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Everyday Cheapskate: Readers Offer More Creative Ways to Save Time and Money

Mary Hunt on

Sometimes, the best way to stretch a buck is to look in the most unlikely places. I'm a huge fan of the fresh produce at 99 Cents Only Stores. And milk, as compared to the price at my supermarket, is a bargain at the Walgreens across the street. But who knew we could decorate our homes from places like Dollar General? Our first reader discovered that, and I think her tactic is simply brilliant!


My husband and I recently repainted our living room for a fresh, new look and then realized our curtains no longer worked with the new color. We couldn't find anything that we both liked. To our surprise, we found fabric shower curtains at Dollar General that worked perfectly -- only $10 each. Because of how wide our window is, we needed four of them, but for only $40 we have a totally new look in our living room and we love it. -- Trish


Driving fast reduces your fuel efficiency and increases expenses. While aerodynamic drag is less significant in the city, it significantly diminishes fuel efficiency at speeds exceeding 55 mph. Increasing your speed to 65 results in a 36% surge in the drag. For individuals engaged in frequent highway commuting, reaching your destination a few minutes earlier might lead to an additional expenditure of $510 annually. Sticking to a speed nearer to 55 mph and making use of your cruise control has the potential to yield favorable returns. -- Greg



A water heater device allows you to program the times when your electric water heater activates and deactivates during a 24-hour period. Each household is different and you must determine, based on your hot water use and the type of heater you have, if a timer is right for you. If it is, you're going to see a drop in your utility use. -- Gerald


When my kids were younger and just learning to cook, they had many mishaps with the bottle of vegetable oil. Often they poured too much because the opening of the bottle was so large. As I was cleaning out a squeeze ketchup bottle, it occurred to me that it could be a great solution to the oil spills. I filled the flip-top squeeze bottle with oil, and now the kids use it with ease. It even helps me use less oil when sauteing. And the bonus is that the bottle fits better in the cupboard, too. -- Nancy



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