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Practical Tips & Tricks

I’ve only been able to try a few of the ideas below, so please let me know if they work for you. Some are original but a big chunk of them are re-written from an e-mail that was circulating for a while.

Reheat Pizza – Tired of soggy day-after pizza crust? Throw a piece or two into a Teflon frying pan on top of the stove and set the burner for medium-low heat. It’ll take a touch longer than using the microwave, but you’ll be pleased with the result.

Easy Thank You Cards – The next time you have a bridal or baby shower, pickup a set of thank you cards for the guest of honor. At the party, pass out an envelope to each attendee and have them write in their own addresses. When the new bride or mother goes to send out the cards, there’s no need to hunt down addresses for anyone who attended the shower.

Bed Sheets – After drying your sheets, collect and nicely fold a full set of (sheets and pillowcases). Put the matching set in one of the pillowcases and store them on his shelf. When you go to change your sheets, grab a “packet” and you have everything you need – no need to look for a shelf.

Reheat Refrigerated Bread – Bread products at room temperature spoil more quickly than when you keep them in the fridge, but they’re not the same when cold. To warm anything from biscuits and rolls to pancakes and muffins, place them in a microwave with a (non-metal) cup of water. It will reheat more quickly and seem much fresher when it comes out.

Reduce Static Cling – Attach a small safety pin to the seam of your slip or slacks that normally exhibit static cling, and magically you won’t have any more trouble.

Foggy Car Windows – Pick up a chalk board eraser from the local office supplies store and keep it in your car’s jockey box. Pull it out and wipe down the windows when they fog up – it’ll work better than napkins or a cloth.

Vacuum “Tip” – If you ever find yourself needing to retrieve something from your central heat/air register or from under the fridge, attach an empty paper towel (or better yet – wrapping paper) roll to the hose of your vacuum. It’s probably longer than any attachments that came with the vacuum and it can be easily bent to get into narrow openings.

Clean Your Glass Shower – Apply lemon juice to the glass in your shower with a sponge. Use newspaper to wipe off the lemon juice. Without scrubbing the glass will be crystal clear.

Camp Fire Cookware – Before using aluminum cookware on an open fire, take a bar of soap and generously coat the outside of the pans. When you go to wash them after dinner, the soot will come off much more easily.

Mosquitoes Be Gone – Carry a dryer sheet in your pocket. You’ll attract people and repel mosquitoes.

Broken Glass – Go over the area with your “masking-tape” lint remover to get the larger pieces. Then use a cotton ball to pick up many of the little pieces you can’t see.

Protecting Your Plants – Keep rabbits and squirrels from eating your plants by sprinkling with cayenne pepper. It’s non-toxic so it won’t hurt you, your plants, or the animals.

Grocery Store Frosting – The next time you buy a container of frosting, let it reach room temperature then whip it with your hand mixer for a few minutes. By so doing you’ll maximize the number of cakes and cupcakes you can frost and you’ll also minimize the amount of sugar, fat, and calories in each serving.

ID A Lost/Stolen Bicycle – Before sending your child out for a ride on his/her new bike, remove one of the grips and place something unique in the handlebars like a picture of the child or a funny phrase. If you ever need to claim the bike as your own, pull off the grip and out will fall all the evidence you’ll need.

Quick/Easy Deviled Eggs – Toss the cooked egg yolks into a ZipLoc sandwich bag. Seal the bag and mash the yolks with your hands. Add the rest of the ingredients, reseal the bag, and continue mashing to mix everything thoroughly. Cut off one corner of the bag and squeeze the mixture into the halved egg whites. It cleans up easily (just throw the bag away) and can even be a fun activity for the kids.

Leave Sand At The Beach – Throw a small bottle of baby powder in your beach bag. Before you get in your car, sprinkle sandy body parts with the powder and the sand should slide right off.

Measuring Cups – Before using a measuring cup with sticky ingredients, fill it with hot water. Dump out the hot water but don’t dry the cup. Use the measuring cup for something like peanut butter, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how easily it comes out.

Reopening Envelopes – Have you ever just finished sealing an envelope only to realize that you need to get it back open? Place the sealed envelope in the freezer for an hour or two. It will come right open.

Conditioner – User hair conditioner to shave your legs. It’s cheaper than shaving cream and leaves your skin nice and smooth. It can also be a great way to use up the conditioner you bought but ended up not liking in your hair.

Eliminate Fruit Flies – Do you enjoy fresh fruit but not the pesky fruit flies? Put a half inch of apple cider vinegar and two drops of dish soap in a small glass. Mix well. The fruit flies are drawn to it but don’t make it out alive.

RIP Ants – Sprinkle cornmeal where you see ants. They’ll eat it and take it back to the ant hill, but it’s too hard for them to digest. Though it may take a week or so to have an effect, you don’t have to worry about pets or small children finding this non-toxic pest control.

Gardening with Newspaper – As you begin to plant flowers (or other plants), wet ordinary newspapers and put them in layers on the top of the soil around your flowers. Some gardening plastic is permeable to weeds, but wet newspapers will pose a formidable barrier.

Cheap DVD “Rentals” – Next time you feel like watching a DVD, check the collection at your local library. You may be able to save yourself a few dollars and still have a relaxing evening at home.

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