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Informed Delivery from USPS
This is great! But how do you sign up for it? Im registered with USPS, but I cant find anything on their website about checking mail, other than packages.

 

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Muffin Tin Meat Loaf
I used to make a full recipe of meat loaf, then bake it in either muffin tins or tiny loaf pans, and freeze what I didnt use at dinner that day. Really easy way to keep individual portions of meat loaf ready for quick use. And as Haysie points out, portion...

 

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Cornbread is Always Hard?
If your cornbread rises, then probably the suggestions about oven heat will fix your problem. But if its flat and hard, are you using some kind of leavening? Baking powder is usually used with regular milk, baking soda with buttermilk (or sour milk). Make sure...

 

Two different sized binder clips, to be used in the freezer.

Freezer Organization Using Binder Clips
Would that my freezer looked like yours! Mine is usually packed full. My solution is to put small baggies into big ones with other like baggies. Vegetables in one big bag, chicken in another, etc. Then I just have to find the right big bag, pull it out, and...

 

Two Shopping Bags in One - one folded and placed down inside the open one

Two Shopping Bags in One
Until this year, I used non-woven fabric shopping bags I bought at the store for $1, with a stiff insert in the bottom. They lasted a few months, if you didnt leave them in the hot car between trips. Now I can get plasticized ones for the same price, and they...

 

Two Shopping Bags in One - one folded and placed down inside the open one

Two Shopping Bags in One
These specially-made shopping bags, which only cost $1 apiece where I live, are perfectly designed for groceries - they comfortably hold two gallons of milk, or as many canned goods as you would want to carry, and support produce from the bottom so it doesnt...

 

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Leaving Junk Mail Outside
Im lucky, I live on the 9th floor of an apartment building but there is a recycling bin right in the mailroom! So people get their mail, toss the junk mail, and only take the real mail up to their apartments. If we left mail in the mailbox for a week, the mail...

 

Save Silica Packets to Beat the Humidity

Save Silica Packets to Beat the Humidity
Thank you - good post! You reminded me that Ive been meaning to look up how to renew silica gel packets when they get saturated and cant absorb any more moisture. Heres a good page on ways to use them and how to re-dry them: http://www.wikihow.com/Reuse-Silica...

 

Keys hanging from a binder clip.

Key Hook from Binder Clip
Genius! I have the opposite problem - I have a 4-hook key holder, but no place to put outgoing mail. Seeing this tip, I hung a binder clip on one of the hooks, and now I have a place for outgoing mail right by the door.

 

completed phone hanger

Crochet Cell Phone Hanger
I was misled by the phrase reducing those frantic searches for either one. I never need to look for either one, as the charger is always plugged into the outlet and the phone is by my computer or other workspace. When I finished reading the instructions, still...

 

No More Paper Products

No More Paper Products
Ive been using washcloths as napkins for over 40 years. It started when the children were little, and occasionally spilled a drink. So the rule was, if someone tipped over a glass, everyone threw their napkins on the spill - with four, five, and then six thirsty...

 

knife holder on side of fridge

Magnetic Knife Holder
Love this idea! I had to give up my two knife blocks full of knives when I moved to a studio apartment with a tiny kitchen; the few specialty knives I kept are now in a drawer with my new Pioneer Woman ceramic knives and other odds & ends, and I worry about...

 

Healthy Snacks for Losing Weight

Healthy Snacks for Losing Weight
Tums is an antacid because it contains calcium. The Original Tums contains about 2/3 as much calcium as an 8-oz glass of milk, or as much as an ounce of cheddar cheese. If youre not getting enough calcium in your diet, Tums is an appropriate way to make up...

 

fruit flies in trap

Fruit Fly Trap
A friend taught me this one, several years ago. I made a little one out of a straight-sided pill bottle (of which I had plenty around!) so I could empty it often without wasting a lot of vinegar, but I never thought of using plastic wrap to cover it! I just...

