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Social Butterfly

Do You Know Any Good "LIFE HACKS" For Saving Money &/or Time???

I was just on another discussion topic responding to a thread when I read about feeding cardboard to worms as compost or using the cardboard to walk on in a wet or muddy garden.  

 

Well, that sounded like a great idea to me!  Some people raise worms for fishing or to sell and of course, lots of people make their own compost to enrich their flower and vegetable gardens.  (me...I want the worms and the compost in my garden!)

 

I usually recycle all of my cardboard...and there seems to be so much of it lately as I order things online rather than physically going out and shopping for particular items!

 

Then I looked about for a "Life Hacks" thread.  Seeing none jumping out at me, I decided to create this one so that anyone can come along and share their own favorite or newly discovered "life hacks!"

 

Many thanks to @LA Dolce Vita for bringing up the idea in the first place and here's her link to the article in support of cardboard compost for worms.

 

http://www.wormfarmingsecrets.com/worm-composting-food/worm-composting-with-cardboard/

 

 

It would be great to have a big old list of life hacks here for quick referral!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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I was using mail order prescriptions for my prescriptions which was a set fee for 90 day supply.  I found that many of my prescriptions were actually cheaper at the retail pharmacy.  Check retail before you use mail order.

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Whenever I see the word "hack" it always conjures up a scene where I'm trying to separate two partially frozen pork chops with a meat cleaver. I just can't get used to the slang term; overused in current day; meaning to successfully carry out a task. I will be glad when this new "buzz word" becomes passe' and folks tire of it. 

 

My husband and I are comfortably retired because we paid off our house early and now have very minimal living expenses. The experts always advise "don't pay off your mortage," but I say this is bunk! Why give all that interest to the bank every year? Why not use the money for vacations or home improvements instead of your housing expense? We appreciate having an extra two grand plus, to spend monthly on what we choose. Having the peace of mind, that in case of a financial set back or illness, we don't stand the chance to lose our home. You can't put a price on that...

Contributor

 I use my nutcracker all the time to open bottles and small jars. For larger jars, the pointy end of they bottle opener can pop the seal, making it really easy to open

Contributor

Hello You know those pant hangers from the stores well i take them home and cut the clips off them sand down the rough edges and wa la chip clips,bag clips.Saves a few pennies and work for years.               

Contributor

Many older americans have a tendency to continue using old lamps and other electronic items in the home. most of todays electronics are energy savers and can be quit the bill reducer. From kitchen appliances to tvs we have to educate our elders on saving electricity by using smarter electronic options in the home and that using extension cords are intended for temporary use not permanent. Please add to my post with any ideas or suggestions we can pass along.

Contributor

I have multiple rescue cats, including two that are deaf. I remember my mom always had mint growing freely in beds at our house. And we never had a problem with fleas. So this spring, I will be setting out several small tubs of potting soil filled with mint. It's a proven natural flea killer and it keeps rodents away as well. Cats aren't harmed by eating or rolling in it.

Contributor

Also, try plain baking soda in house on carpet and upholstery to kill fleas if they get in via the cats. This will dehydrate them and they die instantly. 

Honored Social Butterfly

@Prosecco6247 - Great idea! I only wish that I had something clever to share. 

 

There is one thing that I started this year to help out with plants and gardening. I bought an inexpensive photo album that holds 4X6 photos/2 per page. I took a picture of each plant on my phone and printed it out; then taped the care instructions to an index card. I put the photo in the top slot and the instructions down below. I also save the little plastic things that stick in the plants, and put them in the album also. It's somewhat similiar to something I saw in Martha Stewart Living. Martha was showing how to make a garden journal, where you write about each plant, etc.  I just mark it if it croaks!

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
Honored Social Butterfly

"... I took a picture of each plant on my phone and printed it out; then taped the care instructions to an index card. I put the photo in the top slot and the instructions down below....".

 

I keep telling myself to do something similar every year, but never seem to get around to it. It's a good idea for serious gardeners.


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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I am 62+ and just found I can freeze the eggs that are on sale right now (18 each @ 99 cents); as I am trying high protein (no meat of any kind) diet right now due to health episode, this made my week: 

 

Can you freeze eggs?

 

This site has loads of money saving tips; so glad I found it!

 


#VegasStrong
Phil Harris, actor and showman, to John Fogerty of CCR: “If I’d known I’d live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.”
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Social Butterfly

Okay!  I'm so glad we've attracted some folks who get into the spirit of saving $$$ with life hacks and for those of us who never seem to have enough time...to save a precious bit of that valuable commodity by not having to spend so much of it trying to figure out how to solve a problem!

