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EVERYDAY CHEAPSKATE

on February 20, 2013 3:00 PM

I often have written about my dear mother-in-law, Gwen Hunt, in this column. Among the many things she handed down from the Hunt family were lovely serving pieces. After reading Sandra’s tip, I’m going to start using these pieces more often when I entertain — especially at our Hunt family gatherings.

HEIRLOOM FEATURED IN BUFFET: I found a new use for a family heirloom punchbowl and cup set that I inherited. It is a vintage cut-glass set, and it is lovely. It seemed a shame to not use it or to just donate it, since it had been in the family for a long time.

At the last family gathering, I filled it full of fresh fruit salad and used the cups as individual bowls. It was a huge hit. A tiny ring of frozen fruit juice kept it cold all day. Now I’m using other family cut-glass heirlooms to accompany whatever I’m putting in the punchbowl. Everyone feels so good about incorporating these pieces with our traditions, we have even brainstormed new uses for the pieces. For our New Year’s party, we had a seafood appetizer bar, and my niece suggested we fill the punchbowl with tortilla chips for a salsa and dip party in the future. — Sandra, email

FROZEN SEASONINGS: No matter how hard I tried to keep my garlic salt from clumping, nothing seemed to work. I tried adding things to absorb the moisture and storing it in every airtight container I could find, but it always clumped. Because I keep several seasonings that I seldom use in my freezer, I decided to give that a try. After getting my garlic salt back to powder form, I put it in an airtight container and put it in the freezer. No more clumping! — Pauline, email

FIZZ WITH HALF THE CALORIES: The fizz in soda pop is what quenches my thirst, not the flavor, the high-fructose corn syrup or the empty calories. Instead of soda pop, I mix half a glass of 100 percent unsweetened fruit juice with half a glass of plain seltzer.

This gives me the fizz I crave, along with a nice real-fruit flavor, but only half the calories of a full glass of fruit juice. — GRLA, EC Blog

ANOTHER SERVING OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES: When I’ve gotten wine that doesn’t suit me, I add frozen fruit to the bottle. The fruit chills the wine and improves the flavor. On a similar note, I add frozen peas to canned soup, which improves the texture and adds a freshness to the flavor. — Terri, EC Blog

DUST THE SIDEWALK: I save the empty Parmesan cheese bottles and fill them with sand.

When my sidewalk or driveway gets slick in the winter I dust the area with the sand.

It’s nicer on the concrete and tar driveway, and when the sun comes out it heats up and melts the snow and ice quicker, in addition to providing traction. — Beck, email

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. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving. com and author of 23 books, including her January 2013 release “Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tips and Tricks to Save You Time and Money Every Day.”

To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

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