September 3, 2015

Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tricks to Help You Save Time and Money Every Day by Mary Hunt


Cheaper, Better, Faster: Over 2,000 Tricks to Help You Save Time and Money Every Day by Mary Hunt


In this book, Mary Hunt provides a large collection of tips for running a household and a budget more effectively. While this is not the type of book that you read straight through cover to cover, it is a helpful resource if you're looking for suggestions in a certain area of everyday life.

Hunt divides her collection of tips into sixteen categories: automobiles, cleaning, clothing and accessories, food and cooking, gifts, health and beauty, holidays and special occasions, home, kids and babies, laundry, money and finances, outdoors and garden, pets, repairs and maintenance, shopping, and travel and entertainment. Though a number of the items weren't new ideas or suggestions I hadn't already heard before (the many uses of items like rubbing alcohol), and a couple suggestions seemed a bit sketchy (snagging office supplies to avoid purchasing them yourself), I thought the best book review would be to provide a brief list of the tips that did find helpful and worthwhile.

  • The best houseplants to keep around for filtering indoor pollutants are spider plants, philodendron, eucalyptus, and aloe vera.
  • Baking soda can be sprinkled over a dry carpet, left for fifteen minutes, and then vacuumed up to act as a deoderizer.
  • Rubbing alcohol can be used on cooled (and obviously unplugged) curling irons and flat irons to remove hair spray and product build-up. (I would recommend checking the product beforehand to ensure this won't permanently damage the surface.)
  • Instead of paying to dry clean dusty curtains, just pop them into a dryer with a couple dryer sheets for a few minutes.
  • You can sprinkle 1/2 cup of borax into the bottom of garbage cans to inhibit the growth of odors, bacteria, and mold.
  • When sewing on a button, put a toothpick between the fabric and the button. When you're done, remove the toothpick and the remaining space will provide some slack to make the button easier to use.
  • Use vinegar to remove permanent presses in let-down hemlines.
  • Use a few drops of baby oil on necklaces or other jewelry chains that have formed knots. The oil will help you be able to loosen the chain and remove the knots and kinks.
  • Wadded up newspaper can remove odors from the interiors of luggage and shoes.
  • Add a pinch of cornstarch to beaten eggs to make fluffier scrambled eggs and omelets.
  • Store eggs in the fridge large end up to help center the yolks and keep them fresher longer.
  • Sprinkle vinegar on your cutting board before chopping onions to lessen eye tearing.
  • To remove onion odor from your hands, rub your hands with a stainless steel spoon under running water or rub them with the end of a cut celery stalk.
  • Use paper tablecloths to wrap oversized gifts.
  • Postcards are cheaper to send than Christmas cards. If you save your cards from the previous year, you can often cut off the back and upcycle them as postcards.
  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of bleach to vase water to make your flowers last longer. To help roses last longer, refill the vase each day with warm water and one crushed aspirin.
  • If you hang a net bag filled with charcoal in your basement or garage, it will help eliminate musty odors.
  • Warm cinnamon in a pan or boil orange or lemon peels on the stove to help add fragrance to your kitchen.
  • You can use baby shampoo to wash delicates: for many fabrics it works just as well and is cheaper than cold-water detergents.
  • Because ants can't swim, you can place each leg of your picnic table in a large container of water to help keep pests off your food.
  • Use the starchy and nutrient-rich water leftover from boil eggs or pasta to water your houseplants. 

Paperback | Kindle

    What are your best tips?

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