Cheapism Staff

  • Cleaning

    Generic or Brand Name: When to Spend More on Cleaning Products

    Should I buy generic window cleaner or splurge on that bottle of Windex? Clorox or store brand bleach?

  • Careers

    Discount Resources for Nurses and Doctors

    You know all that money you spent on nursing or medical school? You can make some of it back in the form of discounts for various products, services, and activities. We've put together a list of resources nurses and doctors can use to get discounts and save money. AMA : American Medical Association members can save at Wells Fargo, Hertz, and other companies. NursesUSA : Members of NursesUSA can get ski resort tickets for as little as $8, CityPASS discounts in various cities, $3 off the major movie cinemas like AMC, and up to 30-percent off tickets to 60 zoos and theme parks, such as Busch Gardens, Six Flags, and Sea World. Aetna and ACS : Aetna has partnered with the American Cancer Society to offer up to 40-percent off books on cancer treatment and prevention. Eligible groups include nurses, doctors, and dietitians. AMSA : American Medical Student Association members can get discounts at Bank of America, Choice hotels, and National and Alamo car rental companies in addition to other cheap items like mobile medical apps. ASDA : If you're in school for dentistry, becoming a member of the American Student Dental Association can save you money on T-Mobile, GEICO, Kaplan testing products, Bank of America, and more. Disney World discounts : Nurses can get discounts at the Swan and Dolphin Disney World resort hotel. Identification and a recent pay stub are needed at time of check-in. You can book by calling the resort directly at (888) 828-8850 and asking for rate code NURSE. : This site offers discounts of up to 30 percent off books for health care professionals. Nurses and doctors can save big here. : American Society of Periodontology members can get discounts on Hertz car rentals and FedEx shipping in addition to insurance program and bank savings, medical journal discounts, and more. BirchhillHappenings : This site claims to offer "like" wholesale prices on items such as essential oils and aromatherapy products to massage therapists, spa owners, and various types of doctors. You must order online at the Minnesota-based site to cash in on the savings. HerbalaProducts : Nurses and doctors can save up to 35- percent off. Health care professionals and pharmacies also can get in on the savings. Jigsaw Health : Jigsaw Health offers wholesale pricing for health professionals. Nature's Gift : Nature's Gift supplies 10-percent discounts to licensed health care professionals. Theratape : Theratape, a major player in the field of taping products for rehabilitation and exercise improvement, gives discounts on products to licensed professionals in the health care field. Car rental discounts : This web site offers info on available discounts from the major car rental companies for medical professionals belonging to a wide variety of associations. Groups include the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, which can get discounts at Alamo, and the Academy of General Dentistry, eligible for savings at Avis and Budget. Members of other professional organizations that include nurses and doctors can save as well.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Labor Day Deals, Fall Getaways, and More

    September's arrival this week signals cooler weather is on the way and so is Labor Day -- and that means deals. We've got you covered with a comprehensive list of discounts and freebies available for the holiday weekend. Planning travel? Check out our round-up of 15 cheap and easy fall getaways and our bucket list of skyscrapers that everyone should see. Food-lovers will want to sample our latest recipes featuring potatoes, and seasonal fruits and vegetables, or take on a food challenge at one of 50 restaurants we found across the country that offer free food to those who can eat it all. Also new on the blog this week: The best things to buy this month, how to prep your house for fall and winter, building a stronger upper body without the expense of a gym membership, and more. Updated Buying Guides: Best Slow Cookers Under $50. Our top picks this year include 6-quart models designed for families, along with a classic Crock-Pot for smaller households. Shoppers can get programmable controls and other handy features on a budget of less than $50. New Blog Posts & Updates: The Best Things to Buy in September. September is the best time to buy mattresses, cars, appliances, summer gear, and more. 28 Fall Recipes That Showcase Seasonal Produce. From baked pear oatmeal to Buffalo cauliflower to apple cheddar pie, let these fall dishes make you forget about summer. 13 Delicious Pressure Cooker Recipes That Save Money and Time. Pressure cookers are a practical and easy way to make nearly any meal quickly and conveniently, including beef stew, risotto, chili con carne, and many more. 50 Belly-Busting Food Challenges That Offer Winners a Free Meal. Willing to eat an 8-pound burger or inhale insanely hot chicken wings for a free meal (and bragging rights)? Here are 50 food challenges to take on. No Gym Required: Strengthen Your Upper Body at Home for Less. Few exercises work as many muscles as chin-ups. Here's how you can utilize this simple movement to build strength without the expense of a gym membership. 19 Steps to Prep Your House and Yard for Fall and Winter. Now's the time to act to protect your home and yard from burst pipes, bug infestations, and other seasonal worries. Skyscraper Bucket List: America's 20 Tallest Buildings. Look down 100 stories in New York, see four states at once in Chicago, and go sliding on glass about 700 feet over Los Angeles in this tour of skyscrapers. See a Game for Less: The Cheapest Teams in Every Pro League. Here are the five cheapest professional sports teams to see from the NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB, with a look at the cost of tickets, parking, and a hot dog. Celebrate Spuds With 25 Tasty Potato Recipes. You won't believe how much a home cook can do with a simple potato. These 25 recipes, from bread to blitva, will get you salivating and fill you up for cheap. 25 Labor Day Deals and Freebies to Send Off Summer. Say hello to free meals and a bunch of other great deals while using Labor Day and its long weekend to say goodbye to summer. Bland No More: 12 Ways to Use Rice. Rice is an inexpensive and basic food, but that doesn't mean it has to be bland. Add a few extra ingredients and some seasoning, and a whole new dish awaits. 14 Cheap Emergency Essentials You Don't Want to Be Without. A storm can knock out electricity, running water, and other utilities, but it doesn't cost much to prepare for an emergency with these essential supplies. 15 Spots for a Cheap Fall Weekend Getaway. Hop in the car for a weekend getaway to any of these 15 destinations and delight in what fall has to offer, including cheap lodging rates.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Fall Travel Plans, Cheap American Wines, and More

    The final full week of summer is winding down and soon trees across many parts of the nation will be turning bright autumn hues. Those looking for someplace new to enjoy the beauty of fall will want to check out our roundup of under-the-radar spots for leaf-peeping, as well as our guide to affordable fall destinations for couples. We've also been busy in the kitchen, compiling dozens of fresh ideas for cheap and easy lunchbox meals, along with themed dinner menus that impress guests without sinking the food budget. We've also updated our roundups of good, cheap American wines and how to save when hitting the ski slopes this winter. And we have new reports on collectables to avoid, castles that can be bought for the price of New York City condo, budget-friendly ways to boost brain-power, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: Deliciously Cheap Burgers in All 50 States. Burger lovers on a budget can do much better than the big fast-food chains. Here are spots across the country offering an American classic for cheap. Made in the USA: 15 American Wineries That Sell Good, Cheap Wine. These U.S. wineries show that good wine isn't confined to France, or even California. Regions such as New York’s Finger Lakes and Long Island offer real value. 14 Under-the-Radar Places With Amazing Fall Foliage. Taking the scenic route to California, Alabama, Wisconsin, and other spots can show that the Northeast isn't the only place for great fall foliage. 50 Signature Cheap Eats From Every State. Each state is known for one type of food or another. Here is our list of cheap eats to try in each of the 50 states, plus the nation's capital. 11 'Collectibles' That Are Probably Worthless. If you're expecting to find a collector's gem among your records, stamps, coins, toys, or books, here's why you should brace for disappointment. 13 Affordable and Romantic Fall Getaways. Autumn is an ideal time for couples to escape the daily grind without blowing a hole in the travel budget. Check out these 13 romantic fall destinations. 15 Themed Dinner Party Menus Under $5 a Person. Invite friends over for a cozy dinner costing $5 or less a person. Here are 15 themed, multi-course menus to get the ball rolling. 10 Opulent Castles You Can Buy for the Price of a Manhattan Condo. For the price of a New York City apartment, you could instead have your very own castle in Italy, on the coast of South Africa, or outside Prague. 11 Classic 'Ways to Save' That Could Actually Cost You Money. Some recommended ways to save money are repeated so often that consumers take the advice without question. But some money-saving tips can easily backfire. 17 Health Products and Services That Cost Less at Costco. Shopping at Costco for goods and services that help keep the family healthy can also save members lots of money. 50 Cheap and Easy Back-to-School Lunches. Kids like variety in their school lunches, but don't go broke or crazy trying to fill their lunchboxes -- try these 50 fun, easy-to-make meal ideas. Best Cheap Slow Cookers for Easy Meal Prep. These top picks among budget slow cookers include 1.5-, 4-, and 6-quart models, a programmable Crock-Pot, and two portable slow cookers. 12 Budget-Friendly Tips to Boost Brainpower. Exercising the body is only half the job. Here's how to eat, play, and live in ways that keep the brain sharp and agile even into old age. 16 Ways to Hit the Slopes for Less This Winter. The price of skiing is dear, but there are ways to save on everything from renting equipment to timing a trip and getting to the mountain.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Fall Travel Plans, Breakfast Food, and More

    With Labor Day behind us, fall travel plans are in the air -- and we have several great ideas in mind, including scenic places to enjoy fall foliage, free and inexpensive things to do in New York City, and cheap fall cruises. Those with an eye toward food will want to check out our updated features on cheap and easy breakfast ideas, best places for unique and tasty waffles, and tempting recipes that include peanuts. Also new on the blog this week: how to cut the costs of maintaining your car, the nation’s best beer gardens, how to build a capsule wardrobe, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: Eat Seasonal and Save: When to Buy Fresh Produce Year-Round. Here's the lowdown on when to buy your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables, including corn, grapes, squash, artichokes, and more. Got Allergies? 9 Home Remedies to Try -- and 1 to Avoid. With these cheap home remedies, it doesn't have to cost a fortune to get sneezes, sniffles, and watery eyes under control during allergy season. 25 Places Across the U.S. to Enjoy Great Waffles. No longer relegated to county fairs, waffles have gone upscale, with some places offering gourmet concoctions featuring smoked salmon, coleslaw, and pesto. 50 Free or Cheap Things to Do in New York City. Explore New York and everything it has to offer on a budget, including $1 pizza, free happy hour drinks, and A-list entertainment tickets as low as $10! 17 Places to See Spectacular Fall Foliage. Enjoy the glorious colors of fall leaves in spots across the country, from charming farmlands and dramatic vistas to scenic mountain drives and icy-blue lakes. Build a Money-Saving Capsule Wardrobe With 13 Essential Pieces. These 13 basic components constitute a capsule wardrobe that can be mixed and match to suit any lifestyle and occasion. Where to Eat 10 Classic Deli Sandwiches Across the Country. These 10 meaty sandwiches are time-tested favorites that can be enjoyed in classic form around the country -- some at the eateries that invented them. 25 Cheap, Quick Breakfast Ideas to Start the Day Right. Morning meals made with staples such as oatmeal, eggs, and yogurt are easy and cheap to make and help start the work or school day right. 11 Cheap Fall Cruises From the Caribbean to Canada. Looking for a cheap cruise this fall? Find deals on sailings to warm-weather beaches and locales with stunning fall foliage starting at about $60 a day. Go Nuts With These 15 Cheap and Easy Peanut Recipes. Try these varied and tasty recipes, all with peanuts as the star, and see how versatile the cheap and nutritious legume can be. 12 Ways to Cut the Cost of Car Maintenance and Repairs. Auto repairs can be expensive and unpredictable. Here's how to lessen the chance of pricey fixes and keep your car running longer and more efficiently. Not Just in Germany: 15 Great American Beer Gardens. These American versions of a German tradition move beer drinking outdoors, with some money-saving specials to boot.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Fall Festivals, Aerial Views, and More

