Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Stick It to Your Creditors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Late fees, punitive interest rates, over-limit fees, loading up your credit report with negative information -- it's enough to make you scream!

It's not that your creditors are doing anything illegal. You just didn't understand the power you gave them when you accepted that credit card (it was buried in the fine print). And now it seems like ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Build a Great Wardrobe Without Blowing a Hole in the Budget

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Imagine that by some stroke of luck and shopping reversal you had all the cash you've spent on clothes you didn't wear in your wardrobe-buying lifetime. For most of us, that would represent quite a nice nest egg given our history of making so many back-of-the-closet mistakes.

This problem is, we shop without a plan, and the endeavor boils down ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Life Lessons From a Daffodil Garden

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love the story author Jaroldeen Edwards tells in her book "Things I Wish I'd Known Sooner," when she took a trip with her daughter Carolyn one drab, rainy day. Her daughter wanted to drive more than two hours to see some flowers a woman had planted. She wasn't too thrilled, but her daughter insisted, saying, "You're going to love this, Mom!" ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Overwhelmed by Clutter? These Companies Will Pick Up Your Donations for Free

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Living in a tidy, organized home can help lower your stress and make daily life more peaceful. And I know from experience the challenge can come down to figuring out what to do with all the items you need to clear out, especially big things like furniture and appliances.

Getting rid of things quickly can help prevent clutter from piling up. If ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Reframe Your Thinking to Change Your Attitude

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Are you facing a difficult or unpleasant situation in your life? You may not be able to change it, but you can change the way you think about it. That's because you have 100% control over your attitude -- the way you choose to respond to whatever life hands you.

Years ago, my husband and I decided not to replace my car once the lease was up. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When the Gift is Just Not Right

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You received a gift that doesn't exactly send you to the moon because it doesn't go with anything in your tastefully decorated pad. Is it OK to turn around and give that gift to someone else for their birthday or other special occasion? If you return it, must you tell the giver? Would it be tacky to sell it on eBay?

There is no single, clear-...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: No More Laundry Stain Blues

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Of all my pet peeves (yes, I do have more than a few), I put laundry stains right up at the top of the list. That's why I was so interested to read today's first great reader tip. Blueberry stains are one of the most challenging. But who knew they could also be one of the easiest to remove?


My family eats a lot of blueberries ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Drink Tap Water for Your Health ... and Wealth!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's difficult to pinpoint exactly when it happened, but sometime over the past decade or so, the general population of this country formed a belief that bottled water is better than tap -- safer and healthier, too. It is easy to figure out where this idea originated. It was with bottled water suppliers. It was pretty ingenious to convince ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ingenious Ways to Beat Frustration (and Save Money, Too)

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Secretly, I feel like a genius when I discover a secondary use for this or that -- in case I run out of this but have plenty of that. Like using a paper coffee filter to wash a glass top or mirror when I'm in a pinch for paper towels. Or using a paper towel to create a coffee filter when I discover at the worst moment that we're out of filters! ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Fitness on a Budget

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently I got a frantic letter from Barbara, who lives in Florida. It seems her teenage son has taken up bodybuilding, and her husband is adhering rigidly to the Atkins diet, both of which are heavy on protein. Barb got through the first week with a major case of mixed emotions: Her husband lost 7 pounds, her son gained 4 pounds -- and her food...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How I Gave My Small Desk a Big Makeover

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If there's one thing I know about myself, it's this: I don't work well in chaos. Recently I came to terms with my office. Specifically, my desk.

I have a fairly small desk, by design. I have just enough space for my computer and a couple of monitors. The desk has only three small drawers that are so full of clutter, I can barely coax them to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Easy Ways to Slash the Cost of Clothing

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Clothing is not optional, but spending a lot of money on it is, says author Gregory Karp in his book "Living Rich by Spending Smart."

Off the top of your head, how much would you say your family spends on clothing in a year? According to the U.S. Consumer Expenditure Survey, a family of four spends an average of $1,434 a year on apparel plus ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Living Below Your Means

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I wouldn't call it a radical new idea, although a social media channel declared recently that living below your means is the hot new trend!

It is a simple concept -- spend less than you earn. Still, LBYM is seen by many as a life sentence, not the lifesaver that it is. It can take a crisis like unemployment, runaway inflation or a sudden ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Straighten Up and Fly Right!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As you read, are you wearing your shoes? Is your sink shiny? Can you walk through your living room without tripping over clutter? Would a knock on your door cause you to die of embarrassment?

In her classic book, "Sink Reflections" (Bantam, 2002), author Marla Cilley remembers the days when she slouched around in bare feet and uncombed hair. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: DIY Watercolors, Free Credit Reports, Cosmetics' Shelf Life

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In the world of DIY, which these days is growing by leaps and bounds, I've taken on the pursuit of discovering, testing and relying on making household and grocery items myself rather than forking out the big bucks to buy things off the shelf. I can't say every trial has been a hit, but it is amazing to count up the successes! For example: ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Smart Freezer Organization, Cutting Cost of Aluminum Foil and More!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sharing readers' tips with you reminds me just how much we can teach each other. Just when I think I couldn't possibly learn anything new, here comes another cool way to save time or money every day from readers just like you. It makes opening my mail so much fun!

Stackable "Bricks"

If you freeze foods in plastic bags, you may have a freezer ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Proper Care and Cleaning of New (or Old) Vinyl Flooring

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever dealt with vinyl flooring -- especially in an older home where the flooring has not been well cared for -- you know the heartbreak of trying to clean it. Tiny grooves and crevices are the problem, especially along the baseboards and thresholds where stubborn dirt has built up over time and is now holding on for dear life.

But ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Ultimate Guide to the Care and Cleaning of a Glass Cooktop

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful, new, electric, smooth-top ceramic or glass cooktop. It's a financial investment that deserves the utmost maintenance and care.

While a smooth-top beats a coil-element cooktop in the style department, it requires a different kind of proactive care to keep it ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Help! Need Cheap Pest Control, Leather Seats Are Hopelessly Stained, Best Upright Vacuum on Earth

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Cheapskate: Once each quarter, we have our house and property professionally treated for pests. The results have been excellent, and we no longer have the problem with bugs that we had before. Do you know of a homemade or store-bought solution that we can use instead of paying quarterly? The payment is quite high, and although I was able to...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Of Green Smoothies and Grateful Readers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Some days I can't believe how lucky I am. Not only do I get to communicate with this growing audience of readers, but many of you find your way to my blog, sign up to see me in your inbox every morning, and even reciprocate with lovely responses. Every single day I open my mailbox and out spills wonderful notes, letters --...Read more



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