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Great readers share their best frugal tips

Mary Hunt
Mary Hunt

Whether it's expensive meals out, pet hair in the car or mailing packages safely, my readers are always anxious to share their best tips, tricks and ideas for ways to save time and money.

Restaurant Eats, Cheap

My husband and I just got back from our anniversary vacation in San Francisco. (It was a gift from my in-laws, God love 'em!) I went to eBay ahead of time and typed in "San Francisco, California" and found some great deals from a website called restaurant.com. I got three $25 dining certificates for $5 each. We were able to enjoy some amazing meals without me worrying so much about the bill coming at the end. — Kimberly

Laundry Savings

I put a piggy bank on the shelf above my washer. Whenever I find money in the washer or dryer, I put it in there. I figure that by the time I need to buy a new washer or dryer, I'll have at least a good down payment. Nobody has ever missed the money they left in their pants. — Kate

Pronto Pet Hair Pickup

If you have a dog who enjoys frequent car rides, as mine does, I'm sure you know firsthand what a pain all that dog hair can be to clean up. For a quick fix when there's no time to drag out the vacuum, simply slip on a latex-covered gardening glove, and run your hand across the upholstery. Trust me, it works like a charm! — Cindy

Storage Boxes

At age 72, my sight isn't the best. So, I have decided to put pictures of the content on the front of my storage boxes instead of writing on them. For example, if I have stuff for Easter, I would put an Easter card or something else that reminds me of Easter on the front. That way, I know that box has Easter stuff inside. — Catherine

Track Credit Spending

Make a register, similar to the register in your checkbook, for each of your credit cards. Get lined 4-by-6-inch index cards. Mark the width of the credit card and twice the length on the lined side. Draw a vertical line about 1/2 inch from each side, leaving a wider column in the center. You will be able to cut two of these from each card. Fold the register you have just made around your credit card, and store it in your wallet. Each time you charge an item, log it on the register. Add the amounts up periodically. This way, there will be no surprises when the bill arrives. — Frances

Sock Washing

Like most bachelors, I hated sorting clean laundry. Worst of all was trying to match up socks. I came up with a solution: When I take socks off, before throwing them into the hamper, I safety pin them together at the toe. This keeps them matched up during the washing and drying process. I also found that pinning my dryer sheets to a set of socks keeps the dryer sheets from being caught up against the lint trap. — Jim

Free Packing Material

I hate storing packing peanuts, and I refuse to pay for them! Instead, I use plastic grocery shopping bags, which are still readily available in many areas. Just bunch them up and tuck them in around the item you're shipping. They're easy to store, always handy and best of all, free! — Bianca

Mary Hunt is the founder ofEverydayCheapskate.com and author of "Debt-Proof Living." Questions, comments and tips can be sent on her website.