Clip your costs

Coupons a good way to save money

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - REENA NER­BAS

QUES­TION: Some peo­ple say coupons are a thing of the past. Do you think clip­ping coupons is time well spent? What are some tips on smart ways to save money us­ing coupons? Lan­don, Emer­son

AN­SWER: When you are a fru­gal per­son, count it as a bless­ing for your en­tire fam­ily! Start by col­lect­ing coupons for items you nor­mally pur­chase. Re­frain from clip­ping coupons just for the sake of sav­ing money. Or­ga­nize your coupons into a photo al­bum so you can see what you have. Save your coupons un­til prod­ucts are on sale; un­less the coupon spec­i­fies oth­er­wise, you can stock up on items and save a bun­dle if you use the coupons when the items are al­ready sale price.

Un­less oth­er­wise stated on the coupon, com­bine man­u­fac­tur­ers’ coupons with store coupons. Do not feel you need to use store coupons im­me­di­ately. Many ‘in store coupons’ are good for sev­eral months and can be com­bined with other of­fers.

If you do col­lect coupons for items you nor­mally would not buy, ex­change them with a fel­low coupon col­lec­tor. Par­tic­i­pat­ing in a coupon ex­change club can ex­pand your coupon col­lec­tion and ul­ti­mately save you money at the gro­cery store. If you do not know where to join a coupon ex­change, start your own.

Be care­ful when sign­ing up for coupon deals on the In­ter­net. Some sites of­fer worth­less prom­ises to save you money, just to cap­ture your email ad­dress. It’s some­times wiser to go di­rectly to the man­u­fac­turer’s web­site and check for coupons.

QUES­TION: What is bleach and is it harm­ful to use as a house­hold cleaner? Tamra, Win­nipeg

AN­SWER: Bleach is a chem­i­cal com­pound de­rived from nat­u­ral sources used to whiten and kill bac­te­ria and mould. Sim­ply put, bleach works by the process of ox­i­da­tion. While you don’t need to garbage all of your bleach clean­ers, you may want to con­sider al­ter­na­tive choices. To some peo­ple, homes just aren’t clean if they don’t smell like bleach, but keep in mind chlo­rine in the home can be a pretty nasty prod­uct, not only for your­self but for pets as well.

Hy­dro­gen perox­ide is one op­tion. It is made up of hy­dro­gen and oxy­gen and in low con­cen­tra­tions it works well as a dis­in­fec­tant and an­ti­sep­tic with­out the smell and po­ten­tially harm­ful ef­fects of chlo­rine bleach.

Just as a side note: Asthma rates in chil­dren un­der the age of five has in­creased more than 160 per cent from 1980-1994. Many hos­pi­tals nowa­days are us­ing perox­ide based clean­ers in­stead of bleach.

QUES­TION: Your book se­ries is a foun­tain of use­ful tips; I have bought sev­eral as gifts for fam­ily mem­bers. Here’s my dilemma — my car reeks! It smells like it’s 50 years old. I wash the out­side once a month but never bother with the in­side. What can I do to cover up the musty smell? I have to give my boss a ride to the air­port next week and I am em­bar­rassed to pick him up. Do you have a quick fix? Thanks. Laura, Win­nipeg AN­SWER: The time has come to clean your car in­te­rior, but have no fear, it won’t take long.

Num­ber one, vac­uum the in­te­rior and num­ber two, use soap and wa­ter to clean the floor mats. Num­ber three, wipe all leather or vinyl with a goodqual­ity mi­cro fi­bre cloth as well as the dash­board to zap dust.

Next, make your own car jar fresh­ener. In a pot, boil half-cup wa­ter. Add two pack­ages un­flavoured gela­tine. Stir for five min­utes to dis­solve. Add two drops food colour­ing (op­tional) and 1 tbsp. salt (to pre­vent mould). Pour half-cup cold wa­ter into the pot and stir. Pour so­lu­tion into a clean jar and add es­sen­tial oils or other bot­tled scents. Or if you are re­ally in a hurry, drop es­sen­tial oils onto a piece of card­board or a scrap piece of fab­ric and place it some­where in the car. The more es­sen­tial oils on the cloth, the more pow­er­ful the smell, so be sure to choose a fra­grance that you can live with.

Fab­u­lous Feed­back from Reader: Dear Reena, In a re­cent col­umn, you an­swered a let­ter about pre­vent­ing ball­point pens from dry­ing out. I think I can help with a trick I learned from my dad. The ink doesn’t ac­tu­ally dry up in the pen. Ink dries at the tip around the ball of the “ball­point.” You can save a driedup pen by hold­ing the tip briefly in a flame. This melts the dried ink and the ball will move freely again. Take care, Michele

Tips for Peo­ple Ache’n for Ba­con:

Pull ba­con apart with ease. Re­frig­er­ate for two hours. Place the pack­age of ba­con on to the counter. Roll ba­con into a tube from short end to short end. Hold it for one minute. Un­roll and un­wrap; your ba­con should now pull off and sep­a­rate quickly.

Min­i­mize ba­con shrink­age by run­ning ba­con un­der wa­ter be­fore fry­ing.

In­stead of fry­ing ba­con, bake it! Line a bak­ing sheet with foil or parch­ment paper. Lay ba­con pieces on the foil with the pieces just touch­ing. Bake in a pre­heated 400-de­grees oven for 1520 min­utes depend­ing on per­sonal pref­er­ence for crispi­ness. Re­move from the oven and serve.

Ba­con grease can be frozen for fu­ture use; how­ever, un­less you have a steady sup­ply of ba­con grease on hand you can’t use up fast enough, you can just keep it in the re­frig­er­a­tor. Pour cooled ba­con grease into a thick glass jar or mug and re­frig­er­ate, top­ping it up with fresh ba­con grease as you have it. Re­frig­er­ated ba­con grease lasts for months and months with no prob­lem. If ba­con grease goes ran­cid, you’ll smell it.

If you don’t want to eat ba­con grease, check out recipes for mak­ing soap us­ing ba­con grease.

IM­POR­TANT NOTE TO READ­ERS: If you have called ‘HOUSE­HOLD SO­LU­TIONS’ (204-320-2757) dur­ing the past three weeks to or­der books and your call has not been re­turned, please call again as the phone sys­tem had some be­hav­iour is­sues.

Speak­ing of be­hav­iour is­sues Happy Back-To-School ev­ery­one!

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