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, 01 Aug 2021 10:16:31 -0700 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 cdae46df8d7f5d63547bf39757ad9ffc 7 Ways to Get Rid of Flies in the House for 07/29/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/7-ways-to-get-rid-of-flies-in-the-house Thu, 29 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Flies are a nearly unavoidable nuisance in most homes, especially during the warmer months of the year. Annoying for sure, but more than just pesky, houseflies (Musca domestica) can carry and transmit disease and cause illness. <span class="column--highlighted-text">Consider these seven simple ways to banish these pests from the house and keep them out for good.</span></p> <p>BLOCK THE ENTRANCES</p> <p>If you have a busy household with people and pets coming and going, it's a challenge to keep traffic flowing without allowing flies to come in with them. Get everyone into the habit of closing the door behind them. Keeping all points of entry closed is your best defense to keep flies from getting inside the house.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 29, 2021</p> 969b7f1bfb13f88e9e07b959a63ffd12 How to Upsize a Cake Mix That's Too Small for the Recipe for 07/28/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/how-to-upsize-a-cake-mix-thats-too-small-for-the-recipe Wed, 28 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>In my kitchen, I have a small collection of cookbooks which I consider prized possessions. One of them, the classic Betty Crocker Cookbook, was a wedding gift and, trust me, it's seen more than its share of splatters and dog-eared and ripped pages. And I wouldn't part with it for anything.</p> <p>Another features 100 things to do with an ordinary cake mix. It is fabulous &#8212; or I should say it used to be.<p>Updated: Wed Jul 28, 2021</p> b4b7e0b37b7e4cc8c196e8c5a8c7aeb1 Incredibly Simple Travel Tips to Take Stress Out of Flying for 07/27/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/incredibly-simple-travel-tips-to-take-stress-out-of-flying Tue, 27 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Flying is back. More people boarded commercial planes in the U.S. this past Thursday than the comparable same pre-pandemic day in 2019. The Transportation Security Administration reported that 2,147,090 travelers passed through its security checkpoints, a good indicator for what's to come over the next few months. <span class="column--highlighted-text">If you plan to travel by air this summer, one thing is for certain: You won't be alone. </span>The TSA estimated that summer air travel is going to break records.</p> <p>It goes without saying that you need to get to the airport early. But this summer, as things return to normal, plan to double the time you might otherwise allow to arrive, get through security and to your gate. The TSA is experiencing delays due to being understaffed. Their rules are frequently being amended and changed, so make sure you stay current.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 27, 2021</p> 658be4388e26fde03ba300c7367941f6 Help! My White Leather Couch Reeks of Smoke for 07/26/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/help-my-white-leather-couch-reeks-of-smoke Mon, 26 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Dear Mary: I found a great deal on a gorgeous couch at an estate sale. It is upholstered in white leather and appears to be new &#8212; as if no one has ever sat on it. Priced at $100, you can be sure that I grabbed it up fast and brought it home.</p> <p>I put it in the garage. Then it hit me &#8212; the reeking smell of old, nasty cigarette smoke. Once I closed the garage door, that smell almost knocked me over. I just didn't notice this at the sale.<p>Updated: Mon Jul 26, 2021</p> 82ddb5ec487e50883f14e2ea583ef6db Extra Money Dilemma; Should We Buy Cancer Insurance? for 07/22/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/extra-money-dilemma-should-we-buy-cancer-insurance Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>As you know, because I tell you all the time, I get a ton of mail! Today, I reached into my virtual mailbag and pulled out two reader questions, neither of them having easy answers. But hopefully this will make you think of your own situation in light of these questions and my responses.</p> <p>Dear Mary: I borrowed more money on my student loan than I need to pay for school. Should I use this extra money to pay off an 11.49% interest credit card balance? I am currently in graduate school, so I don't have to start paying my student loan back until December. I believe the interest on it is around 3%.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 22, 2021</p> d3d1b4c95b0a54736b64a8b896d4ec52 6 Generics That are Truly a Great Buy for 07/21/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/6-generics-that-are-truly-a-great-buy Wed, 21 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>What do you associate with the word "generic?" Do the words "inferior" or "tastes like cardboard" come to mind? Or do you, like many people, associate name brands with people who are well-to-do, while people in poverty opt for generics? All of that is complete nonsense, but commonly held attitudes. The truth is that generics are often a great buy because the quality of the product is exactly equal to, or sometimes even better than, the name brand counterpart. Here are six winners:</p> <p>CEREAL<p>Updated: Wed Jul 21, 2021</p> 0d11e1da27dc9b6bc892924f7f40ae0a Surprising Other Uses for Automatic Dishwasher Detergent for 07/20/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/surprising-other-uses-for-automatic-dishwasher-detergent Tue, 20 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's no secret that dishwasher detergent is specifically formulated to be used in automatic dishwashers whether it comes as powder, pods, pacs, liquid or gel. What may come as a big surprise is that these products' grease and dirt-busting abilities can be used outside the dishwasher in many useful ways.