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More Budget-Friendly Ideas

Haircut helper: Before you give your son or husband a haircut, dust the back of their neck with cornstarch.  Those little short hairs won’t stick to their skin and make them miserable with the poking and itching. – LP, MN USE ALL THAT YOU BUY When my hand lotion gets low in the tube, I turn the container upside down for a few hours and then cut the tube in half.  I can then get all of the lotion out of the tube and not waste any of it.  Some of the hand lotions are quite expensive and this will save you money in the long run. CHEAP CHANGE Save some major money on kitchen remodeling by just switching out door and drawer handles and knobs for new ones.  They can change the look of the whole room and it’s much cheaper than replacing all thus cabinets and counter tops. – LP, MN "SAFE" STORAGE If you have important papers in your home and no place to keep them, store them in your deep freeze in doubled plastic bags.  A fire may damage the freezer, but since it’s well insulated, it probably won’t burn completely. – LP, MN ‘CORNY’ HINT To keep worms from destroying your sweet corn crop after the cobs have formed and the ears have begun to form silk, mix one tablespoon of cheap vanilla with...

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Make-ahead hamburger patties, make a trellis on the cheap, and more!

When making hamburger patties ahead for the freezer, clean a liner from an empty cold cereal box.  Cut it into about 5" squares. Lay a square of the liner on a cottage cheese lid (these lids make a great mold for hamburgers to fit the buns). Make the patties as thick as you like. Lift the square of liner with the meat formed out of the ‘mold’ and repeat to use up all of the meat.  If you like quarter-pound patties, simply divide two pounds of hamburger into eight pieces and voila! You can place the patties on a sheet pan and freeze (when frozen, remove from the pan and put into freezer bags) or if you choose to stack them, be sure to leave the liners on so they won’t stick together in the permanent container. – MP, MT Tip-submitter comment: “I use these when the grandkids come for an unexpected meal.  I don’t eat a lot of cold cereal and so I do keep the liners – wash well – and reuse them.”  This ‘makes cents’ as they are plastic and easily washed, sterilized and reused!   NEW USE FOR CARPENTERS BELT A subscriber wrote that she uses her dad’s old leather carpenter’s belt with a double pouch when she’s out fixing fences. (A true rancher’s dream woman – a woman that fixes fence!)  She says the...

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Things to clean in 15 minutes or less, and more ‘quick tips’ to make life easier

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...

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Do-It-Yourself quilt and other helpful tips

WIPER MAGIC: Before you pitch those old windshield wiper blades, try using some rubbing alcohol on an old piece of terry cloth or a microfiber cloth.  Sometimes, they aren’t really worn out, but just full of roadway gunk and a good cleaning is all they need.  A bottle of rubbing alcohol is under a dollar and can clean a lot of wipers. Check it out! NEEDLE SENSE If you do a lot of sewing, please remember to change the needle in your machine after every 2 or 3 garments.  The new fabrics with the polyester, stretch, and other coatings on the thread will dull the needle and it starts to skip stitches, break thread. (Don’t take it to the repair shop for an expensive once-over when there is nothing wrong with it – except for a dull needle!) CENTS-OFF-SAVINGS A reader wrote: If you use the cents-off coupons in your grocery store, or purchase something on sale, take those extra pennies, quarters, etc. and put them in a fruit jar.  When the jar is half-full, take it to the bank and start a savings account for next Christmas. I’ve been doing this for several years and my Christmas is all paid for from using those 25 cents off coupons. (I’m with her – I don’t use many coupons because I use very few ‘box’ food items, but this does make...

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Good Ideas for Young Farmers and Ranchers

Sound advice for young farmers and ranchers from industry professionals Advice from successful farm and ranch operators.  “Build up something. Watch the debt thing. Learn how to build. Get as much machinery as you can. Get by. Use old equipment. Start with old cows and bum lambs. Watch the capital expense. The wife makes a difference. “Don’t expect to start out where Dad left off. Don’t go too far in debt. Make the improvements you know you can handle. Start with used machinery. Think out your moves. Avoid easy credit.” “Don’t over borrow. Build gradually. Start slowly. Build as you go. Don’t start out with the biggest and the best. Live within your means.” “Look around your community for an older farmer who is well thought of and respected. Learn from him. Use him as a measuring stick. Seek advice. Use his knowledge.” “Work hard. You’ve got to produce. Live within your means.” “Both partners need to be involved. They should know exactly what they owe and their assets. You have to know every phase the operation. Plan things out.”   Advice from a lender on how to avoid debt. Being from cattle country, he cautioned against big machinery, fancy horses, gooseneck trailers, exotic cattle, big trips, new pickups, fancy saddles and expensive rodeo hobbies. “Good cattle prices are a pickup dealer’s heyday.” He noted the peer pressure in...

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