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Handy Reminders Save Money

I don’t know if the world is getting older, or we all just have too many things to remember, but more and more memory-saving tips are landing in my inbox. Let me just say, “thanks, keep ‘em coming!”

COUPON REMINDER. I used to have such a challenge remembering to use the instant coupons that came stuck to the front of a product. I’d get home from the grocery store and there it was, still stuck to the product. One day it dawned on me what to do. When I pick the product off the shelf, I IMMEDIATELY stick the coupon over the bar code. That way, if I get busy unloading the basket the clerk will have to remove it to scan the product! Sylvia, Louisiana

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ODOR-FREE ONION STOCKPILE. Make sure when you are freezing onions to use freezer bags, not just sandwich zip-type bags. Bags designed for the freezer do a better job of keeping the food’s odors from escaping. I mean, who wants their freezer to smell like onions? Tina, EC blog

NO KETCHUP MEANS MEATLOAF. When I was growing up, a nearly-empty ketchup bottle meant that my thrifty mother’s delicious meatloaf would soon appear on our dinner table. Mom added about 1/4 cup of water to the ketchup bottle, shook well and poured the thinned ketchup over the unbaked loaf. Just as tasty as tomato sauce and not a drop of ketchup wasted! Rick, Michigan

STICKY BRA STRAPS. My bra straps will not stay in place, even after I’ve adjusted them. I solved the problem by tightening the strap to where I wanted it and then attaching a small, round velcro piece inside each of the straps, facing each other. They’ve stuck together for more than two weeks and I haven’t had sliding bra straps to deal with. GRK, email

LOTTERY TICKET FUNDRAISERS. It seems that lottery tickets are a big seller for fundraising. I don’t believe in gambling, so we don’t buy or sell the tickets. I made that clear to the organizers of the fundraisers when my children were in school. I never got any hassles about it, either. Instead of selling lottery tickets, I donated my time. I worked the concession stands at football games, was a girl scout leader, etc. My kids knew they would never get any top seller prizes, but they knew that was the way it was. Everyone was fine. Cecile, email

MEAL-IN-ONE ADJUSTMENT. I tried the meal-in-one recipes from an EC food column several weeks ago. I made an adjustment for two “eco reasons”—economy and ecology: I could not use the heavy duty foil. Instead, I put the “packets” in a covered casserole and followed the oven directions. It turned out great! Carol, email

Question: What is your favorite memory-saving tip? Share it here.

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10 replies
  1. Mary S.
    Mary S. says:

    Your COUPONS tip about forgetting coupons – My best suggestion is NOT to tape them to each item, rather to hand them to the cashier at the beginning of the order and well trimmed. I used to be a grocery cashier and none of us liked it when coupons were laid w/the item (makes us stop and pick them up) and waiting till the end to hand them to cashier is VERY bad; then she had to look through all the items to see if you got the right one. In fact, if someone did that, we didn’t have to take them. Thanks.

    Reply
  2. Laurie
    Laurie says:

    I use a grocery list religiously. I have begun using an old spiral notebook to keep my shopping lists together so I have the previous week’s list attached to it. This is in case I cannot remember if I picked something up the week before and I forgot to add it to my list, or I think of a receipe while shopping that I am not sure if I have all of the ingredients for. It has helped me tremendously to cut back on over spending on items I had already purchased plus I am recycling the remaining pages of a spiral notebook that my kids are no longer using.

    Reply
  3. Maryann
    Maryann says:

    I’m a very visual person, so when I need to remember to do something I write down the task on a Post-It note, and stick the note somewhere that it doesn’t belong, like in the middle of a kitchen cabinet door, or on a lampshade, or on the face of a clock I look at frequently. I know I’ll notice something like that, rather than another note stuck onto my refrigerator door, and I’m more likely to remember to do whatever it is I need to do.

    Reply
  4. Carolyn
    Carolyn says:

    On-going shopping list: I keep a long/narrow pad of magnetic paper on the side of the refrig. On the left side going down family members write what they run out of that is non-food (toothpaste, tissues, cotton swabs, pet supplies, etc). The right side going down is for food someone might use up (favorite cereal, ketchup, flour, etc) and any meal ideas for the next major shopping trip. Makes my final grocery list much easier to do – and with much less brain-work!

    Reply
  5. yvonnesl
    yvonnesl says:

    Better yet, put onions, peppers and other strong-smelling items in glass jars for freezer storage. Protects the product better than plastic and you can wash and reuse the jars, too.

    Reply
    • Paula in Ohio
      Paula in Ohio says:

      Well, I’m glad I read this before I wrote to suggest it. My son, in the process of cleaning up his home, found a box that my mother had used for keepsakes (letters from Dad when they were first married and he was in the Army in Korea and clippings from the newspaper). Among the newspaper clippings I found a suggestion to place onions in a glass jar to keep the odor at bay. Sounds good to me!

      Reply
  6. Flo Friender
    Flo Friender says:

    With Christmas just around the corner, instead of shopping for the adults in my life, I donate to Heifer, International in their name. As little as $10 a card is required and Heifer sends lovely cards for you to mail or hand out. Heifer trains recipients of the animals they give out, and offspring go to neighbors – the gift that keeps on giving to those most in need. Just Google them to learn more.

    Reply
  7. Mary Morrison
    Mary Morrison says:

    I started storing my large cast iron skillet in the oven so to remember that it was to be removed prior to pre-heating the over I clamped a paper”clip” to the oven temperature knob. The paper clip is one with springs that flip down. It is barely noticeable but always reminds me when I touch it.

    Reply
  8. Lolly
    Lolly says:

    Our local grocer will have bone-in, with skin, chicken breasts on sale for 99 cents a pound. I’ll buy those, pull off the skin and de-bone them myself. Then I boil the bones in a pot of water, take the breasts out to cool, then pull the “remnant” cooked meat off. After the broth cools I measure it into plastic freezer bags and stick them in the freezer. I end up with boneless breasts, shredded meat for casseroles and salads, and broth.

    Reply

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