Alternative uses for sugar

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Finding everyday items you regularly have on hand and using them in different ways is a great way to save money.


This is my very favorite way to exfoliate. I use this method on my face, legs, elbows and hands. One time when we were traveling, my skin got really dry and flaky but I had forgotten to bring my sugar and olive oil so when we ordered room service, I asked for oil and vinegar on the side (ordered a salad.) Then I just opened a packet of sugar, that came with the coffee and tea orders, mixed it with the olive oil and voila, my skin was smooth in seconds. This literally costs pennies and will give you smooth, glowing skin. Pour 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of sugar in your palm to make a paste. Massage gently into skin, rinse and pat dry. The sugar is abrasive enough to gently exfoliate and the oil makes your skin super soft. Even if you have naturally oily skin, you can do this. (You can also use Kosher salt in place of sugar.)


You can keep your lipstick from fading during the day, which will save money when you don’t have to constantly reapply color with this simple trick. After putting your lipstick on, dab a bit of sugar on top with your finger. Let it sit for a couple of minute and then brush it off. The sugar supposedly soaks up any excess moisture, which helps the dry color pigments left behind adhere to your lips better. This worked for me with lipstick but not so much with a gloss.


To keep cakes and cookies fresher longer, store in airtight containers with a few sugar cubes. A few sugar cubes added to cheese will also help keep it from getting moldy.


Got grass stains? This natural concoction will help get rid of them. Simply put about 1/2 cup sugar in a bowl. Slowly add in enough water to make a paste. Apply to grass stained clothing and let sit for 30 minutes. Launder as usual. This works because the sugar contains enzymes that break down the chlorophyll pigments in grass.


You can keep minor scrapes and cuts from getting infected with a little bit of sugar. Who knew? I even read studies that are using sugar to treat leg ulcers, amputations and bed sores. Sprinkle a bit of sugar on the injured area and then cover with a bandage. Studies show that sugar draws water out of the wounds, easing pain and creating an unfavorable environment for bacterial growth. I personally have not tried this but couldn’t find any information that said this could hurt you. As always though, I suggest you consult a doctor first to make sure this is safe for you.


Pour 1 tablespoon sugar into your coffee or spice grinder and grind for about 30 seconds. Discard sugar. The granules are abrasive enough to scrape away residue and absorb odors. This works great with Kosher salt too.


Keep flies away with this fairly simple to make fly strip that doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals. Combine equal parts sugar, honey and water. Boil until thickened, stirring occasionally. Let cool. Cut pieces of brown packing tape, punch a hole on the end and make a loop with string through the hole. Dip strips in the mixture. Hang to let excess drips drop, until sticky. (You’ll want to put some type of container under the hanging strips to catch the drops until it dries.) Hang the strips wherever you have fly problems.


Here’s a mixture that supposedly kills roaches naturally. I don’t live in an area where we get a lot of roaches, though when I lived in Texas and Florida they were plentiful, so I didn’t personally try this out. I read a lot of mixed reviews on if this work with people saying they had tried it and had success while others theorized that it wouldn’t. Some people said it takes a couple of weeks to see major results but if you are saving your home/family/pets from chemicals, a couple of weeks might be ok. Mix equal parts sugar and baking soda and place in small, shallow containers. The containers need to be shallow enough that the roaches can climb in. (Jar lids would work really well.) Place the containers in areas you see roaches; like behind appliances, inside cupboards, in pantries, and garages. Fill another small, shallow container with water and set next to the sugar/baking soda mixture. The theory is that the sugar will attract the roaches, the baking soda will get in their stomach, and when they drink the water it will create a gas in their stomach that causes the stomach to explode, killing the roach.


You can quickly soothe a burned tongue by placing a bit of sugar on it. I actually tried this, purposely burning my tongue with hot coffee and it instantly took the sting out. The sugar didn’t get rid of the bumps that popped up and I still felt about 30 minutes later, but my tongue didn’t hurt. And even if it hadn’t taken the sting out, my mouth would have been happy with the sugar!


A study in Pediatrics found that a one-to-four sugar/water solution placed directly into the mouth or on a pacifier before immunizations helped babies handle the pain of immunizations better.


You can easily clean dried-on paint or greasy messes from your hands with a bit of water and sugar. This really worked for me. If you really have “a mess on your hands,” a bit of dish soap mixed along with the sugar and water will help.


Make this easy & super cheap wasp killer with an empty soda bottle, 2 cups of water and 1/2 cup of sugar. Mix the sugar and water in a pan and bring to a boil. Let cool. Pour into an empty soda bottle and leave uncovered in areas of your yard where you aren’t. Wasps will gravitate to the sugar-water mix, fly inside the bottle, and become trapped (and then drown.)


You can extend the life of your fresh-flower bouquet by adding a tablespoon of sugar every time you change the water. I actually tried this and while it did work, I found the little packet of food that a lot of times is attached to the flowers worked the best. The sugar-water kept the blooms looking ok but made the stems/water get moldy faster. You can add a tablespoon of vinegar, along with the sugar to help prevent mold. When I did my experiment I used mini roses, and I really didn’t notice that much of a difference with the sugar-water versus plain water. Other experiments I read about using sugar water used tulips and they said they had fabulous luck.

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