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The Best Lakes in All 50 States

Posted on 7/7/2015 10:00 EST

Looking to spend summer days on or in the water? It's easy if you're wealthy enough to live on the coast or have your own pool. But even in land-locked states there are plenty of sites for swimming, boating, and other aquatic adventures. Here are Cheapism's top lakes in each state, with a special focus on fishing opportunities. (Be sure to check for beach and park closings before making plans.) Read More

10 Home-Buying Myths Debunked

Posted on 7/7/2015 8:01 EST

Whether it's a real estate agent, a lender, or your parents, most everyone has words of wisdom when it comes to the home-buying process. But should you take their suggestions to heart? The following are 10 of the most common maxims you'll hear when buying a house, and why they aren't (always) true. Read More

Overcharged for Groceries? 5 Ways to Keep Stores Honest

Posted on 7/6/2015 9:20 EST

Whole Foods is facing fines in New York City for regularly overcharging customers by skewing the price per pound on packaged items -- and this isn't an isolated problem. Earlier this year Target shelled out nearly $4 million to settle a civil lawsuit claiming overcharging, and Ralphs grocery stores paid $1.1 million after a similar complaint. Dollar General, CVS, and Walgreens have also been fined. The good news: You can take a few simple steps to guarantee your grocery bill matches what's in your cart. Read More

10 'Anywhere Exercises' to Keep You in Shape on the Road

Posted on 7/6/2015 9:09 EST

Summer is all about making travel plans and taking advantage of the long days and the shorter nights. However, all the fun in the sun can sometimes get in the way of healthy habits. Fret not. You have everything you need right where you are to get in a feel-good total body workout. Read More

Donít Get Ripped Off: 10 Tips for Bargaining Abroad

Posted on 7/6/2015 8:33 EST

Shopping for the local specialties is often one of the highlights of foreign travel. Each culture has its own pricing traditions, many involving haggling and discounting, and it's always a good idea to read up about the specifics before arriving at your destination. Regardless where your jetsetting takes you, though, there are bargaining tips and tricks that can help you get the best deal on whatever your heart desires, be it a handmade leather bag, a Persian rug, an intricately carved wooden statue, or, you name it. Read More

Weekly Update: Cheap Souvenirs, Inexpensive World-Class Hotels, and More

Posted on 7/3/2015 3:55 EST

This Fourth of July, our taste tests can help you select the best inexpensive hot dogs for the grill and tasty ice cream treats for dessert. If you're hitting the road for the long weekend, don't forget to pick up a souvenir from each state you visit. Taking a vacation abroad? Stay at a 4- or 5-star hotel for less than $100 and see if a nearby wine region promises good value. Also new this week: the 15 cheapest cars to insure in 2015, easy meals for picky eaters, and more. Read More

Picky Eaters? Try These 10 Easy 20-Minute Meals

Posted on 7/2/2015 10:25 EST

In a rut when it comes to dinner and dealing with finicky kids? Turn to these 10 family-pleasing meals -- picky kids included -- courtesy of Cheapism.com. Better yet, they cook up in 20 minutes or less and cost just $2 to $4 a serving. (Cost calculations based on data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Safeway, and Walmart.) Ingredients such as eggs and rotisserie chicken help make dinner prep a snap. So enjoy the light of a summer day some place besides a hot kitchen and still serve up a tasty repast. Read More

8 Tips for Finding Pet Care Before You Go on Vacation

Posted on 7/2/2015 9:10 EST

Bringing the family pet on vacation may seem appealing, but it can inflate costs dramatically. Airlines and other transit providers charge up to $200 one way for traveling with animals, while fees at hotels that allow animals can hit $100 a day. Once at the destination, you may be limited in choice of attractions, forcing you to make decisions based on restrictions rather than interests. Moreover, travel can be nerve-wracking for pets, and there's always the risk of the animal getting sick or wandering away. In other words, make alternate plans for your pet. Read More

Taste Test: Best Cheap Hot Dogs for Summer

Posted on 7/2/2015 7:57 EST

It should come as no surprise that July has been dubbed National Hot Dog Month. The hot summer month plays host to the annual Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest and National Hot Dog Day on July 23. For hot dogs that will tickle your taste buds without leaving much of a scratch on your budget, consider the results of a Cheapism.com taste test. Eight packs of inexpensive beef and pork-based hot dogs from Ball Park, Eckrich, Nathan's Famous, Oscar Mayer, and two Kroger store brands were grilled up and offered to a panel of hot dog tasters. Read More

What's Cheap to Buy in July?

Posted on 7/1/2015 11:52 EST

In case you're wondering, there are simple answers to what goods are worth buying in July. The Independence Day holiday is a turning point and once past, retailers start setting their sights on fall, which makes July a good month to snatch up deals on mattresses, paint, jewelry, grills, and more. July is also National Ice Cream Month and National Hot Dog Month, as well as the height of the summer fruit and vegetable season. If you want to be really frugal and enjoy fresh produce for months to come, stock up now and freeze for later. Read More

25 Tasty and Cheap Places to Eat in NYC

Posted on 7/1/2015 10:26 EST

New York restaurants are infamous for being expensive, with multi-course tasting menus costing hundreds of dollars per person. Still, by exploring the variety of cuisines and fusion food on offer, residents and visitors can sample some of the city's best for just a few bucks. Read More

12 World-Class Hotels Under $100 a Night

Posted on 7/1/2015 9:15 EST

Want to stay in luxury hotels around the world without blowing your whole vacation budget? It's entirely possible -- depending on where you go and how discerning you are in choosing accommodations. To find affordable 4- and 5-star hotels, Cheapism.com consulted Five Star Alliance for hotel ratings and travel sites such as Kayak, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor for price estimates for two adults traveling July through September (all prices converted to U.S. dollars). These 12 lavish hotels in Europe, Asia, and elsewhere start at less than $100 a night. Read More

Taste Test: Cheap Ice Cream Treats vs. Premium Brands

Posted on 7/1/2015 8:08 EST

In the heat of summer, not much sounds better than an ice-cold ice cream novelty. National Ice Cream Day falls on the second Sunday of July every year (July 19 in 2015). Ahead of the celebration, Cheapism.com conducted a blind tasting to determine the best ice cream treats and see how inexpensive novelties measure up to premium brands. Read More

15 Cheap Party Foods for July Fourth

Posted on 6/30/2015 11:00 EST

America's birthday, Independence Day, July Fourth, call it what you will, this is a day for casual celebrations. It's a stress-free holiday filled with outdoor fun and fireworks that goes hand-in-hand with low-key cookouts based on recipes that are cheap and easy to prepare. With the harvest just coming in, ripe and ready fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, watermelon, and raspberries, and vegetables such as corn, peppers, and tomatoes, fetch budget prices at the farmer's market and deserve starring roles in July Fourth meals. Build them into a red, white, and blue theme with an occasional boost from a little food coloring or red and blue sprinkles. Read More

Bring Back Memories: Cheap Souvenirs From All 50 States

Posted on 6/30/2015 9:39 EST

Splurging a bit on vacation souvenirs for yourself or a significant other is understandable, but bringing home mementos adds up quickly when buying for friends and family. In this case, the ideal souvenirs won't tax your luggage or your wallet; that is, they're small, lightweight, and inexpensive. Cheapism.com identified representative keepsakes from each of the 50 states that satisfy these requirements. Read More

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