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Weekly Update: Free Tutoring Sites, Money-Saving Holiday Travel Tips, and More

Posted on 10/9/2015 13:21 EST

Enjoy fall in all its splendor by taking the family to a pumpkin patch or apple orchard and create Halloween costumes on the cheap. The big holiday shopping season is just around the corner, so freshen up your knowledge of price matching and store return policies. Also new this week: free tutoring sites, money-saving holiday travel tips, and more. Read More

15 Farms to Visit for Classic Fall Fun

Posted on 10/9/2015 9:18 EST

Nothing sets the mood for autumn quite like a visit to a farm. Whether the appeal is pick your-own apples and pumpkins, introducing the kids to farm animals, or enjoying fresh treats, these 15 farms across the country offer a satisfying way to spend a fall day outdoors. Farms are usually free for walking around, save for what you choose to buy, pick, or eat, and some may impose fees to pet animals or go on rides. But the general rule is that a day trip costs less per person than going to the movies, with add-ons upping the total, just like popcorn from the concessions stand adds to the price of seeing a film. Read More

How to Borrow or Make Money With Peer-to-Peer Lending

Posted on 10/9/2015 8:00 EST

Instead of turning to big banks, many people are borrowing from -- and investing in -- their neighbors. Known as peer-to-peer lending, this could grow into a $150 billion market by 2025, according to a 2015 report by the consulting firm PwC. Read More

11 Cheap and Easy Halloween Costumes to Make at Home

Posted on 10/8/2015 9:47 EST

It's possible to create pretty much any Halloween costume by thinking outside the box (putting aside the fact that many of the ideas here start with a box). Choosing to DIY instead of buy can save money on a holiday that costs more than you might think. Each person who celebrates Halloween this year will spend an average $74.34 for decorations, costumes, and candy, according to the National Retail Federation. With more than 157 million Americans expected to mark the holiday, it's a $6.9 billion retail bonanza. At the very least, the money saved making one of these costumes at home can be put into a bigger candy budget. Read More

10 Regional Chili Recipes to Try This Fall

Posted on 10/8/2015 8:50 EST

Chili first gained popularity along Texas cattle trails during the 1800s. Regional accents soon attached to the spicy stew, although certain ingredients remain standard to this day: Chili peppers, usually dried, add heat and spice to everything; cumin and garlic are indispensable seasonings. Most chili recipes incorporate meat, some add beans, and others are strictly vegetarian. The point is: There's a chili recipe to suit every taste and almost every occasion, from tailgating with a crowd to a quiet night at home by the fireplace. The dish also makes inexpensive ingredients go a long way. Here are 10 regional chili specialties, some associated with a particular place and others whose components evoke a location. Read More

4 Hands-Off Ways to Choose IRA Investments

Posted on 10/8/2015 8:00 EST

For many people, it's torture to talk about retirement accounts, determine which investments are right, and rebalance a portfolio every few months or years. Saving for the future can be especially daunting for workers who don't have a 401(k) or other retirement plan through an employer. Read More

10 Free Educational Sites to Try Before Hiring a Tutor

Posted on 10/7/2015 9:37 EST

In a landscape of rising tuition costs and long school supply lists, online tutoring is one area where an investment in a child's education doesn't have to cost a cent. Free educational websites can reinforce the lessons children are learning in school, introduce new concepts in a home-school environment, or polish skills that got a little rusty over summer vacation. Here are 10 free educational sites recommended in online reviews by experts, consumer reviewers, and professional educators. Read More

7 Keys to Successful Price Matching

Posted on 10/7/2015 8:50 EST

The best way to get a good deal is to shop around, right? But running from store to store can gobble up time and gas. That's where price matching comes in: Top retailers from Best Buy to Walmart have pledged to match competitors' prices, so consumers can get the best deals from around town with only one stop. Target recently expanded its policy to include a total of 29 online retailers. Problem is, these guarantees are far from straightforward. Cheapism.com examined eight retailers' price-match policies and found scads of rules and exclusions. Here are seven things every bargain shopper should know about price matching. Read More

