With a holiday weekend upon us, you’re likely to be spending some time in the sun, and in Denver’s high elevation you’re also likely to experience some sunburn.

Rather than splurge on aloe vera gels, I discovered a somewhat strange solution for sunburn relief: white vinegar. Apply it with a towel, spritz it on, or just douse yourself to provide a cool, soothing effect on your lobster-colored skin.

I came across this remedy while I was searching for confirmation that I could use vinegar to help prevent swimmer’s ear. (I recently started swimming laps at the Wash Park rec center.) I first heard the idea at summer camp when I was a kid, and sure enough, some white vinegar mixed with an equal amount of rubbing alcohol can help eliminate bacteria growth in the ears.

These two quick fixes are just a few of the numerous and cost-effective ways you can put vinegar to good use. Besides its traditional cooking purpose, it also comes in handy for cleaning, health remedies, laundry, gardening, and pet care.

Plus, vinegar is easy on the wallet, especially when used as a substitute for pricey cleaning agents and supplies. A rather large bottle can generally be purchased for less than $10, and if you really want to stock up, check out grocery store bulk aisles to ensure you won’t run out any time soon.