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 and use powerful tub and shower cleaners—one for a miraculous deep clean, the other for daily maintenance—rocked my […]
If you are not happy with the results below please do another search
476 search results for: cleaning
Dingy, dirty tile grout. It’s a vexing problem. I know. I have a lot of tile and grout in my home, all of it white or light-colored. And without fail, within a couple of years of it being new, it gets more than dirty. No matter how diligent I am to clean it, that grout appears to be hopelessly stained. It is a problem for me. And for my readers, it’s right up in the questions I am asked most often.
Not many households keep a supply of denture tablets. But every household should because there are so many cleaning jobs that effervescent denture tablets can do from making coffee stains disappear to cleaning fine jewelry and clearing a clogged drain, too.
Denture cleaning tablets are great little workhorses for all kinds of jobs around the house, some you’ve never heard of…
It’s safe to say we’re all aware that Italy is where one would find the best leather. I’d just never thought about the Italians having superior knowledge for how to care for said leather …
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 […]
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.
They come in sizes big and small, rimmed or without sides. We use them to bake just about anything, but mostly cookies. And they can get super grungy with layers of baked- and burnt-on grease resulting in ugly stains and residue build-up.
Does anything here look familiar to you? If so, I have good news. Your cookie sheets can be cleaned and restored, even back to the way they looked when new.
What follows in today’s post is a relatively quick and easy way to get rid of baked-on grease, stubborn food residue, and even rust on any type of cookie and baking sheets—aluminized steel, aluminum, and non-stick—and then to clean and maintain to keep them sparkling clean.
I have this thing for clean windows. I love them, which means I have an opposite and equal dislike for dirty windows. And when I say clean windows, I mean the kind of clean that makes windows sparkle like diamonds in the morning sun. If I could, I’d have a professional window-washing service come […]
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 March and April. 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 the members of my Spring Clean Team …
Your dishwasher is a workhorse. It cleans dishes, of course. But you may not have considered so many other things it will clean and sanitize, too!
Before you toss out that steam iron because it refuses to steam and the soleplate is now sporting a brown, burned-on, gross mess—give it a little love with a good clean out and clean-up.
You might be surprised how easy it is to bring that iron back to working like a dream!
That dishwasher in your kitchen is a workhorse. It does a great job of cleaning dishes, of course. But you may not have considered so many other things it will clean and sanitize—things like wastebaskets, baseball caps, filters, and toys. Seriously!
I pretty much hate to buy things I know I can make for less money to say nothing of the time required to find them in a store.
Take cleaning products for example. Knowing I can make specific cleaners for pennies that cost dollars in a store just makes me happy. It’s a no-brainer.
Today. my top five homemade cleaner recipes to help you get started saving all that money you’ve been spending on cleaning products.
You just paid a small fortune for new eyeglasses. On top of the cost for prescription lenses and fashionable frames, you opted for Anti-Reflective, Anti-Scratch and UV Coatings too.
After all, eyesight is a precious thing and it’s only wise to do all you can to protect it, right?
Absolutely! But here’s the deal: You may be destroying your investment every time you clean your glasses because you’re using the wrong cleaners and doing it all wrong.
Not to worry! In today’s post all the things to stop doing—followed by the best ways to keep the sparkling clean.
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 […]
Cleaning the bathtub is one of those housekeeping chores that’s more pain than pleasure for those with health issues that make bending and kneeling difficult. Here to the rescue are three very effective and efficient ways to clean a tub while standing—even a tub that is deep and or jetted.
Face it, a microwave with frequent use, whether at home or at work, isn’t going to get a thorough cleaning every single time it’s used. It’s going to get dirty, so it’s good to know how to clean a microwave effortlessly, from time to time. With steam!
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.
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. Depending on just how much grease and grime you’re looking at and the supplies you have available, there are several options to clean kitchen cabinets. At least one should help to get the job done—plus one final suggestion for how to keep your clean cabinets looking gorgeous!
Many outdoor cleaning and storage solutions can be rather expensive, especially when compared to do-it-yourself or homemade alternatives. Here some of my favorite cleaning tips and storage solutions for the garage and patio that will give you the results you need without the costs you don’t. Chalky Plastic White Chairs If your white plastic lawn […]
If you have a bathtub with a slip-resistant bottom that no matter what you use to clean, it still looks dingy, grungy, and downright disgusting, I have really great news—a solution that will bring even an older tub bottom back to clean, like new.
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.
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!
Performing a deep-clean on a coffee maker is important to extend its useful life and ensure you’re brewing the best-tasting coffee possible. A build-up of hard water scale and rancid coffee oils in a coffee maker is to be expected. Allowing that build-up to remain (and multiply) can be very hard on the machine. […]
For several months running, I was on a tear to discover all I could about citric acid. What I’ve learned, tested, and tried is amazing. So get ready as I lay out the case for adding citric acid to the list of cheap natural products we need to keep our homes sparkling clean.
Few things are more disappointing than opening the dishwasher to put away its clean contents, only to be greeted by dirty dishes and cloudy glassware. It’s understandable how you might conclude it’s time to get a new machine. But hold on. Before you toss a perfectly good dishwasher, consider these seven things you may be doing wrong, any one of which may be causing this frustrating situation.
I love to cook. And I enjoy inviting guests for dinner parties or more casual meals. What I hate is the big ugly mess that happens in the kitchen as I’m cooking and concentrating on getting everything on the table. My kitchen is right out there in the open for all to see, which is why I’ve come up with strategies to cook and keep the kitchen clean at the same time.
Of all the choices in home flooring, wood stands out for many as the most beautiful. Add to that, wood is durable, coordinates well with any decor, and most Realtors agree that it improves the home’s value at resale. Knowing how to protect and clean wood floors is essential—and surprisingly easy.
These days its nearly certain that there’s a pricey product available to clean just about anything. But why spend the money when you can make your own homemade products that perform just as well from ingredients you may have already in your cupboards and pantry? I’m talking cheaper, faster, and quite possibly better! …
See you there … xo m ❣️
If your dishwasher is not turning out beautifully clean, cloudless, spot-free, sparkling dishes, pots, glassware, and flatware—without handwashing them first—don’t assume the dishwasher is broken.
If it runs, you can make sure it runs well. And you can stop that pre-washing, too!
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?” Before I get to an answer for Joan, let’s talk generally about wood floors and the difference between a painted wood floor and a finished wood floor …
If your Keurig coffee machine serves up multiple cups daily, you may want to check out this article. While drinking coffee has health benefits, using your Keurig machine daily without routine cleaning and maintenance can lead to awful consequences.
The finish on hardwood flooring is not fragile, but it is not indestructible, either. Hardwood floors must be cleaned properly to protect their beauty and fine finish.
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!
Some days I just have to smack myself in the forehead. Why didn’t I think of that?! Doesn’t it make sense that by now someone would have come up with a simple, inexpensive gadget to clean an icky, stinky garbage disposal? It make sense to me, and guess what? Someone has! There are affiliate links in […]
Four methods to get your cabinets clean and gorgeous—plus a bonus for how to keep them looking that way!
There’s nothing quite so lovely as soft, supple, beautiful leather. I’ll take it in a handbag, shoes, car seats, jackets, and furniture. I love fine leather, which means I need to know how to clean fine leather. With that in mind, try to imagine this scene from my real life: Me in my comfy chair, […]
According to Prevention magazine, there are more than half a million bacteria in the kitchen sink, about 1,000 times more than the average toilet. The solution to this problem is to deep-clean a garbage disposal every couple of weeks. Mark the calendar. It’s easy and you can do this in twenty minutes flat using items from your freezer and pantry.
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!
On the one hand, it feels as though our lives have been turned upside-down. And right in the middle of so much uncertainty, spring arrived exactly on time to remind that there are some things we can count on to never change! Just like that, I have spring cleaning and kitchen reorganization on my mind […]
Ever leave the coffee pot on overnight only to wake to a blackened, disgusting, burnt-on mess? Can’t get rid of the gunky build-up in your favorite carafe or thermos—stuff you can see, but not reach? Try an old trick perfected by wait staff in restaurants, cafes, and coffee shops everywhere to get it sparkling clean …
See you there! xo m
There exist all kinds of methods for cleaning glass coffee carafes—most of them brought to us by hard working, super experienced restaurant servers. Who better to know how to get things done fast and efficiently? There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small […]
Did you accept the challenge Spring Clean Kitchen Challenge? It’s been six weeks since I wrote about our big kitchen remodel and my determination to follow Cynthia Townley Ewer’s (Cut the Clutter) three rules for organizing an efficient, convenient kitchen. I invited my readers to accept the challenge and many did. It’s time for a […]
You can pay a fortune to have your outdoor windows washed professionally, or let me teach you how to do this yourself. You need the right tools, too, or you are going to waste a lot of time and money trying to get your windows streak-free and sparkling like diamonds. Look for these tools at a home improvement store near you or use the links provided to get them online.
Laminate flooring is a durable and easy-to-maintain option that can give the look of real wood or stone at a lower cost. By following the tips and steps that follow, you can keep your floor looking beautiful—like new—for many years to come.
Taking care of the floors in your home 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 three types of residential flooring: real wood, laminate, and luxury vinyl …
When it comes to kitchen appliances, nothing says modern and sleek like a beautiful new smooth, glass cooktop. And nothing says “Oh, no!!!!” louder than a burnt-on mess or ugly scratch that appears for all the world to be permanent. But wait … what if I told you there may be a way to restore that glass cooktop back to its beautiful self? All that right here.
Vinegar is an amazing and versatile cleaner for all kinds of applications around the house. However, because it is acidic it has limitations. Vinegar has the potential to harm certain surfaces. To prevent any damage, avoid using any strentgth vinegar on the following surfaces and household items. 1. Hardwood Floors Even regular supermarket plain white […]
My Dear Readers …
Dark, shadowy, dirty lines on the carpet along baseboards, under doors and draperies, along the edges, and in the crevices of carpeted stairs are all visible signs of an aggravating problem called filtration soil.
Normal vacuuming is no match for removing filtration soil. And neither are the best carpet spot removers. Filtration soil is greasy and sticky. It is possible to effectively do it yourself and in today’s post I am going to show you how to do that.
But first, it’s important to know what that dirt is and how it got there …
I don’t mention it as often as I should, but the truth is that I’d be lost without you, my loyal, encouraging, and responsive audience. Thank you for being there every day and for filling my inbox to overflowing with your comments, questions, and outpourings of love and gratitude. Please don’t stop. Ever. Speaking of questions, let’s take a few from my proverbial mailbag …
Two women, different locations, same accident. Both, while using an ordinary commercial toilet bowl cleaner, were not satisfied with the way it was not removing stains. Each added household chlorine bleach and stirred with a brush. One died quickly, the other spent a long time in the hospital. The Problem Whenever chlorine bleach comes into contact with […]
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
From time to time, I hear from readers who have sensitivities or allergies to our beloved Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid. 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, […]
Got cats? Then it’s fairly certain you know something about… that odor. 😿 Yikes! it can bring tears to your eyes right? Let’s fix that…
A kitchen counter is more than a surface upon which to cook and prepare meals. In many homes, the kitchen counter is the main workhorse. It’s where we drop the day’s mail, and where kids do homework. It’s where I fold clothes, daydream and make big plans On cooking days, my counters get all kinds […]
There are multiple ways to deal with burned on mess challenges in pans and casseroles—most of which will work to some degree, eventually. But as far as I am concerned, there is only one method that is totally amazing because it’s pretty much automatic and works all by itself in an hour—more or less—depending on the severity of the situation.
The heat of summer is giving millions of window-mounted air conditioners a real workout. Undoubtedly, many owners of said units will be wondering why their air conditioners aren’t working properly. In most situations, consumers can fix a window air conditioner themselves provided they have the right information and an inexpensive handy tool. If you have a window air conditioner in your home, here’s what you need to know to fix it, clean it and make it like new.
If you hate your carpet because it’s old, stained, and bordering on disgusting, I have great news. There are steps you can take that will have you falling in love with it all over again.
A couple of weeks ago, with all the confidence in the world that winter had passed, I got everything ready for our first outdoor barbecue of the season. The weather was perfect, ditto for the menu. Shocked! I pulled the cover off the grill and got a shock—and not of the electrical kind. Actually, I […]
I don’t mean to gross you out, but here’s the truth: It’s 10 times dirtier than a toilet—and you’re touching it at least 47 times a day. Let’s fix that …
A compact clothes steamer is handy for removing wrinkles and stale odors from fabric, but is that all? Just another single-purpose tool that sits on a shelf gathering dust? Don’t be so sure! I’ve discovered so many ways to use an ordinary clothes steamer to steam clean, sanitize, renew, and refresh all around the house […]
Got stubborn hard water marks and stains on your shower doors that simply will not budge no matter what you try? You’re not alone.
I’ve heard from countless readers who say they’ve tried everything from my magic soap scum cleaner to cleaning vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oven cleaner, muriatic acid, steel wool, Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami and other expensive chemicals to get rid of the horrid, ugly, hard water stains and white haze.
Some readers report that it took multiple cleanings with the magic stuff to get their glass doors truly clean, while others report they’ve tried everything from magic stuff to 30-percent white cleaning vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oven cleaner, muriatic acid, steel wool, Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami, and even razor blades to scrape away the problem—all without success.
I have to admit this has left me in a quandary and about this far from advising new doors to be the only solution. But then, Eureka! The most unusual solution that really works …
See you at the post … Love, xo m 😍
All-purpose cleaners are designed to clean everything from dust bunnies to toilet rings and grease spills. We evaluated many commercial products for effectiveness, ease of use, versatility, price, and overall value. These are our picks for the seven best all-purpose cleaning products for keeping your house clean.
Can you put silver in the dishwasher? Contrary to popular belief, you can wash silver and silverplate flatware in the dishwasher without causing harm, just follow a simple set of rules. This should come as great news in the event you are planning to pull out the good silver for the Holidays. Do it … I don’t think you’ll regret it!
When it comes to overnight accommodations, I don’t care that much about how pretty the lobby might be; if the place has bell service, bottles of French water, or movies on demand. What I need in a hotel is a safe location, impeccable cleanliness, a comfortable bed, a hot shower, soft towels, and a TV with at least a few channels.
