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13 Unusual Fall Festivals for Budget Travelers

Posted on 9/3/2015 9:30 EST

In some parts of the world, fall is a season of color, warmth, and comfort before the onset of the cold, barren winter. In others, autumn marks the end of the rainy season, a time of abundance, feasting, and giving thanks. And for some, fall can be a mystical time when the veil between the human world and the spirit world thins. The following are just some of the myriad fall celebrations around the globe. Apart from the cost of travel and lodging, the festivities are often free and open to all. Travelers who time their trips with these cultural events can make a trip to a faraway place all the more memorable at no extra cost. (Note: Consult the U.S. State Department's travel alerts and warnings before setting out for some of these sites.) Read More

12 Overlooked Discounts You Don't Want to Miss

Posted on 9/3/2015 8:45 EST

Who doesn't love a good bargain? Well, many of the discounts on this list are right in front of consumers but often overlooked. Others take a bit of digging. If you think you've uncovered every last source of savings, read on to make sure. Read More

20 DIY Green Cleaning Products

Posted on 9/3/2015 8:20 EST

Homemade cleaning products have myriad advantages over store-bought counterparts, the two most important being their lower toxicity and cost, as many can be made for pennies on the dollar. Most of these recipes utilize common ingredients already lingering in cabinets, such as baking soda, lemon juice, salt, alcohol, and olive oil. Essential oils aren't necessary, but a few drops of lavender or mint, say, can add a nice fragrance to the mix. Read More

How to Live Off $50 a Week at the Dollar Store

Posted on 9/2/2015 9:30 EST

College, unemployment, or another major life change can require a major cut in spending to survive from week to week. There may still be a stigma attached to buying food at the dollar store, but perhaps it's time to get over it. Cheapism.com found that it's possible to take care of the essentials, with a dollop of comfort thrown in, for less than $50 a week by shopping at a local Dollar Tree. Read More

10 Low-Budget Ways to Celebrate the Jewish High Holidays

Posted on 9/2/2015 8:46 EST

Rosh Hashanah, the two-day Jewish New Year, begins Sept. 13 at sundown, marking a marathon of celebratory meals that ends after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. With synagogue visits that often require paid tickets and cooking up a storm, the high holidays can add up to a surprising outlay of cash. These tips will keep families on budget while still allowing for plentiful meals and meaningful moments. Read More

10 Rainforest Adventures for Frugal Travelers

Posted on 9/2/2015 8:01 EST

Tropical forests cover less than 2 percent of the Earth's surface, according to the Rainforest Foundation, but are home to more than half of all species. These important ecological areas are popular tourist destinations, but they can be expensive to visit. Sometimes an international flight must be followed by a second flight or long boat ride to a small town in the rainforest. To avoid this, visit areas that are accessible by public transportation or a short drive in a rental car from a major airport. Read More

What to Buy in September

Posted on 9/1/2015 9:59 EST

Put big-ticket items on your list of things to buy in September. With the first cool winds of fall come sales on major consumer products. Retailers are looking to clear shelf space ahead of the holiday season and juice spending in the lull after children return to school. Labor Day presents the best discounts on many items until Black Friday rolls around. Here are the best September deals to seek out. Read More

10 Easy Conservation Tips to Teach Your Kids

Posted on 9/1/2015 9:30 EST

There are a number of small, simple ways a family can reduce their carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle -- even saving money in the process. These easy-to-incorporate ideas are kid-friendly and can be accommodated for children of all ages. Use these suggestions to jump-start your own list, and make a game out of adding a new green living tip to your home every week. Read More

12 High Holiday Dishes for $4 or Less

Posted on 9/1/2015 8:43 EST

Feasting, symbolically and otherwise, is always an element of Jewish holidays, whether to break the fast after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, or to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, with a multi-course meal. By using simple ingredients and classic preparations for homemade versions of traditional dishes, it's possible to create large meals for family and guests on the smallest of budgets. These appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts all cost less than $4 a person, based on grocery prices from Walmart and price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

How to Pay Less for Prescription Drugs

Posted on 9/1/2015 8:00 EST

A health insurance policy is no guarantee that prescription medications will be cheap. Many plans include a very high deductible, which means paying the drugs' full cost out of pocket, at least for a while. If this proves financially taxing, several pharmacies, insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofits offer assistance in lowering the cost of necessary medications. Read More

Spending Diary: 13 Ways I Stick to My Grocery Budget

Posted on 8/31/2015 9:30 EST

Grocery shopping on a budget is tough for anyone, but throw in the fact that I usually shop with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, and the outing is hardly the most fun part of my week. Every month when we look at our budget, the supermarket is one place I think I can save more. At the same time, I'm picky about what I buy and where I shop; I strongly prefer to eat and feed my family organic and fresh foods. In general we spend roughly $150 a week on groceries, including all paper products and cleaning supplies -- and the four gallons of milk my two boys drink every week. Here are some tricks I use to try to limit grocery spending. Read More

Cheap Holiday Travel: How Early Should You Book?

Posted on 8/31/2015 8:46 EST

Whether you're planning to head home for the holidays, visit family, or take a vacation, the question of when to lock in cheap holiday airfare is always a hot topic. Rules and tips fly around the Internet faster than a Concord: Book on a Tuesday or Wednesday (maybe a good idea). Clear cookies or search in private browser mode (probably only matters when doing lots of searches in one day). Book X number of days or weeks before the flight (is 21 days enough? Or more like 60 days?). Read More

What Type of Dog (or Cat) Is Cheapest to Own?

Posted on 8/31/2015 8:05 EST

Although many people treat their pets as members of the family, they don't expect to spend on their furry friends the $300,000 or so that it takes to raise a child. Doing a little homework on the cheapest type of dog to own is good for the checkbook as well as for the animal. A pet will have a much happier life if its masters have sufficient resources to provide proper food, shelter, and care over the long term. Read More

Weekly Update: Cheap Travel, College Resources, and More

Posted on 8/28/2015 15:25 EST

With Labor Day less than two weeks away, get equipped to get back to the grind with morning beauty hacks and resources for cash-strapped college students. Not ready to face reality yet? This week the Cheapism blog goes to Berlin and explores hidden beaches in Asia. Closer to home, cheap and free museums make for a fun family outing before the kids head back to school. Read More

10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Beach Paradises in Asia

Posted on 8/28/2015 9:00 EST

Imagine an idyllic beach paradise: crystal clear water teeming with dolphins and exotic fish, waves kissing sand free of footprints, coconut palms swaying in the breeze, a hammock swinging lazily next to a bamboo bungalow. It's an appealing fantasy, and each year millions of people flock to the coastlines of Asia to chase it -- in Bali, Phuket, Fiji, and Boracay. Increasing masses of beachgoers have crowded and commercialized such destinations, and secluded stretches of sand are reserved for those who can afford a luxury resort with a private beach. But the vision of a pristine, secluded beach getaway with friendly local flavor (and low cost of living) is still accessible elsewhere in the region. Like all the best off-the-beaten-path destinations, the beaches on this list are not easy to reach. They require multiple steps by plane, bus, and boat, but the reward is untouched sand, surf, sun, and serenity -- and prices low enough to afford an extended stay. Read More

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