• “If you paint your kitchen cabinets, be sure that you label each door and drawer exactly where it goes. It can be really hard to figure it out, and the holes might not line up perfectly. Also, save hardware in baggies to keep it all together.” — R.U. in Montana
• To create a fun cake stand, glue a 10-inch terra cotta saucer to the bottom of a 4-inch terra cotta flowerpot. Paint and seal the whole thing. When you flip it over, the bottom of the saucer becomes the cake plate. So neat!
• “To clean the outsides of our windows, we mixed vinegar and hot water and added a couple drops of dish soap. Then I used a microfiber cloth to scrub the window and its surrounding casing. We rinsed them with the hose and used the squeegee I keep in my car to get the water drops off. They look great!” — Y.D. in Arkansas
• Wash your reusable shopping bags from time to time, either in the washing machine on the delicate cycle or hand wash in the sink. Hang to dry.
• How much money should you have in an emergency cash fund? Experts say that at a minimum, you should have three months’ worth of necessary expenses (home payment, utilities, food and gas, minimum debt payments, etc.) in an accessible form. This means you can’t count the value of assets or stocks you own, nor any retirement funds. This sounds hard because it is, but it could make the difference between success or failure in an emergency.
• “I purchase a big pack of bottled water at my discount club. I keep it in the trunk, and it seems there are always opportunities for a bottle. I keep a few in a lunch tote, which actually keeps them cool in the hot car, even without an ice pack.” — C.L. in Maryland
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