Before throwing an article of clothing that has a stain in the hamper, I clip on a clothespin. That way I don't forget to treat the spot before laundering.
Easy Garlic Rolls
I buy hotdog buns at the bakery outlet. I separate the two halves of the bun and lay them out flat on a cookie sheet. I then spray them with olive oil and sprinkle garlic, oregano, and parmesan cheese on top. After broiling for a few minutes, I have delicious garlic bread!
Keeping Silver Clean
To keep your silver clean between polishings, wash it in warm (not hot) water and a little dishwashing liquid on a soft cloth and rinse in warm water. Then dry with a soft towel or chamois. This works great and lessens the need for polishing. This also scratches less and there is less silver worn off; silver polish can wear the silver off over time.
For a hearty soup as a main dish, add a portion of boxed couscous, including the spice packet, to canned vegetable soup. You can determine how much to put in by the amount of liquid in the soup. A variation to this idea is chicken noodle soup with extra veggies and extra noodles added as the soup heats on a low simmer. Or add leftovers in any combination that you think would be palatable, such as mashed potatoes, greens, etc. Serve your soup with a green salad or a fruit salad and a good bread or cornbread.
A really easy and economical way of cleaning one's oven is to simply mix equal amounts of baking soda and salt and then add enough water to make a paste out of it. I usually will use about one cup of each and then just gradually add the water until it becomes a paste. Then I close the oven door and bake as I would with a commercial oven cleaner. When it cools down, I simply use a damp sponge and wipe everything down. It really does work!
No Fold Towels
Time is money and it takes time to fold towels! Since we live in a two-bedroom apartment, space is a valuable commodity. My husband hinted at a tip his friend's mom used growing up, and I have loved it.
I took a large, roll-top lidded trash can and placed it in my front bathroom that has very limited cabinet space. On laundry day, I toss the large and medium-sized clean towels in the clean can (it's never been used for trash) and only have to fold the small washcloths, which I tuck in a basket under the sink.
Fleece at Night
Now that the colder weather is fast approaching, it is time to check out the supplies (we live in Alberta so they are out).
Flannel sheets are great, but another way to keep warm on those freezing night is with fleece. I bought the ends of fabric roles at my local fabric shop. We just throw them under the comforter, and we are set for the night.
My Stocked Freezer
One of the best freezer hints I've come across in years is freezing tomatoes. After they are washed and dried, put them on a tray and freeze them. After freezing, bag them in lots of 12 or so. When you want to make tomato sauce, thaw them by running them individually under warm water. The skins will slip off, and they can be chopped up and used in spaghetti sauce or any recipe that calls for diced tomatoes. Canning tomatoes is a job that requires a lot of care, so this is one solution to using up all those cheap tomatoes in season.
I have frozen baked potatoes and used them for hash browns and not had any problem with them. When we are away for long periods of time, I freeze my rice, flour, and cereals. They survive the freeze well, and I don't have to throw away anything.
A Different Kind
My family of four has a little different way of celebrating Christmas. Two years ago, after weeks of searching for just the right Christmas gifts for our two boys, and then the boys not appreciating the gifts, my husband and I decided to do things differently the next year.
We decided to make Christmas memories by going on a family vacation during Christmas break instead of exchanging gifts.
After our trip last Christmas, I cannot recommend this idea enough. I had no stress at holiday time, as I far prefer preparing for a trip to going Christmas shopping. Last year, we flew to Florida and spent time with my parents, who live there in the winter.
This was our best Christmas ever. There were no toys with a gazillion pieces, and our boys thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They got to experience life in a different part of our country instead of getting "cabin fever" at home.