I love receiving tips from readers, so keep them coming. I’m especially thrilled when they’re improvements on tips I’ve mentioned before.
It keeps me on my toes. I love the first tip. It’s better than making potpourri or apple-peel jelly.
FRUGAL FIBER: I save my apple peels. I freeze them and take them directly from the freezer to shred in my blender. They shred into a fine, wet powder. I add the shredded apple peels to my oatmeal when cooking, along with some raisins. I top the oatmeal with butter, white or brown sugar or syrup, and nuts. I also add the shredded peels to pancakes, waffles, oatmeal cookies and tea breads. It adds nice texture and a great flavor. — Staceyy, Pennsylvania
CREATIVE CARDS: When I need greeting cards for a special occasion, I go to the dollar store to get the cards. They’re pretty and colorful on the outside, but the inside is done in grayish-looking ink. I learned from my son-in-law that using colored ink is more expensive. So I put this knowledge to work and bought colored-ink pens, and I color the words/decorations on the inside of the card myself. The effect is great, and no one is the wiser. I figure I save about $2 or $3 per card doing this, and it’s fun! — Jessie C., Tennessee
FOAM AT YOUR FINGERTIPS: I found a way to put those thin slivers of bar soap to use. Dampen the sliver, crush it into the bristles of your small fingernail brush and let dry. When dirty toenails and fingernails need attention, just damp and scrub. — efjulian, via e-mail
NEWS YOU CAN USE: The best way to dry boots is to pack them with newspaper. This will dry them out as well as anything. — Matt K., e-mail
SCRUB SAVINGS: I make my own toothpaste (so to speak) out of 50 percent baking soda and 50 percent sea salt. I mix it together and put it in a used spice container. I run hot water on my toothbrush and put a little of the mixture on the brush. The baking soda is a mild abrasive sufficient to remove plaque from the teeth, and the salt is good for the gums. I have asked my dentist about this recipe, and he said it would be fine, but he did stress to wet the toothbrush with hot water first, to use a soft toothbrush and not to brush too hard so you don’t damage the enamel on your teeth. — Tina B., via e-mail
SPRAYER SOLUTION: I have removed many walls worth of wallpaper for friends and a real-estate company. The best way I found was to use a bug sprayer with towels around the floor. I don’t use a razor anymore. It cuts the sheet rock and causes the paper to peel, causing more work. Soak the area about three times and peel off the paper. A lot of times, only the cover layer will come off, so then you soak the backing until it turns color. It will peel right off. After it’s peeled off, if you prime the area before you texture or paint, it will help keep paper from bubbling. –Mike, via e-mail
Sara Noel is the owner of Frugal Village (www.frugalvillage.com), a Web site that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. To send tips, comments or questions, write to Sara Noel, c/o United Media, 200 Madison Ave., 4th Floor, New York, NY 10016, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.