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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 5 Tax Day Freebies and Deals

    By Jeremy Bender,

    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,

    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? 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,

    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,

    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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