Have I told you lately about my email inbox? It's a mess. And today I'm ready to clean it up big-time by answering 11 questions, each of them representing dozens more with about the same request.
Q: What is the best inexpensive double stroller that you recommended in a recent column? I read it, copied the information but now cannot find it anywhere! Thanks.
A: My pick for the best inexpensive double stroller is the Graco RoomFor2 Click Connect stand and ride stroller (about $140). It accommodates an older child, who can either sit or stand at the back, plus a baby/toddler in the front. For two babies, I recommend the Delta Children City Street side-by-side stroller (about $60).
Q: I'm dying here in Atlanta. The humidity has been unbearable. I really need that inexpensive humidifier you recommend. Could I get those details again?
A: That column brought a huge response, but none more glowing than from Will, who wrote with the question originally. He wrote back once his Frigidaire FFAD7033R1 Energy Star 70-pint dehumidifier, about $218, was up and running. He was so happy with the result. Be sure to reread the original post, as I offered two options depending on the size of your space.
Q: What is the name of that great trash container for the car that you wrote about a while ago?
A: My car trash can, by Freddie and Sebbie (about $27), continues to be one of the best things I've ever bought. I've purchased several more for gifts, and everyone agrees — fabulous! That's the good news. The bad news is that as I write, it is unavailable, and there is no indication of when it will be back. But not to worry. The High Road StableMate large car trash basket is quite similar in every way, costing about $18 and earning many five-star reviews. I like that it has side handles plus a mesh storage pocket on the side for wipes and sanitizer. You can't go wrong with this substitute.
Q: Sure do love my Shark Sonic Duo floor scrubber machine. But refills for the cleaning liquid are crazy expensive! Do you have a recipe to make our own cleaner that will clean my hardwood floors as beautifully and not harm the machine?
A: I sure do: 1 part 91 percent rubbing alcohol, 4 parts distilled water plus a few drops of blue Dawn. Mix together. I use this straight in the Shark Sonic Duo scrubber; no further dilution required. Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol is a fabulous cleaner, plus it helps this cleaner to dry quickly with no rinsing required. Remember to never use vinegar on hardwood, laminate or granite. It is an acid and, over time, would damage the finish (or sealer, in the case of granite).
Q: Could you tell me the name of the fabulous heavy-duty cleaner you wrote about — something like Lexoil or Lesswork? I can't remember.
A: It's Lestoil, as in "less toil"! And it is fabulous. Here are the 10 things to know about Lestoil. Though not the easiest to find, Lestoil is readily available online (about $8 for a concentrated bottle of 48 ounces), as well as in some home improvement stores and supermarkets.
Q: I need a new vacuum and want to get your favorite Shark. But there are so many models to choose from. Help?
A: You're right. So this is easy. You want one with these words: Shark Navigator Lift-Away Pro. Most likely, you'll find the best price on Amazon. As I write, it's about $154. It is a wonderful machine.
Q: What is that product you recommend for cleaning icky, dirty, dull wood cabinets?
A: You will be thrilled to pieces with your classic cabinets once you deep-clean them with Howard Feed-N-Wax wood polish and conditioner (about $8 for 16 ounces).
Q: I want to start roasting my own coffee at home. Could you please tell me again where you get your green coffee beans?
A: I have used several sources over the years. Currently, we purchase in bulk from La Minita plantation in Costa Rica, with a minimum purchase requirement of 150 pounds. That's a lot of coffee and probably not where you want to start. For small purchases, you'll find the best deals and variety on Amazon, where prices start at about $5 a pound.
Q: Where can I get the small kitchen towels you love in bulk?
A: They're called "bar mops" and available online. The kitchen bar mop cleaning towels from Utopia Towels are about $17 per dozen.
Q: I read about how to fumigate a space that reeks of tobacco, but now I can't find it!
A: Do a Google search for my article titled "Best Room Humidifier for DIY Fumigation." You are going to need a Honeywell HCM-350 germ-free cool mist humidifier (the best inexpensive humidifier that meets the need for this operation), as well as a supply of Nok-Out odor eliminator (which can be purchased for 10 percent off with the coupon code DPL).
For links to the posts and products mentioned above, make sure to visit http://www.everydaycheapskate.com/questionsaudience.
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at [email protected]erydaycheapskate.com 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.