I'm So Clever

Money-saving tip for Charlotte leaf-rakers

The winner: When the leaves start coming down in the fall, I use up to 20 yard waste bags per week. For many years I thought I was saving money by using the cheaper 1-mil, 33-gallon bags. But I’ve struggled with these bags because they’re too flimsy and don’t fold over the rim of the can.

So I decided to bite the bullet and buy the more expensive 3-mil, 42-gallon “contractor” bags. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I use the bags as a liner in a 32-gallon trash can and I leave the bag in the can until it is full. When I remove the bag, I close but don’t tie the bag (very important). On the day before trash collection, I move all filled bags and the trash can to the curb. The crew empties the bags into the truck and places all empty bags in my trash can. I have been using the same 3-mil, 42-gallon bags for four years. Floyd Seitz, Charlotte

Note: Charita Curtis, a spokesperson for City of Charlotte Solid Waste Services, reminds residents that yard waste bags must be untied. Residents must provide some type of notification if they want the bags left behind.

Seal those drafty windows with inexpensive caulk strip

I hope to replace the windows of my older home, but to get through winter, I am using inexpensive caulk strip to seal the deteriorated caulking at the base of the storm windows. The split and fold of the strip fits snugly, and it’s easy to cut for the perfect fit. Sherry Schlimme, Indian Trail

Clever Note: If you’re not familiar with caulk strip, search for images online. This could be a handy solution for those with drafty windows.

Win an ‘I’m So Clever’ book

Send your clever tip, address and phone to clever@charlotteobserver.com or Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” book. You can order a copy at www.charlotteobserver.com/clever for just $5.99, plus shipping. Also available at Park Road Books and Blackhawk Hardware.

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