Everyday Cheapskate: Gravity and Creativity Prolong Products' Useful Life
If you were to take a peek inside my refrigerator, you'd have to stand on your head to read labels. Food seems to last longer when stored upside-down in a container with a tightly fitting lid. It's something about the food sealing itself. All I know is it works. I can't remember the last time I had to toss out sour cream, cottage cheese, etc. due to spoiling. Our first reader tip has the same idea but for different reasons. Genius!
NO-MESS PEANUT BUTTER MIXING
Dear Mary: Natural peanut butter separates and must be stirred thoroughly before the first use. That can make a big mess. To avoid this, I store the jar upside-down so that the oil is at the bottom of the jar. When I stir, the oil doesn't run over. It also ensures that there won't be peanut butter at the bottom of the jar that didn't get thoroughly mixed. -- Jill
PUT FLEECE SCRAPS TO USE
Dear Mary: I have found many uses for fleece fabric scraps. They are the best dust cloths for my wood blinds and my floors. I have an old Swiffer that I never used because I didn't want to purchase the wipes that go with it. Instead, I attach a piece of fleece. It works great for what I need. -- Meg
USING THIS FOR THAT
Dear Mary: I love it when household items can be used in multiple ways. The sticky labels on my new dishes came off with cooking spray, and the ballpoint ink stains on my kitchen cabinet laminate came off with hand sanitizer. -- Carolyn
DINING ROOM TABLE OPTIONS
Dear Mary: Instead of looking in furniture stores for a dining room table, try checking office supply stores or Craigslist for conference tables. Dining room tables of the size I need ran $1,200 and up, but when I looked for conference tables in the same style, I was able to find them for around $300. -- Harvey
A HOMEMADE SOLUTION FOR DRY HAIR
Dear Mary: Add extra shine, volume and strength to your hair with liquid fruit pectin. I add one 3-ounce package of liquid fruit pectin to my shampoo and another to the conditioner. Stir and shake to mix the contents. It's also a remedy for split ends. -- Gina
LEFTOVER SPECIAL OCCASION CEREAL
Dear Mary: I buy cereal whenever my grandkids come for a visit. After they leave, I take what's left and put it through my blender. I put the crumbs in plastic bags to use as breading or fillers. You can do the same with crackers of all flavors, chips, pretzels and other snack foods. -- Donna
Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, "Ask Mary." This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."
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