In nearly 32 years, I cannot recall a single time I’ve heard from a bride or groom saying they wished they’d spent more money on their wedding.The best wedding mail comes from frugal brides and grooms who are anxious to share their fabulous frugal ideas with future couples!
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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.
Whether you’re aware of it or not, you do have a money temperament. Everyone does. It’s the way you naturally think about, behave, or react to money. To loosely assess your money temperament and to have a little fun with this, consider the following premise then choose the response closest to what you would do.
Here it is! The specific steps to roast a cheap cut of beef so that it turns out like prime rib.
It’s still summer, but it’s not too early to start planning for Christmas. If you’re ready to make this year a debt-free Christmas, I’ve got three very useful ways to find the extra cash you’ll need to do that. Time is of the essence because Christmas will be here before we know it!
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 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!
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This information has expired — check back next year! These deals for National Cheese Pizza Day Sep 5, 2023 could save you some dough. Blaze Pizza Want $5 off your next order of $15 or more? All you have to do is join Blaze Rewards! In honor of National Cheese Pizza Day, the national chain […]
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 🚗
You know the feeling when you reach into the pocket of a coat or pants you haven’t worn for a while and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month? It’s not magic—you can make […]
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 […]
It’s that time of year again—everyone wants your money. Brace yourself for more dinnertime phone calls and mailbox solicitations. That doesn’t make giving a horrible thing to endure, but the tactics should make us sit up and take notice. Look, giving is good for us. It’s the best way to pull the drain plug on […]
Looking for a past news article? August 2023 July 2023 9-22-23 Auto Shop Scams In the survey by American Trucks, over half of the individuals reported losing almost $1,000 due to unnecessary or fraudulent repairs. Sadly, 56% of these victims thought their lack of knowledge led them to be easy targets. The solution to this […]
The first rule of buying life insurance: Never purchase insurance from the same person who advises you on the type and amount you should have. Educate yourself first, then contact an insurance company. To get you started, here is a list of things everyone—regardless of age—needs to know about life insurance.
Whatever hot weather adventures you have planned—the beach, pool, campground, or even your own backyard—these cool summer tips, tricks, hacks, and DIYs will bring a smile to your face and perhaps even a sigh of relief. There’s still plenty of time to get out there and do summer like a champ!
Seeing a retirement account as a savings account—or worse, a personal ATM—is super risky. Sure it’s your money, but it’s not your money now. It’s for later. 5 reasons you should not even think about borrowing from it.
On those super busy days when you just don’t have time to cook at home but it’s just too expensive to eat out, “semi fast food” is a great way to combine quick-service food with home cooking to save time and money.
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.
I could teach you how to be an extreme couponer. I’ve had a lot of experience, including the time I demonstrated on location, live on national TV from a large supermarket. Couponing is a legit way to spend less, but it’s a lot of work and is mainly limited to grocery and drug stores. Earning cash rebates from thousands of retailers actually works much better for me.
Recently, I was drawn to a book that was simple to read, easy to understand, and quite charming. In How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn by Allan S. Roth, we follow the story of Kevin Roth, the author’s 8-year-old son, to discover exactly how simple it can be to […]
Have I been sleeping in a cave for 100 years? Sure feels like it. I just read that as a nation, we will spend (brace) $41.5 billion getting our kids outfitted to go back to school this fall. And by outfit I mean with all the “proper” electronic gear, shoes with all the bells and whistles […]
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.
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 […]
Planning for their parents’ end-of-life expenses is about the last thing most adult children want to deal with. At least not right now. A traditional funeral with end-of-life services with extras like flowers, obituary notices, acknowledgment cards and limousines can bring the total to $15,000 or more. Families often overspend on a funeral or burial because […]
Encouragement. For me it is a basic need or perhaps a character flaw, I’m not quite sure. All I know is that I need encouragement, and I need it often. I have a feeling that you do, too. This matter of getting out of debt, living below our means, and learning how to manage our money can be a very discouraging proposition at times.
Let me tell you about my mission to discover the Best Inexpensive cotton sheet sets. It’s been going on for many months. It costs a fortune because as you know, when I test products for you I purchase them myself. I do not want to be beholden in any way to a manufacturer, distributor, or […]
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 […]
Just when we’re getting used to the lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, the compelling ads tell us it’s time to unload our wallets at back-to-school sales. But we don’t have to follow their rules. These useful cost-cutting tips and ideas will help get the kids outfitted without going into debt, without breaking the bank!
8-31-23 Food Prices Still Going Up Recently released federal pricing analysis from the U.S. Department of Agriculture projects that food prices will continue to decelerate but not decline in 2024 … Full article → Refund, Please The times, they are a-changin’. New dating trend sees men asking for refunds when they don’t see a […]
Four methods to get your cabinets clean and gorgeous—plus a bonus for how to keep them looking that way!
In these sizzling days of summer, it’s tempting to load up the freezer with pricey frozen treats. Or to duck into a coffee shop or juice bar to grab one of those decadent blended coffee chillers or a fruit smoothie. But the big price tags can make even the creamiest concoction or slushiest treat hard to swallow.
Giving up favorite cold treats isn’t your only option. Make these yourself and you have great summertime treats at home for just pennies, not dollars.
In a past post, I mentioned volumizing, styling techniques, and a great can of hairspray. Which volumizer? Hairspray? What? Where?! Today, I tell all…
Having some method for the water you drink and cook with pass through a water filter is the best way to assure great-tasting water without the high cost of having to haul bottled water into the house. And you have excellent choices for how to do that.
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 🎄
Whether you live in a house, apartment, condo, mobile home, RV, or dorm room, having sufficient electrical outlets to handle all the accessories, appliances, and tools you need can be challenging. And that’s when knowing how to use a power strip device safely sure comes in handy.
Now, while apples are plentiful and super affordable, it’s a good time to save some dough. And you’ll be saving something else, too. Calories! Researchers have compelling proof that three apples a day will get rid of fat …
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.
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 trendy hack going viral on TikTokto get rid of wasps at home using gasoline is extremely unsafe, if not really stupid! Here are simple and safe methods to remove wasps, many that don’t involve pesticides or flammable chemicals not meant for the home.
The link between debt and being overweight is impulse. People are more likely to grab unhealthy foods on impulse and then carry through with the purchase if they’re using plastic instead of cash. What’s the solution? Leave the plastic at home.
How maddening to reach for the brown sugar expecting it to be soft and fluffy, only to find a rock-hard clump in the bottom of the box. Or how about this: Brown sugar is on sale, so you stock up. Even without opening the bags or boxes left on the shelf, the contents, in time, […]
Conventional wisdom suggests that if you are careful to remove every trace of detectable food source, you will have no fruit flies. Don’t believe it. For days this one tiny drosophila was driving us crazy at EC Central. I promise you that I scoured this place upside down and inside out to make sure there was not a single morsel of food out in the open. That sent me on a mission to put an end to this once and for all.
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! ….
If you ask me, no respectable summer cookout is complete without a big finish with a creamy, cookie-laden banana pudding dessert that is make-ahead-friendly and pleases every age. And the more often, the better.
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 […]
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 […]
Had it not been required to graduate I would never have taken the class titled simply: Philosophy. Abstract thinking makes my head hurt. That’s why I felt a headache coming on when I heard television psychologist Dr. Phil say on his show, “There is no reality, only perception.”
Our kids are fortunate to be growing up in the most progressive and exciting time in history. Sadly, the very culture that offers them the world is also perpetrating this lie: You are entitled to have everything you want even if you don’t have the money to pay for it. It’s not a problem. You […]
As the weather heats up, even the most highly-rated cooler may struggle to avoid a meltdown. You can put those fears to rest with these easy tips for how to keep ice, food, and drinks cold in a cooler—even as temperatures rise.
When I was a kid, family travel meant kids crammed into the back seat of a sedan, poking and elbowing one another while counting the miles between rest stops. Things have changed dramatically since then, but even with onboard DVD players, spacious minivans, air travel, cruises, and theme parks, family vacations can be either delightful or disastrous. It all depends on the care you devote to research and planning.
Apples are a versatile fruit that is as nutritious as they are delicious. In season, apples are among the cheapest option in the produce department. The smart move is to load up to enjoy them for weeks or even months until the next peak season. How and where can we store apples to extend the […]
There’s just nothing that screams late summer like sweet corn when it’s fresh, hot, and slathered with butter and salt. Today, I want to share with you four brilliantly delicious ways to cook corn on the cob that are sure to thrill and delight you, your family, and guests, too.
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 […]
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.
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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?
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 […]
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.
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.
Most of us intuitively associate vacation and travel with huge expenses. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the right kind of planning plus a few clever tricks and tips, it’s possible to enjoy travel without ripping a hole in the budget. Face it, the most expensive and challenging part of trip—plane tickets. […]
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 […]
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 …
I can’t think of a more perfect food than stir-fry. It makes good use of leftovers; it’s healthy and, when prepared well, tastes fantastic! You can make stir-fry, start to finish in less than 30 minutes. The secret is to get all of your ingredients ready and within easy reach, before you start and your skillet as hot as possible.
