One day, as I was hurriedly putting groceries away, the fruit bowl was not within reach, so I put the fruit into the colander. It worked so well, I've been using the colander in that way ever since. And when I need a colander, no problem. I turn the fruit onto the counter, drain whatever I need to drain, then replace the fruit. Giving one kitchen tool two or more jobs is a great way to simplify. Today's first tipster, Patti, has come up with a "this for that" idea I'd never thought of. It's a good one.
Bamboo storage container: Bamboo steamers are airtight by design to allow air to circulate within the container while items are steaming. That makes a bamboo steamer an ideal storage container for onions, garlic and shallots, which should not be refrigerated.
-- Patti, email
Thredup for new threads: I have saved a bundle getting gently used clothes for my kids at thredup.com.
The process of "selling" clothes has changed a bit since Mary recommended this site years ago, but it's still the same concept.
The first thing you do is sign up to receive an empty bag to ship the clothes you're selling. There is no charge for the bag, and the shipping costs are covered by the company, as well.
Once your items arrive on the other end, the company assigns a value to each of your items and then credits your account for that amount. You use this credit when you shop at thredup.com.
-- Rachel, Washington
Handy wash rags: Worn-out socks make fantastic wash rags for young children during bath time. When my grandchildren stay over, I wash them by putting a cotton sock on my hand with a bar of soap inside. Neither the soap nor the washcloth gets lost in the water.
-- Jean, email
Miracle cleaning remedy: I use a dab of Miracle Whip to remove tarnish from my copper-bottom pots. Just wipe on with a paper towel, let stand a bit and wash. I know it sounds weird, but it works.
-- Thelma, Wyoming
Surprising stain remover: I use glycerin to remove tea, coffee and cocoa stains from fabric. I apply the glycerin to a fresh stain and then gently rub it into the stain. If the stain is old, I let the glycerin soak into the stain for a while.
-- Roberta, Michigan
Would you like to send a tip to Mary? Email her at mary@every daycheapskate.com, or write to Everyday Cheapskate, P.O. Box 2099, Cypress, CA 90630.