If you own a Swiffer WetJet Spray Mop, chances are you absolutely love it. But let me guess: You’re not wild about how expensive it is to buy the refills —the cleaning solution and those disposable cleaning pads. Let me show you how to DIY Swiffer Jet Refills and the cleaning pads too, for just pennies—not dollars!
Remember that pristine, fresh, clean feeling of slipping behind the wheel of your new car? Cleaning the interior of your car may not restore that new car smell, but it will certainly improve the air quality. Washing the windows, getting rid of trash and clutter, and cleaning the carpet and seats can help you breathe easier and could even … um, well, improve your driving skills!
If there’s one place you can really cut household spending, it’s cleaning products. The cost of most home cleaning products is getting outrageous.
These 5 cleaning products you can make yourself (so easy!) are downright cheap and perform as well, maybe better, than their commercial cousins! Prepare to be amazed. See you there … m ❣️
Alvin Corn is a homemade multi-purpose cleaner that cleans glass, mirrors, and lots more. Its funky name refers to its somewhat surprising ingredients: ALcohol, VINegar, and CORNstarch. This is the most amazing product that will clean glass, mirror, quartz surfaces and do it with no streaks, leaving them sparkling clean.
It doesn’t matter how old your dishwasher is. If it will turn on, spray hot water and go through a complete cycle, you can turn out sparkling clean dishes. You just need to know a few secrets about cleaning, maintaining, and operating it.
The only thing better than making my own cleaning products 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.
This spray-and-walk-away Daily Shower Cleaner is the perfect solution to keep tubs and showers sparkling between major cleanings.
I don’t know how else to describe what happens to beautiful sheet pans once they take up residence in my kitchen. All I can say is that in no time they begin to get this nasty build-up of what I call oven crud—a burned on incrustation of oven filth.
It’s not that I don’t wash and scrub those pans. I do. But apparently not well enough. I’m just not willing to spend hours of my life to keep sheet pans and ovens looking the way I want—clean and sparkly.
I’ve been on a rampage to conquer this problem once and for all. Call me idealistic but I’d like my sheet pans and oven to clean up as easily as my dishes and dishwasher. Is that too much to ask?
I’m pretty excited to share with you what I’ve learned through much trial and error. Now, I won’t boast perfection, but I’ve come up with a protocol that’s working really well for me ….
The great thing about alcohol as a cleaning agent is that, like water, it has a nearly neutral ph—neither acidic nor alkaline. And it helps to dry the floor quickly. This makes alcohol the perfect ingredient in your homemade cleaner to clean, protect, and preserve beautifully finished wood and laminate floors.
Want to make your life easier? Clean out, clean up, and get your clothes closet organized! You’ll know what you have and where to find it!
Lately, have you cleaned out your fridge? Once the expired condiments and forgotten take-out containers hit the trash and the shelves and walls get scrubbed clean, it’s time to organize the refrigerator. The way you do that matters. All that plus favorite tips and organization gadgets …
This is a homemade cleaning solution to be used in your Hoover SteamVac or other carpet cleaning machine.
Stainless steel has become a popular choice in kitchen appliances, counters, sinks, and other household fixtures for its longevity and luster. And that beauty can quickly lose its appeal under greasy fingerprints, streaks, smudges, dirt, spills, and stains (which is weird given that it has”stainless” in its name). Using the wrong cleaning tools and techniques […]
Am I the only one who’s been unusually driven to clean and organize these past few weeks? Tackling the storage room in our basement has given me a burst of energy—and produced more than a few surprises! Like a jug of Windex.
Knowing how to make cleaning products for pennies rather than spending dollars for them at the store just makes me happy. It’s a no-brainer!
Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of Blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid? Well, say “Hello” to a very versatile and surprisingly multi-purpose household product.
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.
If you’ve ever dealt with vinyl flooring—especially in an older home where the flooring has not been well-cared for, you know the heartbreak of trying to clean it. The problem is tiny grooves and crevices, especially along the baseboards and thresholds where stubborn dirt has built-up over time and is now holding on for dear life.
But, truth be told, vinyl flooring is still alive and well—highly improved, and quite lovely. In fact, some brands of vinyl flooring have now entered the luxury lines of flooring.
If you have new vinyl, old vinyl, grimy vinyl, or shiny vinyl, it’s good to know how to care for it—what to do and what not to do.
All that plus lots more in today’s post.
See you there! Love, xo m
If there’s one thing you confidently can stop buying ever again, it’s glass cleaner. You already have ingredients around the house that will work to clean glass, windows and mirrors—from vinegar to vodka (true!) to warm soapy water. The problem is that these items, used as single ingredients, have significant drawbacks. Vinegar will do a fairly […]
Isopropyl alcohol, commonly known as rubbing alcohol, is extremely useful around the house because it acts as both a solvent and a disinfectant. Add to that, it’s cheap! Using it as an ingredient in homemade cleaning products is super smart. And don’t we love it when we can figure out how to do things cheaper, better, and faster?! Oh, yes we do 😍 xo m
Why bother? Why go to the trouble of homemade cleaners when buying commercial products is so much easier? That was my arrogant response years ago when the idea of making my own cleaning products made no sense to me at all. I’ve come a long way! Why Homemade? Here are my top four reasons to […]
Items in your pantry like baking soda, vinegar, cream of tartar, lemon juice, and even tea bags, can work as effective cleaners. Even better, compared to pricey commercial products, homemade cleaners cost next to nothing. So the next time you’re staring down a big mess but you’re out of your favorite product, don’t run to the store—open up the pantry and try mixing up one of these DIY cleaning recipes instead. Step back and enjoy the results and the savings, too!
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, non-toxic, homemade silver cleaner recipe for your lovely silver pieces—chains, earrings, bracelets, flatware and heirlooms that’s cheaper, better and definitely faster, requiring little if any elbox grease.
Have I told you lately about my email inbox? It’s a mess. And today I’m ready to clean it up big time by answering 11 questions, each one of them representing dozens more with substantially the same request.
What’s inside? Here are the questions I will answer in today’s post:
1. Best double stroller
2. Best Inexpensive dehumidifier
3. That really great car trash can
4. Rust spots on stainless steel sink
5. Laundry stain remover, say what?
6. Shark vacuum … but which one?!
7. Cleaner for icky, greasy, grimy, cabinets
8. Source for green coffee beans, please
9. Hardwood, laminate floor recipe
10. Source for bar mops
11. Fumigate a space that reeks of tobacco smoke
Once you get there, you’ll be able to click on a specific question to jump to the answer or read straight through.
See you there! Love, Mary xo ❣️
That jug of liquid chlorine bleach sitting in the laundry room has all sorts of uses that have nothing to do with laundry. It can help keep your flowers looking fresh, purify water in emergencies, and even lend a hand when you’re cleaning up after a disaster. 1. Deter Mosquitoes While we think of liquid […]
If you’ve ever suffered the heartbreak of stains, unbearable stink, or other kinds of annoying laundry issues—or just want to know the secrets to get laundry super clean and smelling fantastic—you’re going to love this!
Whether it’s latex paint (fresh or dried on for a long time), stinky towels, yellow armpit stains, here are the ways to deal with those challenges and more …
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 […]
Growing up in Boise, Ida. (shout out to all my Gem State readers) my parents had a percolator. I can still hear that coffee pot perking away in the mornings. My mom used something called Dip-It powder to keep the thing clean. That’s a memory that sent me into research mode, prompted by today’s first reader […]
Well, you’ve done it again! You clever readers have come up with another batch of fabulous ways that all of us can save time and money doing stuff like cleaning the annoying, cloudy film from your car’s headlight covers—and lots more.
Dogs and cats shed. A lot. That pet hair can get all over the house—on rugs, on bedsheets, and clothes. It sticks to fabrics and won’t go away. How maddening to find it on the clean clothes from the dryer. What’s a person to do? Solutions in today’s post. Woof! ….
Washing soda and I go way back. I’ve been using it as a laundry detergent booster for decades. For years, I had no idea I could use it so many other ways around the house! And garage. The more I learn, test, and put it into use, the more it becomes a must-have item in my cleaning arsenal. Think it’s hard to find? Not when you know where to look …
Quite possibly one of the best tips to ever land in my mailbox came from a guy who is a professional property manager. He handles University rental apartments. His job is to get the soap-scum-laden (gross!) tubs and showers sparkling clean for next occupants. Here is his personal, original, homemade solution. Prepare to be amazed …. and forever grateful!
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.
Today I want to tell you about an inexpensive, super effective tool I that attaches to my vacuum cleaner’s hose that lets me vacuum places no vacuum could ever reach on its own. Every time I use it, I wonder how I had lived so long without VaccuFlex.
My first clue that things were not quite right with my clothes dryer was when suddenly it was taking forever to get anything dry!
I’d checked and re-checked the lint trap, so that wasn’t the problem. Turns out it was all kinds of lint that had been trapped, behind the trap farther inside the machine. And in the dryer vent line.
My laundry appliances are stacked so pulling the dryer down to get into those areas from the back was not at all practical. That’s when in desperation I ordered a VaccuFlex kit.
I removed the lint trap and stuck that hose all the way into that area. It was amazing. Shark nearly filled itself before I stopped pulling out lint balls. Then I went outdoors to vacuum through the outside of the dryer vent. And that fixed the problem. And it has gone on to fix so many other cleaning situations, too! You’re going to love this … See you there! Love, xo m
When did you last look at your kitchen cabinets? Not a passing glance, but an up-close visual study—paying particular attention to the areas around the knobs and handles that get touched thousands of times throughout the weeks and months?
Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about and what I’m pretty sure my dear reader Sandy is talking about, too. She’s moving into a new-to-her house and she’s asking how to clean her grimy, gunky kitchen cabinets.
In today’s post I have 3 options for Sandy and any other readers who’d like to get their kitchen cabinets (painted or natural finish) back to their original beauty.
I must have been all of 10-years old the day I decided to surprise my mother by cleaning her old black cast iron skillet. It embarrassed me that over the years it had become so gross. Naively, I assumed that she’d burned too many Sunday roasts in it and that’s why it was never shiny with a copper bottom—like the rest of our pots and pans.
I started with household cleanser and steel wool. I scrubbed on a single spot for what seemed like hours. I couldn’t break through that burned-on “crust” to save my soul. Finally, I just gave up.
What I wouldn’t realize until years later was that I was working on a fine piece of cast iron—a skillet I’m sure I managed to un-do years of coveted “seasoning” that makes a cast iron skillet virtually nonstick.
Cast iron skillets never buckle, cast iron is virtually indestructible, lasting for generations—even at the hand of a 10-year-old wielding cleanser, steel wool, and sharp scraping implements. A cast iron skillet can be restored, and in most cases quite easily.
Food cooked in cast iron is fortified with iron—up to 20 times more iron than when cooked in a steel or aluminum vessel. When you cook in well-seasoned cast iron you use less oil. Cast iron is a chemical-free alternative to nonstick pans … and, as you are about to discover, super affordable …
Many commercial household cleaning products—glass and window cleaner for example—routinely come in a bottle with a handy sprayer. And that sprayer top? Don’t expect it to keep spraying for the long haul. It is designed to fail as soon as you use up the product. So maddening!
I know “hate” is a strong word, but that’s how I feel about trash. The most important trash receptacle is in the kitchen and it needs to be substantial in size, handy by location, as attractive as possible, impeccably clean, and covered. I want to tell you about what I’ve determined to be the best option…
Sometimes I wonder how Everyday Cheapskate readers discover their handy ideas. I mean, who would have thought something that cleans brake parts would also remove stains from clothes? Go figure!
Today I have a really fun collection of Great Reader Tips to share. I’m pretty sure you’re going to love them and find at least one that is going to make your life so much easier!
Do you have a tip you’d like to share? Then I have exciting news: Share it at Tips.EverydayCheapskate.com AND you just might win CASH prizes. Yes! It’s true.
I’ve been working on this for more than a year … and finally, we’re almost ready to open the doors and invite everyone in. Which means your chances of winning now before hardly anyone knows about it greatly increases your chances of winning. The current contest closes in just a few days, so hurry!
Consider this your sneak peek!
Meet me at the post … Love, xo m
I’ll bet you’re really good at something. Cooking, organization, gardening, cleaning, sewing, knitting, computing, driving—the list could go on and on. Figure out how you can teach that skill to others. The greater your need to earn extra money, the more creative and better teacher you’ll become.
When it comes to doing laundry, 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 straight into the washer, often adding a second big glug just to make sure. We use liquid fabric softener by the gallon and dryer […]
Unlike myself, not everyone I know loves to iron. I guess I’m crazy that way. There’s just something soothing, calming about the sound of a good burst of steam, the smell of clean, and instant results. But enough about me. For most people, ironing is the worst. So when the makers of Downy laundry softener came out with a wrinkle release spray that touted also to be a static guard, odor eliminator, iron-in-a-bottle—we were thrilled …
Who in their right mind would trust seafood, meat and produce from some unknown assembly plant, piled onto a loading dock then moved into the back of an unrefrigerated FedEx truck for who knows how long and until some delivery guy drops it on the porch?
The whole idea sounded ridiculously expensive to me, if not just plain gross. I didn’t need to test the obvious so I did what comes all too naturally for me: I jumped to conclusions.
Turns out I was way off base and so wrong. Today I’m here to come clean and set the record straight…
Can’t anyone make a can opener that’s easy to use, does a great job, and doesn’t turn into absolute junk in a matter of months? An opener that will latch on easily, twist smoothly, and give a clean continuous cut every time? Is that too much to ask? No it is not—and in this post I will prove that to you. That plus my major ah-ha! moment.
Here’s an easy way to transform a fresh, uncooked pumpkin into homemade pumpkin puree to use in baking. Select small Select a small, dark orange pumpkin, sometimes called a sugar pumpkin. Don’t expect to find sugar pumpkins labeled as such. This is more of a generic term for cooking and baking pumpkins, than specific type […]
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 even if that means grilling on a budget …
In a recent post, I suggested to a reader that quartz countertops would be a good choice in her quest to find the most durable and easy-care option, because quartz doesn’t stain, doesn’t require any kind of sealant, and cleans up like a dream. And, I said, quartz is cheaper than granite. In no […]
I blame my suspicious nature on my neighborhood grocery store. The store used to be a logically arranged market with bright lights and clean floors—a basic, friendly, functional place to shop.
