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I love food hacks because it never fails that I need to swap ingredients or use a food for something else. Have you ever noticed that when you need some special product around the house that you rarely have it on hand? If you’re like me, this is a regular occurrence! But I have great news for you!! Many of the foods you regularly keep in your kitchen and pantry can be used for other household jobs and can save you time, money and aggravation! Not only that, you’ll be able to keep some of those harmful chemicals out of your house and away from your precious family!
1. Peanut butter.
My kitchen always has plenty of peanut butter in stock. I add it to my breakfast smoothie every morning for a little bit of healthy fat and protein. Nut butters have so many health benefits! But I’m not here to extol the benefits of nut butters – I’m going to tell you other ways it can make your life better:
- Use it to remove a stubborn price tag off of something – just spread a little peanut butter over the area and gently wipe off with a cloth.
- Got a toddler with gum in their hair? Massage some peanut butter into the area and gently work out the gum – no need to cut the gum out and ruin a perfectly good haircut!
- Never have WD-40 on hand when you need it? No worries – peanut butter acts like a lubricant with its natural oils.
- You can even use it as a shaving gel, giving you a smooth shave and letting the oils moisturize your skin (you’ll want to use creamy peanut butter, not crunchy).
I could probably write an entire book on the uses for lemon beyond cooking. Lemons are one of nature’s amazing little gifts and are great for so many different things.
- You can cut it in half, place in the refrigerator and let it absorb that weird smell (just be sure to throw the lemon away after that – you won’t want to eat that).
- Or you can use it in your hair for blond highlights. Simply add 1/4 cup of lemon juice to 3/4 cup water, rinse your hair with the mixture and sit in the sun until your hair dries.
- You can use it to lighten dark spots or freckles on your skin by applying lemon juice, letting it sit for 15 minutes and then washing it off.
- Some of my favorite uses are for cleaning. Add lemon juice and water to a spray bottle and you’ve got a window and mirror cleaner.
- Clean hard water stains from the shower by rubbing half a lemon on them.
- Or add half a cup of lemon juice to a gallon of hot water and deodorize your sink.
I’ve only been using coconut oil for the past couple of years, but when I learned that coconut oil was useful for so many things beyond cooking, I made sure to always have plenty on hand.
- Use it as a shave lotion or aftershave for a super smooth shave and soft skin.
- Coconut oil can be used to help skin heal quickly after injury or infection.
- It can help cure acne when used regularly.
- Place a small dot of it on your cat to help prevent hairballs.
- Check out this article for even more uses for coconut oil.
As much as I love eating eggs, they are great for other uses too.
- Whisk egg whites with a little water and apply as a face mask. It will reduce puffiness and make you look radiant!
- Use the yolks as a conditioner for your hair – just mix with a little olive oil and allow to sit in your hair for about 10 minutes before rinsing with cool water.
- Ever run out of glue? Use an egg white to glue paper or cardboard.
- And if you’re ever out of band-aids, apply a little egg white – when it dries it creates a thin layer to protect the wound.
I know we’ve been told about the dangers of too much salt in our diets. The good news is that salt can be used for many different household tasks and isn’t good for just sprinkling on your food.
- Sprinkle a little salt in sneakers to help get rid of that funky smell.
- You can also remove baked on food just by sprinkling a little salt on the spill while it’s hot. When it cools off, just wipe it away. Add a pinch to your carton of milk to help it stay fresh a little longer – you’ll never even taste it!
- And perhaps most importantly, if you ever have a grease fire, pour salt on it to extinguish the flames.
Do you have any favorite food hacks to share? Have you tried any of these before? Tell us about it in the comments below!
April Mims blogs at My Real Food Family. She started her quest to eat clean in 2012 to improve the health of her family. As an avid runner, she is always looking for the best ways to fuel her body as well as get a great meal on the table for her family. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest for the latest and greatest recipes and health and nutrition tips.