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40 Dollar Store Solutions For Life’s Little Dilemmas

Learn how to save a fortune, the old-fashioned nickel-and-dime way.

$1 solutions - Carpenter with hammer hitting nailsgpointstudio/Shutterstock

Hold a nail

Stop hitting your fingers every time you hammer a nail in place. Use an ordinary spring-activated clothespin to hold the nail while you hammer.

$1 solutions - Fresh homemade applesauce with apples on a wooden tableMarta Maziar/Shutterstock

Replace the oil in baking

Oil makes baked goods moist and tender. It’s also incredibly calorie-dense, and if you’re watching your waistline, eliminating oil from your baking is a natural place to start. But that doesn’t mean you have to develop a taste for baked treats that are dry and tough: Replace up to two-thirds of the oil called for in a cake or muffin recipe with applesauce, and you’ll add moisture and flavour while ditching the fat.

Don’t miss our ultimate guide to healthy grocery shopping.

$1 solutions - top view of various dried legumes in jarsPhoto: Jiri Hera/Shutterstock

Soften beans

Afraid those dry beans have been on the shelf too long? Help soften them by adding a pinch of baking soda to the soaking water. Add a fresh pinch to the cooking water, too, and you can significantly reduce the after-effects of bean consumption. (Find out more sneaky reasons you’re bloated all the time.)

Woman with sore mouthPhoto: /

Neutralize canker sores

Place an antacid tablet directly on the canker sore, giving it time to dissolve, or simply chew one. The medicine will stop the acids and enzymes in your mouth from attacking the tissue in the sore, and more importantly, it will stop the pain. (Be sure to check the product’s label for correct dosage instructions.)

Here are more canker sore home remedies worth trying.

$1 solutions - Skilled child treating her wound at homeYAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

Rip it off the right way

Pulling an adhesive bandage off your child’s skin can be tough on both of you. Make it easier by rubbing the bandage with a cotton ball soaked in baby oil. Rub until you can easily pull the bandage off. This trick works well for adults with sensitive skin, too.

Here are the first aid kit essentials you should always have on hand.

$1 solutions - Carpenter Pulling a Nail on woodNucha Palalay/Shutterstock

Pull nails out gently

If you’re planning to pull a nail out of wood but worry that the hammerhead will hurt the grain, protect the wood before using the hammer. How? Slip a plastic spatula under the head of the hammer before you start the job.

$1 solutions - Cup of coffee spilled on carpetPixel-Shot/Shutterstock

Clean your carpet overnight

Whether your carpet smells dank and musty because of a pet, a smoker, or a season of rain, take the odour out with baby powder. Using a flour sifter, spread the powder generously over the carpet. Let it sit overnight—a few hours will suffice, but overnight is better—and vacuum up the powder and the smells in the morning.

Discover more homemade carpet cleaners.

$1 solutions - Midsection of man washing hands at sink by windowwavebreakmedia/Shutterstock

Get rid of fishy odours

Been chopping something pungent? The smell of garlic or fish can linger on your fingers long after the food is gone. Avoid that by scrubbing your wet hands with baking soda, just as if it were soap, then rinse in warm water. Your hands will smell sweet—and feel softer, too.

Find out more easy household hacks to get rid of odours.

Woman with pain in handPhoto: Africa Studio /

Stop splinters

Make a paste of Epsom salt and water and apply it to the area harbouring a splinter. The paste will help pull the splinter to the surface of the skin in about 10 minutes. (It can even help pull insect stingers out of your skin, too.)

Check out more old-time home remedies that really work.

$1 solutions - Woman plucking eyebrowsg-stockstudio/Shutterstock

Numb your eyebrows

Make plucking your eyebrows much less painful by putting an ice pack on them until they’re uncomfortably cold. At that point your skin will be numb enough to begin plucking. You won’t even feel the tug!

Find out more clever uses for ice cubes.

$1 solutions - Close up of female hands taking moisturizing cream from bottle in bathroom. Woman taking care of her dry complexion.