Before you cut up an expired credit card — or toss that silly fake one you got as junk mail — consider all the great things you can do with it!
1. Bookmark. It’ll keep your place and act as a handy straightedge for underlining or highlighting.
2. Glass scraper. A credit card is just the right size to scrape ice from your car’s windows and algae from the walls of an aquarium.
3. Neat caulk. Run the rounded corner of a credit card across the caulk bead for that professional look.
4. Unlock doors. Certain types of locked doors can be easily unlocked by slipping a card between the jam and short bolt, and then coaxing the door open.
5. Cheese grater. The raised numbers on a credit card really work in a pinch to grate hard cheese like Parmesan or Romano. Don’t laugh. It works.
6. Paint mask. It’s what the pros use to make a neat trim line when painting in an especially tight spot.
7. Shim. Use a credit card or two under the leg of an uneven table or to fill a small gap when nailing up molding.
8. Battery cover. An old credit card is the perfect material for fashioning a substitute battery cover on the back of your remote control. How clever. Now the batteries won’t fall out every time you pick the thing up.
9. Garden markers. Have you ever noticed that the seed packet doesn’t really work well to mark the contents of your garden? It fades and gets all icky wet. Use an expired credit card instead. Paint it first with white acrylic paint. Then write on it with a Sharpie. There you go: labels for each starter pot or row.
10. Credit card bracelet. This works well with credit cards, debit cards and gift cards, too! Being debt-free never looked so chic.
11. Earbud holders. OK this is just way too cute.
12. Guitar picks. The material in a credit card is perfect for guitar playing. You can buy a pick punch or just cut it out with scissors.
13. ID label. Your credit and debit cards have your name on them. Cut out that portion to label your belongings. You’ll need strong glue or double-stick tape.
Mary invites you to visit her at EverydayCheapskate.com, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at https://www.everydaycheapskate.com/contact/, ”Ask Mary.” This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of EverydayCheapskate.com, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book “Debt-Proof Living.”