• Summer kids tip: Create an “I’m Bored” jar with ideas about things to do. Now when that phrase inevitably comes up, you’ll be ready with a quick solution.
• This tip takes the pain out of a task nobody likes: dusting the blinds! Use a set of salad tongs for a blinds duster; just wrap a microfiber cloth around each of the tongs and secure it with a rubber band or two. Then use the tongs to grab and glide along each blind. Even kids can get behind this dusting job.
• “Tacos are a favorite meal in our house, but very messy — until we discovered a great use for coffee filters. We use a filter to hold the taco and peel back the paper as we eat. Now nothing drips out or falls out, even if the shell cracks!” — E.B. in Oregon
• “We like juice at home, and the kind we like has a large mouth on the bottle. It turns out that after we finish the juice, the bottle makes a great storage container for snacks. We clean and dry it, then fill it with cereals or dry pasta. We’ve even used them for popcorn.” — R.K. in Missouri
• Recipe substitution: For 1 cup of tomato juice, use 1/2 cup of tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup of water.
• If you have dry, cracked heels from wearing flip-flops and sandals too often, apply a layer of petroleum jelly to your feet before bed and cover with socks. If you can’t sleep with socks, do this in the evening, maybe while watching TV. It will soften the hard skin after a week or so — sooner depending on how dry your feet are.
Send your tips to Now Here’s a Tip, 628 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803.