Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: A New Kitchen Is Her Reward for Getting out of Debt

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Imagine for a moment that you were not in debt and didn't have to send those big payments to credit card companies every month. What would you do with that money instead?

One reader I heard from recently faced that exact and, may I say, awesome, situation. Her reward for getting out of debt was the freedom to start paying herself every month ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Frugal Ways to Use This for That

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I love to discover a second use for something most of us have around the house or can easily find. Today's first tip may give you a big surprise, and for sure a good laugh. By the way -- this really works!

POTTY LINER. Line the bottom of baskets and pots with a disposable diaper (yes, clean and unused!) before you put in the potting soil and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Keep Kitties Out of the Sandbox

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Pop quiz: What looks like water, is certainly inexpensive, has a pungent odor but is not toxic (in fact, you can drink it if you like), is biodegradable, serves as a useful disinfectant and will repel kitties from your kids' sandbox? Give up? Read on to learn the answer in today's first great reader tip.

SCAT, CAT! Keep cats out of your kids' ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Readers Share More Clever Ways to Stretch a Buck

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Over the years, I've learned from my clever, awesome readers that there are always more ways to stretch a buck. Today's batch of great reader tips proves positive.

With that, I have only one request: Please keep your great tips, tricks and money-saving ideas coming. We love them!

PUDDING STRETCH. My family loves Jello instant pudding, but the ...Read more

Blue Dawn Shampoo? Ha! Don't Make Me Laugh

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: I am a cheapskate. I read your column for hot tips, particularly about Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. Recently, I have begun to use Dawn for a hair shampoo. My wife is aghast. She says my hair is going to turn blue and I will smell. She claims that shampoos have an acid-base balance that ensures shiny, luxurious hair. Do you have an ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Forget the Dry Cleaner: How to Wash a Down Comforter

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you've ever wondered if it's OK to wash your down comforter without taking it to the dry cleaners, the answer is yes.

You can absolutely wash your down comforter without spending upwards of $60 (depending on the size, where you live and how dirty it is) to have it dry-cleaned professionally. All you need is a mild detergent, wool dryer balls...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Pocket Some Serious Energy Savings Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills, almost half of which goes toward heating and cooling.

If your home has a fireplace with a flue that is not adequately weatherstripped, it's like leaving a door or window open. You're losing expensive warm air in the winter ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything - Formica Restore, Silverfish Relief, Party Pressure

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, I reached into the pile known as my mail and pulled out a great question: "How can I restore the finish to an original, classic mid-century modern Formica top table that has some noticeable dull spots?" I have the answer but misplaced the letter. So while I don't know your name, you know who you are, and that's what matters.

Dear ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Financially Confident Starting Now

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

For a good deal of my life, I lived under a dark cloud of fear that I would end up financially destitute -- a bag lady. Studies reveal that I'm not the only one. Most of us have felt that way, not because we're broke but because we lack confidence. That makes us timid, worried and financially insecure.

Look, we don't have to accept financial ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Your Own Mixes and Save a Bundle

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

They're convenient and tasty, but have you ever considered the high cost of your favorite prepared mixes and spices?

In less time than it takes you to run to the market to pick up a box of Rice-A-Roni or Shake'N Bake, you could make them yourself -- and save a bundle in the process.

With each of these "copycat" recipes, I've indicated the ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Cheap Dishwasher Cleaner and Charged-Off Debt

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

From dishwashers to debt, readers of this column ask great questions. And if statistics can be trusted, we know that for each one who asks there are 999 others who have the same question but just haven't gotten around to writing -- yet!

Dear Mary: Do you have any suggestions for cleaning the inside of a dishwasher? I have seen packaged cleaners...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 12 Amazing Ways to Use Cheap White Vinegar Around the House

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It costs hardly anything ($2 a gallon or less on sale); it's available in every grocery store in the universe; and it's so useful around your home you are going to have a hard time believing it. That's the power of vinegar. Yep, plain, cheap, 5 percent acidity white vinegar.

1. Instead of fabric softener or dryer sheets, add 1/2 to 1 cup ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Buying things when they're on sale is a great way to avoid overspending. But unless you are diligent to take the difference between the regular price and the sale price and actually deposit that into a savings account, are you really saving money?

Nope. You're just spending less. And you can spend less right through your entire paycheck.

While...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Make Your Own Tub, Tile and Shower Cleaners

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

The only thing better than making things myself is when what I make turns out to be cheaper, better and faster than something I could buy in the store to accomplish the same goal. That makes me so happy!

Dear Mary: I love, love, love the homemade Tub and Shower Soap Scum Remover. It works better than any product I have ever used. Our tubs and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Random Time- and Money-Saving Household Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

From frozen key locks to hazy headlight covers, today I have a handful of completely unrelated household tips to entertain and make your life a little easier. Enjoy!

ORGANIZE HOUSEHOLD SUPPLIES. Use an over-the-door hanging shoe rack with clear vinyl pockets to organize and store cleaning supplies, with one item per pocket. This gets them up ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Safely Get Rid of Expired Medications and More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Every day, my inbox loads up with messages -- many of which contain questions from you, my dear "Everyday Cheapskate" readers. And if you've sent a message, you are aware by now that while I read my mail and keep it filed, I just do not have enough time in my days to answer every message personally. However, once each week I reach into that file...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Oh, to Be Organized!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I have a theory that most of us would be more than willing to let go of the stuff that's cluttering our homes if we knew these things would serve a worthwhile cause or help someone else.

Here are those worthwhile causes for your seven biggest clutter problems:

1. Vases, baskets, containers and anything else that held flowers you have received....Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Clever Ways Readers Stretch a Buck

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Sometimes the best way to save a buck is to look in the most unlikely places. I'm a huge fan of the fresh produce at my local 99 Cents Only store. And milk, as compared with the price at my supermarket, is a bargain at the Walgreens across the street. But who knew we could decorate our homes using items from places like Dollar General? Our first...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Linty Dryer Balls and Grease Relief

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Does this happen to you: You get so involved in doing something that you completely lose track of time? You're shocked to look up and see it's time to go home when it feels like you just got back from lunch? Or you sit down to start reading a book and suddenly you're on chapter 21?

Happens to me when I open my email inbox. I can blow through ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Thank-You Notes: Never out of Style

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In these high-tech times when text messaging and email are the preferred methods of written communication, it might not have even crossed your mind to ask this important question: Do I have to send a thank-you note when someone gives me a gift?

In a word, yes. It's right; it's proper; and it's good for you. We may be frugal, but we've got class...Read more


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