Saundra Latham

  • Travel

    Best Cheap Luggage

    While prices can easily mount to $300 or much more for high-end luggage sets, there are inexpensive options below $150 for frugal travelers who wish to save their money for other travel expenses. Cheap luggage comes in a variety of shapes, styles, and sizes. Tote bags and the smallest rolling carry-ons start around $40, while larger bags are slightly more expensive. We waded through thousands of consumer and expert reviews of both hard-sided and soft fabric luggage to find which budget-priced bags offer the best mix of functionality, resilience, and overall value. We also discovered a couple of cheap luggage sets that should be left at the curb.

  • Lawn & Garden

    Best Cheap Leaf Blowers

    When autumn leaves or storm debris litter the yard, a cheap leaf blower can save hours of raking and loads of back-breaking effort. Its powerful air stream can even come in handy for other purposes, such as clearing gutters or cleaning a dusty shed. We sorted through thousands of owner and expert reviews to unearth leaf blowers under $150 with an elusive combination of value, performance, ease of use, and durability. Among our picks are gas-powered machines and electric leaf blowers, including a cordless model. For consumers who prefer a backpack-style leaf blower, which raises the price, we found a relatively cheap one that may increase mobility and save users from sore arms in the long run.

  • Appliances

    Best Cheap Thermostats

    Programming a thermostat is a simple way to cut energy costs. It can automatically lower the temperature in the winter and raise it in the summer, to save energy when you're sleeping or away from home, and kick up the heat or AC when you need it again. The Environmental Protection Agency pegs yearly savings at about $180 for the "average" U.S. household. Frugal consumers who don't want to pay a lot upfront to realize long-term savings can find a cheap programmable thermostat that reliably maintains a consistent temperature, within a degree or so, and is a cinch to use. We scanned thousands of expert and consumer reviews to find the best candidates for your wall. Our top picks include models between $20 and $50 that allow for weekend vs. weekday adjustability or even seven individual days of set-it-and-forget-it temperature control. We also recommend a couple of pricier but relatively affordable "smart thermostats" that can be remotely controlled.

  • Lawn & Garden

    Best Cheap Mosquito Traps

    Nothing ruins a warm summer night like mosquitoes. If these whining pests are keeping you from enjoying your yard, a cheap mosquito trap can help. Mosquito traps range from small $20 electric models that can sit on a patio to propane-powered behemoths that cost upward of $300 and must be wheeled from place to place. More expensive traps often fare as well -- or poorly -- in reviews as their budget-friendly counterparts, so this is one product category where the cheap brands may, in fact, be among the best bets. We looked over thousands of consumer reviews as well as expert sources to figure out which cheap mosquito traps are most effective at keeping those pesky, and sometimes disease-bearing, bugs away.