Teal Pelish

Teal Pelish is Cheapism's in-house web producer. She lives in Denver, Colorado.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: National Parks, Amazon Prime, and More

    As July winds down, we've got our eye on what's ahead. Check out our list of bargains for August, as well as those items shoppers may want to wait a bit before buying. Costco enthusiasts will want to check out our story on little known facts about the popular big box retailer, while fans of Amazon should scope out our piece on Amazon Prime perks that save money and time, but often get overlooked. We're also featuring stories just in time for back to school, including cheap and easy school lunches and how to save on school supplies. Also new on the Cheapism blog this week: five home-improvement projects that are worth the cost, great deals on goods at Whole Foods, and round up of some of the nation's best national parks -- to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. New Blog Posts & Updates: What to Buy in August -- and What to Skip. August is the month to take advantage of deals on school supplies, kids' clothing, lawn mowers, camping gear, and more. 11 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Costco. Shoppers and business experts are fascinated by Costco, which does things a little differently than other retailers and even its wholesale-club competitors. Worth a Go: 17 Unique Bathrooms Every Tourist Should Check Out. Beauty can be found in some of the most unexpected places, including these 17 bathrooms, judged to be some of the most unique restrooms in the world. Centennial Celebration: Explore One of the Best National Parks in Every State. The National Park Service is turning 100 in 2016, and what better way to celebrate than by visiting one of its most intriguing destinations in every state? 10 Perks of Amazon Prime You Could Be Wasting. Amazon Prime offers members many time- and money-saving benefits beyond free two-day shipping, some of which are often overlooked. 5 Projects That Boost Home Value -- and 5 Cheap Alternatives. Not all home improvements pay for themselves, but here are five projects that offer homeowners the best return -- along with five cheap alternatives. 20 Items That Are Cheaper at Whole Foods. A Cheapism.com price survey revealed 20 items, both organic and conventional, that are less expensive at Whole Foods than a traditional grocery store. 10 Ways to Save on School Supplies. The cost of school supplies can mount quickly, but these 10 strategies can help parents save. 11 Cheap and Easy School Lunches That Go Way Beyond PB&J. When PB&J and ham and cheese start getting boring, send children to school with a Mexican torta or homemade sushi with no sweat and little cost. 62 Ways to Beat Summer Boredom on a Budget. Doing nothing with a summer may seem like a nice idea at first, but don't let leisure turn to boredom. These 62 ideas can fill the days with fun. 11 Store-Bought Snacks Made Better at Home. Store-bought treats offer convenience, but enterprising consumers may want to consider these healthier alternatives of 11 popular snacks. 10 Cheap and Easy Ways to Enjoy Watermelon. A treat that's not just for kids, watermelon is packed with nutrients and refreshment. Here are 10 cheap and easy ways to enjoy this iconic summer fruit.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Food, Saving, and More

