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How Can I Get Rid of This Stubborn Toilet Ring?

It’s not the most elegant question I get, but certainly one of the most common. “I’ve tried everything I can think of, but that stubborn, ugly toilet bowl ring won’t go away!” Or “It goes away, but just keeps coming back!”

 

white toilet suffering from a nasty toilet ring

 

Toilet bowls develop discolorations for many reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the housekeeping. In most cases, the toilet ring is the result of hard water conditions together with water standing in a toilet that doesn’t see a lot of use.

While there are lots of commercial products out there that promise to remove hard water stains in the toilet, ordinary household pantry items you have already can be just as effective—and much cheaper!—to rid your toilet of the dreaded toilet ring without harsh chemicals.

What are those stains, anyway?

Toilet bowl stains that look like rust are likely due to mineral deposits and hard water. Green, orange or black streaks or rings may be mold. A bacteria called serratia marcescens shows up as pink.

In some cases, yellow stains in toilet bowls are due to a lack of maintenance. When your toilet bowl is exposed to urine for an extended period, yellow staining is bound to appear. You can prevent this by making sure the toilet is flushed after every use.

Under most conditions, regular weekly cleaning prevents heavy stain buildup and reduces the appearance of any existing stains so the bowl can look pristine and white again.

And when none of that works? Don’t worry, I have the mother of all solutions for that too, in a bit. But let’s start with the easiest.

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16 Brilliant Reasons to Stop Throwing Out Pickle Juice

It was a weird request. My friend Mary Ann asked if she could borrow some pickle juice. Huh? Who keeps pickle juice? The purpose of pickle juice is to keep the pickles fresh and flavorful. And when the pickles are gone, out goes the juice, right? That practice makes Mary Ann cringe.

pickles in a jar and a bowl

Here’s the deal: Mary Ann is famous for her potato salad. She makes ten pounds at a time and it disappears faster than homemade ice cream on a hot summer day. Her secret (which she confides to only a chosen few) is sweet pickle juice. Not pickles, not relish—only the juice. And lots of it.

So, I wondered if there might be other uses for the briny stuff? A quick search of the multiple thousands of tips readers have sent to me over the years plus research online came up amazingly positive!

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Make It Better Yourself: Panera Mac n’ Cheese, Starbucks Lemon Loaf

According to a Reuters news story that ran long before we had to teach our kids the meaning of “quarantine,” one-third of U.S. adults are eating out less frequently than three months prior. The reason? Mostly the cost. No surprise there. Not even drive-thru fast food or curbside pick-up is inexpensive these days.

In the same survey cited by Reuters, two-thirds of the respondents said they consider eating at home to be very or somewhat cheap. And that’s because … it is!

A dining room table

Now, somewhere in between not-eating-out because it’s too expensive and eating-at-home because it’s cheaper there has to be a solution that makes eating at home not only cheap, but satisfyingly delicious, too.

Copycat Panera Mac & Cheese

Everyone has their weakness—mine happens to be macaroni and cheese and in my opinion, it’s hard to beat Panera’s signature Mac & Cheese. But that $9 price tag is hard to swallow.

Everything in me has been determined to figure out how to make this myself at home, and for more like $.80 a serving. And now that’s exactly what I do—as often as I dare.

A bowl of Macaroni and cheese

This Copycat Panera’s Mac and Cheese Recipe is, in my opinion even better than Panera’s. It’s smooth and creamy thanks to a secret ingredient that may make some of my dear readers wince.

In a word: Velveeta.

I know what you’re thinking, but if an ingredient or technique makes a dish taste better and gives it a heavenly texture, I am all for it. The key lies in how much Velveeta you use—only a very small amount.

I promise you, people will go nuts for this Mac & Cheese. Just don’t mention the V-word. It’ll be our little secret.

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Homemade Pot Roast with Gravy—Quick and Super Easy!

