Blog Posts by Cheapism.com

  • Best Bluetooth Headsets for Under $50

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Related: Best cheap smartphones under $50

    While trend-setting early adopters look forward to the next iteration of the smart watch, one of the original pieces of wearable tech, the Bluetooth headset, remains the accessory of the masses. Wearers may get looks as they walk down the street apparently talking to themselves, but so does anyone with Google Glass. The Bluetooth headset certainly has its place in states that ticket drivers for using mobile devices. Even in cars that come with Bluetooth built in, a headset produces clearer sound and doesn't allow others in the car to eavesdrop.

    Related: Which cell phone carrier charges the lowest fees

    Cheapism.com identified three Bluetooth headsets that deliver high-quality audio and a few other nifty features for less than $50. All three use noise cancellation to prevent distracting sound, such as traffic, a crowd, or the wind, from transmitting through the headset and drowning out the wearer's

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  • What's the Best (and Cheapest) Car-Share Program?

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Car-share programs offer the convenience of hopping into a car or truck, for a few hours or a few days, without owning whatever you're driving. Plus, you avoid the insurance and maintenance costs associated with ownership and you don't even pay for fuel. But these are not carefree deals -- there is fine print to be aware of. Here's what you need to know:

    The Benefits. For all their differences, car-share programs have much in common. Fleets of vehicles are parked in designated spots around a city or near a college campus. You reserve a vehicle online or with a mobile app and use a card or fob (handed over when you join the program) to unlock it; keys are stashed inside. You drive off for a designated amount of time and return the vehicle to the same spot. (One-way options are limited to a few programs.)

    Related: Best inexpensive all-weather tires

    Before getting near the driver's seat, you must first sign up for a membership plan and pay an

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  • 10 Germ Magnets that Need Spring Cleaning

    By Emily Lugg, Cheapism.com

    The obvious germ factories are well-known: cutting boards, carpets, shoes, hands. But there are many seemingly innocuous sources that can make you very sick. Spring is the time to emerge from hibernation and rethink cleaning habits with an eye to health. Fewer trips to the doctor mean fewer medications, which in turn mean more money in your pocket.

    No need to go overboard, though. Some germs are good -- they build up your immunity to certain bacteria. There is a happy medium between obsessive hand sanitizing and not washing after using the restroom. Here are 10 safe havens for germs that belong on your spring-cleaning list.

    Dishwasher. It might seem that something with the word "washer" in its name would be as clean as a whistle. Nope. The dishwasher is one of the dirtiest spots in the kitchen. Food particles that remain on the dishes after loading create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria that can make you sick. Reviewed.com recommends

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  • 5 Tax Day Freebies and Deals

    By Jeremy Bender, Cheapism.com

    Although there is always a glimmer of hope about receiving a refund, the prospect of owing additional state or federal taxes come April 15 is enough to put anyone in a funk. Luckily, Tax Day has a bright side: Several national chains view it like any other holiday, meaning freebies and deals galore if you know where to look.

    Related: Best free & cheap tax preparation software

    Here are the five of our favorite Tax Day specials:

    Free massage.
    What could possibly be a better way to cope with tax-filing stress than receiving a free massage? HydroMassage is offering a free hydroponic rubdown from April 14 to April 18 at many locations. Unfortunately, not all franchises are participating, so call ahead to confirm. The chain expects strong demand and suggests scheduling in advance. Be sure to print out the coupon from the HydroMassage website to qualify for this Tax Day freebie.

    Frozen yogurt deal. While not exactly a Tax Day freebie, Orange

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  • 25 Products that Are Cheaper at Whole Foods

    By Gina Briles, Cheapism.com

    Related: Best cheap airlines comparison
    Related: What's the best cheap grocery store?

    Nicknamed "Whole Paycheck" by snarky shoppers, Whole Foods Market has earned a reputation for unaffordable prices. Although it's true the health-food giant stocks plenty of high-end goods, many items are actually less expensive than comparable products at a traditional grocery store. Don't believe it? Cheapism.com did some shopping cart reconnaissance at a Whole Foods Market and a Safeway store in the same Seattle-area neighborhood to compare the cost of over 200 similar products. Here are 25 items that were cheaper at Whole Foods.

    More from Cheapism:
    Is Target better than Walmart and Kmart?
    What's the best cheap coffee: a taste test
    Is outlet shopping always cheaper than retail?

