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Everyday Cheapskate: Readers share their ways to use this for that

Eyeglass cleaner. If you’re out when you realize your glasses or purse mirror needs cleaning, try using a drop of hand sanitizer to give you crystal-clear results instantly. This works great on glass, but should be tested on plastic. — Angelique T.

Kitchen helper. I work full time, so before I leave my house in the morning, I set up my slow cooker and plug it into a timer. Most days, I only cook for two, preparing a couple of pork chops or chicken. With the timer, I start the cooking at noon on low and end it at 5:30 when I get home, avoiding the need to cook for 10 hours. It is important to make sure the timer is set correctly. In the morning, the meat goes in frozen, so there is no need to worry about it sitting out until noon. It’s so nice to come home to a nice hot meal. — Linda

Brush holder. When I redid my bathroom, I took the old toothbrush holder, ran it through the dishwasher and now use it to hold my makeup brushes on the counter. The brushes fit nicely, are neatly organized and are ready for me to use. — Robin

Claw backs. I have lace curtains that I sometimes like to pull back. I use those tiny “claw” hair clips with the teeth that you pinch to open. They’re less than an inch long and clear. I pull the curtain to the desired position and clip it back. When I want to close the lace curtain, I gently remove the clip and clip it onto the outside edge of the curtain so it’s there whenever I need it. These clips work great and they’re virtually invisible! — Bonnie B.

Write on, wipe off. I am always thinking of things I need to do or buy while I’m in the bathroom getting ready for the day. But keeping a notepad in a room with so much moisture doesn’t work well. Instead, I use a wipe-off marker right on the mirror. I jot quick notes as I think of them. Then, when I’m ready to go, I transfer all my notes to paper and wipe them off the mirror. This routine keeps me from getting frustrated about not remembering something and it keeps the mirror clean, too! — Leanne

Well-heeled. No one in my house likes the “heel” ends of a loaf of bread. Instead of throwing them out, or throwing them in the backyard for the birds, we let them sit out on the counter and get stale. Then, we save them to use for breadcrumbs, stuffing or croutons. For croutons, I cube the stale bread and toss it in a frying pan with a little olive oil, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Once they are coated and heated through, I toss them with Parmesan cheese and use on a Caesar salad. — Nancy V.

Gift the shelter. Wondering what to do with all of your old, frayed towels and linens? Check your local animal shelter. Most are in need of old towels, worn throw rugs and bedspreads, and any other soft washable materials for animal bedding. — Pat C.

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 founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com.

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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