Everyday Cheapskate from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sun, 26 Jan 2020 01:32:59 -0800 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Everyday Cheapskate from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/everyday-cheapskate-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate 2e93b98911ab6757e6d0cb30f9700274 9 Ways to Save Big at the Supermarket for 01/23/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/9-ways-to-save-big-at-the-supermarket Thu, 23 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>How much did you spend on food last month? A survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the average consumer unit, defined by a household of one to four individuals, spends up to $500 a month on groceries. That's a pile of dough! And slashing food costs without sacrificing quality is simple: A little bit here, a small adjustment there, and before you know it, the savings really add up. </p> <p>BAKERY ITEMS<p>Updated: Thu Jan 23, 2020</p> b1502af6e46f479b5bc94aa46d4fca26 Mary Answers Readers' Credit Card Questions for 01/22/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/mary-answers-readers-credit-card-questions Wed, 22 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Every day, I open my inbox to find questions from you, my dear readers. Today I found two on the same subject: credit cards. </p> <p>LEAVE 'EM ALONE, AND THEY'LL GO HOME<p>Updated: Wed Jan 22, 2020</p> b1a5abbe12b506d51dd7f813c435b343 Great Reader Tips -- From Banana Storage to Paint Goofs and Lots More! for 01/21/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/great-reader-tips-from-banana-storage-to-paint-goofs-and-lots-more Tue, 21 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>DIY BANANA TREE</p> <p>A banana tree is a great invention that prevents bananas from bruising so they will last longer. I saw one in a nice store recently with a big price tag of $19.99. But I didn't buy it. Instead, I headed for the hardware department to find a big cup hook with a screw end. Total cost: 98 cents. I screwed it into the underside of an upper cabinet. My bananas now hang properly &#8212; up and out of the way, without taking up any counter space. All for 5% of the cost of the fancy banana stand. &#8212; Randall<p>Updated: Tue Jan 21, 2020</p> 0764ffd70332b4d98e17e4b2a6aa2c40 10 Ways to Simplify Your Life for 01/20/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/10-ways-to-simplify-your-life Mon, 20 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>I spent the better part of 2019 reorganizing and decluttering my home, something that forced me to seriously consider what we actually need to be happy and content. I've discovered anew that having less stuff, fewer obligations and more time make room for what's truly important. Simplifying gives more space in my life for the people I love, things I appreciate and opportunities I want to take.</p> <p>No matter where you live or what you do, consider that maybe it's time for you to simplify your life, too. I promise that it will give you more time, space and energy. <p>Updated: Mon Jan 20, 2020</p> 2fa1db122dad410f040047bfe38bc877 Make Your Own Spreadable Butter for 01/16/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/make-your-own-spreadable-butter Thu, 16 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>You've seen the little tubs of spreadable butter in the dairy case of your supermarket. In fact, you may purchase them because they're just so convenient. And if you watch your prices, you know the typical "spreadable" could almost be considered a luxury item. </p> <p>Most spreadables are part real butter, part canola oil. Others have olive oil or some kind of an oil blend. What all of these spreadables have in common is that they remain perfectly soft, even while refrigerated. <p>Updated: Thu Jan 16, 2020</p> 33d1b2e217a4a905ef0ee861df604775 Plastics of a Different Kind for 01/15/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/plastics-of-a-different-kind Wed, 15 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>While plastic is used in thousands of products that add comfort, convenience and even safety to our lives, we have become addicted to single-use or disposable plastic &#8212;which has detrimental consequences to our environment. Around the world, 1 million plastic drinking bottles are purchased every minute, and up to 5 trillion single-use plastic bags are used worldwide every year. And worse, nearly half of all plastic produced is designed to be used only once &#8212; and then thrown away.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">But there exists an even bigger problem with a different kind of plastic exposure, already proven to be hazardous to our wealth. I'm talking about the kind of plastic we carry in our wallets.