It kills me to waste food, which makes me a big fan of the restaurant "doggy bag." When I pack up and carry that food home, I fully intend to eat it later. Sure I do. But then it seems to lose its appeal, so I end up chucking it into the trash.
I hate when that happens, which may give you a good idea for why I almost did cartwheels when I saw today's first reader-submitted idea. It's brilliant, especially the part about the freezer.
French-fried hash browns. Most fast-food meals include enough fries for more than one serving. One local restaurant provides enough fries to feed an entire family. To cut down on fat and calories in a single meal, plus the waste of throwing out food, I take at least half of the fries home and freeze them to use as a hash brown substitute.
I dice the frozen fries and then reheat them in a frying pan to crisp them. I serve them in place of hash browns with breakfast. The fries are normally well-seasoned, adding some extra flavor to my makeshift "hash browns."
-- Donna, Texas
Hair-clipped curtains. I have lace curtains I sometimes like to pull back. I use those tiny "claw" hair clips with the teeth that you pinch to open. They're less than an inch long and clear. I pull the curtain to the desired position and "clip" it back. When I want to close the lace curtain, I gently remove the clip and attach it onto the outside edge of the curtain so it's there whenever I need it. These clips work great, and they're almost
-- Bonnie, Michigan
Toothbrush holder redo. When I redid my bathroom, I took the old toothbrush holder, ran it through the dishwasher and now use it to hold my makeup brushes on the counter. The brushes fit nicely, are neatly organized and are always handy.
-- Robin, Nevada
Quick chocolate syrup. My 4-year-old granddaughter was spending the night and insisted on chocolate milk. I had no chocolate syrup but remembered how we used to make it when chocolate syrup was not available. I mixed one part powdered cocoa with two parts granulated sugar. I added a little milk and mixed until it formed a paste. I heated it for 15 seconds in the microwave to melt the sugar, and I had chocolate syrup. She was thrilled, and I felt quite clever.
-- Saundra, Arizona
Scanning great ideas. I subscribe to more magazines than I can keep up with, but I usually find something I want to remember in each issue. Until recently, I kept the magazines with two or three pages marked. Now I scan the pages and store them on a flash drive, labeling them so I know what they are. I know I will never do anything with some of the ideas, but I have them if I need them.
-- Theresa, email