New Use for Bread Tabs

Use those white plastic bread tabs to mark cords for computer set ups: monitor, printer, etc.  The hole in the end is open and slips over the cord. You just write on the tab with a permanent marker what the cord is used for. And they are free, sort of. You’ve already paid for them when you bought the bread!  (submitted by Brittany V, SD)

Zipper Help For The Kids

One of those big notebook rings that are used in offices to corral papers with holes punched in the corners can be very useful to help small children zip up their own coats. By putting the ring through the little hole in the zipper tab, it gives the child something large enough to hang on to so they can zip up and unzip their own coat as a step to independence.  (submitted by ME, MN)


Alka Seltzer To The Rescue!

Have a stinky thermos or one with a ‘deposit’ of water lime and gunk around the edges? A simple solution is to fill the thermos full of water and drop in four Alka Seltzer tablets. Let them fizz and soak for at least an hour or overnight and the sludge and smell will wash right out. (submitted by OW, KS)

Grease Free Baking Idea

If you prefer using solid shortening or butter to grease cookie sheets and pan instead of the spray, keep your hands clean by putting one hand into a cheap plastic sandwich bag and using that for a glove. You don’t need a paper towel or a napkin this way – just the plastic bag.  Spread the fat with your hand. The warmth softens it a bit and makes it spread easier.

One bag can serve for a whole batch of cookies and even the casserole dish for the meal. I turn mine wrong side out between each use.  (submitted by SS, ND)

The ‘Thing’

My son really wanted a huge purple critter he saw at a flea market last summer, and even though it was marked down, it was still too much for my budget. (They wanted $75 for the thing!)

Late in the fall, I was given a huge piece of purple fuzzy fabric from a friend who was moving. So, I drew out my own pattern of a "critter" on newspapers I’d taped together, cut the "critter" out and sewed it up. So far, so good!  Then came time to get the stuffing.  Holy Cow! When I figured up the cost of filling the insides, it almost made me pass out and I sure didn’t have that kind of money.

I had a couple of garbage bags of old rags; t-shirts that were stretched out, holey towels, etc. and a couple of old pillows in the corner of the closet, so I used the pillow stuffing for the head of the "critter", and the rest of the stuff in the bags, I cut up into chunks to stuff the body and legs. 

It’s floppier and not nearly as cute as the commercial one, but my son and his sisters love it anyway.  They use it as a pillow when watching the television – all 3 of them at once. They jump on it, sit on it, use it to ‘bop on’ (hit it) when they are mad at a sibling, etc.

And all it cost me was a little time and imagination. (submitted by SK, AL)


Playhouse, For Free!

A friend was telling me about the cardboard playhouse her sons had when they were small, made from a huge cardboard appliance box. They cut a door and windows in the thing and used it for years. And then it sat in the basement, just waiting…

Now, they have grandchildren and that same old cardboard box is once again a haven for the small fry – and they love it! She said one of her boys wanted to throw that thing out until he saw how much fun his own children were having.

A free playhouse – why not ask a furniture or appliance dealer if they ever have such a box that they would give it to you just for hauling it away? They can only say no, but most of the time, the answer is yes! (submitted by EK, WY)

READERS: If you have tips or ideas to share, send them to Pennywise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543 or email them to [email protected]

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