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Ask Me Anything - Lost Wallet Found and Dubious Credit

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today's batch of reader questions reminds me how complicated our lives have become since the introduction of consumer credit. Some days I long for simpler times so long ago when cash was king and there was no such thing as a billion-dollar consumer credit industry attempting to control our lives.

Dear Mary: A couple months ago, I left my wallet...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Simple Solutions for 3 Common Laundry Problems

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

STINKY TOWELS AND CLOTHES

No matter how many times you wash those items, you just cannot get rid of the disgusting sour, mildewy odor. The problem is clear evidence of bacteria that continues to live in those items, despite having been previously laundered and dried.

Place the offending items in the washer, and set it to the hottest wash cycle...Read more

Letters to the Editor: Coffee Roasting, Beef Jerky, Freezer and More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Today I want to tell you, my dear readers, just how much joy you bring to my life with your comments and feedback. You give me a daily dose of reality because I use my inbox to measure the temperature on how this column is being received.

Now and then, I get a comment -- and I tell you this quite reluctantly -- that is just not fit to print. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Get Started Roasting Your Own Coffee Beans

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

It all started about 10 years when I had a conversation with a co-worker of my friend Rosalie named Dax Wilson, who'd recently taken up this hobby of home roasting. The motivation? Quality and taste. But he also wanted to cut the high cost of quality coffee by at least half. That was enough to get my attention and become equally enthusiastic.

...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Bake Bread, Save Dough: Basics for 5-Minutes-a-Day Bread Bakers

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You may recall a column from a few weeks ago on baking bread, specifically, the book "Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day." It's true. I do. And given the number of messages, comments and questions I received in response to that column, I'm excited to know that so many of my readers want to, too!

Rather than address each of your questions ...Read more

Ask Me Anything: Concrete Stains, Yellowed Whites and Power Toothbrush

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Every day I open my inbox to find dozens, if not hundreds, of questions from the audience. Want to know the most-asked-about subject? Stains. Nasty, ugly, stubborn stains on everything you can imagine, from concrete to laundry to teeth.

Q: Five years ago, we replaced our entryway steps, and now the concrete has developed greenish-brown stains ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Money in the Bank Is Frugality's Reward

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Living frugally does not mean choosing a life of poverty. Frugality is simply the act of avoiding waste. It means finding the most economical way to accomplish a task or project. Frugality doesn't mean giving up; it means living better, because when you have all that you need plus money in the bank, life becomes much easier.

Frugality is a ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: And Now, the Rest of the Take-My-iPhone-Please Story

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

You may recall from a past column that after considering my options for what to do with my iPhone 5C (trade it in; sell it; consign it; auction it; donate it; or keep it) I'd decided to sell the phone to the online company that had given me the best cash offer.

That didn't happen.

Within hours of posting that column, I received the following ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Dip-It for Percolators, Laminate Floors and Unscented Dawn

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Q: I purchased an electric coffee percolator several years ago. It's still working fine, but now I'm having a problem purchasing Dip-It by Reckitt Benckiser to clean it. I understand the company has stopped making it. I have tried using vinegar, and it did not work very well. Do you have any ideas on how I can make a Dip-It-like product myself? ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Recover From Dumb Financial Mistakes

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When I was young and stupid, I accumulated more than $100,000 in credit card and other non-mortgage debt. I didn't get into that mess overnight. It took 12 years and many financial mistakes along the way to nearly ruin my life.

During the 13 years it took to get out of the mess, I learned how important it is to deal with mistakes as they happen...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Great Reader Tips: Recycle Home Chef Packaging, Laundry Stains and Stuck-On Stuff

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

HANDY SCRAPER. In response to a recent post about finding something to use as a scraper when cleaning oven crud, we use a Lil' Chizler Vinyl Label Scraping Tool ($4 for a two-pack) all over the house to scrape paint and oven doors; to lift labels, decals and stickers; and to remove just about everything you can imagine. It does all of that ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Shrinking Tuna, Wite-Out Stain, Baked-on Greasy Ovenware

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Dear Mary: In response to your column "A Can of Tuna in the Real World," where do you find 6-ounce cans of tuna? l have not seen a 6-ounce can of tuna in years. They're all 5 ounces now. -- Ted

Dear Ted: You and dozens of others who wrote to set me straight are mostly right. My apologies for referring to the 6-ounce size. Many brands of canned ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Surprising Trick Removes Even the Most Stubborn, Hard Water Spots From Glass Shower Doors

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got stubborn marks on your shower doors and other glass surfaces that simply will not budge, no matter what you try? You're not the only one. I've heard from readers who say they've tried everything from my Magic Soap Scum Cleaner to cleaning vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oven cleaner, muriatic acid, steel wool, Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 25 Ways to Save $1,000 a Month

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Several years ago, I met Kathryn and Galen, who live in the St. Louis area. At the time, they were drowning in debt, and Galen was dealing with his recent job layoff. Their financial situation appeared grim.

I agreed to work with them to set up a plan that if followed diligently would get them out of debt and on their way to financial freedom. ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Dinnerware, Drinkware and Stainless Flatware

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Recently, when one of my staff members turned 30, I quipped that I have dishes older than he. It's true.

Sometime during the late '80s, my husband took on the huge task of painting the dark-walnut kitchen cabinets white, inside and out. Of course, that meant new hardware and lighting, too. What a transformation. To celebrate, I went out and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Store Raw, Roasted and Ground Coffee to Keep It Fresh

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

I reached the level of coffee snob some years ago. I don't think I'm quite to the level of coffee geek, but I continue to work on it.

As you may recall from previous columns, I've been a home roaster for many years now. While my family and I seriously enjoy a good cup of coffee, the real reason I looked into this hobby in the first place was ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Mailable Cookies to Make Someone's Day

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Whether it's a care package for a college student, a goody box for someone in the military or a way to say happy birthday to a friend or relative, there's nothing like opening a box of fresh, homemade cookies. And if those cookies just happen to be that recipient's favorite cookies of all time, even better!

Here are tips to make sure your ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Got 5 Minutes? Make Beautiful, Fresh, Homemade Bread

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

As the stories continue to unfold about how people survived Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, and as people continue to deal with the ravages of hurricane season, I can't be the only one questioning my own disaster preparedness.

One thing is certain: Here at the Hunt house, we'd have bread.

For years, I'd had somewhat of a love-hate ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Habits of the Rich

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

A habit is defined as a behavior repeated so often it becomes almost automatic. I am in awe of the power of a habit. It's a force to change your life, and it is available to anyone, no matter their situation or circumstances.

For five years, author Tom Corley observed the daily habits of the rich and the poor, and documented his findings in his...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Best Inexpensive Heated Mattress Pad

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Until a couple of years ago, I didn't know heated mattress pads even existed. Makes sense, I suppose, considering I'd lived in Southern California for most of my life, where it is mostly warm all year round. Once I relocated to Colorado a couple of years ago, where the seasons are more pronounced, I had a lot to learn about winter, including how...Read more

 

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