Tuesday, May 16, 2017

SIMPLE Solutions

We are all looking for ways to save time and money, no doubt about it.   There are so many things we can do at home, that just makes since - but we don't often think about them.

Today I have a few ideas, hacks, and even a recipe that will hopefully aid you in your every day life.

  • A seriated knife will cut a tomato without ever smashing the tomato.  It works perfectly every time!
  • The green lids from jars of dry parmesan cheese will fit a canning jar.  Works great for storing your own spices or mixes
  • The top from a pouring salt box, can be cut to fit under the band of a canning jar.  Makes a perfect pouring jar. (I have several of these jars)
  • Freeze fresh herbs in oil.  Use an ice cube tray.  (I always keep extra ones for herbs and food - different from the ice ones).  A great way to infuse fresh herb flavor in frying.
  • Keep your water from boiling eggs or potatoes, or water from steaming veggie - let it cool and use on your plants.  It contains lots of minerals.  **Make SURE there is no salt  in it - just water.
  • Pour scalding water bath water on weeds you want to kill.  No sense pouring it down the drain.
  • Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the ice cream in an opened container.  This will prevent ice crystals from building up on the ice cream.  (Ours never lasts that long - but just in case!!)
  • Freeze seedless grapes and use in a glass of wine to keep it chilled.  Frozen grapes are a wonderful summertime snack as well
  • Honey NEVER goes bad - although it may crystalize.  Warm it up and it will liquefy.
  • Grease a measuring cup before measuring honey or anything else sticky.  It will pour right out.
  • Make 'ice cubes' from tea, coffee, juice, wine, etc. in muffin pans.  Larger cubes take longer to melt and you don't water down drinks 
  • Add fruit - berries, grapes, lemon, oranges, etc. to cubes for an added summer splash
  • Freeze tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, or any tomato product in ice cube trays.  When frozen place in a baggy in the freezer.  Pull out what you need.
  • Place parchment paper on baking racks when roasting veggies - super easy clean up!!!!
  • Keep a designated pair of FOOD scissors in your kitchen.  I love them for cutting up lettuce, celery, some meats, and even small pizzas.  So many uses!
  • NEVER  throw out the woody part of asparagus or broccoli - DEHYDRATE and GRIND into powder.  Adds so much flavor to soups and such.  I also like to peel the stems of broccoli and cook.  That is my favorite part (keep peelings to dry)
  • Place 1 CUP of uncooked rice in your coffee grinder and pulse.  It will clean and sharpen the blades
  • Use old place mats as drawer liners, picnic basket liner, padding between fragile dishes, or even as protection when  packing shoes (keeps clothes clean)
  • Drill tiny holes (about 6 - 3 each in 2 rows) in the top of a plastic bottle lid.  Add vinegar to bottle and you have a weed killer bottle that allows you to pour vinegar exactly where you need to.  I have been doing this in areas of flower beds this spring.  Works wonderfully!
  • Lay slices of lemon on your grill before grilling fish.  Lay the fish upon the slices and get the flavor of lemon and fish will not fall through the grates
  • Grate FROZEN  or VERY COLD butter for baking recipes.  So much easier to incorporate.
  • Make your own non-breakable GAZING BALL for your garden.  Get an old bowling ball and spray paint whatever color/colors you wish!  My brother did this and it was amazing!!!!  You can also glue copper pennies to one.
This was my brothers 'gazing ball'.   You could place the holes on the bottom or silicone them closed.  That is what he did. 

Crush rice Chex cereal and use as 'panko' crumbs.  No gluten!  This would work with ANY gluten free cereal you might want to use.

1 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh if possible)
1 Tbsp. baking soda
1 C water.
Spray fruits and veggies to clean.  Pat dry and refrigerate.
Saves money - and there is NO added chemicals or "secret" ingredients!

I hope a few of these ideas may help you in the kitchen or yard.  I have many more ideas and hacks - but that is another day.
Do you have any great ideas to pass on?  Inquiring minds want to know!!!

ENJOY your day!


  1. Such good tips Cheryl! I love the glazing ball -especially the penny idea. I have a lot of pennies. Thanks for the idea!

    1. You are welcome. I have been thinking of doing that too. I have so many pennies in jars and containers.

  2. Great tips! Thanks for sharing them! =)

    1. You are so welcome. Hope you can use some of them!
      Have a great day.

  3. I love the pouring spout idea! I'll try to remember that one! (I don't buy the cheese...) Thank you!

    1. Debbie, it sure makes a nice spout for FREE!
      Have a good one.

  4. I want to remember to keep the tops of the cheese to reuse on canning jars. Hope my head is thinking that day! Have a good week. Nancy

  5. Cheryl, I have taken the "muffin tin" frozen water for ice cubes one step bigger. I have 16 oz. freezer cups from Ball that I make ice in for my 1/2 gallon thermos of iced tea that I take daily. I can use one once, bring it home, and put it back into the freezer and reuse it with a new one the next day. I work 4 days a week, and use one used one (about 1/2 the size by the end of the day), and one new one and my iced tea isn't too watered down by the end of those 10 hour days I work.

  6. Had never thought about using rice chex crushed instead of panko crumbs. That is a really great tip.

  7. I use an old rinsed out dish detergent container filled with vinegar to get to my weeds. I have two of them and they do the spaces between my walkway bricks just fine. I normally do them about once a month in the summer, less in spring and summer.

    1. The soap squeeze bottles work great for that too. I use vinegar for all my weed killing. Those hand held bottles are great for cracks and edges of flower beds.

      Shoot you could use about anything in place of panko - just depends on your taste.
      Have a great day.

  8. Love the tips! So many new ideas for me. Thank you!

  9. Thank you for all these ideas...I'm going to freeze some lemon slices in the muffin tins with water...love the vinegar in soap bottle too...

    I take my coins to the Coinstar machine and her Amazon gift cards...that way there is no fee...or you can donate to a,charity...just my 2¢ about the pennies...

    1. You are very welcome for the ideas. I love lemon in water - it tastes so fresh.

      True on the pennies - I don't think I can even lift some of my containers!
      Charity is always good!