Winter is officially in full swing and that means boots have become the footwear staple of the household.

A reader from Minnesota has found a cheap solution to keeping your entryway clean.

They wrote: “I took a long box that fits next to the wall and lined it with a big plastic garbage bag. When we come in, the boots come off and are set in the box on the bag.”

The reader said that all the muddy and wet “yutz” falls off into the bag and you’ll just have to change the bag every few weeks to keep the entryway nice and fresh, even if the outside isn’t.

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Speaking of using old bags, a reader from Kansas said they found some good uses for old paper bags for the fireplace.

They said to take a brown paper lunch bag, put some scrunched up newspaper in it, grab an old broken candle and shred in some wax. It can be used as a fire starter.

“He then just taped the top of the bag down and gave it to grandpa who says it works great,” they wrote.

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How about your plastic bags, you ask? Well a reader from Nevada said that using plastic bags as mixing bags saves a lot of the hassle in the kitchen.

“I just put everything into a used plastic bag and moosh it around until everything is thoroughly mixed ... I don’t have any extra dishes to wash or a mess to clean up off the counter. Works for me!”

If you have hints to share, drop Paula a line at PennyWise, Box 518, Kadoka, SD 57543-0518 or email pennywise@goldenwest.net.

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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.