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The Smart Phone Shopping List
Keep your grocery list up to date with text messages from family members. When they open an item, they should text the product to the member who does the shopping. By doing this, everyone helps keep the house stocked, and assuming the shopper has a smart phone, they can copy/paste the item to a running grocery list.
This is the time of year when wallpaper stores are clearing out their old sample books for the new. Often times, they will give away the books just for asking. I wrap many smaller items in the wallpaper. Wallpaper is thicker and more elegant than regular gift wrap. I even wrapped some smaller Christmas gifts with it this year and got many compliments.
Wash your hair in the shower with a bar of plain soap, such as castile, lye, or olive oil-based soap. Rinse with a 1 to 10 ratio of vinegar to water solution and then wash out with plain water. Your hair will be squeaky clean and very soft and shiny. This really works!
I recently took the time to search through my credit card websites to look at their reward programs, which I usually ignore. To my surprise, I received a cash rebate from one site, a $150 cash gift card from another, and a $100 gift card from a third site. These rewards had been available for quite a while. I only needed to ask for them.
Larraine Y. in Albuquerque, NM
Frozen Car Door Locks?
If you live in an area where winters get very cold, you may have dealt with the lock on your car door freezing shut, making it impossible to get your key in the lock. To prevent this from happening, when exiting your car, slap a large flat refrigerator magnet over the keyhole. This will keep moisture from getting in the lock. When ready to drive again, just slide the magnet off and go!
Becki H. in Logansport, IN
Tough Toilet Bowl Cleaning
I am getting a home ready for sale and have been cleaning furiously. One area that I could not get cleaned was the toilet bowls. They had accumulated this dark gray stain that I couldn't get off. I had tried everything. I finally found the answer in a pumice scouring stick. All I had to do was wet it and rub away at the stain. It came off like magic! Best of all, it didn't leave any scratches. I now have three sparkling white toilet bowls!
Expensive Lotions for Less
I have a way to save on expensive perfumed body lotions. I buy an unscented lotion. I squirt a good amount into the palm of my hand. Then I add some of my perfumed lotion. This way, I get the moisturizer for my body, and the expensive perfumed lotion lasts longer.
Repairing Throw Rugs
To replace the missing rubber backing on throw rugs, you can find jars of latex at craft stores or fabric stores to paint on the backside of the rugs. I have also used it to apply to the bottoms of crocheted and knit slippers to prevent slipping.
Avoiding Impulse Buys
How much money do you spend every time you head into the local discount store? If you're like me, you most likely end up buying a bunch of stuff you don't really need. Multiply that by how many times you visit all those stores and you've shelled out a load of extra dough just to get that toilet paper and shampoo.
This year, if you're lucky enough to be getting a tax refund, take a fair portion of that refund and spend about two weeks stocking up. That two weeks will give you a chance to catch things on sale. If you can buy a year's worth of the necessities, enough to carry you until next year's refund, you'd be surprised what it will save by removing the temptation to purchase all the unnecessary stuff over a year's time.
Creative Uses for Tension Rods
The next time you visit a home goods or hardware store check out the section that stocks tension rods. There are many different lengths and widths, and they can be used for so much more than hanging a curtain. Here are just a few ways I use them in my house.
My home is 60 years old and the closets are tiny. Instead of storing all of my ribbon spools in a box, I have lined them up on a couple of rods so they are visible and ready to go when I am wrapping gifts. My laundry room holds multiple spray bottles hung by their finger triggers from a rod. After washing and drying a tablecloth, I carefully fold and drape it over a rod, and it is ready for the next time with no creases.
They're very inexpensive and great space savers!
I keep an emergency preparedness kit in my car and a filled backpack at our front door. Tornadoes seem to be our highest natural threat where we live, so I just recently set up another emergency preparedness kit in the basement closet as that would be our safe room to retreat to in such an emergency.
Each emergency kit is different. For instance, the car kit contains a compass, the front door kit is set up for evacuation, and the basement kit contains an old cell phone for calling 911. I check my kits twice a year to update, add, delete, and recharge the old cell phones.
Being a little more prepared is a good feeling, and it does not require a lot of extra cash to set up a kit. Backpacks seem to be the easiest to handle in an emergency, as they can be carried across shoulders, leaving hands free. Plastic zipper bags work great for water-proofing supplies, and when supplies are organized in clear bags, it is much easier to see the contents in an emergency. Inexpensive backpacks can be found at thrift stores almost every day of the week.