Feb 1, 2003
Shelley Peterman Schwarz
Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis
I recently went out to dinner with a group of friends. The conversation turned to the economy and how it had affected our buying habits. Some shared ways they controlled their buying; others shared how they squeezed extra dollars from their budgets. Perhaps these tips will be helpful.
* Impulse buyers: Leave your credit cards at home. If you need to make a trip home to retrieve the card, you'll have time to reflect on making the purchase.
* Use store coupons. Looking at the sales slip, take the amount you saved from using the coupons and put that amount in a jar until you've enough money to open a special savings account. Do the same when you "buy one, get one free" or "get a second item at half price." You'll be surprised by how much money you save.
* Never spend coins. Use only paper money. At the end of the day, empty your purse and pockets and put the coins in a jar until you can deposit the money in your bank account.
My friends figure they save hundreds of dollars following these tips.
I'm no longer able to drive. However, my friends often kindly ask if I need anything picked up. Here's how my friends help me shop. On Sunday, I go through the newspaper ads and select the items I want. Then, during the week when the stores are usually quiet, I call and ask a salesperson to locate the items I wish to purchase. I give the salesperson my credit card information so he or she can ring up the sale. My friends pick up the items at their convenience and drop them off the next time they have a chance.
Put a clean sock over your hand and use it to dust venetian blinds, or. slip a sock over the end of a yardstick and secure it with a rubber band. Then spray the sock with furniture spray. This tool can be used to dust behind appliances and furniture.
I asked the attendant at the car repair center for several over-the-seat plastic bags. I plan to put these bags over the fabric upholstered seats in my car to make it easier for me to slide in and out.
Use a yardstick to retrieve nuts, bolts, and screws that have rolled under an appliance or cabinet. Apply double-sided tape or glue to attach a small magnet to the end of the stick.
Medical Info to Go
Here's a simple way to keep important medical information handy. Write the names and telephone numbers of your doctors, therapists, counselors, hospitals, and clinics on one side of an index card. Include the names of clergy, family members, and close friends if you want. On the other side of the card, write the names of and the dosages of your medications, along with how long you've been taking them. Don't forget to include any allergies you may have. Keep the index card up-to-date and carry it with you so it's handy when you need it.
Pump Up the Volume
If you have a hearing disability and are having trouble understanding what people say, be proactive-tell them how they can better help you "hear." Instead of saying "What?" say, "Please speak a little louder," "Please slow down," or "Please face me when you speak."
Mail your time- and energy-saving tips and ideas to: Shelley Peterman
Schwarz, c/o Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis, 1111 Bethlehem Pike,
PO. Box 908, Springhouse, PA 194770908. You can also visit her Web site
© 2003, Real Living with Multiple Sclerosis