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Coke Can Oil Lamp (~$ unknown savings /mo)

candle1.GIF (16392 bytes)Oil & Cola Emergency Lamp.
What will you do thins winter when the lights go out?  Hopefully you've got your emergency flashlight, radio, food and water supplies.  If the power will be out for some time, however, you may want to know about this easy oil lamp.  Great for camping too.   The parts needed for this lamp can be found in virtually every household.  An empty aluminum cola can, an old cotton sock, and about a tablespoon of cooking oil are all you need.  First stab an empty cola can in the middle and cut around the circumference until you cut the can completely in half.  candle6.GIF (8985 bytes)Use a pair of gloves to hold the can halves, because the metal is very sharp.  Use the bottom half of the cola can, and cut half inch deep slits spaced each half inch along the circumference of the can.  Fold over to make a safe rim along the edge.  Now take the top half of the can and work the pull tab off the top by pulling up and side to side.  Work the tab back and forth with upward pressure, until it pulls off.  Dispose of the top half can into the recycle trash.  Next cut a one inch by 3/8" slip of material from the old sock.  Roll the material into a candle4.GIF (7201 bytes)thick rope and feed it into the pull tab attachment hole.  Pull through about half an inch so it sticks up while the pull tab rests upside down.  Now pour a cap full of cooking oil into the bottom of the can.   Place the upside down pull tab with the wick in the middle of the can and drape the cotton wick so it pulls the oil from the edge of the can.  The length of the wick pulled through the tab hole will determine the height of the flame.  A good quarter inch of wick will give a good flame with virtually no smoke.  Now you can light the wick and it should last about three to four hours with each tablespoon or so of corn oil.


Tool Savings - premature tool replacement (~$0.20/mo)

tools1.GIF (16374 bytes)Bucket 'O Tools:  Rust Eraser
Garden tools take alot of abuse. You can lose years of useful life from the effects of environmental enemies like corrosion, rust, tree sap, water and dirt.  Here's a simple way to keep tools healthy, lubricated, and rust free with almost no effort.   Next time you change the oil in your car, pour it into a bucket of sand and add your garden tools. It's just that simple.  The grit from the sand holds the oil and polishes the metal surfaces.  Tools hold fast in the sand and are ready for use.   Just don't forget to clean tools before and after use with an old cotton rag.  


Garden Alignment Strips (~$0.55/mo)

tires1.GIF (9046 bytes)Wheel of Fortune:  Bicycle Tire Savings
Bicycling is an environmentally friendly and inexpensive way to travel around town.  When you add up the aerobic health benefits and cost savings on gym fees, you'll find that biking is the perfect way to go.  With biking, however, there is one minor expense that seems to deflate the joy of serene cycling; the flat tire follies.  Many of my worries were solved after I purchased a thorn puller attachment for my tires, but I have had my wealth of flat tires. Once a tire or an inner tube becomes too old, I retire these treasures into the garden.  An inner tube with a dozen patches is still excellent for use in aligning and training trees.  Simply wrap a cut tube around the young tree trunk in a figure eight with the other end around a stake to guide the wayward tree. Apply pressure and tie off.  For small jobs, cut the inner tube in lengthy strips and use as garden ties.  The rubber inner tube strips are plant friendly, stretch with the wind, and won't carve into the plant. For tough jobs I use cut bike tires. They're reinforced with metal and material and will last a long time.  I even saw one gardener using strips of cut bicycle tires as a garden gate hinge.  With this rubber material, the possibilities are endless, so go ahead and tire yourself thinking of ways to re-use and recycle.

Rejuvenated Tape & Food Items  (~.50/mo)

tape1.GIF (14667 bytes)Microwave Savings Unmasked
It's amazing what a microwave oven can do to rejuvenate foods and various items.  A short zap will rejuvenate a roll of old masking tape and make it stick again.  A short zap   will make a lemon give more juice when squeezed.  A little zap will refreshen stale muffens and bread items. Microwave ovens work by heating items from inside out.   Many times items that appear to have no moisture at all can be made to live again by just using from 10 to 30 seconds in most 600 to 1000 watt microwave ovens.

Smoke detector coverup (unknown ~$.00/mo)

smoke3.gif (13334 bytes)Smoke Detector Cover-up
Smoke detectors are required in new buildings for a good reason.  The primary cause of human injury and death at fire scenes is from the deadly smoke, not the flames.  But smoke detectors are absolutely useless if they don't have batteries or if they've been unplugged.  Fire authorities indicate that the most common household problem with smoke detectors stem from people removing the smoke detector batteries because of bathroom steam, burnt toast or smoky "cajon" meals.  Here's one way to solve the problem and still keep your place safe.  Attach a hair cap that can be obtained FREE from most hotels and motels, over the smoke detector.  Be sure to staple a long strip of colorful and annoying material to the cap so the material drapes downward in everyone's way.  While showering, this will defeat the system and give you time to dry up without an alarm.  After you're done, remove the shower cap from over the detector so your smoke detector sentinal can continue it's fire watch unhampered.  This does temporarily defeat the system, which is dangerous, but if you're tempted to remove the smoke detector batteries, then this temporary solution is the better way to go.   Final note:  If you have the ability, change your smoke detector to a modern model that has a temporary mute button.  Detectors don't last forever so a replacement may be an inexpensive investment in safety.
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