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Everyday Cheapskate: Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Apparently, my hair is my life. Believe me, I am as surprised by this fact of vanity as anyone. Had you checked with me about my philosophy of life a mere 10 days ago, I can assure you that my hair would not have made the cut for my Top 10 Important Things.

Sure, I've had the typical hair issues over the years, but since I've always had plenty ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Number as Useful as Your Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether you know your credit score or not, by now you are aware that you have one and that potential lenders, insurance providers and others use that three-digit number to evaluate your creditworthiness.

But there's another number that is just as important for evaluating your financial situation. In fact, it's a number that you can calculate ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Guide to Proper Regifting

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The act of regifting, passing on as new a gift someone else gave you, is controversial but only because of those who do a noticeably bad job of it. After all, if every act of regifting were carried out flawlessly, no one would find it distasteful. And that brings me to the first rules of regifting:

1. Never admit to regifting. If your friends ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Many Happy Returns

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What to do with three extra coffee grinders and a charming needlepoint "Puppies in a Basket" throw pillow -- gifts that are much-appreciated but not quite right in your midcentury modern pad?

Here are eight tips to help make sure that all of your returns are happy.

1. Find the receipt. If this return is a gift you received, get the gift ...Read more

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls and Why You Should

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A recent column, "Fabric Softener Products Are the Problem, Not the Solution," struck a chord with thousands of readers. I know because you sent me messages and letters, which I love -- even those of you who are not 100 percent satisfied making the switch from problematic laundry softeners to what I find are amazing wool dryer balls. But first, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Clean Hands Effect

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Knowing that we're in the cold and flu season, I picked up a recent issue of the University of California, Berkeley Wellness Letter to get up to speed on how we can prevent illness in our homes and offices this winter.

In that issue, a reader asked, "What's the single most important way to prevent illness?" The answer: Wash your hands often, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Burn Down the House? I'll P.A.S.S.

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's been a few years since that day I turned a stove burner on High and didn't realize greasy chicken stock had boiled over earlier in the day, filling the catch pan under the cooktop. I turned my back for a few seconds to find a utensil. When I turned back around, small flames were shooting from the burner. My quick thinking told me to smother...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Credit Cards and Credit Scores: It's Complicated

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Opening a credit card account these days is ridiculously simple. And quick. But that's not so with closing an account. For sure, the bank doesn't want to lose a good customer. But it's more than that. Closing accounts can mess with your FICO score big time if you're carrying a pile of debt and if it's not done strategically.

Dear Mary: I am ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Killer Make-Your-Own Cleaning Products

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There are so many good reasons to make your own household cleaners. It's cheaper and healthier and greener. These five homemade household cleaners do not contain chemicals. That means you can always count on them to be nontoxic.

The ingredients in each of these cleaners are specific. Follow the recipes carefully and make no substitutions.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Why a Pressure Cooker May Be Better Than a Slow Cooker

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I'm still slightly stunned by the response to a recent column in which I touched briefly on the subject of the Instant Pot.

As gifts go, the Instant Pot is one you will never regret giving. And should you be on the receiving end of one, for a brief moment or two, you may be able to identify with Taylor.

Dear Mary: I recently received an ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Time to Bag a Bargain

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Extreme bargain hunters have something in common: timing. They've got it down to a science, and I'm talking about specific days, or even the exact time of day, to get great bargains.

AIR TRAVEL. The magic hour to shop for cheap airfare is 3 p.m. EST on a Tuesday. Historically, major airlines announce sales on Monday night. This triggers other ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 4 Ways to Neutralize the Glamour of Easy Credit With Kids

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There is no reasonable way to shield your children from the glitz and glamour of credit. It's everywhere with all its seduction and allure. So if you cannot shield, neutralize!

Years ago, I watched an effective television documentary in which juvenile delinquents went into prisons, drug-treatment centers and the like to observe the dark side of...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: It's Only a Mistake If You Can't Fix it

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My fifth-grade teacher, Mr. Migaki, ingrained a life principle in my mind that remains to this day. He said something is only a mistake if you can't fix it. Sometimes we got do-overs. He would let us retake our tests to learn from and fix our mistakes. He'd grade our papers with a red pen, and if the do-over fixed the original mistake (he never,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: My Shopping Addiction Rehab Program

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, the feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can't fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. The shopper's high is no joke. It's real; it's palpable; and it's addictive.

Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 3 Simple Ways to Beat Retailers at Their Own Games

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Retailers work hard to get our money. They offer special promotions and put other tactics into play, even hiring human behavior specialists to figure out our shopping habits and how to get us to spend more. By having a few tricks of your own, you can be a smart consumer who foils those plans and saves big.

GRAB THE LOSS LEADERS, AND THEN LEAVE....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Your Best Money Year Ever

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For years and years, I lived under a dark cloud of worry that I would end up financially destitute, a bag lady.

A study conducted by Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America reveals that I'm not the only one. In fact, most of us have felt that way, not because we're broke but because we don't have confidence that we know how to hang on ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: To Shred, or Not to Shred?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Can someone legally dig through your trash looking for credit card receipts, account numbers or even your Social Security number? In the decision of California v. Greenwood, the U.S. Supreme Court stated that the "expectation of privacy in trash left for collection in an area accessible to the public" is unreasonable.

In other words, when you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Places to Look for Free Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I read about a guy who has a hobby of looking for money in gutters, parking lots and other public places and keeps a running tab. He routinely finds over $100 in a year. Not bad! Just imagine if he knew about other places that harbor free money for the taking.

VENDING MACHINES. Start paying attention to vending machine coin-return ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get the Maximum Burning Hours from Candles, Plus Other Great Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Am I the only one who didn't know that there's a definite protocol for burning jar candles and pillar candles? I've made an ugly mess of so many candles in my life, only to toss them out long before their time. But no more. I've learned the secret to keeping large candles looking good and functional right down to the last bit.

HOUR-PER-INCH ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Reasons to Give Kids an Allowance

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

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 weekly allowance and a corporate executive with a $5,000 weekly salary.

For many years of my life, I didn't know this truth. On the ...Read more

 

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