Your response to yesterday’s column was huge. I’m still sifting through all the messages. And one thing is clear: Most of us hate to floss! And I get that. It’s a pain because it’s awkward and time consuming. And it’s not an easy task. And while most of your letters brought commitments to change, one message from Max offered a specific solution to the often troublesome, yet traditional dental floss.
EASY FLOSS: Thanks for yesterday’s column about dental care. I don’t know how I’d live without my Sonicare! For years I struggled with flossing with regular dental floss and tried every type of solution and floss pick out there. They were either really expensive or the floss would break mid-floss. Recently, a friend introduced me to these Plackers floss picks she found on Amazon. They never break, are relatively inexpensive, and slide easily between my teeth. I’ve tried a few different versions of the Plackers, but my favorite are the Gentleslide Flossers (www.everydaycheapskate.com/floss). I recommend them to anyone who has trouble flossing with standard floss. — Max H., email
BE PATIENT: The best airline fares typically go to those who call just after midnight, Eastern time. That’s when airlines decide whether a flight is full and begin slashing prices if it’s not. Typically, fares can drop by anywhere from $50 to $400. — Tim J., Michigan
TAKE A SEAT: Season tickets to the local symphony are quite pricey, but we get in free by serving as ushers. Many concert halls and theaters across the nation do the same. Call your local theater to find out if it needs help. Or search the Internet, using the keywords “volunteer,” “usher,” plus your hometown. — Connie B., Maryland
STUDENT WORKOUT: A cheap way to get in shape is to take a class at a local community college. Most students can get into the gym to work out using their ID. This is much cheaper than the average cost of a gym membership. — Betty D., Indiana
SMOOTH SLIDING: After cleaning the track of your sliding glass patio door, run a piece of paraffin wax (a candle will work, too) back and forth along the track. It will slide like a brand-new door. — Majel R., email
UNTANGLE A NECKLACE: To get a knot out of a chain, just place some baby oil on the knot and use 2 pins to work it free. When you are finished, wash the necklace in soapy water and dry well. — Bea W., North Carolina
SPOT CLEAN: We have off-white carpet in our house and two boys. Needless to say, we have our fair share of spills, spots and drips on the carpet. The most effective spot cleaner I have ever used (even compared to expensive name brands) is regular shaving cream. Just dampen the spot with warm water, spray with shaving cream and scrub with a brush (I use a fingernail brush or toothbrush). Wipe clean with a damp rag. — Catherine C., email
FUME-FREE OVEN CLEANER: The safest, but not necessarily the quickest oven cleaner I’ve found is a mixture of baking soda, warm water and white vinegar applied all over the inside of the oven and left overnight. Wipe clean the next day. It is not necessary to heat the oven when performing this procedure. — Nadia G., Idaho
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at email@example.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 24 books, including her 2013 release “The Smart Woman’s Guide to Planning for Retirement.” To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.