SC Johnson Family Economics Blog
Thursday, March 4, 2010

Everyday Tips and Tricks | Family Economics

By Cathe Holden

One can’t go through years of running a household and raising a family without developing a few tips and tricks of your own. Here are a just few of my favorites:

• For storing rolls of wrapping paper, don't cinch and wrinkle the remaining wrap on the roll with a rubber band, find a small scrap of wrapping paper left over from your trimmings, a receipt, or other strip of paper and wrap it around the roll, overlapping on itself and tape it closed leaving your wrapping paper unharmed.

• Half empty cereal boxes take up a lot of cupboard space and can be misleading as to the amount inside. Once the box is opened and used, pour the remaining cereal into a gallon or quart sized Ziploc® bag and staple a portion of the cardboard box with cereal name showing to the top of the bag above the locking strip to one flap, allowing bag to still be easily opened.

• An easy and tidy way for bagging large vegetables in the grocery store produce section, such as loose, leafy heads of lettuce, is to first reach into an empty produce bag creating a glove effect, grab hold of the vegetable by the stem or base with the gloved hand and pull the veggie through turning the bag inside out as you cover the item transferring it inside the bag.

• Keep remaining unused frozen fruit and vegetables fresh without waste: when opening a new bag, trim a 1/2” strip from the end, pour out the desired amount from the bag, then gather and tie the open end closed with the trimmed away 1/2" strip.

• Use a Ziploc® bag to create happy pancakes for breakfast. Pour a small amount of pancake batter into a plastic Ziploc® bag and trim a small section from the corner. With skillet oiled and hot, draw a happy face or message or name, (if you can write backwards!) onto the center of the skillet. Allow the design to heat and brown just a bit before covering the entire design with more batter to form the pancake. Once the pancake is flipped, the precooked design or message will appear darker than the surface of the rest of the pancake to the delight of your breakfast crowd.

• For a fun and practical twist to a lunch sack, use a heavy string or new shoelace to roll into the top of the sack. Running the string along the top, simply fold and roll down the top of the sack several times. The string becomes tucked within the roll. Bring up the ends of the string to tie together into a perfect handle for carrying.

• Before tossing a reused paper shopping bag with string handles, remove the strings and store them in a Ziploc® bag for many household uses such as the above mentioned paper sack handles, tying around gift boxes or use in craft and sewing projects.

8 Comments so far

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On Thursday, March 11, 2010, ~robin wrote

You could try writing the name on paper with a marker that bleeds through, and using the backside as a model to write backwords with...

On Wednesday, March 10, 2010, Becki from San DiegoKnicks making wrote

Fam-tastic ideas, Cathe! Thanks for sharing.

On Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Kariane from Alalska wrote

Love the pancake idea. Any tips on writing backwards...?

On Monday, March 8, 2010, Sara from (not so sunny) Phoenix, AZ wrote

Cathe, these are fantastic tips! I knew about most of these, but the ziploc for opened cereal and the pancake personalization kept me reading. Thanks for helping us busy moms out.

On Sunday, March 7, 2010, Lisa wrote

Genius solutions and so practical! I love them!

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, http://dianaevans.blogspot.com/ wrote

these are fantastic!!! thank you Cathe!!!

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, Robyn - Our Homeschool Home wrote

Cathe - Love all of these ideas. Now why had I never thought about them! Love this post.

On Saturday, March 6, 2010, Mela wrote

what fun! can't wait to try the pancake tricks tomorrow ... thanks, Cathe!

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