Blog Posts by

  • 10 Tips for Doing Disney on a Budget

    By Raechel Conover,

    A trip to Disneyland (California) or Walt Disney World (Florida), or sailing on a Disney Cruise, is a dream come true for kids. Planning the ultimate family vacation is another story. There are thousands of "tips and tricks" and "secrets" to visiting a Disney property. The challenge is sifting through them and figuring out what actually saves you money and works for your situation. We've assembled 10 best tips that can help you plan your next magical vacation.

    1. Go off-season. Here at, we preach saving money by buying or going in the off-season, and Disney attractions are no different. Both Disney parks have "off" or "value" seasons that generally run January through February, October through November, and the early days of December. Walt Disney World is cheaper all around when you go during the off-season. Spring break, Christmas, and New Year's are peak times at both parks, as are the summer months. Everything is marked up,

    Read More »from 10 Tips for Doing Disney on a Budget
  • Summer Camp Guide: Finding the Best Affordable Option for Your Kids

    By Raechel Conover,

    With fond memories of cabin mates, campfires, swimming pools, and s'mores, it's no wonder parents who went to summer camp want their children to have the same enriching experience they enjoyed. Whether kids go to sleep-away camp or a day program, they can gain new skills, experiences, friends, and their own memories to cherish.

    All this comes at an average cost of $690 per week for each overnight camper and about $300 for each day camper, according to estimates by the American Camp Association. Still, there are plenty of city, state, and non-profit groups that offer cheap summer camps for kids. Nine out of 10 ACA-accredited camps offer financial aid to help families with the expense. Our guide to cheap summer camp programs can help you find day and sleep-away options that are a good fit for your child.

    Related: Places where kids can eat for free

    • YMCA: This worldwide organization is an excellent source of cheap summer camps for kids that
    Read More »from Summer Camp Guide: Finding the Best Affordable Option for Your Kids
  • Does Composting Also Help You Save Money or Only the Environment?

    By Josue Ledesma

    Compost, often referred to as "black gold" by gardeners, is a soil enhancer that helps plants of all stripes to thrive. Better yet, compost is free and organic, and returns nutrients to the soil. It makes use of yard and food waste that would otherwise go to landfill and becomes a fertilizer that doesn't produce polluted runoff or leach beneficial organisms from the soil.

    Related: Best cheap compost bins buying guide and recommendations

    When it comes to composting, what's good for the environment is also good for your wallet. Organics "By Gosh" points to savings on expenses such as water bills and lawn maintenance. Compost aerates the soil and helps plants retain water, which means less watering with hose and sprinkler. Compost also helps suppress plant diseases, so there's less need for chemical fixes. The site estimates that all the organic and energy goodness from a cubic yard of compost would cost more than $550 to acquire through a

    Read More »from Does Composting Also Help You Save Money or Only the Environment?
  • Is Raising Chickens Cheaper Than Buying Eggs?

    By Josue Ledesma

    With sustainability gaining a foothold in the popular imagination, raising chickens in the backyard holds a certain appeal. There's the steady supply of fresh eggs from a flock of hens, for one, the natural grooming of the landscape when the brood roams free, and the general thrill that comes with money-saving self-sufficiency.

    But a word to the wise: Before forging ahead, check local zoning regulations and health codes. The raising of livestock, which may or may not include chickens, is subject to local control in many communities.

    Related: 25 items that are cheaper at Whole Foods

    Why Raise Chickens at Home? For some folks, food awareness is the motivator. Elizabeth Austin, who just started raising chickens behind her home in central Ohio, wanted to be more conscious about the food she and her daughter were eating. She knew that controlling the diet of chickens, by feeding them healthy grains, vegetables, and insects rather than soy-based,

    Read More »from Is Raising Chickens Cheaper Than Buying Eggs?
  • How to Get a College Degree for Less

    By Louis DeNicola,

    With the average cost of a four-year degree tipping past $90,000 for in-state public colleges and nearing $180,000 for private colleges, many would-be students are priced out. Earlier this year the Michigan Legislature introduced a novel plan that would offer college-bound students free tuition in exchange for handing over to the state up to 4 percent of their post-graduation income. For each year spent in school, program participants would be obligated for five years of payments. A similar idea is floating around more than 20 other states.

    Related: 7 steps to landing a college scholarship

    While the Michigan plan sounds like a deal of sorts, there are cheaper ways to earn a college degree. With a hefty dose of self-discipline and resourcefulness, a Bachelor's degree may be within reach in a fraction of the usual time and at fraction of the going price.

    Forget the Class Time. One trick for earning a quick and inexpensive college degree is to

    Read More »from How to Get a College Degree for Less
  • Is it Cheaper to Buy a Printer or Go to the Copy Shop?

    By Louis DeNicola,

    Whether you have a project that needs to be printed or two tickets to the biggest show in town, access to a reliable printer is a must. But if you use a printer only occasionally, is it worth the space and the expense when you could head to an office supply store instead?

    To understand the economics behind this dilemma, we compared the cost of printing at home to the prices charged by two national chains. The frugal-wise choice was quickly apparent.

    Related: Best websites for buying cheap printer ink

    What's the Project? Printing costs primarily depend on the project, and to some extent on the type of printer you buy. Laser printers are fast and have a low cost per page, and are generally used for black-and-white text documents. Inkjet printers do well with color and can print glossy photos with ease. There are color laser printers as well, but they're often quite expensive and don't do justice to images.

    Although printer prices vary

    Read More »from Is it Cheaper to Buy a Printer or Go to the Copy Shop?
  • How to See Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Others for Far Less

    By Jeremy Bender,

    With spring starting to bloom, the concert season also swings into high gear. For music lovers and dedicated fans, there is little better than seeing a favorite artist playing a favorite song live. Concerts, sadly, are expensive, especially with the additional fees imposed by ticketing websites. Luckily, there are work-arounds the high cost.

    The most effective strategy is to expand the set of venues you're willing to attend. Concerts generally are pricier in better-known stadiums in major metropolitan areas. If you're will to range outside your comfort zone and travel a little farther, concerts are likely to be more affordable.

    Related: 6 tips to save big on summer music festivals

    To jump-start your quest to see concerts for less, we checked prices for some of the most popular tours that are starting this spring.

    Lady Gaga

    Lady Gaga artRave Tour. Lady Gaga is touring nationwide this spring and summer. She is playing three shows in a short period in

    Read More »from How to See Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Others for Far Less
  • Best Bluetooth Headsets for Under $50

    By Louis DeNicola,

    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 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

    Read More »from Best Bluetooth Headsets for Under $50
  • What's the Best (and Cheapest) Car-Share Program?

    By Louis DeNicola,

    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

    Read More »from What's the Best (and Cheapest) Car-Share Program?
  • 10 Germ Magnets that Need Spring Cleaning

    By Emily Lugg,

    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. recommends

    Read More »from 10 Germ Magnets that Need Spring Cleaning


(432 Stories)