Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Secondhand Clothes, First-Class Style

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Consignment shopping is an excellent way to purchase clothes for kids and babies. You can often fine brand-new clothes for less than one-third of the retail price. And most cities now have specialty consignment shops for babies, children and teens.

The consignment process is simple. If you are a seller, the store sets its criteria for accepting...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Remarkable Ways to Use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. Do you see a bottle of Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid? Well, say hello to a very versatile and surprisingly multipurpose household product.

Original Blue Dawn, a product of Procter & Gamble, was introduced in 1973. Since then, it has gone through several tweaks, changes and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Can Openers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A can opener. A simple tool that is mandatory for every kitchen. Whether you're a student living in a dorm, a world-class chef in a five-star restaurant or somewhere in between -- you need an easy, reliable way to open a can. That's about as basic as life gets. Why is it that something as simple as opening a can of food has become such a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Can't Get Your Hands on Hand Sanitizer? Make Your Own

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My mailbox has filled up the past couple of days with letters from readers who find themselves on the verge of Purell panic!

Purell is flying off the shelves as people are hoarding gel-based hand sanitizers in response to the new coronavirus. My sources report that hand sanitizer has mostly disappeared from store shelves in the U.S. as ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Meatballs Make Meals Manageable

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dinnertime can be hard with hectic schedules, but planning ahead and having meals ready in your freezer is a lifesaver. Registered dietitian Brenda Ponichtera offers a great idea: delicious baked meatballs, frozen and ready for multiple recipes.


This recipe produces healthy, tasty and quick meatballs to serve now or freeze for ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The High Cost of Convenience

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I work out at a gym regularly, and I like to drink a protein shake or smoothie afterward to optimize the benefits of my workout. Shakes and smoothies at the gym can run $4-$6 and more, but they sure are convenient. Do you have any suggestions for making my own when I get home without a lot of muss and fuss? I have a feeling I could ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: When Batteries Are Just Faking It

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Just when I think I've heard every possible way to save time and money every day, I open my mail to find new and clever ideas I'd never thought of. No doubt about it, I have the smartest readers in the world (good-looking, too!).


I learned this tip by accident, and it has saved me a bundle. If your kids are constantly in and out of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Sneaky Ways to Save Big

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I blame it on my friend Kathleen that I caught the sneaky savings bug. One day, years ago, she told me her secret. Whenever she wrote a check, she'd enter an incorrect amount in the register by rounding up to the next dollar -- sometimes five. Once a year, she'd reconcile her account and discover, to her utter joy, enough "found" money in the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Family Favorite Orange Chicken Recipe Three Ways

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For years, I've been searching for the perfect recipe for one of my family's favorite dishes: orange chicken. And then, wouldn't you know it, within a very short period of time, I found not one but three recipes that are quite different from one another, but all of them are simply to die for.

Two of these recipes have an Asian flair; the first ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Great Reader Tips from Luxury Taxes to Quick Scissor-Sharpening

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I've noticed something. People who live comfortably do not do so because they are particularly wealthy. It's because they are disciplined. They possess financial maturity. They live according to principles and rules they impose upon themselves. I have a feeling that Jane, today's first tipster, is one of those people -- quietly ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Many Benefits of Online Grocery Shopping

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

There are few things more annoying than stopping at the supermarket to pick up a few things and hauling bags of groceries into the house only to discover you have nothing for dinner. Or putting everything away only to realize you totally forgot the one thing that prompted you to stop at the store in the first place.

Online grocery shopping isn'...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: It's Never Too Late To Do the Right Thing

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My dear readers: As I was cleaning out some old, irrelevant files, I came across something I wrote back in 2007. I came close to hitting "delete," when I realized some topics are timeless. This column really hit home with me, and I thought you might enjoy this blast from the past as well.

Did you read the news about Robert Nuranen and the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Track Investments, Rescue Shoes, Hack a Care Label and Know Your Eggs

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: Last summer, I got a $3,000 bonus that my brother helped me invest in a couple of mutual finds. When my quarterly statements come in the mail, I'm totally confused by the pie charts and graphs and tend to toss them out. My brother says it's really important to track my investments. Is there an easier way to do this? -- Erin

Dear Erin...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Pie for Dinner?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you shy away from making homemade pies because of the crust (it can be tricky, and there's all that rolling), you are in for a treat. Meet the "impossible pie."

Impossible pies are quick, easy and very family-friendly. But what is it that makes them seemingly impossible? The crust starts out as almost liquid; you pour it over the top of the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Tear Down Attitudes of Entitlement

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Attention readers: The following column is an excerpt from Mary Hunt's book "Raising Financially Confident Kids."

It is strangely ironic that the freedoms and affluence we enjoy in our society are the very things that stand to ruin our children if not addressed early and effectively.

The consumer credit industry is doing all it can to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: High Vet Bills for Beloved Pets and Prepping for Mortgage Application

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: Our beloved dog Roscoe is getting older, and we're concerned about safeguarding his health. He had a procedure last month that cost us $2,500. While the vet assures us he's fine now, we want to make sure we don't get hit with another huge bill. Of course, we'll do everything we can to keep Roscoe healthy, but we can't really afford ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Reader Mail on Cleaning Mushrooms, Whiteboards and Pfaltzgraff Dishes

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: In a recent column, you suggested to not wash mushrooms but to simply brush them well with a vegetable brush or clean towel. While I agree with you 99% of the time, on this one I had to write. Did you know that mushrooms are usually grown in manure? You must wash them. I use a commercial veggie wash and brush, too. -- Patricia

Dear ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Thank-You Notes Never Out of Style

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today's column was prompted by a young man, age 10, who asked me recently, "Do I have to send a thank-you note when someone gives me a gift?"

In these high-tech times, when text messaging and email are the preferred methods of written communication, my answer, in a word, was yes. It's right; it's proper; it's good for you. We may be frugal, but...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Reader Mail on Roller-Coaster Income and Debit Cards for Kids

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I heard from one of my dear readers, Jenn. The topic of her message? Her family's roller-coaster income. No, they don't work at an amusement park. But given their financial situation, it feels like they're on some kind of scary, rickety, spine-chilling carnival ride.

Dear Mary: My husband has two jobs. He is an artist and a salesman. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Things to Stock Up on in March

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Even though it still feels like winter, home improvement centers are hauling out air conditioners this month and putting them on sale. And March is National Frozen Food Month, so plan to fill your freezer. But that's not all. Check out all these things you'd be smart to stock up on this month.


The NCAA calls it their ...Read more


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