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Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Cheap Dishwasher Cleaner and Charged-Off Debt

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

From dishwashers to debt, readers of this column ask great questions. And if statistics can be trusted, we know that for each one who asks there are 999 others who have the same question but just haven't gotten around to writing -- yet!

Dear Mary: Do you have any suggestions for cleaning the inside of a dishwasher? I have seen packaged cleaners...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 12 Amazing Ways to Use Cheap White Vinegar Around the House

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It costs hardly anything ($2 a gallon or less on sale); it's available in every grocery store in the universe; and it's so useful around your home you are going to have a hard time believing it. That's the power of vinegar. Yep, plain, cheap, 5 percent acidity white vinegar.

1. Instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets, add 1/2 to 1 cup ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Buying things when they're on sale is a great way to avoid overspending. But unless you are diligent to take the difference between the regular price and the sale price and actually deposit that into a savings account, are you really saving money?

Nope. You're just spending less. And you can spend less right through your entire paycheck.

While...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Your Own Tub, Tile and Shower Cleaners

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The only thing better than making things myself is when what I make turns out to be cheaper, better and faster than something I could buy in the store to accomplish the same goal. That makes me so happy!

Dear Mary: I love, love, love the homemade Tub and Shower Soap Scum Remover. It works better than any product I have ever used. Our tubs and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Random Time- and Money-Saving Household Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

From frozen key locks to hazy headlight covers, today I have a handful of completely unrelated household tips to entertain and make your life a little easier. Enjoy!

ORGANIZE HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES. Use an over-the-door hanging shoe rack with clear vinyl pockets to organize and store cleaning supplies, with one item per pocket. This gets them up ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Safely Get Rid of Expired Medications and More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Every day, my inbox loads up with messages -- many of which contain questions from you, my dear "Everyday Cheapskate" readers. And if you've sent a message, you are aware by now that while I read my mail and keep it filed, I just do not have enough time in my days to answer every message personally. However, once each week I reach into that file...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Oh, to Be Organized!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I have a theory that most of us would be more than willing to let go of the stuff that's cluttering our homes if we knew these things would serve a worthwhile cause or help someone else.

Here are those worthwhile causes for your seven biggest clutter problems:

1. Vases, baskets, containers and anything else that held flowers you have received....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Clever Ways Readers Stretch a Buck

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sometimes the best way to save a buck is to look in the most unlikely places. I'm a huge fan of the fresh produce at my local 99 Cents Only store. And milk, as compared with the price at my supermarket, is a bargain at the Walgreens across the street. But who knew we could decorate our homes using items from places like Dollar General? Our first...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Linty Dryer Balls and Grease Relief

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Does this happen to you: You get so involved in doing something that you completely lose track of time? You're shocked to look up and see it's time to go home when it feels like you just got back from lunch? Or you sit down to start reading a book and suddenly you're on chapter 21?

Happens to me when I open my email inbox. I can blow through ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Thank-You Notes: Never out of Style

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In these high-tech times when text messaging and email are the preferred methods of written communication, it might not have even crossed your mind to ask this important question: Do I have to send a thank-you note when someone gives me a gift?

In a word, yes. It's right; it's proper; and it's good for you. We may be frugal, but we've got class...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Lavish Gift Exchange

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When our boys were only toddlers, we planned a Family Christmas Party with our best friends one year, to be held in early December. We called it that even though our two families are not technically related. We invited two sets of grandparents and one other older couple, as well.

Our common bond? Five adorable kids and all the grown-ups who ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Surprising Ways to use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Well, say hello to a very versatile and surprisingly multipurpose household product.

Original blue Dawn, a product of Procter & Gamble, was introduced in 1972. Since then, the product has gone through multiple tweaks, changes and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Use This for That

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

One of the best ways to recycle responsibly -- and save a few bucks at the same time -- is to find a second life for something you might otherwise toss in the trash. Some ideas are pretty well-known, like using plastic grocery bags for trash can liners and the lid from a liquid detergent container for a biscuit cutter. So, when a reader sends in...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Case for Quartz Countertops

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In a recent column, I suggested to a reader that quartz countertops would be a good choice in her quest to find the most durable and easily cared for option, because quartz doesn't stain, doesn't require any kind of sealant and cleans up like a dream. And it's cheaper than granite. In no time, I received this email response:

Dear Mary: I was in...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Fix a Bathmat That's Lost Its Anti-Slip Backing and More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got a slippery throw rug? A bathmat that's lost its backing after just one too many trips to the clothes dryer? Today's first reader can certainly identify.

I've got great news for both of you, and it's something you may have already that's sitting on a shelf in the garage.

Dear Mary: Is there any way to rescue throw rugs that have lost their ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Lease or Buy Car, Laundry Detergent Confusion

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Pop quiz: What do car leases and laundry detergent have in common? Both can be confusing! Just ask today's readers, whose respective questions washed up in my inbox.

Dear Mary: My wife and I are having a disagreement. I want to lease a new car now, because ours is old and paying for repairs is like flushing money down the drain. She wants to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Big Belching Houseguest

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Our house is not haunted, but just try to tell that to our guests. "Our water heater makes funny noises," I warn. First timers respond with a smile and a nod ... and forget.

"What was that noise?" is the predictable next-morning question. Some say it sounds like a big, clumsy man on the roof. Children tend to think more of a monster-in-the-wall...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Fine Print: Deal With It!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Just recently, American's consumer debt (that's everything except mortgages) hit $3.789 trillion.

So what's a trillion? It's a million million, a thousand billion or 1,000,000,000,000.

A billion is a thousand millions, or 1,000,000,000.

A billion seconds ago it was 1986, and then-President Ronald Reagan and then-Soviet Union leader Mikhail ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When All Else Fails, Carpet Surgery

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Carpet stains are near the top of my personal list of pet peeves. I'm not talking about an accidental spill that when addressed quickly can be successfully removed. In fact, I get a lot of satisfaction from being able to tackle an accidental spill or mysterious spot on carpet, forcing it to disappear never to be seen again. What I'm talking ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Nail Your Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've never figured your lifetime earnings, here's an easy way to get a pretty darned good estimate:

First, get a figure in your mind for your current annual household income. Let's say it's $50,000. Now multiply that by four, which equals $200,000.

Now, add a zero. In my example, $200,000 with one more zero becomes $2,000,000. Still with ...Read more


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