Pre-made coffee packets

Paula Vogelgesang

A subscriber wrote that her daughter, age 12, was making coffee packets for her dad because he always made a big mess when he made his coffee. She took two coffee filters, put the right amount of coffee in one, laid the other one on top and then stitched them together with sewing thread. No more mess.

I had no idea this kid was a money saver extraordinaire until last week when I was in the store and discovered commercial coffee packets selling for $4.95 plus tax for 12 packets, or 41 cents per serving. My can of coffee makes 400 servings for 2 cents per serving. I checked the price of the filters I had and they were 200 for $2 or just a penny each. Which means that my packets would be 3 cents each versus 31 cents each for the commercial ones.

I think this young lady is on to something. Make it yourself and save!

Freezer hints and helps

It seems that at some point during the winter, we will lose power due to a storm. If you are home and have a generator, you can keep things like freezers from thawing out, but what if you are gone for a couple of days?

A neighbor of mine has an easy way of knowing if her freezer has been off for a while. She puts a small container of ice cubes on top of the stuff in the freezer and if it’s started to melt, she knows the power was off and to check the food before using it. She also collects gallon milk jugs, fills them full of water and completely lines the bottom of the freezer with the full jugs. She’s got a layer of ice over a foot thick that gives her time to move the food to a safe location.

DIY fireplace starter logs

Save your paper towel tubes in a container and then roll newspapers up tightly so they just fit in the cardboard tubes. You can use these to start a fire in a short time and it usually only takes one starter log.

Duct tape to the rescue

A reader wrote that her daughter has a favorite black sweater that collects fuzz really bad. She said the girl wanted to wear it, but it looked awful and they had no lint roller. Her brother wrapped duct tape sticky side out around his hand and brushed all the fuzz off the sweater in just a few minutes. Worked fine and they didn’t have to buy anything extra.

Free storage

A reader wrote that she’s using an old refrigerator that no longer works as storage for her large baking pans and the big roasters that she only uses a couple of times a year. The old appliance is in the garage and out of the way, but the pans are clean and ready to use when needed.

Soften hard glue

When the glue gets hard in the bottle just add a little bit of vinegar and it will be useable again.

Storing all those extension cords

If you decorate your windows and yard for the various holidays, chances are that you use lights—especially at Christmas. We have a big display and storing the cords without tangling was a problem until we started using toilet paper rolls to stash them in. We fold the cords into about 18 inch lengths and then slide them in the tubes—works great!

If you have hints or ideas to share, send them to PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, South Dakota 57543; or email them to If you send me your name and address, I’ll send you a free copy of the PennyWise Newsletter. Please mention High Plains Journal when you write.

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