Secrets of Success

10

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Save money: don't play penny auctions

They sound like you bid a penny each time. But it costs you about 60˘ everytime you place a penny bid. You buy bids ahead of time -- people are surprised to find that their credit card is charged for those bids before they even use them.
And think: if a product sells for $20, that means there...

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Know how many calories you have before an iffy situation

If you know you have 500 calories left for the day (using Tracker) and you go out, you have better control over selecting the 1 or 2 items that are high in calories rather than binging and thinking, "oh well, how can I know with restaurant food anyhow?" Eating and enjoying that fried catfish (high ...

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Use your exercise ball to add additional hamstring stretch

I use my exercise ball to increase the intensity of hamstring stretches. First I get into a yoga position called "legs up the wall". (Back and head on floor, legs at 90 degrees up the wall.) Then I place the exercise ball between the wall and the backs of my ankles or calves. This raises my butt ...

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Neufchatel cheese instead of cream cheese

I eat lower carb to control Type 2 diabetes (successfully!).
My breakfast is frequently 2 bran wafers with cheese. I discovered that Neufchatel cheese is very similar to cream cheese but lower calories and fat.
For a 2 Tablespoon serving, Neufchatel Cheese: 80 cal, 1 carb, 6 Fat, 2 Protein...

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Use vinegar to remove built up crud around faucets

When the minerals in the water begin to leave deposits around the faucets, soak and squeeze a rag out. Then wrap the rag around the area with deposits.
Take a cup of vinegar and using a microwave safe container, heat the vinegar until it's hot and near boiling. Pour the hot vinegar onto the de...

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Use a stick blender to sneak in more vegetables

I love my stick blender and make quite a few easy soups just by saute'ing veggies in olive oil, adding canned chicken broth. The stick blender makes is so easy to turn all the veggies into a thick or thin broth.

I've also used it to add veggie puree to muffins and breads and even beef grav...

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9

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Use the Spark Recipe Calculator

Your family's favorite dishes -- enter them as a recipe and check which ingredients are highest. If you love something like sausage, then instead of two links, eat 1 and one-half link. You've reduced the calories by 25%. Substitute fattening cheeses with zero fat cheeses like Neufchatel cream che...

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9

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Reduce messes in your car or van while eating

Keep a stack of old hand towels in your vehicle. Then when anyone is drinking or eating, make sure you have one handy. On the laps of little kids, it will keep crumbs in 1 place. If the coffee cup spills, it's simple to quickly absorb the liquid with the towel.

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Reduce the use of paper towels.

You can eliminate the cost of paper towels by using old cotton t-shirts for those messes. If you're a neat freak, you can cut them to a rectangular shape. You can wash the t-shirts in hot water and bleach to make them refreshed for use. Most will last for 25+ years even when washed weekly.

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.