Blog Posts by

  • Secret Shows Feature Famous Performers for Less

    By Louis DeNicola,

    Concert Tickets Too Expensive? Try to Catch a 'Guerilla Gig'

    On Tuesday, Feb. 4, around 11 p.m., word hit the Internet that Prince would play an impromptu "open soundcheck" at the Electric Ballroom in London. Twitter was flooded with messages about the surprise performance and the venue was flooded with would-be attendees. A few hundred people were treated to an intimate show, the first in a series of "guerilla gigs" throughout the city this month.

    Related: How to find cheap movie tickets

    For publicity, fun, or to give back to true fans, many well-known artists play similar secret shows that cost far less to see than any on Ticketmaster. Sometimes a group will book a gig under a pseudonym and attendees will have no idea who they're actually going to see until the lights flood the stage. The pseudonym may be a hint that only loyal fans would pick up on. Arcade Fire has appeared as the Reflektors to promote the release of their album

    Read More »from Secret Shows Feature Famous Performers for Less
  • How to Get a Cheap or Free Pregnancy Test (and Not Worry It's Wrong)

    By Elizabeth Sheer,

    When women think they may be pregnant, they often feel the need to take several at-home pregnancy tests "just to be sure." Because pregnancy tests can be expensive, a few months of self-diagnosis quickly add up to a small fortune. Instead, use these resources to cash in on cheap ways to test for a pregnancy.

    Free Tests

    Planned Parenthood. Most Planned Parenthood centers offer free, walk-in pregnancy tests. If you don't have health insurance, bring identification or a pay stub to determine your eligibility for government-funded programs that enable many Planned Parenthood locations to offer pregnancy testing. Planned Parenthood often administers a urine rather than a blood test.

    Related: What HBO's 'Girls' can teach fans about frugality

    Clinics. Most communities have women's health and/or clinics for anyone that perform free pregnancy testing for walk-in patients. Check online to find one near your home.

    Doctor's Office. If you suspect

    Read More »from How to Get a Cheap or Free Pregnancy Test (and Not Worry It's Wrong)
  • How to Easily Save Over $300 a Month: Frugal Challenge Results

    By Raechel Conover,

    This February we invited readers to take the Frugal Month Challenge and commit to what some have called a "no-buy month." My family of four embarked on this cheap-living challenge and now I'm back to share the results.

    A quick refresher on the rule: Buy nothing extra -- only the bare necessities. For my family that meant we paid our mortgage and other monthly bills and bought groceries, dog food, and gas, but that's pretty much it. We even tried to pare down our grocery budget to increase our savings.

    The Results. After accepting this frugal/no-buy-month challenge last year and saving a whopping $472, I was already a firm believer. Truth be told, my husband and I were actually looking forward to a no-buy month. Although we try to stick to a tight budget, we faced some financial challenges this past year, including a cross-country move and a new baby.

    Related: 6 cheap summer vacation ideas

    We eagerly embarked on the frugal month

    Read More »from How to Easily Save Over $300 a Month: Frugal Challenge Results
  • 4 Best Low-Cost Dog Foods and How to Choose the Right One

    By Raechel Conover,

    Who knew picking out the best food for your dog could be such a challenge? Dog owners these days are faced with all sorts of conflicting advice: dry kibble only; no canned food; mix the two; no grains; include animal protein; feed a raw diet; avoid corn and avocado; carrageenan causes cancer…the list goes on and on.

    Well, fret no longer. Here are some guidelines on choosing the best cheap dog food, as well as several excellent dry and canned options.

    Canned vs. Dry Dog Food. The first feeding choice as a dog owner is whether to feed dry kibble or wet/canned food. "For healthy-weight adult animals, canned versus dry food is really a personal preference of the dog owner," says Elizabeth Scott, DVM and owner of an animal hospital outside Columbus, Ohio. There are health reasons that push the decision towards one or the other, she continues, but for a healthy dog the choice doesn't matter.

    Related: Which is the better pet store: Petco or

    Read More »from 4 Best Low-Cost Dog Foods and How to Choose the Right One
  • How to Turn Happy Hour into Dinner: A Cheapskate's Guide

    By Elizabeth Sheer,

    Happy hour, once known as cocktail time, is that transition period between the end of work and the start of dinner. It used to be that you had to hang at a local bar for a happy hour deal -- and that's still probably your best bet for a cheap alcoholic drink. But family/casual restaurant chains have joined in the fun, if for no other reason than to generate revenue during off-peak hours.