</span><p>Updated: Wed Jan 15, 2020</p> b780cd6c90aed8ce70fb078e6d98f3d1 How to Brighten Dingy Laundry ... and More Reader Questions for 01/14/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/how-to-brighten-dingy-laundry-and-more-reader-questions Tue, 14 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Dear Mary: While my daughter was on staff at a summer camp, she did not launder her bedding frequently. Even though the bedding has been laundered a number of times since being home, I've noticed that the sheets, pillowcases and comforter appear dingy even though they're fresh from the dryer. Is there anything that will brighten these items? &#8212; Lexi</p> <p>Dear Lexi: You don't mention if these linens are whites or colors, so I will assume the latter. If I were you, I would fill the washer with hot water; add 1/2 cup of Cascade automatic dishwasher powder (you may have to look hard, but it's still available), 1 cup of borax and your regular laundry detergent. Once dissolved, add the linens and allow the machine to agitate for a few minutes before turning the machine off and allowing them to soak overnight. (If yours is a front-loading machine, use the "pause" feature, or do this in a large container or the bathtub.) In the morning, complete the full cycle. I would also hang them out in the bright sunshine to dry, if that's possible this time of year where you live.<p>Updated: Tue Jan 14, 2020</p> 19a4aeda27762a198c8547d117443323 Reader Tips: It's the Little Ways We Save That Add Up for 01/13/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/reader-tips-its-the-little-ways-we-save-that-add-up Mon, 13 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>AUTO STEREO</p> <p>In cold weather, it's wise to wait until the car's interior warms up before using the radio or CD player. These units should be warm, especially the CD player, before they are turned on. If you are patient and allow the heater to warm the interior, your expensive sound system will work better for longer. &#8212; Judd<p>Updated: Mon Jan 13, 2020</p> 2d61fe3b0a0f04d5ff69254802545109 Slash Food Costs and Give Yourself a Raise for 01/09/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/slash-food-costs-and-give-yourself-a-raise Thu, 09 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Could you use an extra $1,200? That's exactly what you'll have in a year if you can find a way to whack just $25 from your food bill each week. But there's not one single way to reduce food costs. The key is to use a combination of strategies.</p> <p>EAT THE SALES <p>Updated: Thu Jan 09, 2020</p> ca700489c505ac161a97c861d255646c With the Holidays Fresh in Mind ... for 01/08/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/with-the-holidays-fresh-in-mind- Wed, 08 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Here we are, a week into the new year! Along with taking the tree down and putting the decorations away for another year, there are several things you should do now while the holidays are still fresh in your mind.</p> <p>1. Gather all your leftover paper goods into one place &#8212; the gift wrap, cards, tags, bows and ribbons, plus all the stuff you nearly stole at the After Christmas Clearance Sale. Open your 2020 calendar to Nov. 26, and write a detailed list of your holiday supplies. Critical: Make a note of where you're storing all the stuff, too. <p>Updated: Wed Jan 08, 2020</p> 37114ea479a0211e233ad653acf174cb Answers to Your Questions on Credit Unions, Banks and Deadbeat Parents for 01/07/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/answers-to-your-questions-on-credit-unions-banks-and-deadbeat-parents Tue, 07 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>CREDIT UNIONS VERSUS BANKS</p> <p>Dear Mary: What is the difference between a bank and a credit union? &#8212; Justina<p>Updated: Tue Jan 07, 2020</p> 6562ab0c45908b2f697e33eddb1a4e56 It's the Little Ways We Save That Add Up for 01/06/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/its-the-little-ways-we-save-that-add-up Mon, 06 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>It's amazing how saving a little here and a little there can add up to big savings. Each of these great reader tips doesn't really save much on its own. But added up over time? In a way that changes your attitude and keeps you focused? That can really make a difference.</p> <p>Don't believe me? Think about the amount of cosmetics you've tossed because of an allergic reaction or it just wasn't the right color. And how about buying or making decorations for a child's party? That can be a real money drain. What if your mind more often went to how you can use what you already have to meet a need rather than running to the store? <p>Updated: Mon Jan 06, 2020</p> 9f34c0d02b585fd100ec7fe936981754 The Great Cake Mix Fake for 01/02/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/01/20/the-great-cake-mix-fake Thu, 02 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>If I didn't know better, I'd swear that boxed cake mixes reproduce in the dark of night on the shelves of my pantry. One day I counted 18 boxes of cake mix! </p> <p>Here's how that works: Cake mixes go on sale routinely. One week it will be Duncan Hines, and then Pillsbury takes its turn, and so on. The typical sale price for a cake mix is $1. I hold onto my cake mix coupons until that particular brand goes on sale. My 35-cent or 50-cent coupon cuts that sale price even further. Do the math. <span class="column--highlighted-text">My goal is to never pay more than 50 cents for a cake mix, and when I can pull that off, I stock up.</span><p>Updated: Thu Jan 02, 2020</p> e1fd934328fc87c47579d4db30cc460d A Foolproof Formula to Fix Your Money in 2020 for 01/01/2020 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/a-foolproof-formula-to-fix-your-money-in-2020 Wed, 01 Jan 2020 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>According to a survey conducted by Offers.com, the top two New Year's resolutions in the U.S. for 2019 came in almost tied, with exercise more/lose weight at 38% and save money at 37%. So, how did that work out for you? Is your financial picture better now than it was 12 months ago? Are you more fit and lean?