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- Continue reading

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Clip it: Computer fix from the kitchen

A chip clip works to block off your computer camera.

A chip clip works to block off your computer camera.

Worried about someone peering at you through your computer’s built-in camera eye? Don’t mess with sticky tape-and-paper solutions. Just grab a chip clip from the kitchen drawer and pop it over the camera! Easy to remove and easy to remember — just clip it to something else you’re using (like your carry bag or sunglasses strap) to keep it nearby.

(c) copyright 2016 Laura Groch

Thrifty/Nifty: Five easy tips for food shopping

Marking dates on cans and bottles as they come into the pantry helps you keep rotating the older items to the front. Photo by Laura Groch

Marking dates on cans and bottles as they come into the pantry helps you keep rotating the older items to the front. Photo by Laura Groch

We’re well past the holiday hangover, but perhaps still paying the bills for it. I’m thinking we’re overdue for some Thrifty/Nifty tips to help make shopping and managing a kitchen a little easier:

— Look high when you choose  produce, especially when it’s piled high and deep. The stuff at the front, which is within everyone’s reach, is what’s been handled most. Reach farther back, or higher, in the pile to choose a pear or tomato or head of lettuce that hasn’t been bruised and battered by everyone else.

— Remember to look low on store shelves. We naturally scan shelves at eye level, Continue reading

Thrifty/Nifty: Think at the sink

It’s official: California is once again in the throes of a drought — our worst in about 100 years. We’re being asked to cut water use. Here’s a simple water-saving tip, no matter what state you live in.

We’ve all been guilty of running water into the kitchen sink as we wait for it to warm up (or cool down, depending on Southern California’s season). Next time you finish the contents of a plastic juice or milk jug — preferably a gallon, but two half-gallons will work too — wash it out thoroughly and then sit it by the sink. (Wash and save the lid, too.) Next time you need hot water, run the water into the jug first. I find that after I fill a gallon jug, the water is warm enough (or cool enough) for me.

Cap the jug and use the contents for other things: Fill your coffeemaker or teapot. Fill the pasta or soup pot. Water plants. Replenish your pet’s water dish. I’m sure you’ll come up with more ideas.  That’s a gallon of water saved, and money in my pocket.

I also stash half-gallon jugs of water in my bathroom cabinets for possible emergency use. (That’s about the only emergency supplies I have, but at least it’s something.) I write a date on them with an indelible marker, and then rotate the jugs every few months. I usually use the water on plants, then refill the jugs, redate them, and re-stash them. Save water, save money, and be a little bit more prepared!