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Meet Our Experts


Living On The Cheap is owned and operated by a group of like-minded frugalistas and consumer advocates, with decades of experience in journalism or marketing. Our goal is to help readers find a myriad of ways to not merely survive tough economic times, but to enjoy themselves and not feel deprived. These are our contributors, staff and experts.

Editor-in-chief Teresa Mears is a website publisher, writer, blogger and editor who was raised to be frugal. In her 35 years as a journalist, she has written for papers ranging in size from the weekly Portland (Tenn.) Leader to The Los Angeles Times. She was an editor for the Miami Herald for more than 17 years, overseeing coverage of home, real estate, family and other subjects. She has also been a contributor to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and other publications. When she’s not writing about Florida deals, she writes and edits for MSN Money and does the Listed blog for MSN Real Estate. Teresa owns and operates Miami On The CheapFlorida On The CheapFort Lauderdale On The CheapPalm Beach On The CheapOrlando On The Cheap, Florida Keys On the Cheap and Jacksonville On The Cheap.

Executive Editor Laura Daily has risen to the ranks of Jedi Warrior in the fight against the evil empire of high prices. A confirmed coupon clipper, Laura is always on the lookout for ways to save or stretch that hard-earned dollar and prides herself on digging deep to unearth a great deal. She is a consumer strategist reporting for a variety of national publications including AARP The Magazine (for whom she is a Contributing Editor), AAA World, Miami Herald, Denver Post, Shop Smart and Westways and is a correspondent for OnTravel Radio. Laura owns and operates Mile High On The Cheap which covers the Denver/Boulder (Colorado) area.

Carolyn Erickson is a freelance writer with expertise in business-to-consumer writing and editorial. During her career, she’s helped companies like Time Warner Internet, Ethan Allen, Gold’s Gym, Stanley Steemer, Empire Vision Centers and others reach local customers with their marketing messages. Her writing has received awards from the Kansas Professional Communicators and the National Federation of Press Women. Most recently, Carolyn has parlayed her experience in digital media as the owner of Wichita on the Cheap into helping small businesses and non-profit organizations establish an Internet and social media presence – on the cheap, of course.

Jody Mace is a freelance writer who has written for publications like O Magazine, Washington Post, and Parents. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two teenaged kids. Her colleagues are dogs named Harlow and Shaggy. She publishes Charlotte on the Cheap and takes the “cheap” seriously. For fun she plays mandolin and browses at her local Goodwill Store, where she is “Foursquare Mayor,” as long as that Russell G. doesn’t steal it from her again. You can see her celebration of thrift store finds at Thrift Wrecks.

Carole Cancler is a business and technology professional with experience in food science, technical writing, and product development. Her former company, Private Chef Natural Gourmet in Seattle, Washington specialized in frozen gourmet meals. Prior to that, Carole spent 11 years at Microsoft as a software engineer and program manager. Her writing expertise includes business intelligence, websites, newsletters, and recipe development. Currently, she focuses on writing and consulting for the food and technology industries and, for fun, teaches cooking classes. Her first cookbook, The Home Preserving Bible is available on Amazon. Carole owns and operates Greater Seattle on the Cheap.

Head Shot ThumbnailJulie Henry, RN, MPA, is a freelance writer, editor, and project manager who loves the thrill of scoring a good deal. She writes a bi-weekly “On the Cheap” column for the Sun News in Myrtle Beach. In addition to writing about deals and discounts, Julie is an established medical writer. She has done work for a number of national health care organizations, including The Joint Commission, The American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society for Teachers of Family Medicine. Julie owns and operates Kansas City on the Cheap and Myrtle Beach on the Cheap.

Val McCauley was drawn to writing about Living on the Cheap after moving to Columbus from her small hometown after college. She realized that there were a ton of events and activities going on around the city, but there wasn’t a website that made it easy to find out about these things. Her love of travel and desire to get out of debt after college cemented the need to live on less while still having fun. Over the last several years, she has paid off all of her debt and still has fun. In her free time, she loves to workout, play sports, and cook gluten-free meals. Val is the owner and operator of Columbus on the Cheap and That’s What We Did.

Rosie Wolf Williams was born into a thrifty family. One of five children, Rosie learned at an early age to save without being miserly. Having fun is an important part of life, too! Her parents use to say, “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.” The mom of two adult sons, Rosie has spent her life saving, spending wisely. She owns her own fixer-upper (paid in full) and creates multiple streams of income, from part-time seasonal jobs to cashing in cans for the deposit. Now single, she’s always looking for ways to live within her means and, as she says, “beat the man!” A freelance writer for nearly 20 years, Rosie has written for Woman’s Day, U.S.A. Weekend, Boys’ Life, AARP the Magazine, and Creative Living.

Heidi McIndoo is a registered dietitian, freelance writer, author, and bargain hunter. She loves saving money and finding great deals, and can’t help but share the wealth when she does. She also loves all things food: baking, cooking, buying, eating, and more. She’s written about nutrition and healthy eating for Parents, Woman’s Day, All You, Prevention, and more. She enjoys teaching people how to eat both nutritiously and deliciously. And, in her two latest books she does just that — When to Eat What and The Complete Idiot’s Guide to 200-300-400 Calorie Meals. She lives with her family in the Metro Boston area.