Then the bulldozers morphed it into a big fancy schmancy supermarket complete with shopping triggers of mood lighting, Starbucks, Panda Express, and lots of comfy chairs.
I have nothing against beautiful spaces and modern conveniences, but I’m no fool. I knew all of this effort was to one end—to get me to spend more of my hard-earned money. It was evident the moment I entered the all new, super modern, tripled-in-size, mega supermarket. Everything from the music to the colors, to the placement of the busy bakery seemed ultra contrived.
Take the “3 for $6!” special of the week. Why not just say $2 each and drop the exclamation mark, I muttered to myself as I placed one jar of spaghetti sauce in the cart.
Before I could wheel away I had my answer: I saw several customers dutifully place three jars in their carts. Not two, not four, but three jars.
That response was no accident. In fact, that’s a simple example of how retailers use tricks to persuade—dare I say manipulate—customers to buy more.
Our defense as consumers is to educate ourselves. Today, the 12 tricks we need to know about. I have so much to tell you about this.
See you there! Love, xo m
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.
Oct 01, 2023 Hello, October! – This is the month that makes us so excited for fall… Sep 30, 2023 DIY Wrinkle Release Anti-Static Spray!! – Would you rather pay $6 or make it yourself for pennies? Sep 29, 2023 Buh Bye, Creeping Charlie!! – That lawn invader has met its match Sep 28, 2023 […]
It’s cheap. It’s available in every supermarket and home center in the universe and so useful around your home, you may have a difficult time believing it. Good old, ordinary, plain white vinegar has dozens of uses … some that may surprise you! I’ll tell you more … at the post.
See you there! Love, m xo 😍
I have a love/hate relationship with carpeting. I love how it looks, how it feels under my feet and how it warms up a room. But I hate dirty carpet; I cannot abide a dirty spot, which is a future stain just waiting to happen. The thought of what lurks between those fibers gives me the heeby-geebies.
Microfiber cloths get things looking cleaner in less time. Especially windows, mirrors, and stainless steel. It’s not magic—it’s science … !
Every day when I open my inbox, I find dozens, if not hundreds, of questions from the audience. Want to know the most-asked-about subject? Stains. Nasty, ugly, stubborn stains on everything you can imagine from concrete to laundry, and teeth, too.
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.
In today’s post I’ve identified 20 ways to use hydrogen peroxide around the house. Something tells me I may have missed a few. I’m counting on you to help identify them! Please tell us in the comments. See you there … Love, xo m
These are the four vacuums—worker bees!—that I own, love, and do not want to live without: Upright, stick vac, handheld, and a robot too …
Recently, in my never-ending quest to organize my home, I came across the half-full case of baby wipes I’d purchased more than five years ago when our younger grandson was born. My first thought was that since Sam is all potty trained now, I should find someone with a baby or donate them to the church […]
While we have lots of DIY cleaner recipes in our EC arsenal, a good quality, a good reliable upholstery cleaner was missing. And now we can check it off with this new handy, effective DIY recipe for homemade upholstery cleaner.
Lestoil, available in home improvement centers like Home Depot and online, is a powerful cleaner that can be used to remove smoke film and soot from various surfaces.
If you think organizing your home or getting your personal affairs in order requires a lot of time, you might be right. However, if you feel that you just don’t have enough time to spend on these tasks, then you’re probably wrong. All you have to do is recognize little chunks of free time throughout the day.
Recently this desperate message with a subject line Dishwasher Disaster! washed up in my inbox. I came this close to ignoring that message because I didn’t have much to go on. There are so many variables. But then I stopped short, knowing the first thing I’d try if this were a problem in my kitchen …
Vacuuming sucks. Literally. One year, my idea of giving our adult sons robot vacuums for Christmas was intended to help them with that odious chore.
What a disappointment. I learned much later that both guys used their robots for only a few months. They were ridiculously noisy, needed constant supervision, did a lousy job, and just more trouble than they were worth. They were annoying and couldn’t do the job. But that was then and this is now …
Rarely do I gush. But gush I do over my Eufy Cordless Stick Vac*. Can’t help it. Eufy is so handy, easy to use, and serves us so well in our home, office, garage, and alas, my husband’s woodworking shop. Eufy HomeVac Lightweight Cordless Upright-Style Vacuum Cleaner (NOT to be confused with the Eufy Duo 2-in-1 […]
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 💌
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 aren’t expensive, which is probably the reason I didn’t bother returning them to the store. I suppose I should have tried, but I’m glad didn’t. I began finding all kinds of ways to use those filters for other things than making coffee …
Rubbing (isopropyl) alcohol is more than a medicinal cooling and soothing liquid for external application. Pour it into a good spray bottle and rubbing alcohol becomes an effective disinfectant and also a natural solvent to solve so many common but often annoying issues around a home and garage. Plus, it dries quickly and leaves no streaks.
Using aluminum foil to line cookie sheets and to keep a steak hot while you finish getting everything ready to eat are the ways we’re supposed to use it, right? Well yes, but there are so many other aluminum foil hacks that can save you time, money, and effort. You can use it to polish silver and halt static cling. And there are dozens more ways to use an ordinary roll of aluminum foil.
Want to get latex paint out of carpet, upholstery, or any other kind of fabric―even if it’s an old stain that is dried up? No problem!
I’ve been accused of thinking I have an answer for everything (you know who you are, my dear husband), and that kinda’ makes me laugh because I have to admit that maybe I do think that. For certain, I love to reach into the mailbag to find so many letters from my readers, many of which include questions, for which I have answers …
It’s no secret that dishwasher detergents are specifically formulated to be used in automatic dishwashers. What may surprise you is that these products’ grease- and dirt-busting abilities can be used outside the dishwasher in many useful ways.
If you’ve ever sold a home you’ve lived in, you already know a little something about stress! If you haven’t but soon will be getting it ready to go to market, I hope today’s post will get you started with a tidy list of the things you need to do to get the house ready to sell for the highest price possible.
It’s been said that you only get one chance to make a good impression. Never were truer words spoken than when you’re getting ready to sell your house.
See you there! Love, xo m
The only thing better than figuring out for myself how to do things cheaper, better and faster is when I get to teach these tips and tricks to my readers. Teaching this one to Mike was the best ever! His response just made my day. I think you will enjoy this, too. See you there … xo m
P.S. As some of you know we had some big technical difficulties yesterday with links in the email that refusted to link! Thanks to my crackerjack tech guy, all is fixed! Thanks to those who messaged me and for sticking with us through thick and thin ❣️
It was this event, now more than 20 years ago, that served as the catalyst to change my arrogant attitude about abundance and entitlement. A half-used roll of paper towels turned into a lasting wake-up call. I won’t say we have completely kicked paper towels from our home, but we’ve come pretty darn close! A single roll can last for six months or longer. If paper towels were to become extinct and disappear from the face of the earth, not a problem, as we have replaced paper towels in our home with bar mops.
If there’s one subject that shows up in my inbox more often than any other, it has to be rust. Ugly, orange-ish stains on tubs, showers, toilets; washing machines and sinks, even stainless steel. Good news! I have a story followed by a very effective, if not exciting, solution …
Sad but true: Modern day home appliances are not made to last for decades the way our grandparents’ appliances did. It’s by design and called “built-in obsolescence.” Add to that, most appliances now have some kind of electronics that make them digital and in some cases, “smart!”
Modern appliances, as lovely and useful as they are, need to be treated with a lot more care than we might have imagined. Otherwise, we could be charged with committing appliance abuse! I’m talking about costly repairs.
Ready to give up your old ways? Me too! And here are 15 ways we can get started now. Today!
See you there … xo m
Our homes are well accessorized with glass from windowpanes to shower doors, tabletops, and glassware. While glass is both beautiful and durable, normal wear and tear or mindless abuse can result in ugly surface scratches on glass. Here are four methods to fix or even remove surface scratches that use ordinary household items together with a little elbow grease.
Apparently, Lestoil has been manufactured right here in the USA for decades and loved by many. Curiously, I’d never even heard of it—let alone used it like a rabid fan—until only a few years ago.
I can’t believe it’s 2022—a brand New Year, and a new decade, too! The year 2021 has been an absolute whirlwind here at EC Central—a year filled with growth, joy, and bright new horizons.
Chances are good that there’s an old can of car wax hanging out in your garage or basement. Now would be the time to find it, dust it off, and hope it’s not all dried out. Of course, car wax is good for waxing a car, but it’s handy in so many other ways around the […]
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.
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 …
I really don’t know where I got the thing. It may have been a wedding gift. What I know is that I tried to use that cast iron skillet without success and I mean not even a little bit. Food would become hopelessly stuck to it and burned beyond recognition. If it wasn’t turning out charred fare, it was growing a fine coat of rust.
The good news is I rescued it and now more than 40 years later, my favorite skillet and I have quite a love thing going on.
Dryer sheets have so many other uses around that home that have nothing to do with laundry—indoors, outdoors, and in the garage too.
There’s just nothing like a clogged drain in a tub, sink, or shower to get the day off to a bad start. Ack! Now what? Gallons of caustic drain cleaner? A mad online search for an available plumber? Today, I want to share a fabulous anti-clog tool plus seven other kitchen gadgets that I love and […]
It was Christmas Eve. Everything was ready, our overnight company would arrive in a matter of hours. I opened the refrigerator to discover the inside had reached a balmy 70° F. This could not have happened at a worse time. Away to my computer, I flew like a flash, straight to RepairClinic.com, where I entered the […]
Several years ago, my son gave me the bounty from the two fruit trees that pretty much rule his backyard. My Mother’s Day gift of Meyer lemons weighed in at 124 pounds. I know, lucky me!
I had to figure out ways to use, share, and preserve lemons in a big hurry. I juiced, cooked, and baked all kinds of lemon things. And I learned so many ways to use lemons in around the house, too! Who knew lemons could be so useful? Love, xo m
No doubt about it, we can now say with confidence that hindsight is 2020. There it goes, washing away—the year never to be forgotten.
Today, a roundup of the 10 most popular Everyday Cheapskate posts in 2020 starting with #10 and working our way to the number one most popular …
I’ve used Nok-Out and now its companion SNiPER continuously in my home for longer than 20 years, and have recommended it to readers facing serious and potentially expensive odor issues. Thousands of people have reported back how Nok-Out has saved the day on more than a few occasions.
Because of the variables, there are a number of remedies, all of which do work to remove ink stains from leather in certain situations. You may have to make multiple attempts until you find one that works for your particular leather and situation. Go through the steps that follow until you hit on the one that works for your specific ink-on-leather challenge.
Toilet bowls develop discolorations for many reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the housekeeping …
Sometimes the very thing you need to solve an ordinary household problem is sitting right in the pantry. Take salt for example. It’s amazing stuff! And it’s cheap, too.
I have a favorite little book, Solve it with Salt by Patty Moosbrugger. Just look at all the things Patty says we can do with good old ordinary inexpensive table salt to make our lives better …
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! Follow these simple steps …
Is there anything more convenient in a kitchen than a garbage disposal? For me, it’s right up there with my dishwasher. I’ve learned the hard (expensive) way that there’s a lot we need to know about how to use a garbage disposal.
When all three messages landed in my inbox on the same day, the problem of soap scum, shower mildew, and hard water buildup grabbed my attention. I’ve been told that if one person actually writes to me with a problem, that represents a thousand other readers with a similar situation. True or just slightly […]
I love to hear from my readers. I encourage you to write to me, and for that, I get hundreds of messages every day—questions galore, great stories, lots of love, and tons of encouragement. Please, never stop writing to me! While I do read every single message, I simply cannot respond to all of them. […]
It’s not new. The blue and yellow can is about as familiar as anything I remember growing up. Banished to a shelf in the garage, I assumed WD-40 was an automotive thing. Boy, was I wrong! This stuff is amazing.
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
If you love your pets but have just about had it with finding their hair everywhere from the couch to the bed and even a hair or two with dinner—help is on the way!
You can’t stop the shedding but there are a number of brilliant, inexpensive solutions for keeping the pet hair problem under beautiful control—even in the car.
It makes a terrific vinaigrette for salad, but apple cider vinegar (ACV) is good in many other ways around the house and garden, too. Here are 11 ways that ACV may work well for you to treat everyday issues like dandruff, stinky feet, garden rabbits, and more. Prepare to be surprised!
I’m not certain when a subject becomes a saga, but I think we may have crossed over into saga territory on the subject of terrific ways to use Blue Dawn dishwashing liquid that have nothing to do with washing dishes. Get ready for even more brilliant uses in today’s post.
Surprise! Today, instead of sharing tips you’ve sent to me, I’ve decided to hog the entire column to share some of my own. Several of these are oldies but goodies, while some I have discovered recently. I do love a great tip.
Got crawling insects like centipedes, spiders, bedbugs, ants, silverfish, cockroaches, fleas and all other creepy crawlies trying to take over your home or garden? Don’t call an exterminator quite yet. I’m confident this is a problem you can fix yourself with non-toxic, completely safe, natural diatomaceous earth (DE)—cheaper and faster!
There are days when I open up my mailbag and have to sit down because I’m laughing so hard. Some things strike me funny. Turns out this time, though, the last laugh was on me. Seriously it was such a strange tip from Reader Bill, I had to test it for myself. What I discovered was more than a little shocking …
Instant Pot comes with an owner manual and recipe book. Both should be considered required reading but honestly, I found them to be unbearably boring while only marginally useful. Here is my Quick Start Guide with the websites, tips, recipes, and accessories that put me on the fast track to falling in love with my Instant Pot.
In the same way that drying clothes outdoors on a clothesline has its limitations (weather, effort, community rules that forbid outdoor clotheslines), a clothes dryer does as well. It can ruin stuff.
While the effect may not be noticeable on the first time or two through the dryer, the destruction will build until that item, which should have never been put through the dryer in the first place, comes to a tragic end long before its time. Check out 15 things that should never go into a clothes dryer, but air-dried instead.