 

mark on boiled egg

Marking Hard Boiled Eggs
Youre right, Jeanette1940--but its nice to have a way to tell at a glance, as well as a reminder in case you (or someone else!) forget that some of them are cooked. Another way to do it is to write HB on the end of each egg in pencil. I learned that one from...

 

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Save Money by Organizing Your Refrigerator
I, too, keep an inventory in Excel! Ive found it helpful to have a column for update date so that I know when I confirmed that I have or dont have a particular item - that helps when I update it after a shopping trip, or do a quick partial inventory instead...

 

Salt and Vinegar Weed Killer

All Natural Weed Killer
While I heartily approve of natural herbicides, I had a favorite method of controlling dandelions when my children were little. I would send them out every morning to gather the pretty yellow flowers for me, and I would put them in a vase. As the season wore...

 

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Donate Plastic Bottle Caps
But they only need the code, and you still have the bottle cap to do something with, is that right?

 

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Fall Planting Ideas?
I would suggest your closest agricultural college, rather than your closest university. And yes, your extension agent will be delighted to help you expand your gardening skills!

 

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Growing Grapes?
Theyre perennials, but some varieties are hardier than others. Ive grown Concord grapes in Salt Lake City, but thats too cold, I think, for most varieties. Wasshrunk is right, talk to your local nursery, if possible, or check your zone in a nursery catalog...

 

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Growing Red Onions?
I plant them with the top of the bulb just below the surface, 1/4 or so. Dont know if thats optimum, but they seem happy. Actually, I havent been able to work in the garden (for health reasons) since the summer of 05. So most of the onions went unharvested...

 

Tiny orange flower with yellowish orange veins.

What is This Flower? (Morning Glory?)
Ive never seen anything like it. If it were white with pink-blush centers, I would say the shape and the size of the flowers look like bindweed; but the color looks like trumpet vine. Need more info to make an identification with any degree of certainty. Can...

 

Tiny orange flower with yellowish orange veins.

What is This Flower? (Morning Glory?)
By the way, Kansas bindweed is called (or looks a lot like) wild morning glory in Utah, and tie vine in Texas. All have lovely blossoms, on pernicious strangling vines with roots that go to China. :P I have pink and purple morning glory growing up my porch...

 

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My Frugal Life: Every Which Way to Save
Turbo Tax has a free basic version that does very well if you dont qualify for fancy loopholes. The first time we tried it (2000), my husband grumbled about how hard it was to use, and how confusing. After he had finished, though, and before he submitted, I...

 

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Cover Garden Beds With Sheets For Weed Prevention
Nifty idea! Having been raised to be thrifty, I have a number of old sheets that Ive never needed yet for rags or projects; they should work great for this! But Ill leave a gap between the fabric and the porch, and extend it all the way out to the lawn. That...

 

Completed towel holder including a kitchen towel.

Recycled Towel Holder
What a clever idea! I think Ill make one and crochet around the ring instead of wrapping it with tape. The possibilities are endless!

 

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Tater Tot Casserole
I always brown hamburger before adding to any casserole or skillet dinner. Im surprised, though, that it was still raw after an hours baking; must have been because the tater tots were frozen, and took a while to come up to cooking temperature. Actually, when...

 

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Tomato Plants Falling Over?
Yes, you want to keep fruit and leaves up off the ground, but tomatoes arent natural climbers like ivy - if you dont give them help, theyll sprawl all over the place. Either put a tomato cage around each one, and make sure the main stems grow up inside it, or...

 

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Getting Rid of Weeds in Vegetable Garden?
If you have a small garden and are in good physical condition, the best way is hand-pulling. Good exercise, and protects your garden plants. Its also the only way to let the edible weeds grow to harvest size. :) If its too big for that or you cant get to the...

 

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Craft Ideas for Used Medicine or Pill Bottles?
Your link took me to the front page of the newspaper. I guess you have to subscribe to get to the activities page, or to go directly to any specific page. What is ReadyMade? Is it a magazine, a website, or what?

