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1

How to Make Homemade Chinese Brown Sauce

Some of my earliest childhood memories center around Asian food. But not just any Asian food. I’m talking about the food at the Golden Dragon restaurant in Boise Ida., city of my birth and the home of tiny pork ribs swimming in the most beautiful and delicious brown sauce with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

We moved when I was 10. It never dawned on me that might be the last time in my life I would experience that level of Chinese food. But it was. That is, until just a few months ago when I had a true Eureka! moment.

If you’re looking for something special for your New Year’s
Eve celebration … this might be it! So easy, quick and out-of-this-world delicious.

Happy New Year! Love, m xo

2

The 1-Percent Savings Solution

Want a simple, pain-free plan to increase your savings in 2020? CPA, author, and blogger Mike Piper says to save 1 percent more. “Increase your savings contributions by 1 percent of your gross income,” suggests Piper. It might be difficult to imagine how such a small change could make any difference at all, but according […]

3

11 Ways to Simplify Your Life in 2020

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas! And now our thoughts turn to a brand New Year! A clean, unspoiled canvas. Have you given any thought to goals? Or do you find New Year’s Resolutions to be a big, fat waste of time? Ha!

Here’s something I’m pretty sure we can all agree on—simplifying our lives to save time and find financial peace of mind!

In today’s post I have a list of 11 ways to do that. And I’ll bet you have a few you could add to the list. I hope you’ll do that with your comments. See you there!

Love, m xo 🎉

4

Tough Times Don’t Last, Tough People Do!

  Discouragement plagues all of us from time to time. If you’re discouraged about your situation—be it financial, family, job, or just basic uncertainty about the future—there are some things you can do to counter those feelings and attitudes. The most important is to know this will not last forever. Let’s say your neighbor just […]

5

Who Stole the Joy?!

It was an unusual interview. The interviewer explained she was writing an article for a national women’s magazine on clever ways to put more joy into the holidays.

In that I’ve written a book on the subject, she called hoping I would help her with the story. I knew that I could.

In my typical overly excited manner I proceeded to pitch to her one marvelous holiday cost-cutting idea after another—some of them principle-based, others uniquely practical.

It didn’t take long for me to realize that something wasn’t right. One after another, my ideas landed with a thud. She didn’t like them at all.

And that’s when she made a comment that effectively brought the interview to a screeching halt…

6

7 Festive Holiday Dessert Drinks

It doesn’t have to be a full-blown dinner party to count as holiday entertaining. Why not ask your invited guests to bring their favorite sweets while you provide the beverages?

Then knock their socks off with a buffet of these festive holiday dessert drinks. You’ll avoid spending a bundle and reduce your stress in the process!

See you there! Love, xo m

8

How to Survive—and Not Go Broke—When Stranded in an Airport

The busiest travel season on record began and will last through Jan. 5, An estimated 47.5 million passengers will fly on U.S. airlines during the winter holiday according to experts— up 3% from last year. Throw weather to the equation and your chances of getting stranded waiting for a flight grow immeasurably.

If you’ve ever set foot in an airport, you know what a ripoff that place can be if you have to buy basic necessities while you wait for a flight. The delay alone is going to feel like you’re out of luck, but your lack of planning can easily make you out of money, too.

Over the years, having traveled more than 1.5 million miles myself and spending more than a few nights in an airport—I’ve learned that it’s easy and super smart to prepare and anticipate the inevitable.

Here are my best tips for surviving an extended stay in an airport.

See you there … Love, xo m 🛩 🤞

11

The Ultimate Guide to Proper Re-gifting

Six days until Christmas. While you let that sink in, allow me to whisper one word in your ear: Re-gifting.

The act of re-gifting—passing on as new a gift someone else gave you—is controversial but only because of those who do a noticeably bad job of it. After all, if every act of regifting were carried out flawlessly, no one would find it distasteful, or even consider it a thing.

Before you re-gift, make sure you know and are following my Official Rules of Re-gifting! They’re in today’s post. See you there!

Love, xo m 🎁 ❣️

12

My Shopping Addiction Rehab Program

Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, that feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can’t fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. Shopper’s high is no joke. It’s real, it’s palpable, and it’s addictive.

Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years I ran up more than $100,000 in consumer debt—most of it on credit cards. Eventually, all of it came crashing down and nearly took me with it. Thankfully, that crisis became the catalyst to turn my life around.

It took 13 years to repay all of the debt. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mostly that the satisfaction I got from shopping was short-lived. It was fake because it vanished in less time than it took me to get the stuff to the car. But that just set me up to do it again and again because the small bursts of joy I got from shopping were worth the pain that always followed.

Crazy I know, but absolutely true. I could so easily go back to my old ways, and that’s scary …

13

Extreme Bargain Hunting: The Best Time to Save on Everything

Over the years, I have learned an important lesson about getting the best deals on just about everything. Extreme bargain hunters have something in common: timing. They’ve got it down to a science, knowing specific days— even the time of day—when a bargain is at its best.

I’ve had the privilege of interviewing some of the tops experts in their fields (love my job), and oh, what I learned. Want to save like an expert? Today learn these deal-hunting secrets. 

See you there … Love, xo m

14

The Best Way to Cook Bacon (Easiest, Too!)

I must admit to a kind of love-hate relationship with bacon. On the one hand, my family loves bacon, which means I cook it often. And until I discovered the best, easiest way to do that, I dreaded having to fry bacon!

The problem in two words: splatters and smell. I’m not a fan of splatters all over the cooktop. And that lingering smell of stale bacon throughout the house for hours and beyond? That nearly knocks me out. Then there’s the problem of keeping the first batch hot and crispy when only about 1/4 pound fits well in a stovetop skillet.

Trust me, I’ve tried all the methods—stovetop, microwave, griddle, and outdoor grill. The outdoor grill has been mostly my go-to method, but when it’s 10 F. with a foot of snow out there, not so much.

And all that is history, now that I’m hooked on the absolute best way to cook bacon—in the oven. It’s easy with minimal if any splatters, the smell of bacon is all but limited to the baking time, I can cook an entire pound of bacon at one time, and clean up is a cinch!

See you there! Love, m 🥓❣️

P.S. Don’t miss today’s Podcast episode! It’s short, fun, and keeps us in close contact. I’m counting on you! xo

15

Incredible Edible Gifts

You do not need a lot of money nor must you have the gift of craftiness to assemble fabulous gifts in your kitchen. It’s hard to go wrong with a gift that is meant to be eaten or used up. That kind of gift does its job to convey your love and best wishes without increasing the recipients’ stuff-factor.

So gather your supplies, set up your production line and let the fun begin!

See you there … Love, xo m

16

What Teachers Really Want for Christmas

Recently, I contacted teachers I know, asking them how they really feel about gifts from parents and students—at Christmas and other times of the year, too. Each one of them hesitated. I could tell they didn’t want to come across as ungrateful.

Make no mistake—teachers are very grateful for the thoughts behind all of the stuff they get during the year, but particularly at Christmas.

But the stuff itself? Not so much. In fact, most gifts become a problem for that teacher.

