March 13, 2013 10:50 AM

For many, it’s not the big expenditures that keep them spending beyond their means, but rather the thousands of little purchases that together wreak havoc on their finances. Want to start leaving more money in the bank each month?

Start paying attention to all the little ways money leaks out of your life.

PEA-SHAPED TOOTHPASTE: Those toothpaste ads that show the toothbrush covered with toothpaste in an artful swirl use about four times as much toothpaste as necessary to brush teeth thoroughly. My dentist told me that it takes enough toothpaste the size of a pea to do a good job. And the fact that a smaller amount is still effective, is more comfortable than having a mouth full of suds and makes the toothpaste last three times longer is my idea of a great way to stop the money leak. — Edna, Oregon

LINT ROLL THE LAMPSHADE: My lampshades don’t get dirty, but they sure do get dusty. I “dust” my cloth lampshades with a lint roller. Works like a charm! — Anita, Minnesota

SLOW DOWN THE ROLL: When done with a roll of toilet paper, take the cardboard center and fold it in half the long way. Slide this inside the center of the new roll and install the roll as normal. The extra bulk inside the center roll prevents toilet paper from flying off when spun around and uses fewer squares. — Shawna, Missouri

ROLL OFF THE HAIRS: Take an adhesive lint roller along the next time you have your haircut. Use it once you get to your car to remove the sharp hairs that inevitably attack to your neck. This is much more effective than the neck brush the barber or beautician uses. — Susie, Tennessee

BOILING OUT THE STAINS: Can’t get the stovetop burner pans clean? Try this: Fill a big pot with water. Add about 4 tablespoons of baking soda and a few squirts of dishwashing soap.

Place the stained burner pans in the water, and bring to a boil, making sure the suds do not boil over. Allow them to boil gently until all the baked-on spots are removed. Rinse the pans, and wipe clean. They will sparkle like new. — Nicole, Pennsylvania

GO PRIVATE WITH PENS: I always carry and use my own pen when I’m out at the doctor’s office, the pharmacy, the bank or grocery store. Think about it. Most people at the doctor’s office and the pharmacy are sick and have just used that public pen at the desk. — Patricia, Indiana

CLINGING THE CLING WRAP: Whenever I tear a piece of plastic wrap to place over a plate or bowl, I first pull a little off the roll and place it on one edge of the item I want to cover.

Then I unroll more wrap, stretching as I go. When I get to the other edge of the dish, I touch the wrap to it and tear it.

No more sticking to itself, frustration or wasted wrap! — Cheryl, Maryland

Would you like to send a tip to Mary? You can email her at mary@everydaycheapskate.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 book. 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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