6 Frugal Valentine’s Day Gifts for Romantics

Even cheapskates like me get struck by cupid’s arrow on Valentine’s Day. But that doesn’t mean I’ll be spending anywhere close to the $158 the National Retail Federation says that the average guy will spend on his sweetheart this February 14. Here are some tips for saying amore for a lessee this lover’s holiday: Breakfast in bed. Skip the crowded, overpriced dinner out. Surprise your valentine with breakfast in bed instead. Set your alarm a little early and try my …

5 Tips for Being a Charitable Cheapskate

Anybody who knows me personally or has read what I write realizes that while I make a sport out of pinching pennies, I don’t condone being a cheapskate when it comes to giving to charity or helping those in need.  And there are a lot of “charitable cheapskates” out there like me: When I surveyed 300+ proud, self-proclaimed cheapskates for my last book, I found that on average they donated more than twice as much to charity as the typical …

Shopping for the Cheapskate Chef

Everybody in my family knows that I love to cook (cheapskate-style, of course).  So for holiday gifts, people often give me kitchen utensils or small cooking appliances.  Now, I love my family dearly and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind their gifts, but I like to keep things simple in my kitchen. I’m not big fan of novelty kitchen gadgets that just take up space. Do I really need a special tool to remove olive pits, AND another one to remove cherry pits? But …

Gift Wrapping, Cheapskate Style

Did you know that we spend about $2.9 billion every year on gift wrapping paper and supplies according to Hallmark? And of course most of it ends up being throw way after the holidays, which is one reason why between Thanksgiving and New Year’s we generate an extra one million tons of garbage every week. Consider these creative gift wrapping alternatives to save some cash and tread a little lighter on the environment this holiday season: Wrapping gifts in the colorful …

Cheapskate’s Smoked Salmon

When I made it for the holidays the first year after we were married, Denise emerged from the kitchen with a look on her face that shouted “Who the heck did I marry?” “Honey,” she said, “why are there bricks in our refrigerator?” “What?” I said, trying to hide a grin.  “I thought those were yours.  I mean, don’t you know that masonry products should always be refrigerated?”

Hey Cheapskates, What’s the Best Deal You’ve Scored?

If you spend as much time hanging out with frugal folks as I do, you quickly realize a few things about them. First, they tend to be a pretty happy lot. I think that’s because they’re not all stressed out about money, like a lot of people these days. They usually live debt-free or close to it, and so they don’t have those worries like so many Americans.