Just when I think I’ve heard every possible way to save time and money, here comes the mail to teach me something new. “Everyday Cheapskate” readers just have to be the smartest and most clever on the planet — good-looking, too. Enjoy!
If you have more apples than you can reasonably use in the short-term, they’ll last up to six months if you store them in a dry spot between 32 to 45 degrees F. A cardboard box or Styrofoam chest in the garage can duplicate the conditions of an old-fashioned root cellar. — Alice S.
What to do with that beautiful holiday ham bone? I freeze mine and then on a cold wintry day I prepare four pots containing different types of beans and seasonings. As all four pots simmer I put the bone into one pan at a time, allowing it to cook for about 20 minutes. Then I move the bone to the next pot and keep the 20 minute rotation going on until all four pots of ham and beans are complete. A single bone is more than enough to give wonderful flavor to all four pots. When the soups are finished, I freeze them into meal-sized portions. It makes a lot! — Laura P.
As a substitute for paper towels, I use coffee filters to perfectly shine glass, mirrors, and chrome without lint or streaky marks. — Susie K.
To save all that money you spend on toilet bowl cleaners and still eliminate all of the stains from inside your toilet bowl, use a cheap pumice stone. Pumice stones are available in the drugstore or hardware store. Simply don a pair of rubber or latex surgical gloves and use the pumice stone the way you would a sponge or other scrubbing device. — Nancy W.
I was trying to find an inexpensive way to cut my daughter’s bangs because I found the salon’s $9.99 bang trim price to be unacceptable. Persistence paid off the day I learned this great tip: Place a piece of Scotch tape across the bangs and cut along the bottom edge. The tape keeps the hair nice and straight and I can step back and see if the tape placement is correct and straight before starting to cut. Bonus: My little girl is so curious about what I’m doing that she sits perfectly still until I am done. — Julie N.
Most cake mixes require three eggs, oil and water. I have great results using just the water and 2 eggs. You don’t even have to add applesauce (sometimes used as a substitute for eggs or oil in baking). Just set your timer for two to five minutes fewer than the package directions. I’ve never had a dry cake and this way save money, calories, and cholesterol. — Linda C.
In winter weather carry a heavy bag of clay-based litter in your trunk, and the extra weight will help keep the vehicle stable. If you are stuck in snow or ice, clear the area around your drive wheels, pour litter in front of the tires in the direction you want to go, and then drive away slowly. Clay is handy for gaining traction but it is heavy. Once the possibility of snow is past, remove the litter from your trunk in the interest of optimum gas mileage. — Jerry B.
I mop my ceramic tile floors with a solution of 1 gallon hot water and 1 cup plain white vinegar — no soap. The floor shines and sparkles like new — no rinsing required. Hot water works to remove dirt, but it can have a dulling effect because of the minerals in the water that are left behind. Vinegar cuts and removes those minerals, getting rid of that cloudy film. — Sherry D.
Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, “Ask Mary.” Tips can be submitted at tips.everydaycheapskate.com/. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”