creators home lifestyle web
Mary Hunt icon


Whose Kids Know How to Turn Off Lights? I got a good chuckle when I read today's first reader tip from "Dad." For a split second there, I could hear my own father asking the age-old parent/child question: Don't you know how to turn off the light when you leave the room? MOTION SENSOR …Read more. Of Pet Accidents and Malfunctioning Keurig Machines Dear Mary: I saw in your column a long while back an article about the carpet scrubber (was it Bissell?) and poo-pooed it at the time. Now I am ready to cry UNCLE since I discovered to my horror that one of my cats was shut in a bedroom and peed on …Read more. Like Finding Money You Didn't Know You Had You know the feeling when reach into the pocket of a coat you haven't worn for awhile and pull out a $20 bill? What would it feel like if you pulled out hundreds of dollars? And what if you found money like that month after month? It's not magic &#…Read more. Best Holiday Gifts for Grandparents As far as gifting seasons go, the biggest one of all is just around the corner. The longer you wait to make or buy gifts, the fewer options you'll have. Last minute shopping is a surefire way to run up mountains of unintentional debt. Been there, …Read more.
more articles

Clever New Ways To Recycle Stuff


The television show "Hoarders," on A&E, gives me the creeps. But perhaps that's a good thing, because it helps me define in my own home what needs to be recycled and what must be thrown away right now. Assuming that you are not looking for excuses to hoard stuff that you never will need or use, I offer the following clever ways that readers have found to add second lives to things that otherwise might be thrown away prematurely.

RECYCLED NAIL BRUSH. Rather than toss out a worn hand and nail brush, I kept it to clean tile and grout. It worked really well. The bristles, although a little worn, were still good enough to work with a little scrubbing. I liked it because, unlike the big brushes, it fit in my hand. Plus, my hand didn't get as tired. — Maria, Georgia

DISHWASHER RACK CADDY. Our 10-year-old dishwasher finally gave up. I decided the bottom rack with wheels would be good for putting stuff on and wheeling around. I currently have some plastic file baskets sitting on it, which I can move easily from one spot in my office to another. I also kept the silverware baskets from the dishwasher, thinking they might be handy for carrying utensils out to the barbecue area in our yard. They also make good holders of pencils and tools. There are endless uses for dishwasher parts. — Carol, e-mail

MICROWAVE PLATE REDO. I work at a recycling center where we get loads of microwave ovens, which are readily recycled. However, there's no market for the tempered glass microwave plates.

Rather than throw them away, I place them on the "reuse" shelf at the center and encourage patrons to use them for cake or dessert plates, serving trays and plant stands. These tempered plates come in all sizes and many shapes. Maybe the best thing about using them is that when you make your favorite dessert to bring to a friend or neighbor, you don't have to worry about getting your good plate back. — Marilyn, Texas

POP-UP BAG STORAGE. Store plastic shopping bags in an empty tissue box. It holds quite a few and stores them neatly with easy pull access when you need one. — A.M., British Columbia

WATER BOTTLE PACKAGING. Several years ago, I needed to ship a breakable item to a friend. To protect the item, I came up with the idea of using empty water bottles with lids. I stand them upright in the corners of the box and, if possible, line the bottom of the box with them, too. Then I layer some Bubble Wrap. I place a few bottles across the top of the item if I have extra space to fill. There is no room for the item to shift, which is excellent. One other benefit is that the box is much lighter with empty water bottles than it is with other packaging materials. I ship Polish pottery and pack the boxes using this method. — Sherry, e-mail

Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can e-mail her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723. Include your first and last name and state. Mary Hunt is the founder of and author of 18 books, including "Debt-Proof Living" and "Tiptionary 2." To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at



1 Comments | Post Comment
I'm hoping this is how I can receive Mary's e-mails each day.
Thank You.
Comment: #1
Posted by: A. Hertz
Wed Oct 20, 2010 1:09 PM
Already have an account? Log in.
New Account  
Your Name:
Your E-mail:
Your Password:
Confirm Your Password:

Please allow a few minutes for your comment to be posted.

Enter the numbers to the right: comments policy
Mary Hunt
Dec. `15
Su Mo Tu We Th Fr Sa
29 30 1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31 1 2
About the author About the author
Write the author Write the author
Printer friendly format Printer friendly format
Email to friend Email to friend
View by Month