    For more ways to save, follow Cheapism on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
    To stay on top of the latest posts, read the Cheapism Blog.

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  • Is Social Media Killing the Garage Sale?

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    As garage sale season fast approaches, driven bargain hunters may notice a considerable drop in garage sales and the range of offerings. The reason seems to be the boom of local buy/sell/trade groups.

    This new type of vendor, facilitated by social media, is now the go-to source for clothing, shoes, electronics, home decor, moving boxes, children's gear, furniture, vehicles, and more in many communities. Not to be confused with eBay or Craigslist, these groups use Facebook as a platform and generally are localized to a specific area.

    "When Facebook came around, it was a way for users to connect with long-lost friends," explains Jobie Krantz, administrator for Local to Powell: Buy/Sell/Trade/Giveaway, in Powell, Ohio. "Now the trend appears to be turning toward subgroups within Facebook's parameters. And these subgroups all have a theme or common interest joining them together." For buy/sell/trade groups, Krantz continues, the glue is being

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  • 10 Cheap, Fun Family Summer Vacations

    By Tahirah Blanding, Cheapism.com

    Related: Top travel sites to score deals
    Related: Best cheap airlines comparison

    Summer is prime time for a family get-away. If you're concerned about costs, now's the moment to start planning a fun summer vacation that fits your budget. Whether your family enjoys the great outdoors or prefers the air-conditioned indoors, we've got you covered with a list of 10 cheap summer family vacations.

    More from Cheapism:
    Top hotel chains under $100 a night
    Which airlines charge the lowest baggage fees?
    Best budget car rental companies

    For more ways to save, follow Cheapism on Pinterest, Twitter and Facebook.
    To stay on top of the latest posts, read the Cheapism Blog.

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  • Easing the Financial Cost of a Death in the Family

    By Elizabeth Sheer, Cheapism.com

    Whether sudden or expected, the death of a loved one is emotionally wrenching. At a time when logical thinking is most compromised, you have make decisions and arrangements. It's easy to spend way more than you have to, even if only to honor the departed. Having a friend or relative serve as a sounding board before choosing among the alternatives can help lessen the financial strain.

    Funeral. Funeral expenses tend towards exorbitant. The median cost in 2012 was $7,045, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), but the final bill can easily reach $20,000. Some people make their wishes known before they die, but a surviving family member often is left to make decisions about the type of funeral, and whether to bury or cremate.

    Related: Places where seniors don't pay full price

    Even in an emotionally fraught state, you can arrange a funeral for far less than the median cost. One way is to request a direct burial.

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  • 4 Best Energy Efficient Light Bulbs Under $2

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    For those who haven't heard, the classic incandescent light bulb -- a staple for more than a century -- has officially been phased out. It fails to meet new efficiency standards put in place over the past couple of years, first for 100-watt bulbs and culminating with 40- and 60-watt bulbs at the start of 2014. Now U.S. companies cannot manufacture or import any traditional incandescent light bulbs. Consumers are left with a choice of energy-efficient alternatives, all of which cost more up front. In some corners, this has engendered outrage (and an impulse to stockpile remaining inventory). Others have cheered the move as a small step toward reducing the country's energy consumption.

    Related: Save money with energy-efficient products

    There are some exceptions to the new rules, such as three-way bulbs. Modernized halogen incandescents meet the requirements but have higher price tags than their predecessors. Meanwhile, two more efficient types

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  • How to Be in Your Best Friend's Wedding Without Breaking the Bank

    By Elizabeth Sheer, Cheapism.com

    Getting married is a major social event that involves family and friends. Pre-wedding celebrations abound, from the engagement party to the shower to wine and cake tastings. Post-wedding festivities are increasingly in vogue, not to mention destination bachelor/bachelorette parties. While all this adds up to lots more fun, non-stop events also add up to lots more expense.

    Relax. Friends and family can keep wedding-related costs under control with a touch of effort and advance planning.

    Related: Best wedding planning websites and apps

    As far as weddings go, the recession is so totally over. According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding hovers around $30,000. Members of the wedding party and regular guests are also shelling out. The cost for bridesmaids hit nearly $1,700 way back in 2011, with travel to the shower, bachelorette party, and wedding accounting for 53 percent of the total. A more recent survey by American Express found

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