Quick and Easy Ways to Do Stuff Cheaper, Better and Faster

By Mary Hunt

June 21, 2017 4 min read

If there's one thing I love it's discovering something quick and easy that saves me time and money and makes my life easier. And when that tip is doubly clever because I can use something I have already to get it done, well that just makes me so happy!

Enjoy some of my favorite tips readers have sent to me over the years. And get prepared to say what I say more often than you can even imagine: "Wow! Why didn't I think of that?!"

AUTO TRASH CAN. Repurpose a cereal canister as a trash can for the car.

DO-IT-YOURSELF WATERING CAN. Make your own watering can by puncturing holes in the lid of an empty plastic container like a milk or juice bottle.

REMOVE PET HAIR. Use a squeegee with a rubber blade to remove pet hair from furniture and carpet.

EASY PAINT TRAY CLEAN-UP. Cover a paint tray with aluminum foil to make cleaning up afterward a breeze.

CRYSTAL CLEAR ICE. Water straight from the tap becomes cloudy when frozen. To make ice cubes crystal clear, allow a kettle of boiled water to cool slightly and use that to fill your ice cube trays.

QUICK DRY. Need to dry the kids' jammies or a pair of jeans in a big hurry? Put a dry towel in the dryer with wet items and it will cut the time to dry in half! It really works. The towel helps to keep all of the items tumbling freely and absorbs moisture.

WEEDS BE GONE. Sprinkle ordinary table salt in the spaces between patio slabs and cracks in the driveway or any other place pesky weeds love to grow. Just be careful not to get salt near plants you want to keep, as salt will kill them, too.

FLOWERPOT FILTER. Prevent soil from escaping through the holes in the base of flowerpots by lining the base with large cupcake paper liners or coffee filters, depending on the size of the pot.

TOILET GRUNGE. If your toilet bowl has stubborn stains, drop one or two denture-cleaning tablets into the bowl and allow them to sit overnight. In the morning, brush and flush.

WAX THAT FIBERGLASS. For a brilliant shine and easy clean-up, give freshly cleaned tile and fiberglass shower walls a coat of car polish. Do not wax the shower floor or bathtub, as they will become dangerously slick.

WHITE GROUT. Mix a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide. Using an old toothbrush, apply the paste to the grout and give it a little scrub. Let it sit on the grout for a few minutes then rinse.

Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected], or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.

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