Two ears better than none
Have you ever miscalculated the amount of corn on the cob you needed? The first tip solves that problem. I like the idea enough to use it on a regular basis for my kids, so there’s less chance of them wasting an entire ear of corn. Plus, food on a stick is just plain fun.
FOOD ON A STICK: We had company and were short three ears of corn. Some of the guests were young kids. I didn’t want to leave them out. Breaking the corn in half didn’t seem to be the best solution because I didn’t want it to look like I didn’t have enough. I did end up breaking them in half, but I used wooden chopsticks that I had in my kitchen drawer to make corn on a stick. It saved the day. It looked as if I planned it all along. Next time, I will plan this, and I could use pop sticks or wooden skewers. — Jean, New York
FRUGAL FUN: Geocaching is a frugal hobby. People hide geocaches, which range in size from a nano (roughly the size of a chapstick tube) to weatherproof ammo boxes, for other geocachers to find. Some caches contain trinkets, but all contain a log. When you find a cache, you exchange trinkets (or not) and sign the log. The only necessary piece of equipment is a portable GPS. Mine cost less than $100, and you can pick up a used one on eBay for even less. Membership at www.geocaching.com is free, although a premium membership, which gives you several neat search tools, costs $30 a year. When we travel, we seek geocaches along the way to break up the long drives. When we’re at home, we run out and hunt a cache just for the chance to get some fresh air. — Tom C., e-mail
CRUSTLESS SANDWICHES: For many years, I have used hamburger buns to make grilled-cheese sandwiches. Butter the white sides, put the cheese (I use two slices) between the brown sides and grill white sides out. Delicious! Kids love the round sandwiches. There is no crust to trim. You can use a pizza cutter to cut them into wedges for little ones. — Joy Pruner, e-mail
FIGHT GERMS: Wash cans of food before opening. The cans get handled by people, breathed on, coughed on and sneezed on. Opening them without washing or wiping down the lids lets in all kinda of germs. Yuck! — Susan S., Indiana
Note from Sara: If you’ve had pantry moths, washing down canned goods is a necessary step when trying to eliminate them.
ORGANIZE MAGAZINES: I have magazines that I don’t want cut up and have them stored in a shirt gift box. I label the box by magazine or subject, and they store easily under a bed or on a shelf. — Lanah, Maryland
SAVE GREASE: I save grease from sausage and bacon for making dog biscuits, and I use small saplings cut from the yard for tomato stakes. — Pemberlyn, Alabama
DISPLAY CARDS: I am notorious for hanging on to cards, but they always got stuffed into a box and never seen again. So now I put aside the ones with pretty pictures on the front, frame them and then copy what was written in them on the back of the frame. Now I have a whole set of holiday pictures (for every holiday) for the cost of yard-sale and thrift-store frames. The best part is that they mean something, since they were all sent to me from people I love. And it’s nice to reread what was said in the cards year after year. — Kaitlan, Colorado
REUSE TISSUE BOXES: I cut the lids off old facial-tissue boxes, decorate them and place cookies in them for bake sales and cookie exchanges. — Melina, Massachusetts