• Towels gone through the wringer a few times, and maybe don’t smell so good anymore? No worries. Here’s something to try today: To get more absorbency and get rid of the mildew smells, just run the towels through two cycles, both in hot water. To the first add 3 cups of vinegar, and to the second add a full cup of baking soda.
• Keep stray hair ties (elastics) corralled with a carabiner clip. This will allow easy access to the color you want, too. – K.S. in Florida
• Do you have hydration goals? Using a large plastic refillable bottle, mark off the times by which you should have consumed your water. Halfway down the bottle by 10 a.m.? OK! Then you will know when you need to play catch up.
• "Add hooks to the inside of your cabinet doors to hold lids for your pots and pans. Make sure there are no shelves obstructing the lid when the door is closed. Use a short wire rack to hold the bottom, and attach a bungee cord across the top to hold them in place." – C.P. in Arkansas
• "Here’s a fun sleepover or camping hack: Attach a headlamp to the side of a gallon jug of water. It makes the whole jug glow, creating a nightlight or tent light." – E.X. in New York
• Most phones will charge quicker if you put them in airplane mode first.
• Online shopping season has started, or maybe it never really stops! Don't forget to run your preferred brand and model number through Google to make sure you have the very best price. Try searching freeshipping.org to find coupon codes for free shipping. Also, take advantage of coupon hunting apps like RetailMeNot, CouponSherpa and Coupons.com before heading out on shopping expeditions.
• "I recently scanned in a great many of my old photos in order to organize and preserve them. I have decided to send the originals of many candids as holiday cards this year. I purchased a big box of blank greeting cards at a crafts store for a great price and attached photos to the card fronts. This has turned into a fun project for me and a keepsake for the recipients." – V.R. in Washington
• Did you know that pillows need to be replaced every year? You can keep your pillow performing better by using a pillow-protecting pillowcase, and fluffing in the dryer for 10 minutes on low heat every so often to restore the loft of the pillow.
• "I found a rack meant to hold spice jars at a garage sale. It was really neat, so I bought it but didn't know what to do with it. When I brought it home, my roommate had the great idea to spray paint it and use it to display nail polish bottles. It's so easy to find the right color, and they fit just right!" – M.T. in Alabama
• Use empty toilet paper rolls to corral cords in storage. This works for small cords that go with electronic devices as well as small extension cords. Write the cord's use on the tube, for example, "JoAnn's iPad," "Bob's digital camera," etc. If you have many cords, you can store them together in a shoebox. For a nicer presentation, cover the box with lively paper.
• I use an empty hard-plastic travel container originally used for wet wipes to hold my coupons. It keeps them organized as I walk through the store, and its surface is great for writing on. – I.L. in Arkansas
• "When cleaning out my storage and clutter areas, I ask myself one question, and it usually helps me clear out a lot of otherwise unusable stuff: Am I really likely to dig this out (or even remember that I have it), or am I more likely to buy or borrow a new one?" – M.E. in Maine
• Got leftovers? Try throwing chopped leftovers into a tortilla for a "leftoverrito." Or make soup with remains from the produce drawer before it goes bad. Fried rice also works as a delicious delivery vehicle for leftover veggies and meats.
• Want to save some money on your electric bill? Here are two things you can do. First, plug your electronic devices into power strips and turn the strips off when you're done using them for the day. Then replace the five most-used light bulbs in your house with ENERGY STAR certified bulbs. They cost a little bit more, but last way longer and use a fraction of the energy, saving you dollars!
• Here's another great tip to save money on utilities from A.E. in New Hampshire: Buy a hot water tank blanket (insulation) and you will save on your utilities because once the water is heated, it will not have to be reheated again and again. The blanket keeps it from losing heat when it's cold out.
• Make your own portable cleaning wipes. Mix together 1 1/2 cups of water, 1/2 cup alcohol and 1/2 cup white vinegar. Stack sturdy napkins or paper towels inside a gallon-size, resealable plastic bag, and add the liquid to soak. Seal and use as you would a packet of glass wipes. They can be used on hands, but not near the eyes.
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