Tip of the Day: Nix the Nicks

Buff away a nick on the rim of a glass or your china with an emery board. Don’t use a nail file or sandpaper; both are too coarse and will scratch the glass.

Six Easy Air Fresheners You Can Make at Home Right Now

If there's anything we've learned in our past two decades of collecting household tips it's that people stink. Or, at least, our rugs, bathrooms, closets, clothes, basements, cars, kitchens, shoes, and kids do. But before you start pondering whether you want to buy something that plugs in, lights up, fans out, has sticks, or costs more than your dinner, try out our simple air fresheners instead. Chances are, you'll already have the materials you need around the house, so getting rid of funky scents doesn't have to cost a cent! (Sorry, we couldn't resist)

Visit our new website for 6 DIY air fresheners.

Tip of the Day: The Seasonal Shopping Secret

For the best deals on clothes, always shop in the off-season. Buy spring and summer clothing in July and August, and fall and winter clothing in January and February. (You can often find the best sales right after the holiday season.) It’s sometimes a bummer to buy something you’re not going to be able to wear for six months, but when the time comes to switch seasons you’ll be happy you already have some new clothes to wear—all of which were purchased on sale!

Tip of the Day: Art and Culture... For Free

Even if they normally have high admission prices, most museums offer opportunities for you to visit for free. If a museum gets money from the government, they’re usually required to either offer free admission one day a week or charge admission as a “suggested donation”—that is, you only have to pay what you want. Other museums have late hours that are free to visitors once a week or month. If you like looking at art, also check out galleries, where you can find cool, local art displayed for free in the hopes that someone will buy it.

Tip of the Day: Avoid Swimmer's Ear

If your children are prone to swimmer’s ear, a bacterial infection of the ear canal, take this precaution when they’ve been in the pool: Dab a solution of one part vinegar and five parts warm water into each ear three times a day. The vinegar will ward off bacteria and keep your kids’ ears pain-free.

Tip of the Day: Paste, Not Defaced

To get rid of the guesswork that comes with putting a nail in the wall to hang a picture, try this easy trick. Place a dab of toothpaste on the back of the frame on the hook or string (whatever will touch the nail). Then hold the frame up to the wall, position it carefully, and press it against the wall. The toothpaste will leave a mark that you can hammer a nail through, then wipe away.

Tip of the Day: Go on Stay-cation

Sometimes, vacation is all in your mind. If you can’t afford to get away but you feel like you’re ready to scream, consider taking a personal day off work, and convince your spouse or a friend to do it, too! Then enjoy an empty mall, a relaxing afternoon at the beach, or just a huge brunch (complete with mimosas). Whatever you do, get out of your house and have fun! You’ll be surprised how refreshed you feel after a day away.

Tip of the Day: A Little Pink? Go Green.

Lots of people swear by aloe lotion, but green tea is a cheaper option and just as effective for treating sunburns. Use a washcloth soaked in tea that has been cooled in the refrigerator as a compress on your tender skin. (Some people say topically applied green tea may even protect against skin cancer.) This is also a great way to ease a sunburned scalp. After washing and rinsing your hair as usual, pour the cooled tea over your scalp. Your poor skin will thank you!

Tip of the Day: Label Remover

If you’re having trouble peeling off a label or sticker without leaving a gooey mess behind, try applying white vinegar until it’s saturated. It will peel right off!

Tip of the Day: Waive Goodbye to Late Fees

It sounds too simple to be true, but you can often just ask credit card companies, utilities, landlords, and others to waive late fees. If you’re a longtime customer with a good history, companies will often re-credit your account, especially if it was your first offense.

Tip of the Day: When the Ants Go Marching

To win the war against ants at your picnic, place the picnic table’s legs in old coffee cans filled with water. The ants won’t be able to climb up the table, and your food will stay safe.

Extreme Couponing: Saving Hundreds of Dollars per Year at the Supermarket

Have you seen TLC’s latest hit, "Extreme Couponing"? In it, extreme savers (OK, some of them a little crazy) go to the supermarket and walk out with hundreds of dollars worth of groceries for only a few dollars! Not only is it even more addicting than "Jon and Kate + 8" (back before it got weird), it definitely makes you think--and makes many of you write to us and ask us how it's done! While “extreme couponing” may take a lot of practice and more than a little free time, saving $100-$200 per year with coupons is simple, and it’s easy to get started

Visit our new website for tips on how to get started with extreme couponing!

