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Everyday Cheapskate: Can you use a kitchen tool fix-up?

A can opener with a dull blade is pretty useless, but who likes to throw out kitchen tools? If we don’t, we have kitchen drawers that barely close. That’s why I love Marilyn’s tip. Now, all I have to do is find my can opener and see if it needs a rebirth.

CAN OPENER REBIRTH. I was ready to throw out my can opener, but decided to get my knife sharpener and work on the can opener’s cutting wheel. It worked like a charm. It was like having a new can opener. — Marilyn, Wisconsin

STOP THE PASTA BOIL-OVER. To stop my pot of pasta from boiling over, I spray the insides of the pot with nonstick spray before I fill it with water. This breaks the water’s surface tension and prevents it from boiling up and over. — ThriftySoul, EC Blog

DETERGENT’S LITTLE SOMETHING EXTRA. I mix my generic laundry detergent with a little bit of expensive name-brand detergent. This makes my laundry detergent last longer, it cleans my clothes really well, and they smell so nice, too. — Kay, EC Blog

PEPPERMINT REMEDY. I began having tension headaches and went in for a massage. The masseuse suggested that when I sense a headache coming on, to massage my neck and shoulders with a drop or two of peppermint oil. This has really helped. It feels great, brings a little warmth to my shoulders and neck, and most of the time gets rid of the headache. — Georgia, Minnesota

BIRTHDAY COUPON BOOK. My mom and sister-in-law create a “Birthday Coupon Book” each year for the kids in the family. They design a colorful book of about 10 coupons that are tailored to each child’s interests and can be cashed in whenever the child wants. Some of the favorite coupons are “$5 Shopping Spree at the Dollar Store with Grandma,” “Skip Piano Practice Day” and “Dinner Out With Mom” or “Dinner Out With Dad.” This gift not only spreads out the birthday celebration and the cost, but creates special times and memories for each child, parent and grandparent. — N.N., email

SEALED WITH A CLIP. I have used clothespins for years to close food bags and containers. I’ve also added a couple of other items that now have a dominant role in my kitchen. Rubber bands and 2-inch binder clips, purchased at the local office supply store, are durable, and between the two can handle any size package. I have wire shelving in my pantry, so I attach the binder clips to the front lip of a shelf until needed. A generous bag of rubber bands takes little space in a drawer. — Janet, email

Would you like to send a tip to Mary?

You can email her at, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630. Include your first and last name and state.

Mary Hunt is founder of

To find out more about Mary visit www.creators.



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