The Ultimate Cheapskate

Jeff Yeager is an AARP savings expert. He spent 24 years managing nonprofit groups before becoming a freelance writer, public speaker and media personality. He wrote "Don't Throw That Away!" "The Cheapskate Next Door" and "The Ultimate Cheapskate's Road Map to True Riches." His website is www.UltimateCheapskate.com; connect with him on Facebook and Twitter.

Get Cooking With a DIY Solar Oven

With plenty of sunny days still ahead – but with summer vacation nearing its sunset for kids and grandkids – here’s a fun, inexpensive and educational project to do with the young people in your life during the dog days of summer.  Build a simple solar oven (aka a “solar cooker”) from repurposed household items. It will not only amaze and amuse kids of all ages, but it really works. And it will save you money and keep the heat out …

Cheap Tips for the Outdoors

With summer nearly half over, your outdoor living areas and accessories probably need some halftime sprucing up. Here are some inexpensive ways to refresh your patio and deck areas so that you can really enjoy the final weeks of summer. Homemade outdoor furniture cleaner: Are your lawn chairs looking a bit begrimed? Plastic and vinyl outdoor furniture can be cleaned by wiping it down with a mixture of ¼ cup dishwashing soap, ½ cup bleach, in one gallon of water, then …

Affordable Family Reunion Tips

Summertime is family reunion time!  Seeing the entire clan at a family reunion can be a lot of fun, but it can also get pretty pricey.  And you definitely don’t want anyone in the family to feel uncomfortable or not attend because of the cost.  Here are some tips for keeping it cheap, and keeping it fun. Make your reunion an “e-union:” The most efficient and cost effective way to put the word out for any event is via the …

Homemade Ice Cream for National Ice Cream Day/Month

You may have noticed that I love to celebrate special days and months throughout the year, having used this space before to call your attention to everything from National Adopt a Cat Month to National Tapioca Pudding Day. I guess it’s only fitting that ice cream – one of greatest inventions of all time – has not only a specific day set aside in its honor (the third Sunday in July), but an entire month - July – designated as National …

Cheap Ideas for Family Fun

When you’re a kid, it’s funny how quickly your summer vacation mood turns from “I’m free!” to “I’m bored.” With at least a few weeks remaining before the school bells ring once again – and parents everywhere cheer “We’re free!” – it’s little wonder that July is “Anti-Boredom Month.”  That’s right, the time of year when boredom is so prevalent that we need an official, month-long campaign to combat it. If you have kids or grandchildren to keep amused between …

Cheap Ways to Get Your Grill Fired Up

When I grill a package of reduced-for-quick-sale hamburgers, the last thing I want to taste (or pay for) is lighter fluid. That’s why I start my coals with a chimney starter and a wad of old paper. How much did this fancy lighting method cost?  Zippo. And I’m not referring to the brand of lighter either. Here’s how to make one from repurposed materials: Start by locating a large tin can. I used an old-fashioned coffee container, but a large …