I can’t recall a time when I was excited and at the same time embarrassed to tell you about something so amazing that I’ve discovered. Excited because it’s a super dramatic solution to a common problem, embarrassed because it’s somewhat gross. Let me just put it this way: I would have sworn that I have the cleanest, whitest, softest laundry in town. You’re not going to believe this …
Some time ago, I got a request from EC reader Kelly for a homemade furniture polish recipe. She said that she uses a lot of it and it’s getting so expensive.
My first thought was, of course, to suggest she time her purchases for when furniture polish goes on sale, and then to stock up. That was fresh on my mind as I’d recently purchased a can of Pledge aerosol polish for $2.50 What a deal! Here’s how I did that:
I’d been harboring a $1 coupon and when Pledge went on sale for 2/$7, I used my coupon, bought one can and enjoyed a great bargain.
Kelly didn’t mention environmental issues in her desire to make her own furniture polish, but after doing some research on the matter, I became convinced that may be something all of us should consider—perhaps even more than the high price of quality furniture cleaners, polishes, and protectants.
From that research emerged three recipes for Homemade Furniture Polish … all 3 in today’s post—plus a bonus
You’re going to love this, and when you do would you consider sharing today’s post? That would be awesome!
See you there … xo m ❣️
As you know—and only because I write about it so much—I may as well be president of the Artisan-In-Five fan club for how the book and method of making bread have rocked my world.
Back when I was first learning to do this (it is so easy), I decided I needed bread bags not only to store partial loaves, but also for presentation. Let’s just say that when you bake bread, you have a lot of friends.
Here’s the funny thing: I use bread bags like there’s no tomorrow—but not so much for bread. I use them to do so many things that make my life easier!
I think you’re going to really enjoy today’s post.
Happy 4th of July, Everyone! Today I am decked in red, white and blue in celebration and gratitude for the freedoms and liberty we enjoy in the USA—precious rights for which many have died to protect and preserve.
Happy Birthday America!—may God continue to shed his grace on thee! 🇺🇸 ❣️
See you at the post …
Love, Mary xo
PS Don’t miss the special July 4th bonus at the end of today’s post!
I have to tell you that receiving the message in today’s post put the biggest smile on my face. Induction cooking? Oh yes, I do know something about that! But I must confess that the prologue to Cathy’s question is what warmed my heart.
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. Salt stains on leather are a problem, but not without this very effective solution.
I don’t really have a mailbag but it would be fun if I did. What I do have is a file named EC_Mailbag. That’s where I save all of the questions and letters that you, my Dear Readers, send to me. I just don’t have the time to respond personally so I love it when I get to answer your questions …
Maintenance costs can put a serious dent in your budget and savings—a dent that’s tough to repair. And while there are certain things you definitely need an expert to handle, there are plenty of other situations in which you can make minor but meaningful repairs without the need to call in for professional support—while saving serious cash.
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 dental and financial pain. Periodontal disease is an infection that destroys the attachment fibers and supporting bones that hold the teeth in the jaw bone and the bone itself. […]
Every day I get loads of mail including wonderful notes, letters, and email messages from my awesome readers.
Tucked into many of those messages are tips, hints, tricks, and great ideas for the ways you save time and money every day. I’m pretty sure I have the best job on earth!
You’re going to love today’s post filled with great reader tips. Makes me wonder when I’ll be hearing from you with your best time- and money-saving tips and tricks!
See you there … Love, xo m
I love to do laundry. I’m crazy that way. Here are some of my favorite laundry tips that just might help you fall in love with doing laundry, too! Or at least stop hating it so much 😂
You can skip the store-bought stainless steel cleaners, and make your own highly effective cleaner and polish using items you probably have already. Read on to learn how to create your own stainless steel cleaner for pennies and avoid buying expensive commercial cleaners.
It’s universally understood that a red flag means to stop or some variation of caution. A green flag, on the other hand, means “Wow what a great idea!” That’s how I mark emails from my awesome Everyday Cheapskate readers, who send me their best tips. Check out this fresh batch of “green-flagged” tips: Keep cucumber […]
Every day when I open my inbox, I find dozens, if not hundreds, of questions from the audience. Want to know the most-asked-about subject? Stains. Nasty, ugly, stubborn stains on everything you can imagine from concrete to laundry, and teeth, too. There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a […]
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 …
Over the years I’ve collected a bunch of really great travel tips—some fun, some crazy, but all of them very useful if only to avoid a headache or two. Here are 25 of my favorites:
It’s been many years now since I switched from commercial laundry detergent to making it myself—both powdered and liquid homemade laundry detergent. The ingredients are simple, the process quick and easy. But the real reason I made the switch? Money. It costs from $.30 to $.50 a wash using store-bought, name-brand laundry detergent—but only about […]
As you may know, and only because I mention it so often, I get a lot of mail. And up until just recently, it’s gone into one big out-of-control pile I call The Mailbag. Having reached the tipping point where I was ready to pull out every last hair in my head, I’ve come up with […]
Short on cash this holiday season? Maybe it’s time to start thinking about gifts that don’t come from a store, but from the heart—a gift of time and talent. It’s going to require some (all?) of your free time over the next week or so, but it sure beats going into debt to buy a bunch of gifts for others—or missing out altogether because you refuse to show up empty-handed. Practical, reasonable and doable Christmas gifts that don’t cost a dime!
Several times over the past years, I have wished with all my heart I could call Mr. Migaki, my favorite teacher of all time who sparked curiosity and the love of science in my fifth-grade self. I needed to ask him about minerals and crystals and why borax and washing soda—both of them ingredients in our homemade laundry liquid and powder detergents—can be powdery soft one day and hard as a rock the next. I was reminded once again of this curiosity when I received this message from EC reader Pat.
EC broke all records with nearly 8 million pageviews by 7 million visitors to EverydayCheapskate.com. in 2022. Believing it’s always a good thing to look back to see where we’ve been and to count the blessings—we have put together a roundup of the ten most popular Everyday Cheapskate posts in 2022.
Adding 1/2 cup of borax to every load of laundry will do all kinds of wonderful things to keep your white things white, your laundry, and your washing machine odor-free.
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! […]
Think you can’t get a better deal on quality LED lightbulbs? Well, think again! Look at this most unlikely resource …
Here is a wonderfully creative collection of tips that spotlight my readers’ resourcefulness and intelligence in the kitchen and pantry. Get ready to take conventional wisdom to an unconventional level.
It’s no secret that more and more people—especially seniors on fixed incomes—are sinking deeper into credit card debt. Why is this? I don’t think it’s because we’ve had so many emergencies (the reason to have credit cards, right?). It’s because we don’t want to feel poor. At this point, I should define this term, “feeling […]
If you woke up this morning with a sense of panic realizing there are just days until Christmas, let me offer some sweet relief—a compilation of my favorite things that I have purchased from my own money, with all details updated and now gathered into one convenient place. You’re about to discover that my […]
Mistakes, we all make them! But don’t assume you must live with it. Here’s some great news: It’s only a mistake if you can’t fix it.
It’s not something you buy every day. But when it’s time to buy carpet, you’ll want to know your stuff. Make a bad decision and you’ll pay dearly for a long time, and I am not talking just about the money. You’ll pay a significant price in dissatisfaction and disappointment, too.
When it comes to carpeting there are sooo many choices! And companies, and salespeople. It’s not easy to know who to trust. Truth be told, it’s best to educate yourself so you don’t have to rely on others to make the decisions.
In today’s post, I’ll help you sort through all the noise, identify, and then organize the information to come up with a simple roadmap.
See you there! Love, xo m
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 a week. But is low-tech handwashing just as effective as a high-tech dishwasher? Dishwasher vs hand washing water use? All things considered, the answer might surprise you.
Maintenance and home repair are a never-ending reality for just about everyone. But it doesn’t have to be painful or necessarily expensive …
If I were keeping track of the number of responses from my readers that are filled with praise and gratitude, there would be thousands of hash marks next to Tub and Shower Soap Scum Cleaner. And the most-often word to describe it? Magical!
But now and then a response will report problems having to do with allergies and, well … that smell!
The news is constantly changing as experts learn more about the wicked virus that has invaded our world. Good, reliable information about food safety is absolutely crucial right now.
Restaurants have mostly moved into “to-go only” mode, closing their dining rooms but continuing to offer some combination of take-out, drive-thru, and home delivery. Can we rely on any of these options to keep us safe? Should we? Let’s check with the experts …
See you there! Love, xo m
I have learned the hard way there are certain items that should never go in a dishwasher. They can be ruined or they can ruin your dishwasher. You should hand wash them instead. Consider this list of 14 things that should never see the inside of your dishwasher.
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
Being wasteful is easy especially when things seem to be so plentiful and simple to replenish. Just order more. Or run to the store, right?
Sure, we love to buy things on sale but that’s not the only way—nor the best way—to cut costs. Discovering simple ways to make things last longer is the surefire way to save time and money.
Today I have a bunch of clever tips and tricks to make things like toilet paper last longer—tricks I’ve been doing for years now, which are certainly coming back to bless us these days. And I’m banking on the fact that you’ve got a few of your own you’ll be willing to share. See you there … ! Love, xo m 🧻 ❣️
Mr. Hard-to-Buy-For is no match for these ideas that you can still order and get in time for Fathers Day!
If you love your morning cup of Joe, it’s a pretty good bet you’re throwing out spent coffee grounds on a regular basis. Take a look at this list and you just might discover more than a few ways you can recycle and reuse old grounds so you can use them again …
Impossible pies are just the best because they’re easy to make and always turn out so well. They’re family-friendly, too. Even your pickiest eaters are going to love them.
If you’re a fan of liquid soap for handwashing and prefer to use body wash in the tub and shower, bars of soap may seem quite old-fashioned. And you may be surprised to learn that good old bar soap still has a valuable place in an active household! Bar soaps—any scent and even those little bars from your last hotel stay—are useful for some pretty cool stuff at home. You can even use bar soap to make liquid soap.
Nok-Out and I met quite by accident. In searching for ways my readers could deal with offensive odors, we found each other online. I’ve used it continuously in my home since then and have recommended it to readers facing serious and potentially expensive odor issues. If you need an odor-related miracle, read on …
Pop Quiz: What looks like water, is certainly inexpensive, has a pungent odor but is not toxic (in fact you can drink it if you like); is biodegradable, serves as a useful disinfectant and will repel kitties from your kids’ sandbox? Give up? Read on to learn the answer in today’s first great reader tip.
Air fryer recipes are sweeping the nation, but what is an air fryer? How does it work? And most importantly, do you need one? Here’s the lowdown. What is an air fryer? Several years ago, a well-hyped, “miraculous” kitchen appliance appeared on the scene—the air fryer (or is it airfryer)? Either way, the message in […]
If you suffer the heartbreak of flabby celery, asparagus, and fresh herbs despite your best efforts to keep them fresh and lovely at least as long as it takes to use them up—one simple change in how you’re storing them could make all the difference. That and so much more in today’s post, all courtesy of your fellow EC readers!
Looking for a past news article? August 2023 July 2023 9-30-23 Big Pay Hike United Airlines pilots voted overwhelmingly in favor of a new contract valued at $10.2 billion, the largest ever for any U.S. airline. The four-year agreement increases total compensation by as much as 40.2%. Full article → Switch Providers Most homeowners never […]
Once again, it’s time to reach into my inbox and pull out a handful of questions from you my dear readers. Every day I get questions galore, great stories, lots of love, and tons of encouragement. Please, never stop writing to me! While I do read every message, I simply cannot respond to all of them. […]
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 to the point of avoiding it!
While I’m certain I could survive in my life with far fewer things than I do now (I have in the past, trust me on that), there are things that I depend on heavily and use nearly every day—17 to be exact.
Even though not 100% organized, I pride myself on housekeeping to the point of being accused a time or two of being a wee bit compulsive. This brings me to the matter of vacuum cleaners. I’m particular, if not freakish, about vacuums. There was a time when I wore out vacuums so often that the […]
This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead … This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead … This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead … This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead … This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead … This is the excerpt area. I am testing to see if this will show up instead …
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 […]
With a few simple tricks to reduce the amount of fresh produce we toss, we can minimize the disposal of fresh produce in our homes to make a big, positive impact on both the environment and our grocery expenses.
I am nothing if not a cheap 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 a few of my favorite fun finds.
Step-by-step easy freezer jam instructions and recipes If peak season for peaches, strawberries, and raspberries calls for lots of homemade jam in order to enjoy summer’s bounty far into the cold days of winter, those happy thoughts can turn sour when you consider the time, work, and know-how required to do that by canning. If that’s […]
Most cars and trucks are built to last far longer than we can imagine. And when all is said and done, the difference between a clunker and a cream puff comes down to how the owner has taken care of it. Check out these 10 simple things you can do to make your car last longer than you ever dreamed possible! See you there … xo m 🚗
NOTE: Deals posted here were valid and available at the “deal price” when published. Things can (and do) change quickly. Previous days’ deals remain on this Deals Page for one week without further monitoring or regard for whether they are still available or the Hot Deal price is still valid. That way, you can see […]
Are your teens hounding you for the hot look known as “dirty denim?” Okay, so you like it too. I won’t hold that against you. But I might change my mind if I find out what you or your kids spent for a pair of dirty denim jeans ($810) when the ones that look neat and […]
One of the best ways to preserve—the method of food preservation that is making a big comeback—is known as “canning.” Canning is not tricky, but it is a procedure that should be followed precisely.
Gadgets that do cool stuff are awesome. And when they also function to save money? That is amazing. Consider these 11 money-savers that are so great, they’ll recoup their cost quickly, in their first year (your mileage may vary).
I’m excited to tell you how to make a fabulous, if not magical, do-it-yourself homemade stain remover. This stain remover recipe is so easy and cheap to make. And wow, does it perform! Just let me be clear at the get-go: While this stain remover works super well on fabric, upholstery, and carpet in the […]
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 and dirt are back …
Faithful readers know I’m crazy for a product, Nok-Out. I travel with it and live it with. Actually, I wouldn’t want to live without it. There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Nok-Out is both […]
To avoid illness from foodborne contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends washing produce thoroughly to help kill bacteria and make sure your fruits and vegetables are safe for consumption. But don’t waste your money on a fruit and vegetable spray or wash you see in store. Make it yourself for just pennies! I’ll show you how …
Fruit flies are amazing —amazingly annoying! And those disgusting little flies are no match for these super easy traps and potent potions.
Mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You cannot afford to miss it for many reasons. All that plus some fabulous, easy awesome muffin recipes …
There’s nothing like reaching for the automatic dishwasher detergent only to find you’re fresh out, or you’re on your last pod. Normally, you’d run to the store or add it to your running grocery list for your next trip.
But suddenly, things are not normal. It’s comforting to know how to do things yourself—how to be more self-sufficient. With this post, you can add one more recipe to your “Make It Myself” file (you have one of those, right? 😂)
See you there … and please, stay safe! Love, xo m
My mail doesn’t arrive one message at a time. It comes in piles. Think avalanche. While I have recently hired an assistant (yay me, and welcome Suzanne), the piles remain deep and wide. But I have big plans and high hopes. I must have the most patient readers on earth, understanding, too, because while I […]
I thought this matter of gluten-free was pretty solid—that some people are truly allergic to gluten, others have celiac disease for whom gluten is a serious health issue, while others are simply gluten sensitive. Now I learn there is a growing school of thought that unless a person is diagnosed with celiac disease, it’s all a big hoax.
Here’s what I know for certain: My husband had an annoying cough for at least 20 years. He visited every kind of doctor and to no avail. His symptom was unexplainable and about drove me nuts. About six months ago we decided to remove gluten from his diet, and I agreed to go along as well. Within days, his cough began to wain.
A hoax? I say no and here’s my proving ground: Now and then Harold will fall off the wagon, either knowingly but oftentimes not (gluten is in a lot of things these days). Sure enough, I start to hear that low-grade cough. He can’t help it, he can’t hide it …
So how can you afford to care for your pet—in sickness and in health? Make prevention maintenance your top priority as a pet owner, and you’ll save later. All that and much more in this article.
Do I have a story to tell you—another lesson I’ve learned the hard way so you won’t have to. Truth be told, if my faux pas helps you avoid a huge expense, I’m happy to have suffered it…
There are so many good reasons to make your own household cleaners. It’s cheaper, healthier and greener, too. The homemade household cleaners I share with you from time to time do not contain chemicals. That means you can always count on them to be non-toxic. DEAR MARY: The copper post tops on my deck are becoming tarnished. Do you know […]
Just in time for your weekend plans, the most decadent, intensely chocolatey, take-a-sliver-every-time-you-pass-it chocolate cake. Moist and rich, the secret ingredient is (wait for it) … yogurt! That’s what makes this cake so moist and yummy. I dare you not to love it at first bite.
It goes without saying that when traveling by air, you need to get to the airport early. But this summer especially as air travel is back and things return to normal with Americans making up for lost time—plan to double the time you might otherwise allow to arrive, get through security, and to your gate.
Beyond that, check out these tips and tricks to make your experience less stressful. After all, you do want to arrive with joy in your heart and kind words on your lips.
Laundry challenges come in every size, shape, and intensity. Giving up tossing that item into the rag bag may not be your only option. Rather than thinking there is no solution for that stain, shrunken item, or another laundry disaster, consider the ways you can recover and renew situations gone bad. Honey, I shrunk your sweater […]
In a previous post, I asked readers to share their worst barbecue and grilling experiences that could have been spared if they’d had a decent instant-read thermometer. I loved reading your comments, some of which are so funny you had me laughing out loud. But more than that, I learned that most of our grilling disasters […]
If you have an outdoor barbecue grill with a cover that closes over the top of the grill, you can turn it into an outdoor oven. Why would you want to do that? I can think of a few reasons! To have another baking oven on holidays or other occasions when you really use it. To have an alternative on days you don’t want to heat up the kitchen. To expand your camping-out cooking repertoire. To have a way to cook and bake during power outages …
To have an alternative appliance should electric rates spike.
Whether your goal is to purge your home of stuff you no longer need or you want to raise some cash—or both—you have options.
Furnishing a kitchen well, if only minimall, requires essential items to ensure the kitchen will be used for cooking and preparing meals—not a convenient place to stack take-out containers!
These are the best gift ideas ever for foodies, gourmet cooks, and home chefs because they’re super useful—affordable, too!
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.
Diatomaceous earth is an inexpensive, readily available powder made from the sediment of algae that has been fossilized in bodies of water. These deposits contain high levels of silica and are found globally. In ancient Greece, diatomaceous earth was utilized for construction purposes, such as creating bricks and blocks. Over time, it has gained popularity […]
It may not show up in The Top Tens Biggest Pet Peeves (yes, there is such a thing), but getting the corners right when putting on a fitted bed sheet ranks high in my mailbox.
Here’s the funny thing: Because it doesn’t bother me, I had no idea that quickly figuring out which corner goes where when putting on a fitted bed sheet was a major pet peeve for so many people! I guess I’ve lived my life just assuming that everyone knew the easy trick to get it right the first time, every time.
Looking for some great campervan gifts for friends or family members who just got their new van, are more seasoned RVers or serious campers?
Cut your electricity bill without sacrificing comfort or convenience. Check out these 12 tried-and-true tips, tricks and hacks to slash the cost of electricity in your home.
I used to have a salad spinner. It worked OK, but not as well as the currently popular OXO model. Even it does not remove all of the water from a load of salad greens. And it takes up a lot of storage space. This does not mean I’ve abandoned my pet peeve for wet, soggy, limp salad greens. I’ve just found a better way to dry my salad greens for a lot less money and a fraction of the storage space required for a big bulky salad spinner.
My favorite gadgets, of course, are ones that actually help me to save money and/or time. I’ve been fooled from time to time, spending good money on things that just did not perform well. Or the gadget turned out to be so cumbersome, using it actually complicated rather than simplified my life.
But now and then I strike on a gadget that is so magnificent in its functionality and money-saving properties, I can’t wait to tell you about it.
Today I want to tell you about four gadgets for the kitchen that I consider to be wise investments—money savers!
All four are inexpensive enough to pay for themselves in a short period of time—and then to continue paying off in food savings, which is saying a lot as food costs continue to soar.
Meet me there …. Love, xo m
How often have you been vacuuming and you turn off the vacuum only to see stray hairs—from your own head or your pet’s body—still on your carpet? No matter how hard and often you vacuum, they’re still there. Now imagine all of the hairs you cannot see because they’ve worked their way below the surface. […]
Faithful readers will recall a reader tip from a past post, in which Julie shared her simple homemade carpet shampoo of hydrogen peroxide, hot water, and a tiny bit of liquid soap. That tip set off a semi-avalanche of responses requesting specific details, and many of which cautioned, wisely, that hydrogen peroxide can have a […]
I gave away my slow cooker. I’d stopped using it feeling pretty much like a slow-cooking failure. I’d just acquired a multi-cooker with a slow cook option should I ever feel the urge to try that again. Besides, who wants to dine on meat that’s an odd shade of gray and vegetables with all […]
Father’s Day is a fabulous, wonderful day to show Dads how much we love them, how special they are—and a great opportunity to poke a little fun, too! Here to help with lots of last-minute gift ideas …
Face it, some people are just not easy-to-buy-for. That’s why I’m here to help—I’ve got you covered!
Somedays I stare at my email inbox the way a meteorologist stares at a barometer. While the meteorologist counts on his barometer to forecast the weather, I look to my email inbox to measure and predict your reactions and feedback. You might recall a recent post on how to use up every last bit of a rotisserie chicken. I […]
I love houseplants and I do have some beauties! The truth is I don’t have a green thumb, I just know a few tricks and tips that I will gladly share with you because healthy, beautiful houseplants are an economic way to bring instant warmth to a home, condo, apartment, room, RV—wherever you call home …
When it comes to finding the perfect present, whether you dread coming up with an excellent gift or delight in the search—one thing is for sure, as we come nearer to Christmas, the stress and pressure can be overwhelming. This is the week to finalize your gift choices if you want them to arrive before the […]
Using inexpensive distilled white vinegar in the laundry is smart because it will whiten, brighten, reduce odor, and soften clothes without harsh chemicals.
Even if you didn’t have an abundant garden this year, don’t worry. You can still make these beautiful gifts of summer to hold onto for Christmas. You can find everything you need at a local farmer’s market. Won’t it be wonderful to welcome the Holiday Season knowing you have gifts ready to go? Strawberry Freezer Jam Mix […]
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? YES! Here it is!
If you own a Keurig coffee maker and if it started out brewing a full cup of coffee then turned to a half cup and is now on its way to the landfill—you are not alone. There are many disgruntled Keurig owners out there. That makes me wonder how many people have actually tossed a […]
If today’s topic seems a bit premature because Thanksgiving is still two weeks away, let me remind you of the first time you hosted Thanksgiving dinner. I know that I was a wreck, and for two reasons: time and cooking tools. I didn’t allow enough time to plan ahead, let alone properly prepare the meal […]
Recently as I was halfway out the door, car keys in hand and on the way to the home improvement center, I remembered that I might already have what I needed. Cooking spray! That’s it. I’d heard that it just might work. It did, and quite perfectly, too. More on this and plenty more ways to use “This” for “That!” See you there … Love, m xo
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? …
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. What if we lose our mortgage-interest write off?
6. The Unscrupulous Stylist
7. Rum Cake Recipe, Pleeeese!
See you there! Love, xo m
I used to buy aerosol cans of Endust, but those days are gone. Now, I make my own dusting spray—cheaper, better and faster using natural ingredients from my pantry.
7-31-23 🫒 Olive Oil The risk of dying of dementia is 28% lower among people who consume more than a half-tablespoon of olive oil a day. Replacing just one daily teaspoon of margarine or mayonnaise with olive oil could lower the risk of death from dementia. The “how” isn’t clear, but experts theorize olive oil’s anti-inflammatory […]
Graduation parties, rehearsal dinners, family reunions—it’s the season for large gatherings. If feeding lots of people has you in a panic, relax. I’ve got you covered with recipes for enough fabulous food to feed a crowd that won’t bust the budget.
A many-candled birthday cake left you with a mess of melted candle wax, now hardened and hopelessly stuck to your beautiful wood table. Can this table be saved?
What do stinky, yellowed, and crayon-stained laundry items have in common? They’re the reason many people write to me. Fortunately, each of these problems has a unique remedy—a way to reverse the stains and get those items back to looking good as new.
I’m going to go on a limb and assume that you have a junk drawer. We all have one, and I don’t know about you, but I’m not about to get rid of mine. After all, where else would we put our … junk? Recently, a reader wrote asking how to conquer his junk drawer. […]
I just pulled a load of questions from my mailbag, which is really my email inbox, and while I don’t always know the answers right off the top of my head, today was my lucky day! And hopefully yours, too. So let’s get right to them. Contents 1. Throw rug break-down 2. Washing soda? […]
The dirtier the HVAC filter, the less efficient the system can be—and more likely to develop problems. According to the Department of Energy, regular filter changes can reduce your energy bill by 5% to 10%. Conversely, a dirty filter will send that bill through the roof!
Happy Labor Day Weekend, Everyone!
Once again, it’s time to reach into the mailbag to pull out a handful of questions from you, my Dear Readers. I never know what I’ll find, but I can usually count on some questions having to do with issues of personal finance, others that zero-in on household quandaries and from time to time, some that are just plain weird. I usually set those aside. And who knows? Perhaps sometime soon, you’ll find an entire post devoted to weirdies from the mailbag!
And now for a little weather report from my neck of the woods (Northern Colorado) … today we are looking at a high of 99F (yes!) … tomorrow 98F (a little better 😂); Monday 90F and Tuesday (wait for it …) 38F with 3 inches of snow! ❄️ I am not kidding! (Seriously, I love this.) Then on Wed., Thur., Fri., right back up to beautiful 80F days. Okay back to today’s questions … See you there! Love, xo m
I hope you’ve got something fun planned for the last weekend of summer!
A toaster is just about the most basic piece of equipment in a working kitchen. Seems pretty simple, doesn’t it? And it needs to be affordable. Is this asking too much? Thankfully it is not—we can have what we need in a toaster at a very affordable price.
There are a number of effective ways to kill weeds. Some involve chemicals or require digging. The problem with chemical weed killers is they aren’t always effective, they can be expensive, and cause health problems. Sure, digging is always an option, but now we’re talking heavy tools and a lot of sweat. I say we look to non-chemical, cheap, and relatively easy ways to kill weeds that really work.
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!
A quick online search for homemade formula specifics smacked me in the face! Dozens of loud warnings to never even think of making baby formula yourself. I get it—messing with an infant’s development by inadvertently withholding any of the proper nutrients necessary (amazingly found in perfect proportion in a human mother’s breastmilk) is dangerous.
Lack of proper nutrition at the right time in a baby’s early development could result in irreversible damage. Rest assured, what follows has been very carefully developed by health professionals and is doctor-approved.
Ahhh, summer. The days are long, the grass is green, the livin’ is easy and the last thing on your mind is Christmas in July.
While I hate to throw cold water on your barbecue, I need to warn you about something. The holidays are just a few short months away and if there’s anything we’ve learned in the past, Christmas can creep up on you like a too-tight swimsuit.
Blame it on SSAS—Severe Selective Amnesia Syndrome. People who suffer from this condition fall into some kind of seasonal coma. And it’s little wonder. For many, Christmas is no longer the most blessed, but the most stressed time of the year. And expensive.
Somehow we all manage to get through it, many with a pile of new debt. And who among us hasn’t begun the New Year vowing: Next year I’m starting earlier!
Whether you’re into getting started this early or not—I’ve got some great ideas for simple things you can do to celebrate Christmas in July. Come on … it’ll be fun!
See you there, Love xo m 🎄
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 (duh!) that our relationship made the turn …
I am enjoying the unique holiday tips and tricks readers have been sending my way, to be shared with you. Over and again, I find myself saying, Wow! Why didn’t I think that? …
P.S. Was this forwarded to you? Sign up here.