    Labor Day is just a few weeks away, and for many it's a holiday built around food. With that in mind, we have features on grilling ideas for late-summer produce, 21 ways to enjoy potatoes, and hot and spicy foods (and drinks!) to entice the palate. Also be sure to check out our posts on clearance items that can be bought now and used long after summer's over, how to teach kids personal finance while back-to-school shopping, and affordable fall essentials. Also new on the blog this week: stylish and affordable futons, free and worthwhile online courses for seniors, how to get quash smelly odors, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: Sleep or Sit: 12 Stylish and Functional Futons Under $275. Add a touch of comfort and style to a guest room or college house for as little as $120 with budget-friendly futons as comfortable as they are practical. 20 Fall Weather Essentials Under $50. Prep for crisp fall weather with budget-friendly picks for space heaters, rain boots, leaf rakes, and everything you need to enjoy the change of seasons. Celebrate Spuds With 21 Tasty Potato Recipes. You won't believe how much a home cook can do with a simple potato. These 21 recipes, from bread to blitva, are a good foundation for an ever-expanding repertoire. 50 Fulfilling, Productive Things to Do in Retirement. Not sure exactly what to do in retirement? There are lots of ways to get creative, volunteer, travel, work, learn, and stay healthy. Never Too Old to Learn: 11 Best Free Online Courses for Retirees. Build skills and unleash creativity with free online courses in poetry, nutrition, entrepreneurship -- even artificial intelligence. Can You Handle These 15 Hot and Spicy Recipes? Can you handle the heat? Kick it up a notch with these 15 hot and spicy recipes for entrees, side dishes, snacks, condiments, and even drinks. Buy These 14 Things Secondhand to Save Big. When scouting around for tableware, big-ticket items, and more, consumers can find great deals by shopping the pre-owned market, both online and off. 15 Affordable Fall Getaways for Empty Nesters. Don't be too sad that the kids have flown the nest -- take wing and travel to some of these vacation spots at off-season prices that fit your budget. 15 Clearance Items You Can Still Use When Summer's Gone. Even sunscreen, sunglasses, and swimsuits aren't just for summer. Buy these 15 items on sale now and you could be glad later in the year. 11 Dishes to Make From the Garden for Summer Savings. Use the bounty of a summer garden to cut food costs while enjoying the fresh flavors of beans, zucchini, tomatoes, herbs, and more. 12 Ways Back-to-School Shopping Can Teach Kids About Money. Shopping can be fun but also educational. Teach kids money basics such as budgeting, using technology and credit wisely, and more. 11 Grilling Recipes That Showcase Late-Summer Produce. Sink your teeth into 11 mouthwatering grilled veggie recipes, from grilled eggplant salad to grilled chicken with rhubarb cucumber salsa. 12 Cheap Ways to Rid Your Ride of Nasty Odors. Keeping a car smelling fresh is easy and doesn't have to cost a lot. Here are 12 easy methods for eliminating odors with products many households already have. Get Satisfaction: 16 Ways to Beat Bad Customer Service. Better customer service isn't beyond reach. Use these 16 strategies to help get problems solved quickly without wasting time or money.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Student Discounts, Labor Day Destinations, and More

    With school season getting underway, it's an ideal time to look at ways to save money. And we here at Cheapism have been busy doing our homework. This week our blog features dozens of ways college students can save, the cheapest places to get common vaccinations, and a fresh look at the best cheap luggage. For gourmands (and anyone who likes to eat), we showcase food trucks that serve gourmet food for less, vegetables to plant for fall gardening, and cheap and easy ways to enjoy bananas. And we didn’t forget Fido, digging up the dirt on cheap chew toys every dog will love. Also new on the blog this week: Best running shoes, last-minute Labor Day destinations, fascinating facts about coupons, and more. Updated Buying Guides: Best Cheap Luggage. Cheapism researched specifications and expert and user reviews to identify several sturdy but cheap luggage sets and carry-on bags for less than $150. New Blog Posts & Updates: 25 Cheap Destinations for Off-Season Travel. Delay travel plans until the crowds depart and the temperatures fall and reap savings on trips to these 25 enticing destinations, from Ohio to Hungary. Banana Lovers Rejoice: 20 Cheap and Easy Recipes. These 20 banana recipes in honor of Banana Lovers Day will sate your craving for the ubiquitous fruit in mostly sweet but some savory ways, from cake to curry. 10 Top Running Shoes Under $100 for 2016. The best cheap running shoes for men and women include neutral shoes, stability shoes for overpronators, trail running shoes, and more. 46 Student Discounts for Back-to-School. College students can save money easily with discounts on clothing, entertainment, transportation, technology, and more, at these participating companies. 8 Cheap Chew Toys Your Dog Will Dig. Dogs who don't have chew toys will find something else to chew on. Here's how to find the toy that will make a tail wag and keep your stuff intact. The Cheapest Chain Pharmacies for 10 Immunizations. No need to squeeze in visits to the doctor when pharmacies such as Walgreens, Costco, and Walmart offer cheap immunizations for many ailments. Keep That Healthy Glow: 13 Tips for Prolonging Your Summer Tan. Maintaining a healthy summer glow is easy with the right products. Here's how to keep your tan without spending a lot of money. 10 Food Trucks Serving Gourmet Restaurant Fare for Less. Whether serving halal lamb, fresh lobster rolls, or upscale burgers, these gourmet food trucks are more affordable than their restaurant counterparts. 11 Cheap Last-Minute Labor Day Destinations. Travelers looking for a hotel deal this Labor Day holiday have many money-saving options, including domestic and international destinations, an Expedia report finds. 11 Ways to Save Money When Traveling Solo. Solo travel can be flexible and fun, but it isn't always cheap. Here are some money-saving options for singles, and where to find advice and bargains. 23 Fascinating Facts About Coupons. Frugal shoppers consider coupons an important tool -- but do they really know much about them? Here are 23 facts that might be surprising. Autumn Cornucopia: 10 Vegetables to Grow in Your Fall Garden. Fall is near, but there's still plenty of time to grow a fresh crop of vegetables, including radishes, spinach, parsley, and more to enjoy through the holidays.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: More Back-to-School Shopping and More

