Whether it’s removing pine sap from a new pair of summer shorts or keeping your drinks super cold, my readers are always anxious to share their best tips, tricks and ideas for ways to save time and money!
STICKY, MESSY SAP. A cheap and safe way to remove pine tree sap from your car without damaging the finish is to rub it with a soft cloth soaked with 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, available at the pharmacy or drug store for a buck or two.
SAG NO MORE
To fix a sagging clothes closet rod, buy a one-half-inch galvanized pipe and three-quarter-inch thin-wall PVC — polyvinyl chloride — piping, both the same length as the rod. You can get these at your local home improvement center, such as Home Depot or Lowe’s. Remove the existing sagging rod. Now slip the pipe inside the PVC to create a new rod, and slide this into the existing rod brackets. If you are bothered by the printing on the PVC, clean it off with rubbing alcohol.
SECRET INFO. When you finish refurbishing a room in your home, write down this important information on a piece of paper, and tape it to the back of the switch plate: the brand and color of the paint, how much it cost to paint the room and the circuit breaker number that serves this room. You’ll be happy to find the information next time.
SUPER CUBE. This is a crazy simple tip, but it works for me. I love ice-cold water and must have it at all times. However, at work, the water is just cool, not the icy deliciousness that I require. I solved this issue by taking a bottle of water slightly less than half-full and laying it down sideways in the break room freezer. Later, I grab the frozen half-bottle and fill it up with water.
Voila! Ice-cold water for several hours. I just keep filling it up until it’s time to get out another one! Just make sure not to put too much water in the bottle, or you won’t be able to fill it with water.
STICK WITH REGULAR. Most gas stations offer unleaded premium for 10 cents to 20 cents more per gallon than unleaded regular. Many customers think they’re giving their car some kind of extra care or a “treat” by filling up with what they think is the best. Don’t do it. Virtually all automobiles run just fine on regular unleaded; so, unless your vehicle’s owners manual specifically states that your car requires a premium grade of gas with higher octane, save your money, and stick with regular.
LEVEL PAY. After consulting my yearly budget, I’ve started paying the same each month for my electricity and heating bills. Because I live on a fixed income, I send each of those utility providers a flat $100 per month. This means I purposely overpay for heat in the summer when the furnace is not in use and overpay in the winter to the electric company when I’m not running my central air conditioner.
I’ve been doing this for years — no big bills in the summer for the electric, no big bills in the winter for the heat. This takes the mystery out of my budget and works quite well for me.
Mary Hunt writes this column for Creators Syndicate. She is the founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, a lifestyle blog, and the author of “Debt-Proof Living. Submit comments or tips or address questions on her website. She will answer questions of general interest via this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.