“Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Six

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Here on my blog, I strive to share simple, everyday tips and tricks that can help make life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about. And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. I decided to share some of those tips and tricks today, in the fifth edition of my ongoing series, “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

Note: Many of the tips I share on the blog come straight from your comments. If you have a great idea you’d like to share, leave it in the comments, and your idea could be featured in the next “Why Didn’t I Think of That?” post!

Be sure to scroll down to see some of these brilliant hacks in action on video!

Save Your Lemons

Lemons look great sitting in a bowl on the counter in the kitchen, but oddly enough that’s about the worst way to store them (go figure!) Instead, place lemons in a container or bowl full of water and store it in the fridge. Stored this way, the lemons can last up to 3 months!

YouTube video
How to store all your citrus so it doesn’t shrivel up.

Gas Tank Tip

If you can’t seem to remember which side of the car your gas cap is on, check out the gas gauge. Many cars have a small arrow near the gas gauge that points toward the side of the car where the gas cap is located. This is particularly helpful when driving unfamiliar cars!

Battery Fix

If you’re in dire need of AA batteries, but can only find AAA batteries, you can make them work in a pinch with just a bit of tin foil. Place the AAA batteries into the device, then wad up a couple of small pieces of tin foil. Wedge the piece of foil in to fill the gap on the positive end of the battery.

(This should be seen as an emergency fix, and should not be used for any extended period of time. But in a pinch it could help a lot!)

While not a permanent fix – in a pinch it’s a sanity saver!
Why Didn't I Think of That?


Sometimes removing a Band-Aid can hurt worse than the injury itself, but it doesn’t have to! To make removing a bandage painless, all you need is a bit of rubbing alcohol. Apply rubbing alcohol to the bandage on your skin, saturating it thoroughly. Let it sit for a minute, then peel the Band-Aid away. The alcohol will dissolve the adhesive so it won’t hurt to remove.

YouTube video
I wish my Mom had known this trick when I was a little girl!
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Tape Reviver

If your masking tape or painter’s tape has become dry and brittle, you can revive it in the microwave. Place your roll of tape in the microwave for just a few seconds (but keep an eye on it, you don’t want to start a fire!) The heat will loosen the adhesive and make your tape usable again.

Why Didn't I Think of That?

Better Burgers

Before grilling homemade burger patties, use your thumb or the bottom of a small cup to create a divot in the center of each patty. The hole will fill in as the burger cooks, which will help minimize shrinking and ensure that the center of the burger isn’t undercooked. Smart!

YouTube video
Make sure you burgers are cooked all the way through but not OVERcooked.
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Cheese Saver

Once you’ve cut into a block of cheese, you can help keep it fresh by rubbing butter over the cut edge. Butter creates a protective layer that keeps air from oxidizing the cheese as it sits in your fridge. At the same time, it also discourages mold growth because butter is overwhelmingly composed of fat. Mold doesn’t grow very well with such a high percentage of fat. Butter acts as a barrier to both dry edges and spoiling!

YouTube video
Another reason cheese and butter go so well together! ;-)
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Peel A Kiwi Like A Pro

The delicate flesh of the kiwi requires careful peeling to avoid damaging the fruit. Want to know the quickest way to peel one? Cut off the top and bottom of the fruit and rest it upright on one end. Then take a spoon and slide it between the fruit and the skin, and rotate the spoon around until all the skin has come loose (a tablespoon is usually a good size of spoon to use.) When the spoon gets back to the starting point, the kiwifruit should pop out of the skin. Slide the skin off, then slice the kiwi and serve.

YouTube video
Who knew it was so easy?
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Battery Test

If you’re replacing old batteries with new ones of the same brand, it’s easy to get confused about which ones are the old ones and which ones are new. To figure out which is which, drop the batteries one at a time onto a table from a height of an inch or two. An old (dead) battery will bounce and fall over, while a new battery will stay upright. Brilliant! :-)

YouTube video
I wasted a lot of batteries before I knew this trick!
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Jug Lantern

For quick, emergency lighting or a simple makeshift lantern for camping & other outdoor activities, all you need is a milk jug and a headlamp. Fill an empty milk jug with water, then strap the headlamp to the jug. The water will diffuse the light, making the jug a good source of soft, ambient light for a nightlight you can take anywhere!

