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What I love more than great tips and brilliant ideas from my readers are the lovely words of love and thanks. Yeah, I’m a sucker for friendship and I value each and every one of you more than you will ever know.

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Just knowing that so many friends are reading these columns every day makes me excited and energized to keep going!

So whatever you do, keep those tips, great ideas, questions, and the love coming.

Freeze milk for later

I use whole milk, but only occasionally in some of my special recipes. Instead of purchasing the smaller size milk container for that one recipe, I purchase the gallon-size whole milk which is much cheaper per ounce.

I freeze what I don’t need in 1-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 just 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!

Now that we have retired, we still have some things disassembled in our shed for storage, and the fasteners are back in their spots waiting to be used in the reassembly, without hunting for them. Colonel T.W. Read more

I love to do laundry. I’m crazy that way. And I enjoy discovering ways to do it more efficiently—and by efficient I do mean cheaper, better and faster.

 

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In fact, I was about ready to give myself a proper title, The Laundress, until I discovered a couple of very bright young women in New York City beat me to it. It’s OK. They can keep the title and charge an arm and a leg for their chi-chi laundry products in little bottles.

Me? I’d rather use every tip I can find to create equally beautiful results and keep my money, too. Are you with me? Great! Here are some of my favorite laundry tips to get going.

When wrong is right

Wash your clothes inside-out to keep them looking newer longer. In this way, the wrong side of the garment takes all of the abuse and fading caused by the agitation—not the right side. Clothes get just as clean when washed inside-out.

Soft dry jeans

You’ll never experience the heartbreak of shrunken jeans if you do this: Put them in the dryer for only 10 minutes. That’s enough to soften them. Take them out still wet and hang on a hanger from ankles. The weight of the semi-wet jeans will pull out the wrinkles and keep them at their proper length when fully dry.

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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

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Today I am especially impressed if not excited by the cool and very useful money- and time-saving tips my EC readers send to me.

Not that long ago I stopped into a discount clothing store (Marshall’s to be exact) to get my husband a new belt. I enjoy the classy look of a high-quality leather belt and I know this store usually has a fairly decent selection. And they did. The problem was that not one of them was smaller than a size 52. What!? I walked out empty-handed. Then I heard from Reader Bob. Why didn’t I think of that?

Bargain belts

The discount clothing stores seem to frequently have a pretty good selection of high-quality men’s leather belts. The only problem for me is that the name-brand belts they carry are usually in sizes too big for me. I buy them anyway and take them to a shoe repairman near my home who removes the buckles, cuts off the extra inches and re-attaches the buckles. He charges me $3-$5 a belt. I spend on average $15 to $20 on a belt that retails in department stores for $50 to $80, or more. Bob W.

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Frozen rice

I cruise through the frozen food aisles at my favorite warehouse clubs (like Sam’s and Costco) to see what’s new. I figure if they can freeze it, so can I. On a recent trip I saw a long line of people waiting for samples. I sneaked over to see what it was, only to discover rice! Frozen pre-cooked plain white rice. People seemed to think that was the greatest invention ever and they were all tossing it in their carts. I went home, pulled out the rice cooker, made my own and froze it in individual portions. Rebecca M. Read more