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.
  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Accommodations

    Best Cheap Hotel Chains

    The fear of staying somewhere uncomfortable or unclean tempts many frugal travelers to pay up for short-term lodging. But Cheapism's close reading of scores of guest reviews found that the best cheap hotel chains offer adequate comfort and service, with double rooms priced well south of $100 a night. In many spots around the country, properties belonging to several chains are situated right along the same street, and if the prices are the same, it can be hard to choose where to lay your head. Our research can help guide the decision-making process.

  • Online

    Best Cheap Travel Sites

    Travel sites try to capture attention through clever ads with flashy graphics, talking garden gnomes, and William Shatner sightings. They woo consumers with eBay-style bidding, hot deals, top-secret deals, last-minute deals, and deals on top of deals. We turned to expert and consumer reviews to cut through the hype and identify the best sites for booking cheap travel. The contenders included some of the most popular online travel agencies, or OTAs, such as Expedia, Priceline, Travelocity, Orbitz, and Hotwire, as well as search engines like Kayak and Momondo.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.