After washing our dog, we always rinse him off with a bucket of warm water that includes a cup of vinegar. The vinegar removes any soap residue, and the smell disappears after just a few minutes. Our poodle used to be very uncomfortable after a bath. Now she's a contented pooch!
Living where it's humid, our air conditioner removes a lot of moisture from the air. The runoff was staining our front sidewalk. I solved the problem by putting a potted plant under the drain. This year, I think I'm going to extend the plastic pipe to a nearby flowerbed. It'll be like having an automatic sprinkler!
Better Affordable Cookware
If you're looking for good cookware that's affordable, try buying strong aluminum pans. It's ideal to buy them at a restaurant supply store. They can handle high temperatures, so they do a good job sauteing and searing. In restaurants, they get a lot of hard use, and they cost much less than the name brand cookware.
Easy Internet Returns
I found that when I order items from the internet, I sometimes have to send them back. So, I take a hair dryer and carefully warm up the label a few seconds and then I can easily peel the label right off. All labels need to be covered or removed to return the package, so any bar codes will not confuse the machinery that reads labels. Also, when I receive items in plastic bags, I can turn the plastic bag inside out and then seal it to return the item. It's easy!
Seva I. in Port Huron, MI
Selective Grocery Shopping
I've read that grocery stores work to get us to go down specific aisles and into areas of the store. That's where they put all the tempting high profit items. So, I resolved to just shop the perimeter. I used to think that having a shopping list was enough, but I always came home with a few extra items just because they looked good! So now I make a point of avoiding the areas (end caps for instance) where those items are displayed. I'm not sure how much I'm saving, but it's probably reduced my bills by 5%.
Shiny Aluminum Doors
In the spring, I like to spend a little time making our house attractive. One thing that was always a challenge was the aluminum screen doors. I used various products but nothing brought back the shine. Last year, I was washing the screen with a solution of warm water, a few drops of dish soap, and two cups of white vinegar. A little ran down onto the aluminum. Presto! It was shiny! Now I know what to use this year.
My family likes pizza, but we can't afford to buy it often. And, I usually don't have time after work to prepare dough, so we started using tortilla shells as a base. I brush some olive oil on the tortilla and then add some tomato paste or bottled spaghetti sauce. Whatever toppings are in my fridge (often leftovers) go on top. Then I add some grated cheese and put them into a 350 degree oven until the cheese begins to brown. Sometimes I'll even let the kids choose their own toppings for a personal pizza!
Last year, my niece graduated from high school. My sister wanted to throw a party, but couldn't spend a lot. She decided to do a garden party. On her picnic table, she put a kid's blow up pool and filled it with ice. Salad ingredients were placed in bowls that floated on the ice water. Everything was cold and tasty! My sister fed a bunch of people for very little money.
My tip is for patent leather or leather shoes. Scrapes on patent leather (where the leather is peeling off the base) can be repaired with acrylic paint. Simply match the paint to the shoe and paint the affected area. Acrylic paint is $1.39 when not on sale at the hobby or fabric store. Paint several coats, allowing for drying time after each coat. If you did a good job matching the paint, the repair should be very difficult to see. It will blend in.
Teresa H. in Medina, OH
My husband and I like to travel. When we visit a new city, we like to learn what it's really like. Therefore, we don't use guidebooks. Instead, we use social media to try to make contact with some locals before we go. They tell us good places to visit, where the locals go to eat, and other neat things that only people who live there would know about. We get to see the city for what it really is.
Gift for Elderly Parents
We were having a hard time finding presents for my parents. They have everything they need and are trying to empty their house. A few years ago, we began to give them workdays. For instance, this Mother's Day, I'm going to do some reorganization in my Mom's pantry. She can direct the work, but I'll do all the lifting and cleaning. For Father's Day, we'll do some summer home maintenance for Dad. Not only do my parents appreciate the help, but also it makes it possible for them to stay in their home longer and saves us from spending money on useless gifts.
I found this information in a health newsletter. It stated that dust mites are one of the most common household allergens and a major risk factor for asthma sufferers. The article suggested that washing bedding with eucalyptus oil virtually eliminates these pesky critters, according to researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia. The researchers got rid of 99 percent of the mites on wool blankets by soaking the blankets for 60 minutes in a solution of 6 tablespoons of eucalyptus oil (0.4 percent concentration), 1 1/4 tablespoons of liquid laundry detergent, and 13 gallons of water. They then rinsed the blankets in cool water. Without the oil, the laundry detergent alone got rid of only 2.4 percent of the mites. You can purchase eucalyptus oil at most natural food stores or wherever essential oils are sold.
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