More useful tips
FOOLPROOF BACON. What’s the easiest — and mess-free — way to cook bacon and get the least amount of shrinkage? Low and slow in the oven, at 365 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes.
HEALTHIER, GREENER HOUSEPLANTS. Whether you’ve got a green thumb or not, you probably want your houseplants to thrive. It’s better to water plants with club soda than plain water, as club soda contains phosphate and other nutrients that enrich the soil and promote growth.
CLEAN A WINDOWBLIND CORD. The pulldown cord on your window blinds used to be white. Remember that? Here’s a quick and easy way make it white again:
Raise the blind so that the maximum amount of cord is exposed. Next, fill a strong gallon-sized zip-lock bag about halfway with a 50/50 mixture of water and liquid bleach (or liquid detergent if bleach makes your nervous). Gather up the cord and place it in the bag. Carefully twist the top of the bag and close it over the cord using one or two clothespins or clips. Let it sit in the bag overnight. In the morning, carefully remove the bag and wipe down the cord with a dry towel.
Caution: This is likely a two-person job. Make sure you cover the floor underneath the window in case of any spillage. This method is a little tricky, but it works so well that it’s worth the extra effort.
FREE FERTILIZER. Used coffee grounds work well as a fertilizer and insect repellent in the garden. Plants that prefer acidic soils, such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreens and camellias, will especially appreciate the leftovers from your morning cup of coffee — decaf or regular. Not a coffee drinker? Ask the baristas at the coffee shop down the street to save some grounds for you.