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Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Surprisingly Effective Ways to Use Apple Cider Vinegar

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

We cannot declare apple cider vinegar to be a modern-day miracle cure. Vinegar has been used as a remedy since the days of Hippocrates. The ancient Greek doctor treated wounds with it. In recent years, people have explored apple cider vinegar as a way to lose weight, improve heart health and even treat dandruff.


When choosing ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Should I Invest in my Debt? And More Great Reader Questions

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I recently inherited a certificate of deposit that came with a good interest rate. I left it alone until it matured, thinking I would renew it.

Rates are much lower now, and I'm wondering if I should use these funds to pay off the home equity loan we got when we did major work on our home. That would leave us debt-free, including our...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Brilliant Reasons to Stop Throwing Out Pickle Juice

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was a weird request. My friend Mary Ann asked if she could borrow some pickle juice. Huh? Who keeps pickle juice?

The purpose of pickle juice is to keep the pickles fresh and flavorful. And when the pickles are gone, out goes the juice, right? That practice makes Mary Ann cringe.

Here's the deal: Mary Ann is famous for her potato salad. She...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Nonperishable Food to Stockpile for an Emergency

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If recent world events have given you a big, fat wake-up call, you are not alone. The message is clear: Every household needs to have some amount of food in storage. Natural disasters like blizzards, hurricanes and floods often come with little or no warning.

Stocking up now on the right nonperishable food items will help you weather the storm ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Common Houseplants That Are Pet-Friendly and Low-Maintenance

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love plants, especially beautiful houseplants. Healthy, economical plants can make any space warm and inviting -- not just for humans but for pets, too! Some cats and dogs enjoy taking a nibble or two. And that's a problem because some indoor plants are toxic to cats and dogs.

If you have pets but also enjoy beautiful indoor foliage, you want...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Where Does All the Money Go?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Like trying to hold onto a handful of water, money has a way of magically disappearing right before our eyes!

Has this ever happened to you? It's Friday. You stop by the ATM on your way home from work and get out cash for the weekend. Without much detailed calculation, you punch up a number which is far more than enough.

It's Monday morning, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: On Getting Organized

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Think you might tend to be slightly unorganized? Let's take this little quiz to find out!

Have you ever:

-- Not answered your phone because you couldn't find it?

-- Thrown away an entire Tupperware container because the contents had been in the back of the fridge so long that replacing it seemed preferable to cleaning it?

-- While searching ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Feed Your Family for Less

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /


It's not easy! Start writing down everything you spend on food for at least one month. I mean everything -- from the donut and coffee on the way to work to the fast food stops with the kids to lunch money to major shopping jaunts. This is what you are spending on food, and plan on a big shock. Your awareness of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Microfiber Cloths and Why They Work Like Magic

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's nothing like microfiber for cleaning just about any surface in and around the house. If you've never used a microfiber cloth, you're going to be amazed by how fast and efficiently you can clean.


They're chores that most of us love to hate. Who would have thought there could ever be a better way to scrub ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Nontoxic Natural Pest Control

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I heard from a reader asking if I knew of any natural pest control to rid an apartment of fleas -- a method that would not be toxic to small children.

Treating their pets and animals would be the first step, but surprisingly, these folks have no animals. The truth is that flea infestations often can occur simply when neighborhood cats...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Ever No-Yeast Homemade Bread

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Hot, homemade bread with no yeast, no eggs, no oil and no sugar. For hardcore bread lovers, that may sound awful, but you just have to try this.

For those times when you're fresh out of yeast, this is the recipe you'll be glad you kept handy.

No-yeast bread, often referred to as soda bread, is different than a light, airy yeast bread. It's ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When Parents Co-Sign Student Loans and Other Reader Dilemmas

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love days like today when I get to open the "Everyday Cheapskate" mailbag, read all the letters from our growing Debt-Proof Living family, and attempt to answer your questions about everything from an easy way to make great compost (I'm still working on that one) to just about anything else you can imagine to do things better, faster and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Should You Lend Money to Family and Friends?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I've heard from dozens of readers who have lent money to friends and family members only to become outraged when the deal goes sour. The problem is they write to me after they've made the loan. By now, they've been waiting months, even years, for repayment, and they hope I can wave a magic wand to get their money back.

I tell ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Reader Dilemmas - From Cat Odors to Moving in With Mom and Dad

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /


Dear Mary: My mother-in-law has a leather couch that is only about two years old. Several months ago, her cat relieved herself on the sofa, and I? mean more than once.

Mom has tried everything she can think of to get the odor out. Most cleaners that claim to take out odors don't say whether they're safe for ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Great Readers Share More Great Tips!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Receiving so many awesome time- and money-saving tips from my dear readers always reassures me that I have the best job in the world. You never fail to make my day.


When I peel apples, oranges and other fruit, I save the peels in a freezer bag. When I want some potpourri, I dump the peels into a small saucepan and add a little ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Ever feel like a kitchen klutz? Wish you could take that odd assortment of stuff in the pantry and freezer, mix it with leftovers in the fridge, and make something delicious without a recipe and without running to the market? That's called cooking with a formula -- not a recipe.

Well, grab your whisk, and shout for joy! Thanks to this foolproof...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The 5 Legal Documents Every Adult Must Have

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, a letter from my dear reader Jenny reminded me that everyone needs to make sure they have certain legal documents in place and updated -- even me. My husband and I have our important papers in our safe, but they may be out of date. They are definitely "out of state," due to our relocation to Colorado.

Thankfully, we now have an option...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Your Perspective Back on Track

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My Dear Readers: These days, it's easy to fall into the muck and mire of worry and defeat. Personal crises like financial emergencies or job loss -- or, worse, home loss -- punctuated by the daily news can ruin your perspective and dump you into a pit of despair.

What you need to know today is that even when things seem completely hopeless, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Drive-Thru, Takeout, Food Delivery: Are They Safe?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The news is constantly changing as experts learn more about the wicked virus that has invaded our world. Good, reliable information about food safety is absolutely crucial right now.

Restaurants have mostly moved into "to-go only" mode, closing their dining rooms but continuing to offer some combination of takeout, drive-thru and home delivery....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Homemade Flour Tortillas -- Quick, Easy and Super Cheap

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Once upon a time, there was a restaurant located in Fountain Valley, California. Mananas' claim to fame: fresh, hot, homemade flour tortillas.

Mananas had a machine -- a big, crazy machine -- set up in plain sight. It alone was worth the trip, if only to watch a tiny ball of dough start at one end, go through a series of squishers and rollers, ...Read more


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