Like butter on your vegetables, but don’t need the calories?  Try browning the butter; it only takes half as much for seasoning/flavoring, and has half the calories.

It’s said that a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water with a bit of honey added for flavor will take the edge off of your appetite.

If sauerkraut is too salty, you can rinse it in cold water and add a little bit of brown sugar while cooking it.

If you don’t own a cooling rack, simply pull out your broiler pan, cover it with a clean towel and use it instead.

1/2 pound of cheese equals 2 cups shredded cheese (sometimes blocks of cheese are cheaper than bags of shredded). Cheese can be shredded and frozen in freezer zip-type bags until needed. At times you can find block cheese on sale near the end of the ‘sell by’ dates.  You can buy it cheap, take it home and shred it and freeze it in one and two cup bags. My kids love homemade pizza, and this is the only way I can afford to put cheese on the tops.

The pointy end of your potato peeler can be used to take seeds out of fresh cherries. You can usually just push the peeler into the stem end, give a little twist and pull out the seed.

An old sofa pillow or chair cushion placed in one of those plastic grocery bags makes a neat kneeling pad to use in the garden or the flower beds and is easy to move by the handles.  When the bag wears out, or the handles tear, just put it in the recycle bin and get out a fresh one.

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I keep a laundry basket at the bottom and the top of my set of stairs.  Anything that needs to go up or down is placed in the respective basket and is taken to its proper location when anyone goes up or down.  It sure does save a lot of time and lightens my load! – SS, ID

I discovered a use for empty cat and dog food bags. I cut them down on one side and across the bottom, making them lay flat. I lay them on my entry floors during rainy times, or lambing and calving seasons.  They make a good temporary rug as feet don’t stick to them like they do to newspapers and they are easily discarded when dirty. Sure saves on mom’s rugs. – FJO, SD

Salted nuts are often way too salty for my family.  An easy fix is to buy one container of salted nuts and one container of unsalted nuts and mix them. This reduces the sodium content for all members of your family. – LP, MN

Did you know that most sweet corn has a light tassel, is shorter than field corn and has a smaller stalk?  And the feed corn tassel is much darker, and it is a lot taller and has a real thick main stalk?  I didn’t, but was told by a long-time corn farmer that this is the way to tell one kind from another. I do know that as a child, we ate a lot of field corn in the blister stage because it was as close as we were ever going to get to sweet corn. – MK, OH

We installed some of those wire shelving units in our children’s closets.  All sweatshirts, t-shirts, etc. are rolled up and stacked on the shelves instead of being tossed on the floor or hanging out of dresser drawers. – SJ, WI


As a long time stitcher, one of my biggest problems is how to store bulk straight pins.  I usually buy 5,000 at a time and like to keep them handy for large projects.
I finally found that a plastic bulk spice shaker topped container works well for me.
I had purchased a pound of cinnamon a couple of years ago for making Christmas gifts and after it was empty, I recycled it into my pin holder. I can shake out a few at a time from the lid onto my magnetic pin holder and not worry about spilling the whole container of pins – besides, it still smells really good! – AB, CT


Not enough closet/storage space?  I found a little niche in the hallway of the house we purchased last year. We have no idea why it’s where it is, but we needed some storage space so we bought one of those expanding shower rods at the hardware store and made a curtain out of a patterned sheet that we bought at a yard sale for a dollar.
My husband brought an old dresser from his parents home and it is now ensconced in the niche and filled with the things we had no place to store.  It’s out of the way and makes use of an awkward corner. – KB, MT

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As always, if you have tips or ideas to share, send them to me at Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or better yet, email me at [email protected]
Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond!


  Things to Clean in 15 Minutes   or less…    

  • Change your bed sheets
  • Clean one shelf in the refrigerator
  • Straighten up the bookshelf
  • Dust the television
  • Sweep and damp mop the kitchen floor
  • Organize the junk drawer under the telephone

This is just a starter list – think of things you can do in 15 minutes and share your ideas so we can all have a cleaner living space in much less time.