Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Dinnerware, Drinkware and Stainless Flatware

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, when one of my staff members turned 30, I quipped that I have dishes older than he. It's true.

Sometime during the late '80s, my husband took on the huge task of painting the dark-walnut kitchen cabinets white, inside and out. Of course, that meant new hardware and lighting, too. What a transformation. To celebrate, I went out and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Store Raw, Roasted and Ground Coffee to Keep It Fresh

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I reached the level of coffee snob some years ago. I don't think I'm quite to the level of coffee geek, but I continue to work on it.

As you may recall from previous columns, I've been a home roaster for many years now. While my family and I seriously enjoy a good cup of coffee, the real reason I looked into this hobby in the first place was ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Mailable Cookies to Make Someone's Day

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether it's a care package for a college student, a goody box for someone in the military or a way to say happy birthday to a friend or relative, there's nothing like opening a box of fresh, homemade cookies. And if those cookies just happen to be that recipient's favorite cookies of all time, even better!

Here are tips to make sure your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Got 5 Minutes? Make Beautiful, Fresh, Homemade Bread

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As the stories continue to unfold about how people survived Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and as people continue to deal with the ravages of hurricane season, I can't be the only one questioning my own disaster preparedness.

One thing is certain: Here at the Hunt house, we'd have bread.

For years, I'd had somewhat of a love-hate ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Habits of the Rich

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A habit is defined as a behavior repeated so often it becomes almost automatic. I am in awe of the power of a habit. It's a force to change your life, and it is available to anyone, no matter their situation or circumstances.

For five years, author Tom Corley observed the daily habits of the rich and the poor, and documented his findings in his...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Heated Mattress Pad

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Until a couple of years ago, I didn't know heated mattress pads even existed. Makes sense, I suppose, considering I'd lived in Southern California for most of my life, where it is mostly warm all year round. Once I relocated to Colorado a couple of years ago, where the seasons are more pronounced, I had a lot to learn about winter, including how...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Credit Cards in the Hands of Financially Immature Students

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Our kids are fortunate to be growing up in the most progressive and exciting time in history. Sadly, the very culture that offers them the world is also perpetrating this lie: You are entitled to have everything you want, even if you don't have the money to pay for it. It's not a problem. You deserve it. Buy it now, and you can pay for it later!...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Couple's Guide to Common Money Myths

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The wedding was complicated and expensive. But it's over, and now it's time to settle in and enjoy your new life together.

Lucky for you, I'm here to warn you about some common money myths that newlyweds have been known to bring with them into their marriage.

Myth: Double the income, half the expenses.

This is what I call newlywed fuzzy math:...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Kitchen Appliances, Counters and Cleaners

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: We are remodeling our kitchen, which means all new appliances. Do you have a suggestion for the brand we should consider? And should we get matching appliances or do more of a mix-and-match to get the best prices available? Also, which type of countertop do you feel is better? We have nine grandkids, so we want everything to be very ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Your Data has been Stolen From Equifax. Here's What You Need to Do Today

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, it has been reported that hackers have stolen personal identifying and sensitive information from 143 million American consumers, including Social Security numbers and driver's license numbers, from Equifax, one of the three big consumer credit reporting agencies.

How this could happen is beyond my comprehension. Still, we must assume...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How Easy It Is to Become Blinded by Easy Credit

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It makes me laugh now, but years ago, when I watched a particular episode of the television show "Little House on the Prairie," I was so judgmental. Whaaaat?! Are you kidding me? Pleeeeease, not Pa!

Seems the owners of Oleson's Mercantile had some newfangled system where they would trust Pa to take stuff without paying, put it on his bill and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Please Don't Touch the Retirement Accounts

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I know it's hard. I know you're desperate. You're stressed and losing sleep. Things are tough. You have to do something, and soon. But whatever you do, don't touch your retirement account. Don't borrow against it. Don't withdraw from it. Leave it alone.

What's so bad about liquidating a retirement account?

Momentum. Even if your retirement ...Read more

How I Spent 40 Bucks to Avoid Surgery

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was a total self-inflicted injury. I did a really stupid thing.

Early one Saturday morning, I heard the doorbell chime, which reminded me I'd set up an appointment with a landscape guy. Not wanting a second ring to wake my husband, I flew like a flash from one end of the house to the other in socks ... and down the wooden stairs.

When I hit...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The High Cost of Being Hopeless With Math

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

"I don't do math. Numbers give me a rash." That's a line I've used a lot, mostly because it's true but also because it gets me a laugh.

Truth be told, most of us stink when it comes to doing math on the fly. That's a problem because being hopeless with math makes us putty in the hands of retailers.

Why is it socially acceptable to say that we'...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive: Electric Toothbrush, Folding Knife, Smart Speaker and Extreme Hand Lotion

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

One of the best things I've done in a long time is to invite my readers to send in their requests for my Best Inexpensive picks. I'm not sure why I love it so much, but it may have something to do with satisfying my inner shopper without actually shopping.

At any rate, today I'm excited to reveal my Best Inexpensive pick for four completely ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Simple Tool Keeps Garbage Disposer Clean -- Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: Reading a recent column of yours about cleaning a garbage disposer prompted me to want to tell you about a brush that is made just for this purpose. It's just like the Mr. Scrappy disposer brush, and I've had it for at least 10 years. This brush is designed to clean all the way into the disposer and also under the splash guard. I put ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Fruit Flies, Rusty Garden Tools, Eufy HomeVac HEPA-Style Filters

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Regardless of what the calendar reads, I know without a doubt when fall has arrived where I live in northern Colorado. It's not evident necessarily by a change of temperature or even trees beginning to turn color, because both are still very summerlike. Around here, it's tiny, annoying, persistent fruit flies that signal that autumn cannot be ...Read more

Lessons From a 2-Year-Old

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I gave my son and daughter-in-law lots of gifts when their son, Elijah, was born. But none has come back to bless me more than the gift of Friday. Since he was 6 weeks old, I've closed the door to work on Fridays to care for and learn from my grandson, Eli.

In these two years, Eli and I have explored our neighborhood looking for cats, dogs, ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive: Towels, Mattress Pad, Down Comforter

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I have spent way too much in an attempt to furnish bedrooms and bathrooms with high-quality towels and bedding. What I have discovered through a lot of trial and error is that a high price does not always guarantee great results.

Today I want to tell you about my picks for the best inexpensive bath towels, mattress pad and down ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Saving by Choice, Not by Chance

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A reader question I answered recently brought a small avalanche of mail, mostly from readers who were aghast that I would suggest they save such significant portions of their paychecks for retirement. It was money they just didn't think they could afford to save. I can imagine that for people who save nothing, my suggesting they should be saving...Read more


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