The Great Paper Towel Test: What Brand Is Your Best Value?

If you ask me, the paper towel is one of the greatest inventions ever and I think too many of us take them for granted.

They are absolutely invaluable for cleaning up spills and other messes, and I even use them for tough jobs like cleaning my kitchen stove.

According to Wikipedia, paper towels were first made by Arthur Scott from a cartload of rejected toilet paper.   (I know.  Go ahead and

Continue reading The Great Paper Towel Test: What Brand Is Your Best Value?

It’s True: Premium Gasoline Is A Lot Like Male Enhancement Drugs

The things I do for this blog in the name of personal finance.

One day last month I got into a lunchtime conversation at work with a contractor who tried to convince me he had good reasons for putting premium gasoline in his Toyota Corolla, the biggest of which was that he got better gas mileage.  I found that a bit hard to believe – but more on that in a

Continue reading It’s True: Premium Gasoline Is A Lot Like Male Enhancement Drugs

Taste-Test Experiment: An All-Kid Panel Evaluates Name-Brand vs. Store-Brand Cereals

When it comes to breakfast, kids can be real cereal killers.  Unfortunately, for those of us trying to keep our grocery costs reasonable, name-brand cereals can be a very expensive proposition.

When I was growing up, I remember my sister pounding down multiple bowls of Froot Loops and Lucky Charms every morning.

I enjoyed kid cereal too – Apple Jacks and Frosted Flakes are still favorites of mine – but I never

Continue reading Taste-Test Experiment: An All-Kid Panel Evaluates Name-Brand vs. Store-Brand Cereals

Taste-Test Experiment: Bottled Waters vs. Filtered Tap

When I was a kid back in the 1970s most everybody drank water from their tap.

When me and my friends were playing outside and we needed to quench our thirst, we ran up to the nearest neighbor’s water spigot and grabbed a drink from the hose.

Not any more.  Now it seems like almost everybody drinks bottled water.

I even see the neighborhood kids carrying around bottles of water now when they

Continue reading Taste-Test Experiment: Bottled Waters vs. Filtered Tap

My Store-Brand vs. Name-Brand Blind Taste-Test Experiment #2

Are name-brand groceries really worth the extra cost when alternative cheaper store-brand groceries are available?  More specifically, when it comes to edible products, does the quality and taste of name-brand products always justify the price premium which can often be as high as 50 percent or more?

Last October I tried to answer that question, one of the great never-ending debates in the world of personal finance, by conducting a scientific

Continue reading My Store-Brand vs. Name-Brand Blind Taste-Test Experiment #2

My Store-Brand vs. Name-Brand Blind Taste-Test Experiment

One of the great never-ending debates in the world of personal finance is whether or not name-brand groceries are really worth the extra cost when alternative cheaper store-brand groceries are available.  Furthermore, when it comes to edible products, does the quality and taste of name-brand products always justify the price premium, which can often times be as much as 50%?

Because inquiring minds like mine want to know, I decided to

Continue reading My Store-Brand vs. Name-Brand Blind Taste-Test Experiment

Why Rechargeable Batteries Are Rarely Cost Effective

I was standing in line at a local electronics store the other day when I struck up a conversation with the guy ahead of me who had a basket full of battery chargers and AA rechargeable batteries.  It turns out he had decided to replace all of the batteries in his house with the rechargeable kind.  Between the batteries and the chargers this guy plunked down over a hundred bucks!

He

Continue reading Why Rechargeable Batteries Are Rarely Cost Effective

The REAL Cost of Owning Wireless Mice and Keyboards

When the Honeybee and I bought our last computer, there was quite a debate over whether or not we should pay the extra money for the added convenience of a wireless keyboard and/or mouse.  The fear, of course, was in the uncertainty of whether or not we would end up spending a small fortune over the life of the computer buying replacement batteries.

We ultimately decided to Heck with it (wherever

Continue reading The REAL Cost of Owning Wireless Mice and Keyboards

Approximate Energy Costs of Your Home Appliances

Our homes today are loaded with more electronic media and electric appliances than ever before.  According to data published by the Energy Information Administration (EIA),  U.S. household electricity consumption increased at an average rate of 1.4 percent per year from 1970 through 2007.  But while the added electrical loads result in easier and more pleasant lives for us, it also brings higher and higher electricity bills.

The Anatomy of an Electricity

Continue reading Approximate Energy Costs of Your Home Appliances

Gas or Charcoal BBQs: Which One Is More Cost Effective?

As summer time creeps up on us, I am once again forced to consider one of the great debates of all time: should I buy a gas or charcoal barbecue?

Yes, it’s that time again.  My current gas grill is ready to be retired from service and so I am now in the market for a new one.

When it comes to gas or charcoal, hard-core grillers love to debate considerations such

Continue reading Gas or Charcoal BBQs: Which One Is More Cost Effective?

Question of the Week:

Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.