You can reuse a plastic coffee canister or ice cream tub in your kitchen for scraps and when it's full, dump it into a larger compost container or pile. You can make a kitchen compost pail from an empty kitty litter pail, too. Visit for directions and photos.
The first reader tip shares a way to make a backyard compost bin:

DIY compost bin:

Use screws to fasten four pallets together to make a square, or use 10 pallets to make a three-bin system. I don't recommend putting a pallet on the bottom. Pallets make a great bin because the wood is fencelike (if you assemble the bin with the slats running vertically) and it weathers nicely. Best of all, pallets can be acquired for free or at low cost, and it only takes a few screws or a small amount of bailing wire to hold them together. -- Marcia, Wisconsin

Tiki bottle torch:

I got this idea from a catalog featuring lots of fancy, expensive outdoor items. This mini Tiki torch was very easy to make.
1. Use your favorite glass beer, wine or soda pop bottle. Make sure it is clean and dry.
2. Drill a hole in the lid of the bottle just large enough to insert a Tiki wick.
3. Fill the bottle with Tiki oil and gently pop or screw the cap back on.
4. You now have your own Tiki torch.
I put a few coats of polyurethane on the label for protection. If you decide to make these, please use common sense with your materials and note that Tiki oil is for outdoor use only. -- Carrie, Maryland

Keep cold out:

I purchased white blankets from the dollar store. They have a texture very similar to felt. I cut them to fit behind the thin curtains I already had up. To hang them, I used rings that have a small clip on them, which allows them to hold the blanket and curtain at the same time. Since the sliding glass door and window have blinds, no one can tell that I have blankets in my windows. I keep them up year-round, since they also help to keep the heat out during summer. -- Shoiji, New Jersey

Stopping cold sores:

After spending time in the sun last week, I felt those first few tinglings that tell you you'll have a cold sore soon. So I got an ordinary green-tea bag, wet it and put it on the tingling spot for about 10 minutes. That night, before I went to bed, I wet the tea bag again and applied it for 10 minutes. The cold sore didn't develop. L-lysine supplements help, too. -- Bethany, forums

No deodorants:

Much can be accomplished with chlorophyll, which you can get as a supplement in liquid or capsule form or by eating massive amounts of green veggies. Chlorophyll deodorizes the sweat, urine, etc. that comes out of our bodies. I tend to forget this until I start noticing a different smell, and then I head to the health food store for some more. It won't make you sweat less, but it will make you smell better, and it tends to make you less tasty to ants and mosquitoes, too! -- Edna, Texas

Stretch a wardrobe:

I use layering to stretch my son's summer wardrobe into fall. It's a popular look right now, and it only takes a handful of white long-sleeved t-shirts -- I just put his short-sleeved shirts right over them. He gets to look cool, and I get to avoid buying lots of seasonal clothing! -- Nichole, Iowa

photo by kate sheets