YouTube video
Create this lovely glowing light in seconds!
Why Didn't I Think of That?

Never Lose An Earring Back Again!

Have you ever lost an earring thanks to a loose earring back? I once lost a treasured family heirloom this way and vowed never to wear my valuable earrings again for this very reason. But all that has changed since I discovered Chrysmela earring backs! I use them for ALL my earrings now and never worry about losing them. The Chrysmela earring backs contain three micro ball bearings that are spring-activated inside the tiny device, and generate super strong holding power to lock earrings securely! Learn more here:  www.chrysme.la

The “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Series

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • I like to make rice in my instant pot, but it makes more than I can eat. To save it, I freeze the leftover rive in ice cube trays and transfer to a freezer bag. Whenever I heat up some gumbo or chicken soup I add a cube or two. My rice cubes even make it into the dogs food from time to time.

  • Hello. Back in the 70’s I started using old panty hose to store my onions. Wash the hose first! I would drop an onion into one leg, then tie a knot as close to the onion as I could. I continued to do this until both legs were full of onions separated by knots. Let me tell you doing the second leg gets a little harder then the 1st leg. Then you take the top/crouch part and hang it on a per-hung hook, where ever you want to keep them. When you need an onion, you just cut it out of the hose. My onions would last me in great shape until the next harvest when I would do it all over again. My problem is that in the 70’s I wore a lot of panty hose – so I had lots to use with runs and tears in them – for this project. I no longer wear any hose, and generally not even socks, so I have to find friends and family to give me their old hoses.

  • I have learned that you can tell what side your gas cap is on in an older vehicle by the turn signal switch on your steering wheel. If your switch is on the left so is your gas cap. If its on the right then that is where your gas cap is.

  • To immobilize my large cutting board i bought a placemat made of nonsliding rubber from the 99 cent store and place it under the cutting board. You get 2 placemats for $1.

  • I’m an art teacher and often, after my dedicated students have created a masterpiece at school, they don’t know how to take it home without damaging it. An easy fix is to have each child decorate a paper towel tube with their name on it, and then they ROLL their artwork into a size that fits inside the protective tube. The kids think this is awesome and so do all the teachers! Of course, it works for other school projects too!

  • To remove a stuck-on bandaid with less pain I saturate the adhesive sides with baby oil or coconut oil and in about 5 minutes or less they easily lift off. This can lessen a “hairy” ordeal.

  • I also use the ‘spoon’ trick to peel avocados. Just cut in half and slide the spoon around and under the meat. It comes out very easily this way.

    • And, to get the seed out I gently and carefully whack it with a chefs knife then give the knife a twist. The seed should come right out with the knife still wedged into it!

  • A little tip on picking out the best limes, and lemons is to find the smoothest peels. Even if they are smaller. They will be the juiciest and easiest to squeeze!!

  • I have a question about the lemon storage. Why is the water necessary? Why not just put them in the fridge ‘naked’, so to speak?

    • I can’t tell you exactly why it works – but I know that it does! The water surrounds the lemons, and it seems to keep them from aging. Weird, but it works! :-)

  • Using alcohol to remove a band-aid doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. The sting of alcohol on broken skin can be quite painful.

  • I love all these ideas, the cheese one is great, I had heard if you wrap in tin foil, would help, but didn’t really. so the butter thing will try, and the cup press on hamburger patty.Actually it was hard to have a favorite “new idea” they are wonderful.. the

  • Baby oil, or vegetable oil can also be used to remove bandaids, and it doesn’t sting if the cut is not healed. It’s also an old nurse trick for getting off medical tape or adhesive marks from a hear monitor or ekg leads. Signed, an old nurse.

