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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

Everyday Cheapskate: Clever Ways to Use This for That to Save Time and Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently as I was halfway out the door, car keys in hand, on the way to the home improvement center, I remembered I might already have what I needed. Cooking spray! That's it. I'd heard it just might work. It did, and quite perfectly, too. No more squeaks, and I saved a trip and purchase, too.

There must be thousands of ways we can save time ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Break the Bad Habit Killing Your Finances

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. Face it: You've been eating your way into debt.

Breaking the eating out habit is possible. You can do it. It takes motivation, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Potatoes in the Dishwasher? Let the Debate Commence!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Cheapskate: I'm writing in response to a past column in which you gave a tip on washing loads of dirty potatoes. As a first thought, it may sound like a good idea to put your potatoes through a dishwasher cycle to clean them. Two reasons it's a bad idea: 1) In a well-maintained dishwasher, there will be "clearing agent" like Jet-Dry that ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Are Your Credit and Debit Cards Making You Fat?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I've heard of blaming one's weight on a lot of things, but credit and debit cards? That was a new one for me and a theory reported at that, when considered carefully, does seem to carry a lot of weight.

Now that restaurants, coffee shops, restaurants, Door Dash and every fast food and restaurant app on Earth accepts credit and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Why Money Is Hard for Couples

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The phone rings. You pick it up to hear your husband say, "Honey, seven years ago tonight we got engaged. Let's go to dinner and a movie to celebrate!"

Long ago, in what seems like another time and place, you fell in love with this man because he was spontaneous and sentimental. Now when he asks you out for a date, the first words out of your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: From Ashes to Sparkling Clean Fireplace Glass

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I could sit for hours reading all the clever, helpful, often already known tips, tricks and hacks my readers send to me. It makes me think, and more often than not silently ask myself, "Why didn't I think of that?" And that proves once again that I have a very smart audience. Yes, you are!


This is a trick I learned from my ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Started Roasting Coffee Beans

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It all started about nearly 15 years ago when I had a conversation with a friend who'd recently taken up the hobby of home coffee roasting. The motivation? First, quality and taste, but also to cut the high cost of quality coffee by at least half. That was enough to get my attention and all I needed to become equally enthusiastic.

Today, I'm ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Does Anyone Make a Decent Upright Cordless Vac that Really Works? (Yes!)

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My affinity for TV game shows' lightning rounds -- where the duration is predetermined, and the aim is to achieve as much as possible within that time frame -- might be linked to my attention span. Lightning round questions are brief, with quick and concise answers.

I see we have lots of questions in the audience, so let's set the clock. Ready?...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Winter Is Coming ... and We Need a Furnace!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Cheapskate: We need a new furnace before next winter. We have saved some money but not enough to pay for it in full. The companies we've spoken to offer financing at outrageous interest rates of 17.99% and up. We could borrow from our credit union, borrow against my 401(k) at 2% above prime or put it on a credit card (16.99%). We don't have...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Secrets of Stress-Free Vacations with Kids

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Family vacations can be either delightful or disastrous -- it depends greatly on your attitude and the care you devote to research and planning.

But first, a few basic guidelines ...

ADJUST YOUR ATTITUDE. Here is the first rule of family vacations: Parents on vacation really aren't. If you can unload personal expectations that you will be ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Beat Inflation at the Supermarket

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Could you handle a big announcement that overnight food costs in the United States have miraculously dropped by 20%? That you will see this miracle in your local grocery or supermarket on your next visit? You can if you pay attention and then heed what you're about to read. Know this: There's not one single way to reduce your family's food costs...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Erase the Miles with a Birthday Cake Kit, Plus More Great Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love to celebrate, and it is always fun to come up with new ways to mark special occasions. Everyone should have a birthday cake on their birthday, but for that faraway friend or family member, sometimes a homemade cake just isn't in the cards -- until now!

BIRTHDAY CAKE KIT. Just because you are not geographically close doesn't mean you can'...Read more



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