It is amazing how much money you can save by being creative.
You do know, for example, that vinegar and this newspaper are the best way to wipe down windows and get them clean? You do not need expensive sprays. Just do not use this page, as you will want to save it for future reference.
For years there were columns like “Hints from Mary Ellen” that contained tips on cleaning and saving money. You can get chewing gum out of a child’s hair easily. You remove it (the gum, not the hair) with peanut butter.
There is another entry on how to remove peanut butter from hair.
This all leads to my own list of solutions collected over the years to help folks live better for less. Some of these are well-known, like using an iron and a paper bag to remove candle wax from fabric.
White wine will remove red wine from a table cloth. White wine is good for many things, not the least of which is improving your attitude when you spill red wine.
Lately, I have made some more discoveries.
How do you give your dog exercise without taking him out for a walk? This is easy. Buy bird seed.
It works like this: You buy bird seed and put it in a feeder 4 feet off the ground. It draws birds. The birds draw local cats. (We have lots of feral ones in the neighborhood.)
The dog plants himself at the sliding door looking out at the backyard. He is watching the birds, although they are not his prey. Ah, the cat focused on the bird doesn’t see the dog hit the dog door at 80 mph and run after him. The cat accelerates and takes off over the wall.
The 12-pound dog will not be a match for the 20-pound cat, but it is a moot point, because the dog never catches it.
However, for a small investment in bird seed, I never have to exercise the dog. “Brilliant,” as the Irish would say.
Want to save money on dry cleaning? If you spill some soup on your dress, just make more of the same soup and soak the dress in it overnight. Then, launder as usual. You will never see the stain.
We all have our secrets. Tom Sawyer got the other kids to whitewash the fence and made money at it, too.
Tom and Martha know how to get things done.
• Mike McLellan, an occasional contributor, can be contacted by calling and leaving a message at 830-4201 or e-mailing him at DrMikeM@sbcglobal.net.