Everyday Cheapskate: Clean Those Cloudy Headlight Caches | Tips

Well, you did it again! Your smart readers have found another batch of fabulous ways to save time and money every day!

AUTOMATIC CLEANER. Use plain old baking soda on a damp cloth to remove bugs, tar, and other objects from your vehicle. Works great, even on grill and chrome. Leaves no residue or odor and does not damage paintwork. I just make a paste with baking soda and water, clean and rinse.

Works better than any commercial product I’ve tried. This method even cleans the cloudy film on the headlight covers.

CUSTOM FLOOR MATS. I wanted floor mats for our van, so I stopped by our local car dealership. Boy, I was floored (pardon the pun). I checked out a big discount store and although their rugs were more reasonably priced, they didn’t fit me well.

I found a perfect solution by buying clear plastic slide material available by the meter at the home improvement center. With a utility knife, I customized the fit around the seat hardware. It saved a lot of money and works great.

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REFRIGERATOR AIRFRESHENER. The used ground coffee can eliminate even the worst refrigerator odors. I regularly store kimchee (Korean pickled cabbage with a distinct smell) in my fridge, and I can’t smell it anymore! Simply remove the used coffee filter containing the ground coffee and place it in your refrigerator in an open container.

It works better than baking soda or any other commercial remedy. I have tried them all. Simply replace the ground coffee when it’s dry.

REDUCE HUNGER FIRST. I’m a grocery controller, and believe me when I tell you never to shop when you’re hungry! I can easily pick out the hungry shoppers from the others. Not only do they buy more things when they arrive hungry, but their carts are full of junk food.

If you can’t eat before you get to the store, grab a bun or cookie from the bakery before you start shopping.

HIDE THE SCRATCH. Here’s a great way to hide scratches on wooden furniture. First, soak the scratch with a little water to open the wood. Choose a pencil as close to the correct color as possible. Apply the waxy substance to the scratch; rub it well with a soft cloth, then polish.

ON-CAMPUS HEALTH CARE. PThe art of most student tuition is earmarked for student health services. Service can include unlimited visits with doctors, nurse practitioners and nurses, routine lab work, x-rays, pharmacy, health education, orthopedics, HIV and STD testing.

Low-cost services include travel vaccinations, flu shots, discounted prescriptions, and CPR and first aid courses. Ask your student to consult the Student Health Services on their campus.

SECRET SPICES. I keep a bag of frozen chopped spinach in the freezer. I add a handful to spaghetti sauce, ground beef, pizza sauce, fettuccine, etc. I tell my kids it’s spices. They eat it as long as I’m careful not to overdo it. They actually miss the “spices” when I forget.

Mary Hunt, founder of www.EverydayCheapskate.com, writes this column for Creators Syndicate. Submit comments, advice or questions on its website. She will respond to topics of general interest through this column, but letters cannot be answered individually.