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Helpful household tips

Auto air fresh: The smell of the commercial air-fresheners for vehicles makes me ill because it’s too strong. So, I just crush up some cinnamon sticks and put them in a mesh bag under the front seat. One can use whole cloves in the ash tray as well. The spices smell wonderful and are much cheaper than any commercial type I’ve ever found.

Bunny coolers: To keep my bunny rabbits from getting overheated during the hot summer months, take 1 and 2 liter soda bottles, fill them with water and freeze. When it’s over 80 degrees, set a couple of them in the corner of the hutch and they cuddle up next to their own ‘air conditioners.’ Change the bottles a couple of times a day and the bunnies are also very well shaded.

Dumb stuff that works: For the teenagers in the house—to take blackheads and dead spots off of your face, just use a small brush and paint some white school glue over the spots. Let it dry and peel off the glue. The dead skin cells and a good share of the blackheads will come off too. It’s amazing, but it works. (I have not tried this one. It’s been a good many years since I had blackheads. So try it and see).

Weed free garden paths: If you lay down a few sheets of thick cardboard where your garden paths/rows need to be and then cover them with some old hay or compost and keep them wet, the weeds can’t grow up through the cardboard and the paths are fairly weed-free all summer. Sometimes it takes the cardboard a couple of years to decompose back in to the soil.

Cucumber chips: If your cucumber patch is producing overtime, and your pickle supply is ‘over the top’ give this a try. Slice the cucumbers and dry the slices in your dehydrator at a fairly low temperature—118 degrees until nice and crispy. They make a good snack for the kids as they don’t need any additional salt. There is a natural salt in the cucumber that comes out in the drying process and is enough.

Free tomato stakes: I use old dead branches off of my trees for my tomato stakes/cages. I just push the big end into the ground by the tomato plants and then tie together with some strips of polyester fabric (some of it, I’ve used for several years and it’s still in pretty good shape). I’ve been doing this for several years and had good luck. If the plants get real big, I just push in another couple of branches.

I see no sense in buying something extra when I already have something free that works just as well (it may not look quite as good to start with, but free is good. They are covered up by the tomato vines in a few weeks anyway and nobody knows what is under the plants but me.

If you have hints or ideas to share, send them to PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543; or e-mail them to If you send me your name and address, I’ll send you a FREE copy of the PennyWise Newsletter. Please mention the High Plains Journal when you write.


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