Mary Hunt: Advice on saving money in everything you do
It's amazing how saving a little here and little there can add up to big savings. Each of these tips on their own doesn't save much. But added up over time? It can really make a difference.
Don't believe me? Think about the amount of cosmetics you've tossed because of an allergic reaction or it just wasn't the right color. And don't get me started on buying or making decorations for a child's party — that can be a real money drain. Let these tips get your creative juices flowing on how you can substitute, reuse or repurpose what you already have.
Eyeliner trick. My eyelids swell when I use eyeliner pencils and liquid eyeliner looks too harsh. Instead, I take an eyeliner brush or Q-tip, dip it in water and then into a dark shade of eye shadow. Then I apply it to my eyelid with the same results. This has saved me money, since eye shadow is less expensive than eyeliner. — Tania, email
Flower pots for storage.
Instead of purchasing expensive containers for bathroom supplies, we invested in different sized clay flowerpots. My children painted them, and we filled them with all kinds of personal hygiene products and cosmetics. There is even one for an extra roll of tissue at the back of the toilet. — Patti, Washington
Cold hands don't stick. When making Rice Krispies treats, rinse your hands with cold water before pressing the treats into the pan. This will eliminate all that goo on your hands. And the treats stay in the pan, not on your hands. — Robin, Kansas
Perfect brownies. Tired of baking brownies in a 13-by-9-inch pan and having to cut them into equal squares, hoping they won't fall apart? Instead, use a mini-muffin pan, and you can avoid these problems. Simply spray the tins to make sure that the brownies don't stick. Fill the pans two-thirds with batter and bake approximately 12 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Cool, and enjoy! — Betty, South Carolina
Retailer's decorations for home. The theme for my daughter's recent birthday party was hearts. I usually make her party decorations, but in February I was in Target and just loved the in-store decorations. Knowing that stores often throw out their promotional decorations, I decided to ask the manager. He talked to the person in charge of taking them down, and she saved the decorations for me. I received so many compliments on how nice the decorations looked, so I shared this tip with everyone who commented. — Debbie, Texas
Flags for hanging and storing. For those who hang flags for the holidays and the change of seasons, I've found a great way to store them. I use the empty cardboard rolls from wrapping paper, roll up the flag, slide it inside and use a big marker to label the roll for finding it easily. Works like a charm, and they unroll without any wrinkles. — Bonnie, California
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at mary@everydaycheap skate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. Include your first and last name and state.