works for me wed

WFMW: Cheap! Alternative to Dryer Sheets

Want to save money on expensive dryer sheets? I already use Downy in the wash (I just gotta have me some of that “fresh clean scent” in my clothes) and have always bought unscented dryer sheets for the static cling control factor because I didn’t want to “mix smells”. I know. I’m wierd.

I was at my mom’s the other day and she mentioned a tip she’d read in a book she bought (sorry, I don’t have the name of it, but I’m going to get it from her) that is CHOCK FULL-o-rama of household tips and hints aimed at saving money. She told me that if you tear a sheet of aluminum foil off and ball it up into a ball, toss it into the dryer with your wet clothes (sans dryer sheet), it will control the static cling. Voila! I tried it and it works. I have no clue how long one ball is good for, but I’m on the 5th load and it’s still working fine. The photo below is NOT the ball I’m using, merely a “sample” of what mine started out as. Mine is now packed tighter than a can of sardines, but still controlling that static.

It works for me, what works for you? Head on over to Shannon’s to see more WFMW hints!

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Circle of Friends – Toy Trade

A friend from Church recently asked me if I’d be interested in a “Toy Trade”. She is a single mom with two boys roughly close to the same ages as two of my kids (2 and 4) and is on a limited budget and cannot afford to buy a new toy every time they go to Wal-Mart. (Just fyi…I don’t buy my kids something everytime we go either…it’s bad training, but I know “some” people(like my husband) who just can’t resist)

Anyway, I thought it was a terrific idea, as my kids have more toys that they don’t play with because they’ve gotten tired of them or they are lying at the bottom of the toy box, forgotten like yesterday’s bad news. So…last week I went through all the toys (at naptime of course — do you think I’m crazy enough to do it when the little boogers are awake?) and sorted into three piles – “keep”, “trade” and “throw this crud away!”
I ended up with a 33 gallon bag full of toys to trade. My kids are none the wiser –
and I’m not tripping over toys in the middle of the night anymore.

It works for me. What works for you? Head on over to Shannon’s WFMW to see more helpful tips and advice from others!

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Bread Mangler on Aisle 4…

Today’s edition of WFMW is supposed to be about kitchen tips…well,I gave my best kitchen tip last week..this one is about the food we EAT in the kitchen…does that count?

We eat a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in our home, which means we eat a lot of bread too. I used to spend MORE than a few minutes on the bread aisle gently squeezing and trying to check the bread for freshness, all the while attracting the attention of curious shoppers who probably thought I had some sort of bread fetish. But there is nothing I dislike more than bread that is already crusty and hard when you take it out of the wrapper…it’s supposed to be that way after your kids have left their half-eaten sandwiches lying on the coffee table!

Recently, a friend shared something with me that has revolutionized the bread-buying process for me and freed me from my habit of bread-squishing…did you know that bread is delivered fresh to the stores five days a week? Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Each day has a different color twist tie. They are:

Monday – Blue
Tuesday – Green
Thursday – Red
Friday – White
Saturday – Yellow

So if today was Thursday, you would want red twist tie – not white which is Friday’s (almost a week old)! The colors go alphabetically by color Blue – Green – Red – White – Yellow, Monday thru Saturday. Very easy to remember. Now, me being the cynical person I am had to check this out…so I went to the Wal-Mart Supercenter and lo-and-behold….there they were…a rainbow of twistie ties. I could easily tell which ones were the freshest and just grab it without attracting all those stares….and now maybe that creepy guy in the produce dept will leave me alone.

And I did just think of a cook kitchen tip my mom taught me. If you are anything like me and have an intense dislike for cleaning out your microwave oven? (they put a door on those things for a reason!) Next time it’s dirty, just put about 1 cup (glass only) of vinegar in it and microwave for 4-5 minutes…the goo will literally fall off the sides onto your paper towel.

Head on over to Shannon’s for more great Kitchen advice!

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Every Good Cook Deserves a Shortcut…

Being a homeschooling mom of three, of course I plan out all of our meals for the week and then grocery shop according to the extensive list I’ve made after pouring through our pantry to discover what we need to purchase. NOT. (And such a long run-on sentence would lead you to ask what kind of education my kids are actually receiving, would it not?)

All joking aside…I’m not a master strategist when it comes to cooking — I’ve just never taken the time to plan meals out. However, I love to cook and am always finding shortcuts to make it go faster and to eliminate the things that I dislike about cooking.

My favorite tip (and forgive me — I’ve done this for so long I don’t remember who to attribute it to, but I know there was someone who gave this idea to me, as I’m not smart enough to come up with it on my own) is that I don’t buy whole onions or bell peppers anymore. I buy the little flash-frozen packages (pre-chopped) by Birdseye and store them in my freezer. When a recipe calls for onion or bell pepper, I simply pull out the package and eyeball the amount. No cutting involved. I mean, who really enjoys cutting onions? You can also buy the little packages of celery, onion and peppers to be used for stews, stirfries, or any other meal your little heart desires.

It works for me…what works for you? Head on over to Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more great WFMW tips!

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WFMW: Blog Stalking…er…Redeeming the Time

Okay…so my WFMW is something I’ve already blogged about, but today I’m giving you options! Who doesn’t like an option? Anyone?

If you are a blog addict like me, chances are you spend a good portion of your day checking one blog or another, only to be disappointed when they haven’t updated. I mean, let’s face it, you spent the time to go there, the least they could do was to have written something!!!

Well…no more, I say. I have subscribed to Google Reader…it’s a blog feed service that pulls all new posts from your favorite bloggers into one easy-to-read and convenient spot. You can even comment on your favorite blogs by clicking on the entry and a new window pops up…handy, huh? You simply enter the URL and subscribe to the feed and there it is! Voila! Like Christmas, only you’re getting what you WANT this year! The only drawback is that you have to be google mail subscriber…so…if you don’t have a gmail account, then read on for your OPTION…

My bloggy friend Rachel uses Bloglines – another blog service. It’s equally user-friendly and already out of beta. Bloglines has additional features that Google reader doesn’t.

Regardless of which one you try – you have to TRY ONE!

Because I said so. It’s worth it. It’s a HUGE timesaver…Rachel shaved over 3 hrs off her time (that’s a lot of redeeming of time, there!) while I shaved off over an hour and a half.

For more great tips, head on over to Shannon’s at Rocks in My Dryer.

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