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18 Ways to Save Around the House

Cut your household expenses by trying these money-saving tips

Elwood Smith

En español  |  1. Static no-cling. A rolled-up ball of aluminum foil will reduce static cling effectively. But if you prefer the scent of antistatic dryer sheets, cut them in half and use for two loads.

2. Swap books. The library's not convenient? Consider joining an online book-swapping club like PaperBackSwap, BookMooch or TitleTrader. All let you exchange books with other readers for the cost of postage.

3. Yard sales. In addition to the local paper, you can find yard sales at yardsale treasuremap.com, which displays Craigslist postings in your area plus a suggested driving route on a Google map.

4. Golf for less. Sign up for "loyal customer" email alerts of special promos at your favorite courses. Ask about midmorning or twilight discount rates or off-season deals from April through September in snowbird states like Florida and Arizona. Find lower-cost courses at publiccourses.com. For $59 a year, get discounts at nearly 3,000 courses at golfcard.com.

5. Feeling nostalgic? Movies Unlimited offers AARP members a 10 percent discount on the purchase of movies and TV shows on DVD or Blu-ray, specializing in films from Hollywood's golden era and '60s and '70s hits. Go to moviesunlimited.com/aarp.

6. Green group. Join neighbors and start a community garden. You can have fun and save money on store-bought produce. Find tips on the American Community Gardening Association website.

7. Know your bulbs. Photograph your flowering bulbs in the spring so that in the fall you don't waste money by buying what you already have.

Ways to save on household expenses - Model house moneybox with dollar bills

Spray undiluted white vinegar around doorways and window sills to discourage ants and save on pest removal. — Photo by Ocean/Corbis

8. Hanger tip. Wrap rubber bands around the ends of plain hangers to prevent clothes from falling off.

9. Flour power. Use a slice of white bread to gently rub scuffs, fingerprints and other marks off nonwashable wallpapers and nonglossy paint surfaces. Cut off the crusts so no color transfers.

10. Plant with foam. Use packing peanuts instead of gravel in the bottom of flowerpots to provide drainage and make the containers lighter.

11. Lemon aid. Use the juice to dissolve soap scum and hard-water deposits, or mix with baking soda for a paste to clean brass and copper. Mix 1/2 cup lemon juice with 1 cup olive oil to polish hardwood furniture. Test first.

12. Baby socks. Stretchy and colorful, they make cheap cellphone covers.

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Jeff Yeager, the Ultimate Cheapskate, shows you how to save money by reusing household items in surprising new ways. You may never look at old tire tubes, pantyhose and even used fabric softener sheets the same way again!

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