    Fall has arrived and that means cooler weather is soon its way -- a great time to get outdoors and enjoy some awesome scenery, food, music, and more. With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of fun and affordable festivals in all 50 states that are sure to get the travel juices flowing. Speaking of travel, should the next trip involve renting a car, check out our guide on what to know before signing a rental contract. For those looking to stick close to home this fall, we offer easy home-improvement projects that make aging in place a bit simpler. With December holidays just around the corner, it’s not too soon to start thinking about gift-giving, so why not take a peek at our guide on how to make holiday shopping more affordable, along with our roundup of last-minute gifts worth keeping on hand just in case a special someone gets left off the list. Also new on the blog this week: Weight loss gimmicks to avoid, affordable skin care tips for younger looking skin, best cheap fall beers, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: 24 Last-Minute Gifts to Keep on Hand All Year Long. Never again be caught without a present for a special occasion -- just look for these go-to gifts all year and pick them up whenever you spot a deal. Don't Fall For These 12 Weight Loss Gimmicks. Many consumers are looking for quick and easy ways to lose weight, but steer clear of products and advice that sound too good to be true. Perk Up: Best Coffee Makers Under $50. Find out the best cheap coffee makers, as reviewed by, including 12-cup, 5-cup, and single-serve coffee makers under $50. 16 Ways to Make Holiday Shopping More Affordable -- Starting Now. It's never too early to prepare for the holiday shopping season. These tips can help you get gifts for everyone on your list without going over budget. 21 Skin Care Tips to Keep You Looking Young for Less. It's all too easy to damage skin without thinking and look older than you are. Here are some easy and low-cost ways to stop and even reverse signs of aging. 14 Small Home Projects That Can Help Seniors Age in Place. Many adults want to grow old in their own homes, and that often requires modifications. Here are 14 common fixes that help seniors remain independent. Winter Wonderland: 20 Money-Saving Ski Passes for More Fun at More Places. Skiing and snowboarding are expensive sports, but programs from Colorado to California to New York can help reduce the financial outlay for frequent skiers. Frugal Fall Fun: 50 Free and Cheap Festivals That Celebrate Autumn. Family fun doesn't have to end with summer. These fall festivals offer something for everyone, whether it's music, food, wine, scenery, or activities. 11 Hacks to Make Instant Ramen More Delicious for Less Than $1. These dead-simple kitchen hacks solve a problem for frugal eaters: Boiling instant ramen on its own is just unhealthy and dull. 25 Things You Need to Know Before Renting a Car. Learn how a car rental could get your credit card declined, and 24 more things drivers should know before signing out a vehicle short-term. Best Cheap Beers for Fall: 10 Craft Brews to Toast the Season. These 10 beer styles, which include porters, ales, and even a dessert beer, deliver rich, cool-weather flavor and drinkability at affordable prices. Awesome Aerial Views in All 50 States. From a 200-foot urban tower in Kansas to 7,825-foot Emory Peak in Texas, there's no shortage of stunning views in America to visit. How to Stay Safe From Ransomware and Other Hacker Attacks. Beating the hackers who lock up computers and demand ransom can be cheap and even free. Here's how to take action before you become a victim.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Jewish High Holidays, Rice Cookers, and More

    Today is the last day of National Rice Month (aka September). We honored the great grain with a complete update of our buying guide to cheap rice cookers and started looking ahead at the best and worst things to buy in October. We're also getting ready for the Jewish High Holidays, with symbolic foods to celebrate the new year and genius ways to use up the leftovers. Also new this week: the real costs of car ownership, stress-free travel planning, and the one thing you must do in every state. Updated Buying Guide: Best Rice Cookers Under $75. From on/off to programmable to micro-computerized "fuzzy logic" rice cookers, these affordable top picks can make 3 to 20 cups of perfect rice every time. New Blog Posts & Updates: What to Buy (and What Not to Buy) in October. October brings special pricing on cars and large appliances, as well as things like Halloween costumes. For other items, it's better to wait for holiday sales. 12 Easy Nature-Inspired Decorating Ideas for Fall. Those rustic pine cone clusters and other autumn-themed arrangements are easier to make than you think, and often nearly free to put together. Traveler's Checklist: The One Thing You Must Do in Every State. For travelers looking to visit every state, here are 50 memorable things worth putting on your bucket list. Don't Get Taken for a Ride: Calculating the Real Costs of Car Ownership. Calculate the real cost of owning a car before opening your checkbook. Consider recurring costs for fuel, insurance, registration, parking, and more. The One Thing You Must Do in Every State. For travelers looking to visit every state, here are 50 memorable things worth putting on your bucket list. 25 Ways to Take the Hassle Out of Booking Holiday Travel. Reduce the stress of booking reservations for holiday travel by using these tips for comparing prices, finding alternatives, and discovering fun ways to save. 11 Symbolic Foods for the Jewish New Year. Plan a Rosh Hashanah menu incorporating these 11 symbolic foods for a break from the standard New Year meal. 15 Genius Ways to Use Rosh Hashanah Leftovers. Leftovers can be delicious with these creative recipes for breakfast hash, bread pudding, egg rolls, fritters, and even a chopped liver banh mi. 50 Things to Pick Up at the Grocery Store This Fall. Summer staples are increasingly rare, pricey, and low-quality, so start buying pumpkin, vanilla, ginger, and other tasty and useful seasonal items. Get Lost in These 20 Corn Mazes and Pumpkin Patches Across America. Get into the swing of the fall season by taking the family to a corn maze near you. Here are 20 must-visit walk-through puzzles and pumpkin patches. 23 Tasty Taco Places Across the Country. From West Coast food trucks to East Coast taquerias, these eateries across the country serve up delicious tacos for every palate at low prices. Get High: 12 Spectacular Balloon Festivals From Coast to Coast. The Albuquerque balloon festival is world renowned, but other, smaller events in Missouri, Kentucky, Arizona, and elsewhere are also worth checking out.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Halloween, Fall Food, and More

    Soon ghosts, goblins, and other characters will be making their way down the streets of towns across the nation in search of treats (and maybe a few tricks). To make Halloween less scary for your finances, this week we're featuring inexpensive do-it-yourself costumes for kids, adults -- and pets. To shake that fall chill -- and save money -- we also have recipes for making your own pumpkin spice latte, and ways to cook and bake with pumpkin. Also on the blog this week: America's scariest ghost towns, food items to stock up on for winter, credit card perks to check out, and more. New and Updated Blog Posts: 10 Spooky Ghost Towns Across America. Empty, eerie structures built for atomic blasts, taken down by conflict, or abandoned after economic disaster are often free to brave visitors. 27 Cheap and Clever DIY Costumes for Adults and Kids. Creating a unique costume for Halloween doesn't have to cost a lot. Do it yourself using items from around the house and save. 11 Ways to Stretch Your Holiday Budget at Costco, Sam’s, and BJ’s. From chicken dinners and sheet cake for 70 to Christmas trees and stocking stuffers, warehouse clubs have shoppers' backs during the holidays. 50 Easy Ways to Save at the Grocery Store. From using coupons to taking advantage of sales to stock up, these tips can streamline grocery shopping and help maintain a healthy budget. How to Make Your Own Pumpkin Spice Latte: 10 Recipes to Try at Home. Ditch the Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks to save money or enjoy versions that are low-calorie, vegan, paleo, alcoholic, and more. 10 Pantry and Freezer Staples Worth Buying in Bulk. Be smart about stocking your pantry and freezer -- find out which foods are best to buy in bulk. 16 Public Buildings You Have to See Inside. Many government buildings across the U.S. are known for bland design, but the interiors of these 16 state capitols, city halls, and more are not to be missed. 15 Clever DIY Halloween Costumes for Pets. Don't forget to include your pets in the dress-up fun of Halloween. Here are 15 cheap, easy, and incredibly cute ideas for pet costumes worth making. Best Food Deals at Costco: Comparing Prices on 50 Products. Buying in bulk at a warehouse club is common advice for the frugal, but not every item is a bargain. Shoppers who pick their spots can save up to 67 percent. Beyond Pie: 16 Ways to Cook or Bake With Pumpkin. Spice things up this fall with a cornucopia of mouthwatering recipes for pumpkin-infused French toast, gnocchi, custard, lasagna, and even brownies. Don’t Miss Out on These 37 Credit and Debit Card Perks. You could benefit from these 37 lesser-known credit card perks, including roadside assistance, medical help, entertainment exclusives, and more. 25 Freebies and Discounts to Make Your Birthday Happier. Inject some pizzazz into your birthday with offers for free burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, drinks, and more, as well as special savings.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Halloween, Recipe Ideas, and More

