A few more ideas.
Quick Garlic Bread
Instead of heating the broiler or oven to make garlic bread, I drizzle olive oil on the slices, sprinkle them with garlic powder, and put them in the microwave at 50-percent power. The length of time in the microwave depends on how many slices I'm making. This takes only seconds, saving time and electricity. Evah W. in Kansas City MO
Tricky Due Dates
I have never been late to pay any of my bills. Two months ago, I noticed that three of my bills had the due date adjusted to come due a week earlier. One was my phone bill and the other was my electric bill. The third was a credit card payment. The credit card was actually two weeks earlier. Thank goodness I have taught myself to look at every bill the minute it comes in and write the due date on the front envelope.
This saved me a ton of grief. Imagine what my interest rate could have been if I had not been paying attention. I have since paid off the one that adjusted two weeks early and closed that account. I also spoke to a customer service representative from each one. Until 2010, credit card agencies are being permitted to do this without your consent or knowledge. This is happening to a lot of folks that I know, so be careful. Beth
Family Loves Hamburger Helper
My family loves Hamburger Helper, but I can't feed my family of six with one box. Last night, we decided to add two pounds of hamburger and two extra cups of noodles, and we doubled the water and milk. It was amazing! It tasted exactly the same and we all got to indulge! We even had leftovers! For the cost of one box, I can now feed my entire family something they love! Catherine from Missouri
editor's note: You can also save by creating your own seasoning mixes and replace Hamburger Helper(r) entirely! If you have a favorite seasoning combination, send it by mailto:email@example.com?subject=Seasoning_Mixes and we'll share the best ones in future issues.
My husband and I bought a foreclosure that needed a lot of love and a lot of improvements. We inherited white cabinets and white countertops, and in a family with three messy kids, that's less than ideal. Several of my neighbors have installed
granite countertops for about $4,000. Even new Formica countertops were going to be over $1,000. Neither was an option for us. I took the plunge and painted my countertops. I cleaned them with denatured alcohol, primed with an oil-based primer, spray painted with granite paint, and used four coats of polyurethane to seal them. The finished product looks awesome! I couldn't be more pleased and wish I had done it years ago! The cost of my project? Roughly $100! JAS
The Indulgent Glass
At a thrift store, I bought myself a crystal drinking glass. I think the cost was $3. No matter what I pour into this glass, I feel indulgent. Even when I have a rough day or am feeling blue, this glass represents what I want my life to be, which is calm, orderly, and relaxed. Even if I'm wearing a ratty bathrobe, I feel elegant with my goblet! CC
Editor's note: Many of us have given up a lot because of the economy. So we're looking for "Little Luxuries" that we can share with everyone. If you have an inexpensive way to make yourself feel good, please send it by email here . We'll share the best ones in future issues.
These items came from the Dollar Stretcher site, my favorite website.
Note from Lucy: Let me know what you "little luxuries" are..... My favorite little luxury is a bottle of chocolate milk...I know that sounds silly, but I like to buy those little bottles of Bordon's chocolate milk at the grocery store and drink in on the way home in the car...Anyone that is a close friend of mines, knows my favorite little luxury. I'm not sure if it is a weakness or a luxury...lol.