Readers Share Their Brilliant Ideas Plus Something More

What I love more than great tips and brilliant ideas from my readers are the lovely words of love and thanks. Yeah, I’m a sucker for friendship and I value each and every one of you more than you will ever know.



Just knowing that so many friends are reading these columns every day makes me excited and energized to keep going!

So whatever you do, keep those tips, great ideas, questions, and the love coming.

Freeze milk for later

I use whole milk, but only occasionally in some of my special recipes. Instead of purchasing the smaller size milk container for that one recipe, I purchase the gallon-size whole milk which is much cheaper per ounce.

I freeze what I don’t need in 1-cup measurements in freezer bags. I am surprised how many times during the year this saved me from purchasing yet again a smaller size milk container for just one recipe.

I am so grateful for your daily emails—they have helped keep me on the right track. Thank you. Linda


Safe take-apart

I am a retired soldier. During my active career, we moved often. That meant my inner DIY needed to come out often. We disassembled many things over the years and I would like to add to your tips on taking things apart. Once the item is disassembled, always reposition the fasteners, screws or bolts and nuts back into the holes, exactly where they were. You are not putting the item back together, simply inserting the hardware into the specific slots and holes.

Packing all of these items into a zip-type plastic bag sounds like a good idea, but unless you very securely tape the little bag to the back of the item you took apart, the bag always seems to get lost some way or another.

Putting the fasteners back where they were means they will always be in the right place when and where you need them!

Now that we have retired, we still have some things disassembled in our shed for storage, and the fasteners are back in their spots waiting to be used in the reassembly, without hunting for them. Colonel T.W.

Shoe polish clean-up trick

I can never seem to polish shoes without getting polish all over my hands. Recalling how great liquid blue Dawn Ultra is for removing grease from dishes—and that wax is a kind of grease—I decided to give that a try. In the past, I have used hand soap and would have to rub and rub to get the stain to come off. I was amazed at how quickly the polish came off clean with just a few drops of Dawn Ultra dishwashing liquid!

Thank you for all the great tips you share with everyone. I have several Everyday Cheapskate articles taped to the inside of the doors of my laundry and kitchen cabinets for quick reference.

A special thank you for the recipe to make our own granite counter cleaner and disinfectant (Favorite Household Cleaners You Can Make Yourself for Just Pennies). I was worried about sanitation, but at the same time, I didn’t want to ruin the granite’s sealant with anything that might contain acid. This is a wonderful, inexpensive solution. Gayle


Homage? Yes … Dust? No!

I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but Aunt Rose was. She passed away at age 99. Among her possessions was a ceramic vase she made and painted, with an assortment of artificial flowers. As an homage to her, I wanted to display it. But the flowers were horribly dusty. I’d read your tip to solve this problem, so I tried it: Put the flowers in a large plastic bag with a few tablespoons of salt. Shake vigorously for a few minutes. All clean!! Good tip! Have a beautiful day. Anne


Deer Border Wall

I planted thick rows of gladiolas around the garden areas on my property where I absolutely do not want deer to enter. Success!

Deer don’t eat glads and also will not cross through them—no matter how tempting the plants on the other side. I’ve tried so many other remedies and this is the only one that has really worked. And the gladiolas are so beautiful! Win-win.

Thank you for all you do—you continually make our lives better so please don’t stop.  Benjamin


Great iPhone Rescue Tip

I read a tip about how to rescue a wet iPhone in your newsletter years ago, but only recently had the need to put it into action. I dropped my iPhone into a bowl of water. You can imagine which one, Yikes! And the tip worked. I was able to restore all of my data and it’s been working fine ever since. Thank you so much! Marci

Here’s that tip: First do not try to turn it on. Take the phone out of its case. Wipe it gently with a clean cloth or paper towel, especially the switches, earphone, and power ports trying to not push more water into these opening. Shake it gently while trying to get any remaining liquid out. Remove the SIM card and dry the tray. Gently shake again to release any trapped liquid. Last pack it and the SIM card into a bowl or container of uncooked raw white rice. Make sure it is completely covered and leave it there undisturbed for 48 hours—you do not want to create any rice dust and moving it around could easily create that. Rice will attract any remaining moisture.

This is not a fool-proof remedy, however, I’ve had numerous reports that it has worked for fortunate readers. If you get your iPhone dried out and started up successfully you must know that it is unlikely to be quite the same again. Battery problems, intermittent crashes, instability and failed startup routines are all symptomatic of water damaged iPhones. mh

Got a question? Mary invites your questions, tips, tricks, and general letters and messages. Please use this form to contact her! 

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3 replies
  1. Gina Stevens
    Gina Stevens says:

    Mary, I love all these tips! I could have used the deer fence/gladiola tip when I lived in Michigan, but I’m a deer-lover. I make so many of your homemade cleaning aids that I’m a family joke. The best part of Everyday Cheapskate is morning coffee with Mary Hunt. Thanks!

  2. canceledcheck
    canceledcheck says:

    We also use very little milk, but I do not want to “clutter’ up my freezer with myriad plastic bags of frozen milk. I can buy a quart of ultra pasteurized milk that lasts for over 3 months.


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