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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

Money-Saving Uses for Everyday Household Items

Money-Saving Uses for Everyday Household Items

At Farmers’ Almanac, we like to share with you our best money-saving tips, whether it’s repurposing or recycling an item, or finding multiple uses for everyday household products. Here are just a few ways you can cut costs using products you have around the home:

  • Make colorful garden planters out of gently chipped mugs or cups.
  • Don’t fret over a lost leather glove. Turn the remaining one into a small tool carrier. Cut off the fingers at mid-length. Make two vertical slits in the back and run a belt through them. Then, load up the fingers with lightweight tools.
  • Remove mildew stains with a mixture of lemon juice and salt. Moisten stained spots with the mixture. Spread the item in the sun for bleaching. Rinse and dry, then launder as usual.
  • Don’t spend money on paint remover, rug deodorizer or stain remover. Take off old paint from metal screws and nails with nail polish remover. Sprinkle dried chamomile blossoms onto carpets before vacuuming for a fresh, clean scent. Use a damp rag dipped in baking soda to scrub unwelcome crayon marks.
  • Make a low-cost drain cleaner. Mix 1/4 cup cream of tartar, 1 cup salt and 1 cup baking soda. Pour 1/4 cup of the mixture into the drain and add a cup of water. Flush the drain with hot water when bubbling stops. Store extra mixture in a jar and add a label that lists the ingredients.
  • Use metal cookie cutters as unique napkin holders for special dinners. If you want, spray paint them to match your décor or decorating theme.
  • To prevent rust in between uses, place steel wool scrubbing pads in a plastic bag and store them in the freezer.
  • Clean graters, beaters and choppers with a toothbrush. A soft one will clean mushrooms, lemons, limes and fresh string beans.
  • Hang brooms and brushes to make them last longer. Once fibers and bristles are bent out of shape, these tools no longer function well.
  • Remove burned food on pots and pans with a mixture of half water and half vinegar. Soak overnight. Burned food comes off easily with a light scouring.

If you notice a hole in the upper left-hand corner of your Farmers' Almanac, don't return it to the store! That hole isn't a defect; it's a part of history. Starting with the first edition of the Farmers' Almanac in 1818, readers used to nail holes into the corners to hang it up in their homes, barns, and outhouses (to provide both reading material and toilet paper). In 1910, the Almanac's publishers began pre-drilling holes in the corners to make it even easier for readers to keep all of that invaluable information (and paper) handy.