Anyone who has tried to hang something in plaster has experienced anything from endless chips or splits from the wall.

A reader from Arizona learned a handy trick they wanted to share:

“My friend ... shared a hint with us about hanging pictures on plaster walls. The gentleman told my husband to heat the nail before pounding it into the wall so the plaster won’t split or chip out. It worked!”

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A reader from Minnesota has figured out her best home remedy for storing the canning jars year round.

“I always saved the lids in a box separate from the jars. Sometimes, when I went to use the jar, there was a smell that I didn’t like. Now, I take half a sheet of newspaper, crumple it up an put it in the clean jar, then put the lid and ring on and store it away. No more sticky jars!”

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For those inheriting a nice set of China, a reader from North Dakota has a simple tip to keep it all safe.

“We were gifted a new set of antique China from my mother’s grandmother. We purchased an old China closet.

“When we went to put the dishes in the new space, my aunt told us to put coffee filters or small paper plates on top of each of the plates, saucers and bowls as a liner to protect the dishes.

“It is amazing. The paper is not visible when you look at the stack, but they are cradled and protected.”

Paula edits the monthly newsletter, “PennyWise,” from her family’s diversified farm and ranch operation on the edge of South Dakota’s Badlands. If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

Paula edits the monthly newsletter, “PennyWise,” from her family’s diversified farm and ranch operation on the edge of South Dakota’s Badlands.