Posted on 5/31/2012 10:28 EST
Father's Day, wedding season, and hurricane season all bring discounts in the month of June. You'll find June sales on things like gym memberships, as well as continuing discounts on some of the best things to buy in May. Early summer also begins the prime fruit and veggie season, with affordable prices on grill-worthy corn on the cob and zucchini. Below are some of the best things to buy in June.
Not only are people gearing up for small projects around the house during the summer, but Father's Day also falls in the month of June, making it the perfect time to score discounts on hand and power tools. Check a retailer such as Lowe's or Home Depot
for June sales focused on Father's Day.
June signals the onset of hurricane season and sweltering temperatures in the Caribbean, but if you're willing to take your chances with the weather, this is the perfect time to scoop up deals on cruises and tropical vacation packages. And this year your chances seem good, as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
predicts less hurricane activity than in recent years. Check out our recommended cheap cruises
for a fun June getaway.
As the weather continues to warm up and people opt to take their workouts outside, June sales will start to surface at gyms and health clubs hard-pressed
to sign up new members. If you're the type to haggle, you should be able to negotiate an even larger discount than normal on a gym membership.
Dishes and Cookware.
May brought deep discounts on cookware, between Mother's Day and the dawn of wedding season, and some of those deals will continue into June. Discounts on dishes also emerge as wedding season gains momentum. Dishes and cookware can make good graduation gifts
for all those graduation parties early in the month.
Foods in Season.
June marks the dawn of the summer fruit and vegetable boom, making it a great month for buying and eating local produce. Cheap peak-season
fruits include melons such as watermelon and cantaloupe; berries such as blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and strawberries; and other fruits such as apricots, cherries, mangos, kiwis, peaches, and nectarines. Kick off the grilling season with June sales on the first corn on the cob, summer squash, zucchini, and tomatoes, plus lettuce and cucumber for salads. You can look to our blog post on cheap summer meal ideas
Posted on 5/30/2012 10:23 EST
This time of year, the number of "for sale" and "garage sale" postings on Craigslist doubles as people wrap up their spring cleaning, according to the classified-ad giant. It can be challenging to stand out among so much competition, so Craigslist has shared with Cheapism eight tips for getting the most out of an online posting or a yard sale.
Craigslist Tip #1:
Write a clear headline. Most people who go on Craigslist already have an idea of what they want. Be as specific as possible about what you're offering and don't put off potential buyers by using all caps, or rows of asterisks and dollar signs.
Craigslist Tip #2:
Balance creativity with clarity in your post. You want to capture people's attention but also provide a clear description of what you are selling. Be sure to include the dimensions of each item and any additional details that might prove helpful.
Craigslist Tip #3:
Include images in your posts. Potential buyers will be more likely to click through to one of your items and may even search only for items with images. Use pictures you've taken of the exact items you're selling, instead of pulling photos from websites or linking to similar items online.
Craigslist Tip #4:
Price your items right. Do some research into the market for each item you are selling and be willing to negotiate and barter.
Craigslist Tip #5:
When posting an ad for a garage sale, include a list all of the items for sale. You can also post details about items that may particularly interest buyers.
Craigslist Tip #6:
If you sell your stuff offline, have the sale outdoors with family and friends. Don't invite anyone into your home or yard when you're alone and keep your doors locked during a garage sale, because you're likely be distracted.
Craigslist Tip #7:
Don't accept any method of payment other than cash at a garage sale. And don't leave your stash sitting out in a cash box; carry it with you.
Craigslist Tip #8:
Be open to meeting new friends. A Craigslist spokesperson says they've heard countless stories about people meeting friends and significant others while buying or selling items via Craigslist. Be friendly!
*Take common sense precautions online as well. Familiarize yourself with Craigslist's safety tips and common online scams.
Posted on 5/29/2012 6:47 EST
It's about that time of year when all manner of advertisements trumpeting budget vacation ideas become too loud to ignore. After months of working hard, you may be eager to get away for a while. There are countless vacation options, including many on the cheap. Here are a few ways to both plan and enjoy a budget vacation without going broke.
Rent a furnished apartment.
A growing number of residents of major cities have taken to renting out their apartments on a weekly basis. Jumping on this new trend is a surefire budget vacation idea. These apartment rentals are typically cheaper than a weekly hotel tab and preparing your own meals is certainly cheaper (not to mention healthier) than eating out. By saving money on lodging and food, you'll have cash available for the adventures that can turn a hum-drum get-away
into a memorable vacation. Craigslist
is a one place to check when looking for apartments in your chosen destination.
Stay in a nearby town.
Rates for a hotel in the heart of town (or city) always come at a premium. But budget vacation ideas call for looking in surrounding towns where you may land on a plum discount. Chances are you'll be within striking distance of the target vacation spot and can get there via public transport.
To rent or not to rent a car.
Public transportation is one ginormous money-saving
budget vacation idea. If you're visiting a major city, or any area with reliable public transportation, consider ditching the rental car in favor of a weekly pass to ride the train, bus, or whatever public transit is available. Aside from the wallet- and environment-friendly
benefits, you'll often get closer to the attractions you want to see and won't mar your vacation by worrying about parking.
Research daily deals in your destination city.
Sites like Groupon
offer excellent suggestions for activities and events in the locale you're visiting, as well as money-saving
budget vacation ideas. You'll find deals on everything from restaurant meals to tickets to concerts, amusement parks, and famous attractions.
Ask the locals.
A good rule of thumb is to ask the locals in whatever area you're visiting about attractions you can add to your list of budget vacation ideas. Work up the nerve to chat and the rewards will be high. Local residents typically have plenty of cost-effective
suggestions for dinner, lodging, and popular things to do while you're in town.
