The D'oh!moment: Completely obvious homemaking tips that have, in fact, proved revelatory

(522 Posts)
ChicHeroine Tue 12-Mar-13 21:34:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bran Tue 12-Mar-13 21:44:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsHende Tue 12-Mar-13 21:46:29

I LOVE the bedding set in the pillowcase idea - I learned that one here on good old MN.

Another tip is Oven Pride. Amazing.

If you use stock cubes (I do!) I always used to make the stock up in a jug then add it to the stew or curry or whatever, then one day I thought doh! Why don't I crumble the cube into the stew and then add the water, no dirty jug to wash and it works!

MousyMouse Tue 12-Mar-13 22:02:12

putting washing powder directly into the drum.
no more manky drawer!

Bonsoir Wed 13-Mar-13 06:53:51

Organising your house by function. Think about how you actually do things before allocating storage, installing machines etc. Eg I changed my kitchen cupboards so that all the tea and coffee, and the tea and coffee cups, were right above the counter where the coffee machine and kettle are. I put the cereal and the cereal bowls in the same cupboard. Etc. That way people making breakfast for themselves don't have to open lots of different cupboards and move around the kitchen. I regularly change my cupboard/drawer allocations to optimise.

BigRedBox Wed 13-Mar-13 07:02:44

Having different baskets for different colours of washing. I used to have baskets per person then have to sort it out each time. Now I have 3 baskets for darks, brights, and whites. When one is full I do done washing. I cannot believe how long it took me to realise this.

MrsJamin Wed 13-Mar-13 07:06:11

Love the pillowcase idea! Going to be moving house in 5 weeks so am going to need new organisation tips. I actually think I might make a big diagram of all the things in the kitchen and what needs to be near what to optimise the use of the space! <need to get a life emoticon>

Love the three baskets for laundry.

Here's one. When you're cleaning kitchen bathroom etc. Spray where-ever you're cleaning - countertop for example. Then go away, make a cup of tea, put your feet up or do a bit of tidying. Go back after about 10 minutes and wipe. No scrubbing, no respraying. Cleaner has done all the work while it was sitting there. Blindingly obvious? yes but it took me years to work it out.

MrsJamin Wed 13-Mar-13 07:12:26

See, I always do the spray first then leave thing! You can get most stains up just by spraying water and leaving some time, then go back with a microfibre cloth.

Use disposable foil containers for lasagne, shepherds pie, fish pie, even roasts etc and just bin them when you're done - no washing up.

MrsJamin Wed 13-Mar-13 07:16:58

yes, very eco-friendly tip butterflies hmm

NormaStanleyFletcher Wed 13-Mar-13 07:18:45

Am watching with interest

baskingseals Wed 13-Mar-13 07:24:09

cutting up food with scissors for small children.

sausages, pizza, chicken - anything really. does save time.

reading these tips with interest. specially like the 3 washing baskets idea, but where do you keep them?

Flisspaps Wed 13-Mar-13 07:34:45

Lots of fabulous tips on this thread and this thread grin

BigRedBox Wed 13-Mar-13 08:48:30

I have 3 like this
I keep them in my bedroom. They're really light for carting around as well. I'm considering moving to a 4 basket system for darks, brights, lights and whites. I seriously need a job grin

CuttedUpPear Wed 13-Mar-13 08:53:13

butterflies that's terrible. Do you not realise that the world is running low on resources?
I hope that you recycle all these containers.

Ok fair point and I do recycle, but how is a tinfoil tray a week worse than kitchen roll at the bottom of lunch boxes every day?

And what happened to no judgement allowed?

Bonsoir Wed 13-Mar-13 09:38:09

Tinfoil is aluminium and ought never to be used as a cooking utensil - very bad for your health smile

ThisIsMummyPig Wed 13-Mar-13 09:39:04

paper grows on trees, so is ultimately replacable. Tin foil is made from aluminum, which has to be mined, which is generally bad for the environment.

If you were recycling them, then surely you would have to wash them up anyway?

I consider my wrist slapped - thank you

RooneyMara Wed 13-Mar-13 09:50:37

This one crept up on me through sheer laziness but similar to the worktop one, if you leave your dishes and plates and cutlery in the sink with water in them overnight, or just for an hour, then wash them, all they need is a quick going over with a sponge and WUL and then a quick rinse. Most of the stuck on stuff just comes off with water and a bit of time.

