Blog Posts by Cheapism.com

  • Lean Body, Fat Wallet Book Review

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    According to Lean Body, Fat Wallet by Ellie Kay and Danna Demetre, you can hit that sweet spot with just a few simple lifestyle changes. Kay is a financial expert, author, and international speaker, and Demetre is an inspirational speaker and author. Their joint endeavor aims to teach you how to live a healthier life, physically and financially.

    Surprisingly, these two pieces of the life puzzle fit together seamlessly and respond positively to the same uplifting habits -- or so the book proclaims. Its premise: four specific habits can help rid you of body fat and debt within one year and keep you on the straight and narrow for a lifetime.

    Related: Best cheap diet plans

    The first, foundational habit -- You Are What You Think -- teaches healthy self-talk that evolves into self-fulfilling prophecy. Practice the correct positive self-talk and thoughts, and before long that way of thinking is ingrained. "Personally, it's the habit I struggle

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  • What's Cheap to Buy in February

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    As you consider what to buy in February, remember that winter is halfway over and retailers want to get rid of seasonal merchandise. Also, stores usually have a lot of electronics left over from the holidays and must make room for new gadgets. And finally, President's Day falls in February, giving many people a three-day weekend and extra time to shop. Taken all together, you can count on February deals galore.

    Electronics: GPS, TVs, Digital Cameras, and Home Theaters. With Black Friday and Christmas long past, retailers advertise cheap LCD TVs and home theaters for yet another national "holiday": Super Bowl Sunday. Game day meets up with January's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to spur retailers toward February deals on things like HDTVs, speakers, surround-sound systems, and other components to make way for new models shown at CES. Snap up a new TV on the cheap and make your Super Bowl party the hottest ticket in town.

    Related: Best LCD TVs

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  • Save Over $400: Take the Frugal Month Challenge in February

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    The holidays may provide a festive reprieve from the daily grind, but as a rule of thumb, they're not good for your wallet. With January comes a return to real life and living on a tight budget as you pay off holiday bills. So here's our February challenge to you: a no-buy month. And if you don't think you can make it a full month, February 24th to March 1 is America Saves Week. The point is to encourage good spending and saving habits that can last year round.

    Related: Best inexpensive canister vacuum recommendations and reviews

    What does this no-buy month or week mean for you?

    What's a No-Buy Month? As blogger The Frugalista explains in The Washington Post, the idea is to save money by going an entire month without buying anything other than the bare necessities. This means you pony up for your house or apartment, utilities, groceries, and gasoline or public transit, but that's it. No dinners out, no trips to the salon, no shopping,

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  • Cheap Indoor Activities for Kids

    By Emily Lugg, Cheapism.com

    Whether it's too hot or too cold outside, parents are always in need of fun and cheap indoor activities for the kids. Check out our list, broken down by age, for a variety of affordable or free ideas.

    Infant (0-1 year)

    Attend a "Baby and Me" class. While most variants of these classes charge a fee, the price is usually the equivalent of a few dollars a session. You can choose among yoga, music, gymnastics, or even exercise classes at locations like the local Y or children's gymnasiums. Classes generally meet weekly for six to eight weeks with a run-time of 30 to 45 minutes. If you're unsure whether a specific class would be right for you and the baby, most venues let you try one for free.

    Related: Best family restaurants to dine on a dime

    Visit a Play Cafe. These part-coffee shop/part-play areas are popping up in towns everywhere. For several dollars you can enjoy a cup of coffee while your little one enjoys an indoor play space designed for

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  • Beyond Beer: 8 Non-Alcoholic Drinks for a Super Bowl Party

    By Sarah McMinn Cheapism.com

    Are you ready for some … hosting?

    If your living room has been designated the local Super Bowl venue, preparation is in order. Namely: party drinks and food. (We're supposing you already have an awesome TV given the responsibility bestowed.)

    Super Bowl cuisine is predictable -- wings, nachos, pizza. This is not an ideal occasion to introduce new recipes or low-calorie options. The typical Super Bowl drink selection is similarly simple: beer. Lots and lots of beer. Instead of leaving any non-beer drinkers with a choice of tap water or generic-brand soda, plan a few alternatives. Here are eight non-alcoholic and alcohol-optional party drinks that will add diversity to your menu without much extra effort or expense.

    Related: What to do if you're not watching the Super Bowl?

