Clever Ways to Save in the Kitchen and Laundry Room

 

Home appliances save us a bunch of time, a bunch of energy, and a bunch of money.  We are always on the lookout for finding simple clever ways to save more time and money; and, we’re happy to pass them along.

Stains: The key to successful stain removal is pre-treating BEFORE you wash.  Keep a clean paintbrush next to your washing machine.  Instead of pouring liquid detergent on stains, paint it on.  This allows you to better target the stained area and reduces waste and spills.

** If ring around the collar is a challenge, try the paintbrish technique using a bit of hair shampoo on your dress shirts and blouses.

Keep it Clean: Run your front load washer once a month using hot water and some white vinegar.  Do not use any detergent. This will help clean out any soap residue and avoid possible service issues. If your washer has a clear window, you can look to see if the water has plenty of suds as the machine is running.  If this is the case, chances are you are either using non High Efficency (HE) detergent, or you’re just using too much.

Maintenance: Open and close washer faucets monthly, especially if you have hard water. This will help keep them from sticking when you need to turn them off in an emergency. And always turn them off when you leave for vacation to avoid returning home to any possible leaks.

Dryer Vents: The Consumer Products Safety Commission estimates there are 24,000 clothes dryer fires each year in the United States, amounting to $96,000,000 in estimated property damage. Lack of maintenance is the leading cause of dryer fires and LINT is the leading material to ignite. Be sure to check your dryer’s venting system on a regular basis. It not only improves performance but it may save your life.

Cupcakes & Muffins:   If you don’t have enough cupcake or muffin batter to fill all the openings in your tin, pour a little water into the empty ones.  This helps prevent the pan from burning and can help make cleanup a bit easier.

Breads: If baking bread is your thing, this may be the best time saver yet:  Set your covered bowl of dough in the sink with warm water.  This can really speed up the rising time and get you baking instead of waiting.

Dishwashing Dilemma: If you are doing dishes by hand and find yourself with drinking glasses that are stuck together:  Fill the top glass with cold water, then dip the outer glass in hot water.  They should come apart without strain or breakage.

** As a matter of record, we always prefer you do your dishes using an automatic dishwasher purchased at Orville’s.

 Oven Racks: To clean oven racks, take them outside and put them in a large garbage bag.  With the bag held open, spray the racks with oven cleaner, and then tuck the bag around them. Put the bag in direct sunlight for several hours-or all day, if possible.  Then remove and discard the bag. Spray the racks with a garden hose. The racks should come out sparkling clean with very little scrubbing

Cookies If your oven has 3 racks you can use all 3 for cookies but it’s not recommended for cupcakes. Baking cookies on different cookie sheets will give different results when baking with dark cookie sheets or pans lower the temperature by 25 degrees to prevent burning.

Have a tip of your own you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear from you.  Please feel free to comment below.

 

 

 

Snack Attack

We can’t believe that we are well into August already. Where has the summer gone? We bet a lot of you out there are getting ready to go back to school. A new school year always brings lots of excitement for the whole family. Our schedules get super busy with fun after school sports and activities. And, all that activity can make growing kids hungry. We’ve searched the web for some great after school snacks and treats and thought we’d share some of our favorites with you. Enjoy!

1. Baked Mozerella Bites

Baked Mozzarella Bites are a quick and healthy alternative to fried cheese sticks. via Cooking Light.

2. Ham and Apple Wraps With Dip 

Quick, delicious and nutritious. via Martha Stewart.

3. No Bake Peanut Butter Pretzel Chocolate Chip Granola Bars 

Easy Grab-and-Go snack. via Two Peas and Their Pod

4. Veggie Mini Pizza 

Kids will happily eat all their veggies when they are on a pizza. via Food Network

5. Fruit Sundae Cones

Avoiding snacks high in sugar is easy with a healthy alternative of fresh fruit served in fun ice cream cones. via Better Homes and Gardens

6. Popcorn Balls

Get creative and use whatever mixed nuts and/or dried fruit your kids like in these popcorn balls. via Martha Stewart.

7. Cookie Monster Cookies

Everyone will be a fan of this cookie – big and little kids alike. via Created by Diane

8. Apple Nachos 

A sweet twist on a classic snack food featuring Fall’s favorite fruit. via Real Mom Kitchen

9. Chocolate Zucchini Mini Muffins

Kids won’t be able to taste the healthy zucchinni in these yummy chocolate-y muffins. Via Taste and Tell Blog

PS- Wishing everyone a great, safe, and happy school year!

PPS- Make sure to check out our Pinterest Board for more great snack-spiration.