Dreamwash Your Mind to Reach Your Goals

In today’s offering of tips from your fellow readers, you’re going to get a bonus: a new vocabulary word. Read on.

My dream is to own a second home in Sweden, and to be able to purchase it without a long-term mortgage. I found a picture of the home I dream of and hung it where I will see it often during the day. This has “dreamwashed” my mind, so any time I am shopping and find a bargain on more clothes, shoes, appliances, etc., I am immediately aware of my dream. Nine times out of ten I leave the bargain for some other shopper to discover. Not only has this added to my savings account, my home is getting less and less cluttered. I do have all the essentials anyway. — Allison, Denmark

I discovered that after cutting onions I can rub my hands and fingers on my stainless steel faucet and it will remove the onion odor. Stores sell stainless steel soap-shaped bars to do this, but why purchase them when you can touch your faucet neck and get the same results? — Debby H., Kansas

I save the ends of my bread to use as hamburger buns. We never use a whole pack of buns before they go stale. Bread ends hold up better than inside pieces. The healthier the bread you buy, the healthier the bun. — Amy M., California

I have an air vacuum to clean the gravel in our fish aquarium. It uses disposable mesh bags that are quite expensive to replace. Instead of purchasing these I use a pair of inexpensive nylon knee highs that I get at Big Lots, four pairs for 98 cents. Just cut it down by half and attach it with a rubber band. It works like a charm! — Monica L., Arizona

My teenage daughter and I recently started watching what we eat and employed a daily fitness routine to better our health using the free website At this site you can enter your food intake and other data and it tells how much you need to lose per week to meet your goal. It’s awesome!! I just wanted to pass this on because most sites like this charge a monthly fee. I’m a single mom now so I have to watch every penny, and this site motivates us and helps us maintain a healthy lifestyle. — Julie B., email

Instead of paying a lot for small labels designed to mark and organize packed boxes when moving from one home to another, I got a package of multicolored copy paper. I assigned a different color to each room in our new home. Then I made big colorful labels with my computer and printer. The labels were big enough to be easily seen, and all the boxes landed in their proper room on the other end of the move. I saved a lot of money, and our helpers commented on what a great idea it was and how this made the move go more smoothly because they knew exactly where each box belonged. — Brenda J., Michigan

I use my empty prescription bottles to store and organize little things like loose birthday candles. Got small screws you don’t want to lose? How about washers or “O” rings? The bottles are perfect for all of these to keep my junk drawer organized. — Tammy V., Florida

If your kids live away from home for college, either with or without a car, check with your insurance agent to see if you get lower rates. If you live in a large city and your child goes to a college in a smaller city, your insurance should be lower. Mine went down $360 a year when my son and his car went to college in a small city this fall. — Linda H., Minnesota

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Mary Hunt

Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at . This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

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