Dear Mary: Do you have a homemade recipe for bathroom air freshener refills? I have Air Wick brand, and I'm wondering if there is an easier and cheaper way to refill it when it runs dry.
-- D.R., California
Dear D.R.: Add four to eight drops of essential oil (lavender, for example) to 1 quart of water and you'll have a wonderful air freshener when sprayed lightly into the air. If your Air Wick dispenser is refillable, filling with this mixture should work nicely.
Essential oils are highly concentrated. A small bottle lasts a long time. You can find essential oils and fragrance oils in craft stores, candles shops and online in a wide range of grades and prices.
Dear Mary: I know the importance of exfoliating regularly to keep my skin looking younger. Do you have any suggestions for how to make a homemade recipe?
-- Mercedes, email
Dear Mercedes: There are several, but this is my favorite because it is so quick and easy:
Once a week or so, make a paste from granulated sugar and fresh lemon juice. While showering, invigorate your skin with the paste. Use the inside of the lemon rind to soften heels and elbows. Rinse off, and your skin will be smooth and silky.
Lemons contain powerful glycolic acid, one of the key ingredients in pricey skin-care products.
I'm sending you a copy of my booklet "Cheapskate Solutions." It's filled with recipes, formulas and instructions for making your own housecleaning, garden, and
Cheapskate Solutions is available in print or eBooklet formats. The print booklet is $7, and the eBooklet version is $5. To order, go to DebtProofLiving.com and click on Bookstore or call 800-550-3502 or send a check or money order to Debt-Proof Living, Attn: CS, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.
Dear Mary: We have health insurance through my husband's company. The cost for our family of five has risen dramatically. We have been researching obtaining our own insurance directly with the insurance company for myself and three children. My husband would continue to be covered by his company's plan.
It appears that we could get the same insurance coverage with the same insurance company for much less than we would pay through my husband's employer. Is this a good idea? Are there any risks?
-- Jan, Illinois
Dear Jan: It never hurts to compare and shop your insurance coverage, and I suggest you do that. Just make sure you don't cancel what you have until you have something better in place. You don't want any gaps in coverage.
Make sure you are comparing like-for-like, paying attention to every aspect of the coverage. You could get a cheaper premium but end up with a huge deductible, a long list of exclusions or a weak list of service providers. Just keep in mind that generally, it's pretty difficult to beat a group plan.
Send questions to email@example.com or Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.