    The dog days of summer are upon us, but we here at Cheapism aren't slowing down. For those looking to squeeze in some last-minute travel, we offer ideas for road trips and Labor Day destinations in all 50 states. With back-to-school season just around the corner, we have features on affordable backpacks, cheap kids outfits, dollar-store dorm room essentials, and unbeatable finds at Costco and other warehouse stores. Also new this week: recipes that make the most of leftover wine, and updated buying guides on cheap laptops and prescription eyeglasses. Updated Buying Guides: Best Cheap Laptops. The best cheap laptops are more features-packed than ever. We found four models under $500 that go beyond the basics to offer style and specs that impress. Cheap Eyeglasses Websites. This extensive guide to buying cheap prescription glasses online includes the best websites for men's, women's, and kids' eyeglasses. New Blog Posts & Updates: 24 Things to Do Before the End of Summer. Tube a river, make homemade ice cream, visit a national park, shop clearance sales -- check out two dozen ideas to make the most summer before it's gone. 16 Budget-Friendly Backpacks for the New School Year. When it's time for school, it's also time to buy a new backpack that's comfortable, well-made, and not too expensive -- here are 16 that fill the bill. 50 TV and Movie Locations Worthy of a Road Trip. After the credits roll, the "Shawshank Redemption" escape tunnel, "Point Break" beach, and café from "Fried Green Tomatoes" are still there to visit. 20 Dorm Room Essentials From the Dollar Store. Outfitting a dorm room can quickly add up, so it pays to look for ways to save, such as buying essentials from a dollar store. 11 Ways to Get Organized for the Back-to-School Chaos. It's almost time to go back to school -- make sure kids are ready for with these organization tips, including how to set up a family command center. 10 Unbeatable Back-to-School Finds at Costco, Sam's, and BJ's. Back-to-school checklists are long and the expenses add up, so you won't want to miss these warehouse club deals on backpacks, printers, and more. Cheers to Julia Child: 11 Recipes for Leftover Wine. Don't even think about dumping the last of an expensive bottle of wine (or even a cheap one). Try these recipes to make the most of leftover wine of any type. Cheap Labor Day Getaways for Families in All 50 States. Summer is quickly coming to an end, but Labor Day offers the chance for one last outing before fall arrives. Here are cheap things to do in all 50 states. 18 Back-to-School Outfits for $20 or Less. Whether you're dressing little girls in jersey dresses or bigger boys in hoodies and jeans, get it done for less than $20 an outfit with these deals. 29 Discounts to Save Teachers Money All Year. Teachers can save on phone plans, computers, clothing, books, and much more at retailers with educator discounts.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: New Website, First Day of Summer, and More

