Shop Twice, Buy Once


Every week I invite readers of this column to send me their clever tips for how to save time and money. Then once a week I open the Everyday Cheapskate mail box to let you take a look.

Some rights reserved by kelly cree

Some rights reserved by kelly cree

SHOPPING TRICK. My son studied a carpentry course called, “Measure twice, cut once.” I have adapted that phrase to my shopping: “Shop twice, buy once.” When I am grocery shopping, if I see something I’d like that isn’t on my list, I add it to next week’s shopping list. When I am making out my menus and grocery list the following week, I consider the item. Often, by then, it has lost its appeal. I do the same thing with other shopping; items I am considering buying go to next week’s to-do list. By the time the week rolls around, I’ve had plenty of time to evaluate the purchase, and make a non-impulsive decision. Mary Beth, email 

DOUBLE-DUTY BRUSH. I just discovered another use for the small silicone brush I use to grease cookies sheets. i have a corrugated filter on my vacuum cleaner and have never been able to get all of the dust out of it. Today I used that little brush to clean it and it worked perfectly. I am very happy. Lucille W., California

MAGIC STAIN ERASE. This is a magical tip that my mother taught me years ago that she learned from her mother. For any fruit stain that has not already been through the washer,  simply lay the garment in the sink and pour boiling water over it. The stain will disappear before your eyes. I always used this trick when our daughters were little and I was able recently to use it on a cherry stain that my mom got on a sweatshirt. She is 91 and couldn’t see it well enough. This really does work like magic. Jane G., email

POP SECRET. I love microwave popcorn, but not the oily, salty goo (and extra calories and chemicals). I put two tablespoons of popcorn kernels in a paper lunch bag, fold the open end over three times to seal, and cook on high in the microwave for three minutes time (time will vary depending on your microwave, so adjust accordingly). I get great, single serving air popped popcorn  and only 80 calories, not to mention a great price, about ten cents a serving. Deanna W., Florida

GREAT RESOURCE FOR RECIPES. One of my favorite resources for recipes on the Internet is a website called Hungry Girl. She takes many recipes from restaurants and remakes them with lower calorie and fat content. Pam D., email

NEWSPRINT WIPES. At a teenager, I worked in an ice cream parlour. Behind the ice cream counter was a large set of mirrors. Throughout the night it would get very dirty. This restaurant had a menu that was on newsprint. To clean that mirror, we would use a mist of plain water and then crumble up a menu and wipe it off. It is a technique I have used ever since. It works amazingly well and you get that 100% sparkle every time. I use it on my car windshield also. No streaks either. Just water and a page from your newspaper. Can’t get cheaper than that. Paul W., Minnesota

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7 replies
  1. DianaB
    DianaB says:

    When I looked at the grocery list above, it looks a lot like mine. I list my grocery and non-grocery stuff in the order in which I shop the store. My non-food items are on the top right, cold stuff at the top on the left, and jot my needs accordingly through the aisles where I shop (being Walmart in my area). Heavy, cold stuff goes in the basket first and gets me out of the freezing cold section at the back of the store and then I work my way accordingly until I come to the bread and produce at the front of the store. Generally works well and I am not sidetracked often by the other stuff. I do not like having to go to an entirely different section other than groceries to get pet items and personal care items but nothing I can do about that. I try to stay as organized as possible when shopping.

  2. DeeDee
    DeeDee says:

    Newsprint wipes works but even better, check out your local newspaper, lot of unused paper left on spool that is discarded. Check with them and they will give it to you free. No black smudges on hands.

  3. kathyw
    kathyw says:

    Please tell me that Lucille W. did not go back and use the same silicone brush to grease her cookie sheets after she used it to clean the filter on her vacuum cleaner.


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