Also I was veggie for so long and couldn't be bothered to cook meat for years after that, that I never realised how AWFUL it is tryign to wash up after cooking meat.

The amount of fat from say sausages in a baking tray is dreadful. I can't imagine what that does to our bodies.

So go as veggie as possible and you'll have a lot easier washing up smile

RooneyMara Wed 13-Mar-13 09:51:54

oh and always put the washing up liquid directly onto the sponge, not into the water. Wash everything, then rinse it all at once.

notcitrus Wed 13-Mar-13 09:52:30

Manky kitchen roll helps the compost balance all the old slimy veg.

My revelation thanks to MN is that if you have stubborn limescale in the toilet, scoop out most of the water first, making your stuff to dissolve it much more concentrated and more effective. Obvious, but finally I've got rid of brown stained limescale that bottles of stuff over 7 years havent dented.

Chigley1 Wed 13-Mar-13 09:53:25

At the age of 40, just had revelation that if you group all cutlery when you put it into the dishwasher it saves a lot of time when removing it.

youfhearted Wed 13-Mar-13 10:04:01

ah but re cutlery, in dishwasher, we had to do that in old people's home, and people wondered why they didnt clean properly, the instructions are for random placement of cutlery, otherwise all the knives get stuck togther, as do spoons .

Buy a really good DustBuster. We have a Dyson long armed thingamajig and it's so good that we only have to get the proper Hoover out about once a fortnight. It's so much quicker, easier, lighter and less faffy-no wires tripping you up, no lugging it upstairs etc.

Shamelessly marking place. I can't think of anything right now, but will certainly have a think

BornToFolk Wed 13-Mar-13 10:41:05

I don't get the pillowcase thing. In my airing cupboard, I have a stack of pillowcases, a stack of duvet covers and a stack of fitted bottom sheets. So, when changing a bed, I go the cupboard and grab pillowcases, duvet cover and sheet. It's not a task that takes forever! Mind you, I only have two beds to change so I suppose it might be worth it if you had more? I still don't really get it though. confused

I love that bedding and pillowcase idea, I only have a small airing cupboard so that will be really helpful, thanks.
I can't think of any tips. sad

Oh, I wash my quilt covers inside out so they're easier to put on. I put my hands through the flap, grab the far corners of the cover like a puppet, then grab the corners of the quilt, big heave and the cover goes over the quilt. just needs a shake to adjust and its done. its the easiest way I've found of doing a king size duvet.

Ok, I never post on on these topics so I might not be allowed but heres a few of mine.

When you was socks, hang them by the toe on the line in order ie pairs next to each other. When they are dry turn the tops together then unpeg and drop into your basket, Sock can then go straight into the draws in pairs save me a lot of time as DP goes through two pairs of socks a day!

keep your cleaning products sorted by room. In a bucket tidy whatever, then we you want to clean the bath room you grab that bucket and everything is there that you need.

In rooms with tiles (Im not in the UK and the house is all tiles) keep a dust pan and brush in each room

I have a brush head similar to this one best thing ever for cleaning rugs!

If you have to pack up winter clothes then put a tumble drier sheet in with them and then vac seal them ( a good strong bin bag bunched up round a hover and then tied is a good as a vac bag) when you get them out again they will be clean and sweet smelling.

Bicarb is a great cat litter deodrant

If you clean to tops of your cuboards when finished add newpaper folded to the right size next time all you need to to take the newspaper off and throw it away.

If a batch cook, I use those foil trays and mark the tops with the content and then you can just take straight from the freezer and cook, eat and bin!

If I think of any more can I post again?

oh I have another one.

I do a big shop once a month (live in the middle of know where) I mostly buy the same every month but some items may be needed more etc. so I have a shopping listed with everything listed on it and printed out each month on the fridge every time I use something up I mark it down on the list so all i need to do is grab the list and go to the shop.

Also when we go away each time I find something else I needed, ie duck tap, bin bags for the car, plug converters, tomtom etc. So when I get back I pack the things I needed back into the suit cases. if I have to go away in a hurry no more searching for the suitcase scales etc.