 

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Recycling Plastic Soda Bottle Caps?
Seems to me they could be great educational toys, for kids old enough to not put them in their mouths. They could count them, add and subtract them, and if you have an assortment, they could group them by color or size.

 

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Recycling Plastic Soda Bottle Caps?
Buddy Benches turns up a whole host of links to benches being used by kids who need buddies. Google buddy benches made with bottle caps.

 

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Recycling Plastic Soda Bottle Caps?
Google buddy benches made with bottle caps. Maybe you can find something that way.

 

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Safety Pin Socks Together
I always worried about making holes in the socks with safety pins - that happened with my firstborns thin little baby socks, so I never used them again. Instead, I used zippered mesh laundry bags for baby socks, and later I bought Sock Locks in a different...

 

My Frugal Life: Thrifty Grandmas Stay With You Forever
I scarcely knew my grandparents, just had occasional visits, but still learned from them...like when I was tending my baby nephew and commented to Grandma that we needed to get him a teething ring, boy, did I get an earful! When I was a baby, when my parents...

 

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Making Bean Soup with Bacon?
You have a proportion of water to dried beans that you use for bean soup; why would it be different for bean soup with bacon? The bacon itself would not affect the amount of water you use. Is there something special about this dish, is it thicker or thinner...

 

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Choosing Acid Loving Plants?
Blueberries are also acid-loving, and give you fruit besides. I dont know how much sun they need, though, nor how shady it is around your trees.

 

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Deadheading Irises?
Its not essential, but it is a good thing to do for all the reasons listed by other posters. If you cant get to it, though, dont stress over it - it wont kill the plants if you dont. (Ive had health problems for the last five years, and only got the deadheading...

 

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Yellow Finches Are Missing?
Do you have nesting sites nearby? They will seek food first near the nest (wouldnt you?)

 

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Perennial Vegetable Garden?
Where do you live? Strawberries are perennial in a mild enough climate. Check out a garden catalog - you can probably find a whole section on perennial fruits and vegetables.

 

Controlling the Odor of Rabbit Droppings Used as Fertilizer?
Pookarina is right about the lime. Thats what was used in outhouses back in the day - my grandparents still had an outhouse when I was little, and I remember sprinkling a little lime into the hole when I did number 2! On the other hand, I was just inspired...

 

Photo of finished birdbath made from glass

Recycled Glass Birdbath
Marvelous idea! I agree with Bev A, all her modifications to make it suitable for outdoor use look very good. I havent gotten a bird bath because one heavy enough to stand up to Kansas winds is too heavy to dump and clean, and too breakable if the wind does...

 

When Are You Being Too Frugal?

When Are You Being Too Frugal?
Oh, dear - Ive done some of those things, maybe most of them, at one time or another. One thing Ive finally stopped doing is worrying about a tiny bit of food left in the can that I cant scrape out; it wouldnt even make a mouthful, much less make a difference...

 

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Warning: Never Give Small Child Keys
I agree that the obvious dangers of keys as pointy metal objects is overstated, as children can hurt themselves with almost anything, and my children loved playing with real keys as babies and toddlers - BUT I checked it out, and was shocked to learn that lead...

 

Homemade Scale To Determine Postage
I love your idea, but what is that thing youre using as a balance beam? It looks vaguely familiar, but I cant place it, and an image search turns up nothing that looks like it. Or did you just make it out of a straight piece of soft-coated wire?

 

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Store Important Items In Dishwasher In An Emergency
What an ingenious idea! I live in Tornado Alley now, not in hurricane country anymore, but it still sounds like a good idea. We dont have a dishwasher, so I plan to use my washing machine: its heavy and its waterproof, so it should be just as safe as a dishwasher...

 

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How Can I Keep Small Laundry Items from Getting Stuck in Dryer Fins?
Thanks, everyone! Large loads might be my problem. Pinning or putting in mesh bags probably wouldnt work, as its always small but thick things (like heavy winter socks & thick potholders) that have trouble enough drying even when theyre tumbling, but thanks...

