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A Little Ingenuity

May 16, 2013

Farmers are mostly a practical and frugal lot.  We have to be. We are always looking for ways to re-purpose items, or make them last a little longer. A few year back I found this great little book at a library sale full of practical, frugal tips.  Sharing with you today some of the tips I found in it and previously posted about on my own blog.

Yesterday our library was having an used book sale. For fifty cents I got a little gem; Yankee Magazine’s Make It Last: Over 1,000 Ingenious Ways to Extend the Life of Everything You Own. There are tips about the kitchen, the lawn, sports, cars, and so much more. Over three hundred pages full of tips to help you make things last, and save you money. I love it. Here are thirteen I found interesting:

1. Keep baked goods fresh.

Store them with half an apple.

2. Cleaning under the fridge.

Wrap a cloth around a yardstick and slide it under the refrigerator. Sure a lot easier than moving the whole thing!

3. Lipstick on your blouse?

Rub the area with peanut butter and wash in warm water and dish soap before the peanut butter dries .

4. Did the kids color on the dining room chairs again?

Remove crayon from wood by rubbing mayonnaise into the area. After it sets for a few minutes, clean with a damp cloth.

5. Repair small cracks in window panes.

Before replacing the pane, try adding a drop or two of super glue at the center of the crack. The glue should spread out in the crack and when it is dry the crack often “disappears.”

6. Make do hose reel.

Nail an old metal bucket through the bottom, to the garage wall. The hose can be wrapped around it and the accessories can be stored in it.

7. Fix a pinhole leak in the hose.

Stick a toothpick in the hole. Trim it off flush with the outside of the hose wall and wrap with electrical or duct tape. Extend the tape a couple inches past the hole on each side. The water running through the hose causes the toothpick to swell and plug the hole.

8. Hair in the garden.

Hair is a great source of nitrogen for your garden. Save your trimmings or ask your beautician to save some for you. Then mix into the compost or put it around your plants.

We’ve also been told hair helps keep the deer away. Since we cut the kids hair ourselves, we always spread the hair around the edges of the garden. We had no deer in our garden even though we live in the middle of the woods.

9. Cleaning fingerprints or dust off old photos.

Rub gently with stale bread.

10.Clogged Drains?

Pour in 1/4 C baking soda, then 1/2 C vinegar. Cover the drain until it stops fizzing. Flush with 1 quart boiling water.

11. Prevent bathtub ring.

Add a squirt of dishwashing liquid to the bathwater before draining.

12. To keep nails stored in coffee cans from rusting.

Add a teaspoon of baking soda to them.

13. Washing the winter salt off your car.

If you live where it snows it is important to get the salt off your car. The salt will cause deterioration and rust. To get a good cleaning under the car hook up your sprinkler in the driveway and park over it. Then turn on the water. Move the sprinkler every few minutes.

I love practical money saving tips like this. What are some of your favorite ways to make things last or make do with what you have?

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