    At Cheapism this week, we've been gearing up for the first day of summer, which falls on Monday, June 20. Find out where to celebrate the solstice in your state or try one of our ideas for summer kickoff activities. With Fourth of July just a couple of weeks away, we've got patriotic party foods to put on the menu, as well as some of the best places to see fireworks for free. Also on the blog this week: summer hair and skin care, unique farmers markets, mermaids, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: Where to Celebrate the First Day of Summer in All 50 States. Summer's light-filled days are fleeting, so make the most of the summer solstice with an outing to one of these 50 cheap destinations. 13 Spectacular Free Fireworks Shows for Fourth of July. Celebrate Independence Day in any of these 13 cities with free activities and spectacular nighttime fireworks displays. 15 Patriotic Party Foods for July Fourth. Try these patriotic salads, snacks, side dishes, and desserts for an easy and inexpensive Fourth of July gathering. 11 DIY Solutions for Summer Skin Care on the Cheap. You don't have to buy expensive beauty products to get a healthy, glowing complexion. Treat skin right this summer with homemade cleansers, masks, and more. 17 Things to Do on the First Day of Summer. With summer arriving June 20, here are 17 ways to start enjoying the season with next to no planning or spending. 15 Bizarre Vending Machines Around the World. There are vending machines all over the world selling weird and unexpected goods, from beer to books to baguettes. 25 Free and Cheap Things to Do in Rome. Rome is brimming with free and cheap things to do. This list of 25 attractions and activities will keep visitors busy for days. 14 'Superfoods' to Eat This Summer. These fruits and vegetables are seasonal superfoods that are never more nutritious, more delicious, or cheaper than during the summer. Best of Fresh: 25 Unique Farmers Markets Across the U.S. It's the time of year when farmers markets are brimming with fresh produce. Here's a guide to some of the best fresh fruit and vegetable markets in the U.S. 10 Ways to Tame Frizzy Hair Without Salon Products. No matter what type of hair you have, there's a cheap hair gel, mousse, serum, spray, or cream that can fight frizz without the expense of salon products. Offbeat Attractions in All 50 States. Every state has fascinating free or cheap attractions. These roadside oddities across America go well beyond "world's largest (fill in the blank)." 11 Cheap Ways to Celebrate LGBT Pride. June is Pride Month, a time for LGBT people around the world to celebrate their identities and community. Here's how to participate without overspending. Are Meal Delivery Services Worth the Cost? Home-delivered meal kits are a time-saving convenience, but are services such as Blue Apron, Plated, and HelloFresh worth the price? 10 Free and Cheap Ways to Have a Little Mermaid Fun This Summer. Mermaids are having a moment. Jump on the trend at festivals, parades, parks, plays, and sightseeing destinations, or bring a little magic home.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Grilling Tips, 50 RV Campgrounds, and More

    At Cheapism we kicked off July with essential grill tools for $15 or less and cheap sunglasses that actually protect eyes from harmful UV rays. No matter what your preferred mode of travel, we've got summer vacations covered, from scenic train trips to RV campgrounds in every state. Also new this week: recipes for delicious homemade ice cream, along with our picks for the best cheap ice cream makers. Updated Guide: Budget Airlines. We go beyond ticket prices and compare fees, destinations, comfort, and amenities for JetBlue, Southwest, Frontier, and other low-cost carriers to find the best value. New & Updated Blog Posts: 6 Best Budget Ice Cream Makers. Whether they use rock salt and ice, an insulated freezer bowl, or energetic shaking, these entry-level ice cream makers churn out sweet and refreshing treats. 14 Cheap, Stylish Sunglasses That Actually Protect Eyes. Many sunglasses look cool -- but not all of them protect your eyes. Here are 14 cheap, stylish pairs that also screen out damaging UV rays. All Aboard: 11 Affordable, Scenic Railroad Trips. Train travel offers a chance to see parts of the country sometimes inaccessible by car. Here are 11 trips that offer beautiful scenery at affordable rates. 10 Essential Grill Tools for $15 or Less. Getting delicious grilled food every time can be quick and easy when you use these tools under $15 before, during, and after the meal starts sizzling. 50 Budget-Friendly RV Campgrounds to Check Out. These budget-friendly RV campgrounds in each state may have last-minute openings in high season. 13 Cheap and Easy Ice Cream Recipes for Summer. Ice cream is a tasty treat that comes in a wide variety of flavors -- even more so when homemade. Here are 13 affordable alternatives to store-bought ice cream. 18 Lighthouses to Visit on a Summer Road Trip. Head for any of these 18 lighthouses, some reachable only by boat, and marvel at their picturesque beauty and the stunning surroundings. 14 Trends From the Fancy Food Show That Anyone Can Try for Cheap. Infused waters, organic foods, and artisanal chocolate may be fancy, but there's no reason they have to cost a lot.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Best Ice Cream Shops, State Fairs, and More

