Although my grandson is only 3, I'm keeping this first tip handy for when he graduates from high school.
POST-DATED GIFTING: When our grandchildren began graduating from high school and heading off to college, we wanted to give them money each month during their first year of college. So in their high school graduation card we enclosed 10 $100.00 post-dated checks, starting with August of that year and ending the following May.
We knew it would come in handy, not only for the grandchildren but for their parents, too. We figured the extra money each month might avoid a call home, asking their parents for a little bit more. Or it might pay for something that was unexpected.
Our oldest grandson told us many times how he appreciated this. We have been blessed, always knowing how important we are to our grandchildren -- because we have let them know how important they are to us. -- Linda, Nebraska
SHARING BOUNTY WITH CHICKENS: My family owns chickens, which means we need a lot of produce to feed them. Our local grocery store lets us take the produce that they are planning on throwing away. Frequently, this produce includes perfectly edible food. There might be one moldy potato in a bag, but the store still puts it with the produce to toss. Because of this, we end up eating some of what we get for the chickens. Items we salvage the most are potatoes, bananas, lettuce and strawberries. -- Talia, email
CLOTHES DRYING SYSTEM: I have a method of drying clothes that works very well, especially on jeans. I dry the items on a low setting for 10 to 15 minutes. Then I remove the clothes from the dryer and gently pull on the seams and the bottoms of the pant legs. This takes out the creases and stretches the pants to avoid shrinkage. Finally, I hang the pants by the waist to dry completely. This has been working for me for many years. -- Joan, email
APPLESAUCE-TOPPED SHORT STACK: I buy pancake mix that only needs water. From this I can easily make about three pancakes and not have to concern myself with dividing an egg and oil. It's easy to reduce the measurements -- you just do the math. Instead of using pancake syrup, which really adds the calories if you use too much, I sometimes top my pancakes and waffles with unsweetened applesauce. It adds a bit of moisture and a nice, mild fruit taste. And it has lots of good nutritional value, too. -- Nellie, email
TOOTHBRUSH HOLDERS FOR ONE: To hold toothbrushes and paste, each person in my family stores theirs in a coffee cup -- or a plastic cup for little ones. This separates the brushes and cuts down on germs being passed around.
It keeps the counter picked up, and they're easy to clean since I put the cups in the dishwasher. -- K., EC Blog
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at mary@everyday cheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. Include your first and last name and state.