way beyond al dente, all the way to total mush.

It killed me to dump the whole thing, but there was no way to undo that disaster.

Thankfully...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Meet My Spring Cleaning A-Team

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's an illness that has been documented by poets for centuries, and I've got it. It's spring fever, that wonderfully amorphous disease we all recognize come April and May.

Spring fever remains a fuzzy medical category, but there has been a great deal of research on how seasonal changes affect our mood and behavior. I know how spring fever ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: This Is the Best Car Trash Can Ever

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Wouldn't you think that if car manufacturers can perfect self-driving cars, they could also come up with a way to conquer the car trash problem?

I've always thought that a built-in trash compactor would be great, or even better, some kind of incinerator that sucks the accumulation right out of the car and into a holding tank that magically ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: All You Need to Know to Get Prescription Eyeglasses Online

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The first time I heard about ordering prescription eyeglasses online, I scoffed. I rolled my eyes. What next? Mail order surgery? Online doctor visits? Not me.

I mean, how could a person trust her eyesight to some website in the sky by forwarding a doctor's written prescription, selecting frames online and expecting said unknown entity to grind...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Most Critical 6 Months in a College Grad's Life

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Graduating from college is one of life's most thrilling events. Finishing my degree, walking the aisle and receiving a fancy document in a leather-bound case remains one of the high points of my life.

Unfortunately, I still had a lot to learn about managing finances. I knew nothing, and worse, wasn't aware that I knew nothing. What was there to...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Best Inexpensive Skin Care Products Recommended by My Doctor

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

How shocked was I to read it in a popular women's magazine? I was speechless, but somehow I gathered enough strength to respond, "There's no way!"

Even so, I did a quick search only to discover it was no typo at all. A 1.7-ounce jar of 111SKIN Celestial Black Diamond Cream retails for $1,095.

All I can say is at that price, it better contain a...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ebates -- an Awesome Way to Build a Cash Stash

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I could teach you how to be an extreme couponer. I've had a lot of experience, including the time I demonstrated how to do it on location at a large supermarket, live on TV.

It's a great way to save money, but it's a lot of work and mostly limited to grocery and drug stores.

Imagine a world where you have a big stack of coupons for all the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Cheap, Yes, but Not at the Expense of Others

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Living below your means requires a good bit of creativity from time to time. You have to get pretty clever to stretch a buck. But just how far can you go in matters of etiquette before you cross the line?

Ask yourself this: Is my choice to be cheap going to harm or insult another person? A good rule of thumb is to be cheap with yourself and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers Share Their Brilliant Ideas Plus Something More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What I love more than great tips and brilliant ideas from my readers are the lovely words of love and thanks. Yeah, I'm a sucker for friendship, and I value each and every one of you more than you will ever know. Just knowing that so many friends are reading these columns every day makes me excited and energized to keep going! So whatever you do...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 4 Ways to Stop Wasting Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Want to keep more of the money you earn? Stop wasting money on goods and services that you don't really care about. Start paying attention to where your money goes and you just might see the equivalent of working a second job in your wallet -- not leaking out of your life undetected.

1. Stop buying from TV ads. Infomercial products are ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Take the Pain Out of Saving Loose Change

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I am not one to spend coins. I prefer to save them. In fact, I go out of my way to make sure I get plenty of change. But I hate to carry loose change, so my husband and I routinely dump the day's accumulation into a container to save for a trip or to buy something special. One year we saved $1,100 in coins. But I have to admit the logistics can ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: This Is What Happens When Financially Immature Students Get a Credit Card

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Our kids are fortunate to be growing up in the most progressive and exciting time in history. Sadly, 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. You deserve it. Get it now, and you can pay for it later...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: My Sincere Apologies to Pawnshops Everywhere

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In the wake of America's big economic wake-up call back in 2008, dollar stores and thrift stores saw a big resurgence. And now another kind of retail quasi-lender is commanding all kinds of attention from sellers and buyers: pawnshops.

I admit to having grown up with a weird bias against pawnshops. To me, pawnshops were just one level above ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Save Yourself From a Foolish Purchase

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I wish I had a quarter for every stupid purchase I've made in my life. I'd have some major dough. Regrettably, my financial faux pas have been remarkable in both quantity and quality. I've made some real doozies.

Take the above-ground swimming pool. Its a la carte price was bad enough. Adding everything required but not included took it from ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Know You Are Using the Right Amount of Laundry Detergent

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As you know, and only because I do mention it from time to time, I get a lot of emails. If I were to respond to each and every message, that would be all I'd ever do, and I still wouldn't get through the piles that replenish daily.

So, I use the subject line method of quick elimination to winnow the pile to something I can deal with. Negative ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Gift You Will Never Regret Giving Yourself

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I've had many wonderful opportunities to address audiences large and small at all kinds of events, from retreats to conventions, college chapels and conferences throughout the U.S and abroad.

It's one of the best things I get to do, and I am always honored to be invited. The part I enjoy most happens when I've finished and it's ...Read more


Social Connections


The Other Coast Strange Brew Luann Dog Eat Doug Wizard of Id Daddy Daze