    With National Ice Cream Day coming up on Sunday, July 17, we're celebrating with a roundup of 50 ice cream shops across the country that serve much more unusual treats than your typical chocolate and vanilla. For more sustenance, we've got quick and easy summer dinners and classic French dishes made with inexpensive ingredients. Also new on the Cheapism blog this week: splash pads for kids, standout state fairs, and mansions that big groups can rent for cheap. New Blog Posts & Updates: 41 Simple Ways to Make Extra Money. Make pennies without lifting a finger or hundreds of dollars at a time selling your skills and knowledge with these ideas for supplemental income. 15 Weird, Abandoned Places to Explore. Not all tourist spots attract throngs of visitors. These places offer intrigue and visual appeal but also insight to less-explored parts of the nation's past. 12 At-Home Ab Exercises That Aren’t Crunches or Sit-Ups. Get healthier, lose weight, and look better with these exercises for the abdominals that can be done for anywhere for free. 15 Classic and Budget-Friendly French Dishes. In honor of Bastille Day, here are 15 classic French dishes that use inexpensive ingredients and range from easy to more complex. 22 Splash Pads and Spray Parks Kids Will Love. When temperatures spike, a pool isn't the only way to cool off -- head to one of these parks across the country with splash pads, fountains, and more. 18 Standout State Fairs With Free Attractions. Heading to a state fair this summer? Know the best days to go and what to look for inside to stretch the family dollar. 10 Ways to Make a New Community Feel Like Home. After moving to a new home, get to know the community by embracing activities such as volunteering, attending events, and taking classes. 10 Ways to Shrink Your Dry Cleaning Bill and Still Look Great. Dry cleaning costs can quickly add up, but there are ways to save. These 10 tips can keep you from being taken to the cleaners by your dry cleaner. 13 Reasons Why Shoppers Are Addicted to Costco. Costco shoppers keep coming back for more. These 13 things may help explain the discount warehouse chain's broad appeal. 10 Beautiful Mansions and Villas You Can Rent for Cheap. Add luxury to a group getaway for astonishingly little money with these 10 massive mansions and villas in amazing locations across the country. 50 Ice Cream Shops With Unique Treats Across the Country. Everyone loves ice cream, but sometimes plain old chocolate or even cookie dough doesn't cut it. Here are 50 shops with delicious and unique frozen treats. 15 Quick and Easy Summer Dinners. Don't waste time in the kitchen this summer. Instead, try these delicious, simple recipes that use ingredients probably already on hand. 18 Scenic Ferry Rides. Taking a leisurely ferry ride can be a great way to see a new place without the stress of driving or the expense of an outing like a river cruise.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: Back-to-School Shopping and More