 

1.)  I have one I use all of the time...do you ever have trouble opening a pickle jar or others that just won't budge?  I learned this one a long time ago from my daughter who learned it from a neighbor.  The trick is to slip the tip of a spoon under the jar lid and gain leverage by pushing downward on the "shoulder" of the jar.  It breaks the vacuum seal and the jar opens easily using only a limited amount of effort.  Pickle jar lids are different than some others because they have indentations along the bottom where the spoon can fit.

 

Image result for images for jar lids

 

 Sometimes, I will use a table knife if the space there is limited.  It works just as well!

 

 

2.)  Did you know the average pair of kitchen shears in your knife block has a screw-top bottle opener built into the design?

 

 

Image result for images for kitchen shears

 

 

Same concept...apply the gripper teeth around any bottle top and use the handles for leverage.  It breaks the seal and voila!  The bottle is opened.  

 

For someone whose hands are limited in strength due to arthritis, this is a godsend!

 

3.)  Here are an additional 30 "Life Hacks" to help tweak those memory gaps and get you started on responding with some of your "tried & true" life hacks!

 

https://youtu.be/BKlmPgXTyso

 

Thanks to all who've taken the time to comment and share!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Periodic Contributor

I used to use one of those circular rubber pads you buy to open jars. One day I needed to open a screw top bottle and didnt want to get up and go look for it.  After thinking about it, I realized it was the rubber that let meopen the bottle so on a hunch I wrapped a RUBBER BAND aroung the cap a wah-lah, it opened easily.  I now keep a wide rubber band in many handy places around the house, i.e. next to my TV chair, on the bedside table, on a magnetic hook in the kitchen.

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Social Butterfly

"Cushion" handles of yard implements and tools with rubber/foam pipe insulation.

 

You can glue it or tape it into place with special foam or "Duck Brand" tape.  It's especially useful for wheelbarrow handles, small diameter lawnmower handles or awkwardly shaped handles such as leaf blowers and edgers, where holding the implement tightly for long periods and constant vibration leaves one's hands and fingers stiff and sore.  Works great!

 

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Recognized Social Butterfly

I have to mention cleaning vinegar.  There are store brands available now in the cleaning section & the price has come down.  Good as a rinse in the dishwasher and instead of fabric softener in the washer.  And it cleans & deodorizes very well too!!

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According to a scientific study reported on NPR many years ago, 25% vinigar/water removes 90% of bad things from produce. Hence my practice is to wash all produce in that mix.

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I started saving the wax bags that cereal comes in.  I open them up and use them when I am flour or bread crumb coating food.  Also, I use them for laying out lasagna noodles to dry a bit before assembling my lasagna.  I found that it saves quite a bit of wax paper.  As an added bonus, I find the bags are sturdier than normal wax paper.

Honored Social Butterfly


@LaDolceVita wrote:

I have to mention cleaning vinegar.  There are store brands available now in the cleaning section & the price has come down.  Good as a rinse in the dishwasher and instead of fabric softener in the washer.  And it cleans & deodorizes very well too!!


I keep a spray bottle on my kitchen counter, about 1/2 vinegar to 1/2 water with about a tsp of dishwashing liquid. Great to clean in the kitchen, or spills on the floor, even in the bathroom.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
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Never use vinegar to clean marble counter tops.

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This is health related but I will mention it here anyway.  Due to circumstances conspiring to test me I am in a terrible hurry & must rush all day to take care of my household.   I found I was not preparing  enough vegetables due to lack of time.  Then I found the Green Giant cauliflower rice.  It is toooo easy!!  I add it to sausage in the morning, red peppers & onions in the evening  & no more  veggie worries.  And yes it is expensive but right now it is priceless for me!! 

Social Butterfly

@LaDolceVita  Thanks for this!  I use "steam in the bag" cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts all of the time since I only cook for myself.  I have heard of the cauliflower "rice" and have seen apparently "busy young mothers" types picking it up in the grocery store while I am perusing the freezer case aisles. I always  passed it up as being "too expensive."  

Experienced cooks tend to dismiss high-$$$ items because they know they can "do it themselves" and then they don't find the time necessary to do it, much like your schedule getting in the way of properly prepping & cooking vegetables!

 

However, I've seen recipes for it's use and didn't want to go to the trouble of "ricing" cooked cauliflower.  Saving time is also saving money...so you have "opened my eyes."  I can see that this will be a workable "hack" for me!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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@Prosecco6247  Haha, I went to a different store yesterday & it was lesser price for these & I am embarrassed to say how many I bought!!  I have been warned to stay away from the sweet potato mix as it turned out gummy so I am passing that on.  Does not sound appealing anyway Woman Happy.

