The only thing I love more than great tips from my readers are the words of love and thanks. Yeah, I’m a sucker for friendship and I value that more than you know.

laptop with mail arriving in form of letters in envelopes.

Just knowing that so many friends are reading these columns every day keeps me going. So whatever you do, keep those tips, great ideas and questions coming

NEUTRALIZE BUG BITES. I read your column every day with much interest. I really enjoy re-affirming the practical life lessons and habits that I have lived by for most of my adult life We are definitely on the same wavelength. I saw the article today with the many uses of Vinegar (acetic acid).

You may not know that a very important use for vinegar is for bites and stings of any kind. Spiders, ants, mosquitoes, all have a venom which can be neutralized very effectively if you can apply a cotton ball soaked with vinegar to the bite as soon after you notice it, as possible. Give the area a good firm rub with the cotton ball—even squeeze it into the bite so it penetrates.

The venom (PH basic) is chemical opposite to the vinegar (PH acid), so the itching and swelling can be reduced or eliminated if caught quickly. Love your blog and your work ethic, keep up the good work. Robert

FREEZE MILK FOR LATER. I use whole milk, but only occasionally in some of my special recipes. Earlier this last year instead of purchasing the smaller size milk container for that one recipe, I purchased the gallon-size whole milk which is much cheaper per ounce. I froze what I didn’t need in one-cup measurements in freezer bags. I am surprised how many times during the year this saved me from purchasing yet again a smaller size milk container for that one recipe.

I am so grateful for your daily emails–they have helped keep me on the right track. Thank you. Linda

SAFE TAKE- APART. I am a retired soldier. During my active career, we moved often. That meant my inner DIY needed to come out often. We disassembled many things over the years and I would like to add to your tips on taking things apart. Once the item is disassembled, always reposition the fasteners, screws or bolts and nuts back into the holes, exactly where they were. You are not putting the item back together, simply inserting the hardware into the specific slots and holes.

Packing all of these items into a zip-type plastic bag sounds like a good idea, but unless you very securely tape the little bag to the back of the item you took apart, the bag always seems to get lost some way or another.

Putting the fasteners back where they were means they will always be in the right place when and where you need them! Colonel T.W.

SHOE POLISH CLEANUP TRICK. I can never seem to polish shoes without getting polish all over my hands. Recalling how great liquid blue Dawn is for removing grease from dishes—and that wax is a kind of grease—I decided to give that a try. In the past, I have used hand soap and would have to rub and rub to get the stain to come off. I was amazed at how quickly the polish came off clean with just a few drops of blue Dawn dishwashing liquid!

Thank you for all the great tips you share with everyone. I have several Everyday Cheapskate articles taped to the inside of the doors of my laundry and kitchen cabinets for quick reference.

A special thank you for the Granite Counter Cleaner/Disinfectant recipe. I was worried about sanitation, but at the same time, I didn’t want to ruin the sealant with anything that might contain acid. This is a wonderful, inexpensive solution. Gayle

HOMAGE YES, DUST NO. I’m not a fan of artificial flowers, but Aunt Rose was. She passed away in March, at age 99. Among her possessions was a ceramic vase she made and painted, with an assortment of artificial flowers. As an homage to her, I  wanted to display it. But the flowers were horribly dusty. I’d read your tip to solve this problem, so I tried it: Put the flowers in a large plastic bag with a few tablespoons of salt. Shake vigorously for a few minutes. All clean! Good tip! Have a beautiful day. Anne

Question: Do you make your own version of commercial household cleaning products? What is your favorite? 

Yesterday on the blog: Simple Ways We Can Revive Memorial Day

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