I also keep an emergency box in the car with things like a change of clothes for each of us, a water proof coat, a small umbrella, flash light, first aid kit, blow up pillow, blanket, bottle of water and some food, it only takes up a small box and I know if anything happens like we get stuck in a traffic jam or dd is sick etc I can do something about it.

We get a lot of power cuts so every room has a small wind up torch (no chance of the batteries going flat) and I have storm laterns or big yanke candles everywhere and a box of matches with the laters / candles so I can light the house without having to find the matches!

In my handbag and in the car I have a small stash of tablets / medicines just in case so anti acids, paracetomol, capol, anti imflamatories, diagorrea tablets etc.

Sello tape or ones of those rolling clothes brushes which is stickie picks up broken glass even from clothes.

choccyp1g Wed 13-Mar-13 11:04:05

Socks going IN to the wash bag should be linked loosely at the open end in pairs.

Then wash them in lingerie bags, several pairs to a bag, but not any the same colour in the same bag. Hang in pairs onto the line (or radiators), then when dry they have to be paired into "bobbles" not hanging loosely.

I only learnt to pair socks "in bobbles" when I was 32 from a long-ago boyfriend.

notcitrus Wed 13-Mar-13 11:04:09

MrNC insists time saved separating cutlery when putting away is negated by extra time putting them in. I disagree. Each compartment has about 6 items in so spoons/forks stacking/tangling not an issue in our domestic dishwasher.

If sausages are grilled/cooked over a clean roasting dish, can then use the roast potatoes or scrape up to fry eggs or vegetables, adding extra flavour to an otherwise vegetarian meal.

Tip 1: never leave a room empty handed. As you head to, say the loo for example, scan the rooms you pass through for items you can scoop up and rehome as you go. This is especially helpful if you have young children who pick up a book, wander into the next room and abandon it in favour if the next shiny object.

Tip 2: any item of clothing with white on it (excluding polyester trims) should be washed with the white wash, since the colours are obviously colour-fast and washing it with the darks will discolour the white bits. Probably bloody obvious to everyone else, but I didn't realise until I met my husband and he taught me!

Tip 3: as soon as your children are old enough to reach your sinks remove all your plugs and leave them somewhere that only an adult can reach. You think the overflow will work, but not if it's been stuffed with a flannel first...

choccyp1g Wed 13-Mar-13 11:33:55

NeverquiteSure I'd never trust your point 2 for the first wash of a new item.

erowid Wed 13-Mar-13 12:01:33

If you clean to tops of your cuboards when finished add newpaper folded to the right size next time all you need to to take the newspaper off and throw it away.

That, my dear, is a brilliant idea!

TheCatInTheHairnet Wed 13-Mar-13 12:13:34

I am the opposite of Bigredbox when it comes to laundry. Each member of the family has their own clean washing basket so the clothes are folded straight out of the dryer and put in the respective baskets. Then it's the responsibility of the basket owner to get the basket full of clothes and into their closet. And if they don't quite get round to it, they know where their clean clothes are without messing up everyone else's.

BornToFolk Wed 13-Mar-13 12:17:56

shock You're supposed to clean the tops of your cupboards? Does anyone ever see them?

Anyway, I thought of a useful tip! Re-pack kit bags (for swimming, football etc) after you've washed the kit, rather than putting it all away in drawers. Ready to go for next time!

bran Wed 13-Mar-13 12:20:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

choccy would you put this top in with the coloured/dark wash then? Because I used to and they always ended up with greyish looking collars. Probably didn't help that I used to wear lots of brightly coloured cardigans for work bath then though.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 13:54:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 13:59:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MrsJamin Wed 13-Mar-13 14:24:48

... Talking of kitchen roll, put some at the bottom of your fridge salad drawer which will absorb additional water the vegetables give off. Change when you buy new veg.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 14:40:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 14:41:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 14:41:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

orderinformation Wed 13-Mar-13 14:52:25

Marking place

fussychica Wed 13-Mar-13 15:33:42

goodjambadjar - at last someone who puts the duvet cover on the way I do - there was a thread the other day where I tried to explain what I do - you've done it sooo much better!

