When you go on vacation, you stalk travel sites for cheap flights and expertly cram everything into a carry-on to avoid baggage fees. But you gladly splurge on worthwhile experiences like a trip to Hawaii to hike a volcano and pay tribute at Pearl Harbor.
When you make dinner plans with friends, you suggest a home-cooked meal or look at reviews to find a good restaurant that’s not too pricey. But you happily pick up the check — with the credit card that earns all the points.
When your tires start losing traction, you research things like tread-life warranties and compare the cost of installation. But you willingly shell out for replacements, knowing the importance of good-quality tires.
If this sounds like you, you may be what we call a Cheapist. Not a cheapskate or a penny pincher — there is such a thing as being too frugal. You just don’t want to waste your money on cheap stuff that isn’t worth it.
At Cheapism, we believe you can live well no matter what your budget. The New York Times has called us “a Consumer Reports for the cheap," and other media outlets have named us “Best Shopping Site” or “Best for Being Frugal.” On Cheapism.com, you’ll find meticulously researched buying guides and price comparisons, captivating slide shows, and common-sense advice. (Many are also published in Spanish.) Whatever the subject, our goal is to help you save money and time and spend them wisely.
We know you want to find the best products and services out there at the best price — but that can take time. Our team of professional journalists and researchers does the work of digging up those gems so you don’t have to.
It starts with searching the web and looking at consumer trends to get a sense of the top products out there — and what shoppers like you are looking for. Then we turn to trusted sources that make recommendations based on rigorous hands-on testing. While a general consensus may emerge among those professional reviewers, their recommendations don’t account for how the products actually perform in “real life.” So we page through hundreds of online reviews posted by consumers — taking time to weed out fake or paid reviews and pay close attention to what users say about long-term performance, practical features, and potential flaws. Only then do we make our picks, choosing products with a critical mass of positive reviews and low enough prices to make them an excellent value.
We do not accept any payment or other gratuity from any manufacturers or retailers in exchange for recommending or discussing their products. Our picks are based entirely on our own exhaustive research and adhere to strict editorial guidelines. We do participate in affiliate marketing programs, which means we may earn a commission if you choose to purchase a product through a link on our site. This helps support our work and does not influence our recommendations.
Note: Cheapism does not accept or publish guest blog posts. Any solicitations, as such, will result in the sender's email being blocked from our servers.
- An economic system in which individuals acquire high-quality goods and/or services at a relatively low price or cost.
- The theory that cheap (low in price or cost) doesn't have to mean cheap (of little value or poor quality).
Origin of cheapism
circa 2009: from cheap, low in price or cost; not expensive
Max always tries to buy gas in New Jersey because it's cheaper than in NYC. He shops for fruit and vegetables at Costco instead of the pricey supermarket. He registers domain names with GoDaddy because it costs 200% less than the competition. He gave up his land line and cable, and sometimes he buys secondhand items. Max has spent the last 24 years managing content, traffic, and monetization for internet companies and running large-scale consumer-focused websites. Prior to launching Cheapism.com, he served as the VP of marketing and monetization for Viewpoints Network and before that as general manager for ConsumerSearch.com, until it was acquired by The New York Times Co. Before his internet career, he worked as a journalist, which is why he loves content so much. Max holds an M.A. in Media Studies from The New School in New York City and a B.A. in World History from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He lives in New York City. You can reach him at max at cheapism.com.
Felix moved to Brooklyn where he could afford a larger, more light-filled apartment than any he might have found Manhattan. He tries to purchase everything on his credit cards, making sure to pay off the balance every month. The mileage he earns by charging all his purchases helps offset his travel expenses — and Felix travels a lot. Felix has worked in technology for the past 18 years, having cut his teeth at The New York Times Digital. He subsequently moved through several dot-coms into his own consulting practice. Felix has been developing custom website back ends for longer than he cares to remember. He has a degree in mathematics from the University of Chicago.
Kara takes worn-out heels to the shoe repair rather than buy new pairs. She moved her checking account to avoid ATM fees. While living in notoriously expensive New York City, she managed to save enough money to backpack around the world. Before joining Cheapism, Kara was a senior copy editor and web editor at Advertising Age. She has also edited for ESPN The Magazine and the website of New York magazine. She holds bachelor's and master's degrees from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.
