Everyday Cheapskate: Keep that Garden Growing in the Fridge Plus More Great Reader Tips
If you suffer the heartbreak of flabby celery, asparagus and herbs despite your best efforts to keep them fresh and lovely -- at least for as long as it takes to use them up -- one simple change in the way you store them could make all the difference. You'll read that and so much more in today's post, all courtesy of your fellow EC readers!
FRESHER LONGER. You are right about treating asparagus, celery and fresh herbs like cut flowers to preserve them, but you left out the step I learned during a brief spell in the floral trade: Trim the bottoms of the stalks first. Even when the bundles have been sitting in water at the grocer's, they were left dry in transit and will have dried up enough at the cut ends to close off a lot of the capillary passages. Trimming to fresh green lets more water be pulled in to keep the stalks alive. I usually do that as soon as I get home; this helps to revive any stalks that have gotten a little flabby. -- Will
(The exception to this is green onions, aka scallions, which should be stored in a plastic bag in a refrigerator crisper drawer. -- Mary)
ROUGH IT UP. Instead of spending time and money to replace and install new wiper blades, renew them: Pinch a piece of sandpaper between your thumb and forefinger. Run the sandpaper along the edge of the rubber blade, first on one side and then the other. This will renew the surface so it efficiently wipes the windshield. You can do this two or three times before a blade is completely spent and requires replacement. -- Walter
CONDITIONER FOR SHAVING. I always have too much hair conditioner because I use very little compared to my shampoo. That means we always seem to accumulate half-full or mostly empty conditioner bottles in our bathroom. Add to that, I don't like using soap (too drying) or shaving foam (too expensive) to shave my legs and underarms. I discovered that using conditioner works great as a shaving lotion! It makes for very smooth shaving, and my legs are soft and silky afterward. -- Mary B.
BLANKET ROLLS. Most of us have heard about rolling your clothing when packing a suitcase. I also roll my blankets when storing them in my linen closet. They take up less space, and you can easily see each blanket and pull them out when needed. -- Jeannine
WHERE ODORS HIDE. I remove the rubber gasket above the garbage disposal on a regular basis so I can clean its underside. That's where particles of food accumulate and contribute to garbage disposal odor. Keeping it clean helps eliminate those odors. -- Fran
HAIRSPRAY OVERSPRAY. If your bathroom mirror, countertop, wall, woodwork or floor get covered with hairspray like mine do, spray the surface with ordinary rubbing alcohol, and then follow with a damp cloth to wipe it away. That will remove the hairspray overspray -- even a stubborn accumulation -- and leave the areas sparkling clean. -- Justine
FLIP 'EM OVER. Store sour cream, cottage cheese, jelly and sauces upside down in the fridge to retain freshness and prevent mold. It's a simple principle: The content of the jar creates its own seal against oxygen. -- Morgan
Mary invites questions, comments and tips at firstname.lastname@example.org, or c/o Everyday Cheapskate, 12340 Seal Beach Blvd., Suite B-416, Seal Beach, CA 90740. This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of www.DebtProofLiving.com, a personal finance member website and the author of "Debt-Proof Living," released in 2014. To find out more about Mary and read her past columns, please visit the Creators Syndicate webpage at www.creators.com.Copyright 2017 Creators Syndicate Inc.