Hi Fussy, my family think I'm crazy for doing it that way. I get this [ look a lot.
I thought I hadn't made any sense...maybe I didn't unless you do it too?

that should have been a confused look

I always put my duvet cover on that way too good

I'm so showing this to people next time they stand by looking puzzled while they WATCH me change a king size on my own!

kelda Wed 13-Mar-13 16:23:41

Toothbrushes in the bathroom upstairs and another set downstairs for brushing after breakfast.

ChicHeroine Wed 13-Mar-13 16:48:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Me too with the duvet covers. I also get the confused look, but it's probably not helped by the fact that I usually start making ghosty noises and chase DD about. grin

My DSIL told me that she folds clothes quickly before she tumble dries them so they need less or no ironing. I now do this with our bedding and it works! It doesn't get rid of all the creases, but there's a hell of a lot less. Not that I ironed it in the first place, but it sure looks nicer now.

I'm going to go try notcitrus' tip about the toilet limescale.

twentythirteen Wed 13-Mar-13 17:05:50

I love the pillow case idea. I (just realised this is hard to explain) I fold the duvet partically, fold the sheet and pillow cases layering on top of the duvet, then fold the duvet over that last turn. Evything's neatly folded and I have a whole set. I don't have kids. I do this so that on those rare occassions that OH changes the bedding he doesn't get weird combinations out.

twentythirteen Wed 13-Mar-13 17:09:04

Clean out the fridge every time you do a big shop and the fridge is at its emptiest. Keeps it from getting gross.

Right, well I went upstairs to try the limescale trick, hopefully that's going well. Got the laundry out the tumble drier, and found the remains of the yellow crayon that DD had lost. <sigh> Any tips for cleaning baked on crayon out of a tumble drier? And out of clothes?

choccyp1g Wed 13-Mar-13 20:51:36

Neverquitesure no, I always wash any thing with a bit of white on all on its own the first time, and if the white part survives, after that I wash them with "mixed brights".
My white wash is only allowed pure whites and bright turquoisey blues.

choccyp1g Wed 13-Mar-13 20:58:42

bran I can't cope with the "all sox the same colour" system, as if the repatriated ones have not been through the same number of washes, they don't quite look the same and anyway, keeping them in true pairs means the toes tend to wear out on both at the same time.

However, I do still have a drawer of odd socks, due to DS losing singles whenever he does PE or does a sleepover. Occasionally I manage to forcea second marriage among them.

duracellbatterybunny Wed 13-Mar-13 21:09:04

Great ideas - here's mine! Get everyone you iron for a shallow basket/tray etc and put their ironing in it. No more sorting ironing out and get them to collect and return their baskets (if they're old enough) No basket, no ironing.

choccyp1g Wed 13-Mar-13 21:11:43

duracellbatterybunnyWed 13-Mar-13 21:09:04

Great ideas - here's mine! Get everyone you iron for a shallow basket/tray etc and put their ironing in it. No more sorting ironing out and get them to collect and return their baskets (if they're old enough) No basket, no ironing.
This, but delete all except the last two words.

MousyMouse Wed 13-Mar-13 21:26:54

don't iron.
gently pull into shape fresh out of the washer and hang to dry. or fold directly from the dryer.
and don't buy clothes that would look horrible without ironing.

MmeLindor Wed 13-Mar-13 21:36:51
Redorwhitejusthaveboth Wed 13-Mar-13 21:56:49

theres an odd brush thing you can buy for the washing up - you put washing up liquid in the handle and it has a scrubby brush on the end....just turn tap on and squoosh brush thing around on pots - voila clean in no time with no soaking!

loose the matching socks thing - embrace the wild and go for odd every time.

baby wipes in every room for a quick wipe down of every surface

best one <published in bella or take a break or woman or something and paid £20 for privelege> tea is picnic tea outside on a rug with paper plates whenever temp allows - no cleaning table or floor or plates (sorry to the trees for paper plate useage)

Nope MmeLindor. I have pegs. DH's are green, DD's blue, mine red. All socks pegged in pairs in the drawers, when you take socks off, peg goes back on, washed dried and put away with peg still on.

