Q. We've just started adding leftover hot cereal to our bread. I've also added it to soups and stews. Am I missing any other great ideas here?
Judi, New England
A. You can add it to meatloaf, meatballs, muffins, cookies or quick bread.
One of my readers, Adriana, shares: "I have made muffins with leftover Cream of Wheat. I followed a basic muffin recipe, but beat in a cup of cooked Cream of Wheat with the milk. I then added the dry ingredients in the usual manner. Any recipe that calls for cornmeal can have Cream of Wheat substituted. I've also added leftover Cream of Wheat to a basic waffle recipe, again mixing it with the wet ingredients." Also, if you go to the manufacturer's website (www.bgfoods.com/creamof wheat/), you'll find some recipes that use cooked and uncooked Cream of Wheat.
Q. Can you make potato cakes out of mashed potato without flour?
A. Yes. Simply add an egg to 2 cups mashed potatoes, form into patties and fry in a pan with a little oil. You can add meat, seasoned bread crumbs, cheese or onion for extra flavor.
Q. I need to make a craft (several of the same craft item) for a fundraiser at an elementary school. Any ideas?
A. Here's an idea that will appeal to girl students or parents who have girls to shop for: Make ribbon-woven headbands. You can find the supplies and a tutorial at www.hair-hardware.com. You can make them in various color combinations. Sports teams or school colors would be a nice addition, too.
Q. I once read about a do-it-yourself drain cleaner, but I forgot what the ingredients were and the quantities of each.
Ruth J., Missouri
A. Many people use baking soda, vinegar and boiling water for drain cleaning. Pour ¼ cup baking soda down the drain. Follow with ½2 cup distilled white vinegar and plug the drain until the fizzing stops. Pour one gallon of boiling water down the drain to flush out the clog.
One of my readers, Brenda from the Midwest, shares: "I run vinegar in my coffee maker every month or so to clean it. While it is running through the coffee maker, I place a cup of baking soda in my kitchen sink. Once the vinegar has run through my coffee maker, I pour it over the baking soda, which bubbles up and cleans the drain. Run several pots of hot water through the coffeemker to rinse it, then pour the pots down the drain to rinse the vinegar and baking soda."
• Sara Noel owns Frugal Village (frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. Send tips, comments or questions to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., , Kansas City, MO, 64106, or sara@frugal village.com.
Q. I just bought new slippers and they already have an unpleasant smell. Do you have suggestions to remove the smell without putting them in the washing machine?
A. You can try a few different methods to get rid of odor. Use crumpled newspaper or baking soda inside the shoes, or pour kitty litter or cedar chips into a spare sock or section of pantyhose and place that in the shoes. Put the slippers outside to dry out any moisture. There's no harm in cleaning them by hand in the sink using a wash cloth, water and laundry detergent.
If you're afraid of immersing them in water, use a wet wash cloth. Let them air dry outside. You can spritz them with Lysol spray, rubbing alcohol, or vinegar, too. Wash your feet and make sure they are dry (you could even apply foot powder or spray) before wearing your slippers.
• Sara Noel owns Frugal Village (frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. Send tips, comments or questions to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., , Kansas City, MO, 64106, or firstname.lastname@example.org.