Here are some more tips from my readers on ways to make everyday chores a bit simpler and easier.
REJUVENATING BOOTS. Olive oil removes salt and stains from leather boots and shoes. It shines the leather, too. It's an Italian thing. — Lysa
GOOD TO THE LAST BIT. I hate wasting any little bit of a product I paid for. After I've squeezed the last glob out of the toothpaste tube, I cut off the tube about an inch away from the cap, and I can squeeze out enough toothpaste for five or six more brushings. — Debbie
SAVE ON LIQUID SOAP. Those foam soap pump dispensers are nice, but they seem expensive for the amount of soap compared to the amount of water in the bottle. I save the dispensers and refill them 1/8 to 1/4 of the way up with liquid soap and the rest with water. I put the top back on and roll the bottle around until the soap mixes with the water (it may take a little time to fully blend the two), and voila! I use just a bit of this mixture to refill foam dispenser bottles, so it takes me years to use up the whole mixture. — Kay
CAST-IRON CLEANUP. I love to cook with my cast-iron skillet. I discovered a very easy way to clean the skillet without removing the pan's seasoning. Basically, I warm the pan and put coarse salt and a little cooking oil in it. Something magical happens, and the food particles that are stuck to the pan lift off, but the oil remains. Using a paper towel, I scrub the pan, wipe off the excess oil and rinse the pan briefly under hot water. Finally, I dry the pan with a paper towel. The pan retains its sheen and is still seasoned and ready to go for the next cooking extravaganza. Thank you for "Everyday Cheapskate." — Marie
POWDERED DIY LAUNDRY DETERGENT. We make our own laundry detergent — powdered detergent, because it's easier to store. My husband had a great idea to make it easier to grate Fels-Naptha soap bars into powder. We put them in the microwave on high for about 3 minutes, which makes them so much easier to grate, and it's simple and fast. — Aimee
DEFROSTING CHAMBER. My freezer, washer and dryer are all in my garage. When it's time to defrost the freezer, I dump a lot of ice into the washing machine, cover the ice with a piece of plastic, put all the frozen food on top of the ice and close the lid. The items stay cold while the freezer defrosts. After, when the ice melts, I turn on the washer's spin cycle to empty it. It works like a charm. — Helen
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.