Spencer Soper

On The Cheap


On The Cheap says goodbye

August 2, 2014

I had this old lawn mower.

  • Don't drown your salad

    July 26, 2014

    After a few bad experiences with salad dressing, Emmaus resident Sharon Diehl suspected a conspiracy of inconsistency.

  • Don't waste the mist

    July 19, 2014

    Sometimes we ask ourselves, is it possible we've reached the pinnacle of cheapness?

  • FDA: Don't marinate chicken wings in newspaper bags

    July 12, 2014

    We were a little worried last week when we passed along a tip from Mike Much in Upper Saucon Township, who saves the bags in which his newspapers are delivered for marinating chicken wings.

  • Reuse newspaper bags

    July 5, 2014

    We've heard from quite a few readers who save the plastic bags in which their newspapers are delivered and reuse them to clean up after the dog.

  • Get every last drop of wrinkle cream

    June 28, 2014

    Kathy Brearley shared a funny story with us last week when we visited her to see how she gets every last bit of facial cream out of the container.

  • Keep paint fresh for future coats

    June 21, 2014

    When we walked into the Bethlehem home of Barry Donchez the other day, we suddenly got that warm and fuzzy feeling.

  • Stop wasting junk mail

    June 14, 2014

    Going to the mailbox can be a real drag.

  • Don't let Father's Day set you back

    June 7, 2014

    We've got bad news for all the dads out there.

  • Clean used cookware with sandpaper

    May 31, 2014

    This week's tip is going to start off sounding like a cooking lesson, but don't worry. There's some money-saving advice in here about getting a good deal on used cookware, just in time for garage sale season.

  • Freeze baby food and save

    May 24, 2014

    We've got a great tip for all the new parents and expecting parents out there who want to feed their babies in an affordable, healthy and environmentally friendly manner.

  • Use cloths or sheets on Swiffer and save

    May 17, 2014

    No single product seems to provoke the ingenuity of Cheapsters quite like the Swiffer mop.

  • Readers react to cheap gifts for mom

    May 10, 2014

    It doesn't happen often, but every once in a while we are reminded that trying to help people save some money can have the unintended consequence of making some people really mad.

  • Make mom happy without going broke

    May 3, 2014

    Sorry moms.

  • No more tossing bread heels

    April 26, 2014

    One lesson many parents learn the hard way is that it's nearly impossible to sneak the heel slice of bread past a finicky eater.

  • Whitehall man resurrects Christmas tree for Easter

    April 19, 2014

    One spring day a few years ago, Al Krautsach of Whitehall took a good look at the Christmas tree sitting in his back yard waiting to be discarded. He noticed most of the needles were still green and what popped into his mind proves he is a bona-fide cheapster.

  • Don't pay through the nose for tissues

    April 12, 2014

    If allergy season has you ah-chooing your way through the tissue aisle of the grocery store, you're going to love this tip from Joann Dove in Salisbury Township.

  • Stretch face-cleaning pads for savings

    April 5, 2014

    Here's a tip for the ladies as we enter prom and wedding season and some of you embark on new beauty routines.

  • Re-fizz flat soda and save

    March 29, 2014

    Sorry Coca-Cola stockholders.

  • Make your own shaving pucks

    March 22, 2014

    Nearly four years ago, we shared a great shaving tip from Craig Rosen in Kintnersville. He saves the minuscule slivers of bath soap, puts them in a shaving mug and uses a little warm water and a shaving brush to lather up rather than a squirt from a can.

  • Make soap last through flu season

    March 15, 2014

    One thing that seems to be lingering besides the cold weather this year is the flu.

  • Freeze sauce and save

    March 8, 2014

    Back in January, we shared another tip for coffee drinkers from Pam Halteman of East Rockhill Township.

  • No more wasting glue

    March 1, 2014

    Five years ago, we shared a tip about how to prolong the life of a steel wool scrubbing pad by storing it in the freezer between uses.

  • Keep razors sharp

    February 22, 2014

    Four years ago, we shared a tip from Terry "Doc" Pundiak in Easton about how to keep your razor sharp.

  • Junk parts make a cheap, awesome ride

    February 15, 2014

    Harry Wohlbach got tired of looking at the front half of a scrapped Volkswagen Dune Buggy sitting beneath his deck. He noticed two rods protruding from the back of it and an idea struck him: he could rig a motorcycle to it and make a working vehicle.

  • A cheap Valentine for pet owners

    February 8, 2014

    If you're stumped for Valentine's Day gift ideas, short on cash and your sweetie is a dog lover, we've got a tip you are going to love.

