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Holiday Returns: What You Need to Know

Posted on 12/22/2014 11:23 EST

Gift giving and receiving is complicated and emotional. While the rising popularity of store gift cards and prepaid cards has lessened the worry about returns in the post-holiday frenzy, there often remains one present that doesn't warm your insides or a gift that you received twice because relatives know you all too well. Regardless, deliver a big, heartfelt "thank you" and then figure out how to return or exchange the gift. Read More

What's Worth More: Your Money or Your Time?

Posted on 12/22/2014 11:22 EST

My banker husband has always said, "Time is money." I understood the point but never put the old adage to the test. We all probably have a different bottom line when it comes to how much our time is worth, so I did the math to determine mine. The answer, I learned, depends on both the person and the situation. Read More

Weekly Update: 50 Best Money-Saving Tips & More

Posted on 12/19/2014 16:14 EST

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With Christmas less than a week away, the holiday pace is mounting. Get into the spirit by being charitable within your budget. Gift cards make great last-minute gifts, but be wary of potential fees. An electric razor would do nicely for the special guy on your list. Know what to avoid during holiday travel and save yourself some money. Escape the holiday hustle with a sunny getaway, inexpensive yoga classes, or a budget-priced bottle of white wine. Grandparents can step in to help new parents bear the responsibility, financial and otherwise, of caring for a new baby. Finally, don't miss Cheapism.com's top money-saving tips of 2014. Read More

6 Ways to Find Free and Cheap Yoga Classes

Posted on 12/18/2014 13:29 EST

With all the stresses of modern life, quiet, meditative movement seems like the perfect antidote. Yoga classes and instruction have a reputation for being expensive, with drop-in rates hovering around $20 and private instruction costing a bit more. But all you need -- in theory, that is -- to start practicing is a yoga mat, unrestrictive yoga clothing, and free instructional videos posted online. Read More

Stay Warm Head to Toe With Winter Wear Under $30

Posted on 12/18/2014 9:24 EST

Aaah, wintertime -- when the mere thought of stepping out of the house sends shivers down your spine. Even a quick walk to the bus can make hands and feet feel cold as your body works to keep the core and inner organs warm. These days, there are plenty of products on the market that will keep you warm without making you look like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. We found a number of worthwhile accessories and apparel, each costing less than $30. Read More

50 Best Money-Saving Tips of the Year

Posted on 12/17/2014 13:42 EST

Another year is coming to an end, presenting a chance to reflect on what we learned during the past 12 months. From electricity costs to credit cards, we've covered it all on Cheapism.com. Continue on to see 50 of the best money-saving, reward-earning, and frugal-living tips from 2014. Read More

How Grandparents Can Save New Parents Thousands Per Year

Posted on 12/17/2014 8:39 EST

The average cost of raising a baby during the first year is $10,000 to $15,000, which totals more than $245,000 to age 18. Once the initial sticker shock wears off, many parents single-mindedly focus on paring costs -- by shopping at secondhand stores, accepting hand-me-downs, choosing store-brand diapers, and most of all, by enlisting help. While friends may be willing, oftentimes it is the grandparents who can be counted on for emotional support, practical support, and, when possible, financial support. Here are several specific and fairly simple ways that grandparents can help save new parents at least $3,700 during the baby's first year. Read More

6 Things to Avoid During Holiday Travel

Posted on 12/16/2014 11:58 EST

More than half of holiday travelers hope to stick to a budget this year, according to a recent American Express survey. Between transportation, dining, and entertainment, though, it's easy to overspend. While unforeseen expenses may be inevitable, a few simple money-saving tactics can ease the pain. Take a pass on these six things and keep some green in your pocket this holiday season. Read More

Giving Gift Cards? Read This First

Posted on 12/16/2014 9:06 EST

What do you give to the person who has everything? The simple answer: a gift card. Popular as stocking stuffers, office gift-swaps, and full-blown presents to family members, these cash-loaded pieces of plastic also suffice when recipient choice is a prime goal or as last-minute offerings that show a tad more thought and effort than handing over cash. But be forewarned. Gift cards usually come with fees attached, an industry practice that might set you wondering whether the old-fashioned envelope stuffed with green wouldn't be preferable. Read More

