I have come to the conclusion that Everyday Cheapskate readers are quite smart. Just take a look at these tips:
No more catalog shopping sprees: With the popularity of online shopping, catalogs might not be as big a budget problem as when I was younger, but I broke my catalog habit relatively easily.
When a catalog arrived in the mail, I looked through it and filled out the order form (omitting the payment information). Then I'd stick the order form in the catalog and put it aside, preferably out of sight.
I did this with each catalog that arrived in my mailbox. This worked like a charm. I am now to the point where I toss catalogs without opening them.
-- Doris, California
Frozen storage for bags: After wrapping meat tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil, I write the contents on a piece of paper and place the meat and note inside a zip-type freezer bag.
When I remove the item from the freezer, I store the empty bags in the freezer. I have no need to continually buy expensive freezer bags, and I always know where to find one.
-- Lucy, email
Meaty cupcake liners: I use flattened, large, paper cupcake liners between hamburger patties when freezing. No cutting waxed paper and no corners sticking out.
-- Sharon, Arkansas
Fresh-frozen strawberries: When I have too many strawberries to eat, I hull, wash and spread them out on a jelly-roll pan.
When they're completely dry, I freeze them on the pan. Once frozen,
-- Gretchen, email
Roots-only coloring: I have two hair color formulas that I use, one for summer and one for winter. I clip coupons for the brands I like, but what really works for me and saves me so much money is that I color only the roots as my hair grows out.
Coloring just the roots allows me to need only half of the color, preserving the rest in the original containers for next month. And using half gives me just enough solution to cover the roots. I figure I have saved thousands of dollars over the years. I haven't used a salon to color my hair in more than 25 years.
-- Cathy, Florida
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? Email her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.