The Champagne Life on a DIY Budget Since 2007

About Me

melissa massello editor shoestring

Hey there! I’m Melissa, and I’m a journalist, start-up junkie, serial entrepreneur, Swapaholic, and lifestyle magazine editor turned pro blogger. I’m obsessed with DIY projects, secondhand style, rescue dogs, entertaining, travel, fitness, low-impact living, Made in USA manufacturing, being an active part of the local community, and generally having a great time without being a gazillionaire. I will challenge anyone, any time, to a game of Skee-Ball.

As a budget living & sustainable style expert, I’ve been featured on ABC Nightline News, CBS, NBC, and FOX news station affiliates around the country and in Lucky, Good Housekeeping, USA Today, BusinessWeek, US News & World Report, The Boston Globe, The New York Post, The Washington Post, The Denver Post, The LA Times, The Dallas Morning News, MSN Money, Apartment Therapy, Lifehacker, WalletPop, and other broadcast, print & online media outlets.

My husband and I recently moved from Somerville — “the Brooklyn of Boston” — to Austin, Texas in search of that elusive Champagne life on a DIY budget, where we recently bought our first home and are fixing it up one room and DIY project at a time. (Read more about why we moved in this op-ed I wrote for The Boston Globe.)

Back East, I also wrote DIY column for, and more recently have been writing as a DIY expert for Eat Boutique, Home Depot, and Goodwill. To keep my hand in the startup game while dreaming up my next Big Idea, I also write about business, profiling innovative companies for ZipCar and Bentley University, among others. Want to hire me as a freelance writer or content strategist? Email me or hit me up on LinkedIn.

If you’re interested in having me review your product, service, book or other item, or want to collaborate in some other cool way, drop me an email & let’s brainstorm how to be more awesome together!

In an effort to return my focus to writing killer content, things I’d be proud to have my byline stamped upon, I’ve removed all advertising or sponsorship from the site for the time being — unless it’s an absolutely perfect, too-good-to-pass-up fit. So if you think that’s you, let’s talk!


“Best Money Tips, Entertainment Edition”
September 18, 2014 (online)

US News & World Report
“Garage Sales Go Glam”
April 8, 2013 (online)

Good Housekeeping
“How to Host a Clothing Swap”
April 2013 (print issue & online)
“What to Do When You’re Single on Valentine’s Day”
February 10, 2013 (online)

“Featured Chef: Healthy Tuesday #1”
July 31, 2012 (online)

“The Rise of the Barter Economy”
April 26, 2012 (print & online)

“Ultimate Workspace Wall”
April 21, 2012 (online)

Apartment Therapy
“Before & After”
April 17, 2012 (online) by Entrepreneur
“9 Things to Always Buy on Sale”
April 9, 2012 (print & online)

Lucky Magazine
“The Top Nine Budget Living Blogs”
November 14, 2011 (online)

The Washington Post
“Green Fever Hits Washington Exhibitions”
April 11, 2011 (print & online)

The Boston Globe
“Trade Wins”
January 26, 2011 (print & online)

ABC Nightline News
“Clothing Swaps”

December 2, 2010 (broadcast & online)

STUFF Magazine
“Holiday Survival Guide: Make your merry way through the season with body, mind and wallet intact”

November 29, 2010 (print & online)

“Top 12 Boston-Area Female CEOs on Twitter”

June 13th, 2010 (online)

USA Today
“Sign of the times: Going swapping, not shopping”

April 26th, 2010 (print & online)

US News & World Report
“10 Creative Saving Strategies”

April 22nd, 2010 (print & online)

Newspaper Death Watch
“Young Journalist Makes Online Transition”

February 24th, 2010 (online video)

MSN Money
“Twitter Your Way to Bargains”

July 21st, 2009 (online, syndicated)

Mass High Tech
“Companies talk social media — via Twitter”

July 2nd, 2009 (print & online)

Dallas Morning Herald
“To Barter Successully, Use Contracts, Caution”

May 18th, 2009 (print & online)

New York Post
“25 Real-Life Tips for Big-Time Savings”

March 31st, 2009 (print & online)

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