A Penny Earned: Sink Clogs, Grocery Shopping, Gas Savings & Soap Bottles

Clogs, not cash, go down the drain

In order to keep drains running smooth, I run hot water, let it drain, then add baking soda and pour vinegar in. It will foam up and once it has done its thing, run hot water down the drain again.

This saves money on expensive anti-clogging chemicals and it's a lot better for the environment.

— Joyce Hayford, Jacksonville

That's what friends are for

Can't afford the big cost of buying in bulk? Short on storage space? Perishables go bad too soon?

Get a couple of friends to go in with you on buying in bulk — you can share the cost and the savings.

— Gloria Hinderer, Central Point

Reuse soap bottles and clean up

If you purchase those foaming soaps from either a specialty store or your local grocer, here is a great way to reuse the bottles.

For doing the dishes, I combine about half dish soap and half water in the bottle. I gently shake until mixed.

But don't fill it all the way up or it will overflow when you put the cap on. Put a couple of pumps on your sponge and it will go a long way.

I also do this for my shampoos and my liquid hand soap. It goes twice as far and saves money.

— Dede Soderlund, Medford

10 tips for saving money on gas

  • Follow the recommended maintenance schedule to keep your vehicle fuel-efficient.
  • Keep tires properly inflated, balanced, and aligned to save fuel and unnecessary wear on tires.
  • Keep extra weight out of the trunk. The car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel economy for every extra 250 pounds your engine hauls.
  • Don't top off the gas tank. Gas can slosh or seep out if it is too full. Make sure the cap is tight.
  • Reduce heavy acceleration and heavy brake use to improve fuel economy.
  • Drive 55 mph rather than 65 mph. It will improve the fuel economy by two miles per gallon.
  • Buy gas during the morning or evening hours, when it's cool, or you will be buying gas at a time when it's expanded, thus getting less.
  • Use air conditioning carefully. It can lower your fuel economy by 10 to 20 percent.
  • Remove snow tires in good weather. Deep tread and big tires use more fuel.
  • Make sure the price on the pump matches what's on the sign and the gas pump starts at the $0 mark.

— University of Illinois Extension Service

web.extension.uiuc.edu/toughtimes/


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