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Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Laptop Computers for 2020

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you or someone you love will be heading to college soon, a laptop will be absolutely essential. Nowadays, a student's computer is just as important as his or her student ID. But where to start?

College is expensive enough, so it's important to shop smart. But not to worry. I have done the hard part by figuring out our picks for Best ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Outfitting Your Kids for School -- and Fundraisers, Too

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have I been sleeping in a cave for 100 years? Sure feels like it.

I just read that Americans' back-to-school sales could hit a record $100 billion this year to outfit youngsters for a new school year, even if kids stay home. And by outfitted, I mean with all the proper electronic gear, shoes with all the bells and whistles (like a pair of those...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Going on Vacation? Make Your Own Plant Nanny -- Plus More Great Reader Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Every day, I get loads of mail, including wonderful notes, letters and email messages from my awesome readers.

Tucked into many of those messages are tips, hints, tricks and great ideas for the ways you save time and money every day. I'm pretty sure I have the best job on earth!


When I go on vacation, I fill bottles with water and...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Pet Hair, Almond Milk Expiration and Window Heat

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

My mailbox is full of great questions from readers -- many of whom are battling similar issues. Read on for help with shedding pets, milk carton dates and ways to battle summer heat.

Q: How can I remove stubborn pet hair from the carpet in my car? Not one of my three vacuums can make a dent in the amount of hair that accumulates on the floor of...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Is Homemade Laundry Detergent Safe to Use in Today's Washing Machines?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's been many years now since I switched from commercial laundry detergent to making my own powdered and liquid homemade laundry detergent. The ingredients are simple, the process quick and easy. But the real reason I made the switch? Money.

It costs between 30 cents and 50 cents a wash using store-bought, name-brand laundry detergent -- but ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Do-it-Yourself Cleaners for Eyeglasses, Windshields, Floors and Carpets

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I pretty much hate to buy things I know I can make for less money -- without even taking into account the time required to find them in a store. Take cleaning products, for example. Knowing I can make homemade cleaners for pennies that cost dollars in a store just makes me happy. It's a no-brainer.

Here are four of my favorite DIY recipes to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get the Kids' Rooms Organized

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

With schools in the U.S. closing several months before the school year ended -- and with it now being summer -- it does seem like the kids have been home, like, forever. And their rooms are starting to look like it!

Don't make their bedrooms a battleground. Instead, grab this opportunity to help your kids organize their rooms and their stuff.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Rid of Rabbits Ruining Your Lawn and Garden

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As adorable as these creatures are, rabbits can wreak havoc on a lawn and garden. Garden centers, home improvement stores and online resources offer commercial products to help gardeners protect their plants from rabbits.

But here's the problem: Commercial repellents are expensive; they require repeated applications; and some of them may ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Great Reader Tips: From Orajel to Stain Removers to VIP Treatment at the Store

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /


Our teenage daughter badly stubbed her toe, and we needed to clip the nail. Unfortunately, she wouldn't let us near it because of the pain. My wife found a tube of Orajel and covered the area using a cotton swab. It was like magic. It numbed the area well enough that I was able to take care of things. I would never ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Frozen Summer Treats Are Cool

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In these sizzling days of summer, it's tempting to load up the freezer with pricey frozen treats. Or to duck into a coffee shop or juice bar to grab one of those decadent blended coffee chillers or a fruit smoothie. But the big price tags can make even the creamiest concoction or slushiest treat hard to swallow.

Giving up favorite cold treats ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How I Curb the Urge to Quit

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I wouldn't tell just anyone what I'm about to tell you -- and I'm only telling you because we're like family. At least several times a week, I want to quit. Seriously. The thought crosses my mind, and it's not when things are going great. It's when I face a challenge: a tough writing assignment, a book deadline, an early morning interview or a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Your Very Own Hedge Fund

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Several years ago, when gas prices were at their highest in Los Angeles, I paid $4.26 a gallon -- $102 to fill my Chevy Silverado.

As I write, at $1.97 a gallon, the cost for a full tank of regular-grade gasoline for my truck has plummeted by half to $48.

Regardless of where you live, it's likely that you're experiencing and enjoying the same ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Food Shopping: The Jarring Truth

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Why is it that the odds of going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming out with ONLY a loaf of bread are about 3 billion to one?

Food prices in the U.S. have climbed so dramatically in recent months that a stroll through the aisles of a typical supermarket is enough to kill your appetite.

It's no secret that supermarkets and grocery ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Cucumbers Galore? Enjoy Grandmother's Cucumber Salad Recipe

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today, we celebrate cucumbers, which will soon be in the peak of their season and dirt-cheap! When prepared well, cucumbers are not only delicious but also packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Besides these two health benefits, they also promote hydration, may lower blood sugar, are low in calories and are easy to add to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Removing Pine Sap and Other Useful Tips

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether it's removing pine sap from a new pair of summer shorts or keeping your drinks super cold, my readers are always anxious to share their best tips, tricks and ideas for ways to save time and money!


A cheap and safe way to remove pine tree sap from your car without damaging the finish is to rub it with a soft cloth ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Your Own Swiffer WetJet Refills

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you own a Swiffer WetJet Spray Mop, chances are you absolutely love it. But let me guess: You're not wild about how expensive it is to buy the refills -- the cleaning solution and disposable cleaning pads. Read on for everything you need to know about Swiffer WetJet refills!

Even more annoying, to the WetJet manufacturer, "refill" means ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Robot Vacuum, Ant Killer and Malfunctioning Oven

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It's time, once again, to reach into my virtual mailbag to read what a handful of my Dear Readers have written.

Dear Mary: I need a new robot vacuum. Which one do you recommend? -- Hilda

Dear Hilda: My pick for Best Inexpensive robot vacuum goes to the Eufy Anker BoostIQ RoboVac 11S. It is super thin, which means it is not so prone to getting ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Why 15 Cents Matter

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 not paying anything ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Roast a Cheap Cut of Beef

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

No matter how inexpensive a chuck or round roast may be, if it turns out so tough and flavorless it's passed to the dog, that purchase was no bargain.

And now, thanks to very extensive research and experimentation by Christopher Kimball as reported in Cooks Illustrated magazine, we can confidently purchase those cheaper cuts and expect perfect ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Rotisserie Chicken to the Rescue

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If you're fresh out of ideas (let alone desire) to make one more home-cooked meal, but even the thought of another take-out or curbside pickup leaves you cold during these days of uncertainty and angst, I invite you to embrace these two words: rotisserie chicken.

Not exactly take-out, not completely home-cooked, think of a well-seasoned, ...Read more



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