8 Ways That Coffee Comes in Handy

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The other day, I was working on a scuffed-up piece of furniture, and instead of running to the store for stain, I took to Google to get some ideas. Turns out, I had exactly what I needed … in the kitchen. Coffee grounds helped me stain the furniture back to its original shade. All I had to do was just mix the grounds with a little water onto a Q-Tip, then let the color soak into the furniture for a cheap, easy and quick repair process.

Photo: Laura Loss via thisoldhouse.com

That handy little tip got me thinking. Everyone knows coffee is delicious to drink, but how many truly understand just how useful the stuff is? Staying in the mindset of cheap and easy, I’ve jotted down several ways that you can use coffee — both around the house and outside of it — that you probably didn’t know about.

Think coffee and BBQs don’t go together? You’re wrong. I should know. I’m a master griller. Just give me a grill and the game on the radio. My secret is that I make my own marinade; I use the usual spices, chopped onions, vinegar and Worcestershire sauce. But what really kicks my marinade up a notch is adding brewed coffee.

Everyone knows that meat needs a good soak before hitting the grill. But if you’re a last-minute type of guy who doesn’t have time in between the bustle of work and kids, you can grab the pre-made stuff at the grocery store when you pick up your meat the night before your party. Just at least make sure you add coffee grounds to the meat rub to give it that extra hit to knock it out of the park. Lightly graze the meat with the coffee rub an hour before you fire up the grill, and you’ll be golden.In case the weather has you leaning towards a meal that you don’t have to go outside to cook, you can switch up your options by adding brewed coffee to a stew or soup. If I get to put beer in my beer cheese soup, I can definitely put coffee in my stew. My point here is that, even in the kitchen, coffee is more flexible than a Russian gymnast. Grill with it, bake with it, cook with it. And, of course, drink it.

Although I’m stuck indoors for now, as soon as spring hits, I’ll be stepping outdoors to prove that real men do garden. This year, I’m adding used coffee grounds into my typical fertilizer. Certain plants, like hydrangeas and roses, need an acidic soil to survive, and coffee gets the job done. Are those your wife’s favorite plants? Following this tip will score you some major points.

Speaking of wives, mine loves Pinterest. And although it means our house is unfortunately overflowing with DIY projects, it also means that she’s done her own experimenting when it comes to coffee. When I found little coffee grounds in the shower, I initially thought she had been washing the dishes in the tub for some reason. Turns out, she adds the grounds to her body wash to scrub off the dead skin. Sounds weird, if you ask me, but her skin did feel extra smooth that night. And just last week, I saw her dunking her head in some cooled brewed coffee. (Funny enough, she didn’t appreciate me telling her that’s not how you drink coffee.) Apparently, the natural dye in coffee darkens her hair and “hides the grays” (her words, not mine). She’s even made her own coffee candles. While that last one was a messy project, I’ve got to give her credit — they do make me crave that dark liquid whenever they’re lit.

Photo: Kenzie Mastroe via ehow.com

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