    The start of August can be bittersweet for warm-weather enthusiasts and students soon heading back to class. But summer isn't over just yet. With that in mind, we're featuring recipes for two summertime favorites -- peaches and zucchinis -- that are abundant at farmers markets these days. Meanwhile, those looking forward to National S'mores Day (Aug. 10) will delight in our 15 ways for enjoying them. For those concerned about the the Zika virus, we've got the latest on the best, cheap traps for keeping mosquitos at bay. And with back-to-school on the minds of many parents, we've also got family-trip ideas to help ready kids for class, where to find tax-free shopping days, and back-to-school bargains everyone should take advantage of, plus much more. Updated Buying Guides: Best Cheap Mosquito Traps. We scoured expert and user reviews of indoor, outdoor, and portable traps to get the buzz on which cheap electric mosquito traps outperform the others. Cheap College Textbooks. This guide to finding cheap college textbooks online reviews the best textbook sites for buying, renting, and reselling and offers tips for more savings. New Blog Posts & Updates: 12 Family Trips to Get Kids Ready to Go Back to School. Summer is winding up fast, but there's still time for a family trip. Here are 12 vacation ideas that combine adventure and education into one fun-filled outing. 20 Cheap, Delicious Peach Recipes. There's no better time to pluck this delicious, tasty fruit than August, when ripeness peaks and prices are lowest. Here's what to do with the bounty. When to Shop Tax-Free in 14 States. These chances to shop tax-free across the country are timed for back-to-school sales, but anyone can take advantage. 14 Next-Level Twists on Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies. Even people who love the classic chip cookie won't be able to resist trying recipes that add the flavors of s'mores, bacon, caramel, espresso, or beer. No Kids? Why You Should Be Back-to-School Shopping Anyway. Back-to-school ads and deals may be aimed at parents and students, but anyone can take advantage of the discounts. 11 Cheap Ways to Keep Back-to-School Germs at Bay. Kids heading back to school are entering a contagion hot zone. But there are ways to keep them healthy and prevent a slew of unscheduled sick days. 13 Sandwiches You Can Make for $1 or Less. Buying a sandwich for any meal of the day will never be as cheap as using these 13 wide-ranging recipes. 15 Ways to Eat S’mores, from Basic to Boozy. You don't need National S'mores Day or a camping trip to make s'mores -- or to experiment with s'mores pie, cake, milkshakes, martinis, and more. 11 KonMari-Inspired Storage Ideas to Simplify Your Life. Store-bought baskets and tubs make organizing simple, but many households already have items that can double as storage containers and cost nothing. 27 A+ Back-to-School Deals. Back-to-school sales offer everything for the students in your family, whether they need glue for kindergarten crafts or a scientific calculator for math. 13 Great Zucchini Recipes. Have a bumper crop of zucchini and don't know what to do with it all? This versatile, delicious vegetable can be used in many ways -- try these recipes now. Bibliophiles' Bucket List: 15 Coolest Bookstores in America. Bookstores aren't as ubiquitous as they once were, but book lovers still have many choices for discovering a good read. Here are 15 bookstores worth a visit.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: National Hot Dog Day, Small Towns, and More

    July plays host to two National Hot Dog Days this year (July 14 and July 23) and we're relishing both holidays with two roundups of the best hot dogs money can buy, regardless of whether they're purchased at the grocery store or an eatery that does them up right. For something more substantial, we've got summer slow cooker recipes that utilize cheap ingredients (including fresh produce) and are ideal for busy cooks on the go. Other summer-themed posts new to the blog this week include: best places to go skinny-dipping, 50 small towns worth visiting, and the best cheap ice cream brands. New Blog Posts & Updates: 15 Ways to Repel Bugs Naturally (and Cheaply) With reports of the Zika virus in Gulf Coast states and summer upon us, it's time to get serious about fending off bug bites -- without resorting to chemicals. Get the Scoop on 8 Budget Ice Cream Brands. Here's the skinny on eight budget-friendly brands of vanilla ice cream -- still the most popular flavor -- including one vegan option and the best overall. 10 Hand-Me-Downs for Babies That You Don't Want. Hand-me-downs are a great way for new parents to save money, but sometimes free can be costly in the scariest ways. 11 Ways to Turn Junk Food Into a Proper Meal. These recipes put junk foods on the menu in classy, delicious, and sometimes even nutritious ways. Tiny Travelogue: 50 Small Towns to Visit Across the U.S. Small towns are ideal for weekend getaways, offering just enough diversions to be entertaining without being overwhelming. Here are 50 towns worth a visit. Top Dogs: Ranking 9 Cheap Hot Dogs. In a comparison of budget-priced beef- and pork-based hot dogs, Cheapism rounded up widely available brands to determine the best in show. 13 Great Places to Go Skinny-Dipping. Have a refreshing swim at the end of a hiking trail, soak in a hot spring, or try a clothing-optional vacation at one of these 13 skinny-dipping spots. Watch Out for These Tourist Traps in All 50 States. An attraction that seems like a must-see can too easily turn out to be a waste of time and money. 12 Delicious Slow Cooker Recipes for Summer. Spending time over a hot stove isn't necessary with these 12 slow cooker recipes, which incorporate summer produce to create inexpensive and satisfying meals. Home Seller's Checklist: 15 Simple Tips for Selling a Home Now. Selling a house can be tough, especially during the dog days of summer, but these 15 tips can help reduce the amount of time it takes to find a buyer. Famous Franks: 25 Best Hot Dog Stands Where You Can Eat for Cheap. Regardless of the toppings, Americans love their hot dogs, and these 25 spots are some of most notable spots to check out next time a craving strikes.

