Readers' Tips

What's It Like Selling Avon Products?

Can you make money selling Avon? Sure. But, you have to be careful not to be your own best customer!

Having sold Avon for several years now, I can say that there is money to be made. It's not easy necessarily, as you have to constantly be on the lookout for new customers while keeping your existing customers ordering.

Also, keep in mind that you have to pay a fee with each order (twice monthly, currently a minimum of $5.95). Plus, you have to pay for your books and other supplies. Often your sister reps and managers can help you out with the books and supplies, at least initially, but it's good to plan for these expenses.

Hard work does have its rewards, and Avon is no exception. If you'd like to try it, Avon will connect your with the manager in your area, so you can give it a shot.
Tammy C. in North Carolina

editor's note: Visit here for more on selling Avon products.

Homemade 'Pore' Strips

I actually used to know the dermatologist who "invented" the facial strips that remove blackheads. How did he invent them? He said that for many years during skin studies, he used regular scotch tape to pull out the "contents" of pores. I've tried it at home, and it's not a bad result at all.

By the way, this same dermatologist recommends Dove soap and Vaseline for your everyday skin care. Although he admits that Vaseline isn't the most cosmetically pleasing product, he says it does the same job as much more expensive lotions.

Additional TDS Resource: More on homemade pore strips

Building an Emergency Fund

My husband and I have been working to build up a little emergency savings so we would not have to run up our debt when an emergency occurs. However, building six months' worth of income is a scary goal. We decided to do it one month at a time. That number not only seems like something that we can hit, but my little savings amounts don't seem so small in comparison. So far we've saved two months' worth of income. We're working on the third now!

Double Savings

Do almost all of your laundry in cold water, both for wash and rinse. I have been doing this for many years and find that my clothes are just as clean as if I use hot water. It's a double savings. You don't have to pay to heat the water and pay again for removing the heat from your home.


Sometimes we have a gnat problem in our kitchen. I've found that cider vinegar with a drop or two of liquid dishwashing soap in a shallow bowl helps tremendously in eliminating them. Of course, I also make sure to keep fruit and other foods in airtight containers.

Cool Summer Savings

One of the most economical ways to watch your budget and waistline is to drink iced tea. It is cheap, healthy, low calorie, and a great way to stretch your budget.

Patio Furniture

My outdoor wrought iron table and chair set looked dull and whitish, so I sprayed WD-40® on a rag and applied it. It brought back the original black shine with no greasy stickiness.

Curling Iron Safety

After not thinking (I do that a lot), I have burned my dresser top more than once with a hot curling iron. Now I use a tall heavy vase from a discarded flower arrangement that won't tip easily to store my curling iron. My hot curling iron has a safe place while heating up or down.

Safe Ant Control

Want to get rid of ants economically and without endangering your pets and children? Try an equal mix of sugar and borax. While borax has some toxicity and shouldn't be ingested, it is less toxic than commercial ant killer, and you don't spray it around the house. The sugar is to attract the ants to the borax, so you put the mixture in a container with a tight fitting lid and secure it. Place holes around the sides towards the base that are large enough for the ants to go in.

This method doesn't kill the ants, and it takes a little bit of time to work. The borax renders the ants infertile. I have found that it is more long lasting than the sprays and powders. In the beginning, you may need to reapply every year or two. It only takes a small amount of borax, so you will have a lot of borax left over to use as a laundry booster.

Additional TDS Resource: More on safe ant control

My Second Account

I created a second savings account at my credit union for a direct deposit from my checking account of $300/month. It has been several months so far. I have not missed it, and I would never have gotten it done by making a trip to the bank and doing the deposits.
Mildred L.

More Garden Finds

In addition to your local garden club as suggested by Jo, most county Master Gardeners in conjunction with State Cooperative Extensions also have a plant sale once or twice a year. They sell plants that members have grown at reasonable prices. Most sell locally grown annuals, perennials, biennials, vegetables, herbs, shrubs and even young trees. Master Gardeners have to go through a set training period, and they can assist in answering your garden questions. Contact your county Cooperative Extension to find out when they have their plant sale. You'll find great plant choices (sometimes exotic plants) and usually many different plant varieties that you could not purchase locally.

Nearly-Free Organic Baby Food

For health reasons and for money-saving reasons, I assumed I would need to make all of my daughter's baby food. But I discovered a way for it to be nearly free.

I waited until the local big box baby store put cases of my favorite organic baby food (in jars) on sale. Then I stocked up. Plus, I used any coupons that applied. The cost often came down to 50 cents per jar. When my daughter ate the baby food, I washed the jars and carefully removed the labels and glue. Then I listed the clean jars for sale on eBay. People who do arts and crafts bought them from me at 50 cents per jar, plus the cost of shipping.

This made the organic baby food nearly free!

Mylar Blankets Reflect Energy Savings

We have a couple of unused upstairs bedrooms that face due west, bake in the summer, and radiate heat to the rest of the upstairs. I took a Mylar blanket ($1.27/each on and covered the window of one room behind the curtain. When I went up there the next day, the room with the covered window felt air conditioned, while the other bedroom felt (as usual) baked. I'm going to cover most of the west-facing windows for the rest of spring, summer, and half of fall. I believe it will make a world of difference keeping the house cool.

Making Sure You Get the REAL Best Deal on Your Next Flight

I recently had to make a trip from Maine to Texas. My daughter gave birth to our first grandchild! I knew I would be spending more on my plane ticket because I could only go for a certain number of days and she definitely wanted me there after the baby came. When the time came, I went to book my flight online. I was chatting with my daughter on the phone, and we were both on the exact same website. However, my price was $200 more than her price. I learned you should clear your browser history before trying to score the best deal. I don't know the proper terms, but apparently the website sends out little virtual spies to "see" what purchases, etc. you make online and adjust their prices accordingly. Simply clearing your history prevents them from getting that information, hopefully giving you a better deal. I booked my flight through my daughter using my credit card and saved.

Do you have a money or time-saving tip you'd like to share? Just click here to submit your suggestion. If we use your tip in any of our publications, we'll send you the next three issues of our print newsletter as a thank you!

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