Critter Bath Tips
If you give your dog or cat a bath in the tub or shower, put a heavy bathmat down before you start so the animal has some solid footing. (My Sheltie Miss Maggie DOES NOT like baths!)  I also put a ball of old nylon net in the drain before I start to catch any hair clumps that would otherwise go down to the hinterlands and plug up the plumbing.

When we are through with the torture of a bath, I towel dry the dog in the bathtub and let her shake as much water before I take her out.I know it’s clean water, but I really don’t want to mop all the floors in the house again.

Grease Spots
I had a call from a lady last week wanting to know how to get fresh grease spots out of a carpet without chemicals.  One method I’ve used with pretty fair success is simply cornmeal. Pour a good amount of cornmeal over the grease and work the meal into the spot with your hand.  Let it set overnight and then vacuum. The dry meal will absorb the grease and rarely leaves a spot.

Cheap Handcleaner
Fall is the time of year when many farmers go over the machinery they used all summer, repairs are made and joints are greased before the machine is stored away for the winter.

Naturally, this means lots of hand washing and a lot of soap.  A reader wrote that she just buys the cheapest dish soap possible – usually the store brand and that’s what her guys use instead of that expensive shop de-greaser hand cleaner.  She says this saves them quite a bit of money and in this economy, every penny counts.

Farmers Market Time
No matter where you live, city or small town, somewhere near you is a Farmer’s Market where fresh home-grown fruits and vegetables available.  The advantage to this is that you actually get to meet the person(s) who grew the food, and you cut out the middle-man in most cases.

If you are planning on making food gifts for the coming Holiday season, you will want to look through your supply of freezer bags, jelly jars, canning lids, sugar, etc. as well as spices and vinegar.

Check your local advertising papers, fliers at supermarkets, etc. for places and times as many of these markets are only open one or two days a week for a few hours. Once folks find out about the fresh produce, it doesn’t last long.

Corn On The Cob – Quick And Easy
A friend of mine shared the neatest way to cook and clean fresh corn – possibly the slickest trick I’ve seen in a long time.
Suzy says, "Take one ear of fresh corn (do not shuck at all), place the ear in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes.

Remove the ear from the microwave and lay on a cutting board.  Using a sharp knife, cut the stem end off about 1/2" up on the bottom kernels. Then, grab the top of the ear and pull. I hang on to the bottom of the ear under the shuck – all of the shuck and the silk will slip right off. No silk to pick off, the corn is perfectly cooked and it tastes wonderful!  Butter up and enjoy!"

(I tried this and it works!  Of course, the disadvantage is that you can only cook one ear at a time, but I’m thinking that energy-wise and time-wise, it’s better.)
 
All Balled Up
If your kids love any type of melons like mine do, this is a fantastic idea:

Buy several melons while they are in season.  Cut them in half and take out the seeds and strings and then either use a melon baller or a small cookie scoop to make the melon balls (for some reason, my kids always ate more if I made the pieces round.)  Put the balls on cookie sheets and set in the freezer until frozen solid.  Then bag up into the heavy freezer bags for use in winter.

I’ve seen the commercial melon balls in grocery stores and the prices were outrageous. A few minutes spent making your own saves you $$$$ in the long run.

Now, if you don’t care if your melon pieces are round or not, you can do what I do now: I just peel the melons, cut them into bite sized chunks and freeze.
 
Long Term Saving Hints For Clothing
It’s almost school time and the big stores have all of the latest fall fashions out for the ‘leap into fall’ at a price I can’t afford.  We always ‘leaped’ into the bargain bins. The stores will have summer t-shirts, shorts, capri pants and light jackets on sale. Some for as little as 50 cents each for the shirts and a couple of dollars for the jackets as they try to get the summer inventory out the door. Most school kids will wear a nice t-shirt every day to school and a 50 cent one will last just as long as a $15 one. Stretch those $$$ as much as you can.

Cooler Smells Banished 
Did you have a big cooler that you used to take food to the field? Did somebody forget to take the potato salad out when you got home and it sat outside for three days?  When you opened it up, did it have a real bad case of ‘cooler breath’?
There is hope. Just pour 1/2 – 1 cup of fresh coffee grounds in the bottom of the cooler and close the lid for several days. I don’t know how it works, but the coffee will absorb all those nasty odors (if it’s really bad, you may have to repeat), and you have saved your cooler to use for another year or two.

(This also works for freezers that are accidently unplugged and the stuff inside turns green! I didn’t believe it until I saw it, but it did work. The lady poured a full pound of fresh coffee in the cleaned out/stinking freezer, shut the lid and left it for a week.  She then vacuumed out the coffee and repeated the shut the lid for 7 days. She’s still using the freezer and there is absolutely NO SMELL!)
 
Water Saving
A reader wrote after my last column about water conservation in the home:

"I do a lot of cooking and am continually washing my hands. I now use a dedicated pan to wash my hands in with soap and have an ice cream bucket under the faucet to catch the rinse water, which I then put in the pan.  When it’s full, I take the pan outside and pour the water on my plants in the flower barrels. I’m amazed at how much water I have used and wasted because I wasn’t paying attention.  The soap doesn’t hurt the flowers, in fact, it seems to be keeping some of the bugs away. I just thought you should know!"


 Note from Pennywise:
P.S.: Please be sure to mention the "Farm And Livestock Directory" when you respond!