• I was painting recently and had a half-can left over when I was done. To preserve the paint, I cut out a circle of wax paper and laid it directly on the surface of the paint, then sealed the can properly. This keeps a layer of scum from forming. Just remember to remove it before you shake or stir the paint when you need to touch up. — C.L. in Rhode Island
• Save the plastic lids from coffee cans to use as coasters for your plants. This is especially nice when they are all brought inside, out of the cold. This way they can be watered, and you don’t have to worry about water spilling out on the floor or counter.
• Have you finished making your 2016 financial wish list? Saving for a rainy day should be on the list every year. Here’s a great saving tip: Set aside a particular type of currency that fits in your savings budget. It may be $5 bills or quarters. Every time you get one of these in change, stuff it in a jar or otherwise sock away. Don’t count until you get to a specific time period — a month or three months, say. You might surprise yourself with both how much you can save up, and how easy it is to do without.
• “Brown your pork or beef before putting it in the slow cooker. It leaves a nice finish on the meat, and flavor too. The extra pan to clean and the couple of minutes it takes are really worth it.” — P.E. in Nebraska
• Trying to cut calories? Here’s a flavorful and lowfat solution: saute both meat and vegetables in broth. It will do the job of an oil in keeping the food from burning, but it will do so with no fat and add a rich flavor and dimension to your dinner.
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