    1. This mocktail is often called Canadian Pride, but it may be just the ticket for this unofficial American holiday:

    4 tsp maple syrup
    3 oz. grapefruit juice
    3 oz. dry Read More »from Beyond Beer: 8 Non-Alcoholic Drinks for a Super Bowl Party
  • 4 Best Dryers for Less Than $500

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    Hang-drying clothing during the warm months can save money and help clothing last longer. During the winter, that's often not an option unless you want to turn a shirt into an icicle. And with meteorologists predicting a return of the polar vortex, what could be better than putting on warm clothes straight out of the dryer? Whether you're searching for your first dryer or considering a replacement, today's models can do the job for well under $500.

    Related: How to save money on laundry

    Inexpensive dryers aren't especially stylish -- you'll generally be limited to a plain, white box -- but some have a surprising number of advanced settings. Don't be surprised to see a wrinkle-free mode, a moisture or temperature sensor, or even a quiet-dry option. The four dryers featured here have 6.5 to 7 cubic feet of space inside the drum, enough for a decent-size load.

    Related: Inexpensive canister vacuum recommendations

    With one exception, these are

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  • 4 Top LED TVs Under $500 for Super Bowl Fans on a Budget

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    This time of year, TVs on offer tend toward the humongous: big screens with big price tags for the big game. A high-definition projector can splash the Super Bowl across an entire wall. Consumers who aren't inclined to spend thousands of dollars on such a setup can also find good deals on HDTVs this month. An LCD TV under $500 may not elicit gasps from Super Bowl party guests, but the top picks from Cheapism.com promise to shine all year round. They display high-quality, 1080p images (a.k.a. "full HD") and earn positive reviews from consumers and experts alike. Some are even so-called smart TVs that can stream content over the Internet via apps such as Netflix.

    Related: Best tablets under $200

    The screens on these LCD TVs are backlit with LED lights, which use less energy than the fluorescents that used to light most LCD screens. All four recommended TVs have Energy Star certification from the government. Based on the program's estimates, they

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  • How to Train Your Dog for Less

    By Raechel Conover, Cheapism.com

    Dogs are said to be humans' best friend, but humans' best friend originated in the wild and descends from wolves. The modern dog must be trained in household etiquette in order to live with people. There are ways to accomplish this goal on the cheap.

    Basic training starts with the fundamentals, such as potty training, socialization with other dogs and people, and responding to simple commands like sit, lay, and stay. "Come when called and good leash manners are two skills that make any dog a safer and more enjoyable companion," notes Dawn Pribble, a certified professional dog trainer.

    Related: Best cheap vacuum cleaners recommendations

    There are a million things you can teach a dog -- they are, after all, very smart and very attuned to their human owners -- but we're all about the basics here. Just remember that training your dog for less may require a bit more time and effort on your part.

    Dog Training Costs. Hiring a professional

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  • Seniors: How to Go a Full Day Without Paying Full Price?

    By Emily Lugg, Cheapism.com

    A senior at age 50? Indeed. That's the point at which it's worth knowing the discount tricks that make the most of advancing age. We planned a cheap day for seniors around the many available deals. An ID will come in handy, and some businesses require an AARP membership to qualify. You may need to request the senior discount but be prepared for a blank stare -- chain locations often participate at their discretion, so even if some do cut prices, others don't. (And some may offer savings different from those noted below.) Other restrictions may also apply, and it's generally a good idea to call ahead.

    Related: Age pays: senior discounts comparison

    Breakfast. If you're over 55 and a member of AARP, start the day with a free donut (approximately $1 value) when purchasing a large or extra-large coffee at Dunkin' Donuts. For something heartier, try Denny's, which features a menu designed for the 55-and-over set that lists already-discounted prices. The

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  • 4 Best Budget 3D TVs to Watch the Super Bowl On

    By Louis DeNicola, Cheapism.com

    For consumers interested in a 3D TV, the pool of choices is shrinking. Vizio, a favorite for its competitive pricing, revealed that it has abandoned the technology in its 2014 lineup. Panasonic will stop selling its critically beloved plasma TVs by March, removing still more 3D-capable TVs from the market. The trend is toward glasses-free 3D, which will take a while to trickle down to TVs around $1,000 or less. In the meantime, Cheapism.com has identified four of the best conventional 3D TVs in that price range.

    Related: Best LCD TVs Under $500

    The TVs featured here display images in 1080p high definition. They're smart TVs that feature built-in Wi-Fi for connecting to the Internet, allowing users to easily stream content from Netflix, YouTube, Pandora, and other sources. Most are LCD TVs that use energy-efficient LED backlighting. The exception is one of Panasonic's discontinued plasmas.

    Related: Budget home theater buying guide

    The

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