But not to worry! I got it out of them—what teachers really want for Christmas, or any other time of year, too! See you at the post for all my insider information 😁.

Love, m xo

P.S. Here’s a quick link to today’s episode   of our 40-Day Christmas Challenge! 

You can catch up on past episodes, too (many episodes are not part of the 40-day challenge—please don’t miss any of them).

17

4 Things We Really Want for Christmas

Sure they want toys, but underneath it all what kids really want for Christmas (adults, too) just might surprise you. What we really want isn’t in a store.

So, how can we give those we love what they really want for Christmas? I have a few ideas in today’s post … and I hope you have some, too. Will you add them in the comments area? I can’t wait to read them.

18

A Shoemaker Can Save Your Sole

To some people, a cobbler is a lovely fruit dessert, best served warm. To others, it is a shoemaker who repairs shoes—an almost forgotten trade.

The Shoe Service Institute of America reports that shoe repair shops have dwindled from 100,000 in the 1930s to 15,000 in 1997 to about 5,000 today. The industry may be facing extinction, but business is booming for the cobblers who remain.

19

11 Ways to Get the Best Online Deals and Discounts

Just about everyone who shops online knows to look for a discount, promotional code, or coupon of some kind before hitting checkout. But digital coupons are only one of 11 tricks, tips and ways I have for you —savvy things you can do to get the biggest discounts and best deals this holiday season.

Two new Episodes of my NEW! Podcast were just released today! Find them HERE.

Yes, I am still working on this Podcast tutorial I promised! Did I say it’s confusing? Just hang on … I am about to untangle all of that to give you a clear and simple way to Subscribe!

21

A Mishmash of Christmas Ideas and Holiday Tips

Good news! Another Black Friday is in the books. You survived—unscathed I hope. If you bag some amazing bargains without going into debt—great. Me? Just as planned, I stayed home, cleaned up from Thanksgiving. Today? My husband and I will put up the tree and dress the house for Christmas! I’m so excited.

I’ve got a bunch of my favorite tips to share into today’s post. With any luck, they will trigger your best tips and tricks, which I hope you’ll share in the comments! See you there … Love, m xo 🎄

P.S. We got 16-inches of snow a few days ago—so beautiful! But it’s so cold, the snow has not begun to melt. More snow expected today. I love this, and here’s why: We live where we work, or maybe better stated—we work where we live. Either way, we only leave the house if we want to, not because we have to.

P.P.S. We own two businesses (one each) and have just completed construction on our new offices, complete with a most spectacular view of the golf course and the Rocky Mountains. If that sounds fabulous, it is! How can we do this? One reason: We have no debt—none. It wasn’t always that way, as you may know about me and my dark financial past—a story for another time.

22

11 Things You Should Never Burn in Your Fireplace

If you have a wood-burning fireplace, it’s likely that now and then you toss things like cardboard, junk mail, and egg cartons. And why not? It seems like anything that burns should be able to go in because the smoke and fumes go right up the chimney. And that’s a really bad idea. In fact, each time you do that, you could be putting your home and your family at risk.

There are at least 11 things you should never burn in your fireplace … See you there! Love, m xo

23

Ask Me Anything: Cosigning Parents, Silent Stylist, Rum Cake Recipe, and More

Happy Sunday, Everybody!

Once again, it’s mailbag day, when I reach in and pull out your questions. While there are always more than I could possibly answer in one sitting, I try to select the ones that will have the greatest interest to most of you, my Dear Readers. What’s inside? …

Contents

1. Gray scrapes and “scratches” on fine dinnerware

2. Heartbroken parents who co-signed

3. Spreadable butter disaster

4. Spouse demands control of the purse strings

5. IP Vanilla Extract 

6. The Unscrupulous Stylist

7. Rum Cake Recipe, Pleeeese!

See you there! Love, xo m

24

White Fruitcake that Dreams are Made Of

I have no pride and, according to some, no taste. I love fruitcake. Sickeningly sweet, loaded with pecans, cherries, pineapple, and golden raisins; heavy as a brick and about four weeks old. Yum.

I can only assume that these terribly misguided people are only familiar with a version that is dark brown, dry-as-dust, molasses laden, overly spiced and mystery-fruited (what is citron, anyway?).

Just let me say that you’d be singing a different tune if you’d ever eaten my Grandmother’s white fruitcake. And I think you should! Join me and I’ll give you the recipe, with all my notes. Love, m xo

25

What Every Kid Needs to Know About Greed and Thankfulness

If there is one thing that will ruin your kids’ lives, it’s greed. Teach them while they’re young how to pull the plug on greed, and you will have prepared them in a very important way to not only survive but also thrive in the real world. You might want to start with the simple lesson in today’s post— How to Defeat the Enemy Greed. It’s a lesson I wish I’d learned much earlier in life. It’s difficult to imagine how many life-impacting mistakes I could have avoided had I known this simple thing.

While you may not have children living at home, I would be honored if you shared it with someone who does. Or post it to your Facebook page, and or share it in your other social media circles.

It’s Day 8 in our 40-Day Christmas Challenge (yes, already!) You can listen and download that Episode HERE and also catch up on Episodes you might have missed. It’s not too late!

See you there! Love, m xo

26

7 Cheap Gadgets That Make Life Easy—Fun, Too

I am nothing if not a gadget lover. Ingenious items that make my life easier are great, but when I find something that’s cool and also has the potential to save money? Well, that’s cause for celebration. Here are my latest fun finds. Sugru I don’t know where this stuff has been hiding (maybe I’m […]

28

Want What You Have, Buy What You Need

Years ago, I read in The New York Times that according to Yankelovich Research, the average American adult is the target of some 3,500 commercial ads in a single day. More recently that estimate has been adjusted upward to 5,000. How outrageous is that? Sure, we live in a highly commercialized society but 5,o00 commercial ads? […]

30

5 Ways to Give Yourself a Raise

Is money a little tight? Hoping a raise will come through soon? I hate to burst your bubble, but even if it is exceptional, a raise probably won’t do much good. 

By the time you adjust a raise for taxes, you’ll be lucky to see half of it in your bank account. And if that’s not bad enough, nearly everyone who earns more automatically spends more. Reckless spending can consume a lot of cash, fast. 

I have a better idea. Give yourself a raise! How?! I have a few ideas for you in today’s post …

I’ll be waiting for you on the other side of your click.

xo Mary

P.S. Just like THAT, we went from 80 F days to sub-freezing nights here in Northern Colorado. So fast … and I love it. I have a roaring fire in the fireplace and hot coffee at the ready on this cold, rainy morning. It’s a beautiful day.

31

Easy DIY Ways to Cut Heating Costs This Winter

What if I told you there are a handful of sneaky ways you can cut the cost to heat your home that won’t require you to wear a down-filled, hooded parka 24-hours a day? Would I have your attention? Great, because that’s exactly what I have for you today. Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon […]

32

Make Your Own Spreadable Butter

You’ve seen the little tubs of “spreadable butter” in the dairy case of your supermarket. In fact, you may purchase them because they’re just so convenient. And if you watch your prices you know the typical spreadable could almost be considered a luxury item.  Most “spreadables” are part real butter, part canola oil. Others have […]

33

How to Live the Life You Love on Your Current Income

I’ll never forget the time I asked one of my young piano students what he wanted for Christmas. It was a generic question, a pleasantry. I wasn’t looking for make, model, and serial number, but that’s what I got.

