waffle iron in the kitchen. preparing homemade waffles, pouring a dough

Waffle Cornbread, Reverse Spicy Heat and More Great Reader Tips

Quite possibly, the thing I enjoy most about this job of mine is that I get to read, ponder—sometimes shriek WHAAT?!—all of the great tips and ideas my readers send it for me to share with you.

Here’s another batch for your consideration and hopefully, enjoyment!

 waffle iron in the kitchen. preparing homemade waffles, pouring a dough

Will it waffle?

I use my waffle iron to bake cornbread. It’s fast and doesn’t heat up the kitchen. Delora

Turn down the heat

If you end up cooking something that is too spicy, just add a teaspoon of sugar and you will counteract the spiciness of the dish. Nancy

Unplugged, happily

We disconnected our satellite TV service about eight months ago. We only watched about 10 of our favorite channels and had to pay for a 250 channel package just to get the channels our kids watched. Now instead, we watch those shows from streaming video on our computer or borrow movies from the library. We saved $77 a month on the service, $20 a month on our electric bill, and now we have two kids who love to read. Diane

Water spots begone!

I had a problem with hard water spots on my windows and had tried everything that I could think of, including vinegar. Nothing worked. I figured that I had nothing to lose and tried Bon Ami powdered cleaner. It worked without causing any damage whatsoever to the windows. I merely scrubbed the windows with Bon Ami on a damp terry rag, then rinsed and cleaned as usual to get any residue off. It took time, but Bon Ami was very effective. Wendy

Cheap napkin rings

Inexpensive napkin rings can be made from shower curtain rings. There are a lot of colors and designs that can be used for a casual table setting. Gale

Cheap detangler

My daughter has curly hair and it constantly gets tangled. Instead of buying expensive detangling products I take a spray bottle, fill it with water and add one or two squirts of cheap hair conditioner. It works just as well to comb out tangles as the expensive brands. Holly

Neat pancake prep

To save washing that messy bowl of pancake batter I put the pancake mix in a quart-size Ziplok bag, and add the water and other ingredients according to the recipe. Then I zip it closed and shake and squeeze the bag until the batter is mixed well. I cut one corner of the bag and squeeze the batter onto a hot, nonstick skillet. I throw the bag away when I am done, and there’s no mess to clean up! Bob

Free shakers

I save spice containers that have shaker caps. I wash them out and fill them with flour or sugar. These containers are convenient when you just need a sprinkle or shake, such as when kneading dough. E.H.

Tile whitener

For whiter tile, sprinkle Cream of Tartar on the tile and grout, then rub with a cut lemon or rag moistened with lemon juice. I spent a year trying to turn our gray bathroom floor back to white, to no avail, until I tried this tip. It worked like magic! Diane

Plumper burgers

A family friend taught me to make hamburgers by adding crushed crackers to the beef before making it into patties. This makes the meat go farther and also keeps the patties from shrinking while they cook. I think it makes the burgers juicier, too. Tammy

DIY dryer sheets

I make my own fabric softener “sheets” by mixing 2 tablespoons of the cheapest liquid fabric softener I can find with 2 cups of water. I soak a washrag in it and then squeeze out what I can and throw it in the dryer. However, I was having a problem with mildew forming in my fabric softener mix. I added 2 tablespoons of vinegar to my mixture and I have not had any more problems with mildew. Linda

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  1. Chris Norlund
    Chris Norlund says:

    Tacoma, Washington. Weather alternating between rain, and then a patch of semi-sunny days lately. Christmas lights went up today. Thanks for sharing all of the interesting and helpful ideas! LOVE the great info and wise financial mentoring! Mary—you’re my hero!

  2. Lynnell Caldwell
    Lynnell Caldwell says:

    I live in Southern California and it’s cooler than normal. I’m not up to going outside yet – I had surgery on Wednesday for pancreatic cancer. I love reading all the tips! I’m a big EC fan!

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