Cleaner Sneakers When tennis shoes/sneakers are washed in the washing machine or even by hand, the toe part of the shoe tends to curl upward after they dry. To prevent this, while they are still wet or damp, I firmly stuff clean, dry rags into the toe section and leave them there until the shoes are dry. I usually let mine dry outside in the sun. Grace H.
Save the Salsa I was throwing out salsa because it doesn’t keep very long. Now when I open up a bottle, I divide the salsa into three or four plastic resealable bags and freeze. If I just need a small amount, I bring out one bag. If I need more, I bring out the number of bags that I need. By doing this, I’ll never see mold floating on the top of my salsa again. Helen W.
Ask for Ends I ask at the deli counter for end cuts of meat and/or cheese. Both sell for only $2.00 per pound. I am able to choose which pieces I want. I often get a combination of cheeses. This is great for making sandwiches, salads, and baked macaroni and cheese. I add the end cuts of ham that I get to casseroles, eggs, salads, and ham salad. I use end cuts of turkey for salads or heat it in canned gravy for a quick, hot turkey sandwich. $2.00 per pound sure beats paying full price for perfectly sliced items. E P in Clifton, NJ
The Cooking Team Every month, my girlfriend and I get together and cook for the month! We shop the day before, split the bill in half, and we cook for five hours the next day. The meals usually last us one to two months. We both have a two-year-old child, so cooking during the week is hard. It is so nice to have a wonderful dinner that you heated up in less than an hour! Lisa M.
Motivated Kids My kids take lunchboxes to school, except on Friday when their favorite pizza is on the school cafeteria menu. To “earn” the pizza lunch, they pack their lunch all week and save/reuse any bags. We use reusable containers as much as possible, but sometimes space is an issue in the lunchbox, so we use some zipper (store brand!) bags. The kids bring home the bags, rather than throw them out at lunchtime, and reuse them all week. On Friday, it’s a welcome, easy morning, and they look forward to a hot lunch. Christine B. in Leesburg, VA
Teens at Work My sister recently reminded me about something my mom said a long time ago and it is still helpful today. When talking to teens or young adults about money and getting a job, it’s helpful to remind them that whenever they are working, they are not only earning money, but also not spending it. This is especially true for this age group who wouldn’t dream of spending a Friday or Saturday night at home. So if they earn $40 babysitting, they also aren’t spending $20 at the mall, so really they have $60 in their pocket to show for the night! Sometimes it’s all in how you look at it. Ann Tricked Into Saving To “trick yourself into saving,” use automatic deposit for your paycheck and have a set amount taken out and deposited into savings at that time. If you don’t use automatic deposit, just be sure to deposit in your savings at the same time you deposit or cash the rest. When I do it this way, I don’t miss the money. It is never “in my hand,” so I don’t count on it for anything. That way, I am not as tempted to take a little out here and there. I have learned to live on what is left after my taxes and savings are taken out! It’s amazing how fast it adds up when I consistently put money in and leave it there. Sue
Using Baking Soda to Clean My mother-in-law is a master at getting out stains and cleaning just about anything. She taught me to use baking soda. For stovetops and other surfaces, wet a paper towel (wring it out well) and sprinkle it liberally with the baking soda. It absorbs all the oil that you’re trying to clean off. Plus, it leaves your hands soft. I bought a ten-pound box of baking soda at one of the warehouse clubs, and it has lasted me a long time. I even used it to scrub just about every item I owned after we had a big fire in our house. It was able to get my good china, which looked beyond repair, sparkling clean. It made all my pots look like new. No other cleanser will cost you so little, and as a added benefit, you do not need to be quite as nervous if you don’t get up every bit of residue! Amy in Atlanta
Free Gym Membership Recently, I wanted to sign up for a membership at a health club. The price was expensive, the services were limited, and many programs had to be purchased separately. Then I remembered that our local college, my alma mater, had a great gym. It was better than any of the local fitness centers. The catch? I have to be a student. I decided this was a great opportunity for me to continue my education (one class would still be less than a membership to the local health club) and get the benefit of the gym for free. I now have access to a huge climbing wall with an open climbing time twice a week, aerobics classes (several per day), gym time, tennis courts, a swimming pool with open swim times, and racquetball courts. Also, I can join clubs, such as the fencing club and basketball club. This is a much better deal than the YMCA! AF