Brain Boosters

In Phoenix, Arizona, VA is using computer games and puzzles to help Veterans recover from post traumatic stress disorder and mild traumatic brain injury.

To download a copy of this segment from The American Veteran program, please visit this link: http://www1.va.gov/opa/feature/amervet/index.asp

We use a variety of things everyday, but what you may not know is that you can get multiple uses out of everyday items. When you are using one thing to do multiple things you are saving money. Here are some favorites we have come across.

A slice of lemon can deodorize and disinfect a chopping block when ran over the surface.
Apples, Pears, and even guacamole will last longer when you squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning.
Remove tough food stains from plastic and light-colored wooden cutting boards. Slice a lemon in half, squeeze the juice onto the soiled surface, rub, and let sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with water.
Shine your copper cookware by sprinkling salt on a lemon wedge and then scrub.
Add a half cup of lemon juice to the wash cycle to brighten your whites in the wash.
Food graters are always difficult to clean, but rub both side with a lemon to help remove caked on food and cheese.

Deodorize food containers. Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight.
Wrap tomatoes individually and leave them out at room temperature to help ripen the tomato.
Newspaper is a great replacement for paper towels when eliminating streaks while cleaning windows.
Dry shoes or snow boots by placing crumpled paper in them overnight.
You can wrap presents in used newspaper. Kids gifts are perfect for the comics, dads and husbands are great for the sports section, and wedding presents can be wrapped in the engagement/wedding announcement section.
Line your refrigerator vegetable drawer to absorb spills and smells.

Olive Oil:
When you are out of shaving cream olive oil can be a substitute that leaves you with a close shave.
Olive oil is safe on stainless steel and makes it shine.
Add 1/8 to _ teaspoon olive oil to your cat’s food to help prevent hairballs.
Instead of using WD40 use olive oil to lubricate stuck zippers or applying to door hinges to prevent squeaking.
A little olive oil is great for dry skin when you apply a little after you shower.

Dryer Sheets:
Dryer sheets make great deodorizers. You can stick them in a pair of shoes or in the bottom of a garbage can. They are also great for luggage or gym-bags.
Dryer sheets not only help with static cling in the dryer they can help reduce static on clothes, TV screens and monitors, or even hair. Just wipe the surface with evenly.
Rub a dryer sheet over any furniture that is covered with pet hair and it will help remove it.
Place a fresh sheet in the bottom of a dirty pan, fill with lukewarm tap water, and let sit in the sink overnight. The pan will be easier to clean in the morning.
Prevent thread from tangling when sewing. Run a threaded needle through a dryer sheet right before you begin your handiwork.
Dust venetian blinds. Close the blinds, then wipe up and down with a dryer sheet.

Ziploc Bags:
Place dough in a Ziploc bag so your fingers don’t get sticky. Or slip your hand into the bag and wear it like a glove.
Snip off a tiny corner to use a Ziploc as a pastry bag.
Store soup by filling up bags, then lay them flat in the freezer. When the bags of soup freeze flat, you’ll be able to pile them up like stacked books for easy, space-saving storage.
Bags large and small can be used as a packaging substitute when inflated. Use a straw to prevent air from escaping.

Remove coffee or tea stains from cups and pots. Add a small amount to a stubborn stain in a cup then rinse with water. You can also run a mixture of vinegar and water through your coffee pot to remove stains. You will want to run an additional cycle of plain water to rinse.
You can remove winter salt stains from boots with a rag that has been dipped in vinegar.
Run a cup of vinegar through a dishwashing cycle to eliminate odors and reduce soap buildup on your dishes.
Brush price tags and stickers with several coats of vinegar, let the liquid soak in for five minutes, and then wipe away the residue.
Vinegar can also be a good weed killer but be cautious that you only use it for weeds in cement cracks as it will also destroy surrounding grass if you spray weeds in your yard.
A capful or two of vinegar in the rinse cycle of a load of sweaters will make wool feel extra soft.

Baking soda:
Remove crayon, pencil, ink, and scuffs from painted surfaces by adding a little baking soda to a damp sponge and rubbing the spot clean, then rinse.
Before using a harsh and poisonous drain liquid, use a cup of baking soda followed by a cup of white vinegar down the sink drain. Let it sit for 5 minutes then flush with a gallon of boiling water.
Remove tough stains from enameled cast iron and stainless steel. Scrub enameled cast iron with a soft nylon brush and a thick paste of baking soda and water. Clean stainless steel with a soft cloth and 4 tablespoons of baking soda dissolved in 1 quart of water. Wipe dry with a clean cloth.
Wash your face, then apply a soft paste made of three parts baking soda and one part water. Massage gently with a circular motion, avoiding the eye area; rinse clean for an affordable face wash that exfoliates.
Sprinkle baking soda on minor oil and grease spots on the driveway or garage and scrub with a wet brush.
For a quick antacid for indigestion stir a teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water and drink.

Coffee Filters:
Diffuse the flash on a camera. When you’re taking a close-up, soften the brightness by placing a coffee filter over the flash.
Strain wine from a bottle with a broken cork. Place the filter over a pitcher or a carafe and slowly pour the wine into it.
Serve popcorn or other snacks. The filters act as disposable bowls, so there’s no dishwashing.
Heat up leftovers in the microwave. Use a filter as the protective covering over a bowl or a plate.
Prevent soil from draining out of flowerpots. When repotting, place a filter at the bottom, over the drainage hole, then add the soil.
Prevent scuffs and scratches on fine china. Use flattened coffee filters as spacers when you stack your dishes.
Protect hands from Popsicle drippage. Slide the wooden stick of an ice pop through a coffee filter so your hands stay mess-free.
Serve pita sandwiches. A circular filter is the perfect size for carrying a sandwich on the go.
Clean windows and glass when you’re out of paper towels. Coffee filters leave no lint or other residue.

Hang pieces of art or photos on a wall by sticking several strips of Velcro to the wall and to the back of a lightweight frame.
Keep a rug in place by adding pieces of Velcro to the floor and to the bottom of the rug.
Stop seat cushions from sliding off kitchen chairs. Place strips of Velcro on the chair and on the cushion.
Organize toys. Affix a Velcro strip to the wall and Velcro pieces to stuffed animals to make cleanup fun for toddlers.
Keep track of the remote. Use Velcro to attach the remote to the side of the TV when it’s not in use.
Remove pills from sweaters. Use the hook side of Velcro to pull off pesky balls.
Restrain wayward cords. Keep them in one place with a strip of Velcro.
Keep a pen or paper handy. Place a small piece of Velcro next to a desk calendar and on a pen so you can jot down to-dos ASAP. In the car, stick a notepad to the dashboard or the door of the glove compartment and you’ll always have paper for a brilliant thought or a last-minute errand.
Picnic in peace. Keep a tablecloth from flying away by applying Velcro to the underside of the cloth and to the picnic table.

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