Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean and Care for Hardwood and Laminate Floors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Taking care of hardwood or laminate floors can be challenging given the everyday conditions of a family and pets.

Generally, there are two types of residential wood flooring: real wood (solid or engineered) and laminate that is man-made to look like wood.

Don't know what you have exactly? No worries. When it comes to cleaning wood floors (...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: What to Do With Leftover Green Salad (Don't Throw it Out!)

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If throwing out perfectly delicious leftover green salad were a crime, I'd be serving a life sentence.

It kills me to do it, but until fairly recently, I had no idea there was a second life for a leftover green salad, dressed or not. Once tossed, passed and partially consumed, that's it, right? Wrong.


Mix the leftover salad in ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Stop Worrying That Your Housing Bubble Is About to Burst

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You bought the biggest home they said you could qualify for, taking advantage of low rates and creative financing. Who knew you could afford such a great house?

But now, several years later, your low interest rate has disappeared, and the adjustable-rate mortgage that seemed like a good idea keeps pushing your payments higher. Or perhaps you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Costly Mistakes You Make with Your Choice of Shampoo

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Come on ... 'fess up. You feel guilty using 99-cent shampoo because it's really bad for your hair. And anybody knows the $24 salon variety is so much better, especially for chemically treated hair, right? Wrong!

I've got the facts to prove it and the truth to counteract lots of myths out there -- plus some great tips to get you on the right ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Shopping With Cash Is Still the Best Way to Save Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When did you last hold a $50 bill in your hand? They look strange -- faintly colored, graphically random.

You should pick one up sometime to reacquaint yourself with something called U.S. currency. Look closely. It still reads, "This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private."

Here's my question: Does pumping my own gasoline at ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: In a Pinch, You Can Use This for That

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever discovered you're all out of a certain ingredient when you're in the middle of preparing a recipe? I hate when that happens. And I don't want to run to the store.

For me, an unscheduled trip like that could easily cost $40, maybe more. That's just how impulsive I can be. I've learned that when I'm in a pinch, I need a pinch hitter...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Kitchen Tools That Are a Complete Waste of Time and Money

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 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 sounds a bit like Brown spent time with my ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Awesome Ways to Use Up Stale Bread with Delicious Results

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Who doesn't wince at the thought of throwing out food that's past its prime? Take bread, for instance. It's no longer fresh. It's hard and dried out. Tossing it in the garbage does seem like the only thing to do.

But wait! Provided it hasn't begun to grow mold, you really can turn leftover bread, rolls or baguettes into something deliciously ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Ideas for a Frugal (Not Cheap!) Wedding

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I get a lot of mail on the subject of weddings. I get stories of joy, tales of woe, great ideas and even a blooper from time to time.

In 27 years, I cannot recall a single time I've heard from a bride or groom saying they wished they'd spent more money on their wedding.

The best wedding mail comes from frugal brides and grooms who are anxious ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Weird Ways to Earn Money on the Side

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, while brainstorming with a reader who needed to supplement her full-time job, I made a quick list of the ways I've done that in my life. I wanted to help her discover what she does well that others might pay her to do.


I worked as an independent process server for a company that attorneys hire to have subpoenas ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: This Is How to Make Cut Flowers Last Twice as Long

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether they come from your garden, from the market or as a gift, you can persuade cut flowers to remain beautiful for at least a week -- maybe two, or even longer -- when you are careful to follow a few fabulous flower secrets.

The first thing is to know the enemy. Actually, there are two: bacteria and drought. Defeat both and your flowers ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Donate to Do Good and Declutter

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever wondered if the stuff in your house secretly reproduces itself in the dark of night? I'm nearly convinced that's the case in my home. I do know the problem.

We get new stuff but don't remove an equal amount of old stuff to make room for it. And I'm not talking about useless trash.

I'm the first to admit it's not easy to throw ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Retail Panic for Some Means Job Security to Others

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I'm not proud of myself for loading up a shopping cart and then, in some kind of retail panic attack, leaving it in the aisle and fleeing the store. Well, maybe I am a little.

It was about the most impulsive (repulsive, perhaps) thing I've done in some time. And it's all because, despite how far I've come, I'm still me. And I just happened to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 10 Ways to Save Money Eating Out at Restaurants

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

"The average American household spends most of its money -- 62% of an average $56,000 in annual expenditures -- on just three things: housing, transportation, and food," says Business Insider. If you want to cut costs and save money, food is the place to start.

Reducing restaurant visits and increasing your home-cooked meals is a surefire way ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 13 Ways to Use Vinegar that Will Surprise You!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's cheap. It's available in every supermarket and home center in the universe. And it's so useful around your home you may have a difficult time believing it. That's the power of white vinegar -- the same vinegar you cook with and pour on your salad!


Add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a quart of very warm water to make a good window ...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-a-week allowance or a corporate executive with a $5,000-a-week salary.

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

Everyday Cheapskate: Grow Your Own Food -- 1 Square Foot at a Time

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For years, I tried to grow a decent vegetable garden. It was the high cost of fresh basil -- $3.50 for a few measly, wilted fresh basil leaves, ditto for a pound of somewhat reddish tomatoes and mostly pink strawberries, that prompted me to try.

I started with tomatoes, basil and peppers -- a salsa garden! In no time, I added zucchini and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Sure You're Paying the Least Amount Possible for Gasoline

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I have heard arguments for why anything less than $3 per gallon for gasoline is a downright bargain.

Here's one: Three bucks is nothing compared with the cost of petrol in the UK or Europe. And another: Allowing for inflation, we're paying less for gas now than we did 25 years ago. To all of that, I say phooey. To me, gasoline is darned ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Cheapskate Gardener

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The only difference between gardeners and cheapskate gardeners is the amount of money they spend to achieve the same results. The truth is, like no other hobby, gardening is actually more productive when the cheapest -- even free! -- supplies are used.


Newspaper. It's cheap, and it works beautifully. Cover the area with 10 layers...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Build a Great Credit Score

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you are a legal adult U.S. resident, somewhere there is a three-digit number between 300 and 850 with your name on it. Your credit score measures your creditworthiness, which is the likelihood that you will pay your bills.

Establishing good credit has never been as important to your life as it is today.

You need a good score to get decent ...Read more


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