TIP OF THE MONTH. I grew up in a house where we used cloth napkins daily. My mother painted clothespins with tiny flowers and our names. She gave each pin a few coats of varnish to protect it. We each had one, and we clipped them on our folded napkins at the end of every meal. They were collected for the laundry as it became necessary. Using some kind of label on napkins allows a family to identify who has used which, eliminating the need and expense of paper napkins. -- M.M., Virginia
CINEMATIC REWARDS. I went to my local movie theater's Web site and noticed they have a "frequent viewer" program. They do not advertise this program at all, so I decided to investigate. All I had to do was sign up, and they sent me a card in the mail. I present this card every time I purchase tickets, and after I purchase a certain number, I get one ticket free. There are also discounts on refreshments. I'm sure other theater chains offer similar perks. -- Lisa S., e-mail
POINT TROVE. I have started using www.MyPoints.com, which allows me to accumulate points to purchase gift cards for restaurants, airfare and retail stores. I also can shop through links on the Web site for added points. For example, if I shop online for Avon products, I click a link on the MyPoints Web site that leads to Avon. I receive 10 points per dollar spent. The points accumulate quickly when you do this, and it's all free! -- Miriam B., e-mail
SPEEDY ENTREE. I learned to make enough meatloaf for a meal and freeze the rest in patties between layers of wax paper. I place them in plastic freezer bags to take out as needed. If I have a little time, I defrost the patties before cooking, but thin ones can be cooked slowly in a frying pan. It works beautifully! -- Susan, Idaho
EASY ID. I have a tip for those with elderly parents. My mom went into a nursing home, and I often found that I needed to verify her identity. I photocopied her driver's license, as well as my father's. Then I put them back to back and laminated them as one. I keep the card in my wallet, and I have used it on more than one occasion. -- Gayle M., e-mail
THIS FOR THAT. I've found that the best use for old mouse pads is to protect hard flooring (e.g., hardwood, tile and linoleum) from furniture legs. I cut a pad to fit the particular leg, placing the rubbery side facing up. The furniture moves easily because the cloth side of the pad is in contact with the floor. This protects the floor from scratching and scarring. -- Nancy, e-mail
Send your unique money-saving and timesaving hints to firstname.lastname@example.org, with "Tip" in the subject line. Yours just might be chosen as a Tip of the Month.
Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com and author of 17 books, including "Debt-Proof Living." You can e-mail her at email@example.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2135, Paramount, CA 90723.
Copyright 2009 Creators Syndicate Inc.