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10 Tips for Doing Disney on a Budget

Posted on 3/5/2015 15:30 EST

A trip to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, or sailing on Disney Cruise Line, is a dream come true for kids. For parents, planning the ultimate family vacation is another story. There are thousands of "tricks" and "secrets" to visiting a Disney property. The challenge is sifting through them to figure out what actually saves money and works for your situation. We've assembled 10 of the best tips to help you plan your next magical vacation. Read More

Cheaper at Whole Foods or Trader Joe's? Comparing 20 Products

Posted on 3/5/2015 12:03 EST

Whole Foods has a well-deserved reputation for being the one-stop market for all things natural, organic, and alternative (from a culinary perspective, that is). While few grocers can beat the variety and selection of meat and dairy, heirloom grains, and local produce, the price points at Whole Foods are another matter. Enter Trader Joe's, which undercuts its chief rival on many products but carries a smaller assortment of foodstuffs, brands, and sizes. A price comparison of 20 store-brand products bearing Whole Foods' 365 Everyday Value label and the eponymous Trader Joe's label found that 14 are cheaper at the latter. Read More

Taste Test: Best Chocolate Peanut Butter Protein Bar

Posted on 3/5/2015 8:25 EST

Keeping a protein bar at your desk, in your purse, or anywhere close at hand is a reliable way to fend off midday cravings and resist the urge to buy food on the go. Some have as much sugar and calories as a candy bar, though, and others (let's be honest) taste like wood chips. Cheapism.com sought out protein bars with no more than 250 calories and 15 grams of sugar. We offered up eight chocolate-peanut-butter-flavored bars to seven hungry tasters midway through a hike. The labels had been removed, and we asked each participant to assess the protein bars' taste and texture. The bars are presented in order from worst to best, along with the price when purchased individually. Read on for more about protein sources and other notable -- or notorious -- ingredients. Read More

10 Small Home Improvement Projects That Make a Big Impact

Posted on 3/5/2015 8:21 EST

Whether you're looking to fix up your house or condo before selling it or simply want a fresher, more modern look, these tips can help you seal the deal. From the bathroom to the bedroom, there are little things that can add the "wow" factor without costing a fortune. Read More

30 Essential Tax Tips for Small Business Owners

Posted on 3/4/2015 9:32 EST

If you're a freelancer, sole proprietor, or small business owner, taxes can get complicated in a hurry. It's important to familiarize yourself with the many loopholes and obscure rules that can help lower your tax burden. With help from some professionals -- Lisa Greene-Lewis, a CPA at TurboTax; Lee Phillips, an attorney who writes about taxes and asset protection; and Gary Marriage, Jr., founder and CEO of Nature Coast Financial Advisors -- Cheapism.com looked into different ways small businesses and sole proprietors can maximize their tax savings. Read More

20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Washington, D.C.

Posted on 3/4/2015 9:06 EST

Our nation's capital is one of the most travel-friendly cities in the United States. Not only is it packed with historical monuments and museums, but many of the best tourist attractions are free. Cheapism.com rounded up a variety of free and low-cost activities to enjoy while visiting Washington, D.C. Read More

How We Saved More Than $500 in a Month

Posted on 3/4/2015 8:26 EST

This February we invited readers to take the Frugal Month Challenge and commit to what some have called a "no-buy month." My family of four embarked on this cheap-living challenge and now I'm back to share the results. I am proud to report that we saved $544 during the month, a 66 percent improvement over last year. Read More

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

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

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