Your Best Life Hacks From Every Single State in the U.S.

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Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show Aired November 22, 2017

Wanna school us?

Oh, you KNOW we wanna listen!

All year long, we’ve been asking you to share your brightest and boldest double-duty tips (or just plain ol’ great tips!) -- and you have more than risen to the challenge!

From food to fashion, you’ve dropped some SERIOUS knowledge, and today, we’re sharing the best of the best back with you -- one tip from every single state!

Whether you’re looking for the secret to molding taco bowls or a fresh spin on a holiday dessert, we -- and by we, we mean you -- have the answers!

1. Alabama
Annette from Eva, Alabama, loves her EVOO just as much as Rach -- and not just in the kitchen! Because she has multiple sclerosis, Annette deals with dry skin. Her solution? Before she gets out of the shower, she rubs olive oil on her wet skin, and voila! Instant softness. How’s that for double duty?!

2. Alaska
Technically, this tip isn’t from an Alaskan viewer -- but it is a tip for your Baked Alaska! Buddy Valastro’s (a.k.a. The Cake Boss) recipe for a Lemon Meringue Baked Alaska boasts a VERY easy way to work around whipping up fresh meringue!

3. Arizona
Viewer Jean from Tucson, Arizona, has a top tip for staying cooling in the summer! Simply put lemon slices in the bottom of a muffin tin, add water and freeze. These lemony cubes make a refreshing treat to add to ice water during the hot summer months.

4. Arkansas
Stacy from Jonesboro, Arkansas, shares this time-saving tip for entertaining! Want to heat two dips in one slow-cooker? Create an aluminum foil divider, then line each side a crockpot liner. That was easy!

5. California
Need a garment bag in a pinch? Kelsey from Hanford, California, has you covered with this handy trick! Recycle an old pillowcase by cutting a triangle-shaped notch out of the corner, then slip the pillowcase over an item on a hanger. Instant garment bag!

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


6. Colorado

One large pizza isn’t enough for Denver, Colorado-based snowboarder Christian and his hungry roommates! In order to bake two pizzas on one pan, Christian devised this handy hack: cut each pizza in half, and place the cut edges facing the outer rim of the pan. The round edges in the center will slightly overlap, but the pizza will still taste great!

7. Connecticut
Want to prep three different types of fondue at the same time? Emma from Connecticut, shares the perfect tip: pour each ingredient into a mug and set in a hot water bath in the slow cooker. Heat on high for 30 minutes and come back to fondue that’s the perfect temperature and consistency!

8. Delaware
Have a stubborn, freshly-baked cake? Kelly from Wilmington, Delaware, has a trick for getting the cake out of the pan quickly and easily. Place the cake pan over a larger pan of warm water. Let sit for a few minutes and voila, the steam from the water works to release the cake from the pan with no fuss.

9. Florida
Stacie from Orlando, Florida, has a great tip for turning one tasty flank steak dinner into two more quick, kid-friendly meals! This mom of five has the leftover game down, as she transforms juicy flank steak into quick-and-easy quesadillas one night and an Asian-inspired noodle soup the next.

MORE: How to Turn Your Leftover Halloween Candy Into Thanksgiving Dessert From Ashley in Florida

10. Georgia

The Mills family from Atlanta, Georgia, shares a tip for making a St. Patrick’s Day sweet treat! Cut the top off of a chocolate cupcake and make a cut out with a clover-shaped cookie cutter. Frost the whole cupcake with green frosting before replacing the top.

12. Hawaii
Here’s one from Rach’s culinary team member Grant! If you want to give your cheeseball an island twist -- because why wouldn’t you, especially in the summer months?! -- add pineapple for a Hawaiian Cheeseball! That mix of savory and sweet hits. The. SPOT.

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


12. Idaho
Do you have a pantry or fridge overrun with ingredients you’ll never use? Sarah from Idaho, has a great idea for using up ingredients, saving money, and having fun while you’re at it: Join forces with your friends and neighbors to host a challenge to cook a dish only using pantry ingredients!

13. Illinois
Turn your strawberry shortcake into something special with perfectly-sliced strawberries! Jessica from Glenview, Illinois, has a tip that will save you valuable time in the kitchen -- and is so easy that even the littlest kitchen helpers can give it a go: use a hard-boiled egg slicer to slice a bunch of strawberries quickly. Now that’s sweet!

14. Indiana
Love to use your grill for dinner? Let it do double duty on your dessert, too! When Liz from La Porte, Indiana, hosts Fourth of July, she goes simple and delicious with buttered pound -- that she grills -- topped with butter, sugar, cinnamon, whipped cream and fresh fruit. Yum-o!

15. Iowa
Ice cream sandwiches turn into an easy cake with Jenny from Wayland, Iowa’s tip! Stack the store-bought sammies on a platter before covering with whipped cream and drizzling with caramel and fudge. Freeze for a few hours, and voila—an impressively easy summer treat!

