Helpful Hints

Everyone likes to make use of helpful hints that save time or money or both. I am no exception. Still, it never fails to amaze me that when we go to visit someone else will do something just a bit differently that can save a lot of time. I always silently ask myself “Why didn’t I think of that!” So, I thought I would share a few little tips I have found useful over the years that maybe would make someone else’s life a little easier.


Instead of trying to save money and buying only one set of cleaning supplies, I buy a set for my kitchen and for each bathroom I have. It saves a lot of time running from room to room to grab what I need and, for quick touch-ups, I have the supplies right at my fingertips.

Also, when I put new trash bags in waste containers, I line each trash can with five bags. That way, when one is full, I just remove it and I’m all set to go.


Even though it is just Jim and myself, I hardly ever make a single batch of anything. When I make soups and casseroles I always double the recipe and freeze half. The same goes for baking. I always make a double or triple batch of cookies and then freeze them in batches in Ziploc bags. It is just as easy to make two pies as one. Then I freeze the unbaked one. When unexpected company drops by it is easy to pop it from freezer to oven.

I am so lucky my husband does not mind leftovers. I always try to make a large casserole or some type of soup early in the week. Then, later in the week, when something unexpected comes up or I am pushed for time that leftover comes in handy.

I remember when I was just little we would go to a certain friend’s house for dinner. She and my mom would chat while dinner was cooking and during this time she would always be washing the dishes as she used them. Granted, this was before dishwashers, but I still wash as I go. If I wash all the prep dishes as I go, they clean up easier, are out of the way and all the dishes from the actual meal will fit in the dishwasher.


I use my address book for so much more than it was intended. On the back of each address card in the rolodex I jot down such things as a person’s food allergies, what they prefer in their coffee, their new grandkids’ names and really anything that I want to remember about them. It certainly makes an impression when I “remember” not to make a peanut butter dessert when they are allergic to peanuts or when I serve their coffee with only cream because that is how they like it.

Everyone seems to be so busy these days, especially this time of year. I know I welcome any hint that will save me time. I hope these favorites of mine will help someone else.

Published on Nov 13, 2013

Grit Magazine

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