Plastic coffee containers used as watering cans

I accidentally came upon this idea today while caring for my chickens.  I always keep a coffee container in my barrels to scoop my chicken feed.  They are just the right size for refilling my feeders.  Well, I turn them upside down and hang them on top of my fence post at times and forget to put them back into the tub.  I have a lot of squirrels that i unintentionally feed because they love the corn I throw to my chickens as a treat.  The squirrel had chewed a hole in the coffee container while it was hanging on the fence post upside down.  Guess the little critter could smell the corn I had previously put in it.  And can I say right now, that squirrels are smart.  They have been trying to chew into my barrels where the corn is…..not the one that has the chicken pellets….nope, just the whole corn and the cracked corn.

So, when I noticed a plant that definitely needed water, I picked up that coffee can (the one the squirrel had chewed on near the top) and filled it with water and hurried to my plant.  While holding the handle part of the coffee container, I began to pour and the water made a very nice stream coming out of the hole the squirrel had chewed open (about the size of a quarter).

So, now I have another use for the coffee containers besides using as a scooper and storing things like matches that I don’t want to get wet and numerous other things.   I am always looking for ways to recycle anything I use.

I save all my plastic peanut butter jars and store nails and screws in them for my husbands tool shed.   We just add a 2×4 between the studs and make shelves.

If you have other ways to use the coffee containers, I would love to know.  We use about one a month so they add up quickly.

Secret to Best Brownies

I am not talking about the best brand either.

I have been told quite often that I make the best brownies and I am asked why mine are so good.  I truly believe the secret is to not overcook the brownies.  I actually take my brownies out of the oven when they are still a little gooey.  If I stick my toothpick in and it comes out a little wet, then I know they are done.  I think they must cook a little bit more when you take them out anyway.

I actually put a little of the vanilla pudding in my brownies this time.  I know it adds so much moisture to my cakes that I am thinking it might be good in brownies, too.  I have also put the vanilla pudding in my pancakes and that works great, too.

Keeping kitchen trash can smelling good

I clean my plastic kitchen trash can every week or so by bleaching it and sitting it outside on the porch to air dry.  Often onion peels make my trash can smell rather strong and the smell seems to absorb into the trash can even after the trash has been taken out.

So, between times of bleaching or scrubbing clean, I put a dryer sheet in the bottom of the can before adding the new trash bag.  I buy 50 Breezy “fresh linen” dryer sheets for a buck at the Dollar Tree.

Vaseline keeps the ants away

I set up our Hummingbird feeder on one of those metal poles (Shepherd’s Staff, I think they are called) and was pleased to see the little birds sipping away at the sweet water.

When i went to clean the feeder and refill the liquid, I noticed there were tiny ants in the remaining water inside the bottle as well as all along the pole.

So I loaded the pole with Vaseline just before the curve started where the feeder hung.  I smeared about three inches up on the pole.  Worked like a charm!

Now if I could just figure out a way to get rid of those carpenter bees that keep making holes on our wooden deck.  They hover a lot so I just keep swatting them with a fly swatter and killing them.

Windex to get flies out of windows

Those sneaky flies get inside the house and automatically hide in the windows that have venetian blinds.  Trying to pull back the blinds and not let the fly escape is a problem.  Plus, it is easy to damage the blinds.

My solution:  spray Windex on the fly between the blinds.  It doesn’t kill the fly but it stuns it and it often falls to the bottom of the window.   Then I take a paper towel and squash it.  Sometimes you have to chase the fly around in the window with a couple shots of spray.


Keeping your oven clean

I love to cook roasts in the oven at 200 degrees for at least 6 hours to ensure I have a tender piece of meat.  I add the potatoes, onions and carrots after about 2 hours.  I put about an inch of water in the glass pan and cover with aluminum foil.

So, what kept happening was the condensation rose and ran down the outside of the pan and then dripped onto the bottom of the oven.

To solve that problem, I made a well by running my fingers along the inside of the entire pan edge.  That way, the aluminum was down about a quarter inch or so and made the condensation drip back into the pan.

My smoke detector is very close to my oven and the least bit of smoke would set it off.  The drippings dirtied my oven and set off my alarm.

Saving money on dish detergent

I have a dishwasher, much to my dismay.  I hate dishwashers, but that is another subject.

