Older eggs peel more easily than fresher eggs when they're hard-boiled. You can plunge eggs in ice water directly after cooking and then roll them on the counter to remove shells with ease, too. The first reader tip shares another way to make peeling hard-boiled eggs easier:

Easy-to-peel egg:

A friend who owns and cooks at her own diner gave me this tip: Start eggs in cold water with a couple of heaping tablespoons of salt. The salt apparently sucks the calcium out of the shells and makes them easier to remove. -- Robin, Oregon

Prevent apples from turning brown:

After reading the hints to prevent apples from turning brown, I had to send my tried, true and inexpensive method. Place sliced apples in a bowl, cover with lemon-lime soda and toss. Let the slices soak for a few minutes and drain. Not only will the slices not turn brown, they will not have added flavor. I buy several liter bottles of store brand soda when it is on sale. This method works equally well with fresh pears. I sent fruit slices in lunches for years and the kids always had fresh, crisp apples and pears! -- Pam, Nebraska


In my efforts to get organized and get rid of clutter, I have decided to drop something off every time I pass the Goodwill on my way into town, which is usually about three times per week. It might only be one thing at a time, but at a minimum that's 12 items out of the house per month and 144 per year! Doing a whole closet all at once can be overwhelming, but getting rid of a few things at a time shouldn't be so bad. -- Heather, Indiana

Homemade cream cheese:
1 quart fresh milk
2 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons white vinegar

Bring milk and salt very slowly to the boil. Remove from heat and stir in white vinegar. Leave to cool. When cool, pour mixture into a muslin bag and allow to drip. --Brenda, Massachusetts

Homemade stickers:
1 tablespoon Jell-o
2 tablespoons boiling water
paint brush

Mix this up, paint it on your chosen sticker pictures and let dry. Lick and stick. It will keep in a plastic storage container. -- G.E., Canada

Sparkling apple cider:

Instead of buying expensive sparkling apple cider, you can easily make your own homemade version by adding three cans of seltzer or club soda to frozen apple juice concentrate instead of the water. -- Lori, Illinois

Activity book for kids:

I just made a dry-erase activity book for my kids out of a three-ring binder with page protectors inside. Just print out whatever word searches, games, puzzles, activities, coloring pages, dot-to-dots, mazes, etc. you want and slip them into the protectors. My kids love it! For older kids, try inserts with graph paper and simple human figures that they can draw fashion garments, superhero costumes or ancient battle armor onto. Be sure to get fine-tip dry-erase markers! -- Constance, New Jersey

photo by Angela Nguyen