Kitchen Tips

The kitchen is where we spend most of our time as homemakers, and it’s the place that can quickly get the most disorganized and dirtiest if we’re not diligent about its upkeep. Here are some tips for keeping the kitchen in good shape.

 
 
  1. To clean the microwave easily, microwave equal parts vinegar and water for five minutes. Carefully remove the container, and while the microwave is still warm from the steam, quickly wipe it clean.
  2. Empty your trash cans every day. If the kitchen can isn’t full, put the trash from the other trash cans in it. (You might even be able to reuse the liners from the smaller trash cans if they don’t smell bad.) Consolidating and taking it out every day is better than the cans sitting partially full for multiple days and possibly stinking up the house.
  3. To clean the dishwasher, remove all dishes and any food from the bottom or the filter--which will get really gross if you don’t keep after it!--and then fill a small bowl with vinegar and place it on the top rack. Run a normal cycle, and your dishwasher should be clean and fresh.
  4. If your kitchen is too cluttered, make a goal to tackle just one cabinet or drawer each day. It should only take 10 to 15 minutes to remove everything, wipe out the inside, and evaluate the contents before placing them back inside.
  5. Purge your unruly recipe collection. If you’ve got a big pile of magazine recipes--or scraps of paper where you’ve scribbled online recipes--go through them all and be honest about which recipes you’ll actually try to make. Throw away or recycle the rest. Get rid of recipes you’ve only made once and won’t make again, whether it’s because they’re too time-consuming, they have hard-to-find ingredients, or they just didn’t taste good. Copy the recipes that are left onto recipe cards and put them into a recipe book, or if you’ve got index cards and an unused photo album, DIY your recipe book. Add dividers to make it even better. That way you have an organized, easy-to-use set of recipes that’s customized for your family.
 
But we don’t just clean the kitchen, of course, so here are some cooking/general food tips too.
 
1.     Order Groceries Online- Thanks to Instacart or other online grocery store pick-ups (Target, Walmart, and most major chains) you can now meal plan, make your list, and place your order all from the comforts of your kitchen! I order my groceries online every Monday evening and pick them up on Thursday afternoons (after visiting with my mom). This has literally saved me so much time and money from impulse buying--not to mention my sanity! 😉
  1. For an easy dinner, take a few minutes after breakfast and throw dinner in the crockpot. it doesn’t get any easier than that! A quick win and a hot dinner tonight with very little prep on your part!
  2. Cook once, eat twice: Double or even triple a recipe when you cook. You could give away the extra, or you could freeze it for a night you need an easy dinner option.
  3. Once a week, take stock of the refrigerator. Scan the leftovers and make a plan of how you will use them today or tomorrow. Get rid of food that’s past its prime. Take a quick inventory of open condiments and dressings. Are they old? Will you use them? Toss out whatever needs to go.
  4. When looking at online recipes, start with allrecipes.com. There’s no backstory and few ads to make your way through to get to the recipe, and in my experience, the recipes are usually good. If you do find an intriguing recipe on a blog, see if it has any reviews in the comments section before trying to find the actual recipe within all the other fluff. If the reviews aren’t good or there aren’t any reviews, chances are it’s not a great recipe.
 
What kitchen tips did we miss? Add your own seeds of wisdom in the comments.

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