    At Cheapism this week, we're continuing to gear up for Halloween and the coming colder weather. Find out how to create inexpensive and trendy costumes, discover easy and cheap makeup ideas, and find the spookiest cemeteries in the nation. On the homefront, check out our tips on how to save energy this winter, and try out our easy recipe ideas for unpopular fall vegetables, chili, pasta, and cheap desserts. Also new on the blog this week: Where to get a flu shot for less, treatments for reviving hair, how to save at the dentist, and more. New and Updated Blog Posts: 50 Spooky Graveyards Across the Country. What's the creepiest, most haunted cemetery in your state? Halloween may be the best time to visit -- or avoid it. 20 Low-Cost Desserts That Are Easy As Pie. Just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes in the kitchen make the perfect ending to a meal or classy way to welcome guests. Where to Get a Cheap Flu Shot in 2016. To find out where to get cheap flu shots in 2016, we compared prices at Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid, Walmart, Target, Kroger, Costco, and Sam's Club. 15 Unique Cheese Shops Where You Can Get Free Samples. From creamy camembert to tangy cheddar, cheese is widely beloved. These shops have some of the best in America and offer free samples, too. 50 Smart Ways to Slash Your Food Budget. From BYOB policies and potlucks to replanting grocery store herbs, there are plenty of ways to save money while eating well. 12 DIY Hair Treatments to Refresh Your Locks for Fall. Try any or all of these 12 do-it-yourself hair treatments to put shine, bounce, moisture, and color back in your hair after a summer's worth of damage. Chew on This: 14 Ways to Save at the Dentist. Dental procedures such as fillings, crowns, and root canals can be expensive, especially without insurance. Here's how to save. 13 Cheap and Trendy Halloween Costumes for 2016. Forgot about that Halloween party invite and don't have a thing to wear? Never fear -- these 13 timely costume ideas will do the trick (or treat). Fruit for Thought: 25 Creative Ways to Enjoy Apples. Whether used in pies, pastries, or entrees, apples are a simple addition to many recipes that add flavor, sweetness, and nutrition. 13 Regional Chili Recipes to Try This Fall. These 13 chili recipes hail from different parts of the U.S. and reflect local taste preferences and cooking styles. 50 Ways to Save Energy (and Money) This Winter. These 50 ways to save energy can help make utility bills less burdensome during Energy Awareness Month and all winter long. 13 Dishes That Celebrate the Many Faces of Pasta. Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? Pasta is always a crowd pleaser, plus it won't break the bank. Try one of these delicious dishes. 25 Ways to Make Unpopular Fall Vegetables More Delicious. Pumpkin and butternut squash should be just the start of a fall menu. Don't forget about endive, escarole, celeriac, leeks, okra, parsnip, and more. 10 Cool, Creepy, and Cheap Halloween Makeup Tricks. Skip the costume shop this Halloween. Scary flesh wounds, exposed bone, blood, fangs, and even fancy masks can be created cheaply and easily at home.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Halloween Festivities and More

    October's arrival means many households are preparing for Halloween festivities, and we here at Cheapism have plenty of ideas to offer. From easy-to-make spooky treats to making a one-of-a-kind jack-o'-lantern to ways to use leftover pumpkin flesh we've got you covered. Our updated buying guide will help you find the best leaf blower and expert tips will help you find the best deal on home insurance. Also new on the blog this week: healthy habits for kids, get-rich-quick schemes to avoid, top destinations for a desert vacation, and more. Updated Buying Guide: Best Electric and Gas Leaf Blowers Under $150. This buying guide features the best inexpensive electric and gas leaf blowers, including a feather-light cordless model, as well as an affordable backpack blower. New and Updated Blog Posts: 23 Creepy Halloween Party Treats. Build an edible human torso or a charcuterie skull and put eyeballs in your highballs for a gruesomely delicious Halloween party spread. 10 Habits of Families With Healthy Kids. Keep kids healthy this school year by adopting some simple, no-cost practices, from getting enough sleep to preventing head lice. 15 Desert Vacation Spots to Stave Off the Autumn Blues. Fall is here, but sun and sand are just a flight away. Check out our list of desert locales that offer visitors natural beauty and fun activities. 42 Bars With Happy Hour Deals You Don’t Want to Miss. Discounted beer, wine, and cocktails are the stuff happy hours are made of, and these 42 bars offer some of the best deals out there. 18 Ways to Go Broke Trying to Get Rich. Save your money and your sanity! From lottery tickets to mystery shopping, these 18 get-rich-quick strategies are more likely to leave you broke. 12 Unusual Jack-o'-Lanterns to Wow Trick-or-Treaters. Forget the usual grinning pumpkin -- instead, try one of these unique jack-o'-lantern designs to impress trick-or-treaters this year. 24 Frightfully Fun Halloween Events Across the Country. Costume contests, scary movies, coffin races, raunchy parades, and more are going on across the country for revelers of all ages who love this eerie holiday. From Thrills to Chills: 13 Eerie Abandoned Theme Parks. Abandoned theme parks, whether in California, Florida, or Ohio, can be fascinating places to explore -- if you dare. 50 Ways to Spend Less When Eating Out. Dining out is one of life's simpler pleasures. Here's how to enjoy eating out and save money while doing it. 10 Ways to Protect Your Identity and Data Online. Which one kind of encryption should be used on home Wi-Fi? What's the difference between "https" and "http"? Not sure? Then these tips are for you. 13 Things to Do With Pumpkin Guts After Carving. You won't want to throw away the guts of a jack-o'-lantern pumpkin after seeing these creative, delicious, and healthy uses for them. 10 Things to Do Before Buying Home Insurance. Home insurance will cost more than it has to -- and have dangerous gaps -- without the proper background checks and a basic understanding of the rules. 20 Haunted Attractions That Aren't Scary Expensive. The scariest thing about a haunted house can be the ticket price, but these 20 ghoulish attractions across the country won't give your budget a shock.

  • Apps & Software

    10 Best Shopping Apps

    In this week's app roundup, we bring you some shopping apps that can help you find the best products for the lowest price as you wrap up (or embark on) your holiday shopping.

  • Travel

    How to Find Cheap Bus Tickets

    In a previous about cheap bus tickets we recommended a New York Times article by The Frugal Traveler in which he explained how to get cheap bus fare between Boston, NYC, Philadelphia and Washington DC. As the cost and hassles of air travel are escalating we decided to revisit the topic and help you find a cheap bus fare to your destination.

  • Beverages

    Where to Find an Ice Chest for Less Cold, Hard Cash

    Believe it or not, it's possible to spend almost $800 on a cooler (a cooler!). But if you have no need for two-inch polyurethane foam insulation, a freezer-style sealing gasket, or dry-ice compatibility -- not to mention testing by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee -- here are some cheap coolers for spring, summer, and even tailgating in the fall. While it can be tough to find a sizable, hard-sided cooler on a tight budget, Target offers the 52-quart Igloo Family Cooler for only $20. It may not be bear-proof, but it does feature a fish-measuring ruler on the lid. It's lined with Igloo's Ultratherm foam insulation and holds up to 83 cans. You can also use it as extra seating at a tailgate or backyard barbecue. sells the slightly smaller 48-quart Coleman Chest Cooler, which features environmentally friendly Thermozone insulation, for $24. Consumers posting coolers reviews at appreciate the large capacity: The cooler is designed to hold 63 cans and store two-liter bottles upright. In coolers reviews, consumers say this Coleman is durable and the rust- and leak-proof drain is easy to use. Also available at is the California Innovations 40-Can Rolling Cooler with Easy Access Lid, which normally retails for $60 but will set you back only $21 through June 30. The Igloo 22 Can Playmate Gripper Cooler is another solid soft-sided option for $16 at Lowe's. If size doesn't matter and you just want to keep the cost as low as possible, take a look at Walmart's selection of cheap coolers. You're likely to spend more on an ice pack or a six-pack than on the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness 6-Can Cooler. It costs just $6, so you save money and support Susan G. Komen for the Cure at the same time. For a little more room, check out the Ozark Trail 12 Can Cooler with Hardliner, starting at $10. It features a three-inch expandable top, an antimicrobial and PVC-free liner, and an internal food separator. It comes in different colors and sizes as well: a 24-can model for $14 and a 36-can model for $18. Consumers posting coolers reviews at Walmart call all three of these cheap coolers sturdy and convenient. Walmart also offers cheap coolers specifically designed for tailgating and beach bumming. At just $8, the Goodhope Bags Beach Cooler is an ultracheap and cleverly designed beach bag with a 12-can cooler at the base. For tailgating, 12-pack coolers with team logos cost $20. You can find cheap coolers on eBay as well, of course, but keep an eye on shipping, which can cost far more than the cooler itself. And we would be remiss if we didn't suggest the truly cheap, disposable foam coolers available at any gas station. But if you want a cheap cooler you can use more than a few times -- and you care at all about the environment -- you're better off with one of the more substantial and sustainable options above.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Fourth of July Weekend, Vacations, and More

    Happy Fourth of July weekend! In case you missed our recent holiday coverage, be sure to check out Cheapism's roundups of spectacular free fireworks shows , patriotic party foods , and fireworks safety tips . To kick off the month, we've got the best things to buy in July, as well as RV vacation spots and cheap ways to beat the heat with kids. Also new on the blog this week: living off less than $500 a month at Costco, best and worst states for business, and more. Updated Buying Guide: Coffee Makers. Cheapism scoured specs and reviews to update our picks for the best cheap coffee makers, including a pour-over model, a French press, and several single-cup brewers. New and Updated Blog Posts: What to Buy in July. Look for July deals on furniture, mattresses, desktop computers, jewelry, and more, and find out which products aren't such a good buy this time of year. 13 Money-Saving Tips for Visiting U.S. National Parks. From free passes to special deals on Amtrak, here's how to save on a trip to a national park as the U.S. celebrates the Park Service's 100th birthday. 14 Kitchen Tools That Are Cheaper at the Hardware Store. From butcher's twine to roasting planks, pay less for these 14 kitchen gadgets at the hardware store and put the money into ingredients instead. 20 Easy, Low-Calorie Dishes for Quick Weight Loss. Take advantage of seasonally fresh foods and these handy, low-calorie recipes to drop pounds -- and enjoy it. 20 Free and Cheap Underground Spaces to Explore. Go underground to visit these 20 unusual spaces across the country, from caves to work space to historical artifacts. 12 Bizarre Dessert Combinations That Work. Forget carrot cake and zucchini bread. These weird dessert recipes with healthy ingredients go way beyond, but are still cheap and easy to make. 10 Cheap Ways to Beat the Heat With Kids This Summer. Here are 10 ways to keep children cool and active this summer without burdening the family budget. 10 Signs You’re Getting Scammed While Shopping Online. Protect yourself against online shopping scams by watching for these 10 telltale signs. 15 Vacation Spots to Visit With an RV and Save. With an RV, vacationers can enjoy any of these 15 popular tourist spots on the cheap, saving money on lodging and food. 16 Places to Find Cheap Plus-Size Clothing Online. Stores such as Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe have joined specialists such as Torrid and Hips & Curves to serve the fashionable plus-size woman. More Bang for the Buck: 11 Products That Hold Their Value Best. Buying products that hold their value can be a savvy way to get back some of the money spent on a range of consumer goods, from cars to computers. 5 Best and 5 Worst States for Doing Business. Not every state in the country is equal when it comes to doing business. Here are the 10 best and worst states for business owners and employees. How to Live Off Less Than $500 a Month at Costco. Shopping at Costco for a month's worth of breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks saves money without stinting on variety. 11 Ways to Enjoy Summer Beans on the Cheap. These 11 meal ideas for using fresh and inexpensive summer beans in all their glorious shapes and varieties will keep you stated till fall. 11 Cheap and Healthy Breakfast Combinations. There's no excuse for skipping a morning meal when these simple, quick, and delicious breakfast combinations can be fixed in a flash.

