Save Money in this Sunday's paper

I’m so clever


DIY Tie rack saves space

I'm So Clever
What a smart stocking stuffer! More than 450 thrifty tips from readers are compiled in our 'I'm So Clever' book that is on sale now.

I'm So Clever
I'm So Clever is compiled by Observer assistant features editor Roland Wilkerson. Send your tip, name, address and phone by email or mail to Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, N.C. 28230.

The winner: I had trouble finding a tie rack that held many ties without taking up too much space. So I bought a prefabricated closet drawer and removed the bottom. I drilled holes in the sides, inserted 10 wooden dowels, three-eighths of an inch in diameter, 1 1/4 inches apart, and glued them in place. The drawer ran about $50 and the dowels about $10. Gary Wilhite, Charlotte

Shelf liner for cake transport

I transport a lot of baked goods, especially tiered decorated cakes, to events and church. To make certain they don’t get smashed, I roll out ribbed shelf liner in the hatch of my SUV. The bottom of the plate adheres to the liner, and I have always arrived at my destination with everything intact. Cassandra Evans, Gastonia

Coffee filters protect skillets

I use paper coffee filters between my Calphalon skillets to keep the surfaces free from scratches. The filters also absorb any drops of water accidentally left in them. Jeanette Davis, Catawba

Win a Clever T-shirt

Send your clever tip, address and phone to or Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” T-shirt.

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