</p> <p>Case in point: My microfiber cloths. I have a stack that I use for wiping up spills, dusting furniture, cleaning windows, countertops, floors, woodwork and appliances. Those cloths get dirty, and eventually stained.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 20, 2021</p> 6bd4b3e4d7bf7e48d983cc2ce91a2893 Highly Effective Ways to Chop the Soaring Cost of Groceries for 07/19/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/highly-effective-ways-to-chop-the-soaring-cost-of-groceries Mon, 19 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Perhaps you've noticed the cost of nearly everything is going up. The Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, the agency that calculates the U.S. inflation rate, is predicting a very high inflation rate for 2021. Our annual inflation rate at the end of May was running at 5%. That is the highest rate since 1981, when the average for that year was 10.3%.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">Here's the deal: We can either stick our heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has changed, or we can get smart and fight back.</span><p>Updated: Mon Jul 19, 2021</p> fb8bee80dc1e1ae6ae9c1cbc58d1a132 Medicare and Health Savings Accounts; Closing Credit-Card Accounts for 07/15/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/medicare-and-health-savings-accounts-closing-credit-card-accounts Thu, 15 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Dear Mary: I'm a few months from my Medicare birthday, when I'll turn 65. I have had a high-deductible health savings account qualified insurance plan for more than 10 years.</p> <p>The health savings account has a decent balance of nearly $15,000 because I've enjoyed good health and few medical expenses. My question: Can I keep my health savings account once I'm on Medicare? &#8212; Gordon</p> <p>Dear Gordon: That's an interesting question, and it sent me into a research scurry. Here's what I've learned: Medicare isn't a high deductible health plan, which is the number one requirement for a health savings account, or HSA. That means that once you are on Medicare, you will not be eligible to contribute to an HSA. But there is no problem if you keep an existing HSA or withdraw from it for medical expenses.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 15, 2021</p> 12ef1b6c2f39f8cd469997a31951d45b Practical Tips to Help with Home Maintenance and Repair for 07/14/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/practical-tips-to-help-with-home-maintenance-and-repair Wed, 14 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Maintenance costs can put a serious dent in your budget and savings &#8212; a dent that's tough to repair. While there are certain things you definitely need an expert to handle, there are plenty of other situations in which you can make minor but meaningful repairs without calling for professional support &#8212; while saving serious cash.</p> <p><span class="column--highlighted-text">From closet rods to roof repair, and from wallpaper tricks to paint smarts, here is a sampling of practical tips and brilliant ideas to help around the house.</span></p> <p>CLOSET ROD FIX <p>Updated: Wed Jul 14, 2021</p> cac25988f2e10464c9bc5474825094b7 When Showing Up is the Hardest Part for 07/13/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/when-showing-up-is-the-hardest-part Tue, 13 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Not that long ago, I underwent that procedure no one my age likes to talk about. Doing all the necessary prep to get ready for the exam was bad enough. Then, I wanted to cut and run when I saw those words on the office door: certified financial planner.<p>Updated: Tue Jul 13, 2021</p> 110f630b0e0d7bfa684d3d0fddcb02bf How to Make Proper Iced Tea, According to My Mother-In-Law for 07/12/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/how-to-make-proper-iced-tea-according-to-my-mother-in-law Mon, 12 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>The only thing more comforting than a tall glass of iced tea on a hot summer day is knowing how to make that perfect iced tea yourself with confidence &#8212; for just pennies per serving.<p>Updated: Mon Jul 12, 2021</p> 11395b71fd92eb9da98fa4b54c3e4010 Readers' Responses Are Nothing If Not Unpredictable! for 07/08/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/readers-responses-are-nothing-if-not-unpredictable Thu, 08 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>For anyone wishing to study human nature, my mailbox would make an interesting research center. I get tons of email, and snail mail, too. However, rather than arriving in a steady flow, it comes in waves. I've given up trying to predict which columns will prompt responses from my readers.