Bag a Bargain on Men’s Leather Belts in ANY Size

Today I am especially impressed if not excited by the cool and very useful money- and time-saving tips my EC readers send to me.

Not that long ago I stopped into a discount clothing store (Marshall’s to be exact) to get my husband a new belt. I enjoy the classy look of a high-quality leather belt and I know this store usually has a fairly decent selection. And they did. The problem was that not one of them was smaller than a size 52. What!? I walked out empty-handed. Then I heard from Reader Bob. Why didn’t I think of that?

Bargain belts

The discount clothing stores seem to frequently have a pretty good selection of high-quality men’s leather belts. The only problem for me is that the name-brand belts they carry are usually in sizes too big for me. I buy them anyway and take them to a shoe repairman near my home who removes the buckles, cuts off the extra inches and re-attaches the buckles. He charges me $3-$5 a belt. I spend on average $15 to $20 on a belt that retails in department stores for $50 to $80, or more. Bob W.



Frozen rice

I cruise through the frozen food aisles at my favorite warehouse clubs (like Sam’s and Costco) to see what’s new. I figure if they can freeze it, so can I. On a recent trip I saw a long line of people waiting for samples. I sneaked over to see what it was, only to discover rice! Frozen pre-cooked plain white rice. People seemed to think that was the greatest invention ever and they were all tossing it in their carts. I went home, pulled out the rice cooker, made my own and froze it in individual portions. Rebecca M.


I had hoped that my plastic laundry basket would last until the next half-off sale. No such luck. It split right down both sides. I wondered what Mary Hunt would do. The answer was easy. I laced it together with a piece of rope and tied it with a bow. Works great and now I’m wondering if I’ll ever need a new one! Joan J.

Visual directory

I used my digital camera to take pictures of every item that goes into each of my kitchen cabinets. Then I printed them in thumbnail view, one page per cabinet. I taped each handy reference guide to the inside of the cabinet doors and now my husband and I are perfectly clear about what goes where. It’s a quick guide to finding what I have stored in deep or low cabinets as well. Steph D.

Like new with Zud

My old dishwasher was really showing its age. The inside was severely discolored and nothing I tried would take it off. I went to my local hardware store and purchased a product called Zud. This powder magically removes scratch marks on stoneware and with very little elbow grease I was able to remove most of the rust from my dishwasher. Christina D.

Color coded

I’ve been spending only cash when I shop but knowing how much I had available in each category was difficult when I had all the cash together in my wallet. Now I use colored paper clips to organize my cash, just like the envelope system. I just assign a color to each category, and I can see at a glance how much I have to spend. It also makes me think twice when I’m tempted to overspend and borrow from another category. Mary Beth W.

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2 replies
  1. Sophie LaFontaine
    Sophie LaFontaine says:

    I go one better than Bob on the belts – whenever my belt is about to break, I ask my brother or dad (or anyone with a larger waist) to give me an old belt. Then I cut off the extra length by myself, on the end with the holes. I put the belt on to see where I’ll need a hole, and then I punch a hole in it with my Crop-a-dile. Of course, I guess this would only work if one has a Crop-a-dile or some other heavy-duty hole-puncher.

  2. Emjay
    Emjay says:

    Before spending elbow grease to remove rust from your dishwasher, try loading the empty dishwasher detergent dispenser with Everfresh or its like. Everfresh is the product that keeps sliced canning fruits like peaches from discoloring before canning. This removes a lot of discoloration from inside the dishwasher as well.


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