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Homemade Ice Packs

by JoAnn Derson

  • To make a nice ice pack, enclose several ice cubes in a plastic, sealable baggie, then wrap in a bandana. You can tie the ends together to keep the cover from slipping. When you want to refreeze, put the baggie in the freezer, and hang the bandana to dry. It will dry very quickly and can be reused soon.
  • Want to get the most bang for your buck at the takeaway salad bar? Load up on bacon, walnuts, cheese, meats, and dried fruits; go light on green beans, cucumbers, hard-boiled eggs, celery, radishes, and chickpeas, which were marked up 200 to 300 percent.
  • When you clean out your fish tank, recycle the used water by pouring it on your house or garden plants. I don’t know what it is in the water, but it makes shrubs and flowers grow like crazy.
    —Patti in Orlando, Florida
  • The all-time best remedy for a runny nose or sore throat doesn’t cost hardly a thing: It’s plain old saltwater. Mix a half-teaspoon into a cup of hot water and gargle twice to three times a day. If the taste is off-putting, try swishing a bit of mouthwash in your mouth just before you gargle with the saltwater. Even my doctor thinks it’s a great idea.
    —F.L. in Michigan
  • Use salt to clean out your garbage disposal. Kosher salt has larger grains that work very well. Dump a half-cup in the disposal, run the cold water, and hit the switch. The grains scour the inside, leaving a better smelling drain.
  • Here’s a great after-workout drink I just found out about: chocolate milk. The trainer at my gym prefers it over the fancy and costly post-workout drinks at the gym’s smoothie bar.
    —I.E. in Oregon

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