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Dry your own - control additives

Thursday April 24, 2014

We recently finished testing the Presto Dehydro Food Dehydrator model 6301 as well as the Presto Jerky Gun. Who knew dehydrating food could be such fun. Since we started making our own jerky too, hubby has certainly taken an interest in drying foods.

Dehydrating foods or making jerky may sound tedious or difficult, but it's extremely easy and instructions are very good. Dried foods are great for lunches, to take camping or for snacking. I can't wait till the rhubarb is garden ready to dry it too.

Learn more about drying foods and how this dehydrator and jerky gun performed in:

Read more about preserving

Read more about food storage

How to reduce food waste

Photos © Presto

Tip of the Week: Use Less Soap

Wednesday April 23, 2014

The laundry detergent manufacturers are so kind to supply a measuring cap to use for their detergent, but unfortunately, it's too much. My laundry appliance technician told me that two tablespoons of liquid detergent or less is sufficient to clean a washload.

In many cases, it's a matter of adjusting down from this amount, till you are satisfied with your clean laundry. You can save a lot of money doing laundry over a year, if you cut down and find a more appropriate balance.

There's another reason besides saving money, to reduce the amount of detergent you use. It could be the catalyst that promotes washer odor.  Read more in my: Washer Odor, Mold - Answers to Your Questions.

More About Laundry

Washer Mold Solution > Washer Fan

What is HE Detergent?

How to Control Suds in an HE Washer

Photo © Mifflin

Earth Day - What Are You Doing?

Tuesday April 22, 2014

It's Earth Day!  Many of us are so busy, the thought of washing and recycling cans or starting a garden compost seems too time consuming to even give these a fleeting thought.

But it's not really that difficult and there are lots of easy, simple ways you can participate in Earth Day without a lot of time and effort. Even just reducing energy on Earth Day is a worthwhile endeavor.

Try one or more of these easy Earth Day action tips and take a small step to reduce, reuse and recycle today. You might just find some of these so quick and easy, you'll want to contribute today and beyond.

And remember to share your Earth Day tips, so we can learn more about how to help our planet.

When it comes to green or eco-friendly products, there's lots to chose from. I've put together a short list of some notables you might want to check out. Some of these products can also help you to be more recycle-efficient. Check it out in: Green, Recycling and Earth-Friendly Products. The ECOSOULIFE® Tableware shown, is just one on this list; there's more.

About Food Storage | Canning & Preserving | Conserve Water | Manage Waste

Photo (top) © Serif; photo (bottom) © Ecosoulife

True or False: Product Manuals Increase Clutter

Monday April 21, 2014

That's very true, if you tend to leave them lying around here and there. The solution? You can cut this clutter by having a special place for all your product manuals and warranties. That way when a product  breaks down, you'll be able to quickly find it and the important warranty information or part number you need.

I like to keep mine in a section of my filing cabinet, but you can also use an expandable folder like the one shown. These work extremely well for product manuals and keep this folder in one common place. Also attach your receipt for the item to the manual.

Remember to periodically scan your folder and remove those you no longer need to keep, because the appliance or product is gone.

Compare Prices of Expandable Folders

Compare Prices of File Cabinets

10 Reasons to Read & Keep Your Product Manual

How to Keep Your Appliances Working Longer

Benefits of Changing/Replacing Filters

Photo Courtesy PriceGrabber

How NOT to Care for Your Vacuum

Saturday April 19, 2014

When vacuum care is missing in action, it can have a serious effect on the life of this cleaning tool. And it can end up costing you money to repair or replace it.

Do you find your vacuum isn't living up to its projected lifespan? A vacuum's life is impossible to estimate, because how much you use it can differ considerably from any projected lifespan based on average use. And your definition of  'average use' may not be the same as someone else's.

There's really no clear-cut time frame for a vacuum's lifespan, but with some TLC, you can hopefully extend its working years. When care is lacking, it can be short-lived.

Learn How NOT to care for your vacuum, so you can better understand what happens, when your standard of care isn't quite what the manufacturer had in mind. Your vacuum's life may depend on it.

Warning! It's a little tongue in cheek, but you'll get my drift. After all, it's a shame  to see people waste money, when some TLC can cure what ails your vacuum. Find out what you should change if you want to extend the life of your vacuum in:  Vacuum TLC Gone Wrong - How NOT to Care for Your Vacuum.

Read more about vacuums and floor care

Speed Sweep Review

Best Carpet Spot Cleaners

Photo © Mifflin

Options for Reducing Household Waste

Thursday April 17, 2014

When in comes to managing waste, there are several options to reducing that abundance of trash we generate, some of which are recycling or composting.  But there's also practical appliances that can help to reduce the amount that goes to the landfill.

Simple recycling may be sufficient for some households, but others may need more help in way of  disposers or compactors.  While both help to reduce trash,  they have very different functions and even their installations differ.

Which one is best for you depends on a lot of factors including space or whether you're renting or own your home.  Some households employ a variety of tools and methods.  Learn more about these options and find one or two that work for you and can help you to better Manage Your Household Waste.

And Earth Day is coming right up! So get ready to make a difference.

Basic Recycling | Is it Green or Carbon Neutral? | Store, Clean & Organize

Tip of the Week: Springform Pan

Wednesday April 16, 2014

To make certain that you have inserted the bottom flat piece properly into the sides band section of a springform pan, have a look all the way around.

Missing a small area can easily happen. It's a quick visual that will confirm a proper seal and help to reduce the risk of dripping into your oven. You'll be glad you checked.

Read more:  Tips on Buying and Using a Springform Baking Pan

Compare Prices

Read more about bakeware

Photo © Mifflin

If you like retro - you'll love the VFAN

Tuesday April 15, 2014

Vornado® recently released a reissue of their original metal fan from the 1940's and while the new VFAN is big on classic style, it's compact in size yet is an efficient air circulator.

This classic fan comes in three colors and though vintage looking, will blend into any living space. But be warned, it's bound to get a few admiring glances from your guests.

Learn more about this classic room fan in my: Vornado VFAN Air Circulator Review

Photo © Vornado

Sprouting Your Own Little Veggies

Monday April 14, 2014

I've been using a Biosta Seed Sprouter for decades and I'm still amazed at how fast you can grow sprouts, in the convenience of your own kitchen (or living room), with very little care.

A sprouter and special sprouting seeds are all you need to watch them grow and enjoy tasty mung beans, nutritious lentil or tangy radish sprouts and more.

In fact, there's so much more in way of sprouting seeds than when I first started growing sprouts. At that time, only four seed choices were available in my area. Now there's a wide variety available as well as mixed seed packages.

Learn more about sprouters and how they work in my: Seed Sprouter - Definition and Use.

Read my Biosta Sprouter Review

Compare Prices of Sprouters

Read About Canning & Home Preserving

Read About Dehydrators, Making Jerky

Read About AeroGarden

Photo Courtesy PriceGrabber

Problem Hands? Some Knives are Easier to Grasp

Saturday April 12, 2014

Having joined the growing number of North Americans who suffer from arthritis, I've experienced first hand how this disease can affect simple kitchen tasks like cutting, slicing and dicing. And when your grip on the knife is not firm, that can lead to injuries.

When buying a knife, there is a knife feature you can watch for that can make holding a knife more comfortable and the handle shape can also help improve control. For those who struggle with these kitchen tasks, there are other options to consider too.

Read more in my: How to Chose a Kitchen Knife for Better Handling, Control if Problem Hands

Selecting Your First Kitchen Knives

What's a Ceramic Knife?

Basic Housewares

Photo © Mifflin

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