Raechel Conover

Raechel Conover has been a staff writer for Cheapism since 2010. In that time she has written hundreds of stories and review articles for the website, many of which have also appeared on Yahoo, MSN, TIME, The New York Times and various other websites. She also played a key role in developing the Cheapism blog and served as the blog manager for a number of years.

Now with three young kids she remains a regular contributor to Cheapism.com. She's a self-confessed shopaholic and frugal mom, always scouring the clearance racks for deals, utilizing local resale websites, and stacking coupons. When she isn’t writing or deal hunting, she can be found taking full advantage of free community activities and events with her husband and children.

Raechel has a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Communications from The Ohio State University. Based in Dublin, Ohio, Raechel also does freelance writing work and social media consulting for local companies. 

  • Frugality

    Sam's Club or Costco?

    Deciding whether to join Costco or Sam's Club is no small task. Both warehouse giants offer an array of discounted goods and services including grocery items, prescription medications, electronics, automotive supplies and services, and more. Both also promise exceptional deals compared with retail . Which, if either, is the better choice? We became members and shopped at each to find out.

  • Taste Tests

    Best Cheap Pizza Chains

    Americans certainly love their pizza: More than nine out of 10 scarf it down at least once a month. On average, the total amount of cheesy goodness consumed each year comes out to 46 slices per person, according to Statistic Brain . To honor this perennial favorite and commemorate National Pizza Month, we organized a taste-off to determine the best cheap pizza chain among the biggest national brands: Pizza Hut, Domino's Pizza, Papa John's, and Little Caesars.

  • Frugality

    Cheapest Grocery Store: Walmart, Kroger, or Aldi?

    Can frugal consumers get cheap groceries without going extreme-couponing crazy? Sure, as long as you know where to shop. We recently compared grocery prices at three different types of stores: Walmart, the reigning king of low prices; Aldi, a growing chain of discount groceries; and Kroger, a supermarket chain with siblings (including Ralphs, Food 4 Less, and Fred Meyer) spread over 34 states. A survey of 37 standard grocery items earned Aldi the low-price winner's laurel, with savings of more than 15 percent over Walmart and about 23 percent over Kroger (about 17 percent including Kroger sale prices at the time of comparison). However, in other respects, such as variety and convenience, the best grocery store isn't necessarily the cheapest.

  • Appliances

    Best Cheap Furnaces

    The decision to buy a new furnace often comes at the worst possible moment: It's midwinter and freezing outside and your old furnace decides to kick the bucket. You don't have a lot of time to shop around for the best value on a new model. Instead, you're at the mercy of your local HVAC contractor and whatever is available to install on short notice. But with a little forethought and planning, you can take much of the stress out of buying a cheap furnace and save a lot of money in the process.

  • Fitness

    Best Cheap Walking Shoes

    Walking is a low-impact way to improve your health and fitness, and the right pair of cheap walking shoes will add enjoyment to your walking workouts. Even if you don't walk for exercise per se, good cheap walking shoes can make all the difference in your next sightseeing trip, your morning stroll to the coffee shop, and any other activities that require time on your feet. New Balance, Asics, Nike, Saucony, and Ryka are the big names in walking shoes. Some models made by these companies fall within the Cheapism range, as do walking shoes produced by companies with less brand recognition. We found several of the cheapest walking shoes worthy of note.

  • Dining

    Cheap Family Restaurants

    Do you fret over the bill every time your family goes out for dinner? Restaurant meals can add up quickly. Including tips, national spending at eating and drinking establishments amounted to $1,402.67 per person in 2010, according to the most recent data available online from the USDA's Economic Research Service. While dining out generally isn't cheap, some family restaurant chains are a better value than others. We set out to determine the best casual dining chains for families on a budget, focusing on full-service restaurants with bar-and-grill-style menus (rather than quick-service or fast-casual chains, where customers order at a counter).

  • Appliances

    Best Cheap Canister Vacuums

    Cheap canister vacuums are versatile machines with arsenals of attachments. Although many users prefer upright vacuums with beater brushes that pound out the dirt for deep carpet cleaning, a cheap canister vacuum with a carpet attachment can get the job done adequately, though perhaps not to white-glove standards. Most budget models are best suited for lighter-duty housekeeping chores, from tile and hardwood floors to window treatments and upholstered furniture. Their various tools and brushes and long hoses allow them to reach places upright vacuums can't.

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