Home & Leisure

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

Everyday Cheapskate: The Power of Thanks

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I caught a memorable episode of "The View." Deborah Norville, whom I recalled from her stints on the "Today" show and "Inside Edition," was a guest promoting her book, "Thank You Power: Making the Science of Gratitude Work for You."

I was immediately taken by Norville's self-assurance and passion for her message.

Norville is no ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Remove Rust Stains From Just About Anything

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If there's one subject that shows up in my inbox more often than any other, it has to be rust: ugly orange-ish stains on tubs, showers, toilets, washing machines, sinks and even stainless steel.

One reader (who shall remain nameless, as I have hopelessly misplaced his message) wrote that tiny rust marks have appeared on his new stainless steel ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Tips and Tricks to Stop Money Leaks

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For many of us it's not the big expenditures that keep us spending beyond our means but rather the thousands of little purchases that together wreak havoc on our finances. Want to start leaving more money in the bank each month? Start paying attention to all the little ways money leaks out of your life.

TOOTHPASTE LIKE A PEA. In toothpaste ads,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Paralyzed by Too Many Choices

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A perfectly orchestrated backyard party took an ugly turn when the bounce house was emptied, and all 15 little friends and twice as many adults gathered around to watch 5-year-old Melissa open a mountain of gifts. That's when the birthday girl melted into a puddle of tears.

Melissa' s embarrassed parents threatened punishment if she didn't stop...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Home Water Filters

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You need to stay hydrated. That's for sure. But is tap water your best option? Generally, it is considered safe if it comes from a public water system in the United States. Public drinking water must meet strict safety standards.

But that doesn't mean your water is free of all contaminants, just that the levels of any contaminants don't pose a ...Read more

Pre-Owned iPhones, Pet Stains, Carpet-Cleaning Machine

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you seen the iPhone X? Read about it? I nearly choked when I learned it comes with a price tag of $1,000 or more.

Granted, I'm no iPhone aficionado, but I cannot imagine spending that much on a mobile phone of any brand, size or capability. Can you?

Debra writes: "It's time for me to get a new smartphone and I'm having a hard time ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Great Readers Tips: Packing Cubes, Sink Clog Prevention, Cooking Spray Uses, BBQ Cover

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I've done it a dozen times -- tossed out the clear vinyl zipper bag that comes with sheets and blankets. Today's first great reader tip makes me wish I'd not done it. For sure, I'll never do it again.

FREE PACKING CUBES. For travel packing, I reuse the clear vinyl zipper bags of various sizes that come with blankets, linens and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Ways to Outsmart Retailers and Their Clever Tricks to Get Us to Spend More

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 supermarket complete with clothing, mood lighting and cushy chairs.

I have nothing against beautiful ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Mistakes Teach Us What Doesn't Work

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you made any mistakes lately? Want to talk about it? Most people don't. Can't say that I blame them. It's embarrassing.

And when it's a really dumb mistake, well, that's something you hope to never have to think about again. But doing that's a mistake.

Mistakes are useful because they teach us what doesn't work. But making the same ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Shop with Cash at Amazon

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I can't think of many things worse than waking up with a raging debt hangover-an all-too-common condition that hits many people when they open their credit card statement.

The only reason you paid for everything with a credit card was convenience. Besides, it's not safe to shop online with a debit card, so what were your options? Of course you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Diamond Cleaner, Laundry Stain Magic, Ugly Toilet Bowl Stain

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: What is the best way to clean a diamond ring? I do take mine to the jeweler every six months to have it cleaned and checked for loose stones, but between those visits I'd like to keep it sparkling. What do you recommend? -- Becky

Dear Becky: I do have a favorite method, but first let me tell you what NOT to do. Never clean your fine ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: All Things Considered, the Best Way to Resell Used iPhones and Electronic Devices

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever wondered where old mobile phones and electronic devices like iPads and tablets go to die, it's pretty simple. Some get tossed into a recycle bin somewhere to be parted out and melted down. IPhones are often passed down to children to be used as iPod touch substitutes. A large number are basically forgotten and lost to neglect. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Ways to Outsmart Picky Eaters

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got picky eaters? Don't get mad. Get clever! Use these simple techniques to get your kids to eat a greater variety of healthy foods without resorting to mealtime confrontations, or worse, force-feeding.

BE PREPARED. Keep a cooler in the car that you keep stocked with carrots, pretzels, yogurt and water for when you're out with the kids. This ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Maintain a Reasonable Toy Inventory and Other Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you have kids, you might be dreading how many new toys you're going to have to find room for come the next birthday, Christmas or other gift-giving occasion. Reader Beth has a great toy-inventory balancing system that's sure to please everyone, even the kids.

Dear Mary: Family friends of ours have a great system that solves the problem of an...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Spooky Tales of Extreme Debt

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Scary stories and fiendish tales are all part of Halloween fun. But the last thing you expect is for those spooky stories and tricks to be played out in real life.

Debt has become the American way. So has denial. Super high debt levels paired with serious denial can be downright terrifying. While not all debt situations reach critical levels, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything, even Programmable Thermostats, Column Archives, Cottage Businesses

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As I write, it is very early in the morning. I just peeked out to see that it's snowing! As you may recall, we are new to Colorado, having moved from Southern California. I must be still in that wide-eyed child-like phase of transition because I am all giddy with excitement and wonder. Snow!

How fitting it is that our first reader question is ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A $25,000-Per-Person Dinner That's Hard to Swallow

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I don't consider myself a complete stranger to high-priced, gourmet fare. After all, I did enjoy a lovely $100-per-person meal once.

But even that experience in my semi-impressive culinary repertoire did not prepare me to gracefully handle the idea of a 10-course dinner with a price tag of $25,000 per person. And it wasn't a political ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Key Motivators That Influence Teens

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

They want independence and freedom; you want them to take responsibility for their actions. They want decision-making power; you want them to make the right choices. They are struggling to break away; you can't bear the thought of letting go. Welcome to adolescence.

Teenagers long to feel significant. They want to demonstrate to themselves and ...Read more


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