Wednesday, March 11, 2015

New Uses

This is a "gimme" blog post. Consider this post to be the ball, all tee-d up for me to swing. See, it's been A Week, y'all. In North Carolina, we had about two weeks off for snow and ice, and my body got really used to waking up when it felt like it. Then, we got all back to school and somewhat in a groove and Daylight Savings snatched up its hour and somehow, I feel like I might never get back on top of things.

But it's not just me.

My husband is defending his thesis in two weeks, which means that thesis was due to his committee today. This man has been working like crazy to make sure he has all his ducks in a row (or data in a...line? I'm not a chemist, so you'll have to pardon the analogy). I've noticed these few months--and especially this week--just how much he contributes to the running of our home. The magic dishwasher has stopped unloading itself. Suddenly I've cooked dinner and turned around and find that the elves hadn't already cleaned. The laundry...ok, I do all the laundry myself start to finish most of the time. But seriously, even though this week has left me frazzled, it leaves me so thankful for a partner who steps up and does household chores whenever they need doing.

All of this is to say, I'm planning to get through this week and get back on the blog-waggon. Until then, I'm introducing a new type of post to watch for:

New Uses!

You've seen the chicken and soup recipes and my ode to tongs was my first gadget post. The New Uses posts will be all about those tips and tricks you see on pinterest, in magazines, and around the web. I'm going to try the tips out myself (so I make sure I'm not recommending something that will end up on a pinterest fail website) and offer any suggestions I may have that made things work best in my kitchen. I would also love to hear from you what your best kitchen tricks and shortcuts are! 

This week's New Use is looking at:

Spaghetti Sauce and Pickle Jars

As a teacher, married to a grad student, I know a thing or two about making your money stretch. As a teacher, I also have a seemingly inherent love of containers. 

Target during the back-to-school sales is dangerous for my wallet. 

But the one thing I never have to worry about is having enough jars and canisters. In fact, they're free with the purchase of some tomato sauce or pickles! Once you've eaten up your sauce/pickles/olives/etc., you are free to:
  • Peel off as much of the label as you can.
  • Soak the jar in warm soapy water.
  • Use a paper towel or dishcloth to rub off the label. 
  • If the label is still stuck, or has left some residue, you can use a little olive oil and salt to scrub at the label. 
    • I've read you can also use nail polish remover, but I've never needed to try it so I can' say if it works.

Think of all the uses for these jars! I put jellybeans in mine 'cause they're pretty (and my husband loves them!) but you could put art/craft supplies in there, you could use them to make your own "cookie mix in a jar" to store in your pantry for an emergency (cookie emergencies happen!), you can store kitchen utensils, you could put candles in them in a real lost-power-need-lights emergency...the list goes on. I sometimes use them for smoothies in the morning. They have a lid, so they travel well to work, and you can rinse it out with a drop of dishwashing liquid, put the lid on, and swish it around to get it (mostly) cleaned up to go back home. 

Whatever you do, you can feel AWESOME that you saved some money, and maybe even helped out the environment.

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