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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


13 Things to Buy or Not to Buy in May

Posted on 4/28/2016 9:00 EST

As the warm weather moves in and the school year winds down, May is the time to stock up ahead of summer celebrations. Prepare for graduation parties and Memorial Day barbecues by finding deals on household goods and entertaining essentials, among other bargains. Read More

21 Surprisingly Expensive Products From Costco

Posted on 4/27/2016 9:30 EST

Costco is known for free samples, cheap hot dogs, and low prices on bulk purchases. However, Costco sells some surprisingly expensive products, as well. Even if they are a relative bargain, a few are pricey enough to wipe out some shoppers' savings. Read More

16 Quick, Easy Side Dishes for Summer Parties

Posted on 4/27/2016 8:45 EST

Summer is the season to host rooftop parties and backyard barbecues. Rather than shy away from feeding big groups because of the expense, try some quick and easy dishes made from inexpensive ingredients. Combining the bounty of the season with cheap staples allows for full menus of party-friendly finger foods and dishes designed for grazing. Here are 20 ideas for summer party foods to inspire a warm weather shindig on a tight budget. Read More

13 Underrated Retirement Destinations

Posted on 4/27/2016 8:00 EST

As retirement nears, many people make lists of possible locations for their golden years. Some even look outside the country to take advantage of the currency exchange and other benefits, although that presents challenges. Plenty of U.S. locales are getting buzz on retirement-focused blogs and forum postings but little attention as top destinations for retirees. Cheapism.com compared indicators such as cost of living and median home prices in these locales against the national averages, as reported by Sperling's Best Places, to come up with 13 destinations that deserve a closer look. Read More

12 Cheap Tequila Cocktails to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

Posted on 4/26/2016 9:30 EST

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for the fifth of May) commemorates Mexico's victory over France at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. In the U.S., Cinco de Mayo has evolved into an occasion featuring parades, mariachi music performances, street festivals, and cocktails made with tequila, said to be North America's first distilled beverage. To celebrate, create versions of pricey restaurant and craft bar drinks at home for a fraction of the price. Better ingredients make a better product, but there's no need to buy premium tequila that is destined to be mixed. A good place to start is with 100 percent agave tequila from Cheapism.com's list of best inexpensive tequilas. With a few other fresh ingredients, including seasonal fruits and simple syrup, a wide variety of fresh and tasty drinks can be concocted for a just a few dollars each. Salud! Read More

10 Cheap or Free Ways to Get the Entire Family in Shape

Posted on 4/26/2016 8:45 EST

Summer is just around the corner, which means it's the perfect time to get the family in shape. Fun activities that get everyone moving can be easy to find but often expensive. Try these low-cost (or free) family-friendly activities instead to boost everyone's energy, bond as a family, and get fit at the same time. Read More

10 Tricks to Updating Your Wardrobe at the Thrift Store

Posted on 4/26/2016 8:00 EST

Thrift store shopping has always been popular among frugal consumers, but in the past few years more people seem to be browsing. The hipster look and even pop culture moments such as the Grammy-winning "Thrift Shop" by Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have made thrift store shopping, well, cooler. So how can shoppers make the most of thrift stores this spring? Read More

12 Tips for Smooth Travel With Kids

Posted on 4/25/2016 9:30 EST

Traveling with young children is one of the more stressful aspects of parenting. By the time the trip is over, parents may feel the need for a vacation from the vacation. Don't let meltdowns and mishaps derail a family trip. These tips can make traveling with kids cheaper, easier, and more fun. Read More

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