Here it is … another batch of really terrific reader tips.


ONE HOT DATE. Our village does not offer garbage pick up as a municipal service so residents can contract with whomever they desire. For years we paid about $25 per month for weekly pickup. Then a friend told us about a landfill 12 miles from our town that accepts bagged garbage for $1 per bag or just 50 cents for seniors. Because we recycle so much, we have very little true garbage. We drive to the landfill once every other week with our one bag and make it part of a day out doing errands and going out to lunch. After almost 30 years of marriage, we laughingly refer to this as a “hot date.” We kick ourselves when we think of how many years we paid so much for garbage pick-up. Carole C., New York


TIE-BACK HOOKS. I was revamping my children’s bedroom. I made curtains, and really liked the simplicity and look of “holdbacks,” decorative hardware that holds the curtain to one side. But I was shocked when the least expensive set I could find was $12 a pair, and I needed two. No way was I going to spend $24. I found, instead, that bike screw hooks used to hang a bicycle up out of the way were just the right size. These steel hooks are plastic coated and come in a variety of bright colors—the perfect custom holdbacks that match my children’s room perfectly. Karin G., Texas

EARRING ORGANIZER. I am always rummaging through my jewelry box in the morning to find a matching pair of earrings. I purchased a 28-day pill organizer for $1 from the Dollar Store to store my earrings. The box is clear plastic so I can easily see all of earrings at a glance. When I cleaned out my jewelry box, I found earrings I didn’t know I had. Now they’re all organized. No more rummaging! Judy R., Illinois

CANDLEHOLDER CLEANER. I discovered an easy way to remove all of the wax and black residue left in candleholders once the candle has burned down. Turn them upside down in a vegetable steamer. Put water in the bottom as you would to steam vegetables, cover and allow to steam for 10 or 15 minutes. The candleholders will be clean and once the water cools, you can simply skim off the hardened wax making it easy to clean the pot. Phyllis J., California

REMOVE STAINS FROM CONCRETE. Recently you published a tip from a reader for spot removal from concrete. I found that bleach (preferably Clorox) sprayed on the spots works great. Let it work for about five minutes then rinse. I have a stone retaining wall in front of my place and this makes it look like new. Carl H., Pennsylvania [Please exercise extreme caution when handling liquid chlorine bleach. Do not mix it with anything but water to avoid mixing up a batch of deadly chlorine gas. -mh]

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5 replies
  1. Priss
    Priss says:

    RE:One Hot Date. Contact your city before heading for your landfill. Where we live we can’t do this as they automatically charge us for pickup. And they charge us to pickup recycling items even though we can easily take it our self to the recycle center. Wish we could however..

    • Diana Brannan
      Diana Brannan says:

      The lady did say that they had to contract for trash pick up, so city charge in their village I don’t believe is an issue.

  2. Diana Brannan
    Diana Brannan says:

    I really like the idea of the pill box/ear ring holder. Will have to get myself one of those.

    Regarding the bleach for stain removal on concrete, which I am assuming is mold, I think that would depend on what you may have planted in front of that retaining wall and if you plan on killing it with bleach. There are products designed especially for that that do not kill all growing things they come in contact with.

    • Pam
      Pam says:

      Ice trays work well for earrings and clear plastic tackle boxes are great for bracelets and neclaces.
      Also, for the drain . . . equal parts baking soda and vinegar.


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