The child whipped out a 60-page list from his book bag. I gulped, checked to see if this child was serious (he was), and quickly proceeded with his music lesson.

Somehow I think that most of us have a bit of that kid in us. We want it all. And every bank and credit card company out there is affirming the notion and willing to make it happen.

You’re about to discover that you can do more with what you have—more than you dream possible. Ready to take the challenge?

See you there! Love, xo m

36

Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Clean and Fresh

When it comes to housekeeping, there’s nothing quite so lovely as the smell of nothing. That’s the way clean is supposed to smell—like absolutely nothing!

Clean is the absence of odors from animals, people, garbage, rot, mold, mildew, smoke, dirt, grease, and grime—not the presence of spray fragrance on top of odors.

Check out today’s simple ways to keep your home smelling clean and fresh. And for those who love a scent, I have some ideas for that too.

See you there … ! Love, xo m 😍

37

14 Things That Should Never Go in the Dishwasher

Without a doubt, my least favorite household chore is hand washing dishes. That makes my dishwasher the one appliance I can’t live without. I love it. In fact, I have this motto that if it can’t go in the dishwasher I don’t need it.

Despite all my efforts, I still end up having to hand wash a few things since having learned the hard way there are certain items that should never go in a dishwasher. They can be ruined or they can ruin our dishwashers. We should hand wash them instead.

38

9 Easy Moves That Will Simplify Your Spending

Confused and stressed out about how to manage your money so you don’t run out before payday? Put these nine easy moves into action and you’ll be well on your way to simplify your spending.

I know what you’re thinking—simplify and spending in the same sentence? Ha! Like that’s even possible when we have credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, bills, bill-pay, auto-pay, fees, penalties, interest rates, and fees to keep track of. How can we possibly make managing money simple?

By having a plan. By choosing to become accountable and then using every tactic possible to streamline and de-stress your money. I’ll show you how in today’s post! See you there … Love, xo m

39

How to Use Up Every Last Cent on a Prepaid Debit Card

Some prepaid debit cards can be problematic because it’s nearly impossible to use it up to the last cent. That means you end up with some odd amount on the card that no one will accept for payment unless by some miracle your purchase is equal to or less than that odd amount.   Everyday Cheapskate […]

40

This Homemade Silver Cleaner Removes Tarnish Like Magic

Happy Saturday, everyone!

If you’re thinking ahead to Thanksgiving the way I am, you too might be planning to pull out all the good stuff—china, silver, crystal. Come on, let’s do it!

There’s no shortage of commercial silver cleaning products on the market these days. Those that I’ve tested generally do the job, but they’re messy, contain harsh chemicals and if that’s not bad enough—they’re expensive!

Good news. I have a simple homemade silver cleaner recipe for your lovely silver pieces—chains, earrings, bracelets, flatware and heirlooms that’s cheaper, better and definitely faster. And pictures, too! See you there … Love, xo m

41

Savvy Shopper Tricks and Treats

Big Announcement

Since 1992, I’ve invited you, my dear readers to send me your favorite time- and money-saving tips so I could share them with the entire audience.  And send them, you have! Via U.S. Mail and email.

In the beginning, I was able to publish nearly all of the good ones (there were plenty of duds) in a column I titled “Great Reader Tips.” Great readers, great tips!

You can participate in two ways—by contributing your best tips or by browsing and enjoying what your fellow readers have contributed. Uploading is super easy and I’ll be teaching you how to do it that.

But wait, there’s more!

To make this even more exciting, you’ll be able to compete for CASH prizes! We’ll kick things off with a Top Tips of the Month—1st Place: $100; 2nd Place $75; 3rd Place $25Did that just get your attention?! We’ll start each month with a brand new contest.

So, how can you get started uploading tips right now? You can’t because we haven’t opened EC² quite yet—but I will be announcing that very soon.

While you’re waiting, start thinking about and preparing your best tip(s). While your tips need not be original with you (meaning you didn’t think of it yourself), they must be written by you in your own words. Tell us what it is, what it does, and how it works for you. Next, take a picture with your phone or camera that demonstrates or represents your tip(s). You can upload another tip, trick, hack or terrific idea every day to improve your chances of winning.

In the meantime, keep watching for all the details about EC² Launch Day—it’ll be soon!

43

Finally the Mystery of Hair Conditioners Solved

Hair conditioners fall into general categories according to what they do and the problems they solve. Using the wrong product for the specific condition of your hair will produce disappointing results.

For example, if your hair is thin and fine you are not going to be happy with my industrial-strength conditioner for thick, coarse, frizzy, color-treated hair.

Unfortunately, conditioners are not quite as simple as shampoos. But not to worry! Today’s post offers the solution no matter your specific hair type and situation. See you there! Love, xo

44

An Incredibly Easy Way to Save Money Shopping Online

With the year’s biggest shopping season now coming into clear view, it’s time to gather our wits, sharpen our resolve to know everything we possibly can about how to save money shopping to stretch our holiday spending as far as humanly possible.

Today, I want to walk you through the basic steps of an incredibly easy way to save money shopping online, using a recent purchase I made as an example.

See you there! Love, xo m

45

How to Spend Money without Feeling Guilty

When you give yourself an allowance, it’s more than just cash—you give yourself the freedom to spend without feeling guilty. I’m going to step out on a limb here and suggest that you need an allowance even if you are in a tight financial situation!

Early on in my long journey back to financial health, my husband and I agreed that I would have an allowance—a regular expense listed in our fledgling household budget. That changed everything for me!

If you’re ready to put yourself on a similar plan, I have some firsthand advice I’m fairly certain you are going to love. See you there … Love, xo m 🤑 ❣️

46

How to Make Tulip Muffin Cups

In a past post I gave away all my secrets when I taught you how to make muffins that are so great, your friends will call you a genius. Reader feedback has been off the chart. In fact, that’s exactly what I was thinking about one Saturday morning as I was making muffins for brunch. Everyday […]

47

7 Things You Need to Do Now to Plan Ahead for Disaster

The idea of emergency preparedness is good. But just having an idea is not good enough. Every person—every family—needs a plan in the event of a disaster that could disrupt the normal course of life. But where to start? That’s where most of us get stuck for lack of useful, specific direction. Hopefully, these quick tips will do […]

48

The Secret to Staying Out of the Red and in the Black

When I am not writing about money-saving tactics, personal finance and consumer debt, I knit. Something about the gentle rhythm of yarn and needle calms my spirit and unwinds my brain.

I have managed to finish a few projects, not because I’m a great knitter but because I can “tink” almost as well as I knit (knit spelled backward is tearing out).

Because all knitters make mistakes, tinking is a required skill for those who take the craft seriously. It doesn’t take too many oversized sweaters or undersized hats to figure out that the smallest error at the beginning of a project can produce disastrous results if not found and corrected.