  • Outdoor

    Hit the Sand with Cheap Beach Shoes

    Kick-off beach season with cheap water shoes! Find which flip-flops and water shoes tops our list for men, women, and kids.

  • Frugality

    Weekly Update: New Website, Summer Food, and More

    Cheapism has a new look! Last week we launched a top-to-bottom redesign of Cheapism.com. We've created a more visual experience and made it easy to access our latest and most popular content on your phone, tablet, or computer. We invite you to spend some time exploring the new site. On the blog, we're getting ready for summer with DIY activities for kids, marinades and rubs to up your grilling game, and ways to make the most of summer produce. Don't miss expert safety tips for enjoying campfires, fireworks, and other summer fun without a trip to the ER. Also new last week: rooftop bars, designer dresses for less, what's worth a splurge at Costco, and more. New Blog Posts & Updates: 17 Fun DIY Activities to Keep Kids Busy All Summer. Stop the kids from whining about how bored they are this summer with these 17 fun, easy, and cheap ways to keep them busy at home all season long. 25 Places to Enjoy Rooftop Views Without High Prices. Finding a rooftop venue that doesn't charge a lot for the view can be a challenge, but here are 25 cheaper alternatives for taking in some scenery. 10 Essential Tips for Enjoying Summer Safely. Whether under the sun or beneath the stars, enjoying summer begins with knowing how to play and work safely. 25 Dishes to Make the Most of Summer Produce. Summer produce is available only briefly each year. Here's how to take advantage of all the freshness, nutrition, and low prices the season has to offer. 9 Summer Dress Styles for Less. Instead of splurging on one dress that blows your summer wardrobe budget, buy some of these look-alike styles for less and have cash left over for accessories. Beat the Heat: 13 Cheap, Refreshing Summer Wines. Toast the season with inexpensive wines that pair well with summer heat, from vinho verde to cava to Provencal rosé. 11 Cheap Ways to Make Time Fly at the Airport. Being stuck at the airport doesn't have to be a waste of time -- eat well, work out, or even take a nap or shower to make the most of a flight delay. 12 Dangerous Mistakes People Make Around Fire and Fireworks. A campfire, a backyard barbecue, Fourth of July fireworks -- they all hold dangers that can be avoided easily. 12 Cheap Rubs and Marinades for Summer Barbecues. There's more to grilling than heat. For a successful barbecue, break out one of these inexpensive, homemade dry rubs, sauces, and marinades. 50 Unique Vacation Rentals for $85 a Night or Less. Vacation home rentals offer an alternative to bland hotel rooms. They can also be a bargain. Here are 50 unique rentals across the U.S. for $85 or less a night. 14 Cheap and Easy Summer Meals. This lineup of cheap summer dishes, ranging from perennial favorites to gourmet fare, is sure to please both family and guests. Your Next Go-To Snack: 11 Cheap, Delicious Kinds of Jerky. Meat eaters will want to try these wildly flavored jerkies made out of everything from elk to bacon, and vegetarian snackers aren’t left behind. 10 Things to Splurge on at Costco and Sam's Club. There’s more to life than bulk cereal, and warehouse clubs know it. They tempt shoppers to splurge with items like designer clothes and pool tables.

  • Pets

    15 Tips for Raising a Cat on a Budget

    These 15 tips can help you raise a happy and healthy cat without going broke along the way.

  • Careers

    Job Hunting on the Cheap: How to Get Cheap Interview Clothes

    Are you on the hunt for a new job or career? We have cheap interview clothing ideas to get you inspired for your future hire.

  • Holidays

    Columbus Day Coupon Codes 2014

    Grab deals this Columbus Day weekend on all kinds of items with our list of coupon codes.

  • Real Estate

    6 Apartment Hunting Tips for NYC and Beyond

    On the search for a new abode? We have apartment hunting tips for the urban terrain of NYC, Chicago and beyond.

  • Frugality

    Is Switching to Solar Power Worth It?

