The Greek philosopher Plato gets the credit for the oft-quoted axiom, “necessity is the mother of invention.” Thousands of years later, those words still ring true.

Nearly everyone has a homemade solution to a common problem — something created or developed when necessity mandated it. The website Viral Nova has collected 89 such innovations and posted them on one handy page. We combed through the entire post and pulled ten solutions that spoke to our “inner inventor”:

Doritos can be used as kindling to start a campfire

If you find yourself in the woods in the cold but with no kindling to start a fire to keep warm, fear not: The answer is inside that bag of Doritos. Foodiggity.com confirms this, noting that almost any chip will provide the necessary kindling to start your fire — but Doritos will make it “smell cheesier.”

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

Fresh out of ‘chip clips?’ Freebies are hiding in your closet

Those cheap pants hangers taking up space in your closet offer you a pair of free chip clips. Don’t throw them out, repurpose them! If you need more help on the topic, visit Craftster.org.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

Brush your car’s headlight covers with toothpaste to make them shine brighter

Brushing your teeth makes your smile brighter, but it also works on your car’s cloudy headlight covers. The basic premise here: toothpaste is abrasive and you’re sanding down the cloudy layer on the headlight covers. It seems the basic paste, not gels, are most effective. For a step-by-step explanation, visit Tutorial Geek’s post on the process.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

Want to dunk your Oreos in milk, but hate getting your fingers wet? Stick a fork in it!

We don’t think this tip needs much more detail. Obviously, Double Stuf Oreos are easier to skewer.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

A nutty solution for those scratches on your furniture

While Viral Nova only shows a walnut for this, you can actually make scratches disappear from wood furniture of many colors by using the “meat” of various kinds of nuts. The very helpful Heloise (as in “Hints from Heloise) breaks it down for you.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

There’s a secret screwdriver hiding in every room

No more broken fingernails! If you have a need for a medium to large-sized screwdriver but there’s not a toolbox to be found, unplug that phone charger and voilà, instant screwdriver.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

Lost? Don’t ask for directions at the gas station, try a pizza place

If you’ve stopped at a gas station and tried to get directions to almost anywhere, you may have been met with a confused look, shrugged shoulders and little or no help. The answer to your problem is doubtlessly found at a pizza place with a delivery driver. They know almost every single street in area (and you can get yourself a tasty car snack too).

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image source: Viral Nova

 

Save your fingernails when adding keys to your key ring

The answer is so simple, you’ll wonder why nobody told you this sooner.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image: ViralNova.com

 

Can openers make “blister packs” a lot easier to open

If you’ve ever cut yourself or come close to cutting yourself while trying to open those clear plastic packages found just about everywhere, a simple can opener makes “wrap rage” a thing of the past. The folks at Money Talks Network show you how to use a basic can opener on that pesky plastic packaging.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image: ViralNova.com

 

On vacation? Check out a really cheap way to keep your emergency cash hidden

Don’t worry about carrying cash while you visit unfamiliar places, an empty chap stick container provides a subtle place to store and carry cash. Just be careful not to lend your lip protection to a stranger.

Seven cheap, but effective and available solutions to problems

Image: ViralNova.com

See the remaining 79 tips gathered by ViralNova.com.

Have a tip of your own? Email us explanations and photos here.

Editor’s note: You asked and so we added more great tips to this post.

Follow Mike Opelka on Twitter – @stuntbrain