Money is a lot like knitting. By some miracle, all knitting consists of just two stitches: knit and purl. Likewise, with money you have two options …

49

10 Ways to Do Halloween on a Budget this Year

There’s no denying that we love Halloween. What other night do we get to eat, drink, and be scary? The problem is we’ve come to love it a little too much. Sadly, most of that spending will translate to new credit-card debt—what a terrible way to start out the new year.

I know we can do so much better than that this year if we’ll simply stop, think, and then find ways to do it cheaper!

I’ve got lots of great ideas, and hope you will add yours in the comments! See you there … Love, xo m 🎃

50

A Simple Solution for Gross, Smelly Towels

If my inbox is any indicator of what’s going on in the world, and I believe it is, smelly towels are a growing problem for consumers—and for sure my dear EC readers. And it’s a rather new problem, the result of modern things like front-loading high-efficiency washing machines, detergents, fabric softeners, and damp conditions. If you’ve […]

51

How to Get Yellow-Stained Bed Pillows White Again

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53

Why You Need an Emergency Fund and How to Get It

Emergencies, I’ll bet that in your life you’ve had a few. Maybe a dead refrigerator—on Christmas Eve, with dinner guests arriving in just five hours (uh, yes been there and will not soon forget). Or was it a medical emergency where the ER required $500 cash up front? I’m sure that between us we could come with a list a mile long!

Do you really believe you will never again face an unexpected life event that has dollar signs written all over it?

Listen, there is a prevalent mostly-unstated belief out there—one I’ve heard touted by a very famous financial celebrity. Maybe you can guess what it is. Ok, I’ll tell you: This guy and his many followers live believing that the available credit on their credit card account(s) is their emergency fund. If something happens, that’s their go-to plan. That’s not a new philosophy. I lived with it for 12 years when I was first married. And trust me … that is a reckless way to live.

You need an emergency fund. There’s no way around it and I’m talking about not just your financial situation, but also your mental health, your peace of mind, the joy of living.

I know. Times are tough. You can barely get by from one paycheck to the next. And as long as you keep that mindset and give yourself a pass, you’ll continue to live on the edge where if one little thing goes wrong (believe me, it will) it will plunge you into the dark abyss of a financial disaster.

It doesn’t have to be that way. I want to help you step away from the edge and into the joy of being prepared. All that in today’s post. See you there! Love, xo m

54

How to Win the Credit Card Balance Transfer Game

There’s nothing fun about credit card debt. An outstanding balance of $5,000 that is subject to 19.99% interest means you’re paying about $1,000 a year just in interest. Imagine if that $1,000 could go directly to repaying the balance instead. You could pay it off in record time instead of stringing it out for many […]

55

10 Surprising Things a Coffee Maker Can Do Besides Brew Coffee

You might think your coffee maker is a one-trick pony—does anything smell more wonderful than a fresh-brewed pot of coffee? But let’s think about this for a moment. That appliance heats water to about 200 F., and comes equipped with a hot plate to keep it at about 165 F. Whether you’re traveling, living in […]

56

11 Ways to Use Ordinary Pantry Items to Get Rid of Ants

Knowing how to get rid of ants around the house is important. But it’s also fun to know just how fascinating these creatures are. Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon affiliated sites. Some ants can […]

58

Best Inexpensive Steam Irons

I just asked Siri*, “How do most people relax?” She rattled off a list of activities including, “nosh on chocolate,” “rub your feet over a golf ball,” “count backward,” “meditate” and “drip cold water on your wrists.” Siri completely missed my favorite way to relax. I iron (not to be confused with I pump iron, which […]

59

How to Make the Best Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent

I’m not proud to admit it, but there was a time that I would’ve rather shoved toothpicks under my fingernails than be bothered with making my own homemade laundry detergent. Are you kidding me? Why on earth would I do that? I’m happy to live in modern times, not the stone age for goodness’ sake! […]

60

How to Make the Best Homemade Powdered Laundry Detergent

Powdered laundry detergent To make one quart powdered laundry detergent, you need these items: 32-ounce or larger container with lid 1 (5-oz.) bar Fels Naptha laundry bar 2 cups (14 oz. ) borax 1 3/4 cups (14 oz.) washing soda   Fels Naptha This product is available in the laundry aisle of many supermarkets and […]

61

An Ounce of Prevention is Worth Money in the Bank

Today’s topic is not pretty, but unless you have $8,000 earmarked to treat periodontal disease, an ounce of good dental care could prevent a lot of pain—both dental and financial.  Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by […]

62

Stop Wasting Money on Kitchen Tools That Do Only One Thing

Celebrity chef Alton Brown contends that a kitchen tool that does only one job is mostly useless. He calls anything like a pickle fork, garlic press, strawberry stem remover, or hot dog steamer a “unitasker.” His advice? Don’t waste your time and money on any kitchen tool if it is only good for one thing. It […]

63

Everything You Need to Know About Storing Coffee

Having reached the level of coffee snob some years ago, I don’t think I’m quite to the level of coffee geek yet, but I continue to work on it. That’s how much I love really good coffee! Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a […]

64

22 Weird but Wonderful Ways to Use Coffee Filters

It was a dumb mistake. I grabbed the biggest package of coffee filters—a pack of 1,000—only to discover much later that I’d picked up the wrong size for my coffeemaker. Coffee filters are not expensive, which is probably the reason I didn’t bother returning them to the store. I suppose I should have tried, but […]

65

6 Budget-Friendly Ways to Keep the House Cool in Summer

Even if winter is still hanging on, without a doubt things are going to heat up soon. And won’t that be wonderful—provided you’ve figured out ways to keep things cool indoors this summer without sending your utility bills through the stratosphere? Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program […]

66

Coming Soon!

COMING SOON … UPDATE!   I am so excited to let you in on what’s causing quite a buzz at EC Central these days. You can read on, or I can sum it up for you in one word: Cold, hard CASH! Whoops. That does look like three words, but you get the idea. We’ve […]

67

How to Splurge on a Budget

I got the biggest shock of my life the day I realized that living on a budget wasn’t the straitjacket or rigid “diet” I assumed it would be. It was my life as a credit-card junkie that put me in financial bondage.     Living on a budget saved my life because it allowed me to […]

69

How to Afford Big Ticket Items

Finally, you have a couple of months where things are going well. The bills get paid on time and you actually have money left at the end of the month. Then Pow! Without warning, the water heater bursts, the car breaks down, and the first half of the property tax bill is past due—and suddenly […]

70

5 Home Buying Mistakes That Will Make You House Poor

Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. This is not the time to make mistakes that could easily plunge you into a financial situation you cannot afford.  During my 18-year career as a real estate broker, I learned a lot of things but none as valuable as what not to do! […]

71

How to Live on a Budget and Love It

For many years I wouldn’t have anything to do with a budget because I couldn’t stand the idea of anyone—or anything—telling me how to spend my money. And where did that get me? Into one big financial mess.     Every month, when I ran out of money, I would turn to MasterCard and Visa […]

72

Getting Back to Normal After a Disaster

Life on earth has never been perfect, but you’d have a hard time convincing some people of that. It’s not that they are ignorant. They have selective memories. Perhaps you can identify if you long for the way things used to be—before the disaster, when life was predictable; when mortgages were simple, retirement accounts moved […]

73

23 Ways to Chop Your Grocery Bill

Need a foolproof way to cut your food/grocery expenses by 25% this month? Announce to your family that there will be a complete ban on the consumption of food during the first week of every month. There. That should do it!  Twenty-five percent right off the top. What?! Don’t think you can pull that off? […]

75

4 Absolutely Brilliant Ways to Cook Corn on the Cob

There’s just nothing that screams late summer like sweet corn when it’s fresh, hot, and slathered with butter and salt. Today, I want to share with you four brilliantly delicious ways to cook corn on the cob that are sure to thrill and delight you, your family, and guests, too. Corn on the cob is […]

76

Simple 15-Minute Projects to Slash Your Utility Bills

Here’s some good news: At least 120 utility companies have lowered electric, gas, or water rates due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut the corporate rate from 35% to 21%. Utility companies are passing on the tax savings in the form of lower rates for customers. I hope your utility companies are among […]

79

You Paid How Much for Your First Computer?!

