I love to discover a second use for something most of us have around the house or can easily find. Today’s first tip may give you a big surprise, but for sure a big laugh. By the way, this really works!
POTTY LINER: Line the bottom of baskets and pots with a disposable diaper (yes, clean and unused!) before you put in the potting soil and plants. This keeps the soil from rushing out of the drainage hole and helps retain soil moisture while still allowing the plant to drain. — Stacy L., Connecticut
BETTER RUG GRIPPER: Recently I purchase a product, Rug Gripper, for my 3-by-5-foot kitchen rug, that was unsatisfactory because it didn’t work to keep the rug in place. I got the bright idea to use a roll of rubberized shelf liner, which I happened to have already. It worked great to keep the rug in place. I am very happy with the results. — Florence F., California
SECURITY COMPLIANT: My mom came to visit me recently. She lives in Texas, and I live in Kansas City, Mo. When I took her to the airport to go home, I had this brilliant idea! I gave her an empty water bottle and told her to fill it up after she got through security. My mom said, “No thanks, I have two empty bottles already in my purse.” HA! Why didn’t she tell me that a long time ago? — Amanda J., Missouri
THE LAST DAB: To get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube, I use a pair of pliers to squeeze the end near the cap. I can get at least a week more out of the tube. — Beverly P., Pennsylvania
HANDY TWINE: To have garden twine handy when you need it, stick a ball of twine in a small clay pot, pull the end of the twine through the drainage hole, and set the pot upside down in the garden. Tuck a small pair of scissors in there as well, and you’ll be set and ready the next time you need to tie up a vine. — Greg. N., Kansas
DIY DEODORANT: Due to the heavy toxins in commercial deodorant, I’ve wanted to stop using it for years, but I didn’t know what the alternatives were. Recently I stumbled on a recipe for homemade deodorant: ﾼ cup baking soda, ﾼ cup cornstarch and 5 tablespoons organic coconut oil. Combine baking soda and cornstarch in a small bowl, and mix with a fork. Add the coconut oil, and continue stirring as you work it into a paste. Heat in microwave for about 20 seconds, then stir again to fully incorporate all of the ingredients. Store in a small, airtight container. — Sheri R., email
HANDY MEASURE: Turn a long-handled tool into a measuring stick. Just lay it on the ground, placing a measuring tape next to it. Using a permanent marker, write inch and foot marks on the handle. When you need to space plants a certain distance apart (from just an inch to several feet), you’ll have a handy measuring device right there in your hand. Jasmine, Arizona
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 23 books, including her 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 webpage at www.creators.com.