You don’t need me to tell you about skyrocketing food costs. Over the past couple of year a trip to the grocery store to pick up eggs, milk, or butter has been breathtaking. The financial strain on consumers has become nearly unbearable. But now the price of some food items is starting to recede. The […]
You graduated. Great. Good job. You ended up with a degree and a pile of ugly student debt. You say it’s not your fault—you need forgiveness. Student debt relief has become your number one Google search. Painful isn’t it. And now it’s time to get real. Can we talk?
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.
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.
Here it is … the most decadent, beautiful, quick, easy banana pudding ever. No summer (or any time of year for that matter) gathering is complete without a big, creamy, cookie-laden banana pudding dessert that is make-ahead-friendly and pleases every age. This is the dessert your family and friends will request for every special […]
May 29th is Memorial Day in the U.S. this year. I want to challenge you and your family to find reasonable ways that you can pay homage to those who have given their lives for the sake of our country and our freedoms. I have a few suggestions.
I wasn’t invited to give a graduation speech this Spring. Still, I was prepared, and since a good speech is a terrible thing to waste, I offer it to you now.
Insurance is a funny thing. You pay a small fortune to have it. Then, if you have the blatant audacity to actually file a claim, the company either increases your premiums or cancels you altogether.
Fruit flies, the common name for drosophila, are perhaps the most annoying of household pests. They barge right in and make themselves quite at home. With a knack for gravitating towards ripe fruits, veggies, and even stagnant drains, fruit flies are causing quite a nuisance this time of year. While not on anyone’s list of […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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 …
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’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. […]
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 …
Attention all vertically-challenged adults, teens, children, and all those who love them: The days of seatbelt hatred are over. Seatbelts cutting into our necks are history. I have good news that will change your life, your kids’ lives, too— the way it has mine. In the interest of full disclosure, I am considered short of […]
Over the past few years, many people have discovered a love for cooking and baking at home. And a lot of people just love eating unique, gourmet fare. For all of those people in your life, we’ve got the perfect cooking, baking, and eating gifts to delight them—think Japanese cutlery, fondue sets, espresso, sous vide, […]
If you haven’t heard, you’d better sit down for this: The cost of prescription drugs is increasing at more than double the rate of inflation. Can you even believe it?
Our little grandson was prescribed Tamiflu (he’s fine now—recovered quickly from Type B flu) and the price the pharmacy quoted was nearly $120. It really is enough to give young parents (well, anyone!) a heart attack.
If medication drug costs have gotten you down, cheer up! Then check out the easy and very doable ways anyone can save a lot of money on prescription medications—plus where to get some medicines (antibiotics!) for free.
Enjoy this Mother’s Day Gift Guide 2023—a fun selection of gifts to delight every kind of mother— even those who say they don’t need a thing. But hurry. Some of these items are time-sensitive, which means you have no time to lose. Sun., May 14 will be here before we know it!
Sep 21, 2023 No More Back-of-the-Closet Mistakes -How to stop making those expensive faux pas! Sep 20, 2023 Budget Bites: Chinese Fried Rice! – Because it’s National Fried Rice Day! Sep 19, 2023 Free Basil Galore! – How to propagate it … and make homemade pesto! Sep 18, 2023 Put Money Back in Your Wallet […]
Calling all iPhone users. After so many upgrades over years of using an iPhone, I thought I knew it all. Only recently, I discovered a feature that’s been there all along but I’d never noticed—much less thought about. It took about 5 minutes for me to change that and— ta-da!—save a lot of money. I […]
One lovely afternoon, I stopped into a toy store with one of my grandsons to get a little something. Yes, I am one of those grandmothers. We found the cutest toy Shaving Kit, perfect for bath time. The price was under $10. At check out, and without missing a beat, the sales clerk inquired if […]
And now in follow-up to an earlier post, Compulsive Chopper. Many of you requested my recipe for salsa that you see in the photos, made using my lovely Chop Wizard. Here you go …
What’s the one thing most of us want to change about our smiles? It’s the whiteness of our teeth.
Homemade whitening pastes are cheap to make, easy to use, and remarkably effective!
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.
Regardless of whether you’re an experienced gardener or a beginner, due to the present economic conditions, you may be hesitant to fork out money on gardening supplies and tools. Here’s some good news: There are a surprising number places where you can pick up gardening supplies for free.
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 […]
Let’s not beat around the bush. Eating out is eating up your future. It’s gobbling down your present and keeping you stuck in the past. That heavy debt you’re hauling around didn’t happen while you were asleep. Chances are pretty good that you are eating your way into even deeper debt. Breaking the eating-out habit isn’t […]
Maintenance and home repair are a never-ending reality for just about everyone. But it doesn’t have to be painful or necessarily expensive …
The only thing more comforting than a big, tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day is knowing how to make that perfect iced tea yourself. With confidence. And for just pennies per serving.
My dear mother-in-law, a very proper Canadian, taught me the difference between proper iced tea and the “swill” most restaurants pour, which in her opinion was, at best, a very poor facsimile. And trust me, she knew her stuff—including the six rules for proper iced tea!
All that, plus the official recipe and instructions for how to make Southern Sweet Tea in today’s post.
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 […]
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.
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, […]
If you dislike the way conventional ice cubes dilute your ice coffee, we have a solution—coffee ice cubes. These ice cubes made with coffee preserve the rich, robust flavor of your beverage until the last drop by avoiding dilution as they melt.
It’s hard to imagine how we’d live our lives without all of the electronic devices we’ve come to depend upon. I’m talking about everything from mobile phones to portable computers, watches, tablets, headphones, earbuds, fitness and GPS trackers; eReaders, too.
The best way to make sure you’re always powered up and ready to go it to make charging convenient. Not necessarily expensive, but well-thought-out.
Today, I thought I’d give you a quick tour of the charging gadgets I depend on and wouldn’t want to be without …
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!
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.
Knowing basic cooking measurement conversions, such as how many teaspoons are in a tablespoon, can make a big difference in the kitchen. It allows you to confidently adjust recipes for different serving sizes and makes sure that your dishes turn out just right. So take the time to memorize these conversions and elevate your cooking […]
Overall, I figure that I’ve cut the cost of makeup by more than 60%—without sacrifice—by switching to what I consider the best drugstore makeup brands, and products. And in almost every case, I’ve enjoyed a big improvement. I could not be happier.
From regular oil changes to changing furnace filters and annual trips to the dentist, smart consumers know that preventive maintenance can avoid costly repairs down the road. Insurance is another item that needs to go on your routine maintenance list.
There’s nothing fun about credit card debt. An outstanding balance of $5,000 subject to 19.99% interest means you’re paying about $1,000 a year just in interest. Imagine if that $1,000 could go directly to repaying the balance instead. You could pay it off in record time instead of stringing it out for many years. If […]
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 🛩 🤞
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 …
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.
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 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 […]
If soaring costs are getting you down, finding ways to reduce expenses will help keep your head above water and your spirits high. This post offers seven ways to save money on your cell phone bill. By applying one or more of these tips you may be able to cut your monthly bill in half!
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 …
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 😂
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 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 […]
It happens to all of us. Your discover you’re all out of a certain ingredient just when you’re in the middle of preparing a recipe. I hate when that happens. And I know myself well enough that I don’t want to run to the store. For me, an unscheduled trip like that could easily cost […]
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 …
I can count on the simple ingredients in this meal to be on sale just when I need them, in early March. When you see corned beef, potatoes, cabbage, and carrots on sale, stock up.
Corned beef in its original sealed plastic freezes well for up to 6 months. This is a meal you will want to repeat often.
On the off chance you haven’t been paying attention to world news, several banks in the U.S. have collapsed ( gone broke, busted, washed up, taken down, bankrupt) in recent days. Now others both here and abroad appear to be threatening to follow suit.
Classic Apple Pie with a flaky crust, perfectly set filling, and just a hint of cinnamon—does anything shout autumn more than this? This is the recipe that hits the mark for even the most discriminating apple pie connoisseur. No overpowering spice, an annoying hint of lemon. Crust too thick, too thin; soggy bottom, “curdled” filling, overcooked, undercooked—I’ve battled every possible variation. I can confirm that this is The One. This is the recipe that’s both foolproof and inexpensive. It makes Apple Pie dreams come true.
The idea of emergency preparedness is good, but having an idea is not good enough. Where to start? That’s where most of us get stuck for lack of useful, specific direction …
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 few things more annoying than stopping at the supermarket to pick up a few things, hauling bags of groceries into the house, only to discover you have nothing for dinner. Or putting everything away only to realize you totally forgot the one thing that prompted you to stop at the store in the first place.
Online grocery shopping isn’t for everyone, but it has become a total game-changer for me. Let me tell you how.
See you there! Love, xo m 🛒 ❣️
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!
Not sure which important papers you need to keep? This exhaustive guide (plus the true story you may find difficult to believe!) will help you sort through your paperwork and organize your files.
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.
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 …
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.
Ever wonder why you never have enough money to consistently save some of it for emergencies? I’m talking about consistent, regular deposits out of every paycheck that go straight into a savings account.
Maybe it’s time to consider that you’re handing over your savings to restaurants, drive-thrus, diners, and coffee shops. Think about it.
Using inexpensive distilled white vinegar in the laundry is smart because it will whiten, brighten, reduce odor, and soften clothes without harsh chemicals.
