So you remember Kathy Gonzalez, yes? The beautiful one who doles out savings advice like a life-coach sprinkles affirmations? I thought you might.
Here’s more from Kathy’s stash of hints:
•Taking a daily multi-vitamen is basically an insurance policy. Something like Centrum is effective and inexpensive.
•Prescriptions….Washington state’s prescription plan is for Everyone. You can save up to 75 percent on prescriptions just for having it. It’s free, you print it out at home and most of the time, never even have to show it. Once you mention it, it stays in the pharmacy’s computer system for all of your medications. The plan’s Web site is also a great tool. It will show you the price of a medication at every pharmacy in town and you can see who has the best price. If it’s not your pharmacy, ask them to match it. They will usually do it as long as it is not a loss to them. Also…Wal-Mart, $4 drugs…look online to see if any of your medications are on the list.
Furniture and around the home
•Yard sales are a great place for cheap furniture. If you see a wood cushioned chair…love the chair, hate the color and pattern…pop off the cushion, treat yourself to the best fabric you can find (you’ll only need 1/2 a yard) and wrap it tight around the corners like a present, stapling as you go. Repaint the chair with spray paint.
•Use other fabric for curtains, sheets work at least two ways.
All sheets have a double layer with a seam that’s about 6 inches wide. You can cut slits in a straight line, evenly spaced, stopping just before the seam. Hang it on a rod every other cut, the extra tabs fold over so they are unnoticeable and you have instant tab top curtains.
Even simpler, a pretty twin sheet looks gorgeous on a girl’s bedroom window with just the help of a rubber band. Put the rubber band around the fabric about 2/3 of the way to the bottom. Bunch it up so there’s a poof with the tail hanging down. Dress it up with a pretty ribbon where the rubber band is.
• Carpet shampooing. Ask a friend to borrow their machine. You won’t likely need one of these often enough to justify buying one. This is a great tool to share.
• Using the Union-Bulletin. What a great asset and worth far more than the cost. The “Free” section is a wonderful thing. Not only might someone have what you need but you can place an ad for free in the free section and someone will come pick up something that was an eye sore for you (like an old fridge) that you would have had to pay to have taken away. Use the sale fliers. Always amazing coupons on the first page of each store.
• Drive slower and do the speed limit. Avoid tickets, especially parking tickets. Your insurance will stay down and your wife will be happy. Walk to work or take the bus. Good for you on so many levels. Pack your lunch.
• Cars— In all my years as a production manager in radio, thousands of car ads later I realized people buy the car they want rather than the car they need. Think about it, every car in essence is the same thing. Four wheels and an engine to get from Point A to Point B. If cars weren’t purchased on image, dealerships would be a lot slower in business. What do you really “need” in a car?
• Kids using too much toilet paper? Best kept secret ever…here it is…commercial break…okay we’re back. Before you replace the roll, squeeze it…that’s right squeeze the heck out of that Charmin, until the cardboard roll is bent. When you put it on the wall, it will not turn easily…kids can’t roll and roll endlessly. If they have to work for it, the joy goes out if having enough to simulate an elephant’s tail is no longer an option.
(Attention, readers: Kathy’s other half, Jeremy, was in the newsroom when I was putting this together and I leaned over and asked him if his toilet paper at home was hard to unroll. “It is,” he said. “You really have to work to get it off.” I laughed until my stomach hurt.)
• Entertainment — ditch expensive cable. Get your coupon for a free converter box, hook up your antennae and you’ve got the basics. Hulu.com and a cheap cable to connect your laptop to the TV will get you anything you’re missing, anytime you want to watch. This is also good because, rather than mindless viewing, watching TV becomes a planned event.
• Holidays…get creative. Who doesn’t love home made fudge in a Dollar Store beautiful tin? And Halloween? Forget the creepy mask — you can go a long way with a killer robot costume with some cardboard and leftover dryer hose. Use your imagination.
Alrighty, that’s it for this episode of “It’s a Kathy Day.” Tune in again for more from Storage Room’s favorite budget coach.