  • Health & Wellness

    Stocking up on Cold Medicine without Going Broke

    We've pulled together a cheat-sheet on how to best treat cold and flu symptoms without stressing your cash flow.

  • Frugality

    How to Find Garage Sales

    Spring cleaning is underway, which means people are getting rid of their old wares by throwing them out, donating them, or hosting garage sales. If you're in the market for home goods, gently-used clothes, yard furniture, and assorted other items, then you'll need a yard sale app or website to point you in the right direction. Usually, garage sales are advertised in the days before they occur via flyers posted around the neighborhood or ads in the local newspaper. More and more, however, people are posting their events on Craigslist in the For Sale section under "garage sale." In addition, Craigslist now has a free iPhone app to help you find goods and events on the go. Sites for finding cheap yard sales have sprung up over the last few years. There's OA Online, which lets you plunk in a date and a ZIP code to find an event near you. Garage Sale Tracker not only lets you find garage sales, it also sets up a route for you to follow to take advantage of several events in one day or weekend. This site also has a garage sale app for iPhone. Garage Sale Cow shows a monthly calendar of garage sales in your area, including the number on each day, and lets you search within 5 to 50 miles of a certain ZIP code. There are several other sites that offer similar functions for finding cheap yard sales in your area. and Yard Sale Search, a very Craigslist-looking site, simply list events. Yard Sale Treasure Map lists sales by date, by city, and by distance on a map; also features a map in addition to a garage sale app., the hyper-local neighborhood sites built by AOL, now post community events like garage sales. Check the site nearest to your town to see if cheap yard sales are coming your way. And now for still more yard sales apps... Garage Sale Rover gleans listings from Craigslist and other sites and gets you to them with GPS voice. There's a cost of $3.99. IGarageSale is a $1.99 yard sale app (free for the "lite" version) that's unique because it lets you search for a specific item and tells you at which sale you can find it. Yard Sale Mapper mines from Craigslist and Yard Sale Treasure Map to find local sales. Garage Sales App is another option. Now that you're on your way to your yard sales adventure, remember to always set out with a plan. As with couponing, daily deals, and bulk buying, you don't want to end up spending or buying more than you intended. You might even want to make a list of what you're looking for so you don't get swayed by glittery junk or products that serve no purpose. Also don't forget to use your bargaining powers to snag an even better deal on a steal. Last, but not least, make sure you really want the item, because there's no returning it after purchase. What are your tips for finding cheap yard sales?

  • Home & Garden

    Spruce Up Your Patio for Under $300

    In the era of HGTV, people are creating entire kitchens and living rooms in their backyards. But even if you don’t have the budget for a hot tub or a massive outdoor fireplace, you can make your outdoor space inviting with a cheap outdoor furniture set. Home Depot has two sets of cheap patio furniture available online for $299. (It also offers free shipping on patio furniture $249 or more.) The Martha Stewart Living Pacifica Collection Four-Piece Chat Set comes with a loveseat and two chairs with mildew- and fade-resistant cushions, as well as a glass-top coffee table. The Fontaine Five-Piece Seating Set includes two scratch-resistant tempered-glass tables. Home Depot also offers 35 cheap patio dining sets under $300. One super-cheap option is the Rachel 3-Piece Cafe Set ($69), which no customer gives fewer than four stars. Users say in patio furniture reviews that the table and two chairs are sturdy and easy to put together, and many appreciate that the set comes with a bottle of touch-up paint. The Plantation Patterns Napa 3-Piece Bistro Set ($179) also gets high marks from customers for its sturdiness, easy assembly, and comfort. Most cheap patio dining sets at Home Depot are bistro sets, which comprise a small table and two chairs. At Ikea $149 will buy you a full "outdoor suite." The Tullero set functions as either a table for four or a three-piece dining set and a love seat; just add cushions. Ikea notes that the solid acacia wood pieces have been treated with glazing paint but recommends repainting them regularly. Unfortunately Ikea’s outdoor collections are not available online, so if you don’t live near one of those blue and yellow shrines to Scandinavian design, you’ll have to look elsewhere for cheap outdoor furniture. However, if you do have a store nearby, you can check the Ikea website to see if a piece is in stock. Walmart has the widest selection of cheap outdoor furniture, with more than 50 patio sets under $300. About half get an average of four stars or more in customer reviews. Consumers seem to like the Mainstays line of cheap outdoor furniture, which includes a six-piece folding sling set for $119. That’s a table, four chairs, and an umbrella for less than you’d pay elsewhere for an umbrella alone. We didn’t find much discount patio furniture under $300 at Costco or Sam’s Club online, but your local warehouse club is worth a look if you’re a member. We’re also getting into garage sale season, which often yields the biggest bargains. And of course there’s the furniture section on Craigslist , which is best enjoyed with a few cans of spray paint and a little imagination. Speaking of spray paint, if you have a set of patio furniture that’s just looking a little weathered, here are a few tips for reviving the pieces you already own. If you can wait until summer’s over to upgrade, you should be able to score some great discount patio furniture at the end of the season. In the meantime, get going on your backyard makeover with our guides to cheap grills and cheap lawn mowers .

  • Outdoor

    Cheap Camping Gear Buying Guide

    This weekend, families across America are packing up cars, RVs, and backpacks for a Fourth of July campout. Not spending the holiday with Mother Nature? There's still plenty of summer left and loads of cheap camping gear for outdoorsy types on a budget. Start with our buying guides on cheap tents and cheap sleeping bags . A camping pad for under that sleeping bag costs $12.38 at Walmart and will help keep you warm and comfortable (bonus: it can double as a yoga or exercise mat). If you're looking for even more comfort, we found the best prices on air mattresses at Amazon, where the Intex Prestige Downy full air bed kit with battery-powered pump goes for $23. Amazon is also the place to buy a camping stove; the Stansport single-burner propane stove costs $21.29. Even at a campground with electricity, a flashlight can help you find your way to the bathroom at night -- and make your face look frightful as you tell a good ghost story. The Dorcy carabineer floating, waterproof flashlight clips right to your pack and costs $7.84 at Amazon (it's slightly cheaper elsewhere online, but watch out for shipping costs). The hands-free Quarrow Vista3 headlamp ($12.97 at Bass Pro Shops) is also waterproof and has a glow-in-the-dark power switch. For in the tent, when you're just hanging out playing cards or rustling through your stuff for a change of clothes, we like the Coleman LED Camp Lantern for $13.88 at Walmart. Walmart offers lots of other cheap camping gear as well. The Ozark Trail Deluxe Arm Chair is the cheapest camping chair we found, at $9.88, and consumers say in reviews that it's a great value for the money. A few other things that could come in handy: a five-gallon Coleman Water Carrier that collapses to save space ($5.88); a Coleman Fixed-Blade Knife ($10.97); and a Coghlans Solar-Heated Camp Shower ($9.97), which is essentially a hanging bag of (hopefully warm) water with a hose at the bottom. One last nifty item available at Walmart: the Stansport Collapsible Carry-All / Trash Can ($16). Use this multipurpose product for carrying all your cheap camping gear or for hauling away your trash, and, in the meantime, keeping animals and flies out of it. Users say it also makes a great laundry hamper. No collection of cheap camping gear would be complete without a first-aid kit. Outdoor store REI has one on sale for $7.93. To potentially save even more, use this as a guide for assembling your own first-aid kit from items you already have around the house. Throw in some insect repellent, cheap sunscreen , and a cheap cooler full of goodies and you'll be ready to gather 'round the campfire.

  • Fashion

    Shopping online for non-standard sizes without breaking the bank

    Clothes and shoes in larger sizes often carry larger price tags, especially in bricks-and-mortar stores. Online, however, you'll find a wealth of retailers that offer cheap plus-size clothing.

  • Frugality

    What to Buy -- and What Not to Buy -- at a Garage Sale

    While some garage sale finds are perfectly fine to pick up secondhand, some things are better bought new, regardless of cost. Let's take a look.

  • Holidays

    Make Your Home Festive on a Budget

    If you're in the market for a few new ornaments or even a new artificial Christmas tree, here are some tips to help make your home festive on the cheap.

  • Entertaining

    How to Have a Summer Party for Less

    With the summer in full swing and the national grilling holiday behind us, the internet is buzzing with cheap grilling recipes, BBQ meals, and cheap party suggestions. The various recipe sites suggest endless ways to help you prepare cheap summer meals, and if you still need to get a grill for your backyard, don't forget to consult our guide to cheap grills . The AllRecipes web site provides a few options for sorting through cheap summer meals for a party or BBQ. You could just click on the BBQ/Grilling category or plug "budget" or "budget and grill" into the search tab to get a range of ideas for cheap grilling recipes. Some include rotisserie chicken on a gas grill and marinated spicy pork chops. Vegetarians can benefit from cheap grilling recipes with options such as black bean veggie burgers. This site provides several pre-made menu ideas, including a Low-Budget Menu category, but you have to be a paid member of the site to access them. is another great resource for finding cheap party food ideas and cheap grilling recipes. You can scope out the site's Budget Recipes section, which has Grilling and Party sub-categories to get fodder for cheap summer meals. The Barbecues and Grilling Guide also has meal ideas for the grill. "Good Housekeeping's" web site has cheap party and BBQ meals as well, as do and the Food Network . Ground beef and sausages and hotdogs are some of the least expensive types of meat you can use for your cheap summer dinners or cheap party and BBQ meals. Bulk chicken wings and drumsticks can also drive down cost -- pick them up at Costco, BJs, or another bulk distributor in your area. Chickpeas and other legumes can be made into vegetarian burgers. In terms of produce needed in preparing cheap summer meals, stock up on low-cost bulk fruits and veggies from a local farmer's market and use them to make salads, kabobs, and sides for hamburgers and other BBQ favs. Getting a big bag of cheap potatoes can be useful for making your own potato salad, as buying the pre-made stuff for a large number of people can really bust your cheap summer recipes budget. Use Local Harvest 's farmer's market finder to locate one near your town. Also, don't forget to incorporate cheap pantry items into your cheap party and BBQ meals. You can use foods like chickpeas, lentils, pasta and rice, and canned tuna to make cheap pasta and rice salads and couscous. Using thawed frozen veggies works in a pasta salad if produce in your area costs too much. Bean salads with some veggies and baked beans can be used as sides for cheap summer dinners. Make sure to check out some of our blog posts on other cheap meals for vegetarians and vegans. Know, too, that you can skimp on certain items to save money -- generic plastic-wrapped cheese is fine to melt on burgers and cheap buns work well for your standard hamburger or veggie burger or hotdog. Other ideas for cheap summer meals in the backyard include making your own BBQ sauce and salad dressing with items you might already have in the house. You can make a simple BBQ sauce for chicken, ribs, and other meats with a little sugar, ketchup, vinegar, and salt and pepper. Simple salad dressings can be made with mayonnaise, mustard, or oil and vinegar with a little seasoning thrown in. Again, a good resource for generating ideas is 's Barbecues and Grilling section, which has a long list of sites for standard BBQ sauce recipes plus certain Southern styles and versions using fruit or liquor. If you want to serve dessert along with your cheap party food, go cool and simple with fruit-juice flavored ice pops (you can throw in some vodka or rum you already have in the house if entertaining adults) or ice cream sandwich cookies made with cheap chocolate chip cookies and generic vanilla ice cream bought at the store. Cheap canned fruit cocktail works, or for a fresher, healthier version, use the produce or farmer's market trick and stock up on a few large hauls of fruit you can make into a bowl of fruit salad. Jell-O molds -- again, you can throw in some alcohol for adults -- with real fruit or coconut flakes or marshmallows make up simple, cheap party food ideas or cheap summer recipes. As you prepare to stock up on cheap party food, check out some of our blog posts for saving at the supermarket in addition to our reviews of coupon sites that might save you even more on your cheap party and BBQ meals.

