Removing Stubborn Odors From Plastic Dishware

I recently made Ranch dressing from scratch. I accidentally spilled the garlic and it was a little stronger than planned. Unfortunately, it left every container I used smelling even after running it through the dishwasher twice!

I tried the newspaper trick I used when I “painted” my small thermos, (see “Baby Yourself”). But it did not work. The odor was so strong the newspaper could not absorb it overnight.

I put fresh newspaper in them, sealed the lids and tucked them in the corner of my kitchen. I ignored them for a week or so.

I am not sure how long it took, but when I finally checked them, the odor was gone. Sometimes, all it takes is a little more time.

Plastic containers stuffed with newspaper and sealed for several days to absorb garlic smell.

Plastic containers stuffed with newspaper and sealed for several days to absorb garlic smell.

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No Fresh Carrots, Broccoli, or Cauliflower for My Salad

We are still reaping the produce from our gardens, but there will come a time when the garden is empty. What will we do then?

What if we want to make a salad, but will be unable to go to the store to get them?

Frozen vegetables to the rescue!

Vegetables are frozen right after harvest and that means they keep their nutrients. If you thaw a small portion of them in the refrigerator overnight, they are good on salads. The consistency is the same as “al dente” pasta.

Be sure to thaw a small portion because whatever you do not use will need to be cooked right away.


Thawing a small portion of frozen vegetables.

Thawing a small portion of frozen vegetables.

Stretch That Expensive Cereal

Special K Dark Chocolate is one of my guilty pleasures. I feel guilty because it is expensive and contains chocolate. But it’s better than eating a full size Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bar!

I found a way to make that cereal last longer. Instead of eating it with milk, I sprinkle some on top of my yogurt and fruit. When I run out of the cereal, I switch to homemade granola.

Special K Dark Chocolate cereal sprinkled over yogurt and fresh fruit.

Special K Dark Chocolate cereal sprinkled over yogurt and fresh fruit.

Another way to stretch cereal is to add plain cereal to the expensive box. If you love Raisin Bran, you can mix plain bran cereal in with it, or make your own using bran cereal and raisins.

You can stretch the fancy Cheerios varieties by adding a few cups of plain Cheerios. Of course, buying the store brand of these cereals saves you even more.

I tried making my own Special K Dark Chocolate with cornflakes and chocolate chips. It didn’t work because Special K is made out of rice.  Now if I had purchased plain Special K and added dark chocolate chips, I might have been more successful!

(Note: Have you ever wanted to stop the world and get off? Sometimes, when I get sick that is exactly what happens. Unfortunately, I did not have my blog posts scheduled a week in advance. I thought of you last week, but didn’t have the energy to write a post. I do always come back.)

Use It, Don’t Organize It

I am too organized.

You may not think that is a problem, but where others would give or throw things away, I find myself trying to find some organizer in which to store them.

I was cleaning off the rusty, metal shelves in the basement where I keep my houseplant supplies. On the bottom shelf was a roll of contact paper with watering cans on it. I thought someday I would use it.

The last time I cleaned the shelves I realized the time was now! The shelves were rusty and putting that contact paper down not only protected what I was storing…they look pretty.

“Use it or lose it” is also a good motto. If you don’t use it, get rid of it.

I stored this contact paper for several years.

I stored this contact paper for several years.


The Spice of Life

My aunt Judith was the one who recommended keeping your spices in the freezer, but at the time, I had a wall full of spices. It looked impressive, but I didn’t use them all and it was a waste of money.

I finally assigned one shelf on the door of my freezer for spices. I threw away the ones that were outdated and decided to keep only those that I use frequently.

One shelf in my freezer is assigned to spices.

One shelf in my freezer is assigned to spices.

Then I ended up with a new dilemma. When I got low on one spice, I would write it on my grocery list and pick a new one up. But where should I store it?

I tried storing the new ones in a plastic zip lock bag, but I would forget I picked up a spice and ended up with 2 or 3 of one spice. I came up with a solution in the middle of the night.

Tape the new bottle to the bottom of the old bottle with packing tape.

Tape the new bottle to the bottom of the old bottle with packing tape.

I tape the new bottle to the old bottle. When the old one is empty I remove it. When spices go on sale, I can tell at a glance which ones I do not need.

In order to get the spices up where I could read them, I turned a shelf organizer on its side and set them on it. I store the spices I do not use frequently, but still need to have on hand, inside of the shelf organizer.

Less frequently used spices are stored inside a shelf organizer set on its side.

Less frequently used spices are stored inside a shelf organizer set on its side.

Just to the End of Summer

Labor Day has passed and to many that means fall has begun. Yet, here in Iowa it is still in the upper 80’s! We will be wearing our summer wardrobes for a few weeks more.

I found the bottom edge of a pair of David’s shorts was worn out. I didn’t want to replace them this late in the year and finding his size was difficult. (I married a big man!)

I folded the edge up about one-fourth of an inch and pinned them. I did not rip out the hem.

David's worn shorts, folded and pinned.

David’s worn shorts, folded and pinned.


I then stitched below the original stitching one-fourth of an inch. (I planned on adding another line of stitching, but I ran out of gray thread!)

Stitching below the original line of stitching.

Stitching below the original line of stitching.



I ended up with a “new” edge on a pair of shorts that was only one-fourth of an inch shorter. I did not intend for these to last another year…just to the end of the season.


Another Way to Slice It

I read that grapefruit would help you lose weight and I started eating it more often. Some days I cut it up and mixed it with Greek yogurt. I found slicing it from top to bottom instead of around the middle made it easier to break into bite-size pieces.

