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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

Everyday Cheapskate: A Lavish Gift Exchange

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

When our boys were only toddlers, we planned a Family Christmas Party with our best friends one year, to be held in early December. We called it that even though our two families are not technically related. We invited two sets of grandparents and one other older couple, as well.

Our common bond? Five adorable kids and all the grown-ups who ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Surprising Ways to use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Well, say hello to a very versatile and surprisingly multipurpose household product.

Original blue Dawn, a product of Procter & Gamble, was introduced in 1972. Since then, the product has gone through multiple tweaks, changes and ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Use This for That

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

One of the best ways to recycle responsibly -- and save a few bucks at the same time -- is to find a second life for something you might otherwise toss in the trash. Some ideas are pretty well-known, like using plastic grocery bags for trash can liners and the lid from a liquid detergent container for a biscuit cutter. So, when a reader sends in...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Case for Quartz Countertops

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

In a recent column, I suggested to a reader that quartz countertops would be a good choice in her quest to find the most durable and easily cared for option, because quartz doesn't stain, doesn't require any kind of sealant and cleans up like a dream. And it's cheaper than granite. In no time, I received this email response:

Dear Mary: I was in...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: How to Fix a Bathmat That's Lost Its Anti-Slip Backing and More

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Got a slippery throw rug? A bathmat that's lost its backing after just one too many trips to the clothes dryer? Today's first reader can certainly identify.

I've got great news for both of you, and it's something you may have already that's sitting on a shelf in the garage.

Dear Mary: Is there any way to rescue throw rugs that have lost their ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: Ask Me Anything: Lease or Buy Car, Laundry Detergent Confusion

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Pop quiz: What do car leases and laundry detergent have in common? Both can be confusing! Just ask today's readers, whose respective questions washed up in my inbox.

Dear Mary: My wife and I are having a disagreement. I want to lease a new car now, because ours is old and paying for repairs is like flushing money down the drain. She wants to ...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: A Big Belching Houseguest

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Our house is not haunted, but just try to tell that to our guests. "Our water heater makes funny noises," I warn. First timers respond with a smile and a nod ... and forget.

"What was that noise?" is the predictable next-morning question. Some say it sounds like a big, clumsy man on the roof. Children tend to think more of a monster-in-the-wall...Read more

Everyday Cheapskate: The Fine Print: Deal With It!

Consumer / Everyday Cheapskate /

Just recently, American's consumer debt (that's everything except mortgages) hit $3.789 trillion.

So what's a trillion? It's a million million, a thousand billion or 1,000,000,000,000.

A billion is a thousand millions, or 1,000,000,000.

A billion seconds ago it was 1986, and then-President Ronald Reagan and then-Soviet Union leader Mikhail ...Read more


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