Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: The Mystery of Hair Conditioners Solved

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Hair conditioners fall into general categories according to what they do and the problems they solve. Using the wrong product for the specific condition of your hair will produce disappointing results. For example: If your hair is thin and fine, you are not going to be happy with an industrial-strength conditioner for thick, coarse, frizzy or ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Casserole Connoisseur's Guide to Healthy Substitutions

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I grew up in church, literally. My father, the minister, saw to it that the preacher's kids never missed a gathering. Even when not a scheduled event, we were still in church cleaning, folding bulletins or just hanging out. I credit my heritage for my expertise as a connoisseur of the all-American casserole. There's just nothing quite like a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Ways to Get Rid of Flies in the House

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Flies are a nearly unavoidable nuisance in most homes, especially during the warmer months of the year. Annoying for sure, but more than just pesky, houseflies (Musca domestica) can carry and transmit disease and cause illness. Consider these seven simple ways to banish these pests from the house and keep them out for good.


Everyday Cheapskate: How to Upsize a Cake Mix That's Too Small for the Recipe

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In my kitchen, I have a small collection of cookbooks which I consider prized possessions. One of them, the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook, was a wedding gift and, trust me, it's seen more than its share of splatters and dog-eared and ripped pages. And I wouldn't part with it for anything.

Another features 100 things to do with an ordinary cake...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Incredibly Simple Travel Tips to Take Stress Out of Flying

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Flying is back. More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. If you plan to travel by air ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Help! My White Leather Couch Reeks of Smoke

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I found a great deal on a gorgeous couch at an estate sale. It is upholstered in white leather and appears to be new -- as if no one has ever sat on it. Priced at $100, you can be sure that I grabbed it up fast and brought it home.

I put it in the garage. Then it hit me -- the reeking smell of old, nasty cigarette smoke. Once I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Pleasantly Surprising Reasons to Decorate with Houseplants

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There's something warm and inviting about a well-placed, thriving houseplant. Experts call this "interior landscaping," and it's becoming increasingly popular, not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that's because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now, we're learning that houseplants offer ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Extra Money Dilemma; Should We Buy Cancer Insurance?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As you know, because I tell you all the time, I get a ton of mail! Today, I reached into my virtual mailbag and pulled out two reader questions, neither of them having easy answers. But hopefully this will make you think of your own situation in light of these questions and my responses.

Dear Mary: I borrowed more money on my student loan than ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Generics That are Truly a Great Buy

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What do you associate with the word "generic?" Do the words "inferior" or "tastes like cardboard" come to mind? Or do you, like many people, associate name brands with people who are well-to-do, while people in poverty opt for generics? All of that is complete nonsense, but commonly held attitudes. The truth is that generics are often a great ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Surprising Other Uses for Automatic Dishwasher Detergent

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's no secret that dishwasher detergent is specifically formulated to be used in automatic dishwashers whether it comes as powder, pods, pacs, liquid or gel. What may come as a big surprise is that these products' grease and dirt-busting abilities can be used outside the dishwasher in many useful ways.

Case in point: My microfiber cloths. I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Highly Effective Ways to Chop the Soaring Cost of Groceries

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Perhaps you've noticed the cost of nearly everything is going up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the agency that calculates the U.S. inflation rate, is predicting a very high inflation rate for 2021. Our annual inflation rate at the end of May was running at 5%. That is the highest rate since 1981, when the average for that...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Medicare and Health Savings Accounts; Closing Credit-Card Accounts

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I'm a few months from my Medicare birthday, when I'll turn 65. I have had a high-deductible health savings account qualified insurance plan for more than 10 years.

The health savings account has a decent balance of nearly $15,000 because I've enjoyed good health and few medical expenses. My question: Can I keep my health savings ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Practical Tips to Help with Home Maintenance and Repair

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Maintenance costs can put a serious dent in your budget and savings -- a dent that's tough to repair. While there are certain things you definitely need an expert to handle, there are plenty of other situations in which you can make minor but meaningful repairs without calling for professional support -- while saving serious cash.

From closet ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When Showing Up is the Hardest Part

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Not that long ago, I underwent that procedure no one my age likes to talk about. Doing all the necessary prep to get ready for the exam was bad enough. Then, I wanted to cut and run when I saw those words on the office door: certified financial planner.

But we did it. My husband and I spent several hours with planning our estate with a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Proper Iced Tea, According to My Mother-In-Law

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The only thing more comforting than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day is knowing how to make that perfect iced tea yourself with confidence -- for just pennies per serving.

My mother-in-law, a proud Canadian, taught me the difference between proper iced tea and the "swill" most restaurants pour, which in her opinion was, at best, a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers' Responses Are Nothing If Not Unpredictable!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For anyone wishing to study human nature, my mailbox would make an interesting research center. I get tons of email, and snail mail, too. However, rather than arriving in a steady flow, it comes in waves. I've given up trying to predict which columns will prompt responses from my readers.

Take a column on the inherent dangers associated with ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Quick and Easy Outdoor Cleaning and Storage Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Many outdoor cleaning and storage solutions can be rather expensive, especially when compared with Everyday Cheapskate do-it-yourself or homemade alternatives. Here are some of my favorite cleaning tips and storage solutions for the garage and patio that will give you the results you need without the costs you don't.


Protect ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Liquify Crystallized Honey and the Best Way to Store It

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's discouraging when you reach for the honey, only to discover it is no longer a smooth liquid, but all grainy -- like sugar. You may have even tossed it into the trash assuming that it's gone bad, no longer edible. Truth be told, it is still perfectly delicious and nutritious. It's easy to turn crystallized honey back into its liquid self.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean and Restore Carpet Even If It's Old, Stained and Disgusting

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you hate your carpet because it's old, stained and bordering on disgusting, I have great news. There are steps you can take that will have you falling in love with it all over again.

Years ago, when we remodeled our home, we replaced some of the carpets with hardwood. What a revelation. I could finally see the dirt and dust and, honestly, I ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make the High Cost of Ground Beef Easier to Swallow

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest official data says in April 2021, the average price of a pound of lean ground beef climbed to a whopping $5.97 per pound. It's no secret that in the past year, we've seen all kinds of economic turmoil sending us into a season of inflation, when the price of everything is soaring.

If you and your ...Read more



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