Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Caught Between Aging Parents and Adult Children

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A lovely new assisted living complex is under construction close to where I live. As beautiful as this place is, it has become a daily reminder of how difficult it can be to talk to aging parents about their health and future needs.

If you're 40 or older, you're part of the sandwich generation, which refers to middle-aged individuals who feel ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Simple Things I Do to Keep My Inner Hoarder in Timeout

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I don't know why some of us have such a strong propensity to accumulate, collect and otherwise hold on to stuff beyond a reasonable limit. Maybe we're born that way. Or, more likely, we've picked up an understandable yet unfounded fear of not having enough of what we might need someday. Whatever the reason, what starts as clutter can quickly ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Washing Dishes By Hand Versus Using the Dishwasher: Which Is More Effective?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's an interesting question and one that comes up every time I write about how to use and maintain a dishwasher. For many readers, hand-washing dishes just feels better and is hard to let go of, especially for those who don't use enough dishes to fill the dishwasher more than a couple of times a week.

But isn't low-tech hand-washing just as ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Breakfast a Required Subject

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Back to school for most kids means new shoes, a cool backpack and an unspoiled 64-pack of crayons. It also means getting back to a morning routine. This year, make breakfast a requirement in your house. All you need is 15 minutes, plus these quick and easy breakfast ideas, tips, tricks and hurry-up secrets.


Start with the basic ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Shopping Triggers We All Fall for

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I blame my suspicious nature on my neighborhood grocery store. The store used to be a logically arranged market with bright lights and clean floors -- a basic, friendly, functional place to shop. Then the bulldozers morphed it into a big, fancy-schmancy supermarket complete with shopping triggers like mood lighting, Starbucks, Panda Express and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Fabric Softeners Are the Problem, Not the Solution

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In the laundry room, most of us are prone to overkill. We want beautifully clean, brilliantly white, soft and fluffy laundry. And we don't measure. We pour stuff out of jugs straight into the washer, often adding a second big glug just to make sure.

We use liquid fabric softener by the gallon and dryer sheets by the hundreds because there's no ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Give Your Washing Machine This Critical Check-Up Now

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As wonderful as a washing machine is, when it comes to saving time and effort, it can also be a troublesome member of the household. It is critical that you perform a washing machine check-up now.

It is reported that washing machines are responsible for more than $150 million of damage in homes across the U.S. every year. Imagine a river ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Ways to Make a Vehicle Last Twice as Long

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Eighteen years ago next month, my husband and I bought a new Chevy Silverado. For 14 of those years, it was our only vehicle. Our goal from day one was to make it last longer -- maybe even twice as long.

We still have it. As I write, it's closing in on 250,000 miles -- and still running great on its original front brakes.

This truck has turned...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Proper Care and Feeding of the 1 Thing Every Home Must Have

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My heart was pounding, and the smoke alarm was screaming, and I was in full-on panic mode. Flames were reaching toward the adjacent wood 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 in slow motion thinking about how sad it would be to be ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean Where No Vacuum has Gone Before

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's been several years now since one of my awesome readers told me about an inexpensive, super effective tool I could attach to my vacuum cleaner hose that would let me vacuum places no vacuum had ever gone before. Every time I use it, I wonder how I had lived so long without VaccuFlex.


That's it. Just a multipiece kit that attaches...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Simple Ways to Develop a Saver's Attitude

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Cutting expenses is the way to spend less so you have money to save. But unless you are actually putting that money into a safe place to be held for some future use, you're not really saving at all. You're just spending less.

Even if you cannot save a great deal of money right now, that's OK. It's not the amount you save that matters as much as...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Silver in Dishwasher and Unused 529 Plan

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I have a set of silver flatware that I use daily. It's not a particularly good set, just a nice set for daily use. After a few times through a normal cycle, the pieces become very tarnished. Can you put silver in the dishwasher? Do you think the dishwashing detergent is tarnishing the silver? -- Anne

Dear Anne: Yes, your silver-plate...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Break Bad Money Habits

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Money a little tight these days? You might assume it's due to rising costs, tightening credit and the fact you haven't gotten a raise in, like, forever. But truthfully, if your basic needs are being met, problems you're having are more likely a result of bad money habits you've picked up -- behaviors you've repeated so often they've become ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Helpful Things You Can Do Now to Get Ready for Christmas

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Readers know that we pull out all the stops around here to celebrate Christmas early. Or at least start thinking about the holidays, which are just a couple months down the road. If you are or have ever been plagued by credit card debt, I can nearly guarantee that revolving expenses related to Christmas have contributed greatly to that miserable...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Cool Gadgets That Put Money Back in Your Pocket

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There is an old marketing adage that insists that for a business to make money, it has to spend money. There's truth in that for business, but when it comes to personal money management, don't count on it unless you have a clear strategy. That's exactly what these inexpensive yet handy gadgets offer: clear strategies to reduce the high cost of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Gift of a Crisis

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was the worst day of my life. Not one of the worst days. Not a day where not one thing seems to go right. Worse than that. Worse than any day I'd ever experienced before that day. Worse than any day since. And I would say that, like most people, I've had some real doozies.

We were four months behind on our mortgage. All of the credit ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 8 Surprising Ways Lemons Can Make Your Life Easier

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Several years ago, my son gave me the bounty from the two fruit trees that pretty much rule his backyard. My Mother's Day gift of Meyer lemons weighed in at 124 pounds. I know, lucky me!

I had to figure out ways to use, share and preserve lemons in a big hurry. I juiced, cooked and baked all kinds of lemon things. And I learned so many ways to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Dozen Ways to Make Dump Chicken

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's called Dump Chicken, and it's genius. Here's why: You dump chicken pieces and your choice of sauce ingredients into a 1-gallon freezer bag, seal it and stick it in the freezer. When you're ready to eat it, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator; dump it into a pan (or slow cooker); and bake it. That's it!

The following recipes can be made ...Read more

How to Break the Habit That's Eating up Your Future

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Let's not beat around the bush. Eating out is eating up your future. It's gobbling down your present and keeping you stuck in the past. That heavy debt you're hauling around didn't happen while you were asleep. Chances are pretty good you're eating your way into debt.

Breaking the eating-out habit isn't easy to do, but it can be done. What it ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Super Easy Ways to Get Rid of Fruit Flies

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Fruit flies are amazing, and by that I mean amazingly annoying! These tiny creatures can detect the smell of ripe fruits and vegetables from miles away. If there's a bowl of fruit on your kitchen counter, there's probably a fruit fly or two looking for a way into your home to get to it. They're so small they can get in through window screens or ...Read more


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