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posted: 2/20/2013 11:58 AM

Frugal living: Get the most juice from your citrus fruits

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Heating citrus such as lemons and limes in your microwave for 20 seconds will help you get more juice when squeezing them. Using a reamer can help get more juice, too.

The first reader shares how she squeezes limes:

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Squeeze citrus: To squeeze Key limes, I use a garlic press. Cut the limes crosswise, then pinch them a little so that the lime halves fit into the press. This method yields much more juice than juicing by hand.

Karen B., email

Clean tough burnt-on stains off stainless cookware: Here's a technique for when soaking and scraping doesn't work! Put a mixture of water and lots of Ajax or Comet cleanser (I use a cleanser with bleach) in the pan and boil for a while, making sure the pan doesn't run dry (turn on the vent fan, because you don't want to be breathing this). Let it cool, then wash as usual. You'll have a sparkling clean pan.

C.L., Mississippi

If your stained pan has no plastic parts, you can run it through the self-clean cycle on your oven.

S.D., Minnesota

Stain removal: This is in reference to M.K from Canada, whose husband's shirt had a large, indelible-ink stain that wasn't responding to the usual removal methods. I had that exact situation, and the fact that my shirt had been washed prior to discovering the stain increased the ink's resistance to treatment (most labels state this). After exhausting all the usual remedies, what worked for me was Carbona Stain Devils No. 3. It took a couple of days to soak out, but there was no trace of ink, not even in the seams or topstitching. There was no faded or "worked on" area either. Carbona is a German line of about a dozen stain-specific solutions in small, yellow, wedge-shaped bottles, each costing around $4. If the shirt is worth it, check your local grocery and hardware stores for Carbona.

I recommended Carbona to a friend who needed to remove a red lipstick stain from her white suit and the dove-gray seat of her new car. She went through several bottles, but that was a small price to pay to restore the upholstered seat. The suit was easy by comparison; the bright red-pigmented grease completely disappeared.

Meg, email

Note from Sara: Carbona can be purchased online at carbona.com.

Old turtlenecks: You can cut off the collar and use it as a headband. No need to sew -- just fold under the side you cut from the shirt. You can attach a silk or fabric flower to it for an added decoration.

Linda, New York

Nail decals or stickers: Nail decals and stickers can be used to accessorize most anything. I've seen them on glasses and sunglasses, adding personalization and some flair.

Gina, New York

• Sara Noel owns Frugal Village (frugalvillage.com), a website that offers practical, money-saving strategies for everyday living. To send tips, comments or questions, write to Sara Noel, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO, 64106, or email sara@frugalvillage.com.

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