</p> <p>Take a column on the inherent dangers associated with debit cards. I wrote about the relatively weak law that regulates them as opposed to the much stronger federal law that protects users of credit cards. It was, in my humble opinion, empowering information worthy of some measure of positive response. Or at least a few angry challenges from loyal debit-card users. Surprisingly, responses to that column were nearly nonexistent.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 08, 2021</p> dd3a578f2d73705343ba5eeb078cf599 Quick and Easy Outdoor Cleaning and Storage Tips for 07/07/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/quick-and-easy-outdoor-cleaning-and-storage-tips Wed, 07 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Many outdoor cleaning and storage solutions can be rather expensive, especially when compared with Everyday Cheapskate do-it-yourself or homemade alternatives. Here are some of my favorite cleaning tips and storage solutions for the garage and patio that will give you the results you need without the costs you don't.</p> <p>BARBECUE COVER<p>Updated: Wed Jul 07, 2021</p> 762d96cbbdbf953dfb779d44ee4988e7 How to Liquify Crystallized Honey and the Best Way to Store It for 07/06/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/how-to-liquify-crystallized-honey-and-the-best-way-to-store-it Tue, 06 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>It's discouraging when you reach for the honey, only to discover it is no longer a smooth liquid, but all grainy &#8212; like sugar. You may have even tossed it into the trash assuming that it's gone bad, no longer edible. Truth be told, it is still perfectly delicious and nutritious. It's easy to turn crystallized honey back into its liquid self.</p> <p>First, if your crystallized honey is in a plastic container, transfer as much as you want to liquify to a glass container with a lid. Apply the lid. Then, you have three choices:<p>Updated: Tue Jul 06, 2021</p> 0eff6dc8e059d5bb89f6e22e19b88351 How to Clean and Restore Carpet Even If It's Old, Stained and Disgusting for 07/05/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/07/21/how-to-clean-and-restore-carpet-even-if-its-old-stained-and-disgusting Mon, 05 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>If you hate your carpet because it's old, stained and bordering on disgusting, I have great news. There are steps you can take that will have you falling in love with it all over again.<p>Updated: Mon Jul 05, 2021</p> 9bd756a3bf0bc5b3458d02ce13768bc1 How to Make the High Cost of Ground Beef Easier to Swallow for 07/01/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/06/21/how-to-make-the-high-cost-of-ground-beef-easier-to-swallow Thu, 01 Jul 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics' latest official data says in April 2021, the average price of a pound of lean ground beef climbed to a whopping $5.97 per pound. It's no secret that in the past year, we've seen all kinds of economic turmoil sending us into a season of inflation, when the price of everything is soaring. </p> <p>If you and your family are not ready to turn vegetarian &#8212;nor are you prepared to pay a king's ransom for quality hamburger &#8212; you do have another option: Get creative. OK, maybe a little sneaky, too.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 01, 2021</p> d839dd735ce6142f48ac47b881d828e1 How to Save Money and Get Financially Confident for 06/30/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/06/21/how-to-save-money-and-get-financially-confident Wed, 30 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>For a good deal of my life, I lived under a dark cloud of fear that I would end up financially destitute &#8212; a bag lady. Studies reveal that I'm not the only one. Most of us have felt that way, not because we're broke but because we lack confidence. That makes us timid, worried and financially insecure.<p>Updated: Wed Jun 30, 2021</p> c12d5ef7b2c6b3517b9ccfc8c0bb1f3f Easy Ways to Cut the Soaring Price of Gasoline for 06/29/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/06/21/easy-ways-to-cut-the-soaring-price-of-gasoline Tue, 29 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>Only a few months ago I paid $1.87 a gallon for gas in Thornton, Colorado. That's more than dollar cheaper than I paid this past week at the same location &#8212; $3.05 per gallon! What's going on?</p> <p>According to Forbes, the price for a barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil tested the $70 earlier this month, before closing at $69.62. That may be great news for oil producers around the U.S., but it's bad for America's families getting ready to hit the road for summer vacations.<p>Updated: Tue Jun 29, 2021</p> b97f2437a26347aff9796045e61059b1 Baby Steps Lead From Clutter to Calm for 06/28/2021 https://www.creators.com/read/everyday-cheapskate/06/21/baby-steps-lead-from-clutter-to-calm Mon, 28 Jun 2021 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p></p><p>Recently, I read about a couple who live in Oklahoma City. They don't have a lot of clutter in their house, but they do find it impossible to part with their children's things. The guest cottage behind their house is nearly filled with old toys, outgrown clothes, years of kids' artwork, school papers, trophies, sports paraphernalia, baby beds, bassinets and a rocking horse. Seems they can't bring themselves to clean it out or part with all of these things for fear their now-grown children will think they don't love them.<p>Updated: Mon Jun 28, 2021</p>