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Now Here’s a Tip

by Jo Ann Derson

• “For uniform cookies, roll and freeze your dough for 10-15 minutes. Most doughs will harden enough to slice into perfectly even slices, and the freezing doesn’t really affect cooking time too much. (Watch your first batch, though.)” ~ R.L. in Missouri

• If you are reattaching a button to shorts or pants, try using dental floss, the unwaxed kind. It’s much stronger and can hold the button better than regular thread. Use a marker to darken it if the color is an issue.

• “Here’s a use for large plastic jugs: Cut off the bottom and use as a megaphone at sports games. Assemble the younger siblings off field and let each have his or her own megaphone. They can be decorated with stickers. Have the kids make up a cheer.” ~ T.T. in Texas

• Dampen a paper towel with vinegar and put it into your kid’s lunchbox after you wipe it out. Zip up and leave overnight. It absorbs smells.

• “Use a hair dryer on the warm setting to dry out boots that have gotten wet inside. Check often to make sure it’s not getting too hot inside. Remove insoles if possible.” ~ D.E. in Nebraska

• Need an easy substitute for buttermilk? Squeeze lemon juice into milk, and let it sit for 10-15 minutes before using.

• Lightly spoon flour into your measuring cup. Never pack it down or tap the cup to level. Simply fill and then use the flat edge of a knife to remove the excess back to the original container. It’s best to weigh dry goods if possible, for the most consistent results.

• “Here’s a delicious recipe that’s also beautiful: Homemade sugar scrub! Mix a cup of sugar with a tablespoon of salt and a quarter cup of olive oil. Use in the bath to scrub away rough patches and leave your skin smooth and hydrated. You can add a drop of perfume or essential oil for scent.” ~ R.K. in Indiana

• “It feels like we have less and less time with our doctors, and mine feels that way, too. Before I head to my appointment, I make a list of my top three discussion items and copy it out again for the doctor. When he walks in, I hand him the list so we stay on topic.” ~ C.E. in Massachusetts

• Use clean tin cans to make and decorate tiny cakes. They can be used just like a regular cake pan, just grease and dust with flour. Be sure to use only cans that are not lined with anything; some are lined with BPA plastic.

• “I have heard the tip to spray a thread end with hairspray to keep it stiff for threading, but I didn’t have any hairspray. I used a touch of hair gel, and it worked too.” ~ T. in Kentucky

• “You can reuse the envelopes that come in junk mail and solicitations. I use them to keep coupons together for when I go to the store, and magazine clippings that I save for my daughter.” ~ M.W. in Alabama

• “If there is only a light snow on the ground, you can use your leaf blower to clear walkways or a deck.” ~ D.E. in Minnesota

• You might think your dishwasher cleans itself every time you use it, but it could use a hand. Run this cleaning cycle monthly: Fill a two small bowls with white vinegar, and put one each on the upper and lower racks. When the clean cycle is done, sprinkle a cup of baking soda on the bottom and run again.

• Cooking Tip: After you have rotisserie chicken for dinner, throw the carcass in a pot and make a quick stock. All you need are: a quartered onion; two carrots and two celery stalks, roughly chopped; a bay leaf and other spices you enjoy; a bit of salt; your rotisserie chicken carcass; and enough water to cover. Boil and let simmer for up to two hours. Strain and store.

• “Look closely at extra-large size boxes of cereal. I was surprised to find that the bulk size of my favorite was actually costing me more per ounce. Now I always check the per-unit price, which is often found on the price tag.” ~ J.C. in Oklahoma

• “If you get gum stuck in your hair, try massaging it with a little dab of butter. The fat breaks down the gum, and it’s easier to separate the strands. Just go slow and it will come out.” ~ K.R. in Indiana

Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.

© 2020 King Features Synd., Inc. 

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