    There are no national standards for designated happy hours, but they typically fall somewhere in the 4-7 PM timeslot on weekdays. The deals vary by chain and even location within chains, so check before heading out. If you're savvy about your choices, you can order enough bar snacks with your beverage of choice to forget about dinner altogether. The catch, in most restaurants: You have to sit at the bar or in the lounge, with the expectation that you'll order a drink. That said, some offer early bird specials in the main dining room that you can enjoy without an

    Read More »from How to Turn Happy Hour into Dinner: A Cheapskate's Guide
  • What's Cheaper to Buy in March

    By Raechel Conover,

    Although the weather may be variable, retailers stick to a seasonal schedule, which means savings for the smart consumer. Use this post-holiday, season-transition month to score deals on winter sports equipment and luggage. Many of our February deals may still be in effect, albeit with smaller selections on goods such as boats and Valentine's Day chocolate. Other items to buy in March include an array of in-season fruits and vegetables and discounted frozen foods.

    Valentine's Day Leftovers. While the end of February (directly following Valentine's Day) saw a decent selection of discounted chocolate, those still on the shelves in March will be discounted further -- think 50 percent or more off chocolate with a Valentine's Day theme. But don't expect much of a choice.

    Related: Best cheap frozen diet meals: a taste test

    That discount strategy doesn't seem to hold for lingerie this month. You might think that with the passing of Valentine's Day

    Read More »from What's Cheaper to Buy in March
  • 11 Essential Rules for Negotiating a Discount

    By Emily Lugg,

    Coupons at the grocery store, weekly sales at the clothing store, and memberships at the discount store are all routes to the best deals. But there are no coupons for a new car or repairs to your home. The only way to land a discount on some things is simply to ask. Here is an overview of when and how to bargain your way to a better deal.

    What to Negotiate For.

    Try to negotiate the price of high-cost goods such as furniture, appliances, electronics, jewelry, and cars. Big-ticket items traditionally provide more bargaining opportunities than less expensive merchandise. Salespeople often are prepared to negotiate prices, having already been authorized by management to do so. And if you don't mind a scratch or a dent, you can probably score an even deeper discount. At many retail outlets this is also true if you purchase the floor model.

    Related: How to live off the dollar store for $50 a week

    Try to negotiate the rate for hotels and rental

    Read More »from 11 Essential Rules for Negotiating a Discount
  • Save Money with These Motorized Alternatives to Cars

    By Louis DeNicola,

    Related: 6 most affordable cities in the US

    At the Consumer Electronics Show in January, compact electric scooters and stylish electric bikes with ranges of at least 20 miles caught the spotlight. But price points of $1,500 or more for products still in prototype may brake riders' enthusiasm. Fortunately for frugal urban dwellers, there are cheap, petrol-free personal transportation alternatives, from electric scooters and bicycles to bike-share programs.

    Related: 5 cheap yet fun spring break destinations

    Electric Bikes. Electric bikes get riders to their destination with minimal effort and cost little to refuel. Charging is as simple as plugging the bicycle or removable battery into a wall outlet. Electric bikes come pre-built or as kits that transform a standard two-wheeler. "Bike commuting allows you to get to your destination without harming the environment, spending money on gas, or contributing to already congested roadways," asserts

    Read More »from Save Money with These Motorized Alternatives to Cars
  • Cheap Ways to Spay or Neuter Your Pet

    By Raechel Conover,

    It's no secret that a new pet comes with heavy costs in the first year. One of the major expenses involves spaying (females) or neutering (males) your dog or cat. But frugal pet owners needn't fret. There are ways to get this procedure taken care of on the cheap.

    The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) reports that dog owners spend roughly $1,300 to $1,850, depending on the animal's size, while cat owners spend about $1,035 during their first year as members of the household. A big chunk of that goes towards spaying and neutering; about $190 to $220 for dogs and $145 for cats.

    Related: How to save money at the vet

    Size and Gender Matter. If you're leaning towards a dog, you may want to forgo a large breed in favor of a small- or medium-size breed. Why? Costs associated with the procedure (sometimes referred to as being "altered") increase with the size of the dog. Lisa Bahr, director of operations for Centre

    Read More »from Cheap Ways to Spay or Neuter Your Pet
  • 4 Best Frozen Diet Meals for Under $4: A Taste Test

    By Louis DeNicola,

    Related: Best low price treadmills

    After a long day, it's easy to reach for the phone and order delivery for dinner. After a month -- even a short one like February -- your credit card bill and scale will reveal the downsides of this habit. And what about the New Year's resolutions you promised to stick to this year? Frozen diet meals aren't always as satisfying, but they are a quick, easy, and relatively healthful solution.

    Related: 4 Best Diet Plans For Tight Budgets

    A tasting panel assembled by put two types of frozen diet cuisine -- pasta with red sauce and enchiladas -- to the test. True to the site's commitment to reviewing inexpensive goods, none of the entrees cost more than $4 and two of the top-rated choices cost only about $2 per serving. That may be more than a home-cooked meal, but it certainly beats takeout.

    More from Cheapism:
    Don't Fall for These 5 Weight-Loss Gimmicks
    5 Best weight-loss apps
    Best running

    Read More »from 4 Best Frozen Diet Meals for Under $4: A Taste Test


(426 Stories)