Blog Posts by Cheapism.com

  • 5 Ways to Save Money on School Lunches

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    Now that the school year has finally started, you're no doubt facing the school lunch dilemma. You know, the one that goes something like this: the easy but costly and possibly unhealthy option of letting the kids buy lunch at school or the more complicated but cheaper and healthier option of packing school lunches every day yourself.

    Making school lunches at home is both economical and healthy.

    With our five tips on how to save money by packing school lunches in your very own kitchen, you'll no longer have to trade nutritious for quick and easy. You'll have healthy school lunches and change in your pocket.

    Related: 4 recommended inexpensive rolling backpacks

    1. Go green. That's right, save money and the environment in one stroke by buying a reusable school lunch box, reusable thermos, and reusable containers. While you may have to shell out some cash for these items at the beginning of the school year, you'll no longer have to add sandwich bags, snack bags, foil, wax paper, or brown paper bags

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  • 4 Best Inexpensive MP3 Players

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Just as personal audio cassettes and CD players once became known as Walkmans, today's MP3 players are commonly referred to as iPods. But with so many music lovers now plugging in through their smartphones, the MP3 player - Apple variety or not - risks becoming obsolete. Don't give up on them just yet, though. MP3 players have certain advantages that smartphones lack: they're light enough and small enough to keep you humming all through your exercise routine.

    It's easy to enjoy the portability of mp3 players.

    Cheapism identified four MP3 players with price tags under $60.

    Related: Best affordable iPod speakers on the market

    • The SanDisk Sansa Clip Zip is available with either 4GB (starting at $35) or 8GB (starting at $53) of memory. The ability to boost capacity by up to 32GB with a microSDHC card makes this player extremely appealing. The Sansa Clip Zip supports multiple audio file types, including MP3, WMA, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, and Audiobooks. It also sports an FM radio, a voice
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  • Yoga for Cheap

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    September is National Yoga Month so even if you've never done a sun salutation in your life, now is the perfect time to start. When beginning a yoga practice you need only a few essentials: a guide or instructor, a mat, and cheap yoga clothes (read that as comfortable clothes). A water bottle and towel are also useful, and possibly a yoga block and gloves. With the real work done by your body and mind, you can easily practice yoga for cheap.

    Begin your fitness journey with a budget yoga mat.Begin your fitness journey with a budget yoga mat.

    Cheap yoga classes. At the start of your cheap yoga journey it's important to have the advice and guidance of an instructor. This person will lead you through the different postures, show you how to improve your form, and make sure you're moving into and out of positions safely. Many yoga centers offer a free class and/or deals for the first week or month. Yoga's surge in popularity means you can also regularly find cheap yoga classes on daily deal sites.

    Related: Inexpensive yoga mat recommendations

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  • Fly into Fall with the Best Budget Airlines

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Whether you're trying to squeeze in a vacation before the weather begins to cool or starting your holiday travel planning early, finding cheap airfare is key to organizing an affordable trip. With airlines adding new fees and reducing amenities, though, it pays to look at more than just the base price of the ticket. You may be surprised to find that the carriers known as budget airlines often have just as much to offer as legacy airlines. They promise friendly service and even welcome add-ons such as free checked bags and personal TVs on every seatback. Cheapism.com recently ranked the best domestic low-cost airlines:

    Related: Budget hotel chains recommendations

    Fly domestically at a reduced rate with an economical airline.

    • Southwest Airlines is the largest of the budget carriers, sending more than 3,400 flights each day to 74 destinations. The airline wins praise in online reviews for its affordable tickets, friendly and funny staff, and comfortable planes, even as it reduces legroom to fit
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  • Beyond Books: 7 Things Libraries Will Let You Do for Free

    By Kym Pham, Cheapism.com

    Where can you rent movies, take classes, discover music, and meet new people without spending a cent? Your local library, of course. Like other government-funded enterprises, many public libraries have cut back in recent years. But plenty remain treasure troves of freebies -- and we're talking about a lot more than books.

    There's more than just books at your local library.

    Set aside an hour this weekend, grab a thermos of your favorite cheap coffee, and check out the free library programs at your local branch. Get a membership card if you don't already have one and make friends with the librarian; you'll be seeing him or her often once you realize how much free stuff is at your fingertips. Below are seven things members can do at most libraries at no cost.

    Related: Free online tutoring resources

    1. Go online. Instead of doing research or work at home, where distractions abound, use a library computer station. Want to start blogging? Clean out your inbox? Work on an idea that suddenly strikes

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  • Need New Glasses? 4 Recommended Websites for Discount Eyeglasses

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Does some of the smaller text on this page look less than crisp? Maybe it's time to stop blaming the display on your computer and start looking for a new pair of glasses. The high prices at local optometrists' offices and national chains may discourage you from updating your lenses, but heading online instead of downtown can save you a bundle. The websites below are Cheapism.com's top picks for finding affordable eyeglasses.

