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40 Essential Tips for Buying, Selling, and Owning a Home

Posted on 5/5/2016 10:30 EST

Buying or selling a home is one of life's most important financial decisions. While it's often intensely personal, some essential advice often applies no matter what the circumstances. These 40 tips can help homebuyers and sellers get the most out of the transaction, work with real estate agents, and find tax deductions in their new digs. Read More

16 Cheap Pasta Salad Recipes for Summer

Posted on 5/5/2016 9:30 EST

When the weather starts to sizzle, look for meals that require little or no cooking and can be eaten chilled. For picnics, family gatherings, or quick weeknight meals, pasta salads are a cheap staple. They're endlessly versatile -- a side dish or a meal, casual or elegant, classic or edgy, All-American or international. They can usually be thrown together in the time in takes to cook the pasta (which can even be made ahead of time and stored in the fridge). Let these 18 recipes serve as inspiration -- add a protein source for a one-bowl dinner or toss in whatever seasonal herbs and vegetables look fresh and delicious at the 'market. Read More

11 Ways to Get the Most Out of Cheap Cuts of Meat

Posted on 5/4/2016 10:00 EST

Whether you're planning a Memorial Day cookout or celebrating National Barbecue Month, don't assume there's a tradeoff between a flush wallet and a juicy cut of meat. There are plenty of tricks for extracting maximum flavor and texture out of the cheapest cuts of meat. Use these techniques and appliances to make each summer backyard party a culinary success on a budget. Read More

A Frugal Twist on 12 Classic Dishes Made by Mom

Posted on 5/4/2016 9:00 EST

Whether preparing dinner for mom or creating memories with your kids, cooking is a loving way to celebrate Mother's Day and share traditional family meals year-round. The comfort meals prepared by mom are one of life's little pleasures, especially if she was a great cook. Many of the classic meals on American moms' menus are also pretty cost-savvy, and there are always a few extra tips for saving money and swaps for expensive ingredients. Read More

11 Steps to Saving Hundreds on a Wedding Cake

Posted on 5/4/2016 8:15 EST

Anyone planning a wedding knows how expensive it can be. The national average cost is more than $30,000, according to the latest annual survey by The Knot. And the cake -- would you believe? -- adds a thick $575 slice to the bottom line. In a large city, what passes as a moderately priced custom creation can easily reach four figures. What's the frugal alternative for the happy couple? A DIY wedding cake. Read More

14 Ways to Earn Discounts and Free Money for Working Out

Posted on 5/3/2016 9:30 EST

If maintaining good health and fitness isn't reward enough for staying active, sometimes a financial incentive can be even more powerful. Sure, exercising regularly may save money on health-care costs in the long run, but more immediate returns can be had, as well, if you know where to find them. Some methods require a fitness tracker from a brand such as Fitbit, Jawbone, or Misfit. Others are open to anyone with a smartphone. Either way, you don't have to be a personal trainer or fitness instructor to get paid to work out. Read More

16 Need-to-Know Tips for Renting Out Your Place on Airbnb

Posted on 5/3/2016 8:45 EST

If you have a room or second house to spare, you're sitting on a potential gold mine. So just post a rental notice and watch the money flow in, right? It's not quite that easy, but many people earn extra income by listing their spaces on peer-to-peer online rental marketplaces such as Airbnb and HomeAway. Some even stay at friends' homes several nights a month while their own homes are rented out. Here's what potential hosts need to know about the time and costs involved, as well as the ups and downs of the experience. Read More


How Home Brewing Can Save More Than 50% on Craft Beer

Posted on 5/3/2016 8:00 EST

From barbecues to happy hours to the big game, beer is the world's most consumed alcoholic beverage. So many beer enthusiasts now brew their own that May 4 is celebrated as National Homebrew Day. Like home cooking and baking, home brewing has money-saving potential but primarily attracts people who know their palates and have a passion for creating and personalizing recipes. Read More

14 Memorable and Challenging Multi-Day Hiking Trips

Posted on 5/2/2016 10:45 EST

National and state parks in the U.S. offer some of the most rewarding hikes and camping to be found anywhere. Pristine nature is abundant, and for the cost of a couple of permits, a hike that lasts several days can be memorable, rewarding, and breathtaking (in more ways than one). Thru-hiking a multi-state trail such as the Pacific Crest, Continental Divide, or Appalachian Trail can cost thousands of dollars, but there's no need to shell out big money when backpacking. Read More

Best and Worst Jobs for Women: Where to Watch Out for the Wage Gap

Posted on 5/2/2016 9:45 EST

A woman is poised to become a major party's nominee for president for the first time in U.S. history. Yet women in this country still earn 79 to 83 cents on average (depending on the study) for every dollar earned by men. This wage gap, calculated by comparing median full-time pay as collected by the Census Bureau, does not account for factors such as paid leave, overtime, occupation, education, experience, or an employee's inclination to negotiate pay -- leaving it open to debate. A "Fact Checker" article in The Washington Post calling the claim "misleading" still concludes a pay gap exists, although it's smaller than some say. And when studies drill down into specific occupations, women make less than men doing the same job. Read More

12 Celebrities Who Shop at Walmart, Target, and Costco

Posted on 5/2/2016 8:45 EST

Big-box retailers offer low prices, convenient locations, and a wide variety of merchandise. So perhaps it's no wonder that people from all walks of life frequent the stores, no matter how big their paychecks or bank accounts. Even celebrities with cushy lifestyles have been seen shopping at Costco, Target, and Walmart, just like the rest of us. Read More

Is Homemade Salad Dressing Cheaper Than Store-Bought?

Posted on 5/2/2016 8:15 EST

Buying salad dressing off the shelf at the grocery store seems like a time-saver, but making it at home really doesn't require much time or effort. Salad dressing can easily be thrown together in a matter of minutes with ingredients likely already on hand. This allows experimentation to better suit your tastes and the option to leave out ingredients such as chemicals and sugar. But does making your own salad dressing save money? Read More

Weekly Update: Cinco de Mayo, Botanical Gardens, and More

Posted on 4/29/2016 16:00 EST

With Cinco de Mayo coming up next week, get into the fiesta spirit with cheap tequila cocktails and our picks for the best tortilla chips and salsa. Get the family in shape with warm-weather activities or take a heavenly stroll in a botanical garden near you. Also new this week: the most expensive items from Costco, smooth travel with kids, tiny homes, and more. Read More

Best Cheap Chips and Salsa: A Blind Taste Test

Posted on 4/29/2016 9:25 EST

From Cinco de Mayo to the NBA playoffs to the series finale of "The Good Wife," there are countless occasions to get friends together and break out an easy snack of chips and salsa. Cheapism.com recently rustled up 13 inexpensive tortilla chips and 11 cheap jarred salsas for a blind taste test. An eight-person panel of volunteers considered taste, texture, and appearance in choosing their favorites. Here are the top picks among white, yellow, and blue corn chips, along with four preferred salsa pairings. Read More

In Full Bloom: Gorgeous Botanical Gardens in All 50 States

Posted on 4/28/2016 9:45 EST

A garden in bloom is a picnic for the senses, and an escape from the hustle of daily life. Every state has at least one garden that is free or less than $10 for adults (usually with cheaper admission for children, seniors, and the military). Many are botanical gardens dedicated to education, research, and conservation. A visit can be a learning experience, providing ideas for creating a plot at home. Many public gardens offer classes and workshops that teach gardening techniques and stewardship of a patch of earth -- as well as related activities such as meditation and photography. Some public gardens offer concerts, art festivals, and other events. No matter what the occasion, these gardens offer enjoyment and respite across the country. Read More

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