Pegs can take a remarkable bashing in the washer/dryer, I think we lose about three or four a month through breakages.

vintagemummy Wed 13-Mar-13 22:04:34

Totally disagree with the inside put duvet thing. having worked in hotels i personally think its a slower way of putting covers on.
If your cooking a big meal its a great idea to have a pot (tall tuperware) with boiling water and washing up liquid and way cloth in.
if you use a knife to chop meat then want to chop veg you can reuse the same one by cleaning it first. saves filling the dishwasher with every Sunday roast. plus if you spill anything you can clean quickly .
works for testing cakes etc or any utensils.
in general clean as you go you'll inevitably save time.wink wink wink

Gomez Wed 13-Mar-13 22:06:00

Really. You guys need to get out more. smile

MousyMouse Wed 13-Mar-13 22:13:22

we do wink

colditz Wed 13-Mar-13 22:26:58

If you suffer clinical depression and the attendant lack of motivation for housework, then it can very quickly become overwhelming.

Poundland sell paper plates, as do a lot of corner shops. Never feel bad about using these.

Nine year olds who get paid for household tasks do three times more than none paid nine year olds.

imip Wed 13-Mar-13 22:46:17

Rather than chopping vegetables while dcs maul each other in the evening, I use the magimix to chop all the veg. All done in a few mins and then into the dishwasher. Added benefit is that dcs do now realise the following vegetables are added to most meals: onions (usually a double lot - ha, ha dd1), pepper and courgette.

imip Wed 13-Mar-13 22:46:47

Do NOT realise...

ThisIsMummyPig Wed 13-Mar-13 23:19:32

Not strictly housework related, but I have a shelf of unwanted presents, and a stash of spare cards, especially of the get well soon, good luck type that tend to creep up on you un-noticed. That way I generally have something suitable for birthdays and raffles without having to rush out and get something last minute.

With birthday cards I actually tend to buy a couple of months worth at once, so they are for specific people. If I can be arsed I write and address them as well.

vintagemummy Wed 13-Mar-13 23:43:07

thisismummy- totally agree. i have a present box for all those lynx/dove gift sets we inevitably get every Christmas!
another great idea is to buy some nice photo frames.
you can then ad pictures of dc Aaron a nice present.

McGilly Wed 13-Mar-13 23:55:51

Don't iron. Fold after tumble drying (we line dry first then 5 minutes on warm).
Declutter. Less stuff really does mean less work.
Don't try to do everything at once - tidy a little, but often.

My house is still a mess - but it could be worse!

Skyebluesapphire Wed 13-Mar-13 23:55:55

ok, so just had a lightbulb moment at the OP with the kitchen roll in lunchbox idea... yes indeed DOH! why didnt I think of that before....

I also bulk buy socks in black, so that i always have a pair.

I have a cupboard full of gifts. i usually stock up each year in the Boots half price sale after Christmas. That way, whenever there is a birthday, or a draw prize needed for something, there is always something to hand without having to dash out shopping.

Stackable plastic tubs are a godsend too, the Really Useful ones - my utility is full of them, one with lightbulbs, one with cleaning stuff, one with spare crockery.cutlery for bbqs, etc etc. They stack well, look neat and tidy and keep the stuff clean inside. I also use them in the loft and everything is so easy to find now

whodunnit Thu 14-Mar-13 00:12:29

I second paper plates for all sandwhich meals - I don't feel guilty when I compare the quantity of cardboard in a few plates compared to the many cardboard boxes we end up with.

Foil paper lining for anything that will be messy in the oven - roasts etc. Someone upthread said that aluminium foil is bad for your health - tell me more. I thought the link with alzheimers was disproven. Anyone know?

Never leave a room emptyhanded.

20 thing fling with kids to put away 20 things in a minute in their room - in exchange for all kinds of favours, often techno related.

Throw away 10 things while the kettle is boiling for tea.

babywipes for cleaning most things - good for kiddy-dusting (by them,not of them), quick wipes round the bathroom while supervising dd brushing teeth.

excess water from glasses in bedrooms bathrooms and dining room onto pot plants

huge washing dump following a big laundry session - it all goes ina pile in the middle of the room and everyone has to pull out what is theirs and put it away. Nothing to be left at the end.


newspaper in bottom of budgie cage - just roll it up and throw away - no scrubbing hardened poo off the bottom any more.

grouping things together - breadbin, toaster, jam etc.

don't but clothes that will need ironing - I never get round to it and so they won't get worn - the non-iron clothes are the ones that feature regularly in my outfits -the ones that need ironing lie unloved at the back until I become really desperate.

