December 28, 2009

Here's A Tip: Storage, Cleaning and Stretching It

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas! Sorry for such a long delay in posting, we had a very busy Christmas week. Today is actually a collection of a few tips, rather than just one.


Cleaner: I had a conversation with my sister the other day about how she had to go to the store and get cleaners for the bathroom. It was kind of a long list of sprays and wipes and such. I told her to not even bother. Use baking soda and vinegar! Baking soda works well by itself for scrubbing without scratching, and vinegar does well to remove stains and mildew. You can also combine them for extra cleaning power. Vinegar is acidic so it will kill germs just fine. I started using these exclusively when I got pregnant because I didn't want to handle chemicals, and now continue to use them because I not only don't have to worry about chemicals around the babies, but because they clean better than any of the sprays I had! The only things I keep on hand are Clorox wipes, and I only have those to wipe the counters after things like cutting up raw meats (I'm a little OCD that way). To use BS as a scrub, add enough water to make a paste and then use a cloth or sponge to scrub with.

Tortillas: We love corn tortillas around here and have always bought the giant packages (you know, like 80 tortillas in one thing). At first they would go bad before we ate them all, so I started putting them in the freezer between each time we used them. But I didn't like having to defrost the whole thing just to use a few, plus each defrosting and refreezing seemed to make the taste and texture a little worse each time. So now I divide my tortillas into zip bags -they fit perfectly in the quart size - and freeze them in portions with a label and date. For us, it's 10 tortillas per bag, which usually means 2 for each of us as well as 2 for Ben's lunch the next day. This also makes finding room for them easier as I can place the bags in different places, rather than trying to find room for a large package.

Cleaner Containers: I have reused a grated Parmesan shaker to store my baking soda in. It's perfect for sprinkling on surfaces and small enough to carry from room to room. I just refill it from the big box I keep in the pantry. I've also reused an old Febreeze bottle by washing it out and filling it with half water/half vinegar. I didn't want to go buy a spray bottle and I got the added bonus of the first couple of uses smelling good. I use it to clean just about any surface - even mirrors and windows. Just make sure you label your containers very well.

Stretching It
Dryer Sheets: To make my dryer sheets last longer I buy the biggest box I can find and then cut all the sheets in half. This way I get twice the amount of sheets, cutting the cost in half. They work just as effectively and I've never had a problem with static while using just a half sheet.

Dish Soap: When we moved into this house there was no dishwasher. Now, we have two dishwashers: my left and right hands. Because I wash dishes by hand, I use quite a bit of liquid dish soap. This is a tip that we have been doing since we got married. Think of dish soap as a "concentrate" and dilute it 1:1 with water. You can even dilute it more than that and it works just fine. I kept the last liter size bottle we had and now fill it from a giant jug we keep under the sink. I fill the bottle with half water and half soap. Then when it is about half empty I add more water to come to the top. I might do this one or two more times - just until I feel that there is not enough soap. We bought that large jug well before I had Brett in June and it is only half gone now.

1 comment:

Farm Girl said...

I love your tips Meg!! I never thought about your tip about cutting dryer sheets in half. That would work too.

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