  • Makeup

    How to Look Beautiful for Less with Cheap Cosmetics

    Trying to put your best face forward without breaking the bank? According to experts, many cheap makeup products can work just as well as, if not better than, their more expensive department store counterparts.

  • Personal Finance

    Free Personal Finance Tools

    We've just launched a partnership with, a free service that connects consumers with financial advisors and provides user friendly tools to manage personal financial assets online.

  • Computers

    How to Buy a Computer on a Budget

    Everyone needs a home computer these days. And yet, it's impossible to ignore the huge costs of a new computer, especially a laptop. If you're willing to do some homework (you can start with this post), determine what you need in your next computer, and maybe even get your hands dirty, you can have a machine that won't crash your budget.

  • Groceries

    Stock Up on These Essential Pantry Staples for Cheap, Healthful Meals

    A smart grocery trip today can keep the pizza deliveryman away. A well-stocked refrigerator and pantry are essential for cooking quick, cheap meals.

  • Lawn & Garden

    Cheap Gardening Tips for Starting Your Vegetable Garden

    Keep your backyard and your wallet full of greenery with these cheap gardening tips.

  • Baby

    Tips From Moms on How to Create a Baby Nursery For Less

    It's tempting to go to the hilt when decorating and furnishing your baby's room, especially if it's your first-born. Major retailers peddle pretty -- and pricey -- cribs, dressers, wall hangings, and decorations that are hard to resist. But if you'd like to sock away some of that money for a college fund instead of top-of-the-line items, you can create a cheap baby nursery with tips from moms who have done it. Cheap Nursery Furniture. Mom and Cheapism writer Raechel Conover was able to save on the bigger pieces of furniture. She got a really cheap crib off of Amazon and a deeply discounted changing table from Ikea because it was the floor model and the last available. A rocking chair and a bookshelf came as hand-me-downs from friends. Mom and baby products designer Jennifer Porter of Satsuma Designs says a good way to make a cheap baby nursery that is also environmentally friendly is by taking on DIY projects with items you already have. Odds and ends brightened with no-VOC, semigloss paint can become accessories and decorations for the nursery. She also recommends getting furniture that does double-duty. An old dresser can work as a changing station and a coat stand can hold some baby clothes and accessories such as hats and blankets. A Yahoo story dovetails with Porter's advice, recommending repainting old cribs, change stations, and rocking chairs with water-based paint. Nursery Carpets, Window Treatments, and Bedding. For a rug, Raechel and her spouse had a local flooring company cut down and bind a large scrap of carpet. The result was much cheaper than an area rug from a retailer. Raechel found that buying bedding sets was more expensive than buying separately. She also received some bedding as shower gifts. You can get creative in a cheap baby nursery with recovered throw pillows and window treatments, Porter suggests. You can update old sheets by sewing -- or finding someone you know who can sew -- ribbons around the perimeter. You can also use ribbon or wallpaper scraps to update lampshades for the baby's room. Cheap Nursery Decorations. For Raechel, decorations mostly came as gifts from her shower registry as well, but she did get wall decals for the sports-themed nursery from Amazon, which had cheaper options and a wider variety. "One idea I heard, though, is to save baby shower cards and frame them in frames from the dollar store or the thrift store -- anywhere you can find cheap frames -- for wall decorations," she says. "I might consider this if I have another child." Another idea is to frame scraps of a quilt or blanket. Other Tips. Other ideas for a cheap baby nursery include sewing together discount wicker baskets to make a toy chest. You can also hang paper lanterns from the ceiling for an alternative light source and something fun for the baby to look at or hang a baby blanket on the wall instead of using it in the crib. recommends looking at garage sales (check out our blog post on finding yard sales in your area), thrift shops, and flea markets for baby furniture, or thinking outside the box and purchasing used or cheap adult furniture that can be painted or redecorated for the nursery. You can also use scraps of wood that have been sanded and painted for shelving. Stencil the walls instead of buying wallpaper. You'll only use many baby items for a little while, so try to get incredibly cheap and gently used items from other moms you know or through groups or swap meets. What shouldn't you waste money on in your cheap baby nursery? Raechel says you don't need noise- or light-blocking curtains, as normal shades should work just fine. She also says to focus on function over cuteness. One way she accomplished this was by hanging shelves and storing stuffed animals on them. They serve as decorative items now, but they'll become toys as her son gets older. More baby resources to try: : Features deals and coupons on items for the nursery, diapers, and more. The community section also offers ideas for a cheap nursery. : A affiliate, it provides additional shopping deals. : Has info on cheap baby cribs. Stay a Stay at Home Mom : This mouthful of a website gives a lot of advice on making or buying cheap items for your baby. One article deals with making your own diaper bag. PlanetGreen : This site has DIY ideas for the nursery. HGTV : The popular home improvement channel also has some ideas for a DIY and cheap baby nursery. Make Your Own Baby Stuff : As the same suggests, this site offers ideas for saving by making nursery and other baby items on your own. DIYNetwork : More DIY ideas for the nursery. MomAdvice : Articles on saving on the nursery and everything else for your baby. Check out our guides for baby items: Baby Carriers Baby Monitors Baby Swings Booster Seats Breast Pumps Diapers Educational Toys Games and Puzzles What are your tips for creating a cheap baby nursery?

  • Holidays

    Planes, Trains and Automobiles: 10 Ways to Travel Cheap this Holiday Season

    With the holidays upon us, finding holiday travel deals that won't put you in the poorhouse is both a necessity and a challenge. Considering that HomeAway is reporting 44 percent of travelers will fly and 54 percent will drive to their holiday destination, most holiday travelers are hoping for cheap airline tickets and cheap gas prices.

  • Frugality

    Do Most Women Really Shop Sales?

    More than 75 percent of women claim to be sales shoppers, according to a Live Science shopping poll reported by Consumers Union’s ShopSmart magazine. Are there really more women bargain hunters than men? Yes, says research by Decitica Marketing Strategy & Research , which shows that men are more likely to be pragmatic or apathetic spenders while women are “involuntary penny-pinchers” or steadfast frugalistas. The ShopSmart study also indicated how fond women are of sites like Groupon, an assertion backed up by research from the Morpace Omnibus Report, which says 72 percent of women bargain hunters go for group-buying sites compared to 59 percent of men. Part of the difference in buying habits may lie in the things women and men buy. Men not only tend to buy more tangible things, but also shop for specifics -- cars, electronics, tools, etc., says . So if a bargain pops up, but it’s not related to what a man wants to purchase, it’s more likely he’ll pass it up. There’s also the element of how sales shopping creeps into social life and conversation for each gender. Women bargain hunters are more likely to brag about how they bought something on sale, while men more often tout the object itself. When’s the last time you heard a man reply to a compliment on his new car or flat screen with, “Thanks, I got it on sale”? Maura Haslam Do, a recently married Seattle resident, told Cheapism via email that she has upped her coupon clipping lately, but she finds that many major sales relate to food she doesn’t want. "I've always been more modest with purchases and wait until store sales," says Do. "For the most part, though, I find that they don't apply to us much, as we tend to not use processed foods. One major confession is discovering the posted coupons in the lactose-free/dairy area. Whoops, I took more than what I was buying that day! What can I say, it was 75-cents-off, they were good for nine months and we use three a week!" Currently living in a one-income household, Do doesn’t believe she’d be like 83 percent of the women bargain hunters in the ShopSmart survey, who said they'd still scour sales even if they had money to waste. Maybe she's one of the many shoppers who suffer from daily deals fatigue, which we discussed in a recent post. “While I love finding a good bargain," admits Do, "I do find that kind of shopping exhausting/stressful and not fun at all. So if I was in a better financial situation, I'd probably get a bit lax in my bargain shopping!” Brooke Kurilla, a recently married mom of one in New Jersey, told Cheapism via email that she is also among the women bargain hunters, although she says she doesn't often buy more than she needs and she never hoards. “I clip coupons, I shop Amazon, ebay, Shoprite and Costco," Kurilla explains. "If it means I'm loading up on a cereals or snacks for my family because they're 1/3 of the price, I'm loading up." Kurilla also shops sales on Black Friday and is on store email lists to get discounts for items she wants. “Truth is, the bargain hunting is to spoil my family regularly," confides Kurilla. "It's nice to get your own reward out of it, too.” Do and Kurilla also say they were frugal when it came to spending for their weddings, both of which took place in the last half of 2010. Do got her dress for a bargain, while Kurilla shopped at the slower time of year for vendors and purchased some items from value-priced products site Oriental Trading. So, women and men out there, who is the bargain shopper in your household? Do you think this survey is believable or bunk?

  • Fashion

    Swimwear 2012: Hot Bikinis on a Budget

    If longer days and diet program ads are any clue, swimsuit season is quickly approaching. Toss out your old sun-beaten, pool-weathered bathing suit and prepare for a new season of pool parties and beach vacations with a new bikini.

  • Apps & Software

    Best NYC Apps for a Cheap Vacation

    For travelers seeking a bargain, New York City is probably not at the top of their list: The Big Apple is notoriously and often prohibitively expensive to visit.

  • Lifestyle

    Movie Rental Alternatives to Netflix

    With consumer outrage growing over Netflix's price hike for both mail-in and downloadable videos, many are wondering about other, possibly cheaper, online video rentals options for watching movies at home. We took a look at more than a dozen services, including Netflix, so you can decide on the best fit for you.

  • Lawn & Garden

    Apartment Agriculture: Tips for the Frugal Urban Gardener

    City living has its perks, but a backyard garden is usually not one of them. Urbanites can still reap the benefits of cheap gardening and growing their own food by knowing the best plants for apartments and small spaces.

