Blog Posts by Cheapism.com

  • 8 Cheap Mother's Day Gift Ideas

    By Alyssa Goldman, Cheapism.com

    It doesn't matter if you spend a lot, a little, or nothing at all on a Mother's Day gift. The important women in your life just want to know you care. So show them some love with one or more of these cheap Mother's Day gift ideas.

    Have her try something new. This one requires some listening: Pay attention to your mother's (your wife's, your aunt's, etc.) interests. Has she always wanted to take a pottery class? Does she love yoga, but can't find an affordable studio? No matter what her hobbies (or potential hobbies) may be, there's surely a cheap Mother's Day gift deal on sites like Groupon, Living Social, Lifebooker, or Gilt City.

    Celebrate Mother's Day on the cheap.

    Related: Our cheap flowers delivery guide

    Buy her a membership. If mom (wife, significant other, etc.) constantly goes to the local art museum whenever a new exhibit opens, it's time to buy her a membership. Make her a member of her favorite museum, local park, or community center.

    Sweet treats. Almost

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  • 7 Wacky (But Possible) Repurposing Ideas

    By Alyssa Goldman, Cheapism.com

    Maybe Earth Day is so yesterday, but it's still an opportune time to sort through boxes of old stuff. Aside from getting organized, you might find some items you would otherwise earmark for trash and create an unexpected treasure instead.

    Reinvent used rain boots.

    Cheapism turned to green bloggers for their wackiest repurposing ideas. Anyone with a little time and patience can try these out and end up with something cute, creative, and fashioned by you. Another positive byproduct: one less item added to the landfill or carted to the recycling facility.

    Related: Cheap compost bins

    1. Give old rain boots new life. After five years of wearing the same rain boots, the Creative Green Living blogger decided they were "done in" by holes and cracks in the rubber. Rather than disposing of them and buying a new pair, her repurposing idea called for several roles of zebra-patterned duct tape. She prepped the boots by patching holes and reinforcing weak areas and seams with

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  • 9 Simple Tips for Selling Your House

    By Alyssa Goldman, Cheapism.com

    You don't need to invest tons of money in renovation and remodeling to sell your home. With a bit of time, energy, and a few minor changes you can give your house mass-market appeal. We identified nine cheap (and simple) tips for selling your house that might reduce the haggling, as well.

    Renovate your home to sell.

    Related: Cheap garden centers comparison

    1. Less is more. Before potential buyers knock on the door, give your home some TLC. Aside from dusting and cleaning every surface, get rid of all unnecessary items. Although potential buyers are aware your house is being lived in, you want them to imagine that it's already their home. This tip for selling your house also involves taking down family photos and hiding away examples of highly personal taste.

    2. Make your rooms roomier. When prepping your home for the market, the less furniture on display, the better. By clearing out clutter -- and that includes up to half of your furniture -- your place will seem

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  • How Hedging Your Bets with Airbnb Could Cost You

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Considering moving in with your significant other to save money? The prospect can certainly be tempting, particularly if you live in a city as notoriously pricey as New York or San Francisco. It can also be scary. What if things don't work out and you're left with nowhere to go? A fellow Cheapist recently suggested an appealing half-measure: Instead of abandoning your place completely, list it on Airbnb, an online service that can help you rent out your apartment or house on a short-term basis. That way, you can earn some extra income to help cover your rent or mortgage payment and still have a safety net for the next big leap in your relationship. Unfortunately, a little digging reveals that the risks associated with putting your home up for rent on a website such as Airbnb or Roomorama may outweigh the potential gain.

    Renting out your apartment through Airbnb might not be such a good idea.

    Related: Best cheap restaurants near you

    In the past we've suggested that frugal vacationers look to sites like those for

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  • 4 Top Budget Compost Bins for Earth Day and Beyond

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    As people around the world mark Earth Day by volunteering to pick up trash or plant trees, many look for ways to continue in that spirit long after April 22. One option is to try composting, which recycles food waste that would otherwise end up in the trash and has the added benefit of being an economical way to get excellent fertilizer. As the Environmental Protection Agency explains, it can be as simple as piling up compostable material in your yard, but that method may take up to two years to yield usable compost. For less than $50, a compost bin can help speed up the process, keep animals at bay, and keep your space a little neater.

    The Redmon Green Culture compost bin is our top outdoor choice.

