Reader Discovers Straight Cut at Barber Shop Plus More Great Tips

From barber shops to fine print—and lots between—my EC readers are really smart. I love it when they share their time- and money-saving tips with us. I think you’re going to love today’s great reader tips, too!


STRAIGHT CUT. Every couple of months, when I need only the bottom of my long hair trimmed I’ve discovered that a barber can cut just as straight as a beautician. And the cost? Less than half the salon price. Molly

READ THE FINE PRINT. It sounded good and I was tempted to take the store up on its offer of tremendous sale prices plus nothing down and no payments until next year. But after a closer look at the fine print in the store ad I read, “Buyers using the No Money Down; No Payments for xxx months do not qualify for Sale Prices on furniture.” When you walk in the door, it’s best to have saved enough to pay cash even at the high-end furniture stores. Money talks and is a great tool to bargain the price down. Judy

SNACKS TO GO. For those who like to take snacks with them (nuts, seeds, trail mix, etc.), first wash out an empty Parmesan cheese container (the type with the twin serving top for shaking or spooning) with soap and water and let dry. Remove the label so you can see what’s inside and fill with your desired snack. Depending on the size of the snack, you can use either side to dispense your snack, plus a number of persons can share this dispenser by pouring or shaking the snack without everyone placing their hand inside a bowl. Once the snack has been finished, refill and use again. The 8-ounce container is perfect for travel and general use. Helen

PERFECT PRINTS. I love your column and look forward to reading it every day (have for years!)  I find recipes and hints that I love and want to keep, but don’t always have the time or materials handy to write or copy them. I’ve have started taking pictures of them with my mobile phone. Then when my local drug store runs a special on printing 4×6 pictures for ten cents each, I print them all. Because the prints are 4×6, they fit perfectly in my recipe box—and many of them have beautiful color pictures of the dish included. While I am waiting for the ten- cent special, I can always go to my  phone to get the recipe, which I delete once printed. Patti

PINE CONE FIRE STARTERS. To make pine cone fire starters melt paraffin (available in supermarkets with the home canning supplies) in a large coffee can placed in a pan of water set over medium heat on the stove. Add cinnamon, nutmeg or other scents to the paraffin (you can purchase scented paraffin if you prefer, but it’s more expensive). You can also add colored wax or drops of oil to the melted paraffin. Tie a piece of candle wick or string to the top of the pine cone. Dip dried pinecones into the paraffin. Allow paraffin to harden, then dip again, allowing paraffin to harden after each dip. Package for gifts as desired and add a tag reading “Place pinecones under logs before lighting.” As pretty as they are useful. Perry

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5 replies
  1. Cat Lynch
    Cat Lynch says:

    You could also order photos from the Free Prints app, 4×6 prints are free. You just pay shipping only which would probably work out to less than 10 cents a print and no need to wait for a special.

  2. Ed
    Ed says:

    FWIW, pine cones make great fire starters without all the fuss of coating them in wax and adding oils. Place the pine cones on top of wadded up paper and then add sticks or kindling over them and light the paper. You’ll have a roaring fire in no time.

  3. Joan Briggs Wamsley
    Joan Briggs Wamsley says:

    I’d like to comment on the fire starters idea. I have been making my own fire starters for years. So I keep a large coffee can in a closet by my kitchen. Whenever I find a broken candle or a piece left too small to use it goes in the can. No need to buy paraffin. Of course the color gets muddy but these are functional not pretty. I use egg cartons filled with sawdust and pour the melted wax over it until the sawdust is saturated and each egg cup is filled. When they are hardened you can just tear off one or two. They burn a long time and make starting the wood stove or camp fire so easy.

  4. Sophie LaFontaine
    Sophie LaFontaine says:

    If it’s long hair and just a straight cut, you can also just try cutting it yourself. It’s hard the first time – and it might take two or three cuts the first time as you work through the unevenness, but after a while you’ll get the hang of it. I’ve straight-cut my own long hair for years now. Cheaper than even a barber!


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