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Sock away the perfect gift

By on October 19, 2008

mitts
The first tip is great for pet lovers. It’s simple and easy, which makes it a good solution for craft shows, fundraisers and homemade gifts, too.

KITTEN MITTEN: I started making catnip cat toys to sell. I use baby mittens, booties and baby socks that I find at thrift stores and garage sales. I add catnip to them and sew the opening closed. You can add yarn to drag or dangle the toy, or add a jingle bell inside, too. Easy to make; easy to sell. — Fay, Arizona
Note from Sara: Catnip is a perennial herb. You can grow it indoors or outdoors for added savings.

HOME INVENTORY: I have been putting a date on whatever I am using, such as toothpaste, detergent, bodywash, cinnamon sticks, honey, etc., to see how long it takes me to use them. This helps me figure out how much to buy when they go on sale. This way, I don’t overbuy anymore, and I know about how much I will use in a year. Many items last a year, and when it goes on sale, you know how many to buy. It took a while to build up my stockpile, but now that I have a small one, I really do find I am saving money. Might seem extreme, but I now have the luxury of waiting until a good sale comes along. — shoiji, forums

GET HOOKED: We have a large family, so I like to have everyone use their bath towels more than once. The bathroom didn’t have enough space for everyone to hang their towels. My husband bought cheap towel hooks and hung them on the bedroom doors. Now everyone hangs their towel after using, and everyone knows which towel is theirs to use again. — Nancy C., Ohio

MULTIPLE USE: You can use hydrogen peroxide (1 percent to 3 percent) as a sanitizer for kitchen counters and cutting boards and as a vegetable wash, too. — Kelli G., e-mail

REFILL PUMP: I put my dish soap into a recycled hand-soap pump or foam pump bottle. Before, I’d just squeeze and would use too much. The pump and foam pump lets me use much less, and it’s still enough to get the job done. — Carol, forums

REFILL SHOWER CLEANERS: I use the automatic shower cleaners but grew tired of paying for refills. I have successfully used this recipe, so I thought I’d share it. I use a squeegee in my shower, too.

1 cup hydrogen peroxide
6 drops Dawn dish liquid
1 capful Jet dry

Mix with water to fill a spray bottle. — Melanie P., Indiana

PORTION CONTROL: I had a problem with my kids at breakfast time. Our bowls were too big, and I or they would pour too much cereal, and then they couldn’t eat it all, or they ate too much. I bought cheap dollar-store bowls with lids. I fill them the night before, and they’re ready the following morning. The portions are smaller and closer to true serving size.

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