Handy household tips

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by Linda Davis

azfamily.com

Posted on September 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 22 at 12:47 PM

Are you ever chatting with a friend and she drops one of those odd, wonderful household tips that just make life a little easier or adds a needed twist to an ordinary day? Well, that's what this segment is about.

Watch the segment now!

See, I spend hours and hours every day researching, reading, Googling, bookstore- browsing, chatting and more all in the search for information worthy of my Live and Learn segments. Well, along the way I find some really good that don't qualify as a segment on their own, but are really useful. So, I decided to bring you a hodgepodge of some quick tips that may serve you well.

Keep those chips fresh This one is tough, even impossible to describe, so watch the segment online and you'll see a really easy way to re-close a chip bag without a clip or ziplock. I'll bet you show it to someone, too!

Fancy up that bouquet I often want to grab a grocery-store bunch of flowers to take to a friend or neighbor. I don't have the time, budget or motivation to arrange them into a vase. Plus, the occasion is just a simple one - just a "nice touch" as my mom used to say. Here's a great way to fancy them up. Grab some parchment paper from your drawer and tear off a square. Replace the cheesy plastic wrap with the price tag with this tied with a scrap of ribbon and suddenly the same bunch of blooms looks like it came from a street-corner in France. OK, maybe that's a stretch but it does look better!

Double duty for a clothes hanger An old metal clothing hanger makes a perfect perch for your ribbon. Simply unwind the top so that you can slip on rings of ribbon to dispense easily. Make sure you tape the ends of the ribbon so they don't unroll. I used duct tape to reseal the top of the hanger instead of twisting it back into place - but that's because I'm lazy. You decide.

A better butter idea Did you know butter could go bad? It begins losing flavor after about 3 weeks in the fridge but it can last 6 months in the freezer. So here's one of my favorite tips. Pull it out of the freezer and using an ordinary cheese grater, grate the frozen cheese over toast, pancakes, baked potatoes and more. It'll melt easily and you'll probably use less.

A quick cottage cheese tip Always store your containers of cottage cheese upside down. It's mostly water and this will keep it fresher longer. Don't ask me why - but it works!!

My, your chicken looks uncomfortable! I love finding new uses for that bundt cake pan that I NEVER seem to use for a bundt cake. I've gotta bake one some day. When, I do, it'll show up on the show, I promise. I demoed how to use it for a holder for your corn on the cob as you use a knife to take off the kernels. Now, stick your chicken on it to bake it and you have a homemade vertical chicken roaster - people pay $20 bucks for one - yours is free!

More than for milk Those empty milk cartons have a lot of uses. Because of the handle, they are easy to grab plus they are perfectly balanced. Cut out a small square on the opposite side of the handle using scissors or even a knife. Try them for storage of your fresh herbs in the fridge - pour in some water and they will stay upright in the fridge as your herbs stay fresh longer. They're great for storage of lots of household trinkets and they make a great paint holder if you get the urge to paint a room or furniture.

I LOVE, LOVE simple little household tips like this. I hope you do to! Trust that as I continue to search for more great ideas, I'l l chime in with another batch of odd hints that hopefully you'll find useful too.

Live and Learn.

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