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What to Buy in September

Posted on 9/1/2015 9:59 EST

Put big-ticket items on your list of things to buy in September. With the first cool winds of fall come sales on major consumer products. Retailers are looking to clear shelf space ahead of the holiday season and juice spending in the lull after children return to school. Labor Day presents the best discounts on many items until Black Friday rolls around. Here are the best September deals to seek out. Read More

10 Easy Conservation Tips to Teach Your Kids

Posted on 9/1/2015 9:30 EST

There are a number of small, simple ways a family can reduce their carbon footprint and live a more eco-friendly lifestyle -- even saving money in the process. These easy-to-incorporate ideas are kid-friendly and can be accommodated for children of all ages. Use these suggestions to jump-start your own list, and make a game out of adding a new green living tip to your home every week. Read More

12 High Holiday Dishes for $4 or Less

Posted on 9/1/2015 8:43 EST

Feasting, symbolically and otherwise, is always an element of Jewish holidays, whether to break the fast after Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, or to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, the New Year, with a multi-course meal. By using simple ingredients and classic preparations for homemade versions of traditional dishes, it's possible to create large meals for family and guests on the smallest of budgets. These appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts all cost less than $4 a person, based on grocery prices from Walmart and price data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read More

How to Pay Less for Prescription Drugs

Posted on 9/1/2015 8:00 EST

A health insurance policy is no guarantee that prescription medications will be cheap. Many plans include a very high deductible, which means paying the drugs' full cost out of pocket, at least for a while. If this proves financially taxing, several pharmacies, insurance plans, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofits offer assistance in lowering the cost of necessary medications. Read More

Spending Diary: 13 Ways I Stick to My Grocery Budget

Posted on 8/31/2015 9:30 EST

Grocery shopping on a budget is tough for anyone, but throw in the fact that I usually shop with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old, and the outing is hardly the most fun part of my week. Every month when we look at our budget, the supermarket is one place I think I can save more. At the same time, I'm picky about what I buy and where I shop; I strongly prefer to eat and feed my family organic and fresh foods. In general we spend roughly $150 a week on groceries, including all paper products and cleaning supplies -- and the four gallons of milk my two boys drink every week. Here are some tricks I use to try to limit grocery spending. Read More

Cheap Holiday Travel: How Early Should You Book?

Posted on 8/31/2015 8:46 EST

Whether you're planning to head home for the holidays, visit family, or take a vacation, the question of when to lock in cheap holiday airfare is always a hot topic. Rules and tips fly around the Internet faster than a Concord: Book on a Tuesday or Wednesday (maybe a good idea). Clear cookies or search in private browser mode (probably only matters when doing lots of searches in one day). Book X number of days or weeks before the flight (is 21 days enough? Or more like 60 days?). Read More

What Type of Dog (or Cat) Is Cheapest to Own?

Posted on 8/31/2015 8:05 EST

Although many people treat their pets as members of the family, they don't expect to spend on their furry friends the $300,000 or so that it takes to raise a child. Doing a little homework on the cheapest type of dog to own is good for the checkbook as well as for the animal. A pet will have a much happier life if its masters have sufficient resources to provide proper food, shelter, and care over the long term. Read More

Weekly Update: Cheap Travel, College Resources, and More

Posted on 8/28/2015 15:25 EST

With Labor Day less than two weeks away, get equipped to get back to the grind with morning beauty hacks and resources for cash-strapped college students. Not ready to face reality yet? This week the Cheapism blog goes to Berlin and explores hidden beaches in Asia. Closer to home, cheap and free museums make for a fun family outing before the kids head back to school. Read More

10 Off-the-Beaten-Path Beach Paradises in Asia

Posted on 8/28/2015 9:00 EST

Imagine an idyllic beach paradise: crystal clear water teeming with dolphins and exotic fish, waves kissing sand free of footprints, coconut palms swaying in the breeze, a hammock swinging lazily next to a bamboo bungalow. It's an appealing fantasy, and each year millions of people flock to the coastlines of Asia to chase it -- in Bali, Phuket, Fiji, and Boracay. Increasing masses of beachgoers have crowded and commercialized such destinations, and secluded stretches of sand are reserved for those who can afford a luxury resort with a private beach. But the vision of a pristine, secluded beach getaway with friendly local flavor (and low cost of living) is still accessible elsewhere in the region. Like all the best off-the-beaten-path destinations, the beaches on this list are not easy to reach. They require multiple steps by plane, bus, and boat, but the reward is untouched sand, surf, sun, and serenity -- and prices low enough to afford an extended stay. Read More

10 Beauty Hacks to Streamline Your Morning

Posted on 8/28/2015 8:02 EST

Who doesn't want to squeeze in a couple more minutes of sleep in the morning? With a few smart tips, it's possible to simplify a morning beauty routine and still look put together and ready for the day. Here are 10 money- and time-saving hacks that beauty experts swear by. Read More

15 Things That Do Not Affect Your Credit Score

Posted on 8/27/2015 9:00 EST

Employers, landlords, banks, credit card issuers, and other lenders often rely on credit scores to determine the worthiness of applicants. But many borrowers don’t know how their credit scores are calculated. The first misconception is that there’s a single score; most people have several. FICO scores are the ones most often used by lenders, but there are competitors such as VantageScore, which was developed in 2006 by the three major credit bureaus and is slowly becoming more popular among lenders. There are also different types of FICO scores and different sources for the information used in the calculations. Here are some things consumers might think affect their credit scores -- but do not. Read More

10 Resources Cash-Strapped College Students Should Be Using

Posted on 8/27/2015 8:04 EST

As any college student knows, the cost of tuition, books, food, housing, and basic expenses quickly reaches epic proportions. Even those fortunate enough to receive financial aid may find it hard to make ends meet. Given how much they're paying, beleaguered undergrads should take full advantage of all the resources available to help lighten the financial load. Read More

10 Ways Non-Members Can Shop at Costco

Posted on 8/26/2015 9:30 EST

When it comes to savings on household goods, groceries, and more, Costco has always been a winning solution in terms of slashing costs. Warehouse shopping is usually cheaper and Sam's Club, Costco, and the like provide exceptional membership benefits. But what if you don't have a membership? All is not lost. There are still ways to land discounts at Costco without paying the annual membership fee. Read More

20 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Berlin

Posted on 8/26/2015 9:20 EST

Reunited, eclectic, resilient -- Berlin is one of the liveliest and yet historically fraught cities in the world. There are plenty of budget-friendly things to do and see in this happening place. European travel expert Rick Steves writes in his 2014 guide to Germany that thrifty tourists can rely on $30 a day for entertainment and sightseeing. Visitors can probably do even better by sticking with free and cheap activities. Read More

10 Homemade Toys to Spoil Your Dog

Posted on 8/26/2015 7:45 EST

It's natural to want to spoil an unconditionally loyal and loving dog with a special treat or toy, but it doesn't have to come from the pet store. Many household items can be upcycled into dog toys to save money. By reusing old fabric, empty bottles, and a few other would-be trash items, dog owners can create an endless lineup of free playthings to keep pets active and amused. Just remember to never leave a pet unattended with a homemade toy. Read More

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