We don’t need to go outside, look at a thermometer, or even to peek outside the skylights of the Consumerist Bunker: we can tell when temperatures are beginning to climb in much of the United States, because search engine traffic begins to pour in to old posts about how to figure out how many BTUs you need when shopping for a room air conditioner. Fear not, overheated Consumerists: we’re always here to help. [More]
Around my suburban neighborhood, the smell of grilled meat is beginning to waft from backyards. Here in the Northeast, we pack our grills away for the off-season. Now that it’s May, we’re fairly certain that it’s not going to snow anymore, so most people are bringing their grills out of hibernation. How can you make sure that yours is in safe working condition for meat season? [More]
Looking to cut back on your spending, or just put more in savings? You might be leaking money without realizing it with some common household expenses. [More]
If you like the texture and protein content of Greek yogurt, but don’t like the prices and want to avoid products thickened with milk powder, there’s another option that is often cheaper: make your own at home. No, we don’t mean fermenting your own yogurt from scratch, though that isn’t very hard either. Start with plain regular yogurt and strain it yourself, which somehow still costs less per ounce than buying a whole container of Greek yogurt. [More]
Clipping coupons can be a fun hobby and effective money-saving strategy, but a recent study shows that the coupons that come stuffed in your local paper are often for unhealthy or pre-made foods and brand-name products. Does this mean that coupons are completely useless if you don’t want to eat junk? No, not necessarily.
We all like to think that there are special tricks we can learn or technology that we can use to improve our fuel economy and save money on gas. That’s not so: there are tricks we can employ, but they’re intuitive and extremely boring.
The Internet has brought an amazing array of merchandise into our lives and onto our doorsteps. However, being able to order a crate of hamburger-shaped cookies from Japan or a complete DVD box set of “Friends” episodes at 3 A.M. during a spell of insomnia isn’t always a good thing. Especially when you’re trying to eliminate debt and/or cut down on spending. [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]
When gas prices rise, people who do a lot of driving feel it in their wallets. It hurts a lot. What if you could lessen the pain of fluctuations and put together a tiny nest egg in the process? That’s the idea behind the $4 Gas Savings Club.
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]
It’s exceedingly obvious: the easiest way to save money on something is to not buy it in the first place. Everyone has to wear clothing (outside of the house, anyway) but clothing is now so cheap that many of us don’t put much thought into making it last longer. Avoid trips to the store: make your clothes last longer.
There’s a very simple way to stop wasting food and spend less money on food as well. Save money by using just a few magnets, you say? How does that work? It’s simple: attach your grocery receipts to the refrigerator. You can use them as an inventory, a checklist, and a reminder of what you’ve purchased and really ought to eat up. [More]
At first, grabbing drive-thru coffee was an occasional indulgence to get you going on a slow Monday morning. Then you gradually picked up coffee more and more, until one day you realize that you’re spending a couple hundred bucks a year on paying other people to pour water over ground-up beans for you. That’s lifestyle creep, and you can put a stop to it before it eats your entire budget. [HEY YOU, POOR KID!]
If you’re planning to fly during next week’s holiday travel frenzy, don’t risk overpacking or a baggage disaster. Even if you’re just taking a short car ride, these tips on suitcase packing and organization from Consumer Reports will come in handy. Always key: bring as few items as possible, color-coordinate them, and don’t bring any toiletries you don’t have to. [Consumer Reports]