Black clothes are a core part of most of our wardrobes, but they’re hard to keep looking fresh and new. What should we do: use detergents specifically marketed for dark clothing? Adjust our washing machine settings? There are steps that you can take to reduce the damage that washing does to your dark-colored clothes, which includes deep colors fading, running, or other disasters. How can you keep clothes looking new the longest? [More]
The Reese’s seasonal peanut butter cup empire is now a year-round operation with hearts, pumpkins, and even footballs, but it all began with the humble peanut butter egg. What you might not know is that you can make this confection in your very own home, with ingredients that aren’t very hard to find. [More]
What should you do when the bank is closed, you need some cash, and there’s no ATM handy that doesn’t charge piles of fees? Sure, you could join a bank with no local branches that refunds ATM fees, like USAA, Schwab, or Ally. Some local banks do this, too, but if the branch isn’t open, you can’t go open a new account. That’s when you open an account at the Bank of Hot Wheels. [More]
Maybe your planned flower delivery is delayed. Maybe the nasty weather has you stranded at home and unable to head outside to shop for gifts to mark the holiday. Or maybe you have a package of bacon and some toothpicks sitting around the house and some time to kill. It doesn’t matter. You don’t need a justification to make bacon roses. You don’t even need a holiday. [More]
I’m not a fan of candy sprinkles: to me, they taste like wax-covered blah. Are people like me consigned to a dull-sprinkle-free existence, though? No! Using a few simple ingredients, a pastry bag, and your choice of flavors, it’s possible to make your own sprinkles at home. [More]
While some people swear by grocery list apps, it’s hard for some people over 25 to get used to walking around the store staring at our phones. A written list is easy to consult quickly without having to unlock the screen, and easy to write on. Over at The Kitchn, Anjali Prasertong offers her technique: a list template made in Microsoft word and based on her regular purchases and the layout of her local Trader Joe’s. [More]
Your pantry is full of stuff, some of which you might even have looked at in the last year. What you may not know is that many of the simplest pantry staples have multiple uses around the house. Beyond cleaning with baking soda and cleaning your face with olive oil, there are some more unexpected uses for these items. [More]
Let’s say that you want to buy a fitness-related gift for a friend or relative, but don’t want to imply that they’re secretly a giant slug. You love them, which is why you want to encourage them to enjoy the life-extending benefits of exercise. Just without the life-shortening stress of being mad at you. How can you do that? [More]
Our own expertise is limited, but the knowledge and experience of the Consumerist community is unlimited. That’s why we’re turning to you, the Consumerist Hivemind, to provide guidance and help solve readers’ problems. Today’s question: how does the wise consumer choose and join a gym while getting the best deal and avoiding shady practices? [More]
Since David is a Consumerist reader, he’s probably known in his family as a generally savvy person to check with regarding all things financial. Or he’s just smart. Either way, a relative asked him about a letter offering help claiming an apparently abandoned insurance settlement. Was it a scam? Well, no. Not exactly. [More]
Okay, so we’ve established that painting your own crosswalks is a terrible idea, but there are other ways to decorate your driveway and the street in front of your home. If you’re a kid, anyway. Or very eccentric. Chalk can get expensive, though, especially if your kid shares with the entire neighborhood. Is there a cheaper way to get it? Yes, there is. [More]
Looking to get the best culinary experience out of your frozen pizza? That’s not an oxymoron. The smell of tomato sauce and cheese is drifting down the hall from our colleagues at Consumer Reports, who compared the same pizza when cooked in a conventional oven and a microwave oven. Their goal was to figure out the best way to cook frozen pizzas for optimal texture and tastiness.
Disappointed because your children became hysterical once they were seated on Santa’s lap and the cameras came out? In this post, you will learn how to prevent Santa meltdowns. One winter, Brandon was unemployed and ended up working at the local mall, seated in the Santa throne. So if you take your kids to have their photos taken with Santa and file their last-minute gift requests this weekend, keep these tips in mind.
The best way to keep baddies from stealing your valuables is to not own anything valuable in the first place, but that’s no fun. Instead, consider hiding your valuables in places no one will look. Jewelry box? The obvious place to keep your grandmother’s pearls. An aspirin bottle in the medicine cabinet? Not so much! And who would look for a wad of cash wrapped in foil in an old Gardenburger box in your freezer?
File this one under “Why didn’t I think of that?”: A student attending Auburn University to get his PhD figured out a way to cut way down on his tuition expenses by amassing thousands of dollars in rebate checks and prepaid debit cards. After punching in the numbers on anywhere from 200 to 250 debit cards he received as rebate payments along with $1,000 in rebate checks, he’ll only have to pay $450 out of pocket for this semester’s $4,500 tuition.
We roll our eyes at instructions on totally mundane objects. “I’m an adult,” a hypothetical person might say. “I know how to strike a match.” Or inflate a balloon. Or apply shampoo to my head. Maybe the ordinary person isn’t as smart as we’d like to think, though. There are millions of boxes of Tic-Tacs circulating out there right this minute, but most people have no idea how to actually dispense the tiny torpedoes of freshness.
Sure, it’s not peak IRS season right now, but there is quite a variety of reasons that you might have to deal with the ever-present government agency anyway. Tax Cat is out of the office, vacationing at his offshore kitty condo in the Cayman Islands, so it’s up to reader Christopher, a tax preparer, to serve us up with handy tax advice. See, sometimes you have to call the IRS. You can’t avoid it. But so does everyone else in the country. What Christopher figured out is that the IRS call center doesn’t have fixed hours like most. Its open hours depend on what time zone you live in. His solution? Use a Google Voice number to fudge what time zone he’s in, and call late in the evening when the business day is done for most of the continental U.S.