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Make homemade ice packs

By on December 22, 2011

There’s no need to buy ice packs. You can make them yourself. To make a gel ice pack, you’ll need two zip-enclosure freezer bags and some Dawn dishwashing liquid. Partially fill one bag, seal it and encase it in a second freezer bag. Place it in the freezer. Wrap it with a cloth before applying it to the skin. It’s more pliable than a hard ice pack and can conform to whatever shape you need. It’s reusable, too.
To make a mini ice pack, fill empty prescription bottles (with the labels removed) two-thirds full of water and freeze. These make perfect ice packs for children’s “owies.”
The first reader tip has another idea:


Ice pack:

Here’s a tip for heel pain. Freeze a water bottle, place it inside a tube sock, put it on the floor and roll your foot back and forth on it. Feels great, and it’s reusable! — Ali Lee, Indiana

Avoid pantry moths:

You can store bulk items such as flour and rice in the bin-style pet food storage containers sold at your local pet supply store. The bins are large enough to hold the 25-pound or larger size bags, so you don’t have to dump the flour or rice into the bin. A rubber gasket around the lid ensures a tight seal. I haven’t had any moths in my pantry since I started using these bins. — Sheri, email

Freeze yeast bread dough:

The trick with yeast breads is to freeze the dough after the first rise, but before the second. This allows the yeast to develop the flavor fully. Make your dough, let it rise, punch it down, section it into rolls or loaves and freeze. To use, let it thaw overnight in the fridge. It will rise as it thaws. You should be able to bake in the morning. Or put it in the fridge in the morning to use for dinner. Rolls will thaw faster because they are smaller. — Saule, Illinois

Store spaghetti:

I use Pringles or Lays Stax cans for pasta storage. — Bent, Alabama

Raw-feeding dogs:

We’re raw-feeding our dog on a budget. When our dog, Stryder, developed skin allergies, we switched him to a raw diet immediately. I get chicken backs from our local butcher for 59 cents per pound, and I also supplement Stryder’s diet with chicken livers, canned sweet potatoes, eggs and other meat that I get on sale. I was spending about $80 monthly on commercial dog food; now, the most I spend each month is $30. I know this is not for everyone, and not all dogs can eat what ours can, but we have had success with raw feeding. — S.P., Ohio
Ian Billinghurst’s “Give Your Dog a Bone” is a good place to start. It’s a little dated now, but it’s still considered by many to be the “go-to” book about raw feeding. — Donna, California

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