Smart, but thrifty, ideas - The Buffalo News

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Smart, but thrifty, ideas

As I continue to slowly work my way down my fall To Do list, I am reminded that low-cost solutions are often the best.

Consider the case of our floppy family room pillows. We have had the pair of 20-by-20-inch decorative pillows with removable covers for quite a few years. I love the pattern, they work nicely in the room and the covers are machine washable.

But, as time went by, I found I was constantly re-poufing them – gently shaking them this way and that to even out the filling, placing them just so back on the sofa. Was it time to replace them?

Then I thought, why not just buy new pillow forms and keep the covers? Pillow inserts come in a variety of fill types and price ranges, but I figured the cost would be less than replacing the pillows.

The polyester fiberfill inserts I selected cost about $12 each – plus I had a coupon that brought down the price. The pillows now look new.

Another solution cost even less. Our wicker love seat on our covered patio had been having a rockin’ good time this summer – and it’s not a rocker. Just as a wobbly table at a restaurant can be annoying – sugar packets, anyone? – so, too, was this love seat.

Finally, we stacked a few round 1½-inch adhesive felt pads on the feet of the love seat where necessary to stabilize it. These pads are not intended to act as wobble wedges but they worked like a charm – unlike the folded-up pieces of cardboard I had tried before. Now I love my love seat again.

(A friend tells me that she and her husband used actual leg levelers to solve the problem of a dresser that leaned forward on the old uneven wood floor in their bedroom – another inexpensive solution.)

Other things I have discovered:
• Strategically placed inexpensive wall hooks do wonders for keeping things neat.

• Washing the shower curtain liner when necessary beats tossing and replacing it. Same with the shower curtain itself, following label instructions of course.

• A Sharpie pen – or dab of paint – in the same color as the wallpaper can help conceal the small imperfections that appear over time – long before you want to replace the wallpaper. (I know this will not work on all wallcoverings, but I have done it with some success in the past.)

• Straightening out the refrigerator and wiping down the shelves before grocery shopping is well worth the few minutes it takes. It can even save you money since you will have a better idea of what’s in there.

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