Tip of the Day: You Say Potato, I Say Great Idea!

To remove a broken light bulb from the socket, first turn off the electricity or unplug the lamp, and then push half of a raw potato or small apple into the broken bulb’s base. Turn it to unscrew the base. Just don’t eat it afterward!

Recipe of the Week: Vanilla Pudding Chocolate Chip Cookies

This week's mouthwatering creation comes from Siggy Spice. Even if you have a chocolate chip cookie recipe you like (or you just use the one on the back of the chocolate chip bag), this soft and chewy variation will win your heart--and your taste buds. And, as Siggy says, "Since it is half the butter normally called for, you can eat twice as many right?!" I know I did!

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 (3.4 oz) box vanilla instant pudding
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups chocolate chips

How to Make It
1. Preheat the oven to 375ยบ.
2. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat together butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract until the batter is creamy. Add in the pudding mix.
3. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after each addition. Then gradually beat in the flour mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips.
4. Scoop out rounded tablespoons of dough and place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets.
5. Bake until golden brown, about 8-10 minutes. Cool on the baking sheets for 2 minutes and then remove the cookies to wire racks to cool completely.

Do you have an amazing cookie recipe worth sharing? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Bring Back a Treasured Vase

Just because there’s a crack in your grandmother’s old vase doesn’t mean you can’t use it for fresh flowers anymore. Just line it with one of those clear plastic bags you get in the produce section of your grocery store, and your problem is solved. It makes for simple cleaning as well! Just dump the water out, then throw away the bag with the dead flowers in it.

Tip of the Day: Burger Time

When freezing burgers or chops, always separate with sheets of parchment paper before storing in freezer bags. The paper makes it easy to remove the meat when it’s time to cook.

Tip of the Day: A Must-Have

If a closet, garage, or rarely visited corner of your home is starting to get musty, use this trick to get rid of excess moisture. Fill a coffee can halfway with charcoal briquettes, then punch some holes in the lid and put it back on the can. Place one or two of these cans in the area and the mustiness will be a thing of the past.

Tip of the Day: Healthy Summer Scalp

Hot summer sunshine can increase sweat production and make your scalp look and feel much greasier. To counteract this problem, try more frequent washings with a small amount of shampoo, and use a much lighter conditioner than you use in the winter.

Five Quick and Easy Ways to Remove Pet Hair

Are you starting to feel like your home is painted, tiled, and upholstered in pet hair? Especially during shedding season, it's easy for pet fur to get out of hand. Visit our new website for our five quick and easy ways to remove pet hair from clothing and couches.

Tip of the Day: Medicine Cabinet Organizer

If you have a metal medicine cabinet, mount a magnet inside it, and you’ll be able to place nail clippers, tweezers, safety pins, or other handy items at your fingertips. And if your cabinet isn't made of metal, just glue the magnet inside.

Tip of the Day: What's the Password?

Here’s a question we often get asked: “Where’s a safe place to keep PINs for bank cards and the like?” The answer isn’t so much where as how: hide them inside a fake phone number. For example, if your PIN is 1234 (and hopefully, it isn’t!), scribble 347-1234 on the inside of your day planner or somewhere else accessible. Would-be thieves won’t know it’s the number they’re looking for.

Tip of the Day: There's Always Room For... Vinegar

Add a teaspoon of white vinegar to any gelatin recipe in hot summer months to keep Jell-O salads and desserts firm.

Tip of the Day: Getting Stains Off of China

Impossible-to-remove stains on your china? There may be hope yet. Apply a bit of nail polish remover to the spots with a soft cloth, then wash as usual. The spots should quickly fade.

Tip of the Day: Try Honey, Honey

Soft, supple skin is as easy as using a little honey. Simply apply honey straight from the jar onto skin that has been moistened with warm water. Leave for up to 30 minutes, then rinse off.

Tip of the Day: Fresh Doormat

Your porch’s doormat can be cleaned with a sprinkling of baking soda. Brush vigorously and then sweep away the dirt. The next time it rains, the job will be complete.
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