20 pairs of socks the same - definately - each person to have their own style/ pattern - too much black sock confusion in my house with four of us wearing them. I now do funky stripes.

sorry this is so long........

whodunnit Thu 14-Mar-13 00:14:58

Baby wipes & hairbrush in car for school run emergencies. Babywipes are also good for in-car valet whilst waiting for dc's to leave their various clubs.

whodunnit Thu 14-Mar-13 00:16:45

Don't sort cutlery - just tip it all into the drawer. pull out what you need - easy peasy.

McGilly Thu 14-Mar-13 00:20:30

Lower your standards.
Learn to pick up small toys with your toes.

whodunnit Thu 14-Mar-13 00:22:02

and push a baby wipe round the lino with your foot when sat at the table.

WD40 for crayon removal thanks to Mnetter who suggested that one.

When folding laundry put clothes in piles that reflect each drawer.

Also put all folded clothes into one of those large plastic checked laundry bags or a basket to carry to correct room, saves several trips.

Save your old toothbrushes, useful for cleaning in small places.

JengaBlock Thu 14-Mar-13 02:29:07

Marking place!

Sokmonsta Thu 14-Mar-13 05:48:31

Keep a small toiletry bag fully stocked and one set of clean underwear & a tshirt in overnight bags - very useful for emergency dashes to hospital/unexpected overnight stays. Grab bag and go. Even handy if you're out when emergency beckons as you just have to tell someone where the bag is.

I love the duvet set in pillowcase idea.

Magic eraser is easier than repainting a wall/door/skirting to get rid of marks.

Old rubber gloves can be cut up to make good rubber bands (thanks mum).

ZuleikaD Thu 14-Mar-13 06:24:37

YY to duvet set in pillowcase, also to the inside-out duvet-cover corner-grab being superquick and easy. I used to work in a chalet with 18 rooms to change every Saturday. Oh, and if you have a stairwell, do the shaking out over that - gravity helps a lot!

Also YY to the multiple pairs of socks the same - in fact that was a MN tip for me when people were talking about ways to make parenting several children easier. Now I have seven pairs of socks in each size, so blue ones are DD's, striped ones are DS's etc, black ones are DH's, handknit ones are mine grin.

Don't iron, don't sweep and get a vacuum cleaner that's good with hard floors (like a Sebo). Not a Dyson, an engineer who works there told me why Dyson employees never buy Dysons.

skratta Thu 14-Mar-13 06:55:30

Marking place!

BalloonSlayer Thu 14-Mar-13 06:56:14

Get a couple of very cheap 7" cake tins (most cake tins are 8") from ASDA or similar and then get some of these - you can get them in Sainsburys as well.

Cakes rise massively, have a much better look to them and don't stick to the tin so there is practically no washing up. (I have just noticed that Lakeland reviewers are moaning that they give your cake ridged sides - but I think that looks nice!)

I have to make dairy free cakes and I can't tell you how much better they are due to this.

OrangeLily Thu 14-Mar-13 07:06:00

Can anyone help? Iv tried the duvet in pillowcase thing but the bedding ends up all creased and I can never fold it right to fit. Plus we iron bedding (yes yes I know mumsnet fail but it's soooo lush to get in to a clean white ironed bed) so I don't want to risk messing up my lovely sheets.

Arithmeticulous Thu 14-Mar-13 07:25:03

We've gone further than that - all the kiss have the same school socks: same brand same size. Then I just distribute them evenly.

RobotHamster Thu 14-Mar-13 07:33:01

Yes, why is it bad to use aluminum for cooking *bonsoir? I batch meals in those foil trays for freezing.

RobotHamster Thu 14-Mar-13 07:34:56

OrangeLily - just fold your duvet cover as you would normally, but then tuck the pillow cases and sheets inside it. Still keeps it all together but you don't have to shove it all in a pillow case.

