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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

10 Creepy Ghost Towns Across America

Posted on 10/2/2015 9:30 EST

There is something unsettling about walking through an abandoned town, whether the buildings are crumbling and broken or still creepily intact, as though residents just disappeared into thin air. Some ghost towns provide insight into the country's history, while others are steeped in folk tales and ghost stories. Either way, most are free to explore, making for an offbeat and low-budget travel experience. Read More

10 Cheap Dog Breeds to Bring Home Today

Posted on 10/2/2015 8:12 EST

For many kids, a puppy is at the top of the "Mommy, I want" list. But before snapping up the first Fido they spot, shoppers should keep in mind the many factors that go into selecting a dog -- including long-term costs of ownership. While the cheapest choice is a mutt from a shelter (and saving a pup's life is certainly priceless), some may prefer to pick a specific breed based on size or ease of care. One way to do that for a bargain price: Ask the local shelter if any dogs waiting for homes have one of these 10 budget breeds in their genes. Read More

10 Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes for 2015

Posted on 10/1/2015 12:53 EST

Every year Halloween creeps up and scares thousands into last-minute, costly costume choices. But just a little planning can lead to a timely and cheap Halloween costume for 2015. Here's the easy way to do it: Identify pop culture, movie, and TV icons from the past year. Then narrow the list to celebrities, real or imagined, who can be easily and cheaply replicated. Read More

Cheap or Free Museums in All 50 States

Posted on 10/1/2015 11:08 EST

You don't need a fat wallet to enjoy some of the best museums in the country and soak up exhibits ranging from refined to frankly quirky. See the Blue Angels practice daredevil maneuvers, stroll through lush gardens, explore history before the Industrial Age, or enjoy works by some of the finest artists the world has ever known. In every state, there is something for all ages, and most of these museums are free. Those that charge admission set prices at $10 or less -- about what it would cost to go to the movies. Read More

What to Buy in October

Posted on 10/1/2015 8:00 EST

By shopping standards, October is that odd month sitting smack in the middle of the back-to-school frenzy and the holiday shopping extravaganza. But cost-conscious shoppers need not despair -- there are plenty of October deals to be had. The best buys range from leftover items from previous months to goods discounted in advance of the big shopping days to come. And don't forget, Halloween erupts in October. Read More

Save Money With Simple DIY Car Repairs

Posted on 9/30/2015 9:40 EST

Do-it-yourself car repairs can save car owners hundreds, sometimes thousands, of dollars. Bankrate estimates that on average it costs $2,223 a year to own a car, including $359 for repairs. Read More

How to Take Your Summer Wardrobe Into Fall

Posted on 9/30/2015 9:16 EST

Autumn is a time to cozy up in sweaters, flannels, pea coats, and boots. But you don't have to say goodbye to favorite summer items or buy a whole new wardrobe for the season. If you know how to wear them and pair them, bright and breezy summer classics can liven up outfits all the way through New Year's. Read More

10 Workout Apps That Beat the Gym

Posted on 9/30/2015 8:30 EST

Getting to the gym isn't always the easiest thing to do, especially as the weather gets colder. Who wants to pay for a gym membership they may not be motivated to use? Smartphone apps make it easy to find motivation to work out, access guided routines, and track progress. Here are 10 apps that will help you ditch the expensive gym membership, save money, and feel great. Read More

How to Buy a Mattress for Less Online

Posted on 9/30/2015 7:53 EST

Buying a mattress is generally an unpleasant experience, with the kind of high-pressure salesmanship associated with buying a used car. Comparison shopping is all but futile; many mattresses from different brands or lines are essentially the same inside. Shoppers anxious to make a good investment -- considering how much time they spend lying in bed and the importance of sleep for physical and mental health -- can easily overspend. Certain Serta, Simmons, and Royal-Pedic models cost upward of $4,000 and are hardly the fanciest available. Constant "blowout" sales offering 50 percent or more off the list price suggest substantial retailer markups. Read More

25 Fall Crafts for Children

Posted on 9/29/2015 16:16 EST

For families with kids, fall brings trips to the pumpkin patch, apple picking, and dressing up for Halloween. In between, use these low-cost and free craft ideas culled from Pinterest to keep little hands busy, encourage young minds to create, and decorate your home for the season. Read More

31 Ways to Save Money Every Day of the Month

Posted on 9/29/2015 8:42 EST

A Starbucks trip here, a trendy gadget or prepackaged dinner there -- wasted money adds up. Saving for a rainy day can be surprisingly simple, though. With this compilation of 31 easy-to-incorporate tips from Cheapism.com, there's a new way to save every single day of the month. Read More

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