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.
Do I have a story for you. It was a really bad day. Possibly the worst day of my life. So I did what I suppose any woman who’d ruined her husband’s life and managed to throw their home into foreclosure would do: I had a meltdown …
I have been told if you attempt to pop a frog into a pot of boiling water he’ll jump out every time. But if you put the little fellow into a pot of cold water, set it on a low flame, and warm it slowly, he’ll sit back, relax and let you cook him to […]
Microfiber cloths get things looking cleaner in less time. Especially windows, mirrors, and stainless steel. It’s not magic—it’s science … !
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 …
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 …
How much you spend matters much more than how much you earn. The money you don’t spend gives you the freedom to live the life you love and to build wealth for the future. Follow these simple rules to get started. Soon you will be on your way NOT living paycheck-to-paycheck.
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.
Not many people enjoy being called a cheapskate. But I do. I don’t think of it as an insult but a commentary on how far I’ve come. I was born a spender and I took that tendency to a horrible extreme ….
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 […]
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!
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.
Discovering that you’ll be getting a tax refund is certainly not the worst news you’ve had in your life. In fact, it’s easy to see a tax refund as some kind of gift from the universe.
But here’s the truth: It’s part of your paycheck that you should have been getting all along. Plan now for how you’ll manage it or your refund could evaporate into thin air. You have options—at least the five that follow. Choose well. The decision you make for what to do with that check could change your life …
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.
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
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.
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.
For those of us for whom Super Bowl is more about the snacks than the game itself (someone had to say it), you’re going to love these appetizers that are quick, delicious, and easy on the budget.
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.
They’re convenient and, we’re told, more healthy. But there are few things quite as boring or more difficult to prepare well than boneless skinless chicken breasts.
Here are two foolproof methods to prepare boneless skinless chicken breasts (BSCB) so they come out and tender and juicy every time—provided that you follow these instructions exactly!
What went wrong? Put your mind on rewind and go back a few months. How come you overspent so much? Did you run out of cash before you got to the end of your list, so you started charging? Did you feel pressured to make sure the kids weren’t disappointed? Perhaps you didn’t anticipate expenses […]
Friends. Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. Thankfully, we have several days and one beautiful weekends between now and then—plenty of time to make fabulous homemade treats and sweets (and stick them in the freezer!)
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.
An electric cordless tea kettle has become a must-have kitchen appliance to boil water quickly for tea, coffee, or faster pasta. Cordless electric tea kettles are typically quicker, quieter, and safer than stovetop tea kettles due to their automatic shut-off and boil-dry protectors. That means you can walk away without risk while getting ready in […]
What would we do if we actually had to use everything we own, including all that stuff in the drawers, cupboards, closets, shelves, and boxes in your kitchen, bedrooms, living room, basement, attic, garage, rafters, driveway, patio, side yard, and cars? Could we do it? It’s not likely. Instead, we pack it, stack it, and pile […]
Drugstore makeup has come a long way in recent years, offering high-quality and affordable options to create a soft natural look on one end and a full coverage look that lasts all day. But with the amazingly wide range of products available now at drugstores—in-store and online—getting started can be overwhelming. But fear not because […]
You can make sure Everyday Cheapskate daily email reaches your inbox by taking a moment right now to safelist Mary’s Everyday Cheapskate email address. This article will review how to safelist an email address using different inbox providers. Safelisting is a term used in the industry and means adding our email address to your address […]
Want to make sure Everyday Cheapskate daily email reaches your inbox? Safelisting can help! This article will review how to safelist (whitelist, allowlist) an email address using different inbox providers. Safelisting is a term used in the industry and means adding Mary’s EC newsletter’s email address to your address book contacts lists. This is the […]
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 …
Reportedly, billionaire oil tycoon Robert Belfer has been impacted by investment fraud in three major scandals: Enron’s corruption, Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, and now the collapse of cryptocurrency exchange FTX. If even wealthy investors with teams of advisors can become victims of fraud, what chance do everyday people have to escape a similar fate? This […]
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
February is a busy month. First, we have the Super Bowl, then Valentine’s Day, and Presidents’ Day with its 3-day weekend—all offering us excuses to shop. But you don’t have to spend a fortune to take part in these events—in fact, it can be a great month to save if you stick to the things you need and you know where to look.
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.
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 …
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.
Dining out can be an enjoyable experience, but it can also be easy to end up spending more money than intended. Fortunately, there are all kinds of smart strategies you can use to keep restaurant costs down while still having a great time. Read on for 17simple tips to help you make the most of your next meal out.
When it comes to purchasing bath towels, what do you look for? Price or quality? How long do you expect your bath linens to last, given weekly laundering? We’ve done a lot of researh and testing and here’s the EC conclusion: Buy the most quality you can afford and you’ll save the most in the long run—and enjoy the luxury of quality bath towels in the process.
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.
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 …
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official data says the average price of a pound of lean ground beef climbed to a whopping $6.15 per pound. Since then, we’ve seen all kinds of economic turmoil, sending us into inflationary times, when the price of everything is soaring. What’s the solution? Learning how to creatively stretch ground beef […]
Hugo’s, A popular restaurant in West Hollywood, Calif., has been critically acclaimed for one of its menu items, Pasta Mama. The first time I heard about it, I thought it was a bit odd. Pasta with eggs? Sounds so elementary if not boring. I couldn’t imagine what would prompt people to drive many miles to get Pasta Mama. But they do, insisting, it’s the best pasta they’ve ever eaten.
I had to try it, and as you might imagine, I love it. I would describe it to you here, but it’s indescribable—indescribably delicious, that is. Pasta Mama just might be the best thing you can make for dinner. Let’s find out!
It used to be that kids reaching adulthood could not wait to leave home to be on their own. At the same time, their parents longed for an empty nest and quieter lives. But like homing pigeons, young people are spoiling these plans, proving that life can be difficult in a crowded nest if there are […]
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!
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 …
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 …
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:
As you may know, the mission of this blog is to discover ways to save time and money every day. You help me by sending me your tips, hacks, and ideas. I help you by boiling it all down here. That answers the “what,” but what about the “why”? Why should anyone be concerned about […]
Any car insurance company’s cheapest premiums are generally the minimum coverage required by your state. This liability insurance covers property damage and medical expenses for other people in an accident you caused—where you were found to be at fault. Here we zero in on the cheapest of the cheap minimum coverage car insurance premiums.
Whether a household of one or a big family, I believe anyone can stretch their money and improve their budget by shopping at a discount warehouse club like Costco. But only if willing to stick to a few very important shopping techniques …
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.
I’m one lucky gal. My husband’s favorite menu item is pasta—any shape or presentation. He would opt for a pasta dish every meal of the day if that were an option. And that’s great because he is as tall and slim as the day we married. I love to cook. Add these things together, and […]
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.
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!
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.
Every post on at Everyday Cheapskate is available to print, save as a .pdf, and/or email.. I will show you exactly how you can us this function to print all or any portion of any post. And you have fabulous options if you only want to print a portion of the text, including an image. […]
It was 1992. We’d been paying down the debt for more than 10 years, and I was sick of it. With only $12,000 to go, I got this wild hare to start a subscription newsletter (print delivered by U.S. mail because if you’re counting, there was no Internet then or email). I named my newsletter […]
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!
Whether you’re looking for the kind of cushioning that hugs a body, better support, or perhaps just a touch of softness—without the need to get a pricey new mattress—consider a mattress topper. Adding this to your mattress can make it a lot more comfortable, meaning a better night’s sleep. Photo Illustration CONTENTS Do you need […]
More than half of Americans, reportedly, make New Year’s resolutions. And 88 percent of those resolutions end in failure, according to a study by psychologist Richard Wiseman. There is a scientific reason for this fail rate that once we understand, we’ll be able to keep our resolutions long enough to make them stick.
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 …
A number of years ago, I met Kathryn and Galen. They’d won a contest sponsored by Woman’s Day magazine. The prize? A money makeover and financial coaching with … me! From our first meeting, we became fast friends. Not only were they drowning in debt, but Galen was also dealing with a protracted season of unemployment. […]
Delicious hot, cold, savory, spicy, and even sweet dips—an amazing variety sure to please all—beautifully arranged so that everyone can easily graze through the evening. All said dips need to be quick and easy to make, too, requiring only 3-ingredients (all available in local grocery and supermarkets).
The past 12 months have been tough on many people, and higher living costs have made it extremely difficult to build savings. So at this point, your best bet is to look ahead to 2023 and develop a plan that allows you to make great progress with your savings, no matter what that means for […]
Super creamy, chocolatey—just the way awesome hot chocolate should be—and so easy to make!
Quick and easy holiday treat that is suitable for gifting. If you get the red and green M&Ms you’ll have a very festive-looking result. This makes a lot. You should be able to make 10 to 15 gifts depending on the size of your containers.
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
There is an alternative and more effective way to keep heating costs down without feeling cold. It’s called infrared technology. Portable infrared heaters work like the sun, producing infrared light waves, not warmed air. An infrared heater will heat you, your dog, your chair, the carpet, and the walls—not the air around you.
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.
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.