</p> <p>The reason I love New Year's is it feels like a clean slate &#8212; a fresh start. Whether you did great in 2019 or blew it altogether, I have good news. Today's a new day &#8212; a new <i>year</i> &#8212; and a chance to start over or to do even better. We've been granted another opportunity. As for that saving money part, I have a great formula that's been working for me and thousands of people I've led out of debt and into a lifestyle where they consistently live below their means.<p>Updated: Wed Jan 01, 2020</p> 3d04cde876d5de762452483f2b92b591 How to Live the Life You Love on Your Current Income for 12/31/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/how-to-live-the-life-you-love-on-your-current-income-d9bc7 Tue, 31 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Living below your means does not mean giving up what really matters. Spending less than you earn is the way to have and do the things that will let you live the life you love.</p> <p>I'll never forget the time I asked one of my young piano students what he wanted for Christmas. It was a generic question, a pleasantry. I wasn't looking for make, model and serial number, but that's what I got. He whipped out a 60-page list from his book bag. I gulped, checked to see if this child was serious (he was) and quickly proceeded with his music lesson.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 31, 2019</p> c25985403a489173c9954bfa2e29f9a8 This Homemade Silver Cleaner Removes Tarnish Like Magic for 12/30/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/this-homemade-silver-cleaner-removes-tarnish-like-magic Mon, 30 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>There's no shortage of commercial silver-cleaning products on the market these days. Those that I've tested generally do the job, but they're messy, contain harsh chemicals and, if that's not bad enough &#8212; they're expensive! Good news. I have a simple, homemade silver-cleaner recipe for your lovely silver pieces &#8212; chains, earrings, bracelets, flatware and heirlooms &#8212; that's cheaper, better and definitely faster.</p> <p>A word of caution: I cannot recommend this method for cleaning jewelry adorned with gemstones or silver items that have patina intended to be part of the intricate design. And this is definitely not for nonsilver costume jewelry. What follows is for cleaning silver.<p>Updated: Mon Dec 30, 2019</p> 287dad7812e31cb8cddf49eb29d33164 10 Things That Should Never Go in the Dishwasher for 12/26/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/10-things-that-should-never-go-in-the-dishwasher Thu, 26 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Without a doubt, my least favorite household chore is hand-washing dishes. That makes my dishwasher the one appliance I can't live without. I love it. <span class="column--highlighted-text">In fact, I have this motto that if it can't go in the dishwasher, I don't need it.</span></p> <p>Despite all my efforts, I still end up having to hand-wash a few things. I 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.<p>Updated: Thu Dec 26, 2019</p> ef06bdbf3416e5e4a5ee722be9731719 Simple Ways to Keep Your Home Smelling Clean and Fresh for 12/25/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/simple-ways-to-keep-your-home-smelling-clean-and-fresh Wed, 25 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>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 &#8212; like absolutely nothing!</p> <p>Clean is the absence of odors from animals, people, garbage, rot, mold, mildew, smoke, dirt, grease and grime &#8212; not the presence of spray fragrance on top of odors. Check out these simple ways to keep your home smelling clean and fresh. And for those who love a scent, I have some ideas for that, too.</p> <p>DEAL WITH MOISTURE<p>Updated: Wed Dec 25, 2019</p> ef0e2fa547b8ff69b2363bdf963363d2 7 Easy Moves That Will Simplify Your Spending for 12/24/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/7-easy-moves-that-will-simplify-your-spending Tue, 24 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p>Confused and stressed out about how to manage your money so you don't run out before payday? Put these seven easy moves into action, and you'll be well on your way to simplify your spending.</p> <p>I know what you're thinking &#8212; "simplify" and "spending" in the same sentence? Ha! Like that's even possible when we have credit cards, debit cards, bank accounts, bills, bill pay, autopay, fees, penalties, interest rates and fees to keep track of. How can we possibly make managing money simple?</p> <p>By having a plan. By choosing to hold ourselves accountable and then using every tactic possible to streamline and destress your approach to money.<p>Updated: Tue Dec 24, 2019</p> f1e8f5ad6cd427619012881c932236ce How to Use Up Every Last Cent on a Prepaid Debit Card for 12/23/2019 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/12/19/how-to-use-up-every-last-cent-on-a-prepaid-debit-card Mon, 23 Dec 2019 00:00:00 -0800 <p></p><p>Some prepaid debit cards can be problematic because it's nearly impossible to use them up to the last cent. That means you end up with some odd amount on the card that no one will accept for payment unless, by some miracle, your purchase is equal to or less than that odd amount.</p> <p>ANOTHER PROBLEM<p>Updated: Mon Dec 23, 2019</p>