Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Let Mistakes Set You Back

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love to watch home remodeling television shows. They give me confidence that I really could remodel a kitchen, build a shed or even install new windows all by myself. Usually, the feeling passes quickly, but I do find myself feeling comfortable around power tools, and I enjoy a good home improvement store.

Recently, the host of one of the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Turn Scrap Gold Into Cash Without Getting Ripped Off

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I promise not to ask if you remember when the price of gold was fixed at $35 an ounce or when U.S. currency was tied to the gold standard (hint: The Gold Standard Act was passed on March 14, 1900, but later suspended). Things have changed drastically over the years, with gold now hovering around $1,800 per ounce.

Let's turn to your jewelry box,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Number as Useful as Your Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Looking to become a homeowner this year? Or maybe you want to sell your current home to move to a different location or into a larger property. More than likely, that means you'll be shopping for a mortgage -- a home loan that will allow you to make that move.

Whether you know your credit score or not, by now you are aware that you have one and...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Chicken Soup for the Sick?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever wondered if chicken soup really does have medicinal effects against colds and the flu? Me, too. Recently, I decided to find out.

Here's what I learned: There is some scientific evidence to suggest that homemade chicken soup contains several ingredients that affect the body's immune system. Dr. Stephen Rennard of University of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Dark Side of Gift Cards

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

These days, you can buy gift cards (the modern replacement for the gift certificate) from just about every store imaginable. They are convenient, and for many people, gift cards appear to be the perfect gift solution. They're not. I am so opposed to gift cards that I'm this close to declaring an all-out boycott. Why? Oh, please let me count the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Smart Ways to Save Money on Pet Care

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I read about a family who spent $1,000 to cat-proof their backyard so their two cats, who they consider full-fledged family members, could roam outside without escaping to the outside world.

And that's not all. Their felines also have lots of cat furniture, and they regularly dine on cat food that costs north of $7 per pound.

Perhaps...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Towel is Just a Towel, Right? Wrong!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When asked to describe the perfect bath towel, most people would include the words "thick" and "thirsty." Cotton Inc., a research and marketing company, agrees and goes on to say that the perfect towel can also stand up to constant use and laundering for at least a decade.

The secret to buying the perfect towel is in understanding fibers, loops...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Fruit and Veggie Wash -- Cheap and Easy!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: What is the best way to wash fresh fruits and vegetables to assure they are safe and clean? -- Sherry

Dear Sherry: While it's tempting to eat fresh produce straight out of the grocery bag, I don't think that's a good idea. Commercial produce sanitation may be up to speed with excellent guidelines and good oversight, but let's just ...Read more

Worried You Might Lose Your Job?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Before the pandemic hit, employment in the U.S. was reaching historic highs. Now, in the wake of the coronavirus, many who are fortunate enough to have a job are suffering from lingering anxiety about the future.

Worried about layoffs? You're not alone. Millions of Americans are worried that they will lose their jobs due to the current state of...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Simple Ways to Curb Impulsive Buying

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Having just come through holiday spending extravaganza 2020, otherwise known as Christmas in America, I'm getting dizzy from early reports of how many billions of dollars we spent -- and I can't help but think about what an impulsive shopper I am. It's that momentary thrill of the impulse purchase, the destroyer of budgets. It's in my DNA. It's ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Successfully Stick to Your New Year's Resolution -- Yes, Really!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

More than half of Americans, reportedly, make New Year's resolutions. And 88% of those resolutions end in failure, according to a study by British psychologist Richard Wiseman.

There is a reason for this fail rate, and once we understand it, we'll be able to keep our resolutions long enough to make them stick.

The bottom line is that our ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Own Less - Live More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What would you do if you had to use -- let alone actually enjoy -- everything you own?

Truth be told, most of us will never live long enough to accomplish such an overwhelming requirement. Instead, we pack it, stack it and pile it away -- even pay rent to store it. Then we keep right on accumulating, acquiring and attaining even more. More ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean a Steam Iron So It Steams and Looks Like New

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Before you toss that steam iron because it refuses to steam and the soleplate is sporting a brown, burned-on, gross mess -- you might want to give it a little love with a good cleanup. It's not difficult to bring a tired steam iron back to working like a dream!

As always, check the owners manual before proceeding with any cleaning process so ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Easy Ways to Keep Cats out of Your Yard and Garden

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever suffered the annoyance of outdoor cats ruining your yard and garden, help is on the way! Consider any of these options to quickly send them on their way without harming them.


Cats naturally seek out bare soil to use as their toilet space, making gardens their favorite outdoor litter box. This causes ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Cook and Keep the Kitchen Clean at the Same Time

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love to cook. And I enjoy inviting guests for dinner parties or more casual meals. What I hate is the big, ugly mess that happens in the kitchen as I'm cooking and concentrating on getting everything on the table. My kitchen is right out there in the open for all to see, which is why I've come up with strategies to cook and keep the kitchen ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Got a Bundt Cake Pan? Try This!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today's first great reader tip makes me laugh. Imagine a chicken standing to attention in a Bundt pan. This is the best idea I've heard all day, and I think you'll agree.


To roast a whole chicken more evenly and quickly, set your Bundt pan on a cookie sheet. Now, stand that chicken over the center cone of the Bundt pan, pushing ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Gift-Giving: What's the Point?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The simple act of gift-giving has become extremely complicated. I blame that on the consumer credit industry.

Think about it: You can be completely broke but still spend thousands of dollars on Christmas gifts -- and believe it is not only your right to do so but that you are obligated to do it.

This culture has created a message that we have ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Organization Is Just One Salami Slice Away

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever not answered the phone because you couldn't find it? While searching for the Valentine's Day centerpiece, have you stumbled over the Christmas wrap purchased at an after-holiday sale two years ago? Ever gone out to dinner because there wasn't one clean dish in the house?

Getting organized is like dieting. We know how to do it and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: More Practical Ways to Simplify Your Life

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A poll conducted on Twitter revealed that about 44% of respondents said they would be willing to accept a 10% reduction in pay if they could work at home permanently to spend less time commuting and spend more time with their families.

It is a lovely thought, but is it realistic? Earning less is hardly an option for most people. But that doesn'...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: What Teachers Want for Christmas

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I've never been a schoolteacher, but I've been a parent. I wish I'd known years ago what I know now about what gifts of thanks teachers really want. I would have skipped all the "Best Teacher in the World" coffee mugs and gone more for the classroom supplies.

Recently, I polled teachers I know. It took a little bit of arm-twisting because every...Read more



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