Experts tell us it is not good for kids to be overstimulated by things or activities. You can simultaneously push kids to the brink of despair by over-involving them in sports, music, karate, dance, and academia—and ruin the family finances at the same time. Let this EC readers tell us more …
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.
Gift-giving is undoubtedly on everyone’s mind as we head into these last days before Christmas. It’s a beautiful holiday tradition in which I participate fully because it brings me so much joy. Earlier this week, I opened my email to find really nice messages from several readers seeking help with gift suggestions. One is in a […]
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!
Looking for some great campervan gifts for friends or family members who just got their new van, are more seasoned RVers or serious campers?
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 […]
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!
Family traditions are the rituals and practices a family shares that strengthen that family’s bonds and create lasting memories. Traditions, those things we do much the same way repeatedly, provide a source of identity, comfort, and security. They reinforce family values. Kids love traditions!
Face it, some people are just not easy-to-buy-for. That’s why I’m here to help—I’ve got you covered!
These are the best gift ideas ever for foodies, gourmet cooks, and home chefs because they’re super useful—affordable, too!
This past week saw a barrage of interest-rated mail—student debt, bi-weekly mortgage plans—in my inbox. Lots of news focusing on the Federal Reserve raising interest rates could be the reason. If you’ve noticed the same, these readers’ questions may interest you or someone you love. My Big Fat Student Debt Dear Mary: Nearly five years […]
Here’s a quick and easy way to make what I find amazing gift-worthy caramel corn, with stovetop and microwave instructions, your choice. Either way, the secret to crunchy, caramelly awesomeness is to finish by baking the caramel corn in a low-temperature oven, stirring often.
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 🐔🍗🍲❣️
If you ever get an offer from a creditor to skip a payment, I suggest you follow Julie’s example by first shrieking in horror, “Are you out of your ever lovin’ mind?” Then politely decline the offer. Or find sweet revenge in returning the offer along with a double payment! That’ll show them who’s in control.
Rethink fast food or restaurants between now and Christmas. It may be eating up your available cash. Put the money you would have spent on fast food and eating out into your holiday food stash for gifts, baking supplies, and entertaining. Listen … I hear muttering, and I think I know the problem: Many of you don’t actually use cash […]
Finalize your list of gifts to make. Be realistic with your time. Inventory your supplies, create a shopping list and match to craft store coupons. Add crafting days to your holiday calendar. Listen … Whether it’s something from your kitchen, craft room, woodworking shop, or computer, there’s nothing like a homemade gift. A tree ornament, a plate […]
We’ve all been there: One more trinket for a child’s stocking, an extra gadget for your spouse. Once you have purchased items for everyone on your gift list, stop shopping and stop surfing the Internet. Trust yourself and the wisdom you showed in finishing your shopping early. Rest assured that the gifts you made will […]
When you get an unexpected gift, the worst response is “Oh, but I don’t have anything” for YOU!” so don’t say it. Instead, say “Thank you.” Then make sure you have something for him or her next meeting.”It’s not about keeping score. It’s about love and joy. Listen …
Feeling a little short on Christma cash? Every evening deposit all the coins in your pocket or purse into a central collection spot. Ditto for your one- and five-dollars bills. Make this a family affair and you’ll accumulate cash even faster. Listen … Not one to carry cash? There are other ways to trick yourself […]
Look at your holiday calendar today and determine when you’ll need babysitting services. Reserve the dates with your babysitter, or call friends and family and coordinate a holiday babysitting co-op. Listen …
Be prepared for surprise guests. keep some generic gifts (candy or comics for kids; candles or calendars for adults) at the ready. Use color-coded wrap, stickers or ribbon to match the gift to the recipient.
Plan your holiday menus matching them to grocery store sales. Inventory your pantry and freezer, collect coupons for ingredients on your list and begin stockpiling items you’ll need that are on sale. Listen … Random tips and ideas to ease the Holiday Hosting pressure: Instead of everyone in your circle of friends hosting a separate holiday party, make plans […]
Help your children go through their clothes and toys, picking out those still in great shape but outgrown. Wash the clothes, and clean the toys to like-new condition. Let the kids go with you to donate these items to a shelter in your community. Let them experience of joy of giving to others who may […]
If you will be hosting overnight guests during the holidays, make sure you’ve planned for extra expenses like transportation and food. If your guests are not staying overnight with you, offer them hotel recommendations and assistance with making reservations. They need to do this well in advance. Like today! Listen … Inviting friends and family to your home during the […]
Can’t see everyone between Thanksgiving and New Year’s? Be realistic about how much you can do. Save some get-togethers until after the holidays, and you’ll have something to look forward to. Listen …
Change your child’s bookshelf to 24 Christmas books you have gift-wrapped, and number them 1-24. Each night, read that day’s story with your kids. This is a fun and inexpensive way for the family to count down to Christmas.
Compile your Christmas cards list and divide it into manageable groups. Address envelopes and sign cards, one group at a time. If sending a Christmas letter, draft it, finalize it, and print it. Listen … If you can compose a decent sentence and access a few modern-day tools, you have all you need to create a unique and priceless […]
Arrange haircut appointments and check wardrobe selections for your family. Launder, press or repair as needed. Check consignment shops and sales if the kids have outgrown last year’s holiday attire. Listen …
Take down your hanging pictures and wall art and wrap them as you would a gift, with paper, ribbon and bow. Re-hang. Grouping multiple pictures looks especially festive. And you can save wrapping paper by wrapping only the front of each. Do this throughout the house or just in one room. Such a fun look. […]
If you’re planning to shop online this week, Wed., Dec. 14 is National Free Shipping Day. Not all retailers will be participating of course, but we’re reading that more than 1,000 are on board! Just don’t assume anything! Listen …
As Christmas draws nearer, visit your community to look at the lights. You can do this on a night close to Christmas. Everyone gets ready for bed (PJs on, teeth brushed), then the whole family piles into the car for your family’s Annual Christmas Lights Pajama Caper Drive. Take blankets along to add coziness. […]
It’s time to dust off your favorite holiday movies, books and music. Not much to choose from? Visit your local library and borrow new selections, or check online for free or discounted holiday downloads. Listen …
Strapped for time and money? Instead of a vast tree this year, by a smaller one. Set it on a table to give the visual effect of a taller tree. It’ll cost half as much, decorating will take half as long and with half the decorations. Listen …
If you will be hosting many guests at your Christmas dinner requiring more than one table, have everyone get up and exchange places between dinner and dessert. This gives everyone a chance to be together! Listen …
Have your children leave some of their gently-used toys for Santa to take to children who don’t have any toys. Once the kids are asleep, hide the toys so you can later deliver them to a worthy charity. Listen…
May your day be filled with authentic joy comes not from the outside trappings, but from our hearts. It comes from the birth of a small baby who would become our Savior—from that love, which can fill our lives with giddy joy! Listen …
Get envelopes and label one for each of your holiday spending categories. Label an envelope for each person on your list, too. Place the planned amount of cash in each envelope. Spend from the envelopes. And as you make purchases, replace cash spent with receipts so you’ll know where that envelope’s money went. And when the […]
When cooking this month, double your favorite meals and freeze the leftovers. Then, when things get rushed right before Christmas, you won’t fret about making dinner or spending money on take-out. Listen … Make meals ahead and freeze them. On those very busy days in mid-December, you’ll stay relaxed and stress-free knowing that dinner will be on the […]
One night this week, gather the family and eat dinner or dessert by the light of the Christmas Tree. Ask each family member to share a favorite Christmas memory or something from the past year. Teach the family to say “Merry Christmas” in the language of the family’s origin. Give yourself a few minutes […]
Later tonight, after the kids are all asleep and the house is quiet, pour yourself a cuppa’ and write emails to people you love and miss. You don’t need to get all fancy. It can be as simple as, “Dear Grandma, I love you oh, so much! Merry Christmas!
Inventory your mailing supplies including containers for baked goods and packing materials for boxes. Dry popcorn makes great packing material and gives your recipient (or the birds ) a nice snack. There are tons of other ideas on Pinterest for using what you have to keep everything snug and safe. Listen … When you need to pad a […]
Set up a gift-wrapping area by draping a card table or other surface with a large tablecloth or sheet that hangs to the floor. Now you can hide wrapping supplies under the table for quick retrieval, knowing that you have everything in one place for efficient gift-wrapping.
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!
You probably have enough food in your pantry and freezer to feed your family for a week or two. Plan now to skip the grocery store for a couple of weeks between now and Christmas. Eat up what you have already. It might be odd but you won’t starve. Stash the money you don’t spend on groceries in your Christmas money. […]
A Gift Card is not “just like cash.” A Gift Card buys your recipient store credit, subject to that store’s rules. Unless you are certain the store is your recipient’s favorite, it could land in a junk drawer, lost, eventually forgotten. Cash, on the other hand, works in every store and more. Cash comes with […]
Your holiday blueprint should be built around your calendar. It will assist you in managing your time and your holiday spending plan, and all other your resources. Consider posting a large calendar in the kitchen or another place where every family member sees it, then make it colorful and fun. Listen … Have you ever doubled-booked […]
It’s time to plan your holiday baking! Select your recipes, check your supplies, then grab the holiday deals at your supermarket or grocery store. Baking supplies are on sale at rock-bottom prices now through year-end—admittedly higher than they were a year ago, but still relatively great deals. Identify which days will be baking and add […]
Create your family’s “Top Five Holiday Values.” Take nominations from each family member, decide on a final list, write them down, and post in a place where everyone can see.
