Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Bed Sheets

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For some time, I've been toying with whether or not to write this column. You can see I've made my decision. Here's a little backstory to explain my conflict:

When it comes to bedding, I am particular about the way the sheets feel. They have to be smooth and wrinkle-free. They can't be slick, slippery, crunchy or noisy. The weave has to be ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Put Yourself on An Allowance

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It used to be that when I felt broke, I chased away the horrible feeling by leaning on my bevy of credit cards. As long as I could spend money, it felt like I had money. And the more I used my credit cards to prove to myself that I wasn't really broke, the more debt I accumulated. Finally, I couldn't fake it any longer.

It took me 13 years to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Don't Let the Bedbugs Bite!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was a silly bedtime rhyme we said when we were kids -- a line that meant nothing to me other than it was funny: "Good night. Sleep tight. Don't let the bedbugs bite!"

It would be many years before I came to understand that there are bedbugs and they are no laughing matter. Bedbugs are parasites of the cimicidae family that feed exclusively ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Chromebooks, Oven Grates, Best Inexpensive Curling Iron, Fluffy Soft Towels

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I don't know where I first heard it, but I sure do believe it: "Teaching teaches the teacher!" I love your questions because they keep me on my toes and always learning.

Would I be able to use QuickBooks on the Asus Chromebook laptop computer you recommend as your best inexpensive pick?

Answer: If you use QuickBooks Online, you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Appliance Maintenance You Can Do Yourself

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It was Christmas Eve. Company would be arriving in a matter of hours. I opened the refrigerator only to discover everything inside had reached a balmy 70 degrees F. This could not have happened at a worse time.

Away to my computer I flew like a flash -- straight to the RepairClinic website, where I entered the make and model of our refrigerator...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Irregular Income, Erasing Credit Card Debt and a Fiance Who Digs Into Overdraft

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Every week, I get at least a couple of letters from readers whose situations prompt them to start out saying something like "I'm so embarrassed to ask, but ..." Then they pour their hearts out, often lamenting what they believe to be their own stupidity and ignorance. Nothing could be further from the truth!

The only stupid questions are those ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Very Useful Websites to Simplify Your Life

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

SEASONAL PRODUCE GUIDE. One of the best tips I know for cutting the cost of healthy, fresh food is to only buy a fruit or vegetable during its peak season. Items at their peak are far more plentiful, which typically causes the prices to drop. But how can you know for certain if, say, cherries, are at their peak?

The Sustainable Table food ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Clever Ways to Make Sure Nothing Goes to Waste

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sometimes I wonder how "Everyday Cheapskate" readers discover their handy ideas. I mean, who would have thought something that cleans brake parts would also remove stains from clothes? Go figure!

NOTHING GOES TO WASTE. Our town has two thrift shops that accept worn-out clothes. They remove the buttons and sell them. Then they bag up the clothes...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Ants

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If the heat of late summer is bringing ants into your home and the surrounding area, don't panic. You may not need toxic pest controls to send those suckers back to where they came from!

Here are 10 ways to get rid of ants using things you already have around the house.

SOAP AND WATER. If you have ants or other bugs around the house, pour a 50...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Kitchen Towels, Home Chef, Chromebook, Floor Cleaner

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It doesn't happen often, but now and then I'll get a message from someone who must be having a particularly bad day, like the fellow who wrote this past week accusing me of making up letters, messages and questions on the days I invite you to ask me anything. Oh, my. If only I could show him my inbox!

Dear Mary: Why doesn't anyone make a dish ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Take My Mobile Phone, Please!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I inherited a new-to-me iPhone 6. It's lovely. I'm grateful, but I didn't really need a new phone. My venerable iPhone 5c suited me just fine.

My unlocked 32-gigabyte bright green 5c is in excellent condition, with no damage, scratches or problems. I'm on a mission to discover my options for what to do with it.

Trade It In

Both ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Garbage Disposer Splash Guard, Oyster Sauce, Replacement Toner, New Refrigerator

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I wish you could see the giant stack of mail I have from readers who have taken me up on my offer to answer anything! Honestly, I couldn't be any happier about that. Enjoy this batch of answered questions, and then keep 'em coming!

Dear Mary: How do you remove the splash guard on your mechanical garbage disposer, where odors hide, for regular ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Difference Between a Life of Joy and One of Misery

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The longer I live the more convinced I become that it's not the amount of money a person has but what he or she does with it that makes the difference between a life of joy and one of misery.

Years ago, a friend of mine won the New York Lottery, with guaranteed annual checks of $200,000 for 10 years. $2 million seemed too good to be true. Brett...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Keep that Garden Growing in the Fridge Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you suffer the heartbreak of flabby celery, asparagus and herbs despite your best efforts to keep them fresh and lovely -- at least for as long as it takes to use them up -- one simple change in the way you store them could make all the difference. You'll read that and so much more in today's post, all courtesy of your fellow EC readers!

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Rust Stains, Computer Printers and Dark-Spot Remover

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got a question? Lots of readers do, and chances are pretty good theirs will be yours.

Dear Mary: The rust in our city water leaves an unsightly brown buildup around the rim of my vitreous china sink. I have tried homemade remedies and store-bought products, and nothing has worked to completely get rid of the unsightly stains. Could you ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean a Bathtub Anti-Slip Bottom

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you have a bathtub with a slip-resistant bottom that still looks dingy, grungy and downright grimy no matter what you use to clean it, I have really good news and at least one surefire solution that will even bring an older tub bottom back to being clean and like new!

Since the Americans with Disabilities Act became law in 1990, all bathroom...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Why 15 Cents Matters

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I used to think that small amounts of money didn't matter. What difference could $5 here or $10 there make when we were more than $100,000 in debt (not counting the house and cars)? So what if I increased our debt by such a small amount? It wouldn't really matter because we already owed so much. I used the same argument for only paying the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything About Oven Doors, Window Air Conditioners, Hardwood Floor Cleaner

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I've been accused of thinking I have an answer for everything (you know who you are, my dear husband), and that kinda makes me laugh because I have to admit that maybe I do think that. I do love to reach into my inbox to find so many letters from my readers.

Truth be told, when you send questions to which I do not have reliable answers, I set ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Keep Your Cool in the Heat of Summer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's summer, and it's a scorcher in my time zone -- 103 degrees F. But the heat where I live, in northern Colorado, is dry -- only 10 percent humidity. I know, you're laughing -- as if 103 degrees and dry were any more tolerable than a more humid 103. Actually, it is, or so the weather experts tell us.

As the summer heat continues to bear down ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Stop Whining!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As the mother of two young world-class whiners, the behavior modification techniques described in the booklet "Stop Whining!" appeared too simple to be taken seriously. In desperation, however, I decided to give the anti-whining program my best shot.

Day One: Whenever one of the boys whined, I did exactly as prescribed. I got down to his level,...Read more

Social Connections


Wee Pals Signe Wilkinson Gary Markstein Chris Britt Sarah's Scribbles Rhymes with Orange