Recycled ‘Stuff’

I’ve discovered a ‘new use’ for that old dish rack that got retired when I got a dishwasher last year for Christmas. It was practically new and I hated to toss it out because they do cost money, and to tossing it would be like ‘tossing money away’.

My husband needed something to put some file folders in at his desk in our home office and decided to see if that old dish rack would do the trick, and it did! The file folders fit where the plates were to go and he has his pens and pencils in the little container for the silver. It should last a long time, and we didn’t spend any money!
(tip submitted by EJ, MT)

Sliding Door Jammer

There has been a rash of home break-ins in our neighborhood recently and many times, they just break the lock on the patio door and go right into the house. The burglers are rarely spotted because most patio doors are on the back side of homes.  To protect yourself from these people breaking in, take a piece of 1” dowel and cut it just a little bit shorter than the track of the door. Now, drop the dowel into the track and they cannot get the door slid open even if they break the lock. They would have to break the door glass and someone could hear that!
(tip submitted by IH, MN)

Duct Tape The Shower Curtain

I must confess to being a cheapskate when it comes to shower curtains. It seems that the holes rip out almost as soon as you get the thing hung in the bathroom. So, I had my teen aged daughter ‘fix’ the top of the last one I bought before I hung it up.

She has some of that fancy decorative tape–some with flowers, some wild colored, some with stripes. she bought the whole thing as a kit to decorate picture frames and such, but I figured it could be used to strengthen the top of her shower curtain.

She taped one whole side of the top of the shower curtain (just ran it along the edge so all the holes were covered, flipped the thing over and taped the other side. Then she used the ‘hole-punch’ she uses for school and punched through the existing holes again. 

That was six months ago and the shower curtain has shown no sign of damage as of yet. Some of the holes are a little bit ‘stretched’, but none have broken and she’s decided that she will just re-tape if needed.
(tip submitted by ET. VA)

Oil A Lock

Thought to pass this one on after watching a neighbor try to oil his car door lock with a squirt can. To oil any kind of lock, simply put some oil ON THE KEY, insert it in the lock and twist it a few times.
(tip submitted by SK, PA)

Saving Food Dollars

I’m a big fan of soups and stews of all types this time of year. You can put something on the stove in the morning and just give it a stir once in a while as you go about your daily work. Or, if you have a job away from home, get a slow cooker and fill it with whatever is in the refrigerator. Add some broth and let cook all day long.

The kids can eat a bowl full as soon as they get home from school, do homework and then have more stew with bread or crackers at supper time instead of spending $25 or $30 at a fast food place.

You can have a real ‘wake-up’ shock at the end of the month if you keep track of all the ‘quickie’ meals you stop to buy at the drive through places. It can easily amount to several hundreds of dollars a year, and most families have better use for that cash!
(tip submitted by AW, NE)

Microwave Tips & Tricks

Hot Packs

To make a warm, moist heat pack for sore muscles, dampen a terry cloth hand towel and microwave on the 'high' setting for about one minute or a little more. You don’t want it so hot it burns the skin, just make sure it is good and warm. I put a dry towel on my skin and put the damp one on top–it lasts about 20 minutes and really loosens up the sore muscles.
(tip submitted by KM, ND)

Reduced-Fat Meat Balls

My family loves meatballs, but most of the time there is a lot of fat in them because we like a mixture of ground beef and ground pork as well as some sausage all mixed together. My son, who is a sports fanatic started cooking the meatballs on the bacon rack in the microwave.  All of the fat will drain out/off of the meatballs and they can be mixed with the sauce and the pasta right away. They taste really good and we like the fact that almost all of the grease is GONE!
(tip submitted by BO,MN)

No-Stick Cakes

I didn’t know you could bake cakes in the microwave until my daughter-in-law came for a visit and showed me how! She had the neatest trick to keep the cake from sticking to the bottom of the pan. She puts a coffee filter in the bottom of a bundt pan (she cuts it to fit with scissors) adds the cake batter and cooks for the appropriate amount of time. When she flips the cake onto the plate, it doesn’t stick because of the paper and she just peels it off, cools the cake and then adds her drizzles of icing.
(tip submitted by AB, IA)

Wooden Spoons

I found out that if you need to stir something quite often while cooking it in the microwave, if you use a wooden spoon, you can just leave it in the dish because it won’t cause sparks!


by Paula Vogelgesang

Do you have any tips or ideas you would like to share? Email them to Paula at [email protected]  

Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond.

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