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I’m so clever


Ball bearing frees up thick liquid in bottle

I'm So Clever
What a smart stocking stuffer! More than 450 thrifty tips from readers are compiled in our 'I'm So Clever' book that is on sale now.

I'm So Clever
I'm So Clever is compiled by Observer assistant features editor Roland Wilkerson. Send your tip, name, address and phone by email or mail to Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, N.C. 28230.

The winner: For porcelain bathroom fixtures I use a certain kind of thick, liquid cleansing product that tends to settle. Despite shaking, toward the end of the bottle most of the fluid is gone and the remainder can’t be squirted out. I unscrewed the cap, put a ball bearing inside with a bit of water and shook the contents. I was able to use the entire bottle with no waste. By the way, a small pebble would work, too!

Camilla Mazzotta, Charlotte

In vino value

So many recipes call for 1 cup of wine. I buy 4 packs of inexpensive, single-serving white and red. Each bottle contains 1 cup, so it’s usually the right amount for the recipe. That way, I don’t waste my good drinking wine and am not left with a lot of wine that I don’t want to drink.

Sandy McConnell, Cornelius

The breakdown on eggshells

I had trouble having eggshells break down in my compost pile. Now I save shells in a container in the fridge. Once in a while, I put the shells in a blender with a little water, pulverize them, and dump into the compost pile.

Lynn Kopf, Davidson

Win a Clever T-shirt

Send your clever tip, address and phone to or Home Section, Charlotte Observer, P.O Box 30308, Charlotte, NC 28230-0308. Each week the best idea wins an “I’m So Clever” T-shirt.

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