I am a sucker for buying in bulk. I have mentioned it in this column before, but I just adore wholesale clubs. I could spend literally hours browsing the aisles and thinking up uses for many of the items I never knew I needed.

Buying in bulk just makes perfect sense to me. Why spend for a small quantity when you can have a long-time supply of the same item for just a dollar or two more? Plus, there are many items that can serve a plethora of uses. My latest obsession: Aluminum foil. Use it for more than just covering a plate of food.

Polish silver


Due to the chemical reaction that occurs when aluminum foil is combined with a few simple household ingredients, you can use it to remove tarnish and get your silver sparkly clean. Mix one tablespoon of baking soda and one liter of water. Bring to a boil with a piece of aluminum foil. Place silver inside for 15 seconds and remove using tongs. Use a rag to clean off the residue and buff dry.

Stand in for steel wool

Scrub down greasy pots and pans with a balled up piece of foil. Not only will you save your dish brushes and sponges, but you will also be able to scrub better, too. I use this trick every time I make bacon. Because foil is relatively soft, you can scrub away without fear of damaging your nonstick surfaces. If you are apprehensive, test a small, inconspicuous area near the edge before moving onto the entire surface.

Speed iron

Place a piece of aluminum foil underneath your ironing board cover. Then, place your clothing on top and iron as usual. The foil will refl ect the heat so that you can de-wrinkle with just one or two pass overs.

Protect your edibles


Mix small strips of foil with mulch and place it around your edible garden. It will help to keep insects and slugs away.

Reuse a paintbrush

First, squeeze the excess paint out of the brush. Then, wrap it with foil and secure with a rubber band. You can leave it like this overnight, and it will be ready to go the next day. If you plan on picking up your painting much later, toss it in the freezer. Allow it to thaw completely before reusing.

Have a comment or question for Joanne? Email thefixisin@gmail.com.