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1

How to Use Wool Dryer Balls and Why You Should

A previous post, on why laundry softening products are a real problem 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 wool dryer balls.

3

How to Clean, Condition, and Maintain 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. Improper attempts to clean fine leather can result in […]

5

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 at home—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 and pitches for free get-rich-quick opportunities to find authentic ways to make money.

The opportunities for online jobs are out there.

6

Instant Pot New York Cheesecake—Fast, Easy, Perfect!

You could have knocked me over with a feather as I was searching for ways to use my Instant Pot and locked eyeballs with—Instant Pot Cheesecake. What?! I can bake in this thing? (Yes, I can.) There aren’t enough words to describe just how great this Instant Pot Cheesecake recipe is. Instead, I’m going to show you. Prepare to be amazed.

8

The Best Players For Your Spring Clean 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 🌷🦋

11

14 Simple Organization and Storage Tips

Organization is an important aspect of any home. And we’re quite familiar with the rule: A place for everything and everything in its place. Right? The challenge is finding that place and then actually following through by making sure that place is regularly occupied!

What follows is a random selection of tips and tricks I’ve received over the years from my dear readers. Undoubtedly, some will have a ring of familiarity, while others will have you smacking palm to forehead wondering “Why didn’t I think of that?!”

12

How to Cook Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (No-Fail Secrets!)

They’re convenient and, we’re told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare well than boneless skinless chicken breasts.

Here are two foolproof methods to prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCB) so they come out and tender and juicy every time—provided that you follow these instructions exactly!

13

16 Facts and Uses for the One-Cent Piece That are Worth Every Penny

For some people, pennies are so annoying, they don’t even bother picking up strays that end up on sidewalks and streets. Then there are those who eagerly collect the copper coin, living up to the Benjamin Franklin quote that a penny saved is a penny earned.

Assuming that the rest of us fall somewhere between those extremes, today I thought it would be fun to take a look at a few facts and uses for the lowest value coin in the U.S. currency lineup—the lowly penny.

17

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 …

18

A Gracious Guide for How to Be a Good House Guest

It was shocking if not surreal. The email message was from a woman I’d never met and whose name I recognized only because a few months earlier she mailed me a book she’d written.

The message announced that she and her family were planning a cross-country road trip to Disneyland and would just love to stay with us since (at the time) we lived nearby and oh wouldn’t that be so much fun. She gave a tentative date they would be arriving. 

Everything I know about what not to do as a house guest, I learned from that experience, from the moment they drove up to the time they finally departed—far too many days hence.

25

Yesterday I Turned Back Time

Yesterday I turned back time. Really! I reset my lawn sprinkler timer, which was more than an hour off. 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 back a full 24 hours, one hour at a […]

26

Ask Me Anything: Washer Dryer Purchase, Christmas Cactus Care and Feeding

Time to reach into the mailbag to answer a few of the questions from my dear readers. It’s kinda’ my favorite day, which should give you an idea of how much I love to hear from you. While I cannot respond personally to all of your messages and letters, know that I read every one, selecting those to answer here which I believe will have a more universal appeal.

27

Why House Plants Turn Brown and How to Stop It

Not only do houseplants bring warmth and a sense of calm to a home, but it’s also an inexpensive way to decorate. Keeping your beautiful house plants looking healthy and green, is the challenge. The most common question is why do the leaves turn brown? Why do plant leaves turn brown? According to The Smart […]

29

Practical Tips to Follow If You’re Out of a Job

These days it’s practically inevitable that you or someone you know will face a period of unemployment. Consider these practical tips every unemployed person should keep in mind while dealing with the financial and emotional toll of leaving one job and searching for another.

30

Rehab is for the Birds and More Great Reader Tips

If you’re planning a home rehab—or in the throes of that right now—just imagine how wonderful it would be if all it took to make the place like new was a spritz or two of our favorite odor-eliminating and cleaning spray. That’s all it took for some very lucky birds! Fresh home I have another […]

32

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 wool dryer balls. Yes, we could do that … but at what cost? Just as I was convinced that I could not possibly make quality wool dryer balls for less than the price I pay for a great commercial brand, here comes a YouTube video that blew my theory out the window! Prepare to be surprised.

33

5 Ways a Tax Refund Can Make Your Life Better

Discovering that you’ll be getting a tax refund is certainly not the worst news you’ve had in your life. In fact, it’s easy to see a tax refund as some kind of gift from the universe.

