Not only that, but our parents and grandparents managed to survive entire lifetimes without them. They knew that the most useful tools in life don't require battery power or major credit card debt, and while their go-to tools might not let you catch up on the latest season of Homeland, they can save you big bucks, whether it's keeping track of those $200 sunglasses you just bought or saving that $5 bag of pita chips from going stale too soon.
Here's their legacy of cheap tools that you should always have on hand:
White vinegar. Household cleaner, laundry aid, window/mirror cleaner, vinegar is easy on the environment and so versatile. Oh, and you can cook with it, pickle with it, run it through your washing machine or coffee maker to clean out the gunk…the list goes on. The best part: You can buy a gallon of this multipurpose wonder for about $4 at any grocery or convenience store.
Baking soda. This humble household staple can be a bug bite poultice, tub cleanser, teeth cleaner, coffee mug whitener/cleaner, and refrigerator scent sucker, and it costs less than $1 a box—or you can go big so you'll always have it on hand and buy a 13.5-pound bag!
Wooden clothespins. Use them for anything and everything: line-drying clothes, hanging photographs or your child's latest artwork, closing snack bags, or even—in a pinch—as a paper clip. You'll pay about $5 for a sleeve of 24 at your supermarket.
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