What’s for dinner? How about Pot Roast that makes its own gravy? That takes only a few minutes to prepare, then on the table in an hour? That’s what I’m talking about!

sliced pot roast beef dinner with peas mashed potatoes and gravy

Homemade Pot Roast with Gravy

Pot Roast is economical, classic comfort food, and a quintessential family favorite. Bonus: leftovers are even better the second day. What’s not to love?

Get ready for fall-apart beef that’s tender, flavorful, and smothered in a rich gravy. This recipe is mouthwateringly good, yet insanely simple to make. Use a slow cooker or Instant Pot. Pick the method that works best for you!

And now get ready for a quirky recipe—nothing to measure, no chopping, cutting, or browning. Just three seasoning packets, a roast (or chicken or pork!)—and you’re good to go.

A close up of food, with Pot roast and Beef

Variations

A close up of many different types of food, with Gravy and Pot roast

Spice mixes are available in just about every supermarket and grocery store. You’ll save quite a bit if you can find the bulk containers of the same products. Or you can order online, links below.

Individual packets

Brown Gravy dry mix

Chicken Gravy dry mix

Pork Gravy dry mix

Italian dressing dry mix

Ranch dressing dry mix

Bulk containers

Brown Gravy dry mix

Poultry Gravy dry mix

Ranch dressing dry mix

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A close up of a plate of food, with Pot roast

Three Packets and a Roast

Get ready for fall-apart beef that's tender, flavorful, and smothered in a rich gravy it makes itself. This recipe is mouthwateringly good, yet insanely simple to make. Use Instant Pot or slow cooker—the method that works best for you!
4.54 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 314kcal
Cost: Hard to determine, just try to buy your meat on Sale!

Equipment

  • Slow Cooker OR
  • Pressure cooker (Instant pot)

Ingredients

  • 1 3 - 4 lb. beef roast chuck, London broil, round—you name it!
  • 1 packet Brown Gravy dry mix
  • 1 packet Italian dressing dry mix
  • 1 packet Ranch dressing dry mix
  • 1 cup water

Instructions

  • Place beef in Instant Pot or slow cooker (no need to brown, but you sure can do that if you want!).
  • Pour contents of the three seasoning packets over the raw meat.
  • Pour water over the top. Cover with lid.
  • Instant Pot: Set to high pressure (or 'meat/stew' if your IP model has that setting) for 60 mins. Quick release.
  • Slow cooker: Cook on Low for 8-10 hours for a very large roast, fewer hours if smaller, or on High for 5-6 hours. Check for doneness after 4-5 hours, as time will vary depending on the cut of beef, size and so on.
  • Optional: Add cut up potatoes and carrots during the last hour of cooking; frozen peas during the last 10 minutes in slow cooker. For Instant Pot, remove roast, add cut up raw potatoes and carrots to the gravy, then high pressure for 4 to 5 minutes, quick release.
  • Expect beautiful, rich, dark brown gravy and the best Pot Roast ever.

Notes

Three Packets and a Chicken
1 whole chicken with Chicken Gravy Mix, Italian Dressing Dry Mix, and Ranch Dressing Dry Mix and 1 cup water.
Three Packets and a Pork Roast
1 pork roast with Pork Gravy Mix, Italian Dressing Dry Mix, and Ranch Dressing Dry Mix and 1 cup water.

Nutrition

Calories: 314kcal
Tried this recipe?Mention @EverydayCheapskate or tag #EverydayCheapskate!

Surprising Trick Removes Stubborn Hard Water Stains from Glass Shower Doors

Got stubborn hard watermarks and stains on your tub or shower doors that simply will not budge no matter what you try? You’re not alone.

I’ve heard from countless readers who say they’ve tried everything from my magic soap scum cleaner to cleaning vinegar, hydrogen peroxide, oven cleaner, muriatic acid, steel wool, Bar Keepers Friend, Bon Ami and other expensive chemicals to get rid of the horrid, ugly, hard water stains and white haze.

A glass door, with Water and Shower

Severe situations

While most of the time the Magic Soap Scum Cleaner takes care of the problem, even it cannot touch a severe situation where the hard water minerals have become so embedded, the surface of the glass has become permanently etched.

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