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Everyday Cheapskate: Great Reader Tips

Mary Hunt on

Today's batch of great reader tips cover everything from cutting the cost of cat care to turning "goofs" into gorgeous, and lots more. Enjoy!


Here are two tips we cat breeders rely on:

No. 1: Plastic cat box liners are a waste of money. Cats tear them to shreds. We use paper grocery bags (still available in many areas) because they are tough and absorbent. Use a fresh one with each litter change.

No. 2: To reduce cat dander that can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive people, we sponge down our cats with a solution of 1 cup water and 1 teaspoon liquid fabric softener. It's good for the coat and cheaper than shampoo. -- Gina R., Georgia



I wanted to paint our basement floor to cut down on the dust from the unsealed cement but didn't want to spend the $100 or so that the paint store quoted. Instead I asked for their oil-based goofs (paint tinted the wrong color). I collected five gallons for less than $25 and had more than enough. Of course it is a dark shade of gray as a result of mixing odd colors. But hey, it's a basement floor! -- Connie H., Pennsylvania


Professional woodworkers drill a "pilot hole" before nailing molding or floor base in place to prevent the wood from splitting. When I couldn't find a bit small enough to match the nails I wanted to use for such an installation, I came up with this solution: With a pair of nippers I cut off the head of one of the nails. Then I placed it in the chuck of my power drill just as I would a regular drill bit. The nail easily cut through the molding and made the correct size hole for the finishing nail. -- Jack W., Oregon



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