Who doesn’t love a perfectly ripe, fresh peach? Whether freestone or clingstone (don’t know the difference? read on … ) they’re delicious raw, grilled (yes! and oh yum!), made into jam or cobbler, peaches are one of the most popular fruits. While they’re in season, fresh peaches are relatively cheap, too. In this post, all you need to know to take full advantage of peach season.
The truth is that generics are often a great buy because the quality of the product is exactly equal or sometimes even better than the name brand counterpart. Here are six winners:
It is a social custom in this country to give cash gifts—also referred to as tips or gratuities—during the holiday season. But to whom? And how much? Here’s my take on the matter….
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. Conditioners are not quite as simple as shampoos, but not to worry …
My FoodSaver vacuum sealer is one of my favorite kitchen appliances. I vacuum- seal fresh fruit to extend the useful by at least two weeks, often much longer. I vacuum seal meat before I freeze it so it can last up to 3 years and still taste fresh, flavorful, and freezer-burn free. Prep ahead meals, leftovers, and produce stored in the fridge will stay fresh up to weeks later instead of spoiling in days.
I could go on and on about how my FoodSaver saves our food bill, but today I want to tell you the useful ways I use a FoodSaver that have nothing to do with food! See you there! Love, xo m
While it’s true that life is uncertain, there’s at least one thing of which I am very sure: I will never be held hostage for refusing to iron. Unlike Mrs. Tyrrell whose son Robert, according to police, held her at gunpoint for six hours because she refused to iron his clothes (reported in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution), I love […]
No one knows your hair better than you do. But is it possible that in your efforts to keep it healthy and looking good, you are washing money down the drain needlessly? Consider these costly mistakes many people make.
Should you or someone you love be turning into a dorm dweller, consider this list of essentials that will go a long way to make dorm life easier, functional, and looking good, too.
So, you planted a garden, lucked out when your property included fruit trees, stumbled upon a produce sale you just couldn’t pass up, or joined a CSA. Good for you! Now what? What will you do with all that bounty?
You have several choices, one of which is the subject of today’s post. Ready to get canning? Let’s do it! See you there … xo m
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. …
Early mornings are hard enough, but Christmas morning can easily morph from calm into all-out chaos. But not this year. That’s because time is on your side. Use it now to plan and prep, and you’ll give yourself the gift of sitting back, relaxing and enjoying this beautiful time together—knowing everything is under control. Here’s […]
The best part of my job as your humble columnist is the mail I get from my loyal readers. I had to laugh today when the first two letters I pulled from my inbox requested help with ants and … sharks! There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, […]
If you’ve ever sent perfectly functional household linens or clothing items to the rag bag simply because they turned a dingy shade of gray when you expected your white laundry to come out brilliantly white, help is on the way.
Dingy gray is usually a sign of a build-up of too much detergent that is not getting rinsed away completely in the rinse cycle. If you have well water or hard water that contains unusually high amounts of iron, that could also be contributing to this problem. White vinegar doesn’t necessarily help to whiten clothes. We use it in the rinse cycle to help release all of the detergents. But that may not be sufficient.
Here’s a frugal way to fix and also prevent this problem of white and light-colored items like sheets, shirts, and towels taking on an ugly shade of pale gray…
Whether they come from your garden, the market, or florist, you can persuade cut flowers to remain beautiful for weeks longer when you are careful to follow a few fabulous flower secrets.
Mosquitoes are nasty creatures. They bite, they transmit terrible diseases to people and pets, and have no redeeming value in the ecosystem. They can turn a beautiful backyard, deck, or patio into a nightmare area not fit for humans during mosquito season. But it doesn’t have to be that way, provided you are diligent in taking control of your home and property.
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 […]
A quick Instagram search for #suntea turns up more than 36,0000 results confirming that the summer months are prime time for this classic tea beverage. Add in the untold number of sun tea worshippers out there who aren’t into hashtags and social media and results are clear—there’s a lot of love for sun tea. But […]
Peach Freezer Jam When they're in season, peaches are plentiful and relatively cheap,too. But the season is short. What to do with all those ripe peaches? Make jam … freezer jam! So easy.
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 time. […]
They’re bulky and take up precious cabinet space, but we’ll never get rid of our slow cookers. They can be such a lifesaver on those days when time is scarce and we just want to make a big batch of something deliciously comforting to get us through. A slow cooker, aka Crock-Pot®, is one […]
Even if you don’t have time to tend a full-size garden; even if you don’t have time or resources to build square-foot boxes. Even in a small garden, you can grow lots and lots of different vegetables and enjoy a great harvest for your effort. Nothing quite compares to cooking with vegetables that you’ve grown yourself.
Are you dreading the heat of summer? Relax while you consider these ingenious solutions to keep your house comfortable without putting a freeze on your bank account.
On this solemn day of remembrance and gratitude for all American Heros who have given so much, I want to express my gratitude specifically to all of my readers who have served in our military, and to family members for whom the sacrifice has been immense. That you’ve given so much to protect and preserve our liberty and freedom goes beyond words. But I will say this anyway: Thank you. God bless you and God bless America, land that I love! 🇺🇸 xo m
Although my grandsons are still quite young, I’m keeping this excellent reader tip handy for when they graduate from high school. What a great idea! When our grandchildren started graduating from high school and heading off to college, we wanted to give them money each month during their first year. So in their high school graduation card we enclosed […]
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 (safe from you!) and secure in a bank account. Whether you think you cannot do such a thing or believe that you can, you’re right. It take mental toughness and willingness to see this as a scorched-earth project.
A dollar store is the place I go when I need something to last just until the end of the party—or through the next holiday. Dollar stores are where I match quality with need. If I don’t need it for long (think: disposable), I sure don’t want to pay a lot for it.
Today, my list of things you’d be smart to buy at a dollar store—and some to avoid!
Do you shop at dollar-type stores? Click through to the post, then tell us in the comments!
Enjoy this beautiful day …
Love, Mary ☀️
For less than the cost of a week’s worth of restaurant meals, I can show you how to set up a starter kitchen that will get that special someone in your life excited about cooking at home. Just But for newly minted grads or newlyweds, this will get them started cooking great cheap meals in the kitchen …
As adorable as these creatures are, rabbits can wreak havoc on a lawn and garden. Garden centers, home improvement stores, and online resources offer commerical products to help gardeners protect their plants from rabbits.
But here’s the problem: commercial repellents are expensive, they require repeated applications, and some of them may contain chemicals that can pose health hazards to pets when ingested.
The solution is to find cheaper options that are equally effective to get rid of rabbits that are ruining your lawn and garden.
Rabbit repellents basically work in two ways to keep rabbits out of your flower and vegetable garden and off the lawn—they produce a smell or taste that is repulsive for rabbits but without harm. Homemade repellents are not only less expensive, but a safe alternative to commercial products …
It’s been two years now since my husband and I decided to stop dreaming and start doing. We bought a van. We named her Vangie. We hired a van conversion company to transform her from an empty cargo van to a cozy, useful, comfortable, tiny RV. While I wrote about the specific van build-out specs […]
NOTE: Deals posted here were valid and available at the “deal price” when published. Things can (and do) change quickly. Previous days’ deals remain on this Deals Page without further monitoring or regard for whether they are still available or the Hot Deal price is still valid. (That way, you can see what you missed […]
Here is my Homemade Granite Cleaner that will not stain nor is it acidic so it will not damage the stone or sealant.
Recently, lots of readers have inquired about how to deal with high humidity, which can get pretty miserable this time of year. A dehumidifier can be a godsend for those who live in high humidity areas to remove excess moisture from indoor air. What? Where? What Size? All of that right here in today’s post!
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.
If the arrival of summer 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.
Recently, I heard from EC reader Douglas who wrote,
“Would you please repeat your column that describes the best inexpensive small kitchen appliances? I want to replace my mixer and small food chopper. Thanks. Your column is great. I look forward to it every day. Doug”
After a few moments of non-productive searching, my confused self realized that while I’ve included some small kitchen appliances in the past, the column Douglas was looking for didn’t exist. Now it does. Thanks, Douglas for that kick I needed and your nice comments, too.
Today … my picks for Best Inexpensive small kitchen appliances—11 of them! See you there! Love, xo m
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?
A mid-west sewer authority did a study and came up with data alleging that 19 percent of people admit to having dropped their phones in the toilet. I’m not sure why this fact would be of interest to a sewer agency, but it did come to mind when this letter washed up on my desk a […]
The only thing I love more than great tips from my readers are the words of love and thanks. Yeah, I’m a sucker for friendship and I value that more than you know.
Here’s a fun, crash course on the how, where, and, why of fresh fruits and vegetables. Start following these insanely simple tips and you’ll be amazed to see far fewer of your food dollars (hopefully, none) in the garbage in the form of stinky, rotten produce.
No one likes to talk about it, but truth be told it happens. Toilets malfunction. They get clogged. Sure, it’s inconvenient but more than that, downright embarrassing if you’re somewhere other than the privacy of your own home. Here’s a cheat sheet so you’ll know ahead of time how to unclog a toilet because everyone needs to know how to unclog a toilet!
I’m about to give away all my secrets for how to make muffins that are so great your friends and family will call you a genius. But first, I want to show you what happened one Saturday morning as I was in the middle of making a fabulous—if I do say so myself—brunch …
As you know, and only because I do mention it from time to time, I get a lot of email. If I were to respond to each and every message, that is all I’d ever do, and still not get through the piles that replenish daily. So, I use the subject line method of quick […]
Dental Savings Plans are membership plans, similar to the way a person becomes a member of Costco, pays an annual fee, and receives full privileges at Costco warehouse clubs for the year. A member can just walk in, show his or her membership card to enjoy highly discounted prices everything available at Costco. 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 on kinds of dental care.
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.
The disruption to U.S. food supply chains continues to play out in grocery stores and supermarkets across the country. Our best proactive move is to know where and how to find basic essentials when prices skyrocket or shelves are empty. Good news! Finding the essentials you need may not require you to stand in long […]
Recently, I had the occasion to shop for a bird feeder for a dear friend. I learned quickly that squirrels are nuts about bird feeders and can outsmart just about any design or effort to keep them out of the birds’ food. For me, that begs the question: Why aren’t there “squirrel feeders” so squirrels […]
Have you outgrown your refrigerator? Thinking it’s time to replace it with one that’s bigger? Before you do that, take inventory to see just how much stuff you have in there that really does not need to be refrigerated. You just might discover that suddenly, your current fridge is a lot roomier!
Do you know which items should never be stored in the refrigerator?
Fabric softeners are designed to reduce static and make laundry come out feeling soft and smelling great. But they can cause allergies, they’re damaging to clothes dryers, and they’re not cheap! So what’s the solution?
Make laundry softener yourself that’s is good for you and your budget!
Need a last-minute gift for a neighbor, friend, a beloved teacher, or anyone else on your gift list? Here are six great ideas that won’t take much time, and certainly won’t break the bank …
If you’re looking for ways to get cash for stuff you no longer need or want, there are a number of options both online and locally where you could earn top dollar. You just need to know where to look. Here are the best places to get rid of your old stuff for the best price.
Today’s budget smartphones have nearly all the same technology and capabilities as their super pricey cousins—some for less than half the price.
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!)
Changing your environment can greatly improve your outlook. And it doesn’t have to cost a fortune. The key to great decor isn’t how much money you have to spend. More importantly, it’s about seeing possibilities in what you have already. You’ll be surprised at what you can do yourself for little or no cost!
Finding the perfect gift for teen boys and girls is almost impossible. Teenagers like what they like. Funny thing. I’m kinda’ the same way. So what do teens like? Here are some really cool ideas to get you started. Before you read on, make sure you have your sense of humor handy. This Gift Guide for Teens is nothing if not a lot of fun, no matter your age.
I’m done buying bottled, disappointing Asian-style sauces. That’s because I can confidently make all-purpose Chinese brown (stir fry) sauce cheaper, better, and faster than it takes to actually go to the store and search for something that *might* work …
Another reach into my virtual mailbag—the place where hundreds of questions land every single day! How awesome is that? The problem is figuring out how to respond to so many of my dear readers’ questions. It’s a good problem to have, so I keep plugging alone, hoping hat one QA will resonate with thousands of of readers with a similar question of their own. So with that, let’s dive in.
Getting organized isn’t easy. But staying organized can be even harder. A place for everything and everything in its place. That’s the mark of an organized home.
As a natural-born messie with a bent toward hoarding, I know the struggle. But I’ve learned the joy of decluttering and gaining control over my disorganized self—one drawer, cupboard, closet, and room at a time.
Today I want to update 25 of my best organizational helpers that can help organize your bathroom, bedroom, kitchen, handbag, and car, too. These organizers can quickly turn chaos to calm. Ahhhh … see you there! xo m
Just in time for the weekend—homemade, artisan bread! I’m convinced that anyone with an oven, flour, yeast, salt, and water can make authentic, crusty French bread. Actually, it’s super easy. If I can do it (I can!), so can you. Let me show you …
See you there. Love, xo m 🥖 🍞 ❣️
Even if you never clip a single coupon, you can still cut your grocery bill in half just by changing the way that you shop. These five secrets are about to change your life forever!
Without a doubt, slow cookers have improved immensely over the years, while the prices have remained remarkably affordable!
If you’re fresh out of ideas (let alone desire) to make one more home-cooked meal, but even the thought of yet another take-out or curbside pickup leaves you cold during these days of uncertainty and angst—I invite you to embrace these two words: rotisserie chickens. Not exactly take-out, not completely home-cooked—think of a well-seasoned, perfectly cooked rotisserie chicken as your ace in the hole; a kitchen assistant with an extra pair of hands to help you get delicious, home-cooked meals on the table in a flash.
Today’s post … what to do with it once you get that rotisserie chicken home! Follow these guidelines and you can easily get three great meals from one chicken. See you there …
Love, xo m 🐔🍗🍲❣️
Some of my fondest childhood memories have the name of my sixth-grade teacher written all over them. Mr. Migaki loved science and that made me love it too with his amazing experiments, formulas and scientific method. He made school so much fun.
Once upon a time, there was a restaurant located in Fountain Valley, Calif. Mañanas’ claim to fame—fresh, hot, homemade flour tortillas. Mañanas had a machine—a big, long, crazy machine—set right out in the open in plain sight. It alone was worth the trip, if only to watch a tiny ball of dough start at one […]
A few years back, Eric and Donna Reed shopped for groceries and household products only once a year. How on earth? I know. That was my reaction, too! How? Or maybe better … WHY?
