Useful tips and tricks
UNSHRINK WOOL. Mix a solution of 1 gallon lukewarm water and 2 tablespoons baby shampoo. Soak the shrunken garment for about 10 minutes. Here’s the important part: Don’t rinse it. Simply blot out the excess water with a dry towel and very gently lay the garment flat on a fresh towel. Slowly and carefully stretch and reshape it back to its original size. Dry it out of direct sunlight or heat.
LOST SAVINGS BONDS. Provided you have a fairly accurate memory, you might be able to replace the bonds. The Bureau of Public Debt, the branch of the U.S. Treasury Department that issues bonds and treasury notes, has come up with a simple system for replacing bonds. First, you need to get FS Form 1048. Fill in the approximate issue date along with your full name (as it was at the time the bond was issued), address, Social Security number and, if possible, the bond serial numbers. Whoever gave them to you might have recorded the numbers, so keep looking. Once the form is processed, the bureau will issue you a new set of certificates.
GET A DEAL ON TIRES. When buying replacement tires, ask the store manager whether there are any take-offs available that would fit your car. These are like-new tires that are removed from a car when the owner replaces them with fancy (expensive) tires. Often, the tire shop will sell take-offs with large discounts just to move them out. Before you purchase, call a few stores in your area to make sure you’re getting a great deal.
BANANA TREE. Instead of paying $10 or more for a trendy new banana tree (a gadget that sits on the counter and allows bananas to hang properly so they ripen evenly without getting bruised), buy one large cup hook from the hardware store and screw it into the underside of an upper kitchen cabinet. Your bananas will hang properly and be up and out of the way. And it’ll only cost about a quarter.