Save time by ignoring these household hints

Look for the tabs on either side of a box of aluminum foil and press them in — they keep the roll anchored, so when you go to rip off a sheet you don’t pull the entire roll out of the box.

  • If you forget to press in those tabs and the entire roll comes out of the box, drops off the counter and unfurls the length of the kitchen into the dining room, you can choose to either waste the better part of a day unsuccessfully trying to roll it back up, or just bring your misery to a quick end by slicing your wrists on the serrated edge of the box.


When making your own guacamole, place an avocado pit in the container to keep it colorful longer.

  • It’s possible to stab yourself in the hand, nearly severing a finger, when trying to remove the pit from an avocado with a very sharp paring knife.


Store cottage cheese upside down in the original container. This forces air out and keeps it fresher.

  • Make sure the top is securely reattached before turning the container upside down.


You can use a pair of pantyhose as an emergency replacement for a broken fan belt in your vehicle.

  • It was a complete coincidence I happened to be wearing a pair of my wife’s pantyhose the day I utilized this tip.


When a light bulb breaks in the socket, slice a potato in half and use it to grip the broken section. Twist gently to unscrew the damaged bulb.

  • Do not use that same half a potato to then make homefries.


If you’ve spilled red wine on your clothing, remove the stain by sprinkling with salt and then covering with club soda. Let it sit overnight before laundering.

  • Mix the remaining club soda with scotch and ice and sip throughout the evening since your wife suggested you lay off the wine for awhile.


Boil orange peel and cloves to get rid of unpleasant smells in the kitchen.

  • Fry some onions to get rid of the overwhelming smell of orange peel and cloves.


Place a few drops of essential oil on the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll to make your bathroom smell wonderful.

  • As long as you don’t let anyone actually use your bathroom.


There are at least five different ways to pit cherries!

  • Which is why I stick with applesauce, right out of the jar.


Clean your barbecue grill with a wad of aluminum foil.

  • Which is all you can do with it once you forget to push in those tabs and the roll escapes its cardboard confines, refusing all attempts at reintroduction into polite society.


Be sure to avoid look for the next article in this series, with answers to common cooking conundrums such as:

  • When a recipe calls for canola oil, can I substitute 10W30?
  • What the hell is “Cream of Tartar”? And why does it come in such a big container when all I ever need for anything is 1/8th of a teaspoon?
  • What other uses are there for sour milk, other than pouring it on my husband’s cereal the morning after he’s spilled red wine all over the place?

Images courtesy of Pixabay and, in one case, the author’s medical records.

John Branning

About John Branning

Besides what I contribute here, you can also ignore some of my earlier posts by not visiting my website,, as well as by not purchasing a copy of my books: “Selfie-Facing: Analog Musings in a Digital World,” which made the list of "The Best Self-Published Books of 2016" as seen on the Huffington Post, and my latest, "Keys To The Truculent Me."