Frugal living: Use up those leftover hotdogs

  • Have hot dogs but no buns? Chop them up into macaroni and cheese or wrap them in crescent dough.

    Have hot dogs but no buns? Chop them up into macaroni and cheese or wrap them in crescent dough. Associated Press File Photo

Updated 8/8/2013 2:23 PM

Hot dogs are versatile leftovers. They're easily frozen and reheated later. Cut some in half, roll them in crescent dough and add some cheese for pigs in a blanket. They can be added to macaroni and cheese or chili, too.

The first reader shares a couple of other ideas:


Leftover hot dogs: I had a bunch of leftover hot dogs recently, so I chopped some up and made hot dog sloppy joes (I used my usual recipe for the sloppy joe sauce). I also ground some up and added a diced egg and mayo to make "ham" salad for lunches.

Denise, Illinois

Potato biscuits: Use a cup of fresh or leftover mashed potatoes in your next batch of biscuits or buns, and they'll be fluffy and delicious. Even refrigerated for a few days now, my biscuits have not turned into hockey pucks.

I.C., email

Note from Sara: While the mashed potatoes can simply be added to most any biscuit recipe, here's a recipe in case you don't have one:

Facebook swap groups: I've been selling on our local Facebook garage sale/buy/sell/swap sites. Once you find one and join it, more local groups you can join will show up on the right-hand side of the page. I'm now in about 10 groups. I've been doing this for about six weeks, and I've sold quite a bit. Take pictures and give an accurate description, just as you would if you were listing on eBay. Make the meeting public and close enough to home or work to not waste gas. Read the rules well before listing.

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Niko, Florida

Homemade Jewelry Cleaner: This stuff works great!

Heat 1 cup water in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes. Place a piece of aluminum foil in the bottom of a small bowl. Pour hot water into bowl. Place 1 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon baking soda and 1 tablespoon dishwashing liquid into bowl. Place jewelry in and let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes. Rinse jewelry in cool water and dry completely with soft cloth. Discard solution after use and make a new batch next time.

I kept the old basket from my store-bought jewelry cleaner, and I use that to get the jewelry in and out of the bowl or mug. I also use the old brush to get into the crevices. If you don't have these, use an old toothbrush and pour the water/jewelry through a small strainer. You don't want to lose that jewelry down the drain!

Jonesie, Pennsylvania

Note from Sara: Please proceed with caution. While many readers have shared they got terrific results, some have said it made their silver pieces worse. Also, do not use on any opal jewelry.

Clean dishwasher: I take my machine apart every six months or so and scrub everything. Between these cleanings, I run an empty machine with vinegar in the bottom and a cup of vinegar on the top. Wipe it out when finished. Mine used to get gunked up until I started using Cascade Complete gel, which came highly recommended. It is more expensive, but since I've switched, I don't have to scrub it as often. I've tried the dishwasher cleaners, but they don't do any better than my current method.

J.M., Missouri

• Sara Noel is the owner, offering practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. Send tips, comments or questions to Sara Noel

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