Carol CavazosCarol Cavazos has lived in Chicago for almost 25 years. She loves to travel and find new things, whether around the globe or around the corner. She’s also long been fascinated with money; she majored in Finance at Loyola University and for many years worked as an accountant and consultant saving her clients millions of dollars. As a lifelong frugal living enthusiast she brings her readers all the latest deals and money saving tips and techniques that she has developed and utilized throughout her many years as a Chicago resident. She lives in downtown Chicago, where she operates Chicago on the Cheap.

Julie Sturgeon is a serial entrepreneur, successfully working as a self-employed business journalist for 25 years. Today she owns Curing Cold Feet travel agency, and has been featured as a travel expert in Time magazine. She also runs social media management company CEOMarketer, where she has increased sales for companies that range from independent hotels to online retailers selling aftermarket parts for Nissans. Lastly, she works behind the scenes as a development editor at Crimson Romance. Julie doesn’t sleep much, but she will drop work when IU is playing basketball. She owns and operates Indianapolis On The Cheap.

Sara Frederick Burgos is a lifelong writer, editor, knitter and bargain hunter who really learned how to live on the cheap when the phrase “unpaid furlough” became part of newspaper management’s vocabulary. After more than 15 years at The Miami Herald, where she edited news and features on topics ranging from the circuit court to the South Beach celebrity circuit, she made the big leap to the freelance world and a bigger leap to Texas, where she now writes mostly about money and finances. To her delight, bargains are easier to find in the Big D, where everything from coffee to unleaded gas costs less. Sara operates Dallas Living On the Cheap and lives there with her husband, who would really appreciate it if someone could tell her where to find Miami-style Latin food in the Metroplex.

Linda DuVal has lived in Colorado Springs and the Pikes Peak region since 1969. She has been writing about the area for most of that time and is the co-author of the new “Insider’s Guide to Colorado Springs,” from Globe Pequot Press. She was a working journalist with The Gazette – the city’s daily newspaper – for 32 years, covering everything from city council to fashion trends, books and authors to travel and food. She has been a freelance writer since 2004, contributing regularly to newspapers, magazines and online sites. Linda owns and operates Pikes Peak On The Cheap.

Jennifer Maciejewski writes about anything that piques her curiosity, with profiles and service pieces ranking among her favorites. In 2008, she created Atlanta on the Cheap to teach herself how to blog and use social media plus create an easy way to tell people about fun (and often free) things to do in the ATL. What started as a side project soon became her primary business, and in 2011, she added RVA (Richmond) on the Cheap to the mix. She spends her free time exploring all that Atlanta and Richmond, her hometown, have to offer (on the cheap, of course).

LisaHirachetaphotoLisa Hiracheta, a resident of Central Florida for more than 25 years, has always been thrifty. Lucky for us, her love of saving and finding great deals hasn’t gone away. She recently became a stay at home mom and has really honed in on her ability to find free or cheap things to do with her kids and family in the Orlando area and she is ready to share. Lisa graduated with a degree in Advertising/Public Relations from the University of Central Florida. She previously held marketing positions at one of the largest theme parks in Orlando and a local advertising agency for almost 15 years, focusing on the travel and tourism industry. Along with Laura Perry, Lisa is co-editor of Orlando on the Cheap.

JanetFullwoodJanet Fullwood is an independent editor, writer and photographer who grew up in a frugal family of avid S&H Green Stamp collectors. Recently retired from a 21-year career as travel editor of the Sacramento Bee, she continues to share her budget-travel smarts in stories that appear in regional and national magazines, visitor guides and newspaper travel sections. She’s also editor of, a website devoted to places to go and things to do with dogs in Northern California. A devoted hiker, skier and outdoor enthusiast, Janet lives in Sacramento with a Brittany and an English pointer who keep her constantly on the lookout for dog-food coupons. Janet is editor and publisher of Sacramento on the Cheap.

LOTC National Deals Editor Bryan K. Chavez carries his purple coupon binder with pride everywhere he goes because he knows it’s as “good as gold.” His deal-seeking skills are so sharp that he regularly saves upwards of 75% on his grocery receipts. One of his passions is helping others save money. He’s also an expert on saving at the movies, concerts and other cultural events. When he’s not clipping coupons or sniffing out the next great promotion, his professional background is in public relations & marketing for non-profit organizations. Bryan is an editor at Mile High On The Cheap.

Dawn Papandrea is a freelance writer specializing in personal finance, parenting, and women’s lifestyle topics. She’s been a journalist for nearly 15 years, doing everything from editing to writing to blogging to social media management. Her work has appeared in, Family Circle,,, Parents,, The Huffington Post, and other national publications. She lives in Staten Island, NY with her husband and two sons. You can read her personal blog at, or follow her on Twitter: @dawnpapandrea.

