A Little Appliance Know-How Saves Money

If you’ve been reading this column for any length of time, you know that my husband and I have repaired or performed regular maintenance on a number of our home appliances. And I love hearing when my readers do the same. Our first great reader tip is a good reminder for anyone with a dishwasher.


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EASY DISHWASHER MAINTENANCE. We began to see our dishwasher’s efficiency steadily dropping even though it was only six years old. The dishes were coming out spotty, even after trying several different detergents. We assumed it needed replacing. My husband decided to examine it more closely and noticed that the spray holes on the rotating jet arms were plugged with debris. He cleaned out each of the spray holes and my dishes have been sparkling clean ever since. Sadly, the owners manual mentioned nothing about doing this procedure. We are thrilled that we saved ourselves the expense of a new dishwasher. Jean, California

CORN MEAL FACIAL. I have used corn meal as a facial scrub for many years and with excellent results. I put some regular corn meal in the palm of my hand and use a cloth to exfoliate my face. My skin feels refreshed afterwards and it looks great! Sue, Florida

PIZZA CUTTER CUTS DOUGH. My favorite use for my pizza cutter is to cut dough for chicken and dumplings. The dough is stickier than most and needs to be cut into small pieces. The pizza cutter works beautifully and gets it done in no time. Joy, EC Blog

CELL PHONE SNAPS REPAIR PIC. I took pictures with my cell phone of a repair that needs to be done on our irrigation system. When I am at the home improvement store, I will show the salesman the problem and get what I need to repair the problem on my first trip to the store! Kay, EC Blog

CELL PHONE SNAPS GROCERY LIST. I make my grocery list on a whiteboard, take a photo with my phone and off to the store I go. SZK, EC Blog

SQUEEZE BOTTLE SEPARATES EGGS. I use clean, empty squeeze bottles to separate eggs. First, I crack the egg into a bowl. Then I squeeze the empty bottle as much as possible and place the squeeze top directly over the yolk. Release, and the yolk will suck right up into the bottle. Repeat as necessary. This initially requires some patience, but then it’s foolproof. Arlene, Illinois

TWEETY BIRD REMOTE CONTROL. I attach my remotes with rubber bands to stuffed animals. They don’t fall beneath the cushions or get lost under papers or covers. Snoopy is for my bedroom TV, Sylvester is for the VCR and Shark operates my office TV. And I can see them all from quite a distance, too. Ann, North Carolina

SUPER GLUE A MUST HAVE. My husband and I keep a well stocked first aid kit with our emergency supplies. We include super glue. It is great for “suturing” small cuts if we have no access to a physician during an emergency or disaster. Kay, Florida

Question: What’s your favorite money- or time-saving tip? Share it here.

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7 replies
  1. Cathey DeRosa
    Cathey DeRosa says:

    I use the Super Glue with a brush for nail polish. I am always working on crafts and fixing stuff and I have weak nails. The Super Glue makes them look shiny and healthy and really does keep them that way.

  2. Ruth, California
    Ruth, California says:

    For years now, I have been washing out my Hefty freezer bags, as I use so many. (Our dogs eat diced chicken w/rice and kibbles, and I cook chicken breasts, dice them and put enough in one bag for their dinner, then freeze them ) I put a squirt of liquid soap in the bag with hot water,swoosh them around, rinse well , then hang them to air dry, clipping a group of them on each end of a pant/skirt hangar. Of course, I never wash any bag that has had raw meat in it….that gets thrown away! It’s a real money saver!

  3. Bernice Martin
    Bernice Martin says:

    My husband and I use the app Grocery IQ on our smart phones. This a free app for smart phones. I can scan items I need to buy as I use them up or I can type in what I need. My husband can add to the grocery list as well. When I go to the store, I have my list which included brands I like to buy. It is a really great tool. Bernice, SC

    • TC
      TC says:

      I use this app also. I have great success with it. I especially love the “History” list that you can check off things you have bought in the past that you need again. Any time you have a product with a coupon it alerts you to the coupon and you can download it to take with you.

  4. Roberta
    Roberta says:

    My sister introduced my to YouTube as the go-to place for repair how-tos. She was able to repair her clothes dryer using a YouTube video step-by-step, including pulling the tub to reach the part she needed to replace! I used it when my clothes washer sprang a leak.I was able to make a tentative diagnosis, and then decided I was not physically able to make the repairs myself. I called a repairman, but did not worry that it might not be necessary. I used YouTube to replace the air filter on my car, found instructions for my model.

  5. Mary
    Mary says:

    To Arlene instead of using a squeeze bottle use a water bottle (empty) the same concept squeeze it hold it over the yoke of the Egg and the whole yolk pops right into the bottle and if you squeeze that over another bowl the yolk drops right into the bowl whole, not even broken.

  6. Debbi Grunden
    Debbi Grunden says:

    I have a smart phone that has a “notes” app. I make all of my lists (grocery, things to do, what I need for certain projects and now my Christmas list) in this note section. Since I am never without my phone, I always have my lists with me! It has been such a timesaver!


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