4 Ways to Use Your Food That Don't Involve Eating

By Ashley Marcin on 12 May 2015 0 comments

We all have to eat to live, but did you know food can do way more than satisfy an empty stomach? It's true. Your kitchen holds some pretty powerful tools for everything from soothing dry feet to staging your house for a quick sale. Check out these awesomely smart uses for your edibles — no chewing required.

1. Beautify Yourself

This avocado hair mask gives your tresses some major TLC. Combine one avocado with a quarter cup of olive oil and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Leave the mixture on your hair for 20 minutes. Then, wash out and dry to uncover silky smooth strands.

Those of you with dry feet should try this oatmeal foot mask straight away. First, bathe your feet in hot water and baking soda to soften. Then slather on the thick mix of rolled oats, flour, honey, and olive oil. It may sound crazy, but you'll look crazier walking around during flip-flop season with cracked heels.

And if your face isn't cooperating, cheer it up with this egg white and honey mask. The recipe is simple! Whisk together one egg and a tablespoon of honey. Apply to your face and let dry before washing off. Your skin should feel tight and deeply cleansed.

2. Ward Off Pests

If ants are cramping your style, try my mom's red hot secret — cayenne pepper. Just sprinkle the pepper around where you've noticed ants entering your home. They hate the stuff. It should stop them from continuing their onward march. Then add a dash to your chili that's simmering on the stove.

Some people swear by garlic — whether slivered, in supplement form, or rubbed directly on skin — to deter pesky mosquitos. Apple cider vinegar might have a similar repelling effect. Just beware that you might smell a little funky.

3. Clean Your Place

Lemon juice is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so it makes a perfect cleaner for some of your dirtiest areas. Many spots — like your cutting board and kitchen counters — can be cleaned by simply rubbing the lemon on top, letting the juice sit a few minutes, then wiping away with a damp cloth. (See also: 25 Alternative Uses for Lemons)

Vinegar might be a great dressing for your salad, but there are countless ways you can use the tangy stuff for cleaning. My favorite way to use vinegar is in an all-purpose cleaner. Mix together vinegar with water in a 1:1 ratio, pour it into a spray bottle, and get scrubbing. (See also: 254 Uses for Vinegar and Counting)

4. Decorate Your Life

Citrus fruits are bold and bright. Before our first open house, our real estate agent told us to put some lemons and limes in a bowl as a cheap staging trick. Of course, you can keep the fun going all year round. I know some people who adorn their Christmas trees with citrus ornaments.

Clever couples even use food to decorate their wedding receptions. For example, apples and artichokes make a festive centerpiece for fall gatherings. These asparagus bunches, on the other hand, nest together to create an organic vase for delicate flowers.

Herbs taste divine in cooking. Why not decorate with them, too? This DIY wall garden is fabulous and functional all at the same time. (Plus, it cost less than $20 to make!) You'll assemble some glass jars, pipe clamps, and pieces of wood. Screw it all together, then add your dirt and plants. Herbs also dress up your outdoor areas with lush, edible greenery. Just remember to water them, and you're good to go.

How do you put your edibles to inedible purposes?

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