Slice grapefruit from top to bottom.

Slice grapefruit from top to bottom.



Then cut into quarters.

Then cut into quarters.


Peel the quarter and you end up with bite-sized pieces.

Peel the quarter and you end up with bite-sized pieces.




Best. Anniversary. Gift. Ever!

Today is our 32nd Wedding Anniversary and my husband gave me the best gift…

…he let me sleep in!

We tend to judge gifts by the amount of money spent; but there is no dollar value I could put on that extra 2 hours of sleep. It was priceless!

We are not eating out tonight; I am planning on making a romantic dinner…but the menu has not been set! I will choose from the items in my refrigerator, freezer, and pantry.

To give you an idea how this works, I will show you a breakfast I made for him a few weeks ago. I took the recipe for Quiche Lorraine and modified it based on the items he liked and the items I had on hand.


12 Slices of Bacon, 1 Sausage Patty, broken into pieces

1 c. Shredded Swiss Cheese, 1 c. Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese

1/3 c. Finely Chopped Onion, 1 T. Dry Chopped Onion

4 Eggs

2 c. Half and Half, 1 c. Cottage Cheese

3/4 t. Salt

1/4 t. Pepper

1/8 t. Cayenne Red Pepper, 1/8 t. Paprika

9′ Pie Crust (

Prepare pastry. Sprinkle meat, cheese, and onion in pastry-lined pie plate. Beat eggs slightly; beat in remaining ingredients. Pour egg mixture into pie plate. Cook uncovered in 425º oven for 15 minutes.

Reduce oven temperature to 300º. Cook uncovered until knife inserted halfway between center and edge come out clean, about 30 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

He ate the whole thing…over the course of a few days!

Quiche Frugalfish made with sausage, not bacon.

Quiche Frugalfish made with sausage, not bacon.


Cash…and 2 Forks

We went away for the weekend to: visit a cousin who had open heart surgery, attend a family reunion, and celebrate our 32nd Wedding Anniversary.

After eating the ‘4 Meat Dinner for Two’ at “Jethro’s BBQ” and the breakfast buffet at “The Machine Shed,” Mr. Frugalfish said we needed to slow down on the amount of food and the cost.

Then he took me to “Joe’s Crab Shack” and ordered the lobster/crab bucket and a piece of 6 layer chocolate cake!

How was that slowing down?


There is a difference between being cheap and being frugal.

  • Cheap is eating at McDonald’s on your vacation.
  • Frugal is paying cash…and 2 forks!
'4 Meat Dinner for 2' at Jethro's BBQ, Altoona, IA.

‘4 Meat Dinner for 2′ at Jethro’s BBQ, Altoona, IA.

Baby Yourself

I am a firm believer in babying myself:

  1. Eat every 3 hours: 6 mini meals instead of 3 regular meals to maintain weight and reduce acid reflux.
  2. Take naps: Yes, that is plural! A round of Prednisone will allow 4 hours of sleep at night. Adding a sleep aid caused hallucinations. (Yikes!) I sleep whenever my eyes close and my mind slows down. A nap may vary from 10 minutes to 1/2 an hour and then the medication wakes me up again.
  3. Use baby products: I wash my face using only water, just like a newborn’s face.
    • Baby Shampoodiluted with water will remove mucus from eyelashes when they are stuck together.
    • Vapor Bath – will open up sinuses and allow them to drain when nothing else works.
    • Bedtime Bath - When the Prednisone says, “You’re not tired. Go organize your sewing basket.” The lavender lulls your mind allowing your body to relax.
    • Baby Powder - absorbs sweat. Eczema breaks out in areas that tend to sweat: inside elbows, behind knees. No sweat = no rash. That is why you will never see me sweat…and I loathed P.E. I exercise with 3 fans, that are routinely taken apart and cleaned, blowing allergen free air on me.
    • Vaporizer - the moist air helps keep sinuses, bronchial tubes, and lungs open when I am sick.
  4. Carry a change of clothes: I leave a pair of sweats and an extra tee-shirt, (in Ziplock bags), in the van at all times because getting wet and staying in wet clothes will lead to rashes and sinus infections.
  5. Carry a sippy cup!

I’ve used the stainless steel water bottles for years. They are double insulated and the ice you put in it in the morning will be smaller, but still intact in the evening. They work just as well for hot drinks.

FlyLady Stainless Water Bottle.

The problem is, they do not have an 8 ounce size that will fit in my purse.

I bought a stainless steel “Sippy” cup; but my granddaughter thought is was for her…and it clashed with my red purse!

I colored it, just like a kid would, with permanent marker!

  1. Taped the areas I did not want “colored.”
  2. Dyed the pink areas with an extra-large permanent marker and used Sharpie markers on the details.
  3. Ididnotdye any areas that would touch the liquid.

    I didn't dye the parts touching liquids.

    I didn’t dye the parts touching liquids.

  4. Let dry overnight.

    Taped and "Dyed" sippy cup.

    Taped and “Dyed” sippy cup.

  5. Wrap in newspaper and set in container with wadded up newspaper around it for 24 hours to absorb the marker odors.

    Newspaper absorbs magic marker odors.

    Newspaper absorbs magic marker odors.

  6. Run through dishwasher to set marker, and remove any excess.

It is not double walled like Flylady’s, but it will keep drinks cold for hours.

My purse-size water bottle.

My purse-size water bottle.