I use my spare time to crochet blankets for the animals at our local shelter, but can’t afford to buy new yarn very often.  I have found that I can buy odds and ends of yarns at yard sales and thrift stores for very little, but I didn’t know if it was wool or polyester.  The two have different properties and behave very differently when washed and dried.  I did find if I take the end of a piece of yarn and touch it with a lit match I can tell the difference.  The wool burns to ash and the polyester turns into a hard lump.  I then can sort the yarn into the proper baskets so I don’t get mixed up. – SA, IL


Kids about 10 or 11 years old can make these up for a community service project for the senior centers or the old folks homes.
Take a couple of whipped topping lids or soft margarine lids and put them together with one of those gold fastener things – I don’t know what you call them for sure, but you get them in the office supply store.  They are usually gold colored and have one end like a button with two tabs coming out of it.  It is used to hold papers together.
Put the lids together, poke a hole in the middle and put the gold thing through, then bend the tabs back flat. The old folks use them to hold their cards when playing.  They really like them because a lot of them have bad hands from arthritis and other ailments. – PO, AZ


If gophers invade your yard or garden, just give them a good dose of mothballs in their runs.  They should move on because they do not like the smell of the mothballs. – TT, WI

If you are enjoying sitting on your patio and the bugs start ‘bugging you’, just set out one of those oscillating fans and turn it on.  They make just enough breeze to chase the skeeter-type critters away without resorting to bug spray. – SM, TX


Every child should have a swing in the yard, even if it’s just an old tire tied to a tree branch with a rope.   We didn’t have any trees in the yard when I was growing up, but we lived within 3 blocks of a school with 9 swings in the playground.  All of the neighbor kids gathered at the schoolyard to swing, play games of all kinds – and just enjoy talking. I don’t remember many arguments or any fighting. We all just got along and had a good time. – CD, OH

Spring is here and so is ‘ring around the collar’ – even on the t-shirts everyone wears –  from babies to grownups.  I have an easy way to get rid of those lovely black rings instead of spending big bucks for those grime removers, and in this economy, every penny counts!
Just buy a bottle of really cheap shampoo for about a dollar.  Dampen the edge of the t-shirt or the collar and cuffs of a work shirt then scrub the fabric together really well. Let it set for a few minutes – 10 minutes or so, so the soap can cut the grease and release the dirt and then toss the shirts into the washing machine.   The soap in the shampoo cleans the clothes just as well as any washer soap and since the grease is released, the dirt comes out and everything comes nice and clean – for cheap! – DN, WY

NO MESS: I don’t know as this idea would save much money, but it sure saves me a whole lot of frustration – and that’s worth a lot!
If you hate the mess of refilling those salt and pepper-shakers because of the mess on the counter and the floor from spilled spices, give this a try!

Take a little bit of clear plastic wrap and cover the holes in the shakers before you flip them upside down to refill them – the plastic seals off the holes and you can refill, flip again and take the plastic off with no mess. – KB, IL

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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!


Stop Paying Top Dollar For That Expensive Bottled Floor Cleaner.  Use This Instead:

Vinegar is a mild disinfectant and can be used to quick mop the kitchen floor.  It leaves no streaks and a shiny surface when you are done.

I use about 1/2 cup of vinegar to a gallon of water, or about 2 tablespoons of vinegar to a quart in my floor mop ­– the one with the quart bottle hanging on it.  (I save $5 every time I refill that bottle).

I also use old towels or washrags on that mop instead of buying the paper pads and tossing them away.

I just use the old towel till it gets dirty and toss it in the rag pile to be washed and re-used many times over and over. – MC, WY