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4 Best Sites for Free Online Tax Prep in 2015

Posted on 3/3/2015 9:31 EST

The annual ritual of filing income tax returns is often complicated, time-consuming, and costly. Enlisting a tax preparer can cost hundreds of dollars. Instead, many taxpayers can prepare and e-file a federal tax return for free and a state return for less than $30 using free online software (although prices may increase as the April 15 deadline approaches). Cheapism.com has surveyed the offerings and selected four top providers of free tax software. These companies are members of the Free File Alliance, a government program that promises free federal tax prep to people who meet certain income, age, and/or residency requirements, which vary by provider. About 100 million American taxpayers (70 percent) are eligible for the program and can access the software through the IRS Free File site. Others can avoid the restrictions by using similar free software offered on the companies' websites. These free editions still include free e-filing for federal returns, but they may have higher fees for state filing, support only simple returns, and push paid upgrades and features. Read More

11 Ways to Throw a March Madness Party on the Cheap

Posted on 3/3/2015 8:33 EST

March Madness is quickly approaching and throwing a party to cheer for any of the 68 teams in the weeks-long tournament is what a devoted fan of college basketball does. From decorations and themed baked goods to snacks and booze, the cost of hosting can throw your budget out of bounds. But as Cheapism.com points out, there are other strategies in the playbook. Read More

March 2nd Daily Deals: Home & Garden Deals

Posted on 3/2/2015 13:20 EST

This week's picks for top home & garden deals are a FTD.com voucher, a pressure cooker, and a wine club membership. Read More

From Gift Cards to Used Cars, 10 Cheap Online Markets

Posted on 3/2/2015 9:32 EST

As long as there has been commerce, there has been a middleman. Linking sellers with buyers, the middleman often charges a hefty fee for his crucial service. But the Internet has changed all of that. From massive online marketplaces such as Amazon and Craigslist to digital social networks that let you create online garage sales, the middleman is getting cheaper by the day. The sheer size of online markets has created a race to the bottom in fees, allowing sellers to keep more profits and buyers to find better prices. Cheapism.com has found some of the best online tools and marketplaces where just about anything can be bought and sold. Read More

10 Tools to Help You Become a Smarter Consumer

Posted on 3/2/2015 9:07 EST

The first week of March is National Consumer Protection Week, and government and private organizations across the nation have been sharing advice and resources for consumers. Topics discussed range from online privacy and scams to debt and money management. Cheapism.com sifted through the resources on the NCPW website and checked in with a personal finance expert for the best tips. Read More

Weekly Update: Free Makeup Samples, Cut Your Grocery Bill, and More

Posted on 2/28/2015 12:03 EST

As February comes to a close, find out what kinds of deals March has in store. If you're paying a professional to prepare your taxes, use our tips to keep costs down. Organize your home for less and revitalize an old piece of furniture. Get in shape for spring break without splurging on SoulCycle or some other trendy workout. Treat yourself to luxury makeup at little to no cost. Try some novel ways to save at the grocery store and host a cheap dinner party. See what's in vogue for men this spring and how to wear it for less. Read More

Men's Spring Fashion Finds Under $50

Posted on 2/27/2015 12:13 EST

Here's the theme in men's fashion this spring: what's old is new again. Hot looks inspired by the past include varsity jackets from the '50s and button-down shirts straight out of the '70s. Update your wardrobe with Cheapism.com's thrifty, fashionable finds. Read More

18 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill

Posted on 2/27/2015 8:21 EST

The typical American family spends hundreds of dollars on groceries each month, and most of us are looking for ways to get more for our food dollar. Cheapism.com has rounded up 18 simple but effective ways to save on groceries. Read More

10 Cheap Furniture Re-Dos

Posted on 2/26/2015 8:38 EST

Sticker shock is likely to assault anyone who wanders into a furniture showroom these days. Relax. There's really no need to replace the tired-looking pieces scattered around your home. With a few simple and inexpensive supplies, you can create a whole new look that will give the illusion of having spent a fortune. Read More

A Unique Twist on a Cheap Dinner Party

Posted on 2/25/2015 10:17 EST

It's been a few weeks since the holiday party season ended, and it's about time to get back into the social swing of things. A dinner party with homemade vittles and free-flowing drinks is a good way to reconnect with old friends and expand your social circle. Cheapism.com has discovered an innovative way to organize an inexpensive dinner party. It's bound to be messy and maybe a little awkward at first, but it makes it easy to try new foods, meet new people, and have a feast on the cheap. Read More

10 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Professional Tax Prep

Posted on 2/25/2015 8:39 EST

It's tax time, and despite the proliferation of DIY tax preparation software, some of us prefer working with a professional tax preparer who happens to be a human. There's no shortage of service providers -- well-known tax prep chains that operate nationwide, regional chains, small accounting firms, and independent accountants -- each with its own fee structure. Which arrangement is cheaper depends on individual circumstances. Read More

How to Score Free Samples of Pricey Makeup

Posted on 2/24/2015 9:30 EST

Perhaps you dream of buying luxury cosmetics but lack the luxury budget to realize your wish. Now imagine filling a makeup bag with high-end beauty products for free. This, friends, is no dream. Snatching up samples is the smartest and cheapest way to try, or treat yourself to, the better brands. Read More

10 Ways to Get Organized for Less

Posted on 2/24/2015 8:30 EST

Most of us need to get organized, but who wants to spend a fortune doing so? Between what you find at the dollar store and in your junk drawer, there are numerous easy ways to get organized for next to nothing. Read More

What to Buy (and What Not to Buy) in March

Posted on 2/23/2015 10:14 EST

The weather may be variable, but retailers stick to a seasonal schedule no matter what, and that means savings for the smart consumer. March is the time to focus on filling the larder, spring cleaning, and prepping for warmer weather. Many of our February deals may still be in effect, albeit with smaller selections on goods such as winter apparel and Valentine's Day chocolate. Read More

11 Trendy Workouts You Can Do for Less

Posted on 2/23/2015 8:45 EST

Spring break is just around the corner, which means it's time to break out the bathing suit and shed some pounds. But sticking to a workout regimen is hard. Fitness classes are a good way to keep morale up as you work your way to a stronger, healthier physique. However, some trendy exercise classes cost more than a month's membership at the local gym. Cheapism.com has rounded up budget-friendly alternatives to some of the latest popular workouts. Read More

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