The Do-it-Yourself, Consumer-Protected, No-Fee, Hassle-Free, Totally Brilliant "Debit Card" Debit cards are by far my least favorite type of plastic. The fraud protection is, at best, shaky. But beyond that, there is the temptation to use a debit card with a certain level of abandon — to purchase everything under the sun by swiping …Read more. Would a Boatload of Money Help? If you're holding out for the life you love to magically appear once a boatload of money gets dumped into your lap, don't count on it. You may believe in your heart that winning the lottery or getting an unexpected inheritance some day will make …Read more. Got Debt? Do Something About It! Doing something about consumer debt is good for your finances — and just about every other area of your life, too. Health. Experts say there's no question that carrying a lot of debt can be stressful — causing all kinds of health issues. …Read more. Retailer Discounts Can Have Strings Attached Dear Mary: Recently we purchased a new stove at Sears. My husband agreed to sign up for what we thought was a Sears credit card to save 15 percent on the price. I was surprised by his decision because that's not our normal practice. We use credit, …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.
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
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