But here’s the truth: It’s part of your paycheck that you should have been getting all along. Plan now for how you’ll manage it or your refund could evaporate into thin air. You have options—at least the five that follow. Choose well. The decision you make for what to do with that check could change your life …

34

How to Get Out of a Supermarket Without Overspending

This is not the first time that we’ve visited the subject of how to get out of the supermarket with at least some money left in your bank account. Still, who doesn’t need an occasional reminder—a mental tune-up—to remain vigilant and razor-sharp when it comes to making our food dollars stretch until they scream.

35

36 Clever and Frugal Uses for Baking Soda

You’ll find it in small boxes in the supermarket aisle next to flour, sugar, and cake mixes. It comes in 10-lb. bags at Costco, shelved next to the pancake and waffle mix. It’s a key ingredient in light, fluffy biscuits. But baking soda is not just for baking.

36

Quick and Easy Ways to Get Rid of Pesky Ants

If the arrival of spring is ushering an ant infestation into your home and yard, don’t panic. You may not require toxic pest control products or a professional service to take get rid of these pesky creatures.

In fact, chances are good you already have everything you need to do it yourself. Or if you prefer a commercial product that is eco-friendly and really works fast, I’ve got that for you, too.

39

Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Want to Avoid

The sun is shining; birds are chirping, daffodils and crocuses are pushing their way out of their long winter slumber. Suddenly you feel that familiar urge to clean everything in sight. But before you get started, do yourself a big favor and consider these spring cleaning mistakes you definitely want to avoid.

44

How to Improve Your Credit Score

Credit scores are used extensively these days. If you rent an apartment, get braces, buy cell phone service, apply for a job, or call to get utilities connected, there’s a good chance your report and score will be critiqued to see if you qualify. Think of your credit report as your character reference! The higher your score, the better you look. People with the highest scores get the lowest interest rates. And they’re getting the jobs.

49

How to Heal the Heartbreak of Scratches on Stainless Steel

As sleek and sturdy as it is, stainless steel is not immune to picking up unsightly scratches in the course of everyday household activities. They show up on sinks, appliances, cabinet hardware, and stainless counters, too. There’s a good chance you can remove scratches on stainless steel surfaces, provided you use the right tools and closely follow these tips.

51

How to Wash White Laundry to Keep It Looking Brilliant

In the same way that there are rules in life for things like how to drive a car, how to cook a meal, or how to manage your money, there are a few simple rules for how to keep white clothes looking brilliant and clean. And, if they happen to get a bit dull, gray, or yellowed, there are rules for how to restore the brightness of washable white clothing, too.

54

How to Make DIY Dry Shampoo

Listen, we’ve all gone a few too many days between shampoos. Some of us frequently rely on a good dry shampoo to stem the tide. And as you may have noticed, not all dry shampoos are created equal. Some feel sticky, which can weigh hair down. Others leave weird, white-ish chunks clinging to the hair resembling a bad case of dandruff instead of the look of freshly washed hair. Worse? Quality dry shampoos containing hard-to-pronounce, weird ingredients can be super pricey. 

Making your own dry shampoo solves all the problems:  You know with certainty what’s in it, it works really well, and costs only pennies.

55

The Secret to Keeping Your Finances in the Black

Managing money well is not difficult. It’s all the dumb little mistakes we make that we don’t stop to fix right away that can so easily go on to screw up everything! Know what I mean? Here’s the good news: It’s not too late to go back, redo, and then get back on track …

57

How to Clean and Sanitize Your Washing Machine

If you assume the inside of your washing machine is the cleanest place in your home because you put detergent through it with every load and occasionally wash with hot water, join the club. Most people think that. 

So why is there dirty residue on the agitator? Why do washed clothes sometimes come out with stains they didn’t have before they went in? Why do towels and the washer get stinky?

The answer is germs. Germs that have survived load after a load of laundry. Don’t panic! Today’s easy protocol for how to clean, disinfect, and sanitize your washing machine—top or front loading—to the rescue!

58

How to Clean, Restore Dirty Stained Leather

Do you know what I love? Learning insider secrets. I’m not talking tabloid headlines, fake news, or conspiracy theories, which I work hard to avoid—but solid, authentic, and reliable insider trade secrets. And boy, have I got one (make that two!) for you today! I’m pretty sure you’re going to enjoy this. See you there. xo m

59

Yes, You Can Save Money!

How’s your health? Not your physical fitness, but your financial well-being. For most of us, how much we earn tells us how we’re “feeling” financially. But your income is only one part of the equation. How much of your income do you actually keep?

Not very much, I’ll bet. Your income is low, you say; you’ve got bills to pay. Rents are sky-high, grocery costs are through the roof—who can possibly save?

