Are you aware that your health insurance provider might cover the cost of your gym membership? Or that the things you need to take care of those annoying wasps flying around your home this summer are right in your kitchen pantry? Do you know how to approach buying good-quality, name-brand men's belts? Your fellow readers know these secrets, and today they're willing to share them with you.
WASP CONTROL. It's that time of year. I'm filling containers with homemade potion to trap the wasps that love to visit my property. I place containers around the yard, pool and patio. Wasps and other flying insects are attracted to the potion, so they dive in for a sip and never come out. Here's the recipe: Mix 6 ounces (3/4 cup) vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon salt. If you need more double the recipe. This potion is nontoxic. — Marilyn
INSIDER HOTEL INFO. Always check a hotel website before making a reservation. That's where you will find the best rates. I work at a hotel. If you reserve a room here through Travelocity or Expedia you'll pay the full rate plus the commission, which is really pricey. — Carey
DEALS ON MEN'S BELTS. Popular discount clothing stores like T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and Ross often have a pretty good selection of high-quality leather men's belts. The only problem I have is that the name-brand belts they carry are usually too big for me. But I buy them anyway and take them to a shoe repairman near my home, who removes the buckles, cuts off the extra inches and reattaches the buckles. He charges me $3 to $5 per belt. I spend an average of $15 to $20 for a belt that retails in department stores for $50 to $80 or more. — Bob
FEE-FREE GYM MEMBERSHIP. As someone who struggles with being overweight, I was happy to learn that my health insurance company would pay for a three-month gym membership. But there's more: The company promised that if I had lost weight at the end of three months they would continue paying for my membership for a year. I just completed the third month, and I have lost 9 pounds. I am so excited! For those who want to join a gym to lose weight or just to get healthier, check with your insurance company. — Lydia
EASY-TO-CLEAN FRIDGE. Empty everything out of your fridge. Wash the inside, and let it dry. After it's dry put sheets of Glad Press 'n Seal Wrap on each shelf and other flat surface. Now put everything back in. When something spills or otherwise gets yucky simply remove the items from the shelf, peel off the dirty Glad Wrap, put another sheet down and put the items back. There's no muss and no fuss; it's easy, fast and simple. — Tim
FREE COLLEGE TEXTS. Both of my kids attended University of California schools. One of them borrowed the required textbooks from the library, and the other found PDF copies of the textbooks online. They both only purchased two books during their four years of their schooling. — Corina
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 Web page at www.creators.com.