  • Holidays

    Sites That Help Stretch Your Holiday Budget

    What if you could give a loved one an Apple iPad 2 this holiday and pay only the price of a case? A growing number of group gifting sites are making it easier to partner with friends and relatives to purchase big-ticket items.

  • Fashion

    How to Find a Summer Dress for Less

    We know it sounds like a cliche, but every woman craves a flowing, comfortable, pretty dress for summer. Luckily, there are many stores and sites that offer cheap summer dresses and tips for how to wear them best.

  • Music

    Groupon and Live Nation Sell Cheap Tickets

    Groupon is just everywhere these days. Now the deals site has teamed up with Live Nation, which oversees Ticketmaster, to target another area: cheap concert tickets. The system will work much like Groupon, offering local discounts to music concerts, theater shows and more for users. But will this service be any different -- or better -- than some of the other sites offering discount concert seats? StubHub has long been the go-to site for cheap or last-minute events tickets, but consumers seem to be souring on the company. The site pools tickets together from various sellers and posts them, often for a price higher than face value because they're for sold-out or short-notice events. The site gets a mix of reviews from users, and the negative ones mostly have to do with inflated prices. Some like the ease of use, but a San Francisco Yelp user said she paid double the face value for four tickets. Others report on ePinions and Review Centre problems with ticket sellers either not realizing their tickets had been purchased or never releasing them to be printed. There are several sites that basically do the same things as StubHub. What you'll get with these sites is pretty much the same batch of tickets looking to be resold. RazorGator is one of these third-party brokers that seems to have a few more theater offerings than other similar sites. Top 10 Reviews likes that the site has a good range of tickets, but says the prices aren't always the best. Star Reviews says the Fan2Fan Exchange makes it easy to buy and sell tickets. While legitimate, both StubHub and RazorGator seem to jack up prices too high for us to recommend using them. A TripAdvisor user said is a reputable ticket broker, but like StubHub and the other major sites, it often sells otherwise sold-out tickets at higher prices. A user said he got tickets three times the price of face value. Top 10 Reviews says it generally has higher prices than other brokers and isn't so easy to use. TickCo is deemed a mediocre discount concert seats site with not-so-great prices, an inability to sell tickets and no option to print tickets. Pass on both of these. According to reviews, Tickets Now is definitely a cheap concert tickets site to stay away from. Users on Epinions report tickets never arriving, being sold to other people after they paid and being substituted. Pissed Consumer users claim they got tickets for events that they didn't order. GoTickets is another cheap tickets site backed by few. Reviews are scare, with one TripAdvisor user saying she hadn't received her sports tickets in the mail by the right date and a Pissed Consumer user saying he got charged three times the face value. Don't go there. Ticket Liquidator is another broker for discount concert seats, and Epinions users give it an overall four-star review, saying it processes tickets quickly, is legit and has a good range of tickets and prices. Some Topix users got a little squirrelly waiting for their tickets, but they eventually came in time for the event. SiteJabber users give another discount concert seats site, TicketNetwork , three stars for getting great seats and great prices in a timely manner and being connected to helpful, prompt staff. Both Ticket Liquidator and TicketNetwork seem safe to try for your discount concert seats, plus they appear to have cheaper prices. While rare, other sites actually have the tickets for discount concert seats in hand, such as Ticket City . This means many buyers can get tickets for as much as 30-percent off face value. A Yelp user says ticket prices for big events are especially cheap. Austin CitySearch users liked the site for both buying tickets, especially hard-to-find ones, and selling them easily. One user said she's even been upgraded to better seats for free through the service. One con to this site is that it doesn't always have seating charts. Still, this appears to be the best discount concert seats site to shoot for. Removing the third party helps cut down on worrying about getting tickets on time, and since you're getting them off the site, you have fewer service charges and fees tacked on. All these elements help ensure that going to a live event doesn't become a headache. Stay tuned for Part II of our cheap ticket site roundup tomorrow.

  • Money

    How to Sell Your Stuff: 8 Tips From Craigslist

    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. Here are eight tips for getting the most out of an online posting or a yard sale.

  • Home & Garden

    Save Money with Energy Efficient Products

    With global warming a growing threat, there's lots of talk about energy-efficient products -- a boon for the environment and your wallet. Yes, there's an initial upfront cost with these products that often pushes them beyond the cheap zone, but in the long run energy-efficient products will help you save money. You don't need to go crazy with a complicated solar thermal system for water, space heating, and cooling or with grid-tied solar electric to have an energy efficient home. There are plenty of ways to keep it simple and still enjoy the rewards. Here's how to lighten your carbon footprint and your utility bills. Energy Star Rating "Energy Star" and "energy efficient" are the new product buzz words. What do they each signify? Products with an Energy Star label meet certain criteria about energy use established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). According to , a product earns the Energy Star label if the entire category contributes to the efficient use of energy on a national basis; the particular product meets consumer expectations for features and performance while boosting energy efficiency; and the amount of energy the product uses can be measured and verified. In addition, if the energy-efficient product costs more than a similar but less-efficient model, consumers must be able to recoup the extra outlay in the form of lower utility bills within a reasonable timeframe. Energy efficient, by contrast, is simply a way of stating that less energy is needed to get the job done. Energy Efficient Products for the Home. To reap energy savings in your home, you need to invest in energy-efficient appliances both large and small. Examples include washing machines, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, dehumidifiers, air conditioners, and furnaces. You can also buy energy-efficient light fixtures and light bulbs (new standards for energy-efficient bulbs went into effect on January 1), as well as energy-efficient space heaters and fans. Some consumer electronics, such as cordless phones, computers, and televisions, also come with an Energy Star label. Money Saved. Energy-efficient products really do save you money despite the higher initial investment. Let's say your furnace goes out this winter. You can get it fixed or replace it with a high-efficiency furnace . If you upgrade from a 60% efficiency-rated furnace to one with an 80% efficiency rating (85% or higher qualifies for an Energy Star label), you can expect to save up to 30% on your monthly fuel bill; that translates to $42 on a $140 tab. What if you need to replace a 10-year-old washing machine? says if you buy one with an Energy Star label, you'll use 37% less energy and 50% less water, which together will shave $135 off your utility bills each year. In addition to reducing your utility costs, you can score again come tax time. Energy-saving purchases may be eligible for an energy-efficient tax credit worth up to 30% of the money you spent. The product must meet specific guidelines and not all energy-efficient products qualify. Check out for details. There's no getting around the cost of transforming your home into an energy-efficient showcase, so make the switch a little at a time. Try to change out one big appliance on a schedule that suits your budget -- perhaps every six months to a year. For example, replace your old refrigerator for an Energy Star refrigerator this year and buy a new energy-saving dishwasher next year. Make small changes in between, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs before the phased-in standards require and warming the rooms you're using with energy-efficient cheap space heaters while dialing down the thermostat on the central heat. Once your big energy-sucking appliances are replaced with more efficient models, you'll notice big savings in the cost of utilities. Put that money toward the next item on your energy-efficiency list and you'll find that the makeover is that much more affordable.

  • Travel

    Buy Lost Luggage for Cheap

    If you've ever gotten off a flight to wonder "Where is my luggage?" we may have found the answer. A place called Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Alabama stocks up on suitcases never claimed or lost by the airline in addition to their contents, says a story in the Sydney Morning Herald . What's more, these items are marked down by 20 to 80 percent, meaning you can unearth some pretty serious steals. How does your lost bag wind up in a discount store? The story reports that about 68,000 bags are never returned to their owners. The airline usually spends about three months trying to find the owner, then gives up. The Unclaimed Baggage Center, which opened back in 1970, offers about 7,000 new items each day. Some of the airlines, like US Airways and JetBlue, make a profit off selling possessions to the store, while others, like Southwest and Virgin America, give lost items to charity. There are some simple tricks to make sure your don't have to ask "Where is my luggage?" Put your destination inside the bag, pack valuables in your carry-on and make sure your address tags are correct. You can also sign up at and get serial numbers for your luggage tags so you can track your bag online and get alerted when it is found. If your bag truly is lost, you can at least get reimbursed for the contents, but you may need receipts, and certain items, like jewelry, won't be covered. An airline baggage liability of $3,300 per person exists on flights within the U.S., reports Independent Traveler . Report the lost bag via a complaint with the airline or the Department of Transportation's Aviation Consumer Protection Division. Know that if you suspect your bag of being stolen, you need to call police. Some airports, like JFK and LAX , have web sites pertaining to lost luggage. Independent Traveler also has a list of both domestic and international airlines and their phone numbers. Here are the web sites and contact info for domestic carriers: American Airlines: Lost Luggage Web site /Hotline: 1-800-535-5225 Delta: Lost Luggage Website Frontier: Lost Luggage Website /Email: 1-877-461-5737 JetBlue: Lost Luggage Website /Hotline: 1-866-538-5438 Southwest: Hotline: 1-888-202-1024 Spirit: Lost Luggage Website /Hotline: 1-877-888-5926 Option 2 United: Lost Luggage Website /Email: 1-800-221-6903 US Airways: Lost Luggage Website / Contact form Virgin America: Lost Luggage Website /Hotline: 1-877-359-8474 If you did lose your bag and never got it back, check out our Cheap Luggage Guide to save on a new piece of luggage. Does this unclaimed baggage store incite or excite you?

  • Credit Cards

    12 Ways Credit Cards Can Save You Money While Traveling

    If you have a credit card (or three), it's possible that you're missing credit card travel rewards and perks that could save you money.

  • Entertaining

    How to Host a Cheap Summer Olympics Viewing Party

    More than 1 billion are expected to watch this Friday, July 27, as top athletes from all over the world gather in London for the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony.

  • Retail

    Should You Join Costco or Sam's Club?

    Could Switching Save You Money? We Pit Costco Against Sam's Club in a Wholesale Clubs Showdown A wholesale clubs comparison of Costco vs. Sam's Club we published this week helps consumers determine which store delivers the best value for their money. Whether they shop at Sam's or Costco , consumers can find an astonishing array of products and services and unbeatable deals. But look more closely at the two giants and differences emerge. Depending on individual needs and shopping habits, one store is likely a better value than the other. Our wholesale clubs comparison examines each store's strengths and weaknesses to help consumers figure out which one is right for them. Our shopping cart test compares the cost of supplying a family of four at both clubs. A haul of similar items that totaled more than $200 at each store cost about $12 less at Sam's Club. A six-pound package of chicken alone was $6 cheaper at Sam's. But Costco turned out to be 3.6% cheaper overall based on price per unit. For example, 40 packets of oatmeal at Sam's cost $1.51 less than a 52-count pack at Costco, but the price per packet was 8.9% lower at Costco. We also compared unit prices at Sam's Club and Costco to prices at the local supermarket and found that the wholesale clubs are more than 40% cheaper. Our price comparison table breaks down all the items on the shopping list. The comparison also includes services such as gas (2.3% cheaper at Sam's) and photo printing (26% cheaper at Costco). Sam's is the place to tune up your car, while Costco's travel department can book a cheap vacation (Sam's doesn't offer travel services and Costco doesn't offer in-store automotive services). We also analyze membership options at both clubs so consumers can compare the benefits, which include insurance and prescription discounts.