 

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How Can I Keep Small Laundry Items from Getting Stuck in Dryer Fins?
I finally seem to have found a solution! I lay out a bath towel or similar flat, rectangular object in the dryer, toss in a couple of dryer balls and the little items (being sure to shake out each piece so its not wadded up), then lay another largish item out...

 

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Homemade Laundry Detergent
I dont add water, just use the dry powder. I keep it in a flip-top canister on a waist-high shelf right by the washer, and just scoop out what I need. I never lift the weight of the full container except when Im putting it away after making a new batch - much...

 

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Flat Paper Bows for Shipped Packages
I make two kinds of flat bows and decorations out of ribbon: 1. Make a loop of ribbon and press it flat (with the ends overlapping on the underside). Wrap a shorter piece of ribbon around the center, crease it flat, and tape it down. Tape this bow along or...

 

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What Plant is Also Known as Sheep Shar or Shire?
That reminds me of a story my Dad told me, of growing up in north central Kansas during WWI. His mother would send him and his three sisters out to pick lambsquarter along the railroad track. (Can you imagine any mother doing that today?) They would come home...

 

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Funnel When Filling Small Jars
Mother of 5, youre a genius! I thought I was good at thinking outside the box, but I never thought of this. I have two funnels the same size (the second one came in a set), and tomorrow one of them will have a 1 opening!

 

A cooling rack made from 4 spoons

Spoons for Impromptu Cooling Rack
Fabulous! Now, the spoons would get hot, so if you were putting it on your good table youd want to put some kind of insulation under it...but a folded kitchen towel should do it for this (instead of the thick folded bath towel Ive used when I ran out of cooling...

 

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Cleaning a Can Opener
Ive had problems with rust if I soak a can opener, or leave it messy. Ive learned to never put down my handheld can opener. I use it, rinse it thoroughly under hot running water (turning the wheel with it open and closed), then stand it in the drain rack to...

 

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Peel Banana from the Bottom Up
Neat! Im going to have to try that with my next banana. I hate those strings, they come loose and dangle and break off and get everywhere!

 

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Reuse Junk Mail Envelopes
I wholeheartedly agree with marinewife5, if youre receiving unsolicited advertising from a company you dont want to do business with. If they have to pay to get their junk back, you can bet theyll take you off their list and if enough people do it, they may...

 

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Eliminating Urine Odor in Bathroom Trash from Disposable Underwear?
Same problem here, my husband has Parkinsons. I found that produce bags, bread bags, grocery sacks, etc do not confine the odor, so Ive had to buy gallon size zip-top bags. When one gets full, he adds it to an 8-gallon trash bag to wait for garbage day. We...

 

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Store Tissues In Baby Wipe Container
Sounds like a nifty idea! Do baby wipes now come in boxes that regular tissues would really fit into? They didnt thirty years ago when I was using them, LOL. Im going to have to find some young parents to mooch empty boxes off of!

 

Organizing My Desk Drawers?
Thank you!! I have a file cabinet with my printer on top, but it never occurred to me to put a box bottom folder in one of the drawers to hold the printer paper, until I read your tip!

 

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Do Ziplock Bags With Water and Coins Really Repel Flies?
Sarsi, Ive been watching for a response to this question, but havent seen one. Im guessing either you hang it with a bulldog or binder clip (two types of spring-loaded paper clamps), or you run a needle & heavy thread through a couple of places just above the...

 

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Do Ziplock Bags With Water and Coins Really Repel Flies?
I just checked out the link, Repel Houseflies with Bags of Water (http://www.thriftyfun.com/tf66600434.tip.html) One of the replies suggested using one of those ?-shaped travel clothespins, so you can hang it on the door knob or wherever. Sounds good to me...

 

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Re-read The Books You Have
When I first read a book, I read it for the storyline. If it was any good at all, I go back once or even twice, right away, to get the nuances and the details. If I dont feel impelled to reread it right away, I probably wont later, so out it goes! I have the...