Compile a Master Gift List. Add everyone you are planning to gift. Analyze. Who on the list would be happy with just a card? Who is on the list because you feel guilty or obligated? Who on the list will your gift cause to feel guilty and obligated to give you a gift to […]
Create a detailed Spending Plan. Identify your categories: gifts, baking, cards, entertaining, travel, etc. Write down the total amount you have to spend, where it will come from, and how you will divvy it up. Listen … It is vital that your holiday planning includes a specific and detailed spending plan, designating the overall […]
Pull out your holiday decorations and use only what you have. Instead of trying to decorate your entire house, focus on three things: a tree, your mantelpiece, and a wreath. Decorate them similarly. ICYMI … Intro, Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, Day 4, Day 5, Day 6, Day 7, Day 8, Day 9, Day 10, Day 11, Day […]
If you plan to participate in Black Friday or Cyber Monday, start getting your mind into tip-top shape. Retailers are hungry, clever, and anxious to clean you out. Know (before you go) precisely what you are looking for, how much you will spend, and how much you will pay for it. Nothin you put […]
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!
Today calls for a gift card search and rescue! Pool your family members’ forgotten or neglected gift cards now languishing at the bottom of drawers, purses, and wallets. Discover how much stored value on each one (there is information on the back of the gift card to either call or go online to discover its current […]
As tempting as a pricey, artificial pre-lit Christmas tree may be, few things about the holidays are as satisfying as a fresh, real Christmas tree. Real trees smell like “Christmas” in a way that fake trees never will. Fresh test Gently grasp a branch between your thumb and forefinger and pull it toward you. Few needles […]
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 you can compose a decent sentence and access a few modern-day tools, you have all you need to create a unique and priceless gift—A Family Christmas Letter. If done well, it will be treasured by those who receive it, and that’s a gift money cannot buy.
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
Choose to be grateful today—and every day—for all that you have. Gratitude will fill your heart with contentment. And best of all? Gratitude is 100% free, in any amount you desire.
Thanksgiving Day should be filled with rest and relaxation as we pause our regular routines to give thanks for the many blessing we have received over the past year. That’s easy to say if you are not the one preparing the splendiferous feast. The secret for cooks who wish to participate fully in having the […]
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 🦃
Can you get a FREE refill at Starbucks? The answer is yes, provided you understand that there are limits and rules, and then precisely follow them. 1. Free refills only apply to coffee (hot, iced coffee, or cold brew) or tea (hot or iced). 2. Free refills apply only to brewed coffee or tea enjoyed in-café during the same visit. […]
This is so much fun, no specific skills required. All of these ideas are super doable. More than that? You should be able to make these gift for about $10 or less.
Puzzle #9 will go Live at 6pm MT 11-26 (sorry for the delay!) Puzzle #8 is now Closed Can’t see the puzzle clues? Click anywhere in the puzzle, then scroll down. Correct answers turn green. Prizes Each Weekly Winner: $25 Cash Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt, autographed EC sticker pack Each of 3 […]
I know what you’re thinking: Make the mashed potatoes AND gravy ahead of time—up to several days before the big day? Like serve leftovers for the biggest best meal of the year? You have got to be kidding! Well, yes that is exactly what I am suggesting and will be doing myself, but let me […]
Homeowners beware. These days home loan scam artists are lurking around every corner. They’re hungry, they’re determined, and they’re coming after your equity.
For years, I’d been searching for the perfect recipe for one of my family’s favorite dishes, Orange Chicken. And then wouldn’t you know it, within a very short period of time, I found not one, but three recipes that are quite different from one another, but all of them simply too yummy for words. Easy on the wallet, too!
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.
For all the convenience and access to information that the Internet offers, the ability to earn money at home—honestly and legitimately—just might be one of the most useful. At a minimum, you need an Internet connection and computer. Or for some jobs, just a smartphone will do. The challenge is to wade through all the muck and pitches for free get-rich-quick opportunities to find authentic ways to make money. The opportunities for online jobs are out there.
Listen You probably would not add a family room to your home without a blueprint, knit a sweater without a pattern, or head off on a cross-country vacation without a map. But when it comes to preparing for Christmas, most of us hit the ground running the day after Thanksgiving—without a blueprint, pattern, or map. […]
Use the comments feature below to accept the challenge, add comments, questions, or specific holiday challenges you may be needing help. Then feel free to reply to others’ comments and questions. Let’s agree that we’ll stay on topic, OK? I’m super excited to know that Christmas is only 40 days away. So with that … […]
Gifting friends, family, co-workers teachers, and others with a jar of your own signature Luxury Hand and Body Cream will definitely put you on the map. It’s a homemade gift you would actually like to receive! It’s that good. And what better time than this weekend to make Christmas gifts? It’s quick and easy!
Yes, I did. I made Apple Fritter Waffle Donuts. In fact, I’ve made this recipe four times in 30 days just to get it right. I call it research. You know, honing my pastry skills. My family calls it delicious and please make some more!
EC Puzzle #7 is now closed Puzzle #7 Solution Prizes Each of 14 Weekly Winners: $25 Cash Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt, autographed EC sticker pack Each of 3 Monthly Winners $300 Cash Official EC Puzzles Rules of Play Everyone is welcome to play EC Puzzles. Only active EC Daily Email subscribers […]
Got books? If you are an avid reader, I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that you own a few books. OK, make that a lot of books.
Some of your books you would never part with, but others are currently gathering dust on bookshelves or piled on the floor.
Since it looks like you will soon have to buy new bookshelves or continue to wade through books just to get to the kitchen, I’ve got an idea. Resolve this New Year to do what some people do with their wardrobes—don’t add anything until you get rid of something.
Fortunately, the Internet is the perfect place not only to unload old books but also find those on your “to-read” list for cheap.
In today’s post I’ll show you what I’m talking about …
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.
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 …
It used to be so easy to shop with cash. Get cash. Shop. But things have changed, perhaps you’ve noticed. More and more stores, shops, restaurants don’t even accept cash any more. Even my beloved Costco gasoline filling station! Ack! The only option for payment is … plastic.
But there is a sneaky way to get around that and beat Costco Gas, Amazon, and others at their own game. I’ll tell all in today’s post.
See you there! Love m xo 💰❣️😂
You really can shop with CASH online at Amazon, Target, Kohl’s, Walmart … absolutely no credit card or debit card required. Let me show you …
There are few things as comforting as slipping between super soft, comfy flannel sheets on a cold winter night. But not all flannel is created equal.
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 …
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
I’m sure my supermarket is not the only grocery store that slashes the price on perishable items nearing their “Sell By” date. And when I see eggs, milk, and, cheese in that Bargain Bin, I load up! How do I make sure those items don’t, well … perish? I freeze them. Yes, even the eggs, milk, and cheese.
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 […]
Puzzle #5 is now closed Solution Prizes Each of 14 Weekly Winners: $25 Cash Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt, autographed EC sticker pack Each of 3 Monthly Winners $300 Cash Official EC Puzzles Rules of Play Everyone is welcome to play EC Puzzles. Only active EC Daily Email subscribers with a U.S. mailing […]
Some time ago, I posted a poll asking my Everyday Cheapskate audience, “What would you do with an unexpected windfall of $10,000? Responses ranged from saving every penny to giving all of it away to using it to get caught up on bills. This got me thinking: What fascinating answers would I get if I […]
It’s discouraging when you reach for the honey, only to discover it is no longer a smooth liquid, but all grainy—like sugar! You may have even tossed it into the trash assuming that it’s gone bad, and certainly not safely edible. Truth be told, it is still perfectly delicious and nutritious. It’s easy to turn crystallized honey back into its liquid self.
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 🥖 🍞 ❣️
The most efficient and easiest way to reduce your home heating cost is to heat only the rooms that are occupied while keeping your furnace set very low to say 60 F. Then use a space heater to make the occupied room comfortable; You can rely on this method during the day as well as at night. You could easily see your heating bill escape the surging cost of heating fuel, by simply keeping the main source of heat set very low, supplementing with electric space heaters. It’s such a simple way to make a huge difference in your home heating costs …
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 …
EC Puzzle #4 is now closed EC Puzzle #4 Solution: If you are not a daily newsletter subscriber, you can sign up now. It’s simple, and don’t worry—we won’t share, sell, or rent your information. Prizes Each of 14 Weekly Winners: $25 Cash Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt, autographed EC sticker pack Each of […]
If you’ve been hanging out with me for any length of time, you know I’m pretty wild about making Gifts in a Jar, now a free downloadable ebook. I’m talking about wide-mouth glass canning jars with screw top lids. Seriously, you can stuff just about anything in one of these amazing containers and come up with […]
It’s been a hectic day. The family’s hungry, the fridge offers little more than eggs and leftovers and you’re fresh out of answers for the question everyone’s asking: What’s for dinner? The solution may be found in a single word: Frittata. A frittata is like an omelet but without the fancy pan work. It’s similar […]
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 […]
Instead of pitching the leftover cooked rice from tonight’s dinner, try using it in different ways in your next meal. Just don’t make the fatal mistake of calling it “leftovers” 😂
Enjoy these 7 ideas for using leftover rice (including two of our favorite recipes). Will you add your ideas for how to use up leftover rice in the comments? See you at the post … Love, xo m
Those bags of prewashed chopped salad greens are certainly a tempting option because what’s not to like about having someone else do all the work of chopping and then double- or even triple-washing? Even so, I don’t buy pre-washed chopped bagged salad greens, but not be for the reasons you might assume.
