Over the years, I've noticed something. People who live comfortably do not do so because they are particularly wealthy. It's because they are disciplined. They possess financial maturity. They live according to principles and rules they impose upon themselves. I have a feeling that Jane, today's first tipster, is one of those people — quietly disciplined and financially mature.
Whenever I spend money on a "want" (as opposed to a need), I tax myself with a self-imposed rule that I must deposit 10% of the total into my savings account immediately following the purchase. — Jane
I mix rubbing alcohol and water in a 50-50 ratio in a spray bottle. I clean virtually everything you can think of with this mixture. It leaves no streaks, and it kills germs. I usually pay less than $1 for a bottle of store brand rubbing alcohol, and it usually makes two bottles of cleaner. Cheap on the pocketbook and safer for the environment! — Samantha
To clean old drawers, I have always used a mixture of chlorine bleach and water. If badly stained, I use only bleach. I have never known it to harm the wood. I do the same with unfinished, stained and dirty frames. After bleaching, they can be varnished or painted. — Ellen
I use those plastic zipper pouches that kids use for pens and pencils to organize my coupons and rebates. They have a clear front and three holes punched in the side. I have several for different categories of coupons or rebates, and I place them in a small three-ring binder. You can either color-code them or use a label maker to label the front of each pouch. Place an additional pouch in the back of your binder to hold receipts, rebate forms and universal product codes for easy storage. I also keep a supply of small white envelopes, postage stamps, index cards and pens for easy rebate-filling while I'm waiting places. The binder can also be used to keep track of clothing sizes of family members or store shopping lists, to-do lists, etc. Make it something you'll never leave home without. — Jennifer
Several months ago, my dishwasher started oozing suds every time I used it. It was obviously clogged somewhere with soap. My old-time appliance repairman gave me the best tip yet. Fill the soap cups with Tang breakfast drink, and run the empty dishwasher for one cycle. Mine came out clog-free and spotless. — Sharon
NO MORE STICKY
I use dryer sheets to remove the sticky residue left from price stickers. I discovered this by accident a few years back when I got tired of looking at the residue on my washer and dryer that was left by the stickers. I picked up a dryer sheet that had fallen out of the dryer and rubbed it on the residue, and it came right off. I then tried it on my refrigerator, and it worked again. I recently rubbed a dryer sheet on my address book, and, sure enough, the sticky residue came off that, too. — Cindy
If your scissors are getting dull, take some aluminum foil and cut through it four or five times. The result is that your scissors will be much sharper. — Sharon
Would you like more information? Go to EverydayCheapskate.com for links and resources for recommended products and services in this column. Mary invites questions, comments and tips at EverydayCheapskate.com, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."
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