Car Mats, Wastebaskets, Baseball Caps: Yes ... Gold-Trimmed Glassware: No! Car Mats, Wastebaskets, Baseball Caps: Yes ... Gold-Trimmed Glassware: No! Dear Mary: Twenty years ago I was lucky enough to receive a five-piece, service for 12, Spode Christmas Tree China (green band) from my mother. Since then, I have filled out …Read more. Sometimes You Just Gotta' Be Sneaky They don't call me the Queen of Costco for nothing. Truth be told, I love the place. And I buy large quantities of many items, but only because I'm also quite sneaky. I bring stuff home but then hide all but the minimal amount we need to get through …Read more. Get Paid to Donate Your Stuff If you itemize your tax return, you probably know that you are allowed to deduct the fair market value of items you donate to charity. But what's the fair market value of, say, a pair of shoes or a lamp? More than you might think. The law does not …Read more. What Do You Need to Be Happy? When a University of Michigan survey asked people what they believed would improve their quality of life, the answer given most often was, "More money." In their book "The Day America Told the Truth," James Patterson and Peter Kim asked, "If you …Read more.more articles
Online Bartering Just Got Easier
Recently, a reporter called to ask me to weigh in on the merits and advisability of bartering, especially when times are tough. "Great idea," I said, and I went on to mention ways people can do this. You can trade music lessons for housecleaning or baby-sitting for haircuts. I wish I'd heard from our first tipster earlier. I didn't know about this new way to barter online. Read on!
TIP OF THE MONTH WINNER! I was on Craigslist re-listing my car that I had been trying to sell for more than two months, when I decided to look at the bartering section. I ended up finding a painter who was looking for a car in exchange for painting. I had no extra money to pay for the painting of my house and garage, which were in desperate shape. He agreed to paint my house and garage in exchange for the car. It was a great deal for me, as other painters estimated the house job would cost between $5,000 and $7,000; my car was worth $3,000. -- Leslie C., Illinois
AFFORDABLE EXTERMINATION. Last spring, we had a problem with carpenter ants. The cost to have the house fumigated was more than $900. Then we heard of a less expensive treatment. Spread uncooked Cream of Wheat where the ants travel. They will eat it, and when the cereal settles in their stomachs, it expands and kills them. -- Darlene, e-mail
FRENCH FAVORITE. My son and I are avid breakfast eaters. On weekends, I make entire loaves of bread into French toast. It takes seven eggs and about 1 1/2 cups of milk. Once the toast is cooled, I put it back in the same bread wrapper and put it in the freezer. In the morning, I pop a piece in the toaster, and my son has French toast in the morning. He loves it! -- Krista K., Oregon
One Tip of the Month winner is selected each month. The winner receives a one-year online subscription to the hugely popular members-only area of the Debt-Proof Living Web site (www.DebtProofLiving.com), which includes the equally popular monthly newsletter, Debt-Proof Living, now in its 17th year.
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Mary Hunt is the founder of DebtProofLiving.com and author of 17 books, including "Debt-Proof Living" and "Tiptionary 2." To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.