Wow! What a Great Idea: Readers Share Favorite Tips

Of all my resources I rely on for time-and money-saving tips, my readers are the best. For everything from a super cheap but awesome foot soak to washing windows and finding coupons to cut the cost of vacations, EC readers have the latest scoop!


Pedicure soak

This is crazy! Mix 1/2 cup any Listerine mouthwash, 1/2 cup white vinegar and 1 cup of warm water. Pour into a large basin and soak feet for 15 minutes. Take them out and wrap one in a towel while you work on the other. Use a pumice stone, pedicure paddle or even just a dry towel to rub the entire foot, focusing especially on the dry calloused areas. The dead skin practically wipes right off! Amazing. Polly

Single serve

When I make Sloppy Joes I always make too much. So I line muffin tins with the paper liners, fill them with the Sloppy Joe mixture and quickly freeze them while still in the muffin pan. Once frozen, I remove them from the pan and place each cup-full in a plastic freezer bag. Each “cupcake” makes a perfect single serving, so it’s easy to take out exactly what you need. As a bonus, when heating in the microwave, flip the cup over in a small bowl and the paper liner acts as a splatter guard. Kathy

Soft brown sugar

Keep brown sugar soft by storing in a container along with a couple of marshmallows. Deanna

Chrome and stainless steel cleaner

Dryer sheets aren’t the best idea for use in the dryer if you or a family member have respiratory issues or are prone to itchy skin. So use them instead to clean your faucets or other chrome or stainless steel items in your kitchen or bathroom. Simply wet a sheet, scrub and rinse. Your metal will shine like it’s new without too much fuss! Laura

The List

Keep a whiteboard or pad of paper on the fridge for everyone in the family to write on when they run out of something (like toiletry items), or use up the last bit of milk or cereal. At our house, this is called “The List,” and if you don’t write it down on The List, do not expect it to magically appear in the house. Ellen

Window cleaner

To clean windows, put five to six drops of shampoo (any kind without conditioner) into a container of warm water. Wash the windows with this solution and a sponge. Follow with a microfiber cloth to dry and your windows will be beautiful. This solution is great because there’s no need to rinse, and it’s not hard on your hands. Marilyn

Coupons for tourists

My family and I like to visit amusement parks in different cities. But there are many invalid amusement park coupons out there, and the parks are increasingly strict on what they accept. In order to get free, valid coupons, I log on to the tourism website for the state or city where the park is located (Google the name of the city plus the word “tourist”) and request tourist information. In about two weeks, we receive an official tourism guide, loaded with coupons and great ideas for free- or low-cost activities. Donna

Save the top half

If you are only going to use half a bell pepper, slice from the bottom and keep the top with the stem intact. This way, the remaining half of the pepper will last longer in the refrigerator and stay crisper. Tina

Super fun gift

Here’s a great idea for a kid’s birthday present: Assemble your own craft box. Purchase craft items like pipe cleaners, colored glue, glitter, paper, stickers, popsicle sticks, stamps, and ribbon, along with a container to hold them. (Many of these items can be found at the dollar store.) Then personalize the container and include a few instructions for some craft projects. Makes for a great rain-day activity kit. Allison

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3 replies
  1. rox
    rox says:

    Joy, I used a rectangular gallon ice cream bucket. THIS REALLY WORKS! I garden in flip flops, so my feet were a mess. Dead skin came right off, non-toxic, & works way better than any cuticle removers I’ve tried. Thanks for sharing, Mary & Polly!

  2. Joy
    Joy says:

    The pedicure soak only has 1-2 cups of liquid in a large basin? How will that soak your feet ? Is that a mistake?

  3. FrugalAnnie
    FrugalAnnie says:

    “…if you don’t write it down on The List, do not expect it to magically appear in the house.”

    I had to LOL on that one. They do expect mind-reading and magic sometimes, don’t they? 😉


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