Home & Leisure

Everyday Cheapskate: 5 Reasons You'll Quickly Regret Raiding a Retirement Account

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. Just leave it alone.

What's so bad about liquidating a retirement account? Here are five reasons you'll ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Get Rid of Bugs and Crawling Insects Fast and Easy Without Poisons

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got creepy bugs and crawling insects like ants, centipedes, cockroaches, silverfish or bedbugs trying to take over your home or garden? Need to know how to get rid of them? Don't call an exterminator quite yet. I'm confident this is a problem you can fix yourself with diatomaceous earth -- cheaper and faster!


If you want to treat...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 14 Things You Need to Know About How to Use Your Garbage Disposal

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I would like to personally thank the late John W. Hammes, an architect working in Racine, Wisconsin, who in 1927 invented the garbage disposal. What a brilliant idea. Is there anything more convenient in a kitchen than a garbage disposal? For me, it's right up there with my dishwasher.

I've learned the hard way that a garbage disposal is not a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Simple Secrets to Make Jeans Last Longer

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Finally, you found the perfect pair of jeans. They fit great and feel fantastic. Basically, you want them to last forever, but that's not going to happen. In fact, just the opposite is what I'm hearing from my readers: These days, jeans seem to rip and fall apart long before their time. This problem sent me in search of a solution to make jeans ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Cordless Stick Vacuum

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Faithful readers will recall that over the past years, I'd received more requests for the best inexpensive cordless stick vacuum than all other such requests combined . I heard you loud and clear because I'd been hearing the same request from myself.

Twice now I've pointed you to my Best Inexpensive Cordless Stick Vacuum, and twice ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How Materialism Leads to Discontentment

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I should not have even picked it up. I knew better. After all, what was I expecting from a magazine titled SHOP Etc.?

I can say with all honesty that before flipping open the magazine, I needed nothing. Not a thing. I was content and quite busy with my work. If anything was tugging at my attention, it was my garden and all my planting issues --...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Manage Money for College Freshmen and Others

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

All around the country, newly minted high school graduates will soon be heading off to college. They'll be taking a lot of things with them, but statistics tell us that financial literacy is not likely to be one of them. If I could spend a little time with these awesome students, I'd attempt to cram the basics of money management into their ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Should You Repair or Replace Your Broken Appliances?

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You're worried the washing machine may be on its last spin cycle. It makes a horrible screeching sound and needs a lot of coaxing to make it all the way through a full cycle. Should you spend $319 to fix this inefficient appliance or replace it with a $999 new model that will use less electricity and water? Deciding whether to repair or replace ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean Leather Furniture

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When it comes to furnishing your home, it's difficult to find anything more luxurious and elegant than fine leather. With that elegance comes the challenge of how to clean it and maintain it so it gets even better with age.

If your leather furniture is stained or looking a little on the tired side, follow these suggestions to perk it up.

TYPE ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 3 Ways to Stretch a Can of Tuna to Feed 4 Hungry People

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Are the popular reality television shows anything close to what you consider reality? Take the venerable hit show "Survivor," which is getting ready to launch its 39th season, for example. To me, that seems more like fantasy than reality. And, honestly, I can't remember the last time I had to survive on approximately 14 grains of rice per day or...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 9 Ways to Guarantee a Fabulous Family Vacation

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When I was a kid, vacation meant four kids crammed into the back seat of a sedan, poking and elbowing one another while counting the miles between rest stops.

Things have changed dramatically since then. But even with onboard DVD players, electronic devices, spacious minivans, air travel, cruises and theme parks, family vacations can either be ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Ugly Truth About No-Interest, No-Payments Offers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Have you ever wondered how retailers can possibly afford to offer the no-interest, no-payment, no-money down kind of deals you see advertised? That was the subject of a question I received recently.

Dear Mary: There are several appliances, electronics and furniture stores in our area that run television commercials offering nothing down, no ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Store Important Documents and How Long to Keep Them

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If the paper monster has you buried under an avalanche of receipts, bank statements, ATM slips, investment records, paycheck stubs and bills, the good news is you can probably throw most of it away without worry when you have a simple record-keeping routine.

But before you fire up the shredder, you need to know what to keep, and for how long.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 6 Ways to Stop Throwing Rotten Produce in the Garbage

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I'm having a difficult time wrapping my head around this documented fact: In 2016, it was reported that half of all produce grown in the U.S. is thrown out. At the same time, there is growing hunger and poverty right here in America.

As I read this news story, I assumed naively that all U.S.-grown produce makes it to market. Then consumers like...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean and Care for a Smooth Glass Cooktop

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful new electric smooth-top ceramic or glass cooktop.

While a smooth-top beats a coil element-type cooktop in the style department, it requires a different kind of proactive care to keep it looking good while preventing discoloration and scratching.

WHAT NOT TO DO ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Make Your Own Furniture Polish

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Some time ago, I got a request from EC reader Kelly for a recipe for homemade furniture polish. She said that she uses a lot of it and it was getting expensive.

My first thought was, "Of course," and to suggest she time her purchases with furniture polish sales and then stock up. That was fresh on my mind, as I'd recently purchased a can of ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Use Home Chef Meal Kits to Cut Food Costs

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Faithful readers will recall that my husband and I tested, and now continue to enjoy, the popular meal kit delivery service Home Chef.

Since first writing about it, many of you have shared creative, innovative and clever strategies you are using to enjoy this service and cut your overall food costs.

Enjoy these great reader ideas.

SINGLE ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Top 10 Student Loan Tips for Recent Graduates -- and Not So Recent, Too!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether you just graduated, you're taking a break from school or you have already started repaying your student loans, these tips will help you keep your student loan debt under control.

1. Know your loans.

It's crucial that you keep track of the lender, balance and repayment status of each of your student loans. If you're not sure, ask your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Clean and Care for Hardwood and Laminate Floors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Taking care of hardwood or laminate floors can be challenging given the everyday conditions of a family and pets.

Generally, there are two types of residential wood flooring: real wood (solid or engineered) and laminate that is man-made to look like wood.

Don't know what you have exactly? No worries. When it comes to cleaning wood floors (...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: What to Do With Leftover Green Salad (Don't Throw it Out!)

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

If throwing out perfectly delicious leftover green salad were a crime, I'd be serving a life sentence.

It kills me to do it, but until fairly recently, I had no idea there was a second life for a leftover green salad, dressed or not. Once tossed, passed and partially consumed, that's it, right? Wrong.


Mix the leftover salad in ...Read more


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