6 Car Expenses That Are Really Worth the Money

Posted on 10/7/2015 8:00 EST

As any driver knows, it's easy to get overwhelmed by the abundance of car-related goods and services, from pricey detailing to third-party warranties to premium fluids. Car owners on a budget must decide when to invest and when to cut corners. Pinching pennies in the wrong places can cost more down the road and raise concerns about safety. Cheapism.com consulted auto manufacturers, technicians, and maintenance guides to determine what's worth the money when it comes to your car. Read More

50 Money-Saving Tips for Holiday Travel

Posted on 10/6/2015 9:30 EST

Traveling here, there, and yon over the holidays need not leave you insolvent. There are workarounds galore that savvy travelers can use to find huge savings on airfare, hotels, and local transportation. These are some of Cheapism.com's best tips for landing a holiday travel deal, whether you're visiting family or taking a vacation. Read More

12 Things to Know About Your Favorite Stores' Return Policies

Posted on 10/6/2015 7:59 EST

Shoppers love a good return policy. It's a comfort to be able to make a purchase without worrying about getting money back if there's a problem or you simply have second thoughts. Liberal return policies help retailers, as well, because they make shoppers more likely to impulse buy or try something new. Stores with unrestrictive policies can see increased sales, and customers are more likely to refer friends to the store. Shoppers may be surprised to learn when some stores will -- or will not -- give them their money back. Read More

Spooked by Hurricane Joaquin? 11 Essentials for Emergencies

Posted on 10/5/2015 11:12 EST

With the coastal Carolinas enduring catastrophic flooding and the rest of the Eastern Seaboard breathing a sigh of relief, Hurricane Joaquin has reminded Americans of the possibility they will lose essential services or have to evacuate during a storm. At times like this, it's tempting to go overboard buying supplies, especially while in last-minute panic mode. But with a little advance planning, it's easy to prep for future emergencies -- and the upcoming winter storm season -- on a budget. Read More

Pizza Taste-Off: And the Best National Chain Is ...

Posted on 10/5/2015 8:49 EST

Fall means football season and rounds of pizza consumed in front of the TV, so perhaps it's only fitting that October is National Pizza Month. To help fans decide where to order their next pie, Cheapism.com compared prices at the four largest pizza chains and pitted them against one another in a blind tasting. Eleven connoisseurs sampled three types of pizza (cheese, pepperoni, and veggie) from Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Papa John's, and Little Caesars. When ranking the contenders, the judges sought several attributes. First was a fluffy, airy crust with a slight crispness to the outside. Next on the list was a sweet and spicy sauce -- the tasters had no tolerance for tangy and bitter -- followed by plenty of thoroughly and evenly melted cheese. The balance among the ingredients was also important, in particular the ratio of sauce to cheese to toppings. The vegetable toppings (green pepper and onion) had to be fresh and baked just right, and the pepperoni required a slightly spicy flavor and crispy bite. Read More

Where to Get a Flu Shot for Less in 2015

Posted on 10/5/2015 8:08 EST

With flu season about to rear its ugly head, now is the time to line up for your annual flu shot. Peak time for flu in the United States generally falls in January or February, but activity can erupt as early as October, and it takes two weeks after vaccination for the body to develop the necessary antibodies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of six months get a dose of the vaccine. This can be costly for an entire family, especially without health insurance coverage. Read More

Weekly Update: Budget-Friendly B&Bs, Fall Fun for Kids, and More

Posted on 10/2/2015 15:30 EST

Now that it's October, Cheapism is looking ahead to Halloween. Get in the spirit with 2015's trendiest costume ideas or get spooked at a ghost town near you. With the trees decked out in their fall finery, now is a great time to incorporate your favorite summer clothes into your fall wardrobe and go on a weekend getaway to a budget-friendly B&B. Also new this week: cheap and free museums across America, 31 ways to save every day of the month, fall crafts and activities for kids, and more. Read More

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