Many ordinary items possess potential for double duty

May 17, 2009

A reporter from a Memphis television station recently called to ask me if she could come interview me for a story on saving money.

I was game (and flattered) until she said the focus would be on items that do “double duty” — things that are bought for one purpose but have multiple other uses around the house.

Well, her question caught me cold and I could hardly think of a single example other than baking soda and vinegar, both of which have a plethora of diverse household applications.

But given a little time, and a chance to consult my smart readers, I’ve found lots of worthy examples.

One forward-thinking mom bought a child’s wagon to use as a bassinette (the mattress is a perfect fit), knowing that when her baby got older, the wagon would have many uses. Another reader uses her super-size road atlas as a windshield sunscreen in her car.

An older lady told me she uses a rolling pin for her exercising instead of a TV-promoted ab-master contraption. (“It’s the same motion,” she told me.)

And a friend of my parents suggested that when you don’t have a proper stopper to hold water in your sink or tub, a golf ball will miraculously do the trick.

Ms. Cheap from the Tennessean newspaper normally focuses on ways to save money. This column details with what she calls double duty items. I call it recycling and  reusing.

NP NowPublic

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