Home & Leisure
Everyday Cheapskate: What to Do When You're Too Tired to Cook
If money is leaking out of your household and you aren't quite sure where it's going, I have an idea: fast food. Busy households mean tired parents, and that can easily result in getting takeout two or three times a week. Does anything here sound familiar?
The last thing you need is for someone to tell you to get a grip and plan ahead! So I won...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: When Less Is Best
The dishwasher was crammed full of dirty dishes, company would be arriving shortly and (wouldn't you know it) I had only enough detergent to fill one of the two dispensers in my dishwasher. I decided to use what I had and hope for the best.
Amazingly, my dishes got just as clean as when I previously would fill both receptacles. To my disgrace, ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Know the Rules If You're Going to Play the Game
It's time to get it out in the open: Credit card companies are in it for the money. They are in business to make a profit. And it appears they are doing a bang-up job of it given information from Motley Fool that says card companies hauled in $176 billion in 2020. Wow. Imagine what that number will be for 2023.
If you own a credit card, you ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Reasons to Give Kids an Allowance
At the foundation of your children's financial intelligence should be this undeniable truth: It is not the amount of money you have but what you do with it that matters.
This is true for a child managing a $5-a-week allowance or a corporate executive with a $5,000-a-week salary.
For the better part of my life, I didn't know this truth. On the ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Useful Tips That Make Gardening More Enjoyable
I'm anything but a master of the soil, but I sure love to putter in my vegetable and flower gardens. And this year, with food prices continuing to soar, I am more motivated than ever to grow as much of our food as humanly possible.
Over the years, I've discovered quite a few handy tips that make my gardening so much more enjoyable. I hope you ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: My Life as a Frog
I have been told if you attempt to pop a frog into a pot of boiling water, he'll jump out every time.
But if you put the little fellow into a pot of cold water, set it on a low flame, and warm it slowly, he'll sit back, relax and let you cook him to death.
The frog is so impressed by the nice warm, cozy feeling he doesn't pay attention to what...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Extreme Lawn, Patio and Garden Cost-cutters
For some of us, there are few spring joys that are as soul-satisfying as a healthy, lush green lawn. Or a pristine patio with clean furniture and accessories.
You may have noticed in the past that a beautifully maintained healthy lawn does not come without considerable cost, effort and care. And outdoor living areas don't magically remain clean...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Beware Debt-settlement Schemes and Scam Artists
The ads are compelling. "If you have at least $10,000 of credit card debt, you are eligible to have half of it forgiven!" "Debt-settlement solutions!"
I see these ads nailed to telephone poles, plastered all over the internet and broadcast over radio and television. Even though I know what's going on, they grab my attention and make me wonder ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Reader Discovers It's Difficult to Pay the Balance to the Penny
Dear Cheapskate: This is petty perhaps, but how does one ever completely pay off a credit card account?
We paid off a credit card recently (Hallelujah!) by sending a check for the exact amount of the balance due taken from the monthly statement. The following month we received a bill for $1.91 -- all of it a finance charge! Sure, it's not much,...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Without Trust You've Got Nothing
Of all the things I've ever dreamed of being, advice columnist was never on the list. But here I am playing one every day. That's because while my inbox loads up with tips, hints and questions related to frugal living and getting out of debt, many questions spill over into dilemmas -- family, life and love.
Dear Cheapskate: I have been dating a...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Whacky Doodle Ground Beef
Years ago, I made a terrible mistake. I froze 10 pounds of ground beef. That big block of frozen burger languished in the freezer for years. What was I thinking? I should have browned it first and then frozen it in usable portions. But browning beef can be so messy. Lesson learned.
A few weeks ago, I came upon another cheap ground beef ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Why You Need an Emergency Fund and How to Get One
Four weeks before Christmas, Mitch and Jenn had a string of bad luck. Mitch broke his leg in a skiing accident. Jenn's car broke down, requiring major repairs. And the aged roof of their home decided to fail right in the midst of a major storm.
The financial and emotional toll these events took on them was huge but nothing like it might have ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean a Bathtub Anti-Slip Bottom
If you have a bathtub with a slip-resistant bottom that still looks dingy, grungy and downright grimy no matter what you use to clean it, I have really good news and at least one surefire solution that will even bring an older tub bottom back to being clean and like new!
Since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, all bathroom...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Bounce Back From Bankruptcy
Dear Mary: Please give me some pointers on bouncing back from bankruptcy. Will this have any effect on future employment opportunities? -- Henry, email
Dear Henry: Live on cash. Have only one credit card, and if you use it, pay it in full every month. Refuse all other offers of credit, and take on no unsecured debt. Pay all of your bills early;...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Remove Salt Stains on Leather Boots
Salt. It's mandatory in a human diet. But in other situations, salt can be as destructive as it is needful due to its ability to eat holes through metal and leave ugly stains on footwear. Salt stains on leather are a problem, but not without an easy, effective solution.
Dear Mary: I have several pairs of beautiful winter fashion boots in ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: How to Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (No-Fail Secrets!)
They're convenient and, we're told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare well than boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
Here's the problem: Chicken skin helps to keep the chicken moist, and the bones add flavor. Remove both and what do you have? The potential for dry, tasteless, tough chicken.
But ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: Your Pets Need an Emergency Plan, Too
Preparing our homes and families for natural disasters and severe weather is a well-known subject here at Everyday Cheapskate. We talk about it a lot because it's so very important. But what about your fur babies? Are your pets prepared to face and survive disaster? According to ServiceMaster Restore, 83% of pet owners live in areas impacted by ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: You Overspent on Christmas -- Now What?
What went wrong? Put your mind on rewind and go back a few months. How come you spent so much? Did you run out of cash before you got to the end of your list, so you started charging? Did you feel pressured to make sure the kids weren't disappointed? Perhaps you didn't anticipate expenses beyond buying gifts -- things like extra food for ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: What To Do When You Can't Pay All of Your Bills and More
Dear Mary: Our mortgage was due on the first. As I write it is the 21st. We have the money to pay it, however my husband thinks it would be better to pay our credit card bills and get 30 days behind on our mortgage. What do you think should be paid first? -- Lisa P., Florida
Dear Lisa: When you cannot pay all of your bills, you need to ...Read more
Everyday Cheapskate: 8 Easy Ways to Cut Your Electricity Bill
The mail arrives. The electric bill is right on top. Shove it to the bottom of the stack. Finally, hands shaking, open it, knowing you've been negligent. Lock eyeballs with the amount due. Higher than it has ever been. Sure, rates are skyrocketing; everyone is being impacted. But that does not make this easier to swallow.
If you're facing high ...Read more