I just read something that made me laugh outloud—mostly because it’s funny, but also because it is poignantly true. “I wonder what my kids are going to tell their kids … ‘It was so rough back in my day. I didn’t get a phone ’til 4th grade and sometimes the wifi didn’t always work upstairs!’” […]

81

Peaches—Tips, Tricks, and My Grandmother’s Peach Cobbler

And just like that, it’s peach season. That’s a big deal where I live in northern Colorado in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains. We love peaches! Soon we’ll be enjoying Peach Street Fairs, Palisade Peach Festivals; peach fruit piled high in every store’s produce department, and featured on nearly every restaurant’s menu. We are a […]

82

The Ultimate Risk-Free, High-Yield, Guaranteed Investment

From time to time, this kind of question pops up in my inbox: How can I get started investing in stocks and mutual funds that are risk-free and have guaranteed high rates of return? Of course that makes me laugh hysterically, not only because there is no such thing as a risk-free investment let alone one […]

83

How to Clean a Jetted Bathtub

There are few things as luxurious as taking a bath in a jetted tub. The warm water and body massage make for one amazing way to relax. But the last thing you want to see are chunks of mystery debris swirling about—all the gunk and grime that’s built-up inside the jets and connecting hoses since […]

84

Peach Freezer Jam

Peach Freezer Jam This is so quick and easy. Get out five 8-oz. jars with lids and make sure they are clean and dry. Next, assemble these ingredients: 2 1/2 pounds fresh, ripe peaches 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 5 tablespoons instant pectin Peel, pit and coarsely chop the peaches. Place […]

85

A Crash Course in How to Store Fresh Fruits and Vegetables

Could you use an extra $300? You might want to take a look in your garbage. A survey conducted by Glad, the food storage people, revealed that the average household throws away 150 pounds of rotten produce each year! Mind-boggling, right? Here’s a fun, crash course in the how, where, and, why of fresh fruits and […]

87

Preventive Maintenance is Cheap Insurance

It was a Sunday night and the house felt cold. The only way for the Doloski family to keep their Illinois house warm and cozy in December is with a working furnace. One look at the thermostat told them that clearly, theirs was not.     Within minutes of arriving, the service technician diagnosed the […]

88

Welcome

  Welcome, I’m so glad you’re here! My name is Mary. For 28 years I’ve been leading people to get out of debt and into the joys of living below their means—saving time and money every day. It’s my passion. But things were not always that way. I never aspired to become an author, blogger, or […]

89

7 Simple Things I Do to Keep My Inner Hoarder in Time-Out

I don’t know why some of us have such a strong propensity to accumulate, collect and otherwise hold onto stuff beyond a reasonable limit. Maybe we’re born that way. Or more likely, we’ve picked up an understandable yet unfounded fear of not having enough of what we might need someday. Whatever the reason, it starts […]

91

Washing Dishes By Hand vs. Dishwasher—Which is More Effective?

It’s an interesting question and one that comes up every time I write about how to use and maintain a dishwasher. For many readers, handwashing dishes just feels better and something that’s hard to let go of, especially for those who don’t use enough dishes to fill the dishwasher more than a couple of times […]

92

Commercial Fabric Softeners are the Problem Not the Solution

In the laundry room, most of us are prone to overkill. We want beautifully clean, brilliantly white, soft, and fluffy laundry results. And we don’t measure. We pour stuff out of jugs, straight into the washer, often adding a second big glug just to make sure.   We use liquid fabric softener by the gallon […]

95

10 Ways to Make a Vehicle Last Twice as Long

Eighteen years ago next month, my husband and I bought a new Chevy Silverado. For 14 of those years, it was our only vehicle. Our goal from day one was to make it last longer—maybe even twice as long. We still have it and as I write, it’s closing in on 250,000 miles—and still running […]

96

Back-to-School Clothes Shopping

Your money is limited and time is short. Here is my best advice to make sure back-to-school clothes shopping doesn’t send you to the poorhouse. Set spending limits Time to get real. How much money (not credit) do you have available for school clothes? Write it down. Take an inventory Sort through your kids’ clothes […]

97

22 Legit Ways You Can Make Money at Home

For all the convenience and access to information that the Internet offers, the ability to earn money online—honestly and legitimately—just might be one of the most useful. At a minimum, you need an Internet connection and computer. Or for some jobs, just a smartphone will do. The challenge is to wade through all the muck […]

98

How to Break Bad Money Habits

Money a little tight these days? You might assume it’s due to rising costs, tightening credit and the fact you haven’t had a raise in, like, forever. But truthfully, if your basic needs are being met, problems you’re having are more likely a result of bad money habits you’ve picked up—behaviors you’ve repeated so often […]

99

How to Clean a Shark Vacuum and Its Filters

You know by now just how much I love my Shark vacuum cleaner. And given my readers’ letters and comments, I know that many of you have Sharkies, too. Now you need to how to clean a Shark so it keeps performing at top efficiency. I love your messages. They make me smile because I understand the […]

100

How to Make Even an Old Dishwasher Perform Like New

There are many things in my life that I enjoy, but would not be completely devastated if required to give them up. My dishwasher is not one of them.   We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases by […]

101

The Gift of a Crisis

It was the worst day of my life. Not one of the worst days. Not a day where not one thing seems to go right. Worse than that. Worse than any day I’d ever experienced before that day, worse than any day since. And I would say that like most people, I’ve had some real […]

102

Make Your Own Natural Non-Toxic Ant Spray

If you’ve ever had to deal with an invasion of ants, you may know the meaning of exasperation. While the kids think ants are so cute the way they march in formation, stop to help one another, and work hard to prepare for their own life challenges ahead, it’s better to study these amazing creatures than […]

103

Absolutely the Best Window Cleaning Tips Ever

I have this thing for clean windows. I love them, which means I have an equal but opposite disdain for dirty windows. And when I say clean, I mean the kind of clean that makes windows sparkle like diamonds in the morning sun. Some days I wish that by some miracle, a professional window-washing service would […]

104

How to Save $1,000 Cash Painlessly

The most important thing you can do to make your personal economy strong is to have an umbrella—an emergency fund with enough money in it to pay all of your bills for six months. And it needs to be safe and secure in a bank account. You read that right—half a year’s income! Wait. You […]

