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Take the Sag Out of a Closet Rod and Lots More Clever Tips and Tricks!

Whether it’s a sagging closet rod, kale down the garbage disposal, or premium fuel in the gas tank— EC readers are always anxious to share their best tips, tricks, and ideas for ways to save time and money. And avoid potential headaches!

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Sagging Closet Rod

To fix a sagging clothes closet rod, buy a length of 1/2-inch galvanized pipe and a length of 3/4″ thin-wall PVC (plastic, polyvinyl chloride) piping, both the same length as the rod. You can get these at any local home improvement center such as Home Depot or Lowes. Remove the existing sagging rod. Now slip the pipe inside the PVC to create a new rod and slide this into the existing rod brackets. If you are bothered by the printing on the PVC, clean it off with rubbing alcohol. Bob

Sticky Messy Sap

A cheap and safe way to remove pine tree sap from your car without damaging the finish is to rub it with a soft cloth soaked with plain 70% isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, available at the pharmacy or drug store for a buck or two. George

Secret Info

When you finish refurbishing a room in your home, write down this important information on a piece of paper and tape it to the back of the switch plate, i.e. the brand and color of the paint, how much it took to paint the room, and the circuit breaker number that serves this room. You’ll be happy to find the information next time. Trevor

Kale? NO!

I made a big mistake recently when I cut a bunch of kale up into smaller pieces and put it down the garbage disposal. I let it grind like crazy, followed by tons of water down after it, and still, it clogged up the system in my apartment building for three floors down. It took maintenance four hours to clear it. They said, “The lettuce (it was kale) turned into something similar to glue/concrete!” Painful lesson learned. Naomi

Super Cube

This is a crazy simple tip, but it works for me. I love ice cold water and must have it at all times. However, at work the water is just cooled, not the icy deliciousness that I require. I solved this issue by taking a bottle of water slightly less than half full and laying it down sideways in the freezer. Later, I grab the frozen half bottle and fill it up with water. Voila!  Ice cold water for several hours. I just keep filling it up until it’s time to get out another one! Laurel

Stick with Regular

Most gas stations offer Unleaded Premium for $.10 to $.12 per gallon more than Unleaded Regular. Many customers think they’re giving their car some kind of extra care or a “treat” by filling up with what they think is the best. Don’t do it. Virtually all automobiles run just fine on regular unleaded; so unless your vehicle’s owner manual specifically states that your car requires a premium grade of gas with higher octane, save your money and stick with regular. David

DIY Level Pay Plan

What I’ve done with my electricity and heating bills, after consulting my yearly budget, is pay the same each month. Because I live on a fixed income, I send each of those utility providers a flat $100 per month. If it’s more than I owe, this creates a credit balance. I purposely overpay for heat in the summer when the furnace is not in use, and overpay in the winter to the electric company when I’m not running my central air conditioner. I’ve been doing this for years. No big bills in the summer for the electric, no big bills in the winter for the heat. This takes the mystery out of my budget and works for me quite well. Pam

Paint Can Flip

Store partially full cans of paint upside down. The paint will form an airtight seal, extending the useful life. Ted


Got a great tip like the one for how to fix a sagging closet rod (I love that!) you’d like to share? Use the comments below or send them to me HERE.


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3 replies
  1. Joni LMT says:

    I’ve used Pam’s Level Bill Pay for years and it has helped keep my peak bills from overwhelming my budget. The key to how it works is because there will always be months where the amount is much lower than the average and the extra amount paid leaves a credit cushion that will make those higher months a manageable breeze!

  2. Cath says:

    Lots of good tips here. Trevor wins the prize for me. However, the one about overpaying for utilities in summer and winter makes no sense to me. Why not take the extra amount you’re overpaying for one utility and pay the higher bill for the other one? You’re going to pay them all eventually anyway. It’s your obligation. By paying what’s due when it’s due, you’re simply shifting your money in one direction and then in another direction, but I can’t imagine you’re saving any money.

  3. Cathy says:

    I love Trevor’s suggestion to note circuit breaker numbers on the back of switch and even outlet covers! In each house I’ve owned the circuit breaker notes either aren’t current or even filled in. Would be very helpful to have info noted on the switchplate covers! Great idea!


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