Time to spill some Thrifty/Nifty ideas

A simple paper plate in the microwave oven saves a lot of cleanup. (Photo by Laura Groch)

A simple paper plate in the microwave oven saves a lot of cleanup. (Photo by Laura Groch)

Well, I guess I can’t say “Let’s start the New Year with some Thrifty/Nifty tips,” but I can say “Let’s wrap up February with some Thrifty/Nifty tips.” (Let’s just say it’s been a busy beginning of 2018 for me.)

Anyway, one of the purposes of this little bitty blog is to offer some help in the kitchen (since I can’t be there with you) and some ways to save time and perhaps even money. So let’s try these on:

— Save cleanup time in the microwave by protecting the rotating glass plate with — ta-daa! — a paper plate (or paper towel). I am always surprised at how people (and offices, hint hint) do not take this simple step to keep microwave messes from becoming macro. Use one of those inexpensive ripple-edged plates, or a sturdier plate, or even just the abovementioned paper towel, and you will cut your cleanup by at least half. (A paper towel or piece of wax paper on top of your food will also prevent spatters from hitting the walls and roof of the microwave.)  Toss the plate when it gets too grody and pop in a new one. Educate your co-workers, family members and whoever else shares your microwave. Yes, you will still have to clean your microwave oven — just not as often.

— Speaking of preventing spills, I still maintain one of the best kitchen aids in this department is — your sink. I have trained myself (and my husband) to simply move to the sink when pouring or measuring anything spillable. Morning coffee? Over the sink. Milk on the cereal? Over the sink. Kool-Aid, juice, wine? Over the sink. Flour, cocoa, sugar? Over the sink. Or in the sink — I’ve been known to plop the mixing bowl in the sink and spoon stuff into it from there. Once this dawned on me (sometimes it takes a while), I was able to retrain myself pretty quickly, and so can you — look at all the positive reinforcement you get! Yes, you’ll still spill, but you’ll spill in the sink, where you can quickly wash it all away.

— Last and also in the spill line: I double-, triple- and sometimes quadruple-bag my kitchen garbage can to prevent leaks and save time establishing a new bag. Our office cleaning crew routinely stored their plastic bags underneath the bag that was in service in our cubicle trash cans. I picked up that hint, but then thought, why not just line the can with several bags at once? This way, if a leak does get through, the second bag will catch it. When I remove the full bag to toss it out, the second bag is ready to go. (Yes, you’ll have to replenish the bags two or three at a time every once in a while. Small price to pay.) Also: I take those annoying half-pages that fold over the front of my newspaper (for those of you who still take newspapers, and bless all of you who still do), quarter-fold them and they fit perfectly in the bottom of my trash can as an extra liner.

Anything I can figure out to save precious time and effort in the kitchen I happily share with you. Have you got a labor-saving hint for me?

(c) copyright 2018 Laura Groch


3 thoughts on “Time to spill some Thrifty/Nifty ideas

  1. Hey Laura…what a great idea for the trashcan! I saw that hint several years for baby mattresses…layer sheets and waterproof pads in the baby crib and nighttime accidents took only minutes to peel off wet sheet and pad to dry set. A great feature when you are barely conscious of what you are doing! Take care, Deb N.


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