Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: The Best Thing I Ever Bought

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Of all the columns I've written, the one on how to have perpetually clean carpet in my home has generated by far the most interest. Here it is again, updated. Enjoy!

I bought my Hoover SteamVac on Dec. 7, 2008, and I only know that because there it is in my Amazon order history -- $147 with free shipping. All these years later, while still ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Yellow-Stained Bed Pillows White Again

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Favorite bed pillows get a lot of use every night. We keep clean pillowcases on them and don't think much about the pillow inside until it's time to change the bed linens. Have you looked lately?


The culprit is sweat, the chemical composition of which varies from one person to the next depending on everything from what ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Remarkable Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you love your morning cup of joe, there's a pretty good chance you're throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis. Take a look at this list, and you just might discover more than a few ways you can recycle and reuse old grounds so you can enjoy them over (and over) again!

Not a coffee drinker? These days, local coffee shops offer ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 11 Ways to Use Ordinary Pantry Items to Get Rid of Ants

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Most ant problems -- especially those teeny tiny sugar ants that are attracted to the sweets in your kitchen -- can be quickly solved with ordinary items you have around the house. Think of what follows as a kind of buffet to get rid of ants. You pick the solutions that meet your immediate need with items you have on hand.


To ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Every Day Thanksgiving

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love Thanksgiving so much I would say it vies for first place in my favorite holiday lineup. I love and adore a classic turkey dinner with all the trimmings. I love the fall weather, which always accompanies the day. I love the fact that Thanksgiving ushers in the winter holidays, offering me a front-row seat on the very best time of the year....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Help a Young Person Build a Good Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You can boost a young person's credit by taking advantage of a little-known authorized user provision, but credit issuer policies vary widely depending on the young person's age.

Like it or not, ours has become a culture of credit. Good credit is necessary to get the best mortgage rates, a decent credit card, an apartment, a job or a phone. If ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Things You Should Never Plug Into a Power Strip

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, mobile home or dorm room, having enough electrical outlets to handle all of the accessories, appliances and tools you need can be a challenge. And that's when knowing how to safely use a power strip sure comes in handy.

While one of these devices can offer a reasonable solution for too few outlets,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Surprising Things a Coffee Maker Can Do Besides Brew Coffee

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You might think your coffee maker is a one-trick pony -- does anything smell more wonderful than a freshly brewed pot of coffee? But let's think about this for a moment. That appliance heats water to about 200 F and comes equipped with a hot plate to keep it at about 165 F. Whether you're traveling, living in a dorm room or just like the idea of...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 4 More Ways to Use a Slow Cooker That Have Nothing to Do With Food

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

They're bulky and take up precious cabinet space, but we'll never get rid of our slow cookers. They can be lifesavers on days when time is scarce and we just want to make a big batch of something deliciously comforting to get us through.

A slow cooker, aka Crock-Pot, is one awesome household appliance for hands-off cooking. If you have one (a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Break the Acrylic Nail Habit and Help Your Nails Recover Beautifully

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For years, I was on the fake acrylic nails bandwagon. From the first time I gave that manicure option a try, I loved it. Polish lasts longer on acrylic nails; my nails were always uniform -- shaped perfectly and just the right length. All I had to do was go to the nail salon every three weeks to have them maintained.

The problem is it became ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: An Ounce of Prevention Is Worth Money in the Bank

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today's topic isn't pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked to treat periodontal disease, an ounce of good dental care could prevent a lot of pain -- both dental and financial.

Periodontal disease is an infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bones that hold the teeth in the jawbone and can destroy the bone itself. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Surprising Things You Can Clean With a Clothes Steamer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A compact clothes steamer is handy for removing wrinkles and stale odors from fabric, but is that all? Just another single-purpose tool that sits on a shelf gathering dust? Don't be so sure! I've been amazed to discover all the ways to use an ordinary clothes steamer to clean, sanitize, renew and refresh all around the house.


Before we ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Everything You Need to Know About Storing Coffee

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Having reached the level of coffee snob some years ago, I don't think I'm quite to the level of coffee geek yet -- but I continue to work on it. That's how much I love really good coffee!

As you may recall from previous posts, I've been a home roaster for many years now. While my family and I seriously enjoy a good cup of coffee, the real ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean Baking Sheets so They Look New!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

They come in sizes big and small, rimmed or without sides. We use them to bake just about anything, but mostly cookies. And they can get super grungy with layers of baked- and burnt-on grease, resulting in ugly stains and residue buildup.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? If so, I have good news. Your baking sheets can be cleaned and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Splurge on a Budget

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I got the biggest shock of my life the day I realized that living on a budget wasn't the straitjacket or rigid "diet" I assumed it would be. It was my life as a credit card junkie that put me in financial bondage.

Living on a budget saved my life because it allowed me to get out of debt. It gave me my freedom. Want to know my secret for staying...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Stop Wasting Money on Kitchen Tools That Do Only One Thing

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Celebrity chef Alton Brown contends that a kitchen tool that does only one job is mostly useless. He calls anything like a pickle fork, garlic press, strawberry stem remover or hot dog steamer a "unitasker."

His advice? Don't waste your time and money on any kitchen tool if it is only good for one thing. It will just take up valuable space, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How To Afford Big-Ticket Items

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Finally, you have a couple of months where things are going well. The bills get paid on time, and you actually have money left at the end of the month. Then, pow! Without warning, the water heater bursts, the car breaks down, and the first half of the property tax bill is past due -- and suddenly you're broke.

How can you possibly plan or ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Home-Buying Mistakes That Will Make You House Poor

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. This is not the time to make mistakes that could easily plunge you into an unfavorable financial situation.

During my 18-year career as a real estate broker, I learned a lot of things, but none was as valuable as what not to do! I didn't learn this in a seminar or while studying ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How To Live on a Budget and Love It

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For many years I wouldn't have anything to do with a budget because I couldn't stand the idea of anyone -- or anything -- telling me how to spend my money. And where did that get me? Into one big financial mess.

Every month, when I ran out of money, I would turn to MasterCard and Visa for a bailout. To me, any available credit was the same as ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 16 Ways To Chop Your Grocery Bill

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Need a foolproof way to cut your food/grocery expenses by 25% this month? Announce to your family that there will be a complete ban on the consumption of food during the first week of every month. There. That should do it! Twenty-five percent right off the top.

What?! Don't think you can pull that off? Me neither, but not to worry. Here are ...Read more


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