I previously had a 99 cent (12 ounce) bottle of Dawn that seems to be diluted down.  I decided to buy the (24 ounce) Ultra Dawn for $2.50 on sale.

My mom, who is 91, thinks more is better and likes to squirt about a tablespoon of detergent on a coffee cup to clean it and then use about a gallon of water to rinse it.  lol

So, I decided to use the diluted Dawn which was less expensive.  Once it was empty, I put about 6 ounces of the Ultra Dawn in the 12 ounce bottle and filled the rest with water.  I now can make 4 bottles of the 99 cent size for $2.50 instead of the $3.96 it would have cost buying each 12 ounce bottle individually.




Moist cakes

Again, I love all that I learn on the u-tube videos.

I am not a person who makes cakes from scratch.  Cake mixes are pretty cheap and so handy.  I always buy when the cake mixes are on sale for under a dollar.  The IGA brand is just as good and they are usually 89 cents.  Even the generic Walmart or Foodlion brands are even better once you doctor them up with the butter and vanilla pudding mix.

So after reviewing many u-tube videos, this is my suggestion to you to make even moister cakes.  Use butter instead of the vegetable oil.  Just substitute the exact measurement of butter for the oil.

My other suggestion is add about an ounce or so of vanilla pudding mix to your batter and beat it longer.  Even if you are using a pudding in the cake mix, still add it.  So, now your batter is thicker and you actually get about 4 more cupcakes (in my case case.)

I seldom make cakes because with two of us, the cake gets dried out before we eat it all.  Plus, you can freeze the cupcakes before you ice them after you let them cool.  Keeps us from eating all 24-28 of them in a day or two.  No dishes or silverware to clean up either when eating a cupcake.

I love the butter cream frosting, too.  Also, not homemade but in the container.  I have plenty of time to experiment and make my own frosting but I really like the taste and I would rather spend  my time canning or dehydrating or vacuum sealing foods.  We all have priorities.


Cleaning shower curtain

I usually just buy a cheap clear shower curtain and replace it when I see it doesn’t  look fresh and clean anymore, and then recycle the old one.  By recycling I mean, I use it as a mat for my husband to lie on the ground working on our riding lawn mower or covering our well after insulating it or something like that.

After cleaning my claw foot tub, I  noticed the bottom of the shower curtains looked kind of orange-looking along the seam.  I was thinking darn, I have to buy two curtains or take them down and wash them.  This I have done before by adding bleach or Oxiclean to the water.  Noticing that only the seam really looked bad, I decided to fill the tub with warm water and add the oxiclean to the tub water thus saving me the time of taking them down, washing and rehanging them.  It worked perfectly.

I buy the generic oxiclean from the Dollar Tree and honestly, it works great.  It also made my bathroom smell nice and fresh.

Homemade potato chips

I would love to take credit for this fun discovery but I researched it on u-tube.  I never do anything exactly the way I read/see how to do things but my  chips turned out great.  My picky 91 year old mom with dentures even enjoyed them ALOT!

I often have a sandwich for lunch and had been wanting some Lays potato chips for weeks but they weren’t on sale (2 for 4.29) so I didn’t buy any.  I bought a bag for 2.88 at Walmart.

While eating the chips, I was looking at the 10 ounce bag and thinking about that price of 4.29 for 10 ounces versus the 3.99 for my last purchase of a 5 pound bag of potatoes.

So, I peeled the medium sized potato and then thin sliced it with the potato peeler.  You could also use a grater that has the slicer.  I knew there was no way I could thin slice the potato with a knife.

Then you want to wash then really well with cold water to remove the starch.    One guy said to refrigerate for an hour.  Just peel the potato slices into the bowl of cold water and rinse a few times.  It worked just fine.  Make sure you thoroughly dry the potatoes.  Water in grease can splatter.

Let your oil heat up in a frying pan.   I used vegetable oil but another person suggested canola oil.  I used the setting between high and medium.   Drop one thin potato in the oil and if it bubbles up around the potato, drop more in.  I just cooked one thin layer at a time.  I didn’t flip them over but pushed them down a few times.  Once you see the edges turn a little brown, remove the chips.  It took less than 2 minutes, I believe.

Drain on paper towel to remove excess oil.  Salt or add any spice you prefer.

 One medium sized potato made enough chips for at least one person and maybe two, unless you are a big eater.  Lol. They were delicious warm.