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Posts Tagged ‘time saving tips’

How much time do you spend in the kitchen?  If you’re anything like me, you spend at least 50% of your time here on a daily basis.  It’s probably even higher than that if I actually logged it.  Here are a few tips and tricks that I’ve both discovered and developed over the years.  They make my life easier, and make me more efficient in the room I spend more time in than any other in my house:  the kitchen!
  1. Disinfect your sponge.  There are two simple ways to do this.  The first is to dampen the sponge and stick it in the microwave.  In an 1100 watt microwave, it takes only 90 seconds.  If you have a lower wattage model, it might take from three, up to five minutes.  You can also throw it in the top rack of your dishwasher each time you run it.  For me, the microwave option is easiest.  It seems I can’t go one dishwasher cycle without needing the sponge, so unless I run it overnight, I just choose to zap it.
  2. Clean your microwave.  Simply put a bowl of water in the microwave, and let it run at 100% power for five minutes.  Then, wipe the inside clean.  You can throw some lemon juice in the bowl for a little extra cleaning power and an oh-so-fresh scent if you have some on hand, too.
  3. Store your staples so they’re handy.  I put sugar, flour, bread flour, brown sugar, and chocolate chips in Tupperware containers.  In those containers, I include a measuring cup in the size I most often use for that staple.  For example, in my flour container, I have a 1 cup measuring cup.  In my brown sugar container, I have a 1/2 cup measuring cup.  This saves me from a) searching for the right size measuring cup and b) washing it every time.
  4. Mount a pretty towel hook near your sink.  My dad did this for me about a year ago, and I can’t believe I ever lived without it.  It is a simple hook purchased from Home Depot.  He mounted it just where I wanted it, just to the left of the sink.  Out of the way of the most used side of the cabinet, and super handy for the 203 times I wash my hands every day.  I have never looked back.  I don’t care if it seems like I’m already a grandma.  I no longer have to search for a clean hand towel, I don’t create extra waste using paper towels, and it automatically means I keep my hand towel separate from any towels I use to clean dishes, etc.  Brilliant!

5.  Have a Snack Box.  On an easy to reach shelf in the pantry, I have a large, clear plastic container that I keep stocked with (mostly) healthy snacks.  When my kids ask, (and they know they are supposed to ask first, because it might be meal time), they know they can choose anything in the box, nothing is off-limits.  Things I regularly stock this box with are: Stretch Island Fruit Leathers, Zbars, Annie’s Bunny Grahams, granola bars, and Trader Joe’s Apple Crushers.  Basically, these items are fairly healthy, and are obviously non-perishables.  I often do dole out string cheese and fresh fruit, but if they are hungry, this is extremely helpful to me, and even my 2-year-old can be self-sufficient.  That is good for everyone!

What are your favorite time-saving and sanity-preserving tips and tricks for the kitchen?
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