From its birth in 1992, the mission of Everyday Cheapskate has been to provide practical information to help people save time and money in order to get out of debt and save for the future.
A Brief History
January 1992 saw the premiere issue of Cheapskate Monthly, a thrift newsletter I created, which was delivered via U.S. Mail for a subscription rate of $12 annually. Subscriptions exploded as the country was beginning to recover from a severe recession and people were still unemployed and worried.
The newsletter quickly grew in popularity offering hope, help, practical information for how to stretch a buck, and a lot of fun, too. By the end of that first year, it had been mentioned and reviewed in every major U.S. newspaper in the country, and promoted on lots of radio and television shows, too.
In 1997, we tip-toed onto the Internet with a subscription “bulletin board.” Within no time thousands of people were trying to post their messages all at the same time (argh!)—a clear indication that CM was ready for its own website—dial-up modems, and all—making the newsletter available both online and in print.
Subsequently, the name Cheapskate Monthly was changed to Debt-Proof Living, offering a larger purpose than simply being cheap. Soon DPL became an all-digital publication and website.
Next, we added a blog, and named it Everyday Cheapskate. In time, EC spun it off onto its own website right here at EverydayCheapskate.com.
Many redesigns and upgrades later, here we are—ready to usher in a new chapter of time- and money-saving tips and ideas. After more than a year of design, coding, testing, redesign, and more testing (thanks to all of you who have helped with that)—EC is expanding once again.
We estimate that EC enjoys at least a million readers a week—via this site, email, social media, shares, and on the pages of hundreds of print newspapers that are still alive and well across the country via Creators syndicate. Over the years readers have responded, by sending me their best tips, tricks, hacks, and ideas.
In 28 years, I’ve received more than 50,000 specific money- or time-saving offerings, based on weekly averages. Clearly, we have a lot of money-saving experts in our EC Family. You are amazing.
Of all the tips you send in, a relatively precious few have been published, and that’s a shame. Those that haven’t made it to print, we have attempted to file and archive, and that’s become a losing battle. Many have simply slipped through the cracks.
While EC has become the Everyday Cheapskate nickname, EC² is now short for Everyday Cheapskate Expert Community! Today, we officially cut the ribbon on the brand new interactive feature—right here on this site. This is for you whether you submit tips or prefer to learn (and be entertained) by reading what others have to offer. Or both!
However, from now on, instead of you sending in your tips by email and U.S. Mail then waiting and hoping you’ll see them in a future blog post or column, we are inviting you to create your profile the Everyday Cheapskate website, and upload your tip—so easy! Then BAM! … just like that, you’re an officially published tipster.
Fun, friends, and prizes
You’re about to learn a lot more as you discover what EC² is all about and how you can play along and get involved. Once you get started, you’re going to discover a new way to have fun and meet frugal friends. And, compete for cash prizes! Seriously. Here’s how that works:
When you upload a tip, you’re automatically entered in the current contest (you can opt-out, but by default, you’re in!). That means your fellow tipsters and readers, once they are logged in, can vote for or favorite your tip. Then winners are selected based on votes received and input by Team EC.
Currently, we’re set up with one Monthly Tips Contest. During the “soft opening” in April, and while we continued to test and tweak, we’ve had a number of live contests—with this one running right now. We’ve awarded CASH in those early contests, too.
Contest Winners receive CASH prizes (choice of Paypal or Amazon Gift Card)—1st Place $100; 2nd Place $75; 3rd Place $50.
Our goal is to populate EC² with so many fabulous tips, tricks, and hacks that it will become a destination spot on the web—a place to find great, practical tips and ideas without all the hassles, clutter, and overwhelm of so many sites and social media.
As such, Team EC (my staff and me) has been busy uploading the very best tips you’ve sent in over the years. And we haven’t even made the tiniest of dents in the pile. Team EC opts-out of contest participation, which of course makes your chances of winning far greater.
We need your help! We plan to exceed the 50,000 number … and that’s one tall order. And we don’t want to stop with only tips. We have big plans to add Craft Projects, Photo Contests, Seasonal Ideas to name just a few. And as we grow, we’ll add more contests running concurrently.
You’ll learn when you get into the Guidelines at EC², you can upload up to five tips a day! See how that improves your chances of winning?
You will definitely want to bookmark tips.everydaycheapskate.com.
I want to invite you to start exploring EC² as soon as possible. It will seem quite foreign at first, but relax. You’ll figure it out quickly. Study the Guidelines for how to create your profile, how to upload your tip, and how to create a “feature photo” that well represents your tip. We’re still fixing and improving, which means we understand if you have questions or need help. Do not hesitate to click on the help links you see when you get to EC², or you can simply email support @ everydaycheapskate.com.
Open to the public
EC is FREE; no membership required to read, learn, explore, enjoy (although to upload a tip you must create a simple profile). EC² is open to the public.
You can help
We’ve plowed a lot of money into this endeavor, which means we’re looking at EC² as a significant investment. You can help EC remain solvent by inviting friends to join in (CASH prizes!). Share this post, spread the word. And most of all, visit often and participate at your highest and best stuff.
We’re counting on you … !