Danny is a Los Angeles-based editor and writer who covers food, travel, and more for Cheapism. He’s co-author of the guidebook, 100 Things to Do in Los Angeles Before You Die, 2nd edition (Reedy Press), and his work can also be found on Thrillist, Time Out, TravelZoo, KCET, and elsewhere. He grew up in Boston and received his B.A. in English from Vassar College. He’ll sing you an opera aria if you ask nicely. Danny has enjoyed DIY projects that save money since long before it was the cool thing to do. Whether he’s growing his own vegetables, pickling them or cooking elaborate dinners from scratch, he’s pretty convinced the food tastes better than spending a fortune on a night out. When he does go out, he has a knack for tracking down the best free events and concerts in town, along with finding delicious, cheap eats at holes-in-the-wall or food trucks. He’s also never met an impulse buy that he couldn’t pass up in favor of bargain hunting for a better deal.
Born with a wooden spoon in his mouth, Dan learned frugality by necessity and, to this day, prides himself on his ability to find the hidden treasures lurking somewhere on the dusty shelves of a local thrift store. Prior to joining Cheapism.com, Dan worked for over a decade in the publishing industry for iconic brands like TV Guide, Esquire, and Cosmopolitan before jumping headlong into the shark tank of digital commerce at sites like kgb.com and Offers.com. When he’s not plugged into Google Analytics or sifting through ten thousand rows of keyword research, Dan enjoys spending time with his family enjoying the scenic Hudson Highlands in upstate New York, and coaching recreational soccer teams.
Pat Shrader has been in journalism since President Reagan was in office. He has worked as an editor, webmaster, copy editor, and reporter in Chicago, Indiana, and Texas. He lives in Chesterton, Indiana. Words he lives by: If a car can’t last 20 years, it’s not worth owning.
Marc Levy has been in journalism for more than two decades, mainly in New England, as a reporter, columnist, copy editor, and editor in newspapers and online-only sites. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Liane shops consignment websites for bargains, re-heels her favorite old shoes, and collects coupon apps on her phone. Before joining Cheapism, Liane was the editor-in-chief of WSAToday, a business magazine for the footwear industry. She was also a senior editor at HitFix and a senior writer at EW.com.
Kris is a writer, editor, and sometimes graphic designer. She’s worked for the Rocky Mountain News and most recently as managing editor for Modern In Denver magazine. Her home is furnished almost entirely with curbside, Craigslist, and thrift store finds, and she enjoys the call of the bargain hunt. She will pay more, however, for a great cup of coffee and top-shelf brown liquor. Kris lives in Colorado with her husband, two sons, and two heeler mixes.
As a kid, Scott Nyerges would spend hours at the library, reading a certain consumer testing magazine's annual buying guides. Scott has worked for several print and online outlets, including as managing editor of Consumer Reports' ShopSmart magazine and as news producer for MSN.
Saundra Latham regularly exploits her grocery's fuel-points program for free tanks of gas and skips the salon in favor of the $5.99 sales at Great Clips. She has made her home in areas with a low cost of living, such as Dayton, Ohio, and Knoxville, Tennessee. Before joining Cheapism as the site's first staff writer, Saundra freelanced for websites including Business Insider, ConsumerSearch, The Simple Dollar, The Motley Fool, and About.com. She was previously an editor at The Columbus Dispatch, one of Ohio's largest daily newspapers. She holds a master's in communication from Ohio State University and a bachelor's in journalism from American University.
Suzanne has held a variety of positions over the course of her wide-ranging career, from work in the documentary film industry to media consultant and market researcher to professor of English literature. Her job of raising two young children has taught her to see every cheap deal scored as a contribution by proxy to their future college tuitions.
Jennifer Magid has worked as a writer and editor in publishing and marketing for almost two decades. She has written for outlets ranging from InStyle magazine to Psychology Today and for a number of grocery and personal care brands. Jenn is frugal by proxy: She is married to a certified cheapskate, which has been good for her wallet but bad for her shoe and handbag collections. These days, she never, ever buys her fashions full price. Jennifer holds a master’s in journalism from New York University. She lives in Connecticut with her family and an admittedly expensive-to-maintain standard poodle — the one anomaly in her cheap lifestyle.
Anna Christakos is a web producer and writer in Austin, Texas. Dubbed "The Frugaler" by her husband, Anna thrives on finding fun ways to save money. Whether it's baking her own bread, selling old clothes, or researching free activities in the city, Anna finds that cutting back on everyday expenses can be both frugal and rewarding. And while she loves catching a free concert or grabbing a cheap beer at a local brewery, Anna mostly just likes kicking it at home with her four furry animals.