My answer: You can.

60

How to Spring-Clean (Wash and Detail) a Car

When you think of spring cleaning, you probably think of your home. But what about your car? It has served you well all winter long. It’s been through the mud, the snow, sleet, sand, and salt. It needs a good spring clean, too! You could take your car to a professional and spend $150 or more to get it detailed cleaned up for Spring. Or you can keep the cash and do it yourself.

61

Eggs, Milk and Cheese … in the Freezer?!

I’m sure my supermarket is not the only grocery store that slashes the price on perishable items nearing their “Sell By” date. And when I see eggs, milk, and, cheese in that Bargain Bin, I load up! How do I make sure those items don’t, well … perish? I freeze them. Yes, even the eggs, milk, and cheese.

62

18 Kitchen Hacks You’ll Wish You’d Known Sooner

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!

63

Homemade Poo-Pourri Toilet Spray

I have something really fun to share with you today about fragrance, but first a story. About my friend, Herta. It’s been quite a few years now since she and Al came to visit. In their graciously kind manner, they brought gifts.

I thought I’d heard of everything, but one of these gifts left me wide-eyed and sputtering to find a good response, which I am not sure I did.

65

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 for a bailout. To me, any available credit was the same as income. It was my money to do with as I found necessary. Really bad idea.

67

Give Yourself an Extreme Money Makeover

There’s nothing like a job-layoff notice, getting a call from the bank saying you’ve bounced your account to the moon—or in my case back in the ‘80s learning that our home was about to be foreclosed—to tell you that you need an extreme money makeover. Simple steps to get started in today’s post …

68

Supermarket Chicken Labeling—What Does it All Mean?

If you’ve ever stood in the supermarket wondering if paying more for chicken that is free-range, antibiotic-free, no hormones added, farm-raised, natural, and organic, makes you a better person, you are not alone.  Recently, as I was doubting myself on my chicken choices I decided to get to the bottom of what all of this […]

71

Best Inexpensive Cordless Handheld Vacuum

Can’t anyone make a decent cordless, handheld vacuum cleaner that is convenient to use, holds a charge well, runs for at least 15 minutes before needing to be recharged, has powerful suction to pick up all kinds of stuff we need a vacuum to pick up including pet hair—will last for more than a couple of years AND not cost a fortune?

Well … Yes! And ta-da … here it is! See you there … xo m

72

How to Use Castile Soap to Make Natural Cleaning Products

From time to time I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn. Is there something all-natural we can use that will not trigger these reactions but still work well? There is and it is pure Castile soap. While olive-oil based Castile soap has been around for centuries, Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile […]

73

7 Places to Look for Free Money

It’s been several years now since I got a super fun letter from a reader who has developed a hobby of looking for money in gutters, parking lots, streets, sidewalks, and other public places—and he keeps a running tab. He included a copy of his free money journal for the previous year.

It was amazing to see how his finds often exceed $50 in a single month, available to him just for the taking. Not bad! But I couldn’t help wonder how his payoff might climb if he knew about at least 7 other places that harbor free money … Curious? You should be! xo m

74

11 Ways to Get the Best Online Deals and Discounts

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

75

Best Ideas and Gifts to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

In this post last minute ideas to celebrate Valentines Day including dozens of gifts that are sure to please your Valentines without breaking the bank, divided into three categories—Gifts for Kids, Gifts for Her, and Gifts for Him. Honestly, this is so much fun.

Don’t worry that time is short. I’ve also included a slick way you can legally and ethically sign up for Amazon Prime Shipping, use it to send your Valentine’s Day gifts (to yourself or to others) and not have to pay for it. Really, It’s OK. Amazon wants you to do this.

All that and more in today’s post. See you there!

xo m ❣️

80

What Happens to My Good Credit Score When I Get Married?

While planning a wedding and their new life together, most couples aren’t thinking about how marriage might affect their credit. Will her student debt show up in your pristine credit file? Will your bankruptcy destroy his excellent credit score? Should you close the accounts you have but don’t use? Lots of questions—answers in today’s post! See you there … xo m 👩‍❤️‍👨

84

The Best Inexpensive Skincare Products According to My Dermatologist

If the high-price of quality skincare is enough to give you a rash, good news. You don’t have to spend a fortune (or even a lot) to get the best.