16. Kansas
Overrun with hair from your furry friends? Abby from Kansas, uses inexpensive rubber shelf paper to pick up cat hair from her upholstered furniture! Gone are the days of toiling with a vacuum!

17. Kentucky
Dust off that turkey baster! Brittany from Bowling Green, Kentucky, has another use for the seemingly single-use kitchen tool: repurpose it to make perfectly-portioned pancakes!

18. Louisiana
Creole lovers, step right up! Jake Smollett has a classic NOLA-inspired recipe seemingly made for Rach (and all lovers of Italian): New Orleans Gumbo Pasta! Penne with sausage and peppers galore -- what’s not to love?

19. Maine
Those burnt bits on your pan? Cheryl from South Portland, Maine, has an easy trick for getting them off quick! All you need is a little bit of baking powder. Sprinkle it over the pieces of food that are still stuck and add water, and poof! You’ve got a smooth, clean pan!

20. Maryland
Andy from Gaithersburg, Maryland, discovered an easy trick for keeping Halloween pumpkins fresh for weeks — if not longer! Use a simple bleach solution to give pumpkins a bath for 30 minutes.

21. Massachusetts
An empty pickle jar is a sad thing -- unless, of course, you make like our viewer Brie from Massachusetts and use the leftover pickle juice to make MORE PICKLES! Just slice up some cucumbers and stick them in the jar with the leftover pickle juice. Let it all marinate in the fridge for a few days, and then magic! You’ll have a fresh batch of pickles to munch on!

22. Michigan
Looking for an easy way to whip up homemade taco bowls? Barbara from Grand Rapids, Michigan, flips her muffin tin over and uses the grooves in between as a mold for her tortillas to shape to.

23. Minnesota
Coming soon!

24. Mississippi
Misty from Hernando, Mississippi, has a carb-loving double-duty for you -- make that quadruple-duty! The new mom of a 6-month-old baby girl has discovered that store-bought southern-style biscuit dough works JUST FINE for not only biscuits, but also empanada shells, pizza crust and her favorite, “fried pie.” How’s that for working overtime?!

25. Missouri
Cracking eggs got you down? Erin King from St. Louis, Missouri has a handy tip for separating whites and yolks. Set a funnel inside a measuring cup and crack the egg into it—the white slips right through, leaving you with a perfect yolk!

26. Montana
If you have a little baker helping you at home, this one’s for you! “I bake with my 3-year-old granddaughter a lot,” Louella from Billings, Montana, explains, “so I tried to find a tool that would be easier for her to help out with. That's when the meat tenderizer came about instead of fork indentations!”

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


27. Nebraska
Add a little playfulness to your next pan of brownies with this tip from Alicia and Anna in Papillion, Nebraska. After baking up your chocolate-y treats, cut them into rectangles and decorate with white chocolate chips and icing!

28. Nevada
An abundance of holiday turkey doesn’t always mean sandwiches: Doreen from Sparks, Nevada, uses her leftover bird and accompanying gravy to make enchiladas! Mix gravy with jarred green salsa and layer with tortillas, turkey, and cheese in casserole dish. Top with more cheese and bake for leftovers everyone will love!

29. New Hampshire
Do you have a stove that heats up a little too fast? This is what Pamela from Jaffrey, New Hampshire, does! “My solution? Create more distance from the flame,” she says. “My particular gas stove is a traditional four-burner with individual grates, so when I’m done cooking and the pot is ready to just simmer, I turn off the burner that I’m using and carefully remove the pot. I then take a cool grate from one of the other burners and crisscross it over the top. I very carefully place the pot on top of the double grates (I’ve never had a problem with stability, but be cautious!), turn the heat back on and continue the simmering process.”

30. New Jersey
Abby from Vineland, New Jersey, turns colorful peppermints into a serving tray for holiday cookies. Use a bowl as your guide to arrange the mints in a circular pattern on parchment-lined baking and pop in the oven.

31. New Mexico
When Nancy from Albuquerque, New Mexico, wants her house to smell great (without even cooking!), she does this -- pops fresh rosemary twigs on a cookie sheet in the oven on the lowest temperature and heat for 15 minutes or so. “This gives the home the smell that Italian food is on the way,” she says, “and it works for refreshing the house for company, too!”

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


32. New York
Perfectly-frosted cakes aren’t just for expert bakers! Emily from Lakeview, New York, has a quick-and-easy hack that will save you lots of time — and mess — in the kitchen. Put a piece of parchment paper over a baking sheet, set a cooling rack on top and place your cooled cake on top of the rack.

33. North Carolina
Wish you could give the countertop in your kitchen a modern update? According to Tasha from Greensboro, North Carolina, all you need is a smooth, uncracked counter and some concrete. Coat the counter and boom! Understated elegance.

34. North Dakota
Do you (like everyone) like to find extra money lying around? With MissingMoney.com, Melissa from Lincoln, North Dakota, did just that! “I put in my name and my state, and within two minutes, I found $851 coming back to me!” she says.

