Paula Vogelgesang

Use it all: A reader wrote—I’m saving the spilled grain that lands in the yard as the guys fill the drills for seeding the summer crops. I’m going to save it for this winter to fill bird feeders instead of buying bird seed at the stores. I am using old 1-gallon milk jugs and only putting in grain that has spilled from the shovels filling the drills. I am also saving all of my bacon grease in plastic containers and freezing it (marking it well). I intend to use the bacon fat instead of suet when I fill the feeders this fall and winter. I have a couple of old metal pie tins nailed to some fence posts and use them for part of my feeders. The birds really seem to like them as no cats or other critters can get to them when they are eating.

Yet another use for disposables: If you like those big hanging planters around your decks and patios, here’s a clever idea.

When you get ready to fill the pot with soil, put one of those disposable diapers in the bottom of the container. Then, put in your potting soil and your plants. When you water, the diaper will absorb the water and hold it for several days. You could even be gone for a few days and not have to worry about someone coming in to water your plants.

In-pot water aids: Save a few of those clear 2-liter plastic bottles, fill them with water and freeze. When your plants need water, just put one of the bottles, with the lid removed, upside down in the pot. The ice will melt and water the plant without flooding it. Because it melts slowly, the plant has time to absorb more of the water instead of it just running out of the pot.

Take out the pinfeathers: If you purchase some chickens from someone who raises them and decide to clean them yourself, here’s a hint for you.

To get the pin feathers out, just put the bird in a 250 degree oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. The heat opens the pores and you can easily pluck the pin feathers out with your fingers or a tweezer. This would probably work really well for those folks who hunt pheasant, grouse and turkeys in the fall of the year.

Cleaner laundry hamper: From a reader—A friend of mine said that she lines a big garbage can with a plastic bag and the guys toss all their dirty coveralls in the bag and then she can do a separate load of wash. She also said that she always checks the pockets because they consistently forget things in them and they go through the wash. Tools are kind of hard on washing machines.

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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