Save Money in this Sunday's paper

The winner: Here's another use for Charlotte Observer plastic bags. Students with allergies/colds often bring their own tissues, but then have to figure out what to do with the used ones. Options include leaving them on the desk or dropping them on the floor. Or getting up frequently to visit the trash can. Instead, I make individual trash bags from Observer bags. I stuff them in a long tissue box on the table by the door for students to grab as they enter. They can throw out the whole thing or carry it to their next class. Germs and mess contained. Happy New Year to all teachers! Mary Wiseman, Charlotte

The winner: Never search for a pot lid again. Hubby hung a shoe rack on the pantry door.

I wanted a cute and easy way to display my bracelets, so my hubby installed a simple curtain rod in our bathroom.

The winner: When assembling Ikea furniture recently, I used a muffin pan to organize the various screws and hardware for the project. The pan kept all the small parts organized and right at hand. Safia Malik, Clover.

The winner: With all the rain this year, seeds in bird feeders are getting wet. I take plastic plant saucers, slit between ridges the length of hanger and slide over hanger. The birds love to sit on top, and they can enjoy a dry meal. Leigh Granger, Waxhaw

The winner: I like my closet to be neat and organized, but I didn’t want to spend a fortune on fancy decorative boxes. Instead I purchased storage file boxes and created cute labels for them on my computer. Voila! Cute storage at a reasonable price! When we moved cross-country, I just sealed up the boxes, and they went into the truck already labeled and ready to put on the shelf in my new closet. Karen Poppen, Huntersville

The winner: We are seniors living alone with two bathrooms. One has a walk-in shower which we use exclusively. We needed storage space in the other and I suggested the idea of installing a vanity over the unused bathtub. We bought a door the same width as the bathtub and cut the length to fit and four legs to the desired height and – voila. We bought some cloth at Mary Jo’s Cloth Store in Gastonia to cover the door and drape over the tub. I now have a very nice vanity where I keep a basket of towels, candles, etc. Everything can be easily removed if we need the bathtub again. Anne Warlick, Cherryville

The winner: Chains on swings can pinch fingers and pull hair. Use foam pipe insulation to cover the chain. It’s split up the side to go on pipe and slides onto the chain perfectly.

The winner: My washer and dryer are in a hall closet and I have nowhere to hang our clothes as I take them out of the dryer. We purchased an extendable closet rod and put it in a hallway door whenever we do the laundry. It gives us an instant place to hang the clothes and it stores easily next to the washer and dryer. Problem solved. Joyce Christian, Mount Gilead

The winner: Many spices in the “International” or “Hispanic” sections of some grocery stores are considerably lower than the same spices sold in the cooking/baking aisle. Not all spices are represented in the international sections, but those that are generally offer a sizable savings.

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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.