35. Ohio
Lovers of Ohio Nachos, this one’s for you! Rach whipped up this recipe that combines beloved Ohio Nachos (a.k.a. nachos slathered in blue cheese) with a turkey burger, so you get your favorite appetizer and an entree all in one meal.

36. Oklahoma
You scrub, scrub, scrub and still can’t get those soap stains off your shower door? Raina from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, is about to blow your mind! She uses DRYER SHEETS to take the “soap scrum” off the doors. “I have a large shower with lots of glass, and it’s a pain to scrub -- so of course, I put it off forever,” she says. “I took a used dryer sheet into the shower with me this week, and it was a miracle! I barely even had to scrub.”

37. Oregon
‘Tis the season! If you’re about to set up your Christmas tree, remember this tip from Sabrina from Oregon City, Oregon: Every time you water your tree, put in aspirin in the water. “Adding an aspirin will ensure the tree stays green longer!” she promises.

38. Pennsylvania
The Schmidts from Jamison, Pennsylvania, like to heat up a snow day by making Snowman Pizza! (“It’s snow much fun!”) The family’s four children roll out the dough into three mini circles, put them in a line, snowman-style, then decorate them to look like Frosty himself!

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show


39. Rhode Island

Because Rhode Island is the unofficial queen of both clams and flatbreads, we’re sharing this recipe with you -- our favorite way to combine the two: Clams Casino Bread Pizza! (No, you’re drooling!)

40. South Carolina
If you find yourself out of granulated sugar but you need some for a recipe, Kemperlyn from Columbia, South Carolina, has a quick fix. If you happen to have sugar cubes in the house, just use a garlic press to mash them back into granulated form.

41. South Dakota
Hannah picked up this trick as soon as she moved to Sioux Falls, South Dakota: “In the winter in South Dakota, people keep a candle in a coffee can in their car. If they get stuck in a snowstorm, they use it as a heater!”

42. Tennessee
Chef Jason Smith may be from Kentucky, but when we quizzed him, he dished that THIS is his favorite restaurant for “cheap eats” in the ENTIRE United States: Jack's Bar-B-Que in Nashville, Tennessee. Because you can never have enough fried chicken, are we right?

43. Texas
Marie from Austin, Texas, is completely fine with her kids, Elle and Jack, playing with their food -- because she does it, too! She taught us how to make a puppy dog face out of toast, fruit and cheese, BUT she says, if you do a little “food art” with your kids’ veggies, too, they’ll be much more willing to eat them! (Bunny-shaped corn, anyone?!)

44. Utah
Have surprise guests coming over and need to chill your drinks fast? Brooke from Provo, Utah, has an amazing tip! She mixes a big bowl of cold water, a small bowl of ice and a couple of tablespoons of salt, and she says within 5 minutes, her drinks are ice-cold. Genius!

45. Vermont
Christie from Westminster, Vermont, puts Rach’s Lazy Spoon to work! Instead of just hanging it off the side of the bowl between stirs, she’s also been using that little notch in the handle to hold her food thermometers. That way, she always knows the temperature of her food without having to drown her thermometer!

46. Virginia
Here’s a brilliant double-duty tip that’s especially earth-friendly! When Kelly from Springfield, Virginia, is done heating up her pasta, she lets the water cool, then she uses it to water her plants. Talk about making Mother Earth proud, Kelly!

47. Washington
When St. Patrick’s Day comes around, Malia from Seattle, Washington, whips up this sweet -- and incredibly easy -- treat! She mixes melted marshmallows, butter, crisped rice and green food dye, spreads the mix in the bottom of a dish, takes a shamrock-shaped cookie cutter to it all and is left with what she and her kids call “Shamrock Surprises.” So festive!

48. West Virginia
If you like a good pumpkin OUTSIDE of Halloween, then you're going to love this one! When Barbara from Clendenin, West Virginia, spots sale pumpkins after October 31, she picks one up and turns it into ADORABLE Thanksgiving decor. "Just buy a cheap pack of wooden spoons ($0.89 for a set of six at Walmart last time I was there!), paint five of them in bright colors and a turkey's face on the sixth," she says. "Then grab a hammer and pound them into the pumpkin!" What do you get? A turkey, complete with rainbow feathers, which you can place outside or use as a centerpiece.

Photo credit: Rachael Ray Show

MORE: Katie Lee's West Virginia-Style Hot Dogs

49. Wisconsin
Those onions tearing you up? That’s why Michele from Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, keeps a pair of goggles in her utensil drawer -- they keep her from crying while she’s dicing up the veggie!

50. Wyoming
And last, but certainly not least, Tara from Camden Wyoming, Delaware, has a solution for the viewer that isn’t so fond of a dish rack! Instead of having it take up space of your counter, she suggests using cooling racks -- the same you might use to cool cookies -- to cool the plates. That way, when the dishes are dry, you can put away the racks, too, and completely clear your counter.

Bonus tip: Tara also likes to pop a cooling rack under her laptop so it doesn’t overheat!

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