Grill Mats for Toaster Ovens

I found that nonstick grill and mesh mats, when cut to fit, work great in my toaster oven.

For an easy cleaning crumb tray, the solid grill mat works great, is washable and reusable. Melted and burnt cheese comes off easily.

A sheet of the mesh mat on top of the rack is great for smaller bite size items like fries and pointy ended pizza slices that tend to fall through the rack. It allows crisping from the bottom, unlike a sheet pan.

If you trim the mesh to allow for a little overhang in the front, you can pull it out by the two outer edges (it cools super quick) and slide the items right on to your plate, no tongs needed.

Get More out of Those Fun Summer Bubbles

Bump up your non-toxic bubble solution by adding a few drops of your favorite extract before those bubbles fly!

If you add lemon or peppermint extract, you get the added benefit of bug and pest repellant in the air as well as where they pop. They leave a pleasant whiff in the air, as well as an improved taste if they happen to hit an open smile.

Hamburger Patty Hack

I’ve discovered  an easy way to save time and money – and make life easier!  First, I flatten a  paper cupcake liner and then place it between hamburger patties as I make 40 patties from 10 pounds of bulk (sale!) ground beef.

I could purchase “patty papers.” However, the large paper cupcake liners are cheaper and work even better to keep the patties headed for the freezer from sticking together. No cutting waxed paper. No corners sticking out.

This trick allows me to remove just the number of frozen patties I need. Sharon

Squeeze the Pancake Batter

Buying pre-made pancake mix in a bottle is very convenient, but really expensive. Here’s a great way to create the convenience with none of the extra cost.

Recycle a squeeze bottle you’d otherwise throw in the trash, like a ketchup bottle. Wash it thoroughly, pour in the batter, apply the top, and there you go! It if doesn’t have a wide mouth, use a funnel to get the batter into the bottle.

Such a quick and easy way to make pancakes—just squeeze out the batter into whatever size and shape you and your kids want. CR


Kid-Friendly Cooking Oil Dispenser

When my kids were younger and just learning to cook, they had many mishaps with the bottle of vegetable oil. Often they poured too much because the opening of the bottle was so large.

As I was cleaning out a squeeze ketchup bottle, it occurred to me that it could be a great solution to the oil spills. I filled the flip-top squeeze bottle with oil, and now the kids use it with ease. It even helps me use less oil when sautéing.

The bonus is that the bottle fits better in the cupboard, too. Nancy

One Aspirin Tablet Does the Trick

Here’s my favorite treatment to prolong the life of cut flowers. I dissolve an aspirin tablet in the water as a substitute for plant food.

My husband buys me a single rose for different occasions and an aspirin in the water lasts for about 3 days. I change the water and add another aspirin. My flower stays like new for about two and a half weeks.

I can persuade cut flowers from the supermarket to last close to a month using this method! Jeannie

Acoustic Guitar Humidifier

Players who love their wooden acoustic guitars know maintaining proper humidity in dry seasons is essential.  This helps keep your instrument in top shape and prevents it from cracking, so says, my husband. Humidifier packs are expensive.

After cutting on an old humidifier pack open it struck me to use the water beads I had purchased for the kids.  These tiny little beads can absorb huge amounts of water.  They can increase to hundreds of times their original weight.

I soaked ¼ tsp of beads and put them in his pack holder and they worked marvelously. The little hygrometer he keeps in the guitar case agrees.

I purchased those beads for less than $6 years ago and we’re still using the same pack. I make up a jar of soaked balls and keep them in the fridge for him to change out when needed.  They can be re-soaked once and re-used. He is happy with the substitution and I’m am elated with the savings!

More from Mary …

You might be wondering, “what are water beads?” I wondered, too! Check out these water beads!

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Save $ on Paper Towels

I prepare fresh produce almost every day. It always seemed wasteful to throw away paper towels when the only thing they were used for was to drain freshly washed vegetables like diced potatoes or lettuce. The veggies are CLEAN.

Sometimes I let veggies dry on a cookie rack over a newspaper.   However, paper towels are necessary when I cut the veggies into small pieces.

I thought of a way to use them at least once again. I let them dry and keep them in a repurposed baby-wipe container under my kitchen sink. Whenever something is spilled on the floor, I grab one of these dried (yet still clean) paper towels to wipe it up.

I have nearly cut my paper towel use by a half.

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