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!
This dish with its Mediterranean flair is popular in the southern US and Canada. The basic ingredients are cabbage and sweet onion, combined in a baking dish, covered with yummy “sauce,” then topped with a lovely blend of crushed crackers and cheese. Several other ingredients play a minor role. Baked until golden, Cabbage Casserole is […]
Crossword Puzzle #3 is now closed EC Puzzle #3 Solution Prizes Each of 14 Weekly Winners: $25 Cash Cheaper, Better, Faster by Mary Hunt, autographed EC sticker pack Each of 3 Monthly Winners $300 Cash Official EC Puzzles Rules of Play Everyone is welcome to play EC Puzzles. Only active EC Daily Email subscribers […]
As a kid growing up, I lived in a house with security that rivaled Fort Knox. Every exterior opening was fitted with an old-fashioned hook and eye latch, which my mother would latch from the inside each and every time someone left the house.
Thankfully, these days, there are much better ways to make our homes safe and secure that are also friendly to all who live therein …
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!
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 😴 💤
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 😍
Holiday creep is real. As Halloween costumes began filling store shelves in August, Starbucks was rolling out Pumpkin Spice Lattes—earlier than in any year prior. Christmas gifts and decor began appearing in my Costco a full two months before Thanksgiving. It really does feel like too much, too soon. Team EC and I have been […]
This puzzle is now closed. All clues for Crossword Puzzle #2 came from EC Daily emails Oct. 2 – Oct 8, 2022. If you are not a daily newsletter subscriber, you can sign up now. It’s simple, and don’t worry—we won’t share, sell, or rent your information. By continuing to play, you certify that you have read, understand, […]
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.
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 […]
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.
Oh how I love this time of year! Cooler weather, sweaters, scarves, pumpkin pie, and beautiful fall colors make this the very best time of year. For bargain hunters, October is the calm before the holiday shopping storm and that means the likelihood of finding super deals is high. Here’s are the great buys you can expect in October.
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 😍
Leftovers and I have a kind of love-hate relationship. I can’t bear the thought of tossing perfectly delicious food into the garbage because I made too much of it. So I pack it, seal it and fill the refrigerator with it. Once a leftover is past prime—looking more like a science project than tomorrow’s dinner—it’s […]
EC Puzzle Weekly Winners Oct 2022 Puzzle #1 — Donna M., Massachusetts Puzzle #2 — Carolyn Mc., New York Puzzle #3 — Charles G., Nebraska Puzzle #4 — Olivia C., California Nov 2022 Puzzle #5 — Kathy G., Kentucky Puzzle #6— Paula Mc., New Jersey Puzzle #7 — Dawn V., Wisconsin Puzzle #8 — […]
Everyone is welcome to play EC Puzzles. Only active EC Daily Email subscribers with a U.S. mailing address are eligible to win prizes. Sign Up. This puzzle season at Everyday Cheapskate runs from October 1 to December 31, 2022, with a new puzzle every Saturday. Clues and answers for all crossword puzzles come directly from […]
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.
EC Puzzle #1 closed Oct 7, 2022. But feel free to head on over to EC Puzzle #2. EC Puzzle #1 Solution
There’s just something about the bountiful tastes of autumn and slow cookers that go together. Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of testing in my kitchen. While some results have been less than palatable (let me make all the mistakes so you won’t have to), other attempts have turned out even better than I could […]
When it came to compulsive tendencies, there’s no question I received more than the standard allotment. I can sit down fully intending to watch the news and end up owning a pasta machine. I jump online just to look around and come out with three outfits I’ll never wear, a gift I’ll never give, and several things for the house. I can glance at a mail order catalog, and in the time it takes to pull up its website, Adirondack chairs and matching windsocks are winging their way to my front door. Why? I see what I like, and WHAM! Something goes off in my head, insisting I need it right now. I’m entitled to it and pity the poor soul who tries to prevent me from having it.
As a compulsive shopper, those tendencies will forever be part of my personality. Thankfully, I have found ways to quiet those loud voices and make them my allies.
You know what they say—everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it! That always makes me laugh, but it is so true. And that’s because we can’t do anything about it, right? Who wasn’t reminded of this during a past year’s epic blast of extreme weather visited upon North America? I […]
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.
From time to time, it’s good to do a mental reset to renew and restore our minds. Try it now, even if you have nothing to smile about.
The news is not good: Grocery prices in August 2022 rose 13.5%, the highest increase since March 1979. Translated to our everyday lives? Americans can still expect to pay up on their next trip to the grocery store. The cost of food is soaring in ways that are downright shocking.Inflation What we’re experiencing is […]
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
One standard stick of butter in the U.S. contains 8 tablespoons, measures 1/2 cup and weighs 1/4 pound.
If you bake gluten-free for yourself or others, you have likely attempted to bake soft, airy, sandwich-worthy bread. And your hopes evaporated quickly when all you got was a flat, hard, soggy mess. So what’s a gluten-free sandwich-lover to do? Learn the secrets of making beautiful, soft, high-rising white sandwich bread! You can do this …
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 …
Potatoes—they’re nutritious, delicious, and inexpensive. And as they come perfectly baked from the oven, they’re gluten-free, low-fat, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
Spending hours and hours creating Gift Guides for you is the way I control my urge to splurge. Apparently, my shopping gene doesn’t include actually owning the things I shop for—it’s the thrill of the hunt (no pun intended). And so, I let myself go nuts … for you! See how that works?
Want your kids to grow up with healthy attitudes about money? Start living the way you want them to become. Let your kids regularly catch you in the act of living financially responsible lives, and you’ll be on your way to raising financially responsible kids.
Whenever I write about my love of coffee—especially Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte—which admittedly has turned me into a coffee snob, reader feedback is as enthusiastic as it is voluminous. I’m happy to know I’m not alone in my snobbery. Many of you bring up interesting points—questions, too. Like what to do with brewed coffee that […]
There’s no denying that we love Halloween. What other night do we get to eat, drink, and be scary? The problem is we’ve come to love it a little too much. Sadly, most of that spending will translate to new credit-card debt—what a terrible way to start out the new year.
I know we can do so much better than that this year if we’ll simply stop, think, and then find ways to do it cheaper!
I’ve got lots of great ideas, and hope you will add yours in the comments! See you there … Love, xo m 🎃
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.
Soup is a great frugal, potentially delicious meal that can successfully be made from leftovers. It’s a great way to “waste-not-want-not” because potentially, you can get a free meal for your efforts.
I don’t care much for pain. In fact, I’ll do almost anything to avoid it. I also know that pain can be a good thing. The human nervous system triggers a pain sensation to stop us from doing something that might cause a severe injury and to let us know something may be wrong.
Times are tough. Inflation is at a 40-year high. Restaurants continue to face budget-busting challenges from the pandemic and labor crisis. But that’s not all. As I write this sentence, food prices have increased by double-digits and may have risen even higher when you read it. Here’s the Weird Thing Sure, restaurant menu prices have […]
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!
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.
And just like THAT … it’s September! I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ready for 2020 to be over, so the speed with which it seems September has hit is welcomed, indeed!
Two days ago, here in northern Colorado, we were still enjoying 96F days. And them BAM! … 46F low yesterday. And … get this, it snowed last night in the mountains. See what I mean? Rollercoaster weather, which I absolutely love❣️
September brings with it predictable bargains—some that could be considered extreme!
So buckle up as we head into my favorite time of the year, and not only for sweater-weather, pumpkin pie, and apple cider but for bargains, too!
See you there. Love xo m 🍁 🍂 🍎 🥮 ❣️
With great patience comes great reward. That’s what Starbucks aficionados count on—waiting, patience, more waiting each year for Starbucks to announce the start of its short Pumpkin Spice Latte season. If that’s you, good news! You can quickly learn to make PSLs at home, any time of the year and whenever you want! The ingredients […]
Who cares about all of this talk of food shortage, really? And why should we, as consumers, even concern ourselves? The system seems to be working really well, so why the fuss? The best thing we can do to protect ourselves and our families is to prepare. The more food you have in storage, the less dependent you are on a system that some theorize has only a 3-day supply in its distribution chain.
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!
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 […]
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…
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 …
If you’ve ever called in a professional service to rid your home of mold, you know the meaning of shock and awe—so expensive it brings tears to your eyes. This is a job you can do yourself if you have the right mold-killer (that is non-toxic and 100% effective to kill the spores and odors too), equipment and instructions … cheaper, better, and faster than the pros.
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 ☀️
Maybe you have an Instant Pot and are afraid or just plain clueless what to do with it. Even if you’ve never heard of a pressure cooker let alone how or why you need to—today’s the day. It’s time to put away all preconceived notions, rumors, and failures and start over on the right foot.