    Related: Our cheap hybrid cars buying guide

    Cheapism.com has researched two different kinds of compost bins for frugal-minded gardeners. Two of the recommendations are kitchen pails for storing compostable (and potentially smelly) food scraps for transportation outside later. The other two live outdoors and

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  • 6 Steps to Fitness on Your Own

    By Elizabeth Sheer, Cheapism.com

    With the onset of spring comes the prospect of wearing a lot less clothing. And that, for many of us, means rigorous commitment to an exercise routine. But don't be deterred by thoughts of a pricey gym membership or in-home exercise equipment, because all you need is motivation.

    Try these cheap exercises to get in shape.

    Related: Best inexpensive hiking boots and shoes

    We spoke with Kira Stokes, a personal trainer and founder of Stoked Method, and learned how to master fitness on your own. Her focal point is transforming both body and mind. Here is her approach to fitness on your own:

    1. Start moving. That means picking up your pace and getting out of your comfort zone. If it normally takes seven minutes to walk around the block, says Stokes, aim for five. Run from one street sign to another and then walk to the next few.

    2. Set goals. Setting and then reaching new goals will keep you motivated. Write down both short- and long-term goals, and make the former reachable.

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  • Online Warehouse Deals: Get Discounts for Opened or Slightly Damaged Products

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Have you ever walked into a thrift shop and found a deal you couldn't refuse? Perhaps an almost-new pair of jeans for $5 or a couch for less than a day's wages. Have you ever noticed the section near the front of the grocery store stocked with dented cans and slightly damaged boxes? The contents are still fine, but the prices are much lower.

    Related: Which is cheaper: Amazon or Walmart?

    Amazon Warehouse Deals

    The ecommerce equivalent of the neighborhood thrift store and sale aisle is the burgeoning universe of warehouse deal sites. Amazon Warehouse Deals, for example, sells items that can't be sold as new on the pages of its primary site; proffered wares include goods that have been returned or bought by Amazon from third-party sellers. Before posting, Amazon assesses the items and rates them from "acceptable" to "new." In some cases, returned products were never opened and a dented box is the only defect.

    We checked out Amazon Warehouse Deals and found some

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  • How to Get a Summer Job as a College Student

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Spring break recently ended and finals are a few weeks away. In other words, this is the moment to find a summer job or internship. Knowing how to get a summer job isn't exactly rocket science, and while the job market may be tough, there are opportunities out there. Whether you're looking for a technical placement that fits with your area of study, an internship to improve your skills, or a way to pad the savings account (or pay off student loans), there's no time to spare.

    Summer is just weeks away.

    Related: Best travel sites to grab deals

    We know all about sending countless resumes and cover letters into the dark abyss of the Internet. Never getting a response is downright frustrating and not getting an offer after an interview is disappointing and painful. After weeks of rejection you may start asking yourself if anyone knows how to get a summer job. The answer is "yes," and the trick is learning the correct approach.

    Many tactics that work for fulltime job

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  • 7 Ways to Cut Baby Costs the Second Time Around

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    It's no secret that a baby costs a lot in the first year (and the second, and the third ...). A middle-income family welcoming a second child can expect to spend about $12,370, according the most recent estimate by the USDA, which releases an annual report on the subject. For parents, the numbers are downright scary. But as I prepare for my second baby, who is due to arrive very soon, I realize I've picked up some ways to cut baby costs this time around. These seven tips should help even first-time parents spend a lot less.


    More from Cheapism:

    Inexpensive baby strollers
    Which is the better buy: Sam's or Costco?
    Our cheap baby diapers buying guide
    Best budget blender reviews

    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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  • Garden Centers Comparison: Where to Go to Start a Garden on a Budget

    By Gina K. Briles, Cheapism.com

    This time of year, longer days and warmer temperatures prod even novice gardeners to beautify their outdoor spaces. Americans devote about $350 per household to repopulating flowerbeds and tackling other lawn and garden projects, according to the most recent annual survey by the National Gardening Association. Home improvement centers and mass merchants account for just over half the total spending, compared with 17 percent for local garden centers and nurseries. Cheapism.com visited garden centers at four national chains, as well as one local nursery, to compare prices, stock, and service. The one retailer that didn't disappoint on any front was Home Depot, where a wagon full of supplies for a starter garden came to $173.92.

    Which garden center ranks on top?

    Related: Our full budget garden centers guide

    Home Depot didn't record the lowest total for the 14 items on the list, but it came within $2 of Lowe's, where the tab was $172.16, the plant selection was slightly

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