The Reeds got the idea after reading a column in USA Today, wherein the writer confessed to his weakness when it came to buying clothes. So driven to buy new sweaters, slacks or shoes every time he stepped inside a clothing store, publicly he announced he was giving up buying anything for one full year.
Their story is fascinating enough. But how this all turned out will leave you slack-jawed. And wondering. Could you do it?
See you there … xo m
For years, I’ve been relying on a pair of produce peelers. One is red, the other green. Green is for hard-skinned produce like potatoes, carrots, apples—the red peeler for delicate, soft-skinned items like tomatoes, pears, and grapes. OK, just kidding about the grapes, but you get the idea … I’ve come to loathe my peelers, […]
I can recall vividly—and count on one hand—the migraine headaches I’ve had in my life, all of them before age ten. Once I turned double digits, I outgrew them. Until recently. With no warning at all, there I was back to my 8-year-old self, flat on my back with a raging migraine. Why then, after all these years? In reading up on the latest findings on what might cause my migraine headaches, I discovered the importance of magnesium to overall health—and some surprising other uses, too!
Experts call it “interior landscaping” and it’s becoming increasingly popular not only in homes but in offices and other commercial settings. I would have assumed that’s because houseplants can be quite inexpensive. But now we’re learning, they’re more than a cheap way to add a pop of green to a living space. Houseplants offer surprising physical and mental benefits as well.
Great news! Time is one of the most important ingredients in homemade extracts. Fortunately, with Christmas nearly five months away, you’ve plenty of that! AND the price of vanilla beans has dropped considerably! I’ll show you where to get them …
Check out these simple ways to repel cats naturally so they’ll stop using your lawn and garden as an outdoor littler box
On an ordinary hot summer day in rural Georgia just weeks before heading off for his first year of college, Scott Rigsby’s life was to change forever.
A sagging closet rod is so annoying but minor compared to clogging up your entire apartment building’s plumbing system. Both are problems that can be fixed or avoided altogether for those who know the simple tips and tricks in today’s post—plus lots more great reader tips! See you there! xo m 😍
I just received a letter from a reader that sent chills up my spine. It brought back vivid memories of having my purse stolen while traveling alone in a big strange city. The rental car keys, my cash, my one and only credit card, hotel key—everything I needed to keep going was in that bag. There […]
It’s mailbag day, when I reach into my virtual mailbag and pull out for few questions from my dear Readers, attempting to respond with specific help and resources. Dear Mary: How can I find a good financial counselor? We are not covering our monthly obligations and falling further and further behind. I am a […]
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 …
I was shocked out of my mind when I learned the origin of two of my all-time favorite comfort foods—rice pudding and bread pudding. Can you believe it, both were born out of, well—let’s just be straight up about it—poverty. It was during the Great Depression that clever cooks who preferred to feed their families […]
Here are our best gift ideas that are sure to delight grandparents everywhere, whether this is their first year on the job or they’re old pros by now. These ideas may well help you solve the dilemma of grandparents who are hard to buy for.
If money is leaking out of your household and you aren’t quite sure where it’s going, I have an idea: Fast food. Busy households mean tired parents—too tired to cook. and that can easily result in getting take-out two or three times a week. Does anything there sound familiar? The last thing you need is […]
There are lots of myths out there about shampoo and hair care—and here’s the truth to counteract them!
It’s easy to see why casseroles have fallen out of favor with the weight- and health-conscious crowd. One serving of some casseroles can harbor an entire week’s worth of carbs or WW points. Luckily, it’s not difficult to trim the calorie count and step up the nutritional value of almost any casserole recipe around, even those typically laden with high-fat ingredients. You can make healthier versions that taste just as good.
Traditionally, Presidents’ Day has come to mean extreme bargains. In fact, in the past, I have suggested that if you can hold off purchasing that big-ticket item, wait until this holiday weekend. This year things are different. Authentic deals are slim pickin’s. However, I uncovered some Amazon and Walmart deals worth sharing. And as I […]
Of all the things I’ve ever dreamed of being, advice columnist was never on the list. But here I am playing one every day. That’s because while my inbox loads up with tips, hints, and questions related to frugal living and getting out of debt, many questions spill over into money-related dilemmas—advice on family, life, and love.
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 know 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 […]
Whether this wicked virus that continues to spread represents a temporary disruption or it changes life as we know it, one thing is clear: We won’t be going out for a lovely restaurant meal this evening. The world of food has been turned upside down.
Suddenly, eating out needs to be replaced with cooking in, and that scares a lot of people who’ve become accustomed to eating out.
But how can you go from eating out most of the time to knowing how to cook at home all of the time? I have a few thoughts (and you find that surprising?!) and an idea in today’s post! See you there … Love, xo m 🍽 ❣️
Here’s an easy way to cut your grocery bill this week: Make your own bread. Wait! Hear me out.
Let me show you how to make homemade bread that is so easy, so simple, and so foolproof it’s going to make you feel like a genius. Homemade bread, specifically this English Muffin Bread, is simply amazing.
As a Northerner, born and bred in the Pacific Northwest, it wasn’t until I was well into my adult years that I learned that when it comes to cornbread, there are two camps. Those who put sugar in their recipe and those who do not. I belong to the former, with apologies to my Southerner readers who believe that sugar has no place in cornbread and the addition of it is sacrilege!
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. Yes, you can. And as you watch your balance grow, prepare for a surprise—saving will become addictive. Try it. Save money. See if it doesn’t become habit-forming.
Once again, it’s time to reach into my virtual mailbag and answer a few questions from my dear readers …
Preparing our homes and families for natural disasters and severe weather is a well-know subject here at Everyday Cheapskate. We talk about it a lot because it’s that important. But what about the pets? 83% of pet owners live in areas impacted by natural disasters, yet less than half have an emergency plan in place.
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 that use very little water, detergents, fabric […]
My mailbox has filled up the past couple of days with letters from readers who find themselves on the verge of Purell panic! Purell is flying off the shelves as people are hoarding gel-based hand sanitizers (Purell is just one brand) in response to seasonal virus. My sources report that hand sanitizer has mostly disappeared […]
Despite how fascinating ants may be, control and management around the home are important for both health and safety reasons. If you suspect you have a serious ant infestation, consider calling a pest control professional. However, most ant problems—especially those teeny tiny sugar ants—are generally annoying and a problem you can solve quickly with ordinary items you have around the house and garage.
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, […]
These days, a trip to the grocery store requires nerves of steel. The cost of everything, it seems, is soaring. Why? Can we blame the pandemic? Will prices return to pre-pandemic levels once this thing settles down? Will it ever go away? Who knows? One thing for sure: It’s time to hunker down and find reasonable ways to cut food costs every way that we can. Here’s one: Stop buying bottled water.
Enjoy these simple inexpensive ideas to make your home smell like Christmas using the scents of pine, cranberries, cinnamon, oranges and spice.
These days, it’s not easy for a young person without financial experience to build credit and a respectable credit score. How is he or she supposed to qualify for a credit card account without great credit? It’s like needing great job experience to get your first job!
Surprisingly, perhaps, when it comes to credit, there is a good way that you can actually help a responsible young person. You can boost a young person’s credit by taking advantage of a little-known authorized user provision, but credit issuer policies vary widely on how old the child must be.
It takes two great candidates for this method of allowing another person to piggyback off your good credit to work well—a financially mature accountholder and a responsible, trustworthy authorized user.
There are a few things that both you and your authorized user need to know including exactly how to do this—all of that in today’s post! >
Lestoil (“less toil”) Concentrated Heavy Duty Cleaner is a product that’s been around for at least a hundred years. Your mother probably used it on your clothes when you were a kid. It is a thick liquid stain treatment that is not easy to find, but it is really worth the effort. Lestoil, used properly, is the best laundry stain treatment when a stain is so stubborn we need to bring out the big guns!
Trust me on this. Magnificent Cinnamon Rolls in just 43 minutes from start to glorious finish—and just 3 ingredients!
If you were to look up “peanut butter cookies” in a dictionary dating back to the mid-1960s, I’ll bet you’d see a picture of Gwen Hunt. My mother-in-law was a very organized woman. She had file folders for everything you can imagine including one containing lists of her most valued possessions along with the name […]
I love fabric and fine textiles of all kinds, but mostly I love cotton—cotton yard goods, sheets, towels, and cotton quilts. You might say I am a collector, but only in the best sense of the word. My friends know me as a recovering “fabricholic.” That’s why I was particularly drawn to a letter that hit my […]
What do vacuum sealers and apartments that smell like a stale ashtray have in common? Absolutely nothing other than these two messages showing up in my mailbox at the same moment—both of them in response to earlier posts … <>p>Meet me at the post! Love, m xo ❣️
Since I purchased my manual version in 2016, before a programmable version was available, I’ve been using it regularly to make desserts, casseroles, and lasagna and I could not be happier. While this doesn’t replace my traditional 7-quart slow cooker, it is my go-to option for recipes that are more casserole-like.
Some home gardeners call it “black gold.” I understand, it is truly that amazing. But really, it’s just dirt. Rich, nutrient-filled, organic, beautiful black dirt. Sure you can buy the stuff at the garden center for about $10 a bag, but why would you do that when you really can make it yourself?
While I came bearing gifts and lunch to celebrate my friend Sharon’s Birthday, I left with a gift of perhaps even greater value! She taught me how to propagate basil.
As we were walking to my car, I casually reached down to admire her ginormous basil plant. Oh, that earthy, delightful fragrance! With that, she pinched off a couple of stems and suggested that I stick them in water for a few days.
What happened (and so quickly) has spun me into homemade holiday gifts mode—yes, Christmas in July. Ha. Curious? Click thru and I will tell all … See you there! Love, xo m 🎄
Recently, my husband and I made a quick getaway to experience autumn in the tiny town of Lititz, Penn. The colors of fall were at their peak, the air was crisp with just an occasional sprinkling of rain. In a word? Perfect!
I have loved my Instant Pot since the day it arrived back in 2016. I’ll admit to being slightly intimidated in the first few days but that was short-lived. Thanks to a few tips, tricks, and these ridiculously simple recipes, in no time I was making dinners in 30 minutes or less—start to finish.
If soaring food prices are getting you down, help is on the way! Here are some basic saving strategies, practical solutions, and novel ideas to stretch your food budget—and make your life easier.
Granted, one of these strategies on its own is not likely to make a huge difference. But lots of small strategies working together—that’s the way to see huge results.
One of my basic rules of grocery shopping is this: When it’s on sale, buy enough to last until the next time it’s on sale. Baking supplies become so cheap this time of year, we’re nearing the time to stock up.
Which begs the question: What is the shelf-life of baking supplies, in the event you decide to buy enough to last the year? All that in today’s post including a Free Printable Cheat Sheet.
If you think there’s no way a DIY homemade weed killer could possibly be effective, even potent, against weeds, think again! But first, a story … In 1970, John Franz, a chemist for Monsanto, discovered that glyphosate is a potent herbicide that kills almost every plant material imaginable. In no time, the company gave its miracle […]
Whoever said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” must have been a deli owner. Think about it. With all that cheese in those cases, have you ever seen one growing green mold that looks like we can grow in our refrigerators? Never.
All I know about the proper care and handling of cheese I learned from one such person. That kind deli owner introduced me to the two archenemies of cheese: bacteria and air.
The simple act of gift-giving has become extremely complicated. I blame that on the consumer credit industry.
Think about it: You can be completely broke but still spend thousands of dollars on Christmas gifts—and believe it is not only your right, but that you are obligated to do it. It’s a lot of pressure.
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.
These days, jeans seem to rip and fall apart long before their time, a problem with simple solutions for how to make jeans last longer.
What credit score is good? Sound like a super easy question, right? Well, it’s not. In fact, there is no single answer. It’s complicated! But you can forget all the confusion and concentrate on just three simple things and your credit score will take care of itself. Let me show you …
Most families these days assume it takes two incomes to survive. And many would be shocked if they just took the time to figure out the real hourly wage in that second paycheck.
In keeping with the rules of the TV Game Show, Jeopardy, how about I give you the answer, then you respond with the question, OK?
Answer: 88. Your turn… Huh?
Sorry but no. OK, you’re right that 88 is the number of keys on a piano, but that’s not the answer I was looking for …
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. Fast forward to 2021, and although there are no official figures, the average person is now estimated to encounter between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. How outrageous is that? Sure, we live in a highly commercialized society but 5,o00 commercial ads? In a single day? I figured that had to be a gross exaggeration.
I’ve discovered a fabulous solution. Some very smart person has come up with a gadget (made in the USA, yay!) that solves this problem. It is a square piece of plastic with four locking clips—one for each corner of the sheet (fitted or flat). Cleverly named Wad-Free, it prevents the sheets from getting all wadded up.
Here it is mailbag day, when I reach into my virtual mailbag to read and respond to a handful of letters and messages from my wonderful readers. I love hearing from you about your questions, feedback, thoughts, and ideas. Today’s Q’s are on Pet Odor, Line-Dried Towels, HOT Cold-Brew and MORE!
When I tell you that I am a born-messy, for whom the years have magnified that trait, it is not with joy. Embarrassment would be more like it. Join me as I step into the confessional. Faithful readers of this blog know that I often write about the power of organization to defeat clutter, a […]
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 […]
Nearly everything at the store, from beef and cereal, to fruit and veggies, costs more than it did a year ago. Inflation is the culprit eating away at your budget. Food prices are through the roof—and continuing to skyrocket …
There’s something soothing and instantly gratifying about a good steam iron with a heft of heat and steam gliding back and forth over wrinkled fabric. Find the best steam iron with the best features at the best price—that’s the challenge. But fear no more: I’ve made all the mistakes, faced all the challenged, and come up with the best options for you …
Recently, I reached into the pile known as my mail and pulled out a great question, “How can I restore the finish to an original, classic mid-century modern Formica top table that has some noticeable dull spots?” I have the answer but misplaced the letter. So while I don’t know your name, you know who you are and that’s all that matters.
