Dollar Stretcher; Use fridge magnet to save fridge

Fridge on holiday

One of my tips for preventing mold in refrigerators that are empty and unplugged (like when you are on holiday) is to put a fridge magnet between the doors. It sticks nicely and lets in air, preventing mold.

Jackie

Eyeglass cleaner

There is no need to buy expensive eyeglass cleaners from the store. Just mix a solution of 1/3 rubbing alcohol, 1/3 white vinegar and 1/3 water and put it in a spray bottle. Use a clean cotton handkerchief or cloth to dry. It works just as well and costs a lot less.

Les L., in Tempe, AZ

Too many peppers?

When you have an abundance of peppers, wash them thoroughly, julienne them, like you would use in a stir-fry, lay them on a cookie sheet (do not let them touch), and put them in your freezer. They will freeze nicely. When frozen, place in plastic bags and put back in the freezer until you want to use them; they will not stick together. Just take out what you need and put the rest back in freezer.

Janice H., in Somerset, KY

Bye-bye fruit fly

My friend was planning to bug “bomb” her home to get rid of the fruit flies that had been around for several weeks. She had tried everything else. I told her to put out a small container of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish detergent. She put out three in different parts of her home where she’d seen the flies. The next morning, there were no fruit flies to be found, except for in the vinegar. She was thrilled!

Roxanne B., in Bowdon, GA

Salad for lunch

To keep salad greens crisp when transporting them to work for lunch, pour enough salad dressing in the bottom of a plastic container, place four slices of green or red pepper on top of the dressing and put the greens on top of the peppers, so that they stay above the salad dressing. The greens will remain fresh and crisp and the pepper, celery, carrot sticks, etc., will be marinating in the salad dressing until lunchtime.

Maggie

Save your nail polish

I saw a friend put her nail polish in the fridge and thought she was crazy. But now, my nail polish lasts for years without going bad (hard and clumpy). The manufacturers mean it when they say to keep them in a cold, dark place. When I go to paint my nails, I pull the bottle out about 15 minutes early, to let it warm up a bit and avoid the polish from being sluggish and cold. I keep about 10 bottles in a little clear Caboodle container I found at a garage sale for 50 cents. It fits in the door of the fridge, along with my other nail polish gadgets inside. People think I’m a genius when I explain why I’m not so crazy for keeping the polish in the fridge, now!

Joy

Muddy van carpets

As kids’ sports season approaches, along with the rain and mud, I hate the muddy shoes in my van. After I checked the prices for new floor mats, I decided to make my own. I took a vinyl floor remnant left over from our kitchen floor and cut it to fit the floor of the van. Not only does it cover the area where the floor mats were, but it also covers the entire carpet. Now, the kids can climb in and out, and even spill their drinks, and all I have to do is clean it up with a wet cloth. This also works for the back of the car, where I put my groceries. No more messy carpet!

Michele

Toilet doesn’t flush completely

If your toilet doesn’t completely flush, the problem may be blockage in the rim that lets water into the bowl. I tried the expensive chemical treatment, where you turn off the water and pour cleaner down the tank to the rim holes. It didn’t work, but I do have a variety of brass brushes, used to clean gun barrels. The 22-caliber brush worked great on the smaller drainage holes and the 20-gauge brush worked great on the two larger holes. Just work the brushes into the holes under the rim. In five minutes, the problem was solved.

Jake

Freezer organization

I have a large upright freezer in my garage. Every week, I buy sale items like meat, bread or frozen vegetables. I used to just come home and put them in my freezer, but every time I would get ready to cook something, I had to dig for it. I solved this problem very easily. I went to the dollar store and bought three large plastic containers. These are 14-by-14-by-7 inches, so they are not very tall. They are actually called garment storage boxes. I labeled one for meat, one for chicken and one for veggies. Now, all I do is put the food in the correct container when I get home, and when I’m ready to cook a dish; I know right where to look for my ingredient. This size is perfect, because it slides out of the freezer shelf easily and there is ample room all around each of them for other stuff I need to freeze. You could have one for bread, too. I have one on each shelf of the freezer. It has sure been a lifesaver for me as I scramble around late at night for ingredients to get out for the next day’s dinner. I am thinking I need to go organize my parents’ freezer as well, as it would simplify their life as they get older.

Lynne T., in GA

Want to live better on the money you already make? Visit www.stretcher.com/r/99.htm to find hundreds of articles to help you stretch your day and your dollar! Copyright 2009 Dollar Stretcher, Inc.

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