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156 of 162 people found the following review helpful
I often see ads that promise you all sorts of money-saving

secrets . . . one, though, did catch my attention to the extent

that I even sent away for it: EXTRAORDINARY USES FOR

ORDINARY THINGS, published by Reader's Digest.

The top of the book promises "1,200 money-saving secrets,"

and while I don't know that I will be able to use all of them,

there were quite a lot that caught my attention--and that I might

even someday try.

For example, there was this one:

To keep ice cream smooth and free of those annoying, yucky

ice crystals that form once the container has been opened--rewrap

the container completely in plastic wrap before you return it

to the freezer. Or put the container inside a large seal-sealing

plastic bag.

And here's another that I liked:

To fix tiny holes in your window screens, just dab some clear

nail polish over the holes. It will stop those tiny (and often biting)

insects in their tracks.

I was amazed that there were so many other products that I could

use for a whole host of purposes, including bread, dental floss,

mayonnaise, oatmeal, sandpaper, and straws.

Several boxed inserts added to my enjoyment of EXTRAORDINARY

USES, such as this one that gave me background on the

development of a shampoo icon:

One of the longest-running advertising campaigns in history, "the

Break Girl," was the brainchild of Edward Breck, a member of the

family that started Breck Shampoo Co. The ads, featuring

wholesome, beautiful girls with gorgeous hair, began in 1936,

during the Great Depression, although they didn't go national until

1947. Only two artists were used during the 40-year campaign. The

best known was Ralph William Williams, who took over the job

in 1957. Among the models for Williams's Breck girls were

Cybill Shepherd, Kim Bassinger and Brooke Shields--all unknowns

at the time. The campaign ceased soon after Williams's death

in 1976.

Lastly, I've always heard that vinegar could be used for many

reasons other than cooking--but the total of 188 surprised

me . . . yet that said, I will now know to use the product

to steam-clean my microwave:

To clean your microwave, place a glass bowl filled with 1/4 cup vinegar

in 1 cup water inside, and zap the mixture for five minutes on the

highest setting. Once the liquid cools, dip a cloth into it and wipe off

stains and splatters.

What an idea. What a book!
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87 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on June 26, 2006
This book is fantastic. I saved probably $50 and have only had it a month...using newspaper instead of Painter's Blue Tape alone saved me a lot of money.

I read it cover to cover in 2 days, and recommend it highly.

My only complaint is that I paid too much for it. I paid $40 for it and within 2 weeks Reader's Digest offered it for $9.99.

If you can find it for $10 or so, go for it. Excellent book chock full of useful info.
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48 of 50 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 23, 2007
I never thought I would enjoy this book as much as I have been. It is 400 pages of fun facts with all those things you would find in your home and all the normal problems you would run in to. For example, onions remove rust stains from silverware, use bananas as a face mask, nail polish to remove warts, vinegar for carpet stains and to defrost windsheilds, beer and salt to make windows frosty for the Christmas holidays, use a vacuum nozzle with a pair of pantyhose to find that valuable object on the floor without sucking it up, etc.. I love this book! =)
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on June 25, 2009
So I bought this book because it sounded interesting, was only $10, and I needed to cross $25 for free shipping. All in all, I have really liked the tips in the book. My only complaint is that, the book seems to be organized assuming you are looking for a new way to use a product you already have in mind. So if I want to find multiple uses for nail polish that's great, but let's say I wanted to figure out how to fix holes in my screen... the book index/contents will be of no help because they are indexed by the products not by the problem. I would have to go through the entire book to see what products (in this case nail polish) could be used to fix my problem. It would have been nice if they had two separate indexes: one for the products, and one for the problems.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2007
You know, I paid $30.00 for this book and I have absolutely no regrets. There are so many useful tips in that book. I have read and re-read this book several times. I always refer back to it for something because I forget what to use for certain issues. Good thing they have that glossary in the back. Just look it up and you'll be directed to the page. So, I rate it 5 stars on ease of use also.

I put the book on the bookshelf once and, it may have stayed there all of 2 hours. It hasn't been back on the shelf yet. I use it too much. My favorite tip, as a gardener:

Instead of buying miniature greenhouse kits to start plants, use rolls from toilet paper, paper towels, gift wrap, and other items. Cut them down to size, fill with dirt and when you're ready to plant, simply cut down the sides and put the whole thing in the ground. Simple and inexpensive.

I have already saved more than the cost of the book. I highly recommend it.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2009
GREAT BOOK,would of given it 5 Stars,if it would be design where you have a problem and it show you where to go.Instead it just has list of different House Hold Items,and what you can use them for.BUT I WILL SAY,AFTER YOU TAG THE DIFFERENT PAGES, OF THINGS THAT YOU WILL BE USING A LOT.IT A GREAT BOOK.TRULY GLAD I GOT IT.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 2009
Usually Reader's Digest editors come up with some good stuff..."Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things" falls short. Many of the claimed 2,317 ways to save time and money are either downright obvious, silly, or both. Under uses for "Beans" the authors suggest you deploy them as game playing pieces, decorate a jack-o-lantern, and, now hold the fanfare, make a beanbag! Twisting and tying plastic bags together for a jump-rope and using plastic containers as dog dishes are items that didn't exactly prompt me to spring into a Hallelujah chorus.

I'll grant them kudos for some interesting applications/uses for lemons, salt, vinegar, and even onions. They don't tell you how effective certain tips/uses are but I'm sure the "your mileage may vary" rule applies. After finishing this review, I'm putting three big onions on a workbench, collecting three knives with various levels of rust, and dusting-off my scientific method thinking cap (with a paint-brush, that's another one of the hints...paint brushes for dusting). I wonder just how much rust onions will remove. How many plunges into what size onion will it take?

If you take this review with a grain of salt (oops, there's another use for salt) you'll probably walk away from this book with a total of 1,200 interesting uses for ordinary stuff and most of those your grandmother might be able to tell you. If you have a sense of humor, the book is worth the price of about one penny a really useful hint/tip.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2007
Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things offers recipies for many environment friendly cleaning products, quick self help, beauty remedies ,and even introduces ways to entertain kids budget friendly.
Some of the remedies explained are well known, others seem a little far off, but all in all this book certainly can help to cut cost of cleaning products etc.
If you are willing to experience "new" methods, that were old timers for your grandparents this is the book to get. It also is fun just to cross read, and be in awe of some of the things one can do.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on May 24, 2011
This book had useful information but I would prefer if it were organized by task (ie. grease stains) instead of by household item (ie. vinegar).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2009
Excellent buy!! especially in today's economic times...it's great to be able to find inexpensive and for the most part environmentally friendly ways to get things done around the house!!! easy to use, everything is broken down by the product and it's uses, but you can use the index in the back to look up a problem and the corresponding pages with solutions.
i am very happy with this purchase, especially since i now have an excellent solution to stinky sink drains!! (baking soda and vinegar!!) there are multiple others...my mom and my best friend are already asking to borrow this!!
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