 

Envelopes Made From Magazines

Make Envelopes From Magazines
Thats a lovely idea, and would be delightful for cards attached to gifts, or hand-delivered. But like Melebev, I wonder what the Post Office would think of them; nowadays, with machines doing the reading, I believe they really prefer solid white or pastel envelopes...

 

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Store Honey Bottle in a Mason Jar
I do the same thing with oil bottles. *I* always wipe the lip before I re-cap the bottle, and wipe the bottom before I put it away, but hubby never does. So, a drip-catcher saves the cabinet floor. I use the lid from a margarine or sour cream tub, they come...

 

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Use a Window Fan To Cool Home
We have an older house with all of the windows thoroughly painted shut except the one with the window A/C in it, so using a box fan is not an option until we get the them unstuck and buy screens. During the July heat wave our A/C died, so I tried just using...

 

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Make Your Own Fabric Softener Squares
Better yet: get wool dryer balls. My daughter sent me a set, and I love them - very effective in tumbling the clothes, lightweight and practically silent in the dryer, and seem to last forever (unless you drop one on the floor and your cat or dog discovers...

 

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Cleaning with Rubbing Alcohol
Pixiedust7: this is rubbing alcohol, available in the first aid & health care aisle of your supermarket. What kind were you using?

 

frying pan birdbath

Frying Pan Bird Bath
What a marvelous use for a cheap or beat-up frying pan that youve replaced with a better!

 

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Cooking Spaghetti Squash?
I have a dorm-sized microwave and a tiny crockpot, so this looks like a great alternative to those methods. Thanks!

 

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Reuse Disposable Vacuum Bags
A vacuum cleaner picks up dirty air from the floor and forces it into the reservoir, where the heavier particles (dirt and hair) drop out. The air, still dusty, is then forced through filters - either the sides of the bag, or a HEPA filter, or whatever. If...

 

Mark Emptied Cabinets When Moving

Mark Emptied Cabinets When Moving
Youre braver than I, if you wont go back and double-check each one! But at least you can do so in reasonable confidence that you wont get any nasty surprises, like half a cartons worth of things to find room for in some box from another room while the van is...

 

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Recycled Planters From Old Shoes
Neat idea! I have several pairs of white athletic shoes that I wore until they werent even fit for gardening in. I was going to mail them to Niki to be recycled, but I would have to pay for shipping, so I havent done it. I think theyd look awfully cute with...

 

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No-Sew Cloth Napkins?
Ive used medium-quality washcloths for napkins for over thirty years. I dont use the cheap bundled ones at the dinner table, theyre not cut true, so theyre not square, and wear out quickly besides. (They may be fine for sack lunches or picnics, though.) But...

 

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Switch Burners When Simmering
Having lived with both, Im in love with my gas stove. Nevertheless, I gnerally move my pot when I turn the heat down to simmer - because usually it doesnt need as much attention then, and probably something else does. So I move the first pot to the back burner...

 

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Plant Lettuce in Hanging Baskets
I would think they would thrive indoors if you could give them lots of natural light (sunlight or grow lamps), and keep the temperature moderate.

 

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Disposing of Bacon and Cooking Grease
I had twin problems: accumulation of non-recyclable glass jars, and disposal of drippings. I now keep a non-reusable jar (cant get the smell out of the lid) in the fridge, and pour hamburger grease into it; when its full, it will go into the trash on trash...

 

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Reduce Odor with Ziplock Bags for Dirty Diapers
My problem is with adult diapers, which become, ahem, very aromatic if not changed often enough. Bread bags, grocery sacks, and produce bags simply dont contain the odor at all. Ive had to resort to ziplock bags, which work well enough to get by until trash...

 

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Stock Up On Sale Christmas Candy
You can freeze chocolates and they wont degrade? Nifty! Maybe I can keep some of that sale candy around long enough to bake with, if I store it in the freezer! LOL

 

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Rethink Your Knitting Mistakes
Great idea! I bungle a project rather regularly - Ill think twice now before I pull out all that work and start over. Thanks for the tip!

