TISSUE BOXES: Cut strips from sides of empty tissue boxes for bookmarks, about 2” wide x 7 or 8” long or any other size.Stuff plastic bags from the grocery store into empty tissue boxes for neat storage and easy retrieval.
Use empty tissue boxes for storing children’s toys with small parts; paste picture on the end of the box for easy contents identification.
Use candy molds to make decorative pats of butter for entertaining or serving.
CHRISTMAS CARDS: Reuse last year’s Christmas cards as decorations or gift tags for this year’s presents or to make wine charms. Cut an image from the front of a card. Attach to the gift with photo-corner tabs, or use a glue gun to glue to package; add bow. Use a one-hole punch to make a gift tag; tie to gift package with curly ribbon or other ribbon. Use pictures for craft projects or educational material for children. Make wine charms. Cut out favorite part of card (snowman, tree, poinsettia. Use a one-hole paper punch, or needle, to create an opening; tie around the glass
stem with ribbon.
PLASTIC TABS: Use plastic tabs from bread wrappers to label electrical cords plugged into a power strip. Write the appliance name with permanent marker on the tab and slip it over the cord.
OLD DISH PANS: Use old dish pans for storage under sink for brushes, soaps; or store
potatoes, onions in separate pans.
CHIPPED CUPS: Use chipped cups or mugs as small plant containers; use large mugs
and glasses to store kitchen tools on counter.
SHOE BOXES: Use empty shoe boxes as drawer dividers to section off socks, underwear, etc. Use an empty shoe box for a stationery or mail box; add letter opener, stamps, envelopes, pen, stapler, paper clips, tape. Use shoe boxes to store receipts filed in envelopes. Keep boxes on hand for packaging gifts.
Store ironed linen wrapped around long cardboard tubes from gift wrap to prevent creasing.
CLOTHESPINS: Use clothespins as clips to close bread wrappers, potato chips, etc.
COOKIE JAR: Use ceramic cookie jar without the lid to hold kitchen tools.
EGG CARTONS: store buttons, sewing bobbins, earrings, or small items in a workshop. Label end of carton with permanent marker.
Use egg carton in desk drawer for paper clips, elastics.
Use egg cartons in kitchen to store small items; cut the tray side for kitchen
Use empty egg carton to carry deviled eggs; cut eggs in half the way they sit in the egg carton instead of sideways.
Use egg carton cups to start seedlings for your garden.
COFFEE FILTERS: Use coffee filters to clean glass surfaces to prevent streaks.
Protect china or dishes; slide a coffee filter between each piece. The layer
provides a cushion
that protects porcelain from scratches and marks.
If the cork is broken in the wine bottle, use a coffee filter to sift out the
cork remnants while
decanting wine into a pitcher.
Line a flower pot with a coffee filter before adding the earth and plant. The porous paper allows water to drain without allowing nutrient rich soil to leak out the hole.
Make a scented sachet; fill a coffee filter with potpourri and tie shut with pretty ribbon; scent will waft through the paper filter to fill drawers with a pleasant fragrance.
EMPTY CANS: Turn empty tomato and fruit cans into containers; remove labels, paint in fun colors. Make stripes with colored masking tape or paint strips of other colors around the can. Or cover with wrapping paper or decoupage.
Use cans with the labels for flower arrangements. Daisies in tomato cans for example; use crumbled plastic mesh from onions to hold flowers in place.
Use cans as organizers for tools such as screwdrivers or paint brushes, or for pencils, pens, etc. in office. Decorate cans with paint, ribbons, or wallpaper scraps to match
STRING: Keep string or twine from unraveling by storing it in an empty jelly/jam jar with a hole poked in the middle of the top. Trace the top of the jar onto a piece of scrap paper; fold circle in thirds to determine the center of the top of the jar. Make the hole by pounding a nail through the lid or use a drill. Insert ball of string into jar; pull string end through the hole in the lid.
JARS: Store bulk food items such as rice, noodles, soup base mixes, seasonings, or candy in empty jars. Store cotton balls, Q-tips, soaps in the bathroom in empty jars. Store buttons, beads, hardware, nuts and bolts.
Tip: To eliminate odors from used jars, such as peanut butter or mayonnaise jars, rinse them well with white vinegar.
SPICE BOTTLES: Use empty spice bottles for salt and pepper shakers at the cottage; add few grains rice to prevent clumping; use for picnic salt and pepper shakers; use as dispensers for small amounts of sugar, cornstarch, flour, and icing sugar for baking and cooking.
SUITCASES: Store off season clothing, linen, or household items not frequently used in empty suitcases.
Prepare an evacuation kit; store in a suitcase.
GARDEN GLOVES: Use inexpensive cotton Dollar Store garden gloves for handling
frozen foods in freezer to protect hands.
MESH BAGS: Tie together mesh onion bags with kitchen string to make a pot scrubber. Fold, tie together with string, and use mesh bags as a nonabrasive scrubber for dirty pots and pans.
Tie a mesh bag onto the gutter spout to prevent leaves and other debris from clogging it up.
Fill mesh bags with flower bulbs and hang up high; air will circulate around bulbs to keep
Crumple up mesh bags and place in bottom of a flower vase to hold a flower arrangement.
Fill mesh bags with suet and hang outside for the birds.
MUFFIN TINS: Use muffin tins as drawer organizers for small gadgets, screws, etc. in
workshop; use for organizers for sewing supplies or other small items; use to serve
condiments for a barbecue.
HOW TO MANAGE YOUR SAVINGS
In total you should have five bank accounts.
- Your main bank account should be a checking account where all the money comes in, and the only account where the money is coming out of on a regular basis. This is the bank account where your pay check and any other income you are receiving should be going into.
From this account, you will be making monthly deposits into the other four accounts:
- A savings account for significant future purchases such a down payment for a home,
appliances, furniture, or a car.
- A savings account for vacations. A good idea would be to put any kind of money gifts you receive for your birthday or other special occasions into this account.
- A savings account for emergencies or unexpected costs such as car repairs, medical costs, or if you ever find yourself in a tight financial situation such as between jobs. Try to keep at least six months monthly expenses for emergencies.
- An RRSP- a registered retirement savings plan. Not only will you get a nice little tax cut
from it, but by investing that tax cut back into your RRSP you will have initiated a cycle of
Remember, not all savings accounts are alike, so do some research online or visit banks for
the best, cheapest or no fee bank account.
HOT MATS FROM OLD PLACE MATS
Make a hot mat from old place mats. They are great for putting large roasting pans and casseroles on counters and table tops when hot from the oven.
I have also made these hot mats without the silver heat proof liner and just used a piece of an old towel.
- 2 place mats
- silver heat proof liner (one layer)
- bias tape
- thread to match bias tape
Remove bias tape from both place mats and set it aside. With right sides facing out for the top and bottom of the pad, place a layer of silver heat proof liner between the two place mats (touching the wrong sides) or a layer or two of old toweling.
Mark the top place mat with a safety pin according to the lining package directions (there is a right and wrong way to deflect heat). If using an old towel it doesn’t matter which is right side.
Machine tack every inch or so using the existing quiltinglines as a guide to anchor the mats and lining together.
Trim edges evenly and reattach bias binding, or if mat is too thick, make or buy some new bias binding and sew all around.
For more of Aunt Bea Sez, see page 2