I could never be a medical transcriptionist. It’s not the typing or the doctors’ handwriting that would deter me. My problem would be reading the symptoms and medical conditions. I’d have all of them. To say that I am easily influenced is like saying the Titanic sprung a leak. Knowing this about myself, I wasn’t all […]
Buying a home is likely the largest purchase you will ever make. This is not the time to make mistakes that could quickly plunge you into a financial situation you cannot afford. Avoid these five home-buying mistakes, and you will avoid getting in over your heads with a house you cannot afford—and save yourself many thousands of dollars and heartaches in the process.
If recent world events have given you on big fat wake-up call, you are not alone. The message is clear—every household needs food in storage. It’s time to prepare and stockpile these items because they have a long shelf.
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
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 […]
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 […]
Think you are not a negotiator? Think again! Every day you negotiate with kids, a spouse, bosses, co-workers, employees, creditors, vendors, banks, friends, clerks, and salespeople. You negotiate with telemarketers and repair people, teachers, and neighbors. You negotiate with your words, tone, body language, and even your silence.
Many readers have recently asked about the best inexpensive headphones and earbuds for themselves and their kiddos. Today seems like a great day to respond. After considerable research and testing, what follows answers the question, “What are the best headphones?” based on value, price, and styles of headphones—for all ages, toddlers through adults. Best Inexpensive […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 […]
Emergencies are a fact of life. When faced with an unexpected event that has dollar signs written all over it, it’s good to be prepared. Nothing new there, I’m sure. We know what we should do. It’s actually doing it that eludes so many. Look, an emergency fund is not a luxury—it’s a must-have! Here how to get started …
It’s a lot easier to open a credit card account than to close one! Let’s just say that when it comes to credit, breaking up is hard to do!
See all that lint in your clothes dryer trap? Yikes! It’s proof-positive your clothes and linens are wearing out prematurely with every trip through the laundry. But you can counterattack and still achieve soft, lovely results . There are tactics to counteract the abuse suffered by a clothes dryer and you don’t have to go back to the days of sheets frozen stiff on the clothesline. You don’t have to machine dry your clothes to death in order to end up with comfy jeans and fluffy soft towels.
Does this sound at all familiar to you? It’s the week before Christmas, and you thought you were done shopping. But then you remembered the little kids across the street. And the guys at the office. Oh, the kids’ teachers and the nice ladies at the library. And your children want to give little gifts to all their friends. Yikes! Your list is expanding right before your eyes.
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.
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 …
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.
It’s no secret that Chromebooks are taking over the computer market. And now they’re better than ever—improved functionality and an excellent user experience!
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 […]
If you’ve ever ducked in the supermarket to pick up a yummy, hot rotisserie chicken for dinner then tossed the remains in the garbage when no one was looking, this is for you. Don’t do that anymore, hear? Do this instead …!
Got more time than money? No problem. There are so many things you and your family can do fun things without spending money—next weekend or any time of the year. Consider these ideas to help get some plans in motion.
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.
In keeping with one of my favorite philosophies of food, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first!”, today’s first super recipe is the easiest dessert ever—and most likely the best peach cobbler you and your family will have ever tasted, I mean devoured. Slow Cooker Peach Cobbler Just three ingredients and your slow cooker. What […]
There was a time when I didn’t have much opinion on paying for college with student loans. That was before the advent of e-mail and thousands of messages, all with a similar subject line: Help! I’m drowning in student loan debt! That was before I learned that about 85% of college graduates do not end […]
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.
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.
It’s been years since I moved into a college dorm room. My memories of college life are both vivid and precious. For years, I’d been dreaming about how I would grow up and leave my childhood home and sheltered life to attend college in Los Angeles. I lived in the same dorm room from my first day as […]
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.
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
Financial budgets are like training wheels: they help you get moving and offer you confidence as you learn how to balance.
Have you figured out ways to keep things cool indoors this summer without sending your utility bills through the stratosphere? If you could use some help, here are some tips, tricks, and great ideas to help you stay cool without burning a hole in the budget.
The program worked like magic. In just three days our boys became non-whiners just as the booklet’s author promised. It was not so, however, for their mother.
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 […]
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!
I love my Instant Pot—the greatest time-saving, magic-producing, easy-to-use kitchen appliance known to [wo]mankind. But I have to admit the idea of making Instant Pot Spaghetti with Meat Sauce in a single pot, all at the same time sounded fabulous. But the process just did not sit well with me.
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!
To say that the global pandemic rocked the world in horrific ways would be, to put it mildly. We may never know the full extent of grief, anger, and loss. One thing is for sure: We’ve been forever changed for having experienced and come through this season of our lives. This is my story. “Wake-Up!” […]
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.
Effective tomorrow July 10, the cost of USPS stamps will increase incrementally and continually. This is what you need to know.
Cutting the cost of clothes is less about finding bargains and more about knowing what to wear, where to buy and when to stop buying.
It’s only a mistake if you can’t fix it, and that is especially true in the kitchen. Here are 15 ways to cook your way out of common kitchen mistakes so that no one is the wiser
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. […]
You can make Crispy Orange Chicken (a dead ringer for the Applebee’s version) today, quick and easy (cheaper, too) in less time than it takes to open an app, place an order, pay online, get in the car, drive to a restaurant, find a parking place, call the number to alert staff you have arrived, wait, accept order, drive home while food is getting soggy and cold, go in the house, open the bag, notice they forgot to include the rice, oh well … [try to] enjoy. Do it! Mom will be amazed by your cooking skills.
You might want to take a Staycation this summer—perhaps to save money, you have not accumulated enough vacation days, or simply need to stay close to home. A cash shortage need not eliminate the idea of a family vacation. Clever and creative parents can turn several days off work into an amazing vacation experience without […]
I’m not sure why I loved fourth grade so much. Maybe it was because my teacher was extra pretty and her name was Mrs. Hunt (who could’ve guessed?). Or that I sat behind Rick Collier, voted by all the girls to be the cutest in Grade 4 and the entire universe. For certain, it had […]
Amazon Prime Day (well, actually two days this year) is July 12 and 13. What follows is everything I know about the event and I thought you would like to know, too. And guess what? We have a pop-up “store” that’s not really a store but a place to keep all our lists and links […]
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 ❣️
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 […]
There are at least five important legal documents every responsible adult needs to have. This is not difficult nor particularly expensive. But it’s easy to procrastinate. Even if you’re certain you have your very important legal documents in order and you could put your hands on them at a moment’s notice, please take time to make sure about that. Laws change, regulations can be expanded or deleted without notice. It’s possible your documents could use an update.
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!
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!
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.
While not always easy to think about, inheritances are a part of the financial picture for many Boomers—and just one of the topics that popped up as I reached into my mailbox this past week. Dear Mary: Before reading your book, Debt-Proof Living I believed we were doing just fine with our money. Recently, my […]
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!
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.
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.
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
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!
Tension rods can perform a variety of functions to corral clutter and get it perfectly organized. Typically used to hang curtains, are one of the world’s most underrated tools. They’re easy to install, and won’t leave marks on walls or in drawers, cupboards, and closets. And best of all? Tension rods are CHEAP!
Before restaurant menus ever make it to print, restaurant owners hire menu engineers and consultants to bury super sneaky psychological tricks into the pretty pictures and mouth-watering descriptions for one reason only—to get you to spend more money. Want to beat restaurants at their own game? Here’s your cheat sheet listing the sneakiest of sneaky tricks.
Every moment that you mourn the passing of the way things were, is a moment lost in the present. Concentrate on where you are and plan for how you will face the future.
Mr. Hard-to-Buy-For is no match for these ideas that you can still order and get in time for Fathers Day!
You bought the biggest home they said you could qualify, taking advantage of low rates and creative financing. Who knew you could afford such a great house? But now you’re worried that even the smallest hiccup in the economy will burst your housing bubble.
Relax! Consider these 8 steps you can take starting right now to make sure that doesn’t happen.
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 […]
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.
I love a beautiful yard, but I hate spending a lot of money to get it that way which explains why I am always looking for do-it-yourself cheap ways to kill weeds, grow vegetables, and feed lawns.
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.
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 …
That switch! “Forward” spins one way, “Reverse” the other. But why? What for? Counterclockwise in winter … or is it summer? Does it make any difference? Oh yes, it does!
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 …
Fruit flies are amazing —amazingly annoying! And those disgusting little flies are no match for these super easy traps and potent potions.
If you love good pulled chicken (pork, beef) barbecue sandwiches, this recipe is going to knock your socks off. It’s tender, moist, and perfectly seasoned—a great solution for any busy cook who longs to serve authentic barbecue.
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.
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 🧻 ❣️
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 💌
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, […]
On the Sunday after Pastor Rick and Kay Warren lost their son to suicide, Rick’s message, “What to Do On the Worst Day of Your Life,” had a huge impact on my life. I had not experienced “the worst day of my life” then, nor have I since. But I was prompted to begin living […]
With this copycat recipe and a strategic collection of spices, you’ll be all set to clone Mrs. Dash Original Salt-Free Seasoning Blend for months and months—perhaps even longer. It’s an investment you will be grateful to have made because it’s going to save you a ton of money!
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!
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!
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 ….