Top 10 Affordable Destinations for Winter Sun

Posted on 12/15/2014 10:03 EST

Feeling the need to get some sun this winter? Lying on a beach with a pina colada in hand sounds pretty good when your fingers go numb from texting outside. And it's far more fun to plow down a bright, white mountain slope than plow a driveway in the dark. Satisfy your vitamin D craving on the cheap by hopping a plane to a domestic destination or even a Caribbean island. Cheapism.com has rounded up 10 top picks for thrifty winter escapes. For an all-inclusive package that covers flight, accommodation, and meals/drinks, book through a vacation deal site such as Cheap Caribbean or BookIt. Their seasonal discounts and last-minute sales can reduce already affordable packages to less than $200 per night. And you don't have to spend another cent while you're there. Read More

How to Give to Charity Without Spending a Dime

Posted on 12/15/2014 9:06 EST

The holiday season is upon us and many are feeling the stress of shopping, cooking, entertaining, and all that comes with this time of year. Another something that may be weighing on your mind is how to fit in some charitable giving. After all, there are those in need who will be lucky to scrape together any holiday cheer. If you're strapped for cash, as well, you still can be charitable without pulling out your checkbook or even yielding much of your time. Here are several ideas on how to spread the giving spirit this holiday season. Read More

Gift Guide: 4 Electric Razors Under $30

Posted on 12/15/2014 8:11 EST

Here's a gift you're actually better off buying at the last minute: an electric shaver. It can take a few weeks to get used to a new razor, so most manufacturers let users try one out for at least 30 days and get their money back if they're not pleased with the results. Shopping close to the holiday gives a man in your life almost the full trial period. Read More

Weekly Update: 50 Travel Tips & More

Posted on 12/12/2014 15:42 EST

Help support Cheapism by clicking this link to shop on Amazon.

With just two weeks till Christmas, now is the time to set a holiday travel budget and purchase the presents that remain on your shopping list. Use price matching to your advantage at five retailers that match Amazon. This week we focused on foodies, with a list of gift ideas, a roundup of inexpensive Dutch ovens, and a wine-tasting panel. Other gift guides cater to four-legged friends and exercise buffs. An engagement ring might be the ultimate Christmas gift, but be sure you know what to look for in a diamond first. 'Tis the season for baggage fees, as travelers transport gifts and go on long vacations. If you plan to fly with a pet, find out what you need to know before embarking on the journey. And regardless, consult our list of 50 top money-saving travel tips from the past year. Read More

6 Ways to Avoid Annoying Baggage Fees

Posted on 12/11/2014 12:41 EST

About 90 million Americans have travel plans this holiday season, according to a recent American Express survey. Although some people will drive or take a train, many will journey by plane. And that often means fees of $25 or more for checked bags. Even JetBlue, a carrier known for commendable customer service and minimal extra charges for this and that, has announced it will soon begin charging some travelers to check their luggage. Never mind. Cheapism.com has examined airline fees and has six techniques for lowering, avoiding, or getting reimbursed for baggage fees. Read More

Gift Guide: 6 Top Fitness Trackers for $60 or Less

Posted on 12/11/2014 9:48 EST

Exercise trackers, also referred to as fitness trackers or activity monitors, have been all the fuss lately. You know, those bracelets and clip-on devices people wear to track how many steps they've taken, the distance they've traveled, and the calories they've burned throughout the day. The latest offerings can even distinguish between exercises such as a normal push-up and a triangle push-up. Of course, those cost a pretty penny. The best cheap devices still give wearers the insight of seeing their stats and push them to exercise a little more every day. Cheapism.com has highlighted four top fitness trackers that cost no more than $60, as well as two new budget trackers released ahead of the 2014 holiday season by Misfit and Jawbone. Both companies have a history of making well-received fitness trackers, and initial reviews for these two models suggest that the trend continues. Read More

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