Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: The Pain and Pleasure Principle

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I don't care much for pain. In fact, I'll do almost anything to avoid it. I also know that pain can be a good thing.

The human nervous system triggers a sensation of pain to stop us from doing something that might cause a severe injury and to let us know that something may be wrong.

While we mostly think of pain in terms of physical wellbeing,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Clever Ways to Reuse Coffee Grounds

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you drink morning coffee, then it's likely you throw away used coffee grounds every day. If you don't, chances are there's a coffee shop nearby where you can get some; just stop by and see if they give them away. Here are some ideas for reusing them.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency, coffee grounds ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 4 Reasons to Start Planning Your DIY Christmas Now

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Brisk mornings, fall colors, pumpkin pie and apple cider. Autumn is just the best time of year, right? And our minds are leaning toward Halloween and Thanksgiving. Consider this a strong nudge to put a DIY Christmas on your list. Start planning now and you'll benefit in so many ways come December.

Before I find myself dealing with angry ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: New Restaurant Fees Showing up on the Bill

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Times are tough. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Restaurants continue to face budget-busting challenges from the pandemic and labor crisis. But that's not all. As I write this sentence, food prices have increased by 18%, a number that may be even higher as you read.

Here's the weird thing. You may look at the menu for your favorite restaurant ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make It Yourself: Copper Cleaner, Aluminum Cleaner and Dishwasher Detergent

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There are so many good reasons to make your own household cleaners. It's cheaper, healthier and greener, too. The homemade household cleaners I share with you from time to time do not contain chemicals. That means you can always count on them to be nontoxic.

Dear Cheapskate: The copper post tops on my deck are becoming tarnished. Do you know of...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: For the Love of a Good Iron

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

While it's true that life is uncertain, there's at least one thing of which I am very sure: I will never be held hostage for refusing to iron.

Unlike Billie Jo Tyrrell, whose son Robert held her at gunpoint for six hours because she refused to iron his clothes, I love to iron. I'm not saying that I would be that thrilled to do it for a 29-year ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Be Scared; Be Prepared

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If there is one thing most people take for granted, it is food. U.S. supermarkets are always well stocked, and we don't think much about how all that food gets there. When pushed to consider it, I wager most of us assume there are huge warehouses somewhere filled with enough food to feed the nation for some unknown period of time.

The truth is,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Careful! The Kids Are Watching

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you speak English in your home, your kids are not likely to come out speaking Italian. Kids learn through observation and imitation. And they don't miss a thing. Children are shaped from the very beginning of life by the way their parents live. They are ever-attentive witnesses of grown-up behaviors. They take their cues from what they see ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 3 Easy Steps to Curb the Disease to Please

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I could never be a medical transcriptionist. It's not the typing or the doctors' handwriting that would deter me. My problem would be reading the symptoms and medical conditions. I'd have all of them. To say that I am easily influenced is like saying the Titanic sprung a leak.

Knowing this about myself, I wasn't all that surprised to end up ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Use Your New Instant Pot -- It's Safe and Simple

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

About 25 years ago, there was a pressure cooker renaissance in America. Our grandmothers knew the day would come that we would return to their favorite kitchen tool to make fast braises, stews, soups and casseroles. They just didn't know how we'd get there.

If you, like me, are a Nervous Nellie who grew up hearing stories about a great aunt who...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Easy Hacks to Save Money on Beauty and Grooming

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether you want to look good or just feel better, makeup and skin care traditionally come at a significant cost -- but not if you're a dedicated cheapskate. While medications and beauty products you use must be safe, there's no reason that you have to pay exorbitant prices to accomplish the goal. Here are some functional hacks for saving time ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Negotiate Anything and Win

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

What I know about the art and science of negotiating I learned as a matter of survival.

Driven to save myself and my family from financial ruin, I jumped into the deep end of the real estate industry. I passed the state test to become licensed, but I knew nothing about negotiating. I was driven out of desperation to find a way to bring ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Basics of Home Canning and How to Get Started -- Quick and Easy!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

So, you planted a garden, lucked out when your property included fruit trees, stumbled upon a produce sale you just couldn't pass up, or joined a Community Supported Agriculture group. Good for you! Now what? What will you do with all that bounty?

Your choices are: 1) quickly consume your harvest before it spoils 2) give it away or 3) preserve ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best All-Purpose Cleaners For Every Place in Your Home

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

All-purpose cleaners are designed to clean everything from dust bunnies to toilet rings and grease spills. Having evaluated many commercial products for effectiveness, ease of use, versatility, price and overall value, here are my picks for the seven best all-purpose cleaning products for keeping your house clean.


Don't let ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Fridges Are Forever and Other Household Myths

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In a society of continuous change, those things that remain constant give us the courage to boldly face the uncertainty of each new day. No matter what should befall us, we rest in the assurance that some things never change. The rising of the sun, the coming of spring, the levy of taxes -- and the operation of refrigerators.

Few things in our ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Would You Rather Haul a $750 Sofa to the Dump or Spend $50 to Fix It?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Imagine this scenario: You spend $750 for a new sofa -- not on a whim, but after saving and shopping, comparing and scrutinizing. Finally, the beautiful piece you've waited for arrives. The room looks better than you could have possibly imagined. Even your beloved cat seems to approve. Yes, I said cat.

Before the newness has worn off, the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Trap Wasps and Other Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Are you aware that your health insurance provider may be willing to cover the cost of your gym membership? Or that all you need to take care of those annoying wasps flying around your home may be as close as your food pantry? How about where and how to purchase beautiful, high-quality, name-brand men's belts for a song? Your fellow readers know,...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Paycheck 101 - A College Grad's Guide for How to Manage a Paycheck

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There you are, a college graduate with your newly minted degree in one hand and a new job in the other -- or the confidence that you will have one soon. For years you've waited for a real job with a real paycheck to get a decent car, apartment and respectable wardrobe. After all, these are the things you so richly deserve for having nearly ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Throw That Out!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever walked into the kitchen to get that first cup of coffee only to discover someone left the ice cream on the counter all night? Or the milk? I don't hate spoiled food as much as I did before. I found many clever ways to use items I used to throw out.


It often happens in warm weather, with even a limited milk supply; some ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Real Cost of Dipping Into a Retirement Account

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

More people are taking loans from their retirement accounts (401(k), 403(b), etc.) than ever, simply because they can. Here's the problem: seeing one's retirement account as a savings account, or worse, a personal ATM machine. That's so ridiculous I cannot even tell you. Sure, it's your money, but it's not your money now. It's for later. It is ...Read more



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