    • Wow, thanks for this advise. My daughter has surgery ever 6-7 months on her back, and when we have to change the dressing it’s always hurts no matter what I use to take it off and leaves a red mark behind. I will be trying this next time. Thank you for the tip and always up for suggestions that makes it easier on her

  • These tips are so good! I love the lemon one- I’m constantly throwing them out.

    Did you know that touching cheese with your fingers will make it mold faster? Always hold it with the plastic wrap, never with your fingers.

  • I have also lost my earrings due to faulty backs. As a teacher, I have utilized the pencil eraser. Break the eraser off the pencil and push it on to the back of your earring. Not bulky and very secure!

    • Just roll it back and forth on the counter, pressing firmly with your palm. I also stand it on end and press down gently. It breaks up the cells of juice, and significantly increases the amount you’ll get.

  • I got so tired of detangling my various charger cords, I finally braided them, leaving about twelve inches free at the charging end. It’s been six months free of tangles. Only wish I’d thought of it Sooner!

  • A trick for you to share: I use a “Ped Egg” as a lemon zest grater. Inexpensive, excellent grater, holds in hand and the zest falls in the cup. Just write “zester” on it so it stays in the kitchen and does not go in the toiletry bin.

  • Wow! Wonderful ideas! I don’t know how many times I’ve pulled into a gas station, got out of the car, and grabbed the gas pump nozzle to realize I’ve parked the wrong way! Thanks Jillee.

  • If you are lucky enough to end up with too many lemons or limes, use them as garbage disposal cleaners.

    You can use the fruit as is, of course, but the best use is dehydrated! The hard dry fruits scrape clean the blades of the disposal and leave a nice scent.

    Dehydrate the whole fruits until fully hard and dry – they will be light weight and seem hollow like a small gourd.

    To dehydrate, put them in the sun daily, use a low oven, or a dehydrator. (I often just leave mine in a single layer in an elevated wire fruit basket on the counter so air circulates around them. A few may mold, I use those in the disposal as it happens. The rest will become hard and dry in weeks.)

    Store the fully dried fruit in a cool dry place with good air circulation. Use one once a month to clean and freshen your disposal.

  • Good ideas. G&T is gin and tonic. I’d heard the butter on the cheese tip years ago. Never tried it.The magnetic earring back is a good idea, but at $50.00 I don’t think so. You can find earring backs if you need replacements in the jewelry section at Walmart. I’ve also had dangly earrings fall out. I just put a little rubber tip made for earrings on the back. You can find these too at Walmart and other places.

  • oh wow! i have collected all of your “why didn’t I think of that” tips and these are really really the best! Lemons! who knew? Thank you!

  • Essentail oils like Tea Tree and Eucalyptus oil work well in removing bandaids, are antiseptic, and don’t sting. I prefer Tea Tree, as it is less likely to irritate those with sensitive skin.

    • Yes, if you get alcohol in the wound. But, you’re using the alcohol on the adhesive to get it to release from the skin. You just rub the alcohol on the adhesive strip and it helps it to not hurt as you pull it off. I have to go in to the hospital for IV meds every 8 weeks, and this is what the nurses do to remove the adhesive that holds the IV down. It works very well and doesn’t hurt. The alcohol has never gotten into the wound.

    • You don’t need to douse the entire area with alcohol, just enough to get the sticky strip wet. And (hopefully), by the time you’re removing the band-aid, the wound is no longer open. :-)

  • As soon as you buy lemons/limes, slice them and put them in the freezer. They never go off, they are cold for drinks, putting on top of prawns to stop them going off at buffets, etc., and I’d never have room for a bottle of lemons in the fridge!

    Also, when the G and T (or whatever) is finished, I always put my lemons and limes into the dishwasher to freshen in up. Works in the fabric softener side of the washing machine, too, instead of vinegar.

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