Some years ago, as my dermatologist was wrapping up my routine office visit, I asked him what specific products he recommends I use for daily skincare. Without hesitation, he pulled out a notepad and wrote down instructions that include these products …

85

7 Ways to Stop Glasses Fogging Up

If you wear eyeglasses, I’ll bet you’ve encountered a most annoying problem while wearing a mask—glasses fogging up. That makes it difficult, if not impossible, to see! But not to worry … today, a bunch of things we can do to stop glasses fogging up. See 🤓 you there, xo m

86

Help! I’m Drowning in an Upside Down Car Loan

It’s time once again to reach into my virtual mailbag to pull out a few questions from you, my dear readers!

A recent opportunity for readers to weigh in on what they like best and want they want to read more of here at Everyday Cheapskate revealed that answering reader mail is right up at the top of your favorites! (It’s mine, too!)

87

Amazing DIY Laundry and Carpet Stain Remover

Unlike some other homemade laundry stain and detergent products you’ll find here at Everyday Cheapskate, this one is also a homemade stain remover for carpet. Ah-ha! That got your attention!

Just let me be clear at the get-go, that while this stain remover works super well on fabric, upholstery, and carpet in the house and car, it must be rinsed well or laundered once that stain disappears. Got it? OK, let’s get right to it …

89

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 […]

90

How to Clean a Shark Vacuum

I’m pretty sure you know by now just how much I love my Shark vacuum cleaner. And given all the mail I get, I know that many of you have Sharkys, too. It’s super important that you know how to clean a Shark vacuum to make sure it keeps performing at top efficiency both now and for many years to come.

91

The 7-Day All-Cash Challenge

Here’s the challenge: No plastic whatsoever for the next seven days. Of course you shouldn’t send cash through the mail if that is the method by which you pay bills. But I’m talking about day to day living. Gas in the car, coffee in a shop shop; fast food, restaurant food, diners, drive-thrus, and dives! Can you do it? Will you try? …

94

How to Clean a Jetted Jacuzzi-Type Tub

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 the last time you cleaned it, which would be uh, when? Ha! Not judging … trust me. Been there, done that. But good news … problem solved!

95

Piles of Money Waiting To Be Found

It’s a long story how Mark and Rosalie lost 5,000 shares of Texaco-Canada stock. But they did. They believed their money was well-invested when they relocated to the U.S. They were unaware that when the company was sold to Texaco USA, all shares were liquidated and the proceeds returned to their rightful owners. No doubt, […]

96

How to Remove Yellow Sweat Stains—It Really Works!

Yellow armpit stains on white shirts are a problem if my inbox is any indication, which I believe it is. And I’ve been avoiding the subject because honestly, it’s kinda’ gross.

I can’t begin to estimate how many messages I’ve received asking for help with getting rid of these stains, but it’s a lot. And now it’s time. Today we’re hitting this topic head-on.

What ARE those stains? How to remove them? How to avoid them in the future?

See you there … Love xo, m

98

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 Ha!

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. See you there! xo m

99

You Need an Emergency Fund (How to Get Started!)

Emergencies are a fact of life. When faced with an unexpected event that has dollar signs written all over it, it’s good to be prepared. Nothing new there, I’m sure. We know what we should do. It’s actually doing it that eludes so many. Look, an emergency fund is not a luxury—it’s a must-have! Here how to get started …

100

Secrets of the Frugal Lifestyle

I’ll admit I used to think frugality was a distasteful lifestyle forced upon the poor. I believed “frugal” was synonymous with never buying new clothes and dumpster diving under the cover of night. That it meant cheap and slovenly.

Boy, did I have a lot to learn. And learn I did—and continue to learn—that frugality is the path to building wealth on any income.

103

Tips to Rescue Rust-Stained Sinks, Pitted Chrome, and Slow Running Drains

Isn’t it ironic that the places in our homes that should be the cleanest—the washing machine, kitchen sink, bathroom tub, shower, sinks—are often the most troubled? Harsh chemicals, soap deposits, food stains, rust, hard water minerals, and water spots, when allowed to build up, will eventually not only look bad but cause permanent and irreversible damage.

The good news is that you can halt—even reverse—much if not all of this kind of damage …

105

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! […]

109

13 Surprising Ways to Use Your Coffee Maker

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. …

110

This is What to Do With Leftover Green Salad

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 hadn’t considered that leftover green salad could possibly have a second life, dressed or not. Once tossed, passed, and partially consumed, that’s it, right? Wrong!

113

How to Make Homemade Chinese Brown Sauce

I’m done buying bottled, disappointing Asian-type sauces. That’s because I can confidently make two fabulous Asian sauces (Chinese Stir Fry Sauce and Teriyaki Sauce) cheaper, better, and faster than the time it takes to actually go to the store and search for something that might work …