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Everyday Cheapskate: The Accidental Stain Remover

Mary Hunt on

Blue Dawn works well with hot water to remove old wallpaper. Put the hot water and some Dawn in a bucket. Get a sponge to apply the mixture to the wallpaper. I have found it works as well or better than the store-bought removers. -- Diane


When I remove the hardware for drapes or pictures from the wall, I take the smaller pieces (screws, nuts, bolts, whatever) and put them all in a zip-type bag. I attach the bag to the rod or picture frame with a large rubber band or some tape. That way, when I go to return the item to the wall, I have the hardware right there with it. -- Toni


One lemon can contain two to three times as much juice as a seemingly identical lemon. To find the juiciest lemons in the supermarket, lightly squeeze several to compare them; those that yield under pressure will contain more juice than the others, even if they're the same size, shape and weight. -- Todd


To warm biscuits, pancakes or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave alongside a cup of water. The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster. -- Sue



Keep extra batteries for your garage door opener in your car. My sister-in-law didn't have a front door key with her, and her garage door opener's battery died. She had to go to the store before she could get in her house. She learned this tip the hard way. -- Theresa


Store all your kids' tub toys in a plastic trash can. You can buy one to match your bathroom decor. It's a much cleaner and cheaper way to do things, since the mesh netting can so easily grow mildew and the fancy toy storage units are pricey and difficult to clean. It is easy to clean a small trash can, and they can hold quite a bit. -- Kerrie


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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