60 $1 Solutions You’ll Wish You Had Before
Save a fortune, the old-fashioned five-and-dime way.
Replace the oil in baking
Fat makes baked goods moist and tender. It’s also incredibly calorie-dense, and if you’re cutting calories, it’s an easy place to start. But say you don’t like your cakes and muffins dry and tough? Then applesauce is the answer. Replace up to 2/3 of the oil called for in a cake or muffin recipe with applesauce, and you’ll add moisture and flavor while ditching the fat.
Sweeten the house
People who are allergic to air fresheners and sprays can still enjoy the benefits of a sweetsmelling house. Wet a cotton ball with vanilla and dab it very lightly on the outside of a regular light bulb (not a halogen bulb) in your lamps. When you turn on the lamp, the bulb heats up and a faint but alluring scent of vanilla drifts out.
Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water. Add a fresh pinch to the cooking water, too, and you can significantly reduce the aftereffects of bean consumption. You’ll also want to learn about these extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.
Neutralize canker sores
Place an antacid tablet directly on the canker sore, giving it time to dissolve, or simply chew one. The medicine will stop the acids and enzymes in your mouth from attacking the tissue in the sore, and more importantly, it will stop the pain. (Be sure to check the product’s label for correct dosage instructions.)
Rip it off the right way
Pulling an adhesive bandage off your child’s skin can be tough on both of you. Make it easier by rubbing the bandage with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. Rub until you can easily pull the bandage off. This trick works well for adults with sensitive skin, too.
Clean your carpet overnight
Whether your carpet smells dank and musty because of a pet, a smoker, or a season of rain, take the odor out with baby powder. Using a flour sifter, spread the powder generously over the carpet. Let it sit overnight—a few hours will suffice, but overnight is better—and vacuum up the powder and the smells in the morning.
Hold a nail
Stop hitting your fingers every time you hammer a nail in place. Use the teeth of an ordinary comb to hold the nail while you hammer
Get rid of fishy odors
Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. Avoid that by scrubbing your wet hands with baking soda, just as if it were soap, then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet—and feel softer, too.
Button, button, who’s got the button?
Sometimes it feels like buttons disappear as often as socks disappear from a dryer! Stop buttons from fleeing by sewing them on with ultradurable dental floss, rather than ordinary thread. Use dental floss on coat and jacket buttons for a particularly strong bond.
Make a paste of Epsom salt and water and apply it to the area harboring a splinter. The paste will pull the splinter to the surface of the skin in about 10 minutes. It will pull insect stingers out of your skin, too. A luxurious bath in Epsom salt will also help draw out the splinter or stinger.