105

How to Get Rid of The Dreaded Toilet Bowl Ring

It’s not the most elegant question I get, but certainly one of the most common. “I’ve tried everything I can think of, but that stubborn, ugly toilet bowl ring won’t go away!” Or ” … It goes away, but just keeps coming back!”   We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, […]

106

Outdoor Grilling on a Budget

Getting our outdoor grill cleaned, polished, and ready for summer got me thinking about how much fun it would be to celebrate. After all, the first day of summer comes but once a year, so why not do things up right with an amazing menu and a few good friends to kick off the season […]

107

How to Clean a Painted Wood Floor

A message in my inbox this week came from Joan who asked, “What is the best way to clean a very grimy painted wood floor?”   We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon affiliated […]

109

How to Make Taco Seasoning Mix and What to Do With It

Seasoning packets from the supermarket may be convenient, but they have drawbacks—not the least of which is they’re relatively expensive! I just checked Lawry’s Taco Spices and Seasonings Mix—! I just hate to pay that much for so little. And I don’t have to because I’ve got a great recipe to make taco seasoning mix […]

110

14 Things You Can Do to Cut Pet Expenses in Half

For many of my readers, your pets are like children. So, of course, you love your furry friends and want the best for them. But if the cost to keep them fed, healthy, cared for, and looking good has gotten so high, you’re the one coughing up fur balls, take heart. There are lots of little […]

111

How to Fix Scratches on Glass

Our homes are well accessorized with glass from windowpanes to shower doors, tabletops and lovely glassware, too. While glass is both beautiful and durable, normal wear and tear or mindless abuse can result in ugly surface scratches on glass. I wanted to kick myself around the block. Rather than stop and think, I grabbed a […]

112

25 Ways to Save $1,000 on Monthly Expenses

A number of years ago I met Kathryn and Galen. They’d won a contest sponsored by Woman’s Day magazine. The prize? A money makeover and financial coaching with … me! From our first meeting, we became fast friends. Not only were they drowning in debt, Galen was dealing with a protracted season of unemployment. Their […]

114

Kitchen Drawer Makeover: Top 10 Essential Kitchen Tools

Whether you’re a newlywed, recent grad moving into your first apartment or perhaps one of the 25% of millennials that Forbes recently reported as living at home with mom and dad—surely the idea of furnishing a kitchen has crossed your mind. I’d love to help you get started. Here’s the deal: There are a few basic […]

115

How to Make Your Own Powerful Tub and Shower Cleaners

The only thing better than making things myself is when what I make turns out to be cheaper, better and faster than something I might buy in the store to accomplish the same goal. Learning how to make powerful tub and shower cleaner rocked my world. I have a feeling it’s about to rock yours, […]

119

How Materialism Leads to Discontentment

I should not have even picked it up. I knew better. After all, what was I expecting from a magazine titled simply, 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 […]

120

Questions on Auto Leasing, Homemade Laundry Detergent, Silver in Dishwasher, HE Washers, and 529 Plan Money

You should see my email inbox. Yikes! It’s overflowing with reader questions, tips, stories, feedback, rebuttals, and all kinds of love from you, my dear readers. In this post, I’m making a tiny dent in the pile with these responses to a handful of your questions on auto leasing, homemade laundry detergent and more.

See you there! xo m 💌

121

Best Inexpensive Cordless Stick Vacuum

According to more than a few messages from you, my dear readers—and in the words of Ricky Ricardo—I’ve got some ‘splaining’ to do! Today, we’re talking about cordless stick vacs—again!

We’ve suffered the heartbreak of “discontinued” with both Eufy and Deik—especially if you didn’t get one or the other while they were still available. But not to worry. I’ve been searching, testing, trying, reviewing, and even returning.

I’m excited to introduce you to our latest Best Inexpensive Cordless Stick Vac. I’m certain that third time is a charm! See you there … Love, m xo ❣️

122

How to Make Wool Dryer Balls

Whenever I write about the benefits of using wool dryer balls in place of laundry softeners, I get a few responses gently raking me over the coals for suggesting we should spend money for commercially manufactured products when it’s so easy to make your own wool dryer balls.

Yes, I could do that and so could you. But unless you have a super cheap source for 100% wool yarn, it could cost more to make them than to buy, which would be counterintuitive.

What if I told you where you just might be able to get all the 100% wool feltable yarn you need to make a full set of wool dry balls for about a dollar? Prepare to be surprised!

See you at the post … Love, m 🐑

123

Forget the Dry Cleaner: How to Wash a Down Comforter

If you’ve ever wondered if it’s okay to wash your down comforter instead of 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.

You will need a mild detergent, wool dryer balls (or tennis balls), a few hours to spend at a laundromat and patience. And if yours is a king-size comforter, a lot of patience.

Step-by-step instructions in today’s post. See you there … Love, Mary xo ❣️🦆

124

How to Clean Leather Furniture

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 leather furniture, keeping it free of stains, and well-maintained so that it gets even better with age. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC […]

125

The Ugly Truth About No-Interest No-Payments Offers

Have you ever wondered how retailers can possibly afford to offer the no-interest, no-payments kind of deals you see advertised? That was the subject of a question I received recently. The truth about that kind of marketing is nothing short of shocking if not downright ugly! Even if you’re not tempted to fall for that ploy today, you may have a weak moment in the future. Knowing the truth will protect you from a making a big financial mistake …

126

WD-40 to the Rescue for Every Problem Around the House

It’s not new. The blue and yellow can is about as familiar as anything I remember from my childhood. Banished to a shelf in the garage, I assumed WD-40 was an automotive thing. Boy, was I wrong! This stuff is amazing. And cheap. Not long ago, I bought an 8-ounce can for $1.71 at Home […]

127

Make Sure You Have These 9 Essential Pantry Items

Have you been paying attention to what’s going on with the cost of food? I just read that the average cost of ground beef in the U.S. has once again hit an all-time high. I believe it, and not only beef. It is shocking how grocery prices are going up, which underscores the need for […]

129

How To Make Family-Friendly Finger Foods Your Kids Will Love

In less time than it takes you to get into the car and drive to the closest drive-thru, you can make your own fast-food chicken fare—for half the price, or less. In fact, you can make a fabulous coating mix to mimic the best-coated chicken you’ve ever eaten, in five minutes flat.

I know what you’re thinking: Chicken. Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Fingers, Chicken Sandwiches—they’re all so tasty from these places, so convenient and so kid-friendly!

Well, today I want to show you how you can make those family favorites—cheaper, better and faster! See you there … Love, m

131

How to Clean and Care for Hardwood and Laminate Floors

Taking care of hardwood or laminate floors can be challenging given the everyday conditions of a family and pets. But keeping your home looking good is crucial to maintaining its value. Generally, there are two types of residential wood flooring: real wood (solid or engineered) and laminates that are man-made to look like wood.      Hardwood […]

132

What to Do With Leftover Green Salad (Don’t Throw it Out!)

