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 Erica Silverstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist specializing in online publications. She has worked and written for Cruise Critic, Fodor’s, Porthole, and Smarter Travel, and will dive into SEO, traffic numbers, and tricky subjects with glee.
Bitten by the travel bug at an early age, she has developed a few tricks for satisfying her itch to explore without breaking the bank. Ask her about the time she cashed in all her frequent flyer miles for two free flights to Africa! She’s equally at home in a tent in the woods or on a luxury cruise ship (in the cheap suites, naturally).
Now as a mother of two constantly growing children in Northern Virginia, Erica is always on the lookout for ways to save at home, too. She’s an active member in her local Buy Nothing group, is allergic to paying full price for clothing, and stalks fast weeknight dinner recipes, so she doesn’t have to splurge on fast food. She has a love-hate relationship with her budgeting app, but it does keep her on track. When she manages to escape the lure of her laptop, you can find Erica reading, hiking, or baking.
Publisher Teresa Mears is a website publisher, writer, blogger and editor who was raised to be frugal. In her 30-plus 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. Teresa owns and operates Miami On The Cheap, Florida On The Cheap, Fort Lauderdale On The Cheap, Palm Beach On The Cheap and Orlando 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, 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.
Managing Editor 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 Seattle, Washington native and granddaughter of immigrant farmers. Her corporate career crisscrossed the food and technology industries. Carole transferred her management skills to entrepreneurial ventures as a food product manufacturer, website developer, and business development consultant. Author of The Home Preserving Bible, Carole also writes food preservation articles for Mother Earth News. Raised in the fifties and sixties by Midwestern parents, Carole was imbued with a strong work ethic and prudent values (second hand clothes, home-cooked meals, and after school jobs). She transfers these pragmatic, though sentient ideals to the pages of the frugal website she owns and operates at Greater Seattle 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.
Carol 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.
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.
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.
Laura 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.
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 Earth911.com. She is the editor of Fort Lauderdale on the Cheap.