  • Frugality

    What's cheap to buy now?

    A recent CNET story advises getting these mini video cameras ASAP, because the line will be discontinued in the near future. After some uncertainty, Cisco has reported it will support the Flip along with its services and software until December 2013. Prices have been slashed, with a 4GB Flip that can record for one hour now available at $109.99. PC Mag says the devices have good HD video quality and are easy to use. No frills here and the device has a small LCD and lacks macro mode and still image capture, but it's good for those who want something simple and functional. A UK TechRadar review agrees. Olympus Stylus Tough 6020 Waterproof Shockproof Camera. Spring is the time to buy your next digital camera, as prices soar in the summer months when vacations get under way. This offer from BuyDig is less than $165.19 -- slashed from its original $300 price -- which is well within the Cheapism range. It also comes with free shipping for a limited time. This isn't just any digital camera: you can drop it six feet without shattering it, it can handle temperatures below freezing and it's waterproof. It has 4GB of space and a Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Memory Card. Black & Decker MM875 Lawn Hog 19-Inch 12 amp Electric Mulching Mower with Rear Bag. Spring is also the time to scoop up budget lawnmowers for summer. This Black & Decker machine has been slashed by more than half for a sale price of $209.00 -- in the Cheapism range for budget lawnmowers -- at Amazon, which is also offering free shipping on the product. This corded electric lawn mower has a 12-amp motor that produces no emissions, plus handle adjustment and a cushioned grip. It's gotten good reviews from users, who say it's a powerful product that works well on both small and large yards. Have you seen any other cheap products priced to move off the shelves lately?

  • Music

    Which ticket sites are best? (part 2)

    In our previous post we told you about Groupon teaming up with Live Nation to offer cheap event tickets deals. We also went through the various online ticket sites to see which ones do the best jobs of getting customers discount tickets on time with little hassle. Here's the follow-up with 12 more sites. Craigslist regularly posts event tickets for sale, especially around major sports competitions like the World Series. This site often seems to carry a shadiness factor to it, but the fact is, you cut out the middleman when using it to buy or sell tickets. In addition, you can determine when and where to collect them in hand. Numerous posters on the football fan web site ExtremeSkins and hockey said they used Craigslist to buy sports tickets without problems. Naturally, you need to be careful when setting up the transaction -- do it in a well-lit area, don't give the money before you have the tickets, etc. There are occasional scams that circulate, so make sure you can verify the seller's information before proceeding. Ask for their invoice of the ticket purchase to ensure legitimacy. OLX is akin to Craigslist in that it has a variety of categories and services, including an area for selling event tickets. This site is relatively new, however, so reviews are few. We'd recommend sticking to Craigslist until more is known about OLX. What other sites are out there? Apparently ones with very similar names: TicketsToGo, Ticket Loot, Ticket My, Ticket Luck and Tickets Inventory. Reviews for TicketstToGo are scarce, but one reviewer we found says he likes that you can see the seating chart for the tickets early in the process. He says the web site is quite outdated. Top 10 Reviews agrees about the shoddy web site design and adds that there are fewer tickets available than on other sites. The $18 shipping fees make this is a pricier site to get tickets mailed from, so this is one to pass. Ticketloot, a secondary market for tickets, actually has some really good reviews, with five-star ratings on several sites like Review Centre for the ease of use in finding tickets in a given area. However, they seem suspiciously like planted evaluations, possibly by the company's employees. Yahoo! Answers posters seem a little more legit, and several say the site offers really good event tickets on sale that you can't find at places like Ticketmaster. The scant reviews, however, make this site seem a little shady, so try another outlet first. TicketMy has no reviews and Ticket Luck attracted complaints about fake tickets or tickets sold at three times their face value by customers at ComplaintsBoard and SiteJabber , so pass on these. Several reviews said Ticket Inventory has some of the cheapest prices anywhere next to the actual face value of the ticket. Top 10 Reviews said that even after service fees and shipping, this site has the cheapest event tickets on sale. Trust Pilot posters agreed, saying they found sold-out tickets for big events for cheap with little hassle and timely ticket delivery. Review Centre comments speak of very helpful staff as well. This is one site we'll get behind -- try it the next time you need event tickets. CitySearch reviews of another ticket broker, Online Seats, were largely positive, with users reporting cheap ticket prices, though some didn't like that some tickets weren't available for email. However, we couldn't find other reviews, which means this site probably doesn't offer a lot of tickets. Pass. Eventful actually uses Gigaticket to purchase tickets, and this site seems to have some inflated prices. They're even higher than Stub Hub's -- comparing Bon Jovi tickets for a Des Moines, IA venue, Gigaticket's are as much as $15 higher. We'll skip this one, too. Viagogo is pretty much the same as other middleman ticket brokers. It services other countries besides the U.S. like the U.K. and Australia, and one reviewer says the ticket-buying process is fairly easy. Users on Review Centre had generally positive experiences, though some said tickets came just before the event, which worried them. The reason we don't recommend this site, however, is because event tickets on sale can be doubled when you add in shipping and handling -- one buyer spent $70 for a $35 ticket due to handling fees. By and large, reviews for New York's TKTS, which sells half-price Broadway tickets, often a half hour before the show, were very positive, with buyers on Trip Advisor , Yelp and Epinions rejoicing at the slashed prices. The only cons were that you have to pay cash and lines can be long at the Times Square booth. We recommend you try TKTS for really cheap tickets. Anyone who uses this service can't be picky about the seat, however, and if you want to see a really popular show, go at least an hour ahead of time to line up. Reviews of secondary seller site Vivid Seats point to it being the place to look for sold-out or hard-to-get event tickets. Top 10 Reviews said the 14-percent service charge is a little high, but the customer service, ease of use and legitimacy of third-party sellers makes it a good site to use. Customers on Review Centre agree, scoring the site with a 4.3 out of 5 rating. Users who had any problems with transactions said they were helped courteously and promptly by staff. This seems like a good site to try.

  • Retail

    Back-to-School Shoes on a Budget

    Back-to-school shopping season is already in full swing. New shoes for the new school year no doubt hold a prominent place on that long list of necessary supplies.

  • Kids

    8 Summer Camp Tips for Choosing the Best Place for Your Kids

    With fond memories of cabin mates, campfires, swimming pools, and s'mores, it's no wonder summer camp is a natural choice for parents looking to give their children the same enriching experience.

  • Kids

    6 Fun, Frugal Ways to Keep Kids Occupied

    If your children have exhausted their DVD and video game libraries, try these fun, cheap activities for kids.

  • Small Business

    15 Free Tools For Freelance and Home Office Workers

    Being self-employed or based at a home office means it's up to you to find the right web sites and services to make your workday smoother. There are a lot out there, but not all are created equal. Here are a few of the good free tools for freelancers and home office workers. 1. Freelanceswitch - Figure out how much you should be charging with this tool that inputs personal needs and bills and savings goals to generate an hourly rate. 2. - Get a standard account for free and send unlimited invoices, manage payments, and import and export data. 3. - Good free tools for freelancers keep them organized. You can accomplish this with MakeMeSomeTime, which offers time tracking, invoicing, iPhone connection, project integration from places like Basecamp, and report development. 4. ProjectPier - Control tasks, manage and upload files and messages, and track project milestones with this open-source service. 5. WriteMonkey - This ingenious free tool for Windows blacks out your screen to show just the words you're typing to save you from distraction. If you're a Mac user, try Think for a similar effect. 6. - Store large documents and files for free to later be accessed from Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. 7. Clocking IT - Ideal for consultants, this project management tool tracks time spent on each individual project. It can also produce reports. 8. DotProject - Another of the good free tools for freelancers, this one lets you structure and track your work. 9. BizSpark - Ideal for freelancers, this free tool helps build your business and your traffic. 10. Side Job Track - Track jobs, create invoices and develop reports all while you manage projects. 11. TaskJuggler - Home office workers have to be multi-taskers. This product shows them how with task and resource management and cost tracking. Risk analysis and flexible working hours are also incorporated. 12. GanttProject - Make Gantt and PERT charts and plan collaboration with this free open source tool. 13. FormSite - Create free HTML forms and surveys with this tool. 14. ZoHo - Get various applications, like document and project management, calendars and meeting trackers, for free. 15. FaxZero - Send a fax for free to anywhere in the U.S. or Canada. What good free tools for freelancers and home office workers have you used?

  • Beverages

    How to Curb Spending on Your Coffee Addiction

    It's no secret that Americans love their coffee. In fact, according to, the United States is the leading coffee-consuming country, with Americans gulping down 400 million cups a day.

  • Destinations

    Vacations on a Budget

    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.

  • Destinations

    How to Attend the Summer Olympics on a Budget

    If you want to visit during the Olympics but fear a cheap trip to London isn't possible, consider the following tips to make your stay in the city a bit more affordable.

  • Beverages

    The Difference Between Champagne and Sparkling Wine? Price.

    Champagne, bubbly, sparkling wine -- whatever you call it, it's popularly used for a toast at all kinds of celebrations, from weddings to anniversaries to promotions to graduations. Even Valentine's Day.

  • Holidays

    Holiday Shoppers Can Save 29% at Outlet Stores: Cheapism Study

    Frugal holiday shoppers can shrink their gift-giving budgets by a whopping 29% and save up to 85% on individual items by taking their business to outlet stores instead of the local retail mall, according to budget products review site Cheapism.

  • DIY

    DIY Wars: Lowe's or Home Depot?

    Target vs. Walmart, Costco vs. Sam's Club: The top retailers all have their worthy competitors. In the home improvement arena, the two giants are Lowe's and Home Depot. If you're looking to complete a spring project on a budget, is it better to head to Home Depot or Lowe's?

  • Frugality

    Don't Pay Sales Tax This Weekend

    In our recent back-to-school supplies post, we noted that tax-free days may be the best time to stock up (if your state runs such a program) on things like notebooks and markers. The tax holiday takes place this weekend in several states and rolls out elsewhere as we get closer to the start of the school year.

  • Apps & Software

    Save Money on Eating Out With These 6 Smartphone Apps

    There are hundreds of dining apps that will help you find a place to eat, but which ones will save you money on the bill?

  • Accessories

    Connect Your Home Electronics With Cheap Cables

    It's always exciting to bring home a new TV, home theater receiver, printer, or other electronic gadget, but many of these products don't include the cables you need to connect them to other devices and begin using them right away.