If throwing out perfectly delicious leftover green salad were a crime, I’d be serving a life sentence.   We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon affiliated sites. It kills me to do it, but […]

133

How to Clean Gunk and Grime from Kitchen Cabinets

Got grimy kitchen cabinets? Don’t think you’re the only one. Unfortunately, wood cabinets—painted or natural with a clear finish—are prone to all sorts of grease, grime, and gunk from simply being in the kitchen. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying […]

134

Put a Big Smile on Your Face with a Dental Savings Plan

Dental Savings Plans are membership plans, similar to the way I am a member of Costco, where I pay an annual fee, which gives me full privileges at Costco warehouse clubs for the year. I just show my card to enjoy highly discounted prices on the things I need. Really, that’s how a Dental Savings Plan works. You sign up with a plan your dentist accepts, pay your membership fee, get your card and enjoy highly discounted dental services and procedures …

137

How to Eliminate Odor of Gasoline Spilled Inside Family Vehicle

A message showed up in my inbox that made my heart sink. I couldn’t help imagine what it would be like to lend my car to someone, only to have it come back to me with a little something I’d not counted on—that noxious odor of gasoline! Worse, what if that condition were permanent?!

Thankfully, I have good news for at least one desperate reader …

138

Shopping With Cash is Still the Best Way to Save Money

It used to be so easy to shop with cash. Get cash. Shop. But things have changed, perhaps you’ve noticed. More and more stores, shops, restaurants don’t even accept cash any more. Even my beloved Costco gasoline filling station! Ack! The only option for payment is … plastic.

But there is a sneaky way to get around that and beat Costco Gas, Amazon, and others at their own game. I’ll tell all in today’s post.

See you there! Love m xo 💰❣️😂

140

How to Clean a Bathtub Anti-Slip Bottom

If you have a bathtub with a slip-resistant bottom that no matter what you use to clean it, it still looks dingy, grungy and downright grimy, I have really great news—a solution that will bring even an older tub bottom back to clean, like new. You’re going to love this …

141

Weird Ways to Earn Money on the Side

Recently, while brainstorming with a reader who needed to supplement her regular full-time job, I made a quick list of the ways I’ve done that in my life. I wanted to help her discover what she does well that others might pay her to do for them.  Process Server I worked as an independent process […]

142

13 Ways to Save Money Eating Out at Restaurants

The average American household spends most of its money—62% of an average $56,000 in annual expenditures—on just three things: housing, transportation, and food. If you’re trying to cut costs and save money, food is the place to get started. Reducing restaurant visits and increasing your home-cooked meals is a surefire way to cut food costs. […]

143

10 Easy Ways to Cut Your Gasoline Cost

Only a few months ago I paid $1.75 a gallon for gas in Thornton, Colo. That’s nearly a dollar cheaper than I paid this past week at the same location—$2.72 per gallon! What’s going on? 

All I know about that, I read in the news. And all I know about how to beat the system and keep my fuel costs down I’m sharing in today’s post!

See you there and Happy Saturday, everyone! Love, Mary xo ⛽️ 🚗 ❣️

145

5 Reasons to Give Kids an Allowance

For the better part of my life I believed that more money was the answer to every problem in life. I was convinced that if we just made more money, won the lottery, or received some unexpected inheritance, all of our money problems would vanish.

But the more we made the worse our problems became. Because I didn’t know how to manage what we had, more would have never been enough. We didn’t save, we didn’t give, we didn’t plan, and we had no idea where all the money went. And surprise, surprise … our two young boys were becoming just like me!

It’s quite a story, but the thing that changed that trajectory for our two children was coming up with an allowance program. All of that in today’s post! See you there … Luv, m xo ❣️

149

Pay Down or Pay Ahead? It Can Be Confusing

Years ago I learned a lesson I won’t have to learn again. It was that poignant. It was during a time when mortgage interest rates took a nosedive and we benefited by refinancing our high-rate mortgage. The transaction closed in late August with the first payment due in October. Rather than take a month off […]

150

Three Generic Cleaners Same as Brand Names but Way Cheaper

Most people are well familiar with the term “generic” when it comes to medications, a term referring to any drug marketed under its chemical name without all the fancy packaging and advertising. Today I want to offer you cheap generic alternatives for these three popular cleaning products—Bar Keepers Friend, Super Washing Soda, and OxiClean.   We […]

151

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls and Why You Should

A previous post, Fabric Softener Products are the Problem Not the Solution, continues to strike a chord with thousands of readers. I know because you send me messages and letters, which I love—even ones from some who are not 100% satisfied making the switch from problematic laundry softeners to what I find are amazing wool […]

152

16 Ways to Stop Worrying and Start Living the Life You Love

If you’ve ever have been in serious debt—or are right now—you know the feeling that your creditors own you lock, stock and bank account. I’ve been there, I know.

Debt steals your freedom one option at a time until you become its prisoner. Want out? I can help. Click through and I’ll see you there … Love, m xo 😍

153

Simple Solutions for 3 Common Laundry Problems

What do stinky, yellowed, and crayon-stained laundry items have in common? They’re the reason lots of people write to me. Fortunately, each of these problems has a unique remedy—a way to reverse the stains, to get those items back to looking good as new.

See you there! Luv, m xo

154

Look at All the Hidden Benefits in Your AAA Membership

If you are a member of AAA, it’s likely that you depend on it to get you out of an automotive bind with a roadside jumpstart, a gallon of gas, or a tow.

And so you know, they also come to the rescue should you ever lock your keys in the car. Or a sleeping baby. Let’s just say that AAA has saved my bacon on more than one occasion. All that and a lot more in today’s post.

See you there! Love, m xo

155

Here is the Secret to Healthy Eating on a Budget

Recently, I got a frantic letter from Barbara, who lives in Florida. It seems that her teenage son has taken up bodybuilding and her husband is adhering rigidly to the Atkins Diet, both of which are protein-heavy. Barb got through the first week with a major case of mixed emotions: Her husband lost 7 pounds, her […]

156

4 Easy Ways to Make Perfectly Baked Potatoes

Think you have nothing to fix for dinner? As long as you have a few potatoes in the pantry, you have at least one option—bake potatoes and call it dinner. Whether topped with a pat of butter or loaded up with broccoli and cheese—or a big scoop of hearty chili—baked potatoes really are an easy, […]

157

9 Cooking Mistakes We All Make and How to Fix Them

Just the other night I suffered a kitchen disaster. I hate when that happens. I ruined an entire pot of pasta because I got busy and was not paying attention. By the time I realized, the pasta had cooked way beyond al dente, all the way to total mush. It killed me to dump the whole […]

158

Meet My Spring Clean A-Team

There’s an illness that has been documented by poets for centuries and I’ve got it. It’s spring fever, that wonderfully amorphous disease we all recognize come April and May.

