Archive for the ‘Kitchen’ Category

Tip #19 – Trash Volume

Monday, January 19th, 2009
Get rid of the air to get rid of volume.

Get rid of the air to get rid of volume.

Lower the volume of your trash.  Before throwing your soda bottles, milk jugs, etc., do the following:  with the cap off, squeeze out as much as possible, and then put back on the cap.  With this little trick, will help you cut down the volume of your trash and recyclables.

Tip #18 – Cleaning Your Microwave

Monday, January 19th, 2009
A simple mixture to clean your microwave.

A simple mixture to clean your microwave.

We all know that a microwave can get messy…especially those at our place of work.  (People often seem to forget to cover their food.)  Well, here’s an easy, inexpensive and “green” way to clean any grimy microwave.

In a large, glass bowl combine approximately 1 cup of each of the following ingredients:  water, lemon juice and white vinegar.  One thing to note, the length of time you need to microwave the mixture and let it sit depends on the dirtiness of your microwave.  The times below are approximate

Start your microwave and let it run for enough time that the mixture will boil for 3-6 minutes.  After this, keep the microwave door closed and let the mixture sit and steam for 5-10 minutes.  Once the food debris has softened, it is ready to wipe away.  If needed, you can repeat the steps above.

Tip #13-Reusing Plastic

Tuesday, January 13th, 2009
You can reuse your plastic bags in a variety of ways.

You can reuse your plastic bags in a variety of ways.

We all get plastic bags from a variety of places: produce at the grocery store, items we purchase at various stores, our newspaper, Ziplocs from food, and more.

Don’t just throw them in the trash – REUSE them! Here are several ideas that will help you reuse your plastic bags:

  • Use a Ziploc more than ONE time – especially with sandwiches, chips, and some fruits.
  • Carry your lunch to work or school in a plastic grocery sack.
  • When you’re out playing sports, camping, or just enjoying the outdoors, take along a few grocery sacks for wet and/or dirty clothing and shoes.
  • Keep misc. items organized in your family vehicle using a plastic bag.
  • Use any of the sacks to clean up after your pooch while on a walk.
  • And for those of you who are really pinching pennies, you can even wash out your Ziplocs with soap and water and reuse them. (If you’re bag contained raw meat, it’s best to not reuse the bag.)
  • Take the grocery bags that are in good shape back to the store for a second time.
  • Use your produce bag for all or part of your lunch. They also work great for some leftovers.
  • Place your grocery sack in a small wastebasket as a liner.  Fill it, pull it out, tie it off, and throw it away.  (Or you may even be able to reuse it again!)

Tip #9- Spices Rack

Friday, January 9th, 2009
Organize spices alphabetically on this spice rack.

Organize spices alphabetically on this spice rack.

Need a spice but can never seem to find it?  Spice containers like cinnamon, dill seed, thyme, and so on, are often small and can easily get lost in your cupboards.  Purchase a plastic, multi-tiered expandable shelf.  This will give your cupboard a new dimension, along with the ability to more easily see the spices in the back.

Another way to organize your spices even more is to arrange them in alphabetical order.  This makes your baking and cooking go a little quicker – you aren’t having to dig through all your jars and containers.  When you use the multi-tiered shelf, it doesn’t matter that a larger container is in front of a smaller container.

Tip #6 – Chip Bags

Tuesday, January 6th, 2009

Cut off excess bag on your snacks.

Have trouble seeing the chips left in your bag? Do your hands/arms get messy reaching into the bottom of the chip bag? Or do you just want to keep your bags looking a little neater?  Here’s a simple solution. As the chip level in your bag goes down, cut off the excess bag at the top. Leave enough bag that you can fold it over a couple of times and put on your binder clip!  It’s now easier to see how many chips you have left in the bag and you won’t get messy. This tip is especially helpful for those bulk or family-sized bags of chips you can purchase.

Tip #5 – Binder Clips

Monday, January 5th, 2009
Binder clips make cheap and easy "chip clips."

Binder clips make cheap and easy "chip clips."

Don’t waste your money on fancy chip clips. Head to your home office or “junk drawer” and find a binder clip. I think these clips keep your bags sealed much tighter and don’t go flying off when you bump them into your shelf. The binder clips come in a variety of sizes (and even colors) so having several on hand can help you with household paperwork as well as household snacks.