    For eco-minded consumers, residential solar power is an attractive alternative to relying on a utility company. Harvesting energy from the sun provides electricity without the greenhouse gas emissions of traditional power sources. But is it a good choice for the frugal? Although the upfront cost is steep, consumers in America's largest cities can save between $44 and $187 a month on electricity by investing in solar, according to a 2015 report by the NC Clean Energy Technology Center. For nine out of 10 homeowners, putting in a rooftop solar panel system would cost no more than paying their current electric bill over the life of the system. The report , funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, finds that with low-cost financing and government incentives, a solar project can yield a better return on investment than the stock market. Before picking solar over the S&P 500, consumers should note that the center's stated purpose is to advance clean energy. Still, for those interested in solar -- and with rooftop space to spare -- the report suggests that it's worth comparing costs over the long term. On and Off the Grid There are two basic types of solar panel systems for residential properties: off the grid and on the grid. An off-grid setup is generally reserved for places where utility-based power is unavailable, or for enthusiasts living off the grid. These systems are at the mercy of natural fluctuations in the weather. They require a cache of backup batteries to store power for nighttime and for days when skies are gray. Despite decreasing prices and climbing efficiency, this technology isn't a practical option for most consumers (yet). A grid-tied or on-grid solar panel system is a potential money-saving option for the here and now. It connects to a traditional power source, which provides electricity when household usage exceeds the solar power the system generates. Without a storehouse of batteries, the equipment, installation, and maintenance costs are much lower. This setup allows electricity to flow both ways, and consumers often get credit from the local utility company for any excess power they feed into the grid. The necessary hardware is available at nationwide retailers including Costco, where grid-tied solar kits range from $1,900 to $13,000. A kit typically comprises solar panels, an inverter, and a rooftop rack. DIY types may want to consider going that route, but installation can be a challenge. Areas with mature solar industries offer competitive pricing for professional installation. An alternative is to lease a solar panel system or have one installed as part of a solar power purchase agreement . Although this eliminates the hardware and installation costs, consumers who go this route still pay for all their electricity (sometimes less than they were paying for nonrenewable energy). They also are not eligible for tax breaks and other incentives, which instead accrue to the solar services provider. Comparing Costs Residential utility rates are typically given in cents per kilowatt-hour. To come up with a similar rate for solar, the NC Clean Energy Technology Center divided the cost of a 5 kW rooftop solar panel system (the average size of a residential system in the U.S., according to the Solar Energy Industries Association) by its total estimated output over 25 years. Naturally, the output is higher in areas that get more sun. The report accounts for inflation and assumes the system would be financed by a 25-year loan with 5 percent interest. In 42 out of the 50 largest U.S. cities, the estimated price of solar power turns out to be lower than the local utility rate over the long term. A host of government incentives sweeten the deal. Any U.S. taxpayer who puts a solar panel system in place through the 2016 tax year is eligible for a 30 percent Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit from the federal government. (Keep in mind that a tax credit is more valuable than a tax deduction.) The states offer additional incentives, including tax credits and property tax exemptions. The U.S. Department of Energy funds a searchable database of state policies and incentives. Of course, it will be years before a loan is paid off or the energy savings make up for the high upfront cost of a solar panel system, and many people don't plan to stay in their homes that long. Solar panels can also raise property values, however. In a 2013 study, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that a solar panel system increased the value of a California home by $5,900 per kilowatt. For the average 5 kW system, that amounts to nearly $30,000.

  • Cleaning

    User-Tested Spring Cleaning Tips

    We asked our fellow Cheapists for their preferred methods and tips for spring cleaning. Here's what they had to share

  • Holidays

    5 Ways to Cut Back on Holiday Spending

    Celebrating Christmas doesn't need to be expensive or even cost anything at all! We have five frugal tips that can help resurrect the essence of the holidays.

  • Frugality

    New Article: Cheap Flower Delivery

    Are you considering a floral arrangement for someone special? We researched flower delivery options and the findings may surprise you.

  • Beverages

    Holiday Liquor on a Budget

    Find ways to save a bundle with cheap holiday liquor that won't compromise the taste of those special holiday drinks.