Sunday, April 21, 2013

Clean Your Lint Screen

As much as I love the idea of being one of those awesome off-the-grid type survivalist home makers, I am not.  I love my appliances.  I know that I probably COULD get by without them, like in a nuclear war type emergency, but barring the zombie apocalypse, I do enjoy labor-saving machines.

For instance, my dryer.

I know what you're going to say.  I should line dry clothes and save money and energy, but I'm not there yet.  We have an itty bitty little yard, and I will try to set up a clothes line this summer.  In the meantime, I am in love with the dryer.

As with anyone I love, I want to see it happy and healthy.  The lint screen is super important for this.  I clean it out after every load...but is that enough?  Some times we use dryer sheets, and I have heard that this can leave a film over the lint screen that makes air move through less efficiently.  Let's check.

That's not good.

If the water is having a hard time passing through the filter, so is the air.  That's unfortunate.  It means that the dryer is not able to work as efficiently because it is not getting proper air flow.  This can BREAK YOUR DRYER.

(I can't handle that thought.  Did I mention that I love my dryer?)

Thank God and the internet that there's an easy fix!  Coincidentally, it's the same fix for most of the build-up issues in my house: white vinegar.

I sprayed the filter down with vinegar, and gave it a quick scrub.

The water runs right through now!  My nice, clean lint screen is back in my dryer, catching lint like a boss.  Hopefully my dryer will work even better for it, and lasts for years to come.

Did I mention that dryer service calls start at $147 through Sears?  I just hopefully prevented a problem for less than a penny.  Sounds good to me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Check Your Eggs

I hate wasting food.  Today I stood holding an entire carton of eggs that I had let slip past their expiration date unused.  Rookie mistake.

But...they're only one day past the date....I wonder if they might still be good...?

Apparently, there's an easy trick for this:

Healthy eggs will sink in cold water, while spoiled eggs will float.

Healthy eggs.

Spoiled eggs.

Done!  About a minute of work and zero dollars just saved me 9 whole eggs!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

DIY Soft Scrub

There's pen on my table.  There is PEN on MY TABLE.


I blame the toddler.

@#%$.  Now what?

Hm...a few of my go-to cleaning mavens recommend Soft Scrub.  Let's see.  Should I add another $6 or so bucks to my next grocery trip?  Or just try to make something myself?

What do you think my answer is going to be?

Monday, April 8, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Microwave Popcorn

My older son is in kindergarten.  I get daily reports as a part of a behavior plan for him (I may have mentioned before, but he has Asperger's Syndrome).  If he does well, he gets a special snack when he gets home.

He always selects popcorn as a snack.  Always.

We've been stocking up on microwave popcorn, which is both expensive, and kind of slimy and gross.

I was looking into getting an air popper (mine died years ago), but I came across a few people in a post board saying that I could air pop corn in a microwave.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Clean Pee from a Mattress

I love curse words.  Especially on days like today.

I realized in my addled, early morning state, that the Toddler of Doom had a Pull-up failure during the night.  

Next to me.  

In my bed. 


But wait!  We have one of those expensive, ultra-protective mattress pads!  Thank goodness!

Oh...what do you mean it's in the laundry?


NOOOOOOO!  Not the Stearns & Foster!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

I Love You, Library.

I read.

A lot.
My ideal day is to sit in a soft chair with a cup of coffee and a book.  And possibly cookies.  But I digress.

We live near the only Barnes and Noble for miles.  I used to spend an inordinate amount of money and time there.  It was a weekly ritual to go, sit in a soft chair, and buy a book and a coffee.  And possibly cookies.

When my cubs came along and disposable income became a mythical creature that I rarely spot, I had to stop frequenting my favorite book store.  Instead, I became the most loyal patron of my local library.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Meal Stretcher Monday: Check the Unit Price

For Easter I was going to make risotto (If you are unfamiliar, it's a creamy sort of rice dish from northern Italy).  This requires a special kind of short grain rice called arborio rice.  It has a high starch content, which gives the dish it's creamy texture (there's no actual cream in the dish).

Walmart ain't the right place to get arborio rice.  They don't exactly offer higher end international stuff.

Off to the local co-op.  I found several brands and sizes .  Usually, I buy in larger packages because it winds up cheaper in the long run, but I noticed something...odd.  I took pictures for you.  See if you can figure out what's wrong.