Spring fever remains a fuzzy medical category, but there has been a great deal of research on how seasonal changes affect our mood and behavior. I know how it affects me—it makes me want to clean! I’m anxious to introduce you to my clean team members … See you at the post. Love, m 🌷🦋

159

The Best Way to Vacuum Carpet is to Memorize this Routine

Perhaps this has happened to you: You’ve lived with carpeting, then for one reason or another you live with hardwood or some other type of hard surface flooring that shows up every little bit of dust and dirt. You can’t believe it! You can sweep or vacuum one day and by the next morning, dust […]

160

This is the Best Car Trash Can Ever

I’ve always thought that a car should come outfitted with some kind of incinerator that sucks the accumulation of trash and garbage right out of the car and into a holding tank somewhere that magically converts it into purified drinking water. Or gasoline. 😂

While waiting for that kind of invention to appear, I’ve tried plastic bags, plastic tubs, and every kind of frugal trick and tip you can imagine to handle the annoyance of car trash.

I’ve tested and tried. Some ideas are better than others, but nothing has ever proven 100% satisfactory. Until now … !

161

How to Give New Life to an Old Eyeglasses Case

Recently, I dropped off several out-of-prescription eyeglasses at a Walmart Vision Center, just one of many collection centers around the country that partner with Lions Clubs to collect old eyeglasses for those in need at home and medical missions abroad. With the cost of prescription eyeglasses equaling a year’s salary in some countries, donated eyeglasses are the […]

162

Yesterday I Turned Back Time

Yesterday I turned back time. Really! I reset my lawn sprinkler timer, which was an hour off due to the daylight savings spring ritual.  It was surreal to watch the numbers go backward — so much so that when I reached the desired time, I didn’t stop. I let it go a full 24 hours […]

165

Here are the Best Headphones for Every Budget and Kids, Too

Several readers have asked recently about the best inexpensive headphones and earbuds both for themselves and their kiddos. Today seems like a great day to respond. Generally, these are the best values, price points and styles of headphones for adults and kids, too: Best inexpensive wired earbuds Panasonic ErgoFit In-Ear Earbuds are smartphone compatible with integrated […]

169

With My Sincere Apologies to Pawn Shops Everywhere

In the wake of America’s big economic wake-up call back in 2008, dollar stores and thrift stores saw, and continue to see, a big resurgence. And now another kind of retail quasi-lender is commanding all kinds of attention from sellers and buyers, too—pawn shops. I admit to having grown up with a weird bias against pawn […]

174

The Ultimate Restaurant Menu Cheat Sheet

A restaurant menu—no big deal, right? It’s just a list of the food items that a restaurant offers its customers. Sure it is. Plus a whole lot more. Before menus ever make it to the printer, restaurant owners hire menu engineers and consultants to bury super sneaky psychological tricks into the pretty pictures and mouth-watering […]

179

How to Remove Salt Stains from Leather and Suede

Salt. It’s mandatory in a human diet. But in other situations, salt can be as destructive as it is needful due to its ability to eat holes through metal and leave ugly stains on footwear. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate, we […]

180

How to Beef Up Home Security on the Cheap

As a kid growing up, I lived in a house with security that rivaled Fort Knox. Every exterior opening was fitted with an old-fashioned hook and eye latch, which my mother would latch from the inside each and every time someone left the house.

Thankfully, these days, there are much better ways to make our homes safe and secure that are also friendly to all who live therein …

181

Easiest Way to Remove Burned-On Mess in a Pot, Pan or Casserole

I consider myself an expert on today’s topic. I have the unique talent of creating horrible burned-on messes in casserole dishes, skillets, pots—even a Le Creuset dutch oven. I can do this on the stovetop, in the oven, outdoor grill, and microwave, too!  I did it again just the other night. I returned a stainless steel […]

182

Even Small Households Can Save Big at Warehouse Clubs

It’s been a few years now since my husband and I began talking about relocating to another state. At first, it was only a dream but soon idle chatter turned to serious talk. That developed into a list of “must-haves”—things a new location would have to offer for us to even consider making the leap. […]

183

10 Brilliant Food and Cooking Hacks to Make Your Life Easier

Whether you are naturally gifted in the kitchen or had the pleasure of growing up with some talented cooks who were happy to give you a few pointers along the way—lots of people shy away from the kitchen because they find cooking complicated, and even a bit confusing. 

Fortunately, there are tons of great little tricks that can help anyone improve their cooking game, and maybe get some interest in further developing their skills.

Today, I have for you some of the most useful cooking hacks that can benefit everyone, regardless of skill level.

See you there …

Love, m xo 🍞 🥓 🍕🍰 🍨 and more!

184

When it Comes to Food Products—What’s in a Date?

No doubt, you’ve noticed that some food products come with dates and codes printed on them. Does that mean it has to be consumed by that date or just sold by that date?

It’s so confusing!

But not to worry, I have untangled this to help us understand. Notice, I did not say it’s going to make sense, but at least we will know how to interpret the confusing dates and codes. Actually, it’s kinda’ fun!

See you there! Love, xo m

185

Muffins So Amazing, They’re Insane!

I love to bake, however, baking has not always been fond of me. We’ve had our moments. It wasn’t until I surrendered to the following recipes exactly that our relationship made the turn. I had to come to the point that I was willing to measure the ingredients, follow directions and believe that little things […]

186

11 Everyday Uses for Nok-Out—the World’s Best Odor Eliminator

Nok-Out and I met quite by accident. While searching for ways to deal with offensive odors—that musty smell of an old book or the stench of pet urine—we found each other online. Twenty years later I’m still convinced that there’s just nothing else like an amazing product called Nok-Out. Nok-Out eliminates odors scientifically through a process […]

187

Ask Me Anything: Upside Down in a Car Loan, Plastic in the Oven and More

I love my overflowing inbox filled with questions from my dear readers. What I don’t love is not being able to respond personally to each and every one!

So today, rather than trying to decide which ones to answer, how about I just reach in and let’s see what comes out.

To thank you for subscribing to Everyday Cheapskate, I have a gift for you: Make Your Own Mixes eBook. Just click go to this link: https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/wp-content/uploads/MakeYourOwnMixes_download_Skysoft-1.pdf to download it.

Please do not share this link with anyone. Instead share EverydayCheapskate.com where it is currently available to your friends, family, and anyone else! Thanks!

188

Your Best Money Year Ever

For years (and years), I lived under a dark cloud of worry that I would end up financially destitute—a bag lady. The things I did to prove I was wrong just made everything worse!

Having lived through that season of my life (which lasted for more than 25 years!) … I’ve learned a few things: First, that debt is a liar and a thief. Second—money in the bank changes everything.

No matter your situation right now, I know that 2019 can be your best money year ever. Want to get started right now? Let me show you, in today’s post. It comes with this promise: I’ll walk with you through every day of 2019, cheering you on and help you in any way I can! See you there …

Love, Mary ❤️

189

4 Ways to Get More Books for Your Bucks (and Vice Versa)

Got books? If you are an avid reader, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you own a few books. OK, make that a lot of books. 

Some of your books you would never part with, but others are currently gathering dust on bookshelves or piled on the floor.

Since it looks like you will soon have to buy new bookshelves or continue to wade through books just to get to the kitchen, I’ve got an idea. Resolve this New Year to do what some people do with their wardrobes—don’t add anything until you get rid of something. 

Fortunately, the Internet is the perfect place not only to unload old books but also find those on your “to-read” list for cheap. 

In today’s post I’ll show you what I’m talking about …