Great Reader Tips: Dog Treats | Earring Fix | Recycled Vinegar | Pet Hair Magnet | DIY Deodorant | Copper Cleaner

I love the ingenuity of my readers, especially those who send me their tips. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, here comes another batch of tips that have me saying it again, “Wow, what a great idea!”

Enjoy today’s offering of tips from my great readers. I hope they will spur you on to submit your own great ideas* for how you save time and money every day!



I hate to pay the going price of price of doggie treats—$4 to $8 a pound or more. What’s more, most of them look to me like artificial food. So, I came up with the idea of cut-up hot dogs to use as treats and rewards.  Supermarkets always have cheap, store brand hot dogs for around $2 a pound—even cheaper on sale. I slice the hot dogs into 1/2-inch pieces and keep these doggie treats in a container in the refrigerator. I get quite a few treats per pound. I’m giving our dogs real food instead of treats that look like plastic—at a considerable savings per pound. Rachel


I recently lost the back to an earring while at work. I made an emergency replacement, that has lasted several wearings now. I cut a small piece from a wide rubber band—about 1/4-inch long, then pushed the hook of the earring through it snugging it to the back of my ear. It worked great and did not show, maybe too great, because I keep forgetting to buy a proper replacement! Judy


My coffee maker requires occasional cleaning by running white vinegar through it. After the vinegar has been processed, I pour a little baking soda down my bathtub drain, then pour the pot of hot vinegar into the drain and plug it up.

The reaction between the baking soda and hot vinegar cleans the drain pipe of built-up soap scum and hair, and plugging it up funnels the reaction into the drain instead of letting it bubble back up into the tub. My tub uses a rubber stopper so I hold it in place with pliers to avoid being burned with the hot vinegar.

This saves me money from having to buy expensive drain cleaner and saves the environment by1 using a natural product to keep my drain clean. Susan


The best way to remove dog hair from the carpet in a car or truck is with a pumice stone. It’s what car detailers use and it works like a charm. Just rub it towards you and the pet hair just balls right up in seconds. Pumice stones are cheap at most dollar stores. Christina

RELATED: Ask Me Anything: Pet Hair, Almond Milk, That Stick Vac


Due to the heavy toxins in store-bought deodorants, I’ve wanted to stop using it for years, but didn’t know what the alternatives were. Recently, I stumbled on a recipe for homemade deodorant. It has three ingredients: ¼ cup baking soda, ¼ cup cornstarch, and 5 tablespoons unrefined, organic coconut oil.

Mix ingredients together well, then heat in the microwave for 20 seconds to melt and fully incorporate. Allow to cool and set. To use, apply to underarms with fingers.

I’ve been using this homemade deodorant for months now and I’m thrilled. It works as an anti-perspirant and also prevents odor.

The best part? The recipe made 6 ounces for roughly $1.30 in supplies. For 6 ounces of the clinical strength deodorant I’d been using, I would’ve paid approximately $28.25. Plus, I use way less of the homemade than I did the store bought deodorant so my 6 ounces of homemade deodorant will last much longer than 6 ounces of the store bought stuff would have. Carmel


I want to share my tip which I learned from my aunt who owns a very popular bar-b-cue place.

I take a fresh head of lettuce, core it, wash and dry it thoroughly, then tear off big chunks to fit inside a quart-size Ziploc bag.

I wrap the chunks tightly in paper towels, place them in the storage bag, and seal tightly, mashing all of the air out of the bag while zipping shut.

I keep several quart-size bags of lettuce in my produce bin for weeks at a time with no browning or wilting. It really works! Carolyn

MORE: How to Keep Lettuce Fresh for Weeks


I have a copper-bottom sauce pan, which I inherited. It is beautiful, but the copper discolors, which is normal. Here’s how I clean it:

When I have leftover dill pickle juice, I pour it into a pie plate and then set my copper-bottomed pan into the brine and leave it for 20 minutes or so. The pan copper comes out sparkling clean with no scrubbing. Gwen

READ: Make It Yourself: Copper Cleaner, Aluminum Cleaner and Dishwasher Detergent, Too

*Got a great tip you’d like to share? Send it to mary @ with the subject line, “My Great Reader Tip.” Then watch for it to show up in the near future. Thanks!

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5 replies
  1. Evelyn Adrian
    Evelyn Adrian says:

    Here’s what I give my dog as a treat: frozen green beans (after thawing, of course). No extra salt, preservatives or mystery ingredients, just a low cost, low calorie treat she loves! Another of Georgia’s favorites is little pieces of fresh apple. Just enough to taste is all she needs for a training treat. Caution: Core the apples first. The apple seeds have enough arsenic in them to make a dog very sick. Of course, when I really want Georgia’s attention, I use chopped, cooked chicken (baked or boiled without spices or salt). The tiniest sliver is heaven to her. I feel good about these real food treats. They are easy, natural, and chemical free. Bonus: they are much cheaper than the pet store versions!

    • pawandclawdesigns
      pawandclawdesigns says:

      I was just thinking this myself. Nothing screams ‘artificial food’ to me more than processed meat products. I can only imagine how much sodium and added fat are in hot dogs. 🙁

  2. erica seelig
    erica seelig says:

    Hot dogs are made with horrible ingredients. They are not good for anyone, human or non-human. For goodness sake don’t feed this to you companion animals! I’m a vet, and I know. But you don’t have to be a vet to understand. See the comment below.

  3. Debbie
    Debbie says:

    Hot dogs are full of chemicals and other bad ingredients. My dog’s snacks are fresh veggies and fruit. He loves them and they are healthy. Do check for what vegetables and fruits that dogs should not eat. His favorites are frozen green beans, carrots, watermelon and sugar snap peas.


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