Emily Lugg

Emily Lugg is a freelance writer and writing tutor in the Writing Center at Ohio Wesleyan University. Always looking for the best investment for her family at the cheapest price, Emily uses research and consumer reviews as her sharpest tools for the savviest shopping.

  • Retail

    Best Cheap Pharmacies

    The drugstore tends to be the default source for some of the items we use most frequently -- toothpaste, shampoo, medication -- but a grocery or big-box store may be a better source for these products. We visited pharmacy departments at Kroger , Target , and Walmart , as well as a CVS , Walgreens , and Rite Aid in the same central-Ohio market area. We were interested in cost, of course, but also in selection, convenience, customer service, and other reasons a frugal consumer might choose one of these vendors over another.

  • Beverages

    Best Cheap Champagne

    Champagne is generally associated with feelings of euphoric excess and the special occasions that prompt them -- New Year's Eve celebrations, weddings, birthdays, promotions. Even if you're in the mood to splurge, a large crowd or a tight budget can prompt the pursuit of cheap Champagne. From France to Spain, Italy, and California, there's enough excellent bubbly to go around for $10 or less. The challenge lies in knowing what you're buying. We considered online reviews and ratings from a variety of sources and consulted a wine expert to come up with our top picks.

  • Appliances

    Best Cheap Dryers

    With ongoing pressure to tighten our financial belts, it's refreshing to discover that the best cheap dryers get clothes dry, hold up to daily wear and tear, and are relatively inexpensive to repair. If you don't mind forgoing high-tech extras like steam cleaning and sanitizing cycles (which reviews say don't make a difference in a machine's overall functionality), you can find a good dryer for $500 or less.

  • Frugality

    Is Costco Worth It?

    A membership at Costco, the popular warehouse club, costs individuals and families $55 a year. That has many consumers asking: Is Costco worth it? Our research comparing Costco with conventional retail stores found that membership does pay off -- and not strictly for the savings, which can be substantial: almost $400 on our shopping list of 19 products. Members enjoy a raft of perks , including access to a variety of relatively cheap consumer services and the convenience of one-stop shopping for most family needs. But these benefits come at the price of limited product selection, bulk packaging, and a Spartan shopping environment.

  • Electronics

    Best Cheap Men's Electric Shavers

    Easy to use and convenient when traveling, men's electric shavers are a good investment and an ideal gift item. Although many top-rated electric shavers carry price tags in the $200 range, a broad selection of good quality razors bearing brand names like Braun, Remington, Panasonic, and Philips Norelco are widely available at far cheaper prices.

  • Travel

    Best Cheap Cruises

    The sheer number and variety of cruises on the high seas afford plenty of opportunity for bargain hunters. There are dozens of cruise companies in operation worldwide and most offer travelers a choice of ship sizes, amenities, itineraries, and price points. To determine which low-cost cruises are worth your time and money, Cheapism looked at onboard facilities and port locations, and surveyed prices posted by the major cruise lines. We read dozens of expert and passenger reviews to learn which ships live up to their glossy marketing and which fall short. The quality of accommodations, food, entertainment, and shore excursions go a long way toward making a cheap cruise a rousing success.

  • Baby

    Best Cheap High Chairs

    New parents quickly learn that they only have about a month or two before they'll be scouting for a cheap high chair. The market is saturated with a vast assortment of budget options produced by the usual players in the baby gear market, including Graco, Fisher-Price, Safety 1st, Cosco, and Evenflo. Although a well-designed and well-built high chair with a price tag in the triple-digit range might become a family heirloom, you can easily get by without spending more than $85.