 

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Improving Instant Hot Cocoa
Aha! I see, Amandaw, that youre one of those who like their cocoa rich and creamy. Im one of those who like it dark. When *I* have to settle for instant cocoa, I improve it by stirring about half a teaspoon of pure cocoa into the mix! I havent used instant...

 

seed starts

Use Snow To Water Houseplants
Im puzzled, nutrient-rich snow? I always thought if you caught or scooped up fresh-fallen snow, it would melt into just about the purest water you can find in nature.

 

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Depression Soup Recipe
I collect leftover broth in a freezer container, and vegetable trimmings in a bag, that way I have plain broth and can just thaw and use a little when I need it for a sauce. Every so often I thaw all my broth, toss in the frozen trimmings and some more onions...

 

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Freeze Your Ham Bone for Soup
I never buy a boneless ham because then I couldnt make bean soup! I stew the bone right in the roasting pan, then strip off any remaining meat, strain the broth, and freeze the broth with the shredded meat added back in. Ive learned, though, not to stew those...

 

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Give the New Jammies the Night Before
Me too! I always made my kids flannel PJs or nightgowns every year, and let them open and wear them the night before Christmas. By making them, I got a triple bonus, saved money, customized them (picked fabric and style for each child), and I got to work with...

 

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Product Review: Dryer Balls
Ive been using mine for over a year. They are not quite as hard a plastic as I had feared, and have no rough places to snag the fabric (I saw another post citing that problem with one brand). They do bounce around rather noisily, especially with a small load...

 

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Start With Youngest Child For Christmas Gifts
We did the same, taking turns opening gifts. When the family got too big, we would have two opening gifts at a time, but never more. (And when Mom was opening a gift, no one else could - otherwise, she loses track of who got what!) I like that idea of starting...

 

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Add Pumpkin to Turkey Soup
Sounds tasty! How much broth do you add a cup of pumpkin to? Im guessing about 2 quarts, at least?

 

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Check Refurbished Printer Cartridge Expiration Date
I used to refill ink cartridges, but had a number of bad experiences - the nozzles had dried before I got around to it, and I couldnt get them clean again; cartridges leaked; and refilled color cartridges would print some colors fine but not others. I concluded...

 

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Dollar Store Freezer Bags vs the Name Brand?
Regarding food safety, I dont know that theres any assurance that plastic bags are safer than plastic containers or vice versa; thats why Im trying to switch to glass. But the plastic is just so darned convenient, and inexpensive too! I use square freezer containers...

 

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Removing Blood from a Pillow Top Mattress?
Ive discovered that hydrogen peroxide comes in a spray bottle, as well as a regular bottle. (Like the regular bottle, its opaque brown and air-tight if you keep the nozzle shut off, so it protects it from light and air.) This is very convenient for applying...

 

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Organize Your Pantry With an Inventory List
Before zipper bags came along, I used to use color-coded twist ties to identify items at a glance. I hadnt thought of color-coding bags; since everything goes in zipper freezer bags for protection these days, Ill have to give that some thought. Dolna, do you...

 

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Keeping Track of Photos When Traveling
What a marvelous idea! And a lot more practical, too, now that digital cameras make each picture so inexpensive!

 

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Use Colored Price Stickers to Mark Accessory Cords
I bought a set of write-on plastic clamps to go on each end of the accessory cables. The trouble is, not only do they cost several dollars a dozen, theyre loose on most cables...so they slide down to the lowest point they can get to. I like the sticker idea...

 

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Static Window Film Instead of Curtains
In addition to clear, frosted, or colorful designs, you can also get privacy film (dark grey or brown) that lets you see out a little on a bright sunny day, but no one can see in; and solar film, which comes in tinted or reflective and wont let in the rays...

 

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Static Window Film Instead of Curtains
It may be that the privacy or solar films are not allowed, because they reflect back heat through the glass, which would dump the heat between the panes of a double pane window. I cant imagine any reason why transparent film, even if decorated, wouldnt be allowed...

 

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