Nearly 15 years ago, Jeff Mac abandoned his career as a journalist to take on the peripatetic and clichéd life of a traveling sales person. In the last 3 years his muse has returned and read him the riot act. He is editor in chief of Restless Tech which focuses on reviews of travel and tech equipment. A Southerner by marriage, he has learned to talk slowly and pass the grits without comment. He focuses on eking every last nickel out of technology and his favorite price is free. With three daughters and three marriages to pay for in the near future this is not optional!

LanceBeachLance Cothern is the founder of, a personal finance blog for anyone looking to improve their personal finances. He is a freelance writer and accountant. His writing has been featured on Business Insider and He lives in Panama City, Florida with his wife. Together they worked diligently to pay down over $80,000 of student loan debt in less than three years. They love taking cheap trips to the local beaches to relax whenever they get a chance.

LauraPerryLaura Perry is a native Floridian who has lived in Orlando since 2006. She has annual passes to all of the major theme parks…and she’s done it on the cheap. From creative family adventures to inexpensive date nights with her husband – Laura’s calendar is always full. Laura spent six years as the marketing and media manager at Nickelodeon Suites Resort (yes, she’s been SLIMED!). Nowadays, she’s focusing on family, living on less, and using her marketing expertise to help a variety of businesses thrive. She’s even appeared as a marketing expert on the Travel Channel’s hit show, “Hotel Impossible.” Along with Lisa Hiracheta, Laura is co-editor of Orlando on the Cheap.

Evelyn Kanter is an award-winning journalist who has been reporting on good deals, and warning about bad ones, for longer than she cares to admit publicly. A native and lifelong New Yorker, she helped launch the “Sales and Bargains” column in New York Magazine, and was the first consumer reporter for CBS News and for WABC TV “Eyewitness News”. She’s the author or editor of more than a dozen travel guidebooks and apps, including Peaceful Places New York City, and owns and operates NYC On The Cheap. A long-time tree-hugger, Evelyn also writes about green travel, green cars and saving the green in your wallet, for national and regional magazines and newspapers, including a column syndicated by Motor Matters.

Jenny Willden loves living frugally and has been sharing deals since before Groupon existed. She’s never met a sale she didn’t like and enjoys attending free events from farmers’ markets to llama fests. Jenny edits Outdoor Sports Guide magazine in Salt Lake City and writes for Adventure Traveler Online, where she shares her passions of outdoor adventuring and travel. When she’s not traveling, you’ll find her exploring Utah’s mountains by horse or snowboard. A lifelong writer, she has been published in The Washington Times, Digital Scrapbooking, Simple Scrapbooks, Salt Lake City Weekly, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Zions Bank Community. She appears occasionally on the Utah daytime television program, KSL Studio 5, to talk about outdoor recreation. Jenny owns and operates Salt Lake City on the Cheap.

Lillian Africano is the editor-in-chief of, cruise editor at JAX FAX, senior editor at Elegant Accents and executive editor at She also blogs on and She formerly served as a freelance editor and writer at AOL Travel and is the author of 16 books, including three best-selling novels (under the pseudonym “Jessica March”). She co-authored the 9th edition of Off the Beaten Track Guide to New York, as well as You Know You’re in New Jersey When… and two editions of The Insiders Guide to the Jersey Shore. Lillian is past president of both the Society of American Travel Writers and the International Food, Wine & Travel Writers Association.

Blogger Jennifer Saranow SchultzJennifer Saranow Schultz is a writer based in San Francisco, where she lives with her toddler and husband. Before entering the corporate world two years ago, she was the lead writer for The New York Times “Bucks” personal finance blog from 2009 to 2011. Previously, she spent seven years as a reporter at The Wall Street Journal in San Francisco and New York, where she covered subjects ranging from consumer finance and cars to specialty retail and social networking, and she has written for other publications including The Daily Beast and Marie Claire. You can find her daily hints to help make parenting easier and cheaper at, and she can be followed on Twitter at @HintMama and on Facebook at

Miranda Marquit 2014Miranda Marquit is a freelance journalist and financial expert. She regularly contributes to Wise Bread, AllBusiness, Huffington Post, and U.S. News & World Report. In the past, her work has appeared on Forbes, MSN Money, FOX Business, Yahoo! Finance, Lifehacker, and Business Insider. Miranda has appeared on NPR’s Morning Edition as well as American Public Media’s Marketplace, and been recognized by the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. She writes for her own blog, Planting Money Seeds, and contributes to the live Money Mastermind Show on Hangouts as well as the Money Tree Investing Podcast. She enjoys reading, travel, and the outdoors. Miranda lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania with her husband and son.

Patti Roth, our pets editor, offers tips and advice on how to best take care of your furry friends without breaking the bank. A veteran newspaper and magazine writer, she has written for The Miami Herald, The Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida Travel and Life, E Environmental Magazine, Dog Fancy, Cat Fancy, US Architecture and She is the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap.

rsz_angela_heart_bioAngela Heart is a lifelong resident of the Twin Cities area who works as a business professional during the day and spends her spare time looking for the best deals for herself and her family. As a former stay-at-home mom she understands how to be frugal while still getting the best for her children. As she expands her own career as a single parent, she is continuing to look for the best deals that will help her family save money. She lives in the Twin Cities where she operates Twin Cities on the Cheap.