Whether it’s the kitchen, laundry room, garage, car, or basement—getting organized is one thing. Staying organized for many of us is the greater challenge. Here’s an idea: Pick one spot—let’s say the car—to organize and then determine to keep it that way. Forever! Or at least for the foreseeable future. Your car’s trunk can easily […]
It is no surprise that pet lovers and owners treat their animals like their children. Dogs and cats are known to be very intelligent, loving, sweet, and caring. If the cost to keep your fur babies fed, healthy, cared for, and looking good has gotten so high, you’re the one coughing up fur balls—take heart. There are at least 14 little ways to cut the cost of pet care that will add up to big savings.
This is a wonderfully beautiful and delicious cake that is sure to impress. Very easy to make. So moist, without being soggy. The hardest thing about making this cake is to let it sit for 3 days in the fridge. But you must! That’s 72 hours under virtual lock and key, hear?
The idea to buy a mattress online and have it shipped to your home is still rather mind-boggling. It seems so risky, to say nothing of dubious quality. Like who would do such a thing? It’s a concept whose time has come and one that’s here to stay. The idea of a bed that fits in […]
Brisk mornings, fall colors, pumpkin pie, and apple cider. Autumn is just the best time of year, right? And our minds are leaning toward Halloween and Thanksgiving, consider this a strong nudge to put Christmas high on the list. Start planning now and you’ll benefit in so many ways come December.
With schools in the U.S. schools closing several months before the school year ended and now summer, it does seem like the kids have been home like forever. And their rooms are starting to look like it! Don’t make their bedrooms a battleground. Instead, grab this opportunity to help your kids organize their rooms and their stuff. Surprise! I have a few ideas to help get started.
See you there … Love, xo m
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 …
Getting started with savings— money that you actually put away in a safe place, can be difficult if you don’t have a simple, foolproof plan …
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
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?!”
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.
It’s no secret that supermarkets and grocery stores purposely design their layouts to entice us to buy more than we’d planned to purchase when we walked through the door, but shoppers are not victims. It all boils down to our choices—not just for what we buy but when we buy it. There must be dozens of ways to shop for groceries, and I’m confident I’ve tried them all. But when it comes right down to it, every possible method falls into one of two categories—needs shopping or reserve shopping.
These days, as the cost of just about everything increases, the best way to stretch money is to be smart with it. Could your space use a minor refresh? These affordable home upgrades just might do the trick. Let’s face it, the cost of everything is skyrocketing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a […]
We could go broke furnishing our kitchens with the ‘right equipment’ if we look to television cooks and professional chefs as examples—although I must say that the late Julia Child was the queen of using this-for-that. Recycle pantyhose to store onions, pick up a rolling pin or create a French baking oven with a single trip to HomeDepot!
Check this out—four clever ways you can use this for that to cut kitchen clutter and save money, too!
See you there … Love, xo m
Over the past year or so I’ve been hearing a lot about a new way to get dinner on the table. Every month or so another one of these meal kit delivery services would contact me to give it a try. Seriously? Who in their right mind would trust seafood, meat and produce from some unknown assembly […]
It’s Mailbag day and time to reach in my a file named ECMailbag. That’s where I save all of the questions and letters that you, my dear readers, send to me. I don’t have the time to respond personally so I love it when I get to respond to your questions here. Here is a […]
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.
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 🛩 🤞
It’s time to reach into the inbox to answer more questions from my loyal readers—answers to which I suspect might be of interest to others. I love receiving your questions, by the way, so keep them coming! Contents 1. What is tamari? 2. What happened to Glisten? 3. Secret in sunscreen 4. Stubborn toilet […]
Today’s batch of reader questions reminds me how complicated our lives have become since the introduction of consumer credit. Some days I long for simpler times when cash was king—before there was no such thing as a trillion-dollar consumer credit industry attempting to control our lives.
Just in time for the holidays, quite possibly the easiest, most versatile, amazingly delicious boxed cake hack ever to be discovered. I can’t take credit for this, it’s a basic hack I ran into while cruising the Internet—wait, I mean while doing exhaustive research!
I tried it. Again and again. I switched things up, came up with ways to hack the hack and well, it’s amazing. And did I say easy? It’s almost scary, like how can this work? But it does. And as a bonus, this is super budget-friendly, especially when the ingredients are on sale.
I kinda’ went nuts on my last trip to California. You’ll recall from a previous column we make that trip quite often for business but also to visit our son who has a Meyer lemon tree in his back yard. I have never seen such a prolific fruit tree in my life. It’s not on any […]
Are you aware that your health insurance may cover the cost of gym membership? Or that everything you need to trap wasps is as close as your trash can and food pantry. Your fellow readers know all of that and lots more—and they’re ready to share. Wasp trap We have a lot of wasps in […]
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 […]
Everyday Cheapskate participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn from qualifying purchases, at no cost to you. For years I thought I was the only person who knew about something called Soilove. I first discovered it back in 1982 while searching for a laundry stain […]
A slow cooker is an ingenious appliance. It’s simple. It cooks slowly. Really slow—like it takes 8 hours to get a meal ready where other methods can take 30 minutes. But unlike that 30-minute meal, a slow cooker doesn’t require work. It doesn’t need a babysitter. No coddling required with a slow cooker. You can just throw the ingredients into the slow cooker, set it, and walk away.
Have you ever walked into the kitchen to get that first cup of coffee only to discover someone left the ice cream on the counter all night? Or the milk? I don’t hate spoiled food as much as I did before I found clever ways to use items I used to throw out.
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.
Here it is, another episode in our Ask Me Anything series where I reach into my virtual mailbag and pull out letters with questions and topics that have the likelihood of universal appeal. Best Cookbooks for Kitchen Newbies Dear Mary: My grandson is getting married soon, and neither he nor his fiancé can cook. Could […]
With the price of beef skyrocketing, now more than ever, chicken continues to claim its place at the backbone of the frugal kitchen. And why not? By comparison and even though the cost of all food is going up across the board, chicken is still much less expensive than beef or pork. It’s healthy, delicious, and useful right down to and including the bones.
I have a special treat for you today. It’s a recipe. I usually sell this recipe for $1,000 but it’s your lucky day. OK, I’m just kidding about that, but honestly, this one is worth its weight in gold, which as I write is about $1,850 per ounce. In this world, there is carrot cake and […]
I will admit to having an extreme aversion to mice. They give me the creeps and just knowing one is in the house totally disrupts my life. A tiny chill ran down my spine when I read Lucy’s letter. Been there, solved the problem and hope to never experience that again! Eek! Mouse in the […]
Only a few months ago I paid $1.87 a gallon for gas in Thornton, Colo. That’s less than half what I paid yesterday. What’s going on? All I know is what I read in the news. And all I know about how to beat the system (a relative term these days) and keep my fuel costs down to the bare minimum I’m sharing in this post.
Whether yours is a stand-alone unit or part of your refrigerator, your freezer costs a lot in wasted energy or saves you a bundle in food costs. Use these simple tips to make sure your freezer is working hard for you to stretch your food dollars. General Freezer Guidelines Ambient temperature Get a refrigerator/freezer thermometer […]
Most every home has a plumbing system that includes a number of drains. One of those drains may have a garbage disposable attached to it. It’s tempting to put all manner of things down it—and other drains, too—because it’s just so convenient. But hold on. Every drain in that system, especially the one attached to the garbage disposal, is vulnerable to breakdowns. Plumbing repairs are not cheap …
The title, Once a Month Cooking, made me laugh. Cook once a month? I didn’t need a book to do that. I also needed the motivation to cook the other 29 days of the month!
Whether you’ll be traveling in the next few weeks or have plans for a trip over the Holidays, it’s always a good time for travel tips. Start thinking because you’ll have an opportunity to share your favorite travel tips. No Room for Air Sure, you can find cheap plane tickets, but you’ll pay many extra […]
Today’s the day I reach into the inbox and pull out some of your questions and only because I want you to feel free to ask me anything! Here is a quick summary of the questions I’ll answer in today’s post. You can click on one to go straight to it or just scroll down […]
If there’s one thing we should be thankful for this Thanksgiving, it’s this: Turkey is cheap! And the rest of the Thanksgiving dinner can be, too.
So much good stuff in today’s post … I learned so much from interviewing two turkey experts! Honestly, I’ve interviewed a lot of people over the years, but these two are my absolute favorites.
See you there! xo m 🦃
Imagine how much cash you’d have right now if you could get a do-over on all the thoughtless purchases—money wasters—you’ve made in your lifetime. Stop paying for stupid stuff—also known as super money wasters! Learn which items you really can do without and watch your savings grow!
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. 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
Getting organized isn’t easy. But staying organized can be even harder. A place for everything and everything in its place. That’s the mark of an organized home.
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
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 with clutter that can quickly lead to hoarding—something that is expensive in terms of time, money, relationships, health, and peace of mind.
Some time ago, I got a letter that took my mind back to the years when our boys were small, and I was too busy, too tired, and too stressed to cook. From hrt opening words , I could so identify with Carly and the situation she finds herself. Dear Mary: I know […]
Until several years ago, I didn’t know something called a heated mattress pad even existed. It makes sense since I’d lived in Southern California for most of my life, where it is mostly warm all year round. Then we moved to Colorado, where the seasons are more pronounced—and winter heating costs can be shocking!
I’m excited to tell you what we discovered that takes care of both slashing our heating costs, but makes cold weather sleeping absolutely awesome! See you there! Love, xo m 😴 💤
There’s nothing like a series of sunny days in late winter to awaken my inner gardener. I’m convinced this hobby improves both my mental and physical wellbeing and for very good reasons—six reasons, to be exact!
No matter where you are this morning or what the weather is like—whether you have little or plenty, if you’re feeling anxious or filled with optimism, I hope today’s post will bring you a spark of joy.
I want you to know that we are all in this virus challenge together—each one of us facing it under individual and unique challenges. With so many uncertainties, one thing I know for sure: We need each other—for support and care, You know where I am—right here for you. You know how to reach me. I love your messges so please keep in touch, realizing I am under a mountain of email! I read all, but cannot personally respond. I do that here … every morning.
Let’s get together now at today’s post. See you there! Luv, Mary 🌷❣️
One of the most memorable letters I’ve received in my writing career came from a reader reporting on how she and her husband took a financial leap of faith with their daughter—a move that paid off big. Dear Mary: I wanted to tell you the secret of sticking to a budget on our […]
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.
As food prices continue to soar, I am more convinced now than ever that given the right recipes, we can cook wonderful cheap meals—from scratch at home—and have them on the table in the time it would take to decide on a restaurant or take-out, drive there, place the order, wait for it, pay for it, and drive back home to face marginally acceptable fare.
Would you be willing to accept a reduction in pay if you could work fewer hours to spend more time with your family? It is a lovely thought, but how realistic? Working less usually means earning less—hardly an option for most people. But that doesn’t mean we cannot take small steps to simplify our complicated lives. A little bit here and there, and before you know it, your efforts will add up to something significant.
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 …
Eggs. They’re nutritious, delicious and cheap! And who’s not thinking eggs right about now as we head into Easter Weekend!
Cooking boiled eggs properly—Easter eggs, ramen eggs, deviled eggs—is quite simple and foolproof, provided you know the secrets.
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.
In elementary school, I was one of those kids who would get so excited raising my hand and jumping up and down when the teacher asked a question I knew the answer. Me, me, me! Pick me!! There are affiliate links in this post. If you click through and make a purchase, we may receive […]
The year was 1992. We’d just come through 10 long years of repaying more than $100,000 of credit card debt I’d stupidly amassed. I’d come this close to losing my marriage, my family, our home and basically blowing up my life. Debt has a way of doing that. After ten years, we’d brought that awful […]
It’s time to claim the cold hard cash you’ve been harboring in old phones and devices in your junk drawer.
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
What do Pat Benatar, George Foreman and I, your humble columnist, have in common? We share the same birthday. I only know this because someone gave me a 797-page book titled simply, The Portable Book of Birthdays. Good thing too, or I’d never have known that Pat, George and I have socially savvy personalities and […]
A plugged-up sink, shower, or tub drain sends most people running for either a bottle of caustic drain cleaner or a plumber’s phone number. But wait. Unclogging a drain could well be a job you can do yourself successfully without caustic chemicals or a big bill.
It is rare, but now and then I hear from a reader who is frustrated using one of my all-time favorite, must-have products, Nok-Out. I love Nok-Out (its companion product is SNiPER) because it eliminates odors; it is harmless for pets and children, not poisonous, fragrance-free, fume-free, toxic-free. Awesome stuff.
The feedback I get is mostly filled with praise and gratitude. However, now and then I hear from someone like Linda, who is facing a tough, smelly situation that because of its location, requires more toil and patience.
If you’re a pet owner concerned about odors your pets leave behind, today’s post should be of great interest!
See you there … Love xo, Mary 🐶 🐱 🐹 ❣️
As a coffee lover, there’s one thing I just didn’t get—Iced Coffee. What?! The idea left me well, cold. Coffee is supposed to be hot. Very, very hot. And then I made a serious mistake. I accepted a sample of iced coffee in a popular coffee shop. It was strong, sweet, creamy, and icy, icy cold. Wow! I needed to figure out how to make this myself because as much as I might want iced coffee again, I was not going to pay the outrageous price to have someone else make it for me ….
It was a happy day when my daughter-in-law Wendy texted me this recipe for what we now believe is better than Starbucks Lemon Loaf! The key ingredient? Pure lemon extract—not lemon oil, not lemon juice but quality, pure lemon extract.
DEAR MARY: I love your columns that I read in our local newspaper. We need to purchase a new washing machine and would like your recommendation. I tried to find a column you previously wrote on this subject but was unsuccessful. We need a large capacity machine for our large family. Thank you. Monica DEAR […]
When cake mixes are on sale, I load up. And that’s a good deal provided you like the taste of a boring cake from a cake mix.
A better idea is to use that mix as an ingredient in a fabulous homemade cake or cookie recipe.
Because no one my family is fond of plain, boring cake made from a box mix, my challenge has been to find better ways to use a cake mix than to simply follow the instructions on the box. Today, I’m sharing my favorite boxed cake mix hacks! See you there …Love, xo m