Be flexible about travel days.
It's common practice for airfare and hotels to adjust prices to reflect supply and demand, especially around major holidays. Plan a vacation that doesn't overlap with any of the much desired travel days, or consider staying an extra day or two to avoid the highest fares. Do your homework before booking to see if this is a worthwhile budget vacation idea.
Go during the off-season.
The list of budget vacation ideas inevitably includes a recommendation to plan your trip for less popular travel periods. We're certainly not suggesting that you book a vacation to coincide with hurricane season, but the best times to go may be at the edges of peak season. The weather is usually still good and events still abound, but these transition moments give you the opportunity to enjoy your dream vacation without the high price tag -- or the jostling crowds.
Posted on 5/25/2012 15:44 EST
The school year is coming to a close, and whether you're marking the occasion with gifts for teachers and grads or preparing for summer with some beach gear and a new pair of shades, Cheapism has you covered.
Sure, you can probably find a pair for a few bucks at the grocery store, but do they offer 100 percent protection from harmful UV rays? Do they have sturdy, impact-resistant
lenses? The best cheap sunglasses
-- from brands such as JiMarti, Sunbelt, Black Flys, and even Nike -- may cost a bit more, but they promise to last far longer and more effectively protect your eyes.
Cheap Slow Cookers.
Most consumers probably think of a slow cooker for making fall or winter meals such as hearty stews, but it can also come in handy for summer recipes such as lime cilantro chicken. Our top picks among cheap slow cookers
range from a compact 1.5-quart pot by Proctor Silex to a 7-quart model from the original Crock-Pot
New Blog Posts
Gifts for Teachers.
If the kids climbing the walls didn't clue you in, the school year is just about over. Show your appreciation for the teachers and coaches in your child's life with our guide to inexpensive teacher gifts
Gifts for Grads.
Graduation from high school or college starts a new phase in the life of a loved one. Our ideas for affordable yet thoughtful graduation gifts
will help you share in the celebration while preparing graduates for the future.
Bachelor Party Ideas.
Summer is a big wedding season, so the odds are good that a bachelor in your life is getting ready to tie the knot. We've rounded up some bachelor party ideas
that will fit all his friends' budgets.
It doesn't have to cost much to stock up on a few essentials for trips to the beach. Prepare for your day in the sun with our guide to cheap beach gear
, including towels, flip-flops
, and sunscreen.
Posted on 5/23/2012 7:00 EST
Posted on 5/22/2012 9:45 EST
Posted on 5/21/2012 12:08 EST
Posted on 5/18/2012 16:36 EST
Posted on 5/17/2012 10:14 EST
Posted on 5/15/2012 11:10 EST
Posted on 5/15/2012 11:02 EST
Posted on 5/11/2012 15:56 EST
Posted on 5/10/2012 11:56 EST
Posted on 5/9/2012 13:58 EST
Posted on 5/8/2012 11:30 EST
Posted on 5/8/2012 10:18 EST
Posted on 5/4/2012 18:17 EST
Posted on 5/4/2012 7:27 EST
Posted on 5/1/2012 21:36 EST
Posted on 5/1/2012 6:14 EST
Posted on 5/24/2012 11:00 EST
Are you preparing for this year's round of graduation parties with a stack of cards and a wad of cash? A little creativity can help make the end of the school year a lot less expensive. And a well-thought-out gift, regardless of price, will be cherished and remembered for far longer than a few bills. The more you know about a graduate's plans for the future, the easier it is to come up with a cheap graduation gift. However, the suggestions below should work for most any grad and cost less than $25.
Shower caddy kit.
For a high school graduate heading off to a college dorm room in the fall, a shower caddy stocked with personal care products makes a useful and cheap graduation gift. Add shampoo, conditioner, shaving cream, body scrub, a luffa, a pair of cheap flip-flops
(for shower shoes) -- even a manicure kit.
Kitchen starter kit.
For those graduating from high school or college and moving out on their own, put together a kitchen starter kit. You can make this as small or large as your budget affords. For a cheap graduation gift, buy an oven mitt and stuff it with kitchen gadgets from the dollar store
, such as a whisk, a spatula, salad tongs, and more. If you're willing to spend more, buy a large mixing bowl or kitchen trash can and stuff it with bigger items such as cups, a can opener, a cutting board, etc.
Grads on their way to a dorm or apartment likely dread the idea of schlepping their dirty clothes to the laundry. Make this chore a little easier by filling a budget laundry basket or hamper with detergent, dryer sheets or fabric softener, and stain remover. You can even include a roll of quarters and a laundry cheat sheet with tips from your own experience.
For high school graduates heading off to college, you can't go wrong with some school spirit, especially if the recipient will be attending your alma mater. You can find shirts, sweatpants, shorts, pillows, flags, posters, and just about anything else in university colors for reasonable prices online.
Books and magazines.
If someone in your life is graduating from high school or college and embarking on a new career, give a book or magazine subscription related to their chosen profession. For example, a graduate with a journalism degree would likely get a lot of value out of The Writer's Market
. A biography of a famous figure in the graduate's field can also make an inspiring yet cheap graduation gift.
A high school teacher commenting on Money Saving Mom
shares this super-cheap
graduation gift idea: She gives graduating seniors "I need cookies" cards. When they go away to college, they can send the card back to her anytime, and she will mail them a batch of homemade cookies. About a quarter of the students take advantage, she says, and it sets her back only the cost of ingredients and postage.
If you're still stuck, try getting a group together to buy a big graduation gift. Group gifting sites
can help you pool resources with other family and friends of the graduate.