  • Organize store tags on smartphones

    February 1, 2014

    Last week we shared a tip from Virginia Fahr in Walnutport about taming all those rewards cards cluttering your key ring, and it turns out she was really on to something.

  • Tame rewards card clutter

    January 25, 2014

    Seems just about every retailer these days has a customer-loyalty-rewards program.

  • Freeze coffee creamer to cut waste

    January 18, 2014

    Over the years, we've received a lot of tips about how coffee drinkers can save.

  • Meet the new Queens of Cheap

    January 11, 2014

    Friends Jodi Godown Hilt and Julie Sanders found a clever way to save a few bucks and take some of the sting out of turning a year older.

  • Resolve to be more frugal

    January 4, 2014

    One hundred years from now, when historians look back at the most significant events of 2013, they will probably conclude it was the "Year of the Milk Jug."

  • Pick the next King or Queen of Cheap

    December 28, 2013

    It's that special time of year when we need your help deciding who will be this year's King or Queen of Cheap and join the Lehigh Valley's unofficial royal family.

  • Busted zipper? No problem

    December 21, 2013

    We got a rather inspiring letter recently from Mary Smith in Catasauqua, who saw firsthand, on a family vacation, how necessity is the mother of invention.

  • Make your own cleaning wipes

    December 14, 2013

    One day as Susan Lom was going through her kitchen cabinets, she found three canisters of cleaning wipes that had dried out.

  • Milk tabs make a cheap cat toy

    December 7, 2013

    Sometimes, the most amazing discoveries come by accident.

  • Hang bird feeders with fishing line to keep squirrels away

    November 30, 2013

    Now that it's colder and the food for the critters is scarce, a lot of bird lovers have to come up with ways to make sure the food they put out actually gets to the birds.

  • Cut open lotion bottle for blowout savings

    November 23, 2013

    Now that the cold weather is here, many of you will be using more moisturizer to keep your skin from looking like that of an alligator.

  • Remove swiffer cap with some hot water

    November 16, 2013

    We love it when we receive cheap tips from folks outside of the Lehigh Valley.

  • Empty milk jugs make great bird feeders

    November 9, 2013

    When we get a note that starts out like the one below from Helen Hartmann in Jim Thorpe, we get all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Save on cleaning with a drill and wine cork

    November 2, 2013

    One of our most talked-about On The Cheap tips came from Shelly Weidner from all the way in Gansevoort, N.Y. After hitting menopause, she was determined to not let her remaining sanitary napkins go to waste and discovered they work quite well on a Swiffer mop.

  • Decorate your lawn with jug-o'-lanterns

    October 26, 2013

    Last week Cathy Woolley in Allentown showed us how to use tomato plant cages to make ghosts to decorate your lawn for Halloween.

  • Tomato cages make scary decorations

    October 19, 2013

    Last year, we got a great tip from Joann Dove in Salisbury Township about how to turn tomato plant cages into outdoor Christmas trees. The holidays will never be the same.

  • Branches make great fences

    October 12, 2013

    If your autumn raking has included cleaning up some downed branches, we've got a great tip from Sonja and Clint Walker that could save you a trip to the compost center and the hardware store.

  • Clutter under the sink? No problem

    October 5, 2013

    If this happens whenever you open the cabinet beneath your sink — a big stash of plastic bags from the supermarket comes cascading down and lands on the floor — we've got a great tip that will help you organize that clutter for free.

  • Scissors turn old T-shirt into beachwear

    September 28, 2013

    If you liked last week's tip from Susie Beam about how to make picture frames using empty pasta boxes, we've got great news. The creative Nazareth resident had one more trick to show us that will turn an old T-shirt into a fashionable wardrobe accessory.

  • Turn pasta boxes into photo frames

    September 21, 2013

    With the kids and grandkids back in school, you'll probably be getting some school pictures soon.

  • Clean up with cloth diapers

    September 14, 2013

    A few weeks ago we shared a tip about making your own baby wipes. It was a good excuse to get a photo of Laniya Simmons, aka the Princess of Allentown, into the paper.

  • Save by swapping books

    September 7, 2013

    If you love to read, but don't like the cost of books, Marilyn Sullivan in Nazareth has a great tip for you.

  • Milk the savings from empty jugs

    August 31, 2013

    When we dropped by Virginia Wetzel's house in Orefield a few weeks ago to learn more about her tip for using plastic pretzel buckets as food containers, we noticed a strange dynamic in the home.

  • Don't toss those pretzel buckets

    August 26, 2013

    Sometimes we get a great tip in the mail that reminds us of some other clever folks we've met since we started writing On The Cheap.



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