Wendy’s, the national fast-food chain, may live to regret this, but let’s not mention it to them. Here’s the deal: In celebration of National Hamburger Month, any time starting on May 23 to June 5 (two full weeks), you can grab a FREE Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger with any purchase at all through the Wendy’s app. You’ll […]
There are a number of ways to buy eyeglasses, including from local opticians, independent optometrists, optical departments in big-box retailers, and online-only vendors. Regardless of which option for glasses you choose, eyeglasses do not have to cost hundreds of dollars. To compare prices from prescription eyeglasses from a number of retailers, Mary has looked at prices and the process for 8 different eyeglasses retailers and gives her top picks.
In this post, I‘ll examine Zenni Optical, Costco Optical, and other great locations to buy eyeglasses both online or in person, show you how much you should expect to pay, and give you my top picks.
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.
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
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 …
Shopping is my thing. I love the thrill of the hunt, that feeling of discovery and the joy of a bargain. I find it satisfying in ways I can’t fully describe. I want to experience the feeling as often as possible. Shopper’s high is no joke. It’s real, it’s palpable, and it’s addictive.
Shopping got me into a lot of trouble. In just 12 years I ran up more than $100,000 in consumer debt—most of it on credit cards. Eventually, all of it came crashing down and nearly took me with it. Thankfully, that crisis became the catalyst to turn my life around.
It took 13 years to repay all of the debt. I learned a lot about myself in the process but mostly that the satisfaction I got from shopping was short-lived. It was fake because it vanished in less time than it took me to get the stuff to the car. But that just set me up to do it again and again because the small bursts of joy I got from shopping were worth the pain that always followed.
Crazy I know, but absolutely true. I could so easily go back to my old ways, and that’s scary …
Fifteen years ago, I became a bread maker. I read a book, gave it a try and found immediate success. I can’t really take much credit for this thing I love so much—turning out amazing loaves of bread on a whim. I owe any success I have achieved to Jeff and Zoë —creators and authors […]
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.
It might be the skyrocketing cost of fuel and food. Or perhaps you’ve lost your job or you’ve already been living paycheck-to-paycheck with no cushy emergency fund to fall back on. For whatever reason, suddenly this month you can’t pay all of your bills. You’re scared, angry, worried, and seriously overwhelmed. You’re looking for work, […]
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.
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 […]
Anyone who’s ever had acrylic nails knows that they absolutely ravage your natural nails if removed incorrectly or worn for years without taking a break. And no wonder. Part of the process is to sand down one’s natural nails to get the stuff to stick and not “lift” before the next appointment. It was a difficult habit to break and I’m glad I did, not only for my nail health (google “acrylic nails dangers” if you dare) but even more so for my wealth. The cost to keep up with that addiction is staggering.
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 …
Identity fraud is a serious issue as it is responsible for the theft of $112 billion stolen from Americans in the past six years. That equals $35,600 stolen per minute, or enough to buy a house every 8 minutes!
While the world has been busy masking up and locking down, ID thieves have been having a field day! Hmmm … who’s been digging through your trash? If you do not know how to effectively guard your most important information, it’s time to learn.
Cornstarch is a low-cost, readily available, humble miracle found in the baking aisle of just about every supermarket and grocery store in the country, and online. Extracted from corn and then processed into a very soft, white powder, cornstarch is sold in boxes and canisters. Usually, we think of cornstarch as a pantry ingredient used […]
How to use leftovers? Oh, let me count the ways. There really are so many ways to make meals from leftovers, something the late Julia Child preferred to call “the remains of the day.” Such an elegant way to refer to leftovers.
The heavier the load, the more difficult the journey and the more trouble you’ll have reaching your goals. Heavy burdens make it difficult to keep up.
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 […]
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. […]
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.
This is a copycat recipe for Bisquick, but even better than Bisquick, because it includes dry milk, which means that to use all you add is water.
Knowing how to confidently compare the price of bath tissue has become a big topic in light of shrinkflation, soaring costs, and frequent product shortages. What makes comparison shopping super challenging is that size, weight, and ply vary greatly from one brand of toilet paper to another. Product labeling can be confusing if not downright mysterious!
It all started about 10 years when I had a conversation with Dax Wilson, who’d recently taken up this hobby of home roasting. The motivation? First, quality and taste, but also to cut the high cost of quality coffee by at least half. That was enough to get my attention and all I needed to become equally enthusiastic. Let me walk you through the entire process to get started, complete with tips and advice on creating your perfect cup of home-roasted coffee.
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.
If you are generally wary of free stuff, I’m right there with you. Most of the time, I’ve found, free stuff is like bait. It’s a tasty morsel, a big tease with the clear intent of getting us to part with money we have no intention of parting with to get whatever it is that’s […]
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 […]
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 […]
Every day millions of people get sucked into Internet scams and tricks that end up costing them dearly, something I was reminded of when I got a letter from a reader asking this simple question: How can I tell if something on the Internet is legit or some kind of scam?
Celebrate? With all that’s going on in our lives, the nation—the world?
With all the challenges you’re facing right now, you may be thinking that’s the last thing you’ll be doing now, or anytime soon. Let me encourage you to think again. Please!
Now, of all times, we need to celebrate wherever and whenever possible—for six very important reasons.
Today, I celebrate YOU! You mean the world to me and I think you’re awesome! Love, m xo
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!
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.
Being a savvy consumer means a lot of things. It can refer to a person who knows how to get the lowest price on whatever he or she is buying. It can also mean finding the best value—the highest quality product for the most reasonable price. Or, it can refer to someone who joins a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program and shares in that farm’s harvest every week during the growing season.
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 …
I love the smell of a campfire smoke mixed with the scent of pine trees on a cool summer night. In the mountains at a campsite in a pristine national forest. But stale cigarette smoke odor in a car or home? Smoke odor from a house fire? That’s something different and not at all pleasant.
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 […]
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.
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.
What’s for dinner? How about Pot Roast in crock pot that makes its own gravy? That takes only a few minutes to prepare, then all day in slow cooker on the table in an hour with Instant Pot? That’s what I’m talking about …
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 …
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.
Let me show you how to make 15 of the BEST homemade salad dressings you can imagine—from scratch! Chances are good that your favorite is in the lineup. Get ready cuz you’re about to save a ton of money. Promise!
In the wake of America’s big economic wake-up call back in 2008, dollar stores and thrift stores saw—and continue to see—a big resurgence. And now another kind of retail quasi-lender is commanding all kinds of attention from sellers and buyers, too—pawn shops.
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 […]
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.
Avocados are fickle. Sometimes, they seem like they’re ready to eat, and at other times avocados look like they’ll be rotten before you get them home. This unpredictability isn’t just expensive ($1.25 each for medium, $2.50 each for large at my local supermarket, as I write); it also contributes to wasted food. No magic gadget […]
As wonderful as a washing machine is when it comes to saving time and effort, it can also be a troublesome member of the household. It is critical that you perform a washing machine check-up now.
I wish I had all of the money I’ve spent over the years on salon manicures. It would be quite a tidy sum. And perhaps I wouldn’t have had such horrible nails and even worse cuticles. Thankfully, after untold trials and errors, I’ve come up with the perfect home manicure routine that has turned my nail […]
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.
Chances are good you’ve noticed the price of ordinary grocery items beginning to soar. The Wall Street Journal is reporting these food items are getting more costly in 2022: mac and cheese, ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, soup, coffee, and snacks. And don’t assume it will stop there.
During these times of quarantine, lockdowns, shut-downs, and restrictions, Home Chef has become a godsend for so many families and individuals. Sure does beat take-out, drive-thru, curbside pick-out, and other kinds of home delivery. We can make meals when we want them, the way we want them, without tax and tip added to the bill …
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!
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.
Dryer sheets have so many other uses around that home that have nothing to do with laundry—indoors, outdoors, and in the garage too.
Many types of solar ovens are available these days, even simple plans to help you build your own. But for me, Sun Oven meets my needs both as an auxiliary appliance and a valuable member of our emergency preparedness team. This simple invention, Sun Oven, is everything I need to cook, dehydrate, bake, and even […]
Cream. It’s coffee’s perfect mate. And when that creamer comes flavored in a handy bottle from the dairy case, even more perfect, right? Oh, but so pricey! Here’s a solution: Make it yourself cheaper, better and faster!
The way to do this is to start with a Base Recipe that is basically bland in taste but creamy. Then you add flavor it up exactly the way you love your creamer.
In today’s post I offer two Base Recipes—#1 starts out sweet, #2 is not sweet and then we go from there with specific “recipes” for 28 different flavors. The one you love has to be in there somewhere!
Unless you are a black-coffee only die-hard ☕️, you’re going to love this. See you there … Love, xo m
All that said, if you have an Instant Pot, yes, you can use the slow cooker setting to make some dishes successfully. But mostly for me, it has been a crapshoot. Let’s just say that I’ve experienced far more misses than hits. Every attempt to use Instant Pot’s slow cook option has ended in some level of disappointment.
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?!”
These scrumptious sauce recipes help you eat out less, enjoy eating at home more—and pocket the difference.
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.
Now more than ever it’s time to slash expenses in order to preserve cash. Gasoline, Food, Utilities—the cost of everything is soaring!