Money Leaks

By Mary Hunt

January 5, 2018 3 min read

For many of us it's not the big expenditures that keep us spending beyond our means but rather the thousands of little purchases that together wreak havoc on our finances. Want to start leaving more money in the bank each month? Start paying attention to all the little ways money leaks out of your life.

TOOTHPASTE LIKE A PEA. In toothpaste ads, the toothbrush covered with toothpaste in an artful swirl is about four times as much toothpaste as necessary to brush our teeth thoroughly. My dentist told me that it takes a dot of toothpaste the size of a pea to do a good job. That is more comfortable than having a mouth full of suds and makes the toothpaste last three times longer -- my idea of a great way to stop the money leak. -- Edna

LINT ROLL THE LAMPSHADE. My lampshades don't get dirty, but they sure do get dusty. I dust my cloth lampshades with a lint roller. Works like a charm! -- Anita

SLOW DOWN THE ROLL. When done with a roll of toilet paper, take the cardboard center, and fold it in half the long way. Slide this inside the center of the new roll, and install the roll as normal. The extra bulk inside the center roll prevents toilet paper from flying off when spun around. and the user uses less. -- Shawna

ROLL OFF THE HAIRS. Take an adhesive lint roller along next time you have your hair cut. Use it once you get to your car to remove the sharp hairs that inevitably attack your neck. This is much more effective than the neck brush the barber or beautician uses. -- Susie

BOILING OUT THE STAINS. Can't get the stovetop burner pans clean? Try this: Fill a big pot with water. Add about 4 tablespoons baking soda and a few squirts of dishwashing soap. Place the stained burner pans in the water and bring to a boil, making sure the suds do not boil over. Allow them to boil gently until all the baked on spots are removed. Rinse the pans, and wipe clean. They will sparkle like new. -- Nicole

GO PRIVATE WITH PENS. I always carry and use my own pen when I'm out at the doctor's office, the pharmacy, the bank and the grocery store. Think about it: Most people at the doctor's office and pharmacy are sick and have just used that public pen at the desk. -- Patricia

CLINGING THE CLING WRAP. Whenever I tear a piece of plastic wrap to place over a plate or bowl, I first pull a little off the roll and place it on one edge of the item I want to cover. Then I unroll more wrap, stretching as I go. When I get to the other edge of the dish, I touch the wrap to it and tear it. No more sticking to itself, frustration or wasted wrap! -- Cheryl

Mary Hunt's weekly column, "Everyday Cheapskate," can be found at

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