Saturday, March 30, 2013

Make your own colored sugar

Don't spend money on colored sugar to decorate cakes and cookies! A drop or two of food coloring added to a quarter up of plain granulated sugar, then shaken vigorously, is exactly the same... and a lot cheaper. Experiment with beet juice or strong tea. If two drops won't do it, try three.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Another use for mateless socks

Keep one in the glove compartment of the car to quickly wipe fog or dust from the windows or check the oil. Keep a plastic grocery bag with it to store it in if it becomes gunky.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Uses for mateless socks

Got a sock without a mate? (Don't we all?) Don't get rid of it. Cotton socks make great dust cloths, but if your sock isn't cotton? Use it to launder small items or items that tangle and twist. Put the items in the sock, tie the top and drop it into the washer with the rest of the laundry.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Clean up with dish soap bottles

Keep a few of those squirt dish soap bottles filled with water. If your water supply is cut off for any reason, they're excellent for washing hands or other clean ups. They're great also for camping or other outside activity where you need to wash up.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Uses for fabric softener sheets

If you're still using fabric softener sheets, don't toss the used ones. They're antistatic and can be successfully used to dust TV screens or other electronics. Or... use them as facing when sewing small things.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Free laundry detergent

Do you use a laundromat or other public laundry facility? You might want to wait until you're the only one there for this one.

Go through the trash and pick out discarded detergent containers, both liquid and powder. Rinse a couple of "empty" liquid detergent bottles into your laundry and that should be enough. For the powder, bang the boxes on their corners a few times and pour the powder out into one box. Do it on all four corners. You'll be surprised how much is left in there.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Tea bags from panty hose

They're perfectly clean if you wash them well... the toes make excellent tea bags for loose leaf tea with just a little effort. Cut them off a little bigger than you think you'll need, then hem them by hand and run embroidery thread or light twine around the edge to use as a pull string.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Double Zero

We've been doubling sales every 18 months. However, when you start from zero, it takes a long while."
- Stephen Yeo, a marketing director at Windows-terminal manufacturer Wyse, explaining his company's slow growth.

I guess you gotta start somewhere, but do the math before you commit.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Never Buy Lettuce

Even if you have nothing but a table with a lamp on it, you can grow lettuce for your salads and sandwiches.

This time of year, I'm all about growing things in the garden, but most of it is daydreaming right now. Instead of planting things in the snow, I plant them for the windowsills. Lettuce and radishes are easy to grow indoors, so I have to get the jump on the season.

Really, though, it's easy to grow those things year 'round indoors, so why pay between one and two dollars for a head of lettuce? Or almost as much for a small bunch of radishes? Why not have your salad and eat it, too??

A pot of eight inches or deeper, a few seeds and some water is all it takes. Both radishes and lettuce like cooler temperatures so a windowsill is ideal. Don't overwater, but don't let them dry out.

Use good soil. Potting soil is okay to start them, but you'll need to supplement with fertilizer or add compost to begin with. Fertilize the plants every month or so. 

Harvest lettuce when the leaves are at least 4 inches tall. Cut  off a few and let the plant grow again - that's why you need more than one plant.

Radishes are ready when they're as big as you want them.

If you want to save seeds from your lettuce and radishes, you'll need to set them outdoors when the weather settles. They'll be ready to go to seed in a couple of months, so plan accordingly.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Cheap Easter Treat

Cut home made sugar, peanut butter or oatmeal cookies in the shape of eggs, bake and decorate with frosting, then wrap individually for Easter basket treats. You can make some huge ones or tiny ones just for fun.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Quick Candles

Save the wax drippings from candles as well as candle stubs. Melt it down and pour it into small containers. Let it cool until it forms a skim over the top, then insert a birthday candle in the center (for the wick).

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Leftover Beans

Got leftover cooked beans? Rinse, drain, mash and add them to meatloaf. No one will ever know they're in there. It extends the meat and adds fiber, too.