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Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs & More: 1,001 Ingenious Ways to Use Common Household Items to Repair, Restore, Revive, or Replace Just about Everything in Your Life (Yankee Magazine Guidebook) Paperback – February 21, 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 46 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Yankee Magazine's Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs & More

From milk jugs to egg cartons to mayonniase and more, your home contains an untapped gold mine of materials that you can use to solve problems, fix what breaks, or create substitutes for things you'd otherwise have to buy. The trick is figuring out what among these objects is treasure and what's trash. That's where Earl Proulx and the editors of Yankee magazine can help.

Drawing on their own creative ideas--and those of ingenious Yankees all over New England--they've come up with more than 1,000 clever ways to put common household objects to uncommon and valuable uses. The result is a book that will benefit you in five clear ways.

1. This book will empower you.
Other people might be stymied when, say, Spot knocks a glass of grape juice on that elegant white rug. Not you. You'll be able to lift that stain yourself--without buying some expensive remover--just by applying a dab of shaving cream. Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs, and More contains dozens of clever do-it-yourself ideas like this.

2. This book will save you money.
Need an attractive gift for a friend, a game to entertain the grandkids, a desk organizer for your home office? Forget the catalogs and stay away from the stores. As you'll see, you can make these items and dozens more in minutes from the leftover things around your house.

3. This book will make your life easier.
There's no need to stock a cabinetful of specialty cleansers. Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs, and More will show you how to use common ingredients like salt, ketchup, baking soda, flour, yogurt, and, of course, vinegar to handle many of the cleaning tasks you encounter every day.

4. This book will reduce the waste in your home.
If you've ever regretted the amount of trash you throw out each week, here's the solution. This book will show you how to give a second life to everything from plastic containers to bubble wrap to panty house and more.

5. This book will entertain you.
Whether you settle on one of Earl's yarns, the story behind common objects like Post-It Notes and condensed milk, or the "My Way" tips from actual readers, you're bound to enjoy the fun side of this book.

Vinegar, Duct Tape, Milk Jugs, and More provides no-fail ideas for every area of your home, and for many actitivites, from gardening to cooking, from travel to sports, and from crafts to games. Consider it your no-cost tool kit for all your needs around the home.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

Throw out a candle stub, some sour milk, that leftover bag of cat litter?

Not on your life!

You might think of these things as waste that's headed for the trash can, but there are hundreds of practical ways you can save money, time, and natural resources by reusing these and other common objects around your house. Follow Earl Proulx and the editors of Yankee magazine as they show you how to:

* Make soothing facial mask from cat litter
* Cover up furniture scratches with a dab of iodine
* Turn an old teacup, a sandwich bag, and some sugar into an elegant pincushion
* Clean car grease off your hands with olive oil
* Unstick a window with the stub of an old candlestick
* Clear a clogged showerhead with vinegar
* Ant-proof your home with lemon juice
* Make an attractive country picture frame from an old six-pane window
* End static cling with hair spray
* Stop foot blisters with duct tape
* Keep bait worms fresh with coffee grounds
* Make an earring holder out of window screening

More Than 1,000 Creative, Fun, and Ingenious Tips

Clever to the core, Earl Proulx has been coming up with ingenious ways to reuse things since his career as a handyman started nearly 70 years ago. Every month, he shares his solutions and home hints with the more than two million Yankee magazine readers who enjoy his "Plain Talk" column.

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Product Details

  • Series: Yankee Magazine Guidebook
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Rodale Books; Reprint edition (February 21, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 089909385X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899093857
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #415,719 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is divided into about fourteen sections and deals with many different parts of the home. Like the book LIVING WELL ON A SHOESTRING, it puts strong emphasis on saving money. But this book puts more emphasis on recycling common objects around the house and using them in a plethora of ways.
His office suggestions are worth the price of the whole book! He suggests using a current glossy calendar for a mouse pad for the computer, using extra envelopes that come with greeting cards as storage for computer disks in file folders -- and show you how to specially cut them for the purpose. He suggests using a dish rack for temporary sorting of file folders. And get this -- for car enthusiasts, he suggests using a clean distributor cap as a pen and pencil holder and conversation piece!
This book is a smorgasbord of great ideas for every part of the home. If you put these ideas to use, you'll get back the price of the bok many times!
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Format: Paperback
In our current economic slump, a book of this type can make a big difference in our weekly income. The thousand plus practical ways to save money and become more "green" is well worth the price of the book.

The book is conveniently divided into these primary areas:

* Kitchen
* Bathroom
* Laundry Room
* Living & family room
* Bedroom
* Workshop & garage
* Outside the house
* Gardening
* Recreation, sports & hobbies
* Day trips, weekends & vacation travel
* Celebrations
* Gift giving
* Office
* Serendipity

In addition to these main categories, the front of the book breaks various items into an alphabetized list so you can easily find the pages which uses toothpaste, socks, vinegar, etc., etc.

This is a very clever book that is also ingenious in the various ways ordinary items can be put to extraordinary uses. Also, I found the book to be laid out in a user friendly way with a lot of fun graphics. Besides the usefulness, it is a great, easy read on a rainy day.

I hope you find this review helpful.

Michael L. Gooch
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By A. Ridout on February 16, 2009
Format: Paperback
What a wonderful resource for alternative uses for everyday things. Chockful of ideas and humor! With everyone 'going green', a good resource for making your own cleaners and re-using things that usually end up in the trash.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a bad reference book but I also ordered "Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things: 2,317 Ways to Save Money and Time" and like that book much better.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is like one of those Reader's Digest or encyclopedia type books that has everything in alphabetical order, and I mean everything. Hundreds of pages of ideas for more than duct tape videgar and milk jugs and many of them not so common. I'm buying one for all my girls for Christmas. Much money will be saved if they implement even a few of the ideas, not to mention much landfill space.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My mom has a copy of this book and I would always call her to ask her to look something up for me! I decided that I needed a copy of my own now that I own a home! Many of the little tricks in this book work and it was very well worth the money I spent!!!
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Format: Hardcover
This book was just what I was looking for. I do my best to buy products in either recyclable or in biodegradable containers. What a treat to learn of ways to use items some might consider garbage for organizing my home and garage. I can feel better about my footprint in the landfill and save bucks on garbage bags!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
We grew up with grandparents who remembered the old ways and days before electricity and who also lived through the great depression. This is a good book, full of useful information and could have been written by my grandparents if they were still with us.
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