Social Butterfly

@LaDolceVita & @MaVolta  I noticed you both posted on the use of vinegar for cleaning.  I am into "natural cleaning solutions" as well.  I don't have any small children around but I do have two small dogs (who now have cardiac issues) so I don't like the idea of having strong or possibly toxic chemicals around.

 

I subscribe to a blog called "Clean Mama."  Today's topic was "DIY Laundry Stain Bar."  She used simple Castile soap for her laundry stain treatments.  My "hack" is a bar of yellow Dial Soap.  I have been using this for years on many stubborn stains.  It's one I sent my boys to college with because I knew it would be something they'd always have around, it wasn't too expensive and they were more likely to "follow through" when doing their laundry.  (The girls were already motivated to take care of their wardrobes...lol!)

 

The method is simple.  Take a bar of yellow Dial Soap, wet the end of it and rub it on the stain.  Re-wet the soap as necessary. (an alternative is to wet the stain with cool or room temperature water and proceed using the dry bar.)  That's it!  Now launder as usual!  It takes a number of difficult stains out...coffee with milk or cream out of a white blouse or shirt (milk is a protein stain & difficult if set-in), grass, dirt stains.  I've used it on everything.  It's best to treat the stains as soon as you can, but you can pre-treat them and launder in a day or two.  I've included the link for Clean Mama's method below.

 

<https://www.cleanmama.net/2017/04/diy-laundry-stain-bar.html>

 

Another stain removal "hack" I use is hydrogen peroxide on blood stains.  Just pour it on the stain, allow it to work, repeating application if necessary, then launder as usual.  No stain!

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recognized Social Butterfly

Oh I read this on Pinterest & tried it.  Half dishwashing detergent & half vinegar mixture will clean shower & tub with no scrubbing.  Worked very well. 

 

I usually check Pinterest for cleaning tips as well as old fashioned remedies for small problems.   The only bad thing about Pinterest imo is that it can make time stand still & before you know it its many hours later & you have accomplished nothing!  This happens to me whenever I check travel info on it.  Some of the pictures are just wow!

Social Butterfly

@LaDolceVita  I am such a Pinterest freak!  I know what you mean about time standing still!  It's almost as if I am in a great museum and there's so much to see and I want to see everything!  Who knew the concept would be so popular?  I certainly didn't expect it to be when I first heard about it!  

 

Whenever I'm stressed about something, I can go on Pinterest and forget about everything else...my  mind and body are so relaxed...I am totally engaged in what's there before my eyes!

It's like "virtual Valium"...lol!  Woman Wink

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Honored Social Butterfly

@Prosecco6247 & @LaDolceVita - 

 

Ditto on Pinterest!! I can spend an hour or more without even thinking about it, but have found a number of helpful hints, and some interesting information.

"Music can change the world because it can change people." - Bono
Recognized Social Butterfly

@MaVolta@Prosecco6247  When I first visited Pinterest I just shrugged and thought this is not for me.  Several years later I began going there when I needed an answer to a health problems or something problematic in the household.  I think its the pictures that suck you in!!

Social Butterfly

Johnny Appleseed might approve of this hack...

 

http://www.creeklinehouse.com/2015/04/the-trick-to-keeping-your-potatoes-from-sprouting.html

 

I had never heard of this trick before!  Who knew?

 

I wonder how to keep onions from sprouting as well?  I keep them in a cool, dry, dark place with plenty of air circulation...and still, they sometimes sprout or develop softness & discoloration in one or two of the outer layers.  I find this especially with Vidalias.  I like to use them a lot when they're in season, but this tendency makes me only buy a few at a time.  Does anyone have an answer for this?

"Never succumb to the temptation of bitterness." ~ Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Recognized Social Butterfly

@Prosecco6247  This will be a great thread imo!

Honored Social Butterfly

In the spirit of gardening -- this is nothing new, but not everyone may know it.....

 

I have a large area for a vege garden. I used to have to weed all summer or the weeds would overtake the plants. I started using newspaper as mulch. You prep the garden in whatever way you like, then put newspaper down (2 sheets thickness works for me) in between the rows. If you have plants to transplant to the garden, such as tomato plants, you can put the newspaper down first and cut holes large enough to do the transplanting. You'll need scrap wood to hold the edges of the paper down or the first windy storm will take everything away. Once in place, water everything.  The newspaper will hold all season, and can then be tilled/spaded right back into the soil. Its free mulch, and works.    

    You could use cardboard too. Additionally, if having newspaper covering your garden beds is disturbing to your sense of aesthetics, you simply put mulch over the newspaper.   


"...Why is everyone a victim? Take personal responsibility for your life..."
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