  • Cleaning

    Moving On the Cheap - by Purchasing Moving Boxes?

    At first glance, the idea of purchasing something in order to save money seems a bit contradictory. But you may be surprised to learn that one of the best ways to save money when trying to move on the cheap involves buying moving boxes. Here are three reasons why paying for boxes can lower your moving expenses

  • Apps & Software

    10 Retail Store Apps to Help Save Time and Money

    Are you feeling rushed to finish up your holiday shopping? Overcrowded aisles and hard-to-find sales help no doubt add to the anxiety. This is a moment when store-specific shopping apps can come to your rescue.

  • Meal Ideas

    Save Money on Groceries: Make Thanksgiving Leftovers Last

    Here's some food for thought: According to Americans consumed 736 million pounds of turkey over the 2010 Thanksgiving holiday.

  • Lifestyle

    Cheap Home Decor Advice

    Are you in the mood to revamp your living space? We found some cheap decorating ideas and resources for cheap home decor that skimp on money but not on aesthetics. A fresh coat of paint in a bold color, a vintage coffee table scored at the local thrift shop, a brightly patterned wall hanging, and mixing and matching what you've already got into new combinations are just a few quick, easy, and cheap ways to get started. So unleash your inner decorator and bask in the outcome. The first place you might look for cheap decorating ideas is, surprisingly, your smartphone. Blanco County Times reports on several home improvement apps, such as ColorSnap, a free mobile app for the iPhone that lets you match paint color and code. StudFinderPRO, which costs $2.99 for the iPhone but is free for Android, helps you locate a stud in the wall so you can hang that new painting. Mark On Call lends you its room design and decorating expertise for a mere $2.99. The Handy Man DIY ($1.99) makes recording dimensions for window treatments, walls, and the like so much easier. Craigslist and thrift stores are obvious places to search for recycled decorating treasures. But do be careful about what you bring into your home: clean and gently-used items with some life still left in them are the worthy finds. Readers posting responses to an article on about unearthing cheap home decor gems at places like Goodwill seem to prefer regular thrift shops. They say many items sold at Goodwill aren't really cheap, nor is there a wide assortment. These frugal shoppers prefer Craiglist or sites like Freecycle for finding hand-me-downs that turn cheap decorating ideas into finished projects. Some cheap decorating ideas call for brand new items. LovetoKnow Interior Design writer Kate Bailey suggests several places to find home decor pieces that fit your frugal budget. West Elm and, for example, offer rugs at low prices. Hanging fabric panels on the wall is a thrifty out-of-the-box design idea. You'll find inexpensive options at Contemporary Cloth and Novica . Big-box retailers, such as Target, Walmart, and K-mart are additional sources of cheap home decor. You can also update any room in your house without adding to your existing collection of furniture, knickknacks, rugs, pillows, and pictures. EcoSalon recommends recovering pillows with old or new fabric and reupholstering couches and chairs in the living room, family room, or bedroom, suggests; getting new slipcovers does the job, as well. Move throw pillows and blankets into a different room or mix up the vases, picture frames, and candles. Try turning the living room into the den and the den into the bedroom for a fresh look to old space. Spruce up curtains with simple accents like ribbon tie-backs or a swag made with fabric left over from last year's sewing project. DoItYourself suggests updating lampshades with beads or fringe, and painting a plain piece of wood that you can hang above your bed. Once we started looking, we found no shortage of cheap decorating tips. Designers interviewed by Country Living offer several. For starters, put short strings of Christmas lights in glass jars to make an eye-catching lighting piece, place colored glass jars and vases on a window sill to simulate stained glass, and lay a sheet of glass over a table and tuck photos or postcards underneath. Give your kitchen a country look or Old World feel with a low-cost rack for pots and pans that goes above the stove. New kitchen towels and throw rugs can liven things up, and if you have a lot of floor space in the kitchen, textile designer Sirpa Cowell suggests creating a long runner by sewing together cheap rag rugs. (A dry cleaner will do this if you don't sew.) And finally, a few random pieces of tile right above the sink add zip and novelty without straining your bank account.

  • Air Travel

    Frugal Traveling: 10 Carry-On Tips

    What seems like a cheap air ticket can turn into a much more expensive one after you've checked your bags. Most airlines charge anywhere from $15 to $35 for the first bag and as much for the second bag -- each way.

  • Weddings & Relationships

    Cheap Bachelor Party Ideas

    If you're planning multiple bachelor parties this summer, here are several ideas for a cheap bachelor party that will leave you with cherished memories but not a battered budget.

  • Travel

    Cheap Summer Travel Tips

    Summer is ideal for getaways, both short and long. But the rising costs of airfare have made cheap summer travel a thing of the past. Still, there are plenty of ways to get your travel fix at a price you can afford. Here are a few tips on how to find cheap summer airfare.

  • Frugality

    Can You Tell Cheap from Costly?

    We told you recently how brand name and generic versions of both batteries and dish soap often perform the same. Now another product category has up and confused consumers -- wine. When it comes to cheap wine over pricey, many people can’t tell the difference, reports CNET . Only 39 percent of people could tell the difference between a $23 bottle of wine and a $5 one. English psychologist Richard Wiseman doesn't have much faith in people's wine-tasting abilities and thinks the results would be the same with any group of study participants. We've known for a few years that many people actually prefer cheap wine over pricey. A December 2008 news item in the UK Telegraph caused a stir when it reported that cheap, fruity wines made in America were outselling expensive French varieties in Britain. Part of the reason behind people's cheap wine-buying habits, according to a Freakonomics post, is that some of the expensive wines aren't that good -- they carry a higher price tag because of production or marketing costs. If you're in the market for cheap wine over pricey, by the way, check out our guides on cheap red wines and cheap champagne . A bit of research shows that people have a hard time differentiating between the budget and bank-breaking with products other than wine, though. A forum in the Lifestyle section of MSN asking if women can tell cheap makeup from the costly kind shows that only about half can. Another discussion on StraightDope showed that people also had trouble sniffing out high-priced fragrances. Some didn't think there was much of a difference. It's the same with food. The majority of people posting on Yahoo Answers said they couldn't tell the difference between store-brand and brand-name food. Others posting on the diet website 3FatChicks said they'll go store-brand only for certain items. It depends on your tastes and dietary or beauty needs, really. One person said she couldn't go generic for ketchup. Another said the thickness of her hair required her to buy more expensive shampoo. So, do you pick cheap wine over pricey? What other items fooled you with their discount price tag?

  • Students

    Dorm Room Decor for Cheap

    Frugal college students, heads up. What with books and munchies and nights out, your budget only stretches so far.

  • Home & Garden

    How to get the most out of a cheap grill

    Just in time for spring (is it here yet?) we've updated our buying guide to cheap BBQ grills . With one of our picks you'll be well-equipped to BBQ on a budget. All you need is a good grill cover and the right BBQ accessories to help you get the most for your money. Cheap barbecue grills aren't much of a bargain if you have to replace them every season. Even if your grill isn't made from the highest quality stainless steel, you can help it last longer simply by covering it up to protect it from the elements. Weber offers a premium grill cover for its One-Touch Gold 22.5, one of our favorite charcoal barbecues, for $23, but you can save a few bucks by going to Home Depot, where the same cover is $19.99. To save even more, opt for the lighter-weight standard grill cover, which costs $8.99 on the site and $7.99 at Home Depot. If you go with the smaller Weber One-Touch Silver 18.5, the standard cover goes for $5.99 at Home Depot. In a user review, one customer says the material isn't very heavy-duty, so if you want to opt for the premium cover, it's $20.99 from Weber and $17.99 at Home Depot. Picking up a grill cover at your local Home Depot also saves you Weber's $7 shipping charge. But don't assume a big-box store or Internet retailer will always be cheaper than a manufacturer's website. Char-Griller's cover for the Grillin' Pro 4001, our pick for best gas grill, is $24.99 on the Char-Griller site but $32 on Amazon and $35 on Hayneedl. The cover is too thin and light for one reviewer posting on Amazon, but users' reviews on Hayneedle say it's durable and fits like a glove. Another big part of caring for your grill is keeping it clean with the right BBQ accessory. Most of the cheap grills we included on our list of picks have porcelain-coated grates, which should be scrubbed gently with a metal-bristle brush rather than cleaned with a metal scraper, which can chip the porcelain. We found a cheap grill brush at Home Depot for just $2. You might save money up front if you prefer a charcoal barbecue to a cheap gas grill. However, buying bag after bag of charcoal is harder on the wallet than refilling a propane tank every few months. So, what can you do to save on charcoal? Barbecue buffs sing the praises of lump charcoal, but there's no question that buying briquettes is the cheapest option. No matter what kind of charcoal you choose, barbecue bloggers have a tip for reducing your fuel consumption: Rather than waiting for lighter fluid (or the coating on self-starting charcoal) to burn off -- eating up precious charcoal -- use a chimney starter to get your grill going. The Weber Rapidfire starts at $14 on Amazon, where almost all the hundreds of user reviews give this BBQ accessory five stars. These key BBQ accessories will help you get more meals and more value out of both your grill and your charcoal. Just pick up some cheap grilling utensils and you're ready to toss on some steaks. We found what users describe as sturdy barbecue tool sets for $10 at Home Depot and $13 on Amazon .

  • Holidays

    Where to Buy Cheap Mother's Day Flowers

    When it comes to mothers, Americans open up their wallets. This Mother's Day, celebrants will spend an average of $152.52, according to the National Retail Federation.

  • Mobile

    Money-Saving Tips for Using Your Smartphone Abroad

    Unplugging for a week or even a day is hardly an option, which is why international travelers often get hit with high roaming charges and international fees when using their smartphones abroad.

  • Holidays

    Presidents' Day May Beat Black Friday for Discounts

    Black Friday may be famous for day-after-Thanksgiving discounts on electronics and other holiday gift items, but when it comes to clothes shopping, Presidents' Day sales are almost unbeatable.

  • Retail

    Cheapest Holiday Shopping May Not Be Online: Cheapism Survey

    Comparison of Walmart Stores & Shows Few Differences in Product Pricing

  • Holidays

    Cheap and Free New Year's Eve Celebration Tips

    Christmas hasn't even come and gone yet, but you may already be thinking ahead to New Year's Eve.

  • Holidays

    Tips for Saving on a Live Christmas Tree

    If you're one of the millions of Americans planning to celebrate the Christmas holiday with a real Christmas tree, you're no doubt trying to decide when and where to buy one without chipping away at your holiday budget.

  • Frugality

    7 Simple Ways to Save Money Now

    Whether you're saving up for a big purchase or just want to save, these seven easy tips and tricks can help curb your spending and supplement your savings account without so much as lifting a finger.