    Related: Eyeglasses websites reviews

    • Zenni Optical (starting at $6.95 for frames and single-vision lenses) lets you test drive glasses by uploading a picture of yourself to see what you'll look like with different frames. Test drive new glasses to see which frame best suits your face.The glasses may be cheap, but they still come with anti-scratch, UV, and anti-reflective coatings, although some reviewers have questioned the latter's effectiveness. The company also throws in a free protective case and microfiber cleaning cloth. The glasses ship from Hong Kong and most orders are
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  • Flavor is Cheap

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    A portion of every dollar you earn is spent on food, so do yourself a favor and make that food taste better. Whether you dine out or prepare meals at home, eating is one of those necessities that is pleasant enough but can drain your wallet if you don't proceed cautiously.

    To help you eat well and cheaply, we've found several creative ways to make food taste better and look better.

    Pass the salt, please. Shake it up with salt and pepper! Salt may no longer be worth its weight in gold, but the flavor it adds to food can't be ignored. If you're entertaining, specialty salts can spark a conversation and add a bit of color while enhancing the taste. Try a "smoked" salt, salt infused with flavors such as lemon and espresso, or volcanic salts that come in a variety of colors. Infused salts often carry slightly higher price tags, but a little goes a long way. You can find jars of colorful specialty sea salt in the $10-15 price range.

    Related: Cookware recommendations

    Oy!

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  • Fight Frizzy Hair Without Expensive Salon Products

    By Teal Pelish, Cheapism.com

    Humid summers can wreak havoc on hair, especially if it's curly or wavy. Pricey salon products may prove tempting to consumers with out-of-control hair, but we've found plenty of cheap hair products that have been shown to tame a wild mane. Here are some reputable options to try.

    Tame your frizz to reveal luscious and heavenly curls.Tame your frizz to reveal luscious and heavenly curls.

    Cheap hair products for curly and wavy styles. Men and women with curly locks have a few different kinds of cheap hair products to choose from. One of the simplest and most versatile is a gel such as Dep Sport Endurance Styling Gel or Texture Styling Gel. Both control frizz and provide strong hold without making hair "crunchy," according to online reviewers, some of whom have relied on the brand for decades. The price certainly looks like a throwback: less than $3 for a 12-ounce bottle online.

    Related: Inexpensive shampoo alternatives

    Those seeking bouncy curls instead of undefined frizz can opt for Tresemme Flawless Curls Defining Gel, which earns dozens of

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  • Drive Down Fuel Costs with the Best Budget Hybrids

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Looking to get from one place to another without hurting the environment and spending half your paycheck on fuel? Hybrid cars offer a way to reduce your emissions as well as your expenses. Federal tax credits for hybrid car buyers are now available only for plug-in hybrids and electric cars. But as hybrid technology has become more mainstream, the cost of a typical gas-electric vehicle has decreased.

    Related: Hybrid car recommendations

    Cheapism.com has researched this segment and named the top four hybrid vehicles under $26,000.

    • Toyota Camry HybridToyota Camry HybridThe Toyota Camry Hybrid (starting at $25,990) is a family sedan that offers an appealing and roomy interior and some of the strongest acceleration in its class. In fact, reviewers say, it has enough power that you may forget you're driving a hybrid -- that is until you see that the electric motor is helping you get 43 mpg in the city and 41 on the highway. This car also received top safety ratings from the
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  • 5 Ways to Make Money on Your Next Move

    By Victoria Kichuk, Cheapism.com

    Moving sales are touted as tried-and-true places for bargain hunters to score deals on hard-to-find treasures and cheap household items. For sellers, however, moving sales are typically less about benefitting financially and more about cutting down the amount of stuff that needs to go in boxes.

    Offset hefty moving expenses by making money where you can.Offset hefty moving expenses by making money where you can.

    Thanks to the internet, it's now possible to find far bigger and more targeted markets for your belongings, so you can not only weed out unwanted items but also make more money for moving. Here are some ways to use the web as a tool to advertise items and sell them, or simply as a resource for locating places that might take them off your hands.

    Related: Tips for Moving on a Budget

    • Selling collectable or nearly new items on Amazon or eBay can often yield a greater profit than trying to sell those items at a tag sale. Odds are you don't have niche collectors willing to pay a premium living right around the corner, but you can take your pieces
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