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From Mellisa
WHEN THE KIDS STAIN THEIR SOLID COLOR CLOTHES, I GO TOTHE SEWING BASKET AND PLACE AN IRON-ON TRANSFER OVER THE STAIN. SINCE THEY'RE OLD ENOUGH, I LET THEM PICK OUT THE PATTERN AND THEN THEY PAINT USING FABRIC PAINTS. THE SHIRT DRIES, AND VOILA! A "NEW" SHIRT IS CREATED. IF THE STAIN IS DARK, USE DARKER FABRIC PAINTS.
Here's some smart tips from Susan Straley of Wisconsin.
We wrap presents in newspaper. We have been doing this for years and many of our relatives have caught on and do it too.
I stopped buying tennis shoes. They just don't last long because they get all scruffy looking. Besides, I couldn't find any good ones that were not made with slave or child labor. So I bought some Red Wing boots (Red Wing, MN -- Union labor!) and put in a heel cushion. I can run, walk, hike and bike in them, wear them in the snow and rain, mow the grass and go to the movies all in the same shoes. I have had them two years now and the still look good. I may have to replace the soles next year...
I sold my car and started taking the bus. (My husband still has his for family and business use.) I save money even though my car was paid for. Now, if I need a car I rent one (usually once or twice a month) it's still cheaper than maintenance and gas on a car. We still have one car in the family though. The geography of the neighborhood isn't right for living totally car free.

Great Reminder from Julie Withstow of Florida
Remember to buy a years worth of paper, pens, office supplies while they are on sale for "Back to School!"

Excellent tips from Bonita Hawley!
Hi! I save lots of money by making my own greeting cards. I make an initial investment by buying Microsoft Greetings Workshop or any other...and I make all my Christmas cards, birthday, thank-you notes, party invitations and will be making family calendars to give to my children for a Christmas gift. The computer program has more than paid for itself and I have many years to use it. Another gift idea is to make a heating pad to give...which is made from a square of left over material sewn on all sides and leaving a small hole to put in about one or two pounds of field corn. You then sew up the hole and give as a gift with instructions to heat it up in the microwave for 2 minutes. The corn won't pop because it is field corn (bought at a feed store or animal superstore) and the heating pad will stay warm for a long time. It is also flexible enough so that you can move the heating pad to your back or under your leg...wherever you need the heat. A frugal tip for Christmas is to make your own gift paper...I get my groceries packed in brown paper bags...I then take the bags apart and iron them to get out most of the creases...my children and I then stencil the brown paper with shapes that I have made from kitchen sponges...stars, Christmas tree, etc. We dip the sponge lightly in craft paint, which is poured onto a meat tray that was saved from the grocery store. After we let the paint dry, I hang the paper by clothes pins on a hanger so they won't get creased until I am ready to wrap my presents. I also use raffia to tie on the boxes and this looks very nice with the paper.

Thought these might help.
When I go to a store, especially the grocery store, I carefully watch the clerks and the amounts that I am being charged. I have caught many mistakes, everything from being charged incorrect amounts, clerks not taking off my coupons, and even not being given back the correct change. It is much easier to correct a mistake at the register than it is after you have already paid for the item. Before I leave the register, I always make sure that all the items I bought have been bagged--many times the baggers have left items laying off to the side.
I buy cheap red clay pots at discount stores and hand paint them in bright cheery colors. When my houseplants need cutting back, I always root the cuttings so that I have extra plants on hand. Not all these plants live, but most do. This way, I always have an instant gift on hand if I need one to give to someone that is ill, for a teacher, hostess gift, etc.
My best advice is to plan carefully. I think when we plan things out, and are prepared ahead of time, we do not have to run around like mad, trying to find things that we need at the last minute and we don't have to over-spend because we just don't have the time to comparison shop. I realize we cannot anticipate every need ahead of time, but things like Christmas, birthdays, back to school shopping for the kids, etc. can easily be planned out ahead of the rush.
That's all for now.
Kim in NC
Window Cleaner
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
-------- ------------ --------------------------------
1 Pint rubbing alcohol
2 T liquid dishwashing detergent
2 T ammonia -- (2 to 3)
Optional: Blue food coloring
Place in gallon Container. Fill container with water and stir. Pour into spray bottle for easy use. Store out of reach of children.
Lorene Jajtner
One thing I have learned living in Texas, is that in summer, you really get hot. You can be inside and still be hot. I figured that to save air conditioning bills during the heat wave is to just hang your clothes outside to dry. I save alot of energy when I don't have the heat of the dryer to try to cool the house too.
Molly Bond, Louisville, KY
I take all of my old clothes or possesions of any value to my local consignment store. I make a little bit of extra money each month.

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