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The Consumer

Money saving tips for 2012

/ 12:33 AM January 04, 2012

Happy New Year!

Although “forecasts” for the year 2012—by government officials, business and industry people, and geomancers—are generally positive, it still helps to adopt some habits and practices that will save us money.

Here are some tips from Bundle for MSN Money on how you can reuse or recycle certain household items so you do not have to buy other products. Bundle says “sometimes the products you need are already sitting in your kitchen cupboard, bathroom or other places around the house.”


If you have cheap vodka in the cupboard, Bundle says you can use it for things other than drinking. Vodka can make clothes smell fresh and remove stains. It will also kill mold, keep flowers fresh longer and repel bugs.

Bundle says spraying a mixture of vodka and water can keep clothes fresh in between washes and kill odors. Vodka can be dabbed on some stains before clothes are washed.

A vodka and water spray can also get rid of mold. Let the moldy surface soak for a while before wiping it clean. A few drops of vodka into a vase will keep flowers fresh longer by inhibiting ethylene production that helps plant mature.

Mixed with apple cider vinegar and drops of citronella or eucalyptus essential oil, you may spray vodka on yourself or places you want to be off limits to bugs.

You can polish your glasses with a piece of cloth with some vodka. A spray of vodka and water can be used on windows and mirrors.

Butter-coating the pill

Bundle says a thin layer of butter can help “make the medicine go down,” as the song goes. A thin coat of butter on cheese, specially a hard one, after it has been cut will keep it from getting too hard and will delay molding. If you are only using half an onion, coat the exposed side of the other half with a bit of butter to keep it fresh longer in the refrigerator. Bundle says a bit of butter in a boiling pot of liquid will stop it from boiling over. It adds, however, that you have to make sure that butter goes with whatever you are cooking.

Aside from wiping up messes, Bundle says you can use paper towels, instead of plastic, to cover food when microwaving so the food does not bubble over or splash the inside of the microwave.


Lining the refrigerator’s vegetable bin with paper towels seems to help keep the produce fresh longer, because the towels absorb the moisture. Paper towel lining for cabinets and drawers makes them easier to clean and prevents bacteria from entering the wood.

Paper towels can also be used to mop up fat from very rich food, Bundle adds.

Baby oil is an excellent makeup remover, massage oil and shaving gel substitute, according to Bundle. It can also unstuck zippers and remove paint if you get some on yourself by accident.

To clean ears, Bundle suggests putting a couple of warm baby oil drops into the ear to dissolve the wax. “Let it sit there for a bit, then drain the oil out on a paper towel,” it says.

Baby oil may even be used on a squeaky hinge.

Smearing Vaseline on your lips will keep them from being chapped. “Do it the night before and you’ll wake up with smooth, soft lips,” says Bundle.

Vaseline may also be used for skin that is prone to psoriasis and eczema, as it will moisturize the dry patches. It can also be used on elbows, cuticles, hands, and feet.

Putting Vaseline around the hairline will prevent your forehead from being dyed, if you color your hair, and protect it from chemicals. Adding sea salt to Vaseline gives you a home-made body scrub.

A light layer of Vaseline on tools or machinery will help prevent rusting, while a little bit will polish and add a little shine on leather items like bags or shoes, Bundle adds.

Send letters to The Consumer, Lifestyle Section, Philippine Daily Inquirer, 1098 Chino Roces Ave. cor. Mascardo and Yague Sts., 1204 Makati City; fax 8974793/94; or e-mail

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TAGS: 2012, Consumer, Lifestyle, Money Saving Tips, New Year
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