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Farmers Almanac
The 2014 Farmers Almanac
Farmers' Almanac

11 Smart Ways to Make Your Money Last Longer

11 Smart Ways to Make Your Money Last Longer

1. Chipped, colorful mugs or cups make great planters.

2. Don’t fret over a lost leather glove; turn the remaining one into a small tool carrier. Cut off the fingers at the mid length. Make 2 slits in the back and run your belt through. Handy little carrier for light tools!

3. Need a low-cost way to remove mildew stains? Just moisten stained spots with a mixture of lemon juice and salt, then spread the item in the sun for bleaching; finally, rinse and dry. Follow up by laundering as usual.

4. Forget paint remover. Nail polish remover removes old paint from metal screws and nails. Similarly, don’t bother with rug deodorizer. Sprinkle dried chamomile blossoms onto carpets before vacuuming for a fresh, clean scent. And certainly don’t buy any stain remover for crayons. Use a damp rag dipped in baking soda to scrub unwelcome crayon marks. They will come off with little effort.

5. 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 in the drain, and add a cup of water. When the bubbling stops, flush with hot water. Store the extra in a jar with a label listing the ingredients.

6. Metal cookie cutters do double duty as unique napkin holders for special dinners. If you want, spray paint them to match the decor.

7. In between uses, put your steel wool scrubbing pads in a plastic bag and store in the freezer to help prevent rust.

8. Need an inexpensive but original gift? Purchase fancy dinner plates, and place a home-made cake on top. Your gift will be the hit of the party.

9. A toothbrush in the kitchen will help clean graters, beaters, and choppers. A soft one will clean mushrooms, lemons, limes, and fresh string beans.

10. Brooms and brushes last longer if hung when not in use. Once fibers and bristles are bent out of shape, these tools no longer function well.

11. Burned food on your pots and pans? Let a mixture of half water and half vinegar soak in a pan overnight. The burned food will come 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.