Smudging Thu 14-Mar-13 07:46:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

givemeaclue Thu 14-Mar-13 07:49:22

Re the yoghurty lunch box, I put an extra sandwich bag in for dds to put their yoghurt pot in, no mess in lunch box!

abbyfromoz Thu 14-Mar-13 09:00:37

My washing machine has a cycle for wool/delicates... I actually tempted fate one day and put my cashmere in on a COLD wash... And what do you know? It's fine! So now i wear my nice delicates (dry cleaning bill put me off before!) ok so maybe not that much of a revelation to some people but i was shock
Also would you believe i have only JUST in the past year bought laundry bags for washing delicates? (bras etc)....
I also keep nappies and wipes in each room and have a box of art/gift wrap/card supplies....
The 3 laundry basket idea would never work for us as DH would not adhere to the rules...

Trills Thu 14-Mar-13 09:08:33

Dry clean only -> handwash it
Handwash only -> most gentle cycle of your washing machine

Loulousmummy Thu 14-Mar-13 09:43:47

After taking your pillowcase of bedding and putting it on the bed, give it a quick iron AFTER you've put it on the bed.

happybubblebrain Thu 14-Mar-13 09:47:20

I learnt that it's much better to own about 15 pairs of scissors, keep some in the kitchen, some in the office, some with crafts, some the with kid's crafts etc. That way you are never looking for a pair.

And have a place for everything, store like with like.

BeCool Thu 14-Mar-13 10:00:08

IKEA blue bags make great laundry 'baskets' and fold up tiny to tuck away when not in use.

Lampfamm Thu 14-Mar-13 10:06:22

I have always try to do more than one thing at a time - hoover as you brush your teeth, clean the bathroom as you shower sort of thing. Also, if you do you're washing-up in a bowl, pour the waste water down the loo. Saves gunking up a sink-strainer and it acts like a flush, saving water.

Lampfamm Thu 14-Mar-13 10:11:07

Oh, also bf baby and mumsnetting, but the latter comes off worse it seems!

starfishmummy Thu 14-Mar-13 10:24:13

BeCool - you have laundry bags that are not in use??

" any item of clothing with white on it (excluding polyester trims) should be washed with the white wash, since the colours are obviously colour-fast and washing it with the darks will discolour the white bits."

No! It wasn't obvious to me, thank you.

Am pmsl at shave your dog!

ThatBintAgain Thu 14-Mar-13 10:28:00

Oh god, I am a domestic slattern and have never had a lightbulb moment. I am here to steal all of yours. grin

esselle Thu 14-Mar-13 10:35:19

Cover the shelves in the fridge with cling film (if they are glass).

Then if anything tips over or spills in the fridge just peel off and replace.

Much easier than removing shelves and scrubbing them.

Especially good for those spills that you don't notice immediately.

redrubyshoes Thu 14-Mar-13 10:53:31

Pour cheap own brand Coke down the loo last thing at night to soak. Leaves it sparkling.

Put a soluble aspirin in your white laundry wash for a really white finish.

Ulysses Thu 14-Mar-13 10:58:20

My domestic goddess mantra, which I found on here is, "don't put down, put away". I do have be in the zone though.

Rockchick1984 Thu 14-Mar-13 11:12:53

Clean the bathroom while toddler is in the bath; easiest way I've found and means I know he's not trying to lick touch the loo while it's got bleach in it!

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 11:17:08

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

jaywall Thu 14-Mar-13 11:38:04

Who stores meat in tinfoil in the freezer?
Run it under the tap for a few seconds when you take it out for the foil to peel straight off.

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 11:50:01

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

starfishmummy Thu 14-Mar-13 11:51:37

So I decided to do the "throw 10 things away while the kettle boils" tip.

An hour and a half later I still haven't had my coffee but have tidied a corner of the dining room and one of my kitchen cupboards. I have thrown more than ten things away.

Am off to make a coffee now. Kettle boiled while I posted this so I should get round to making this one!

LyonsDemesne Thu 14-Mar-13 11:52:21

When you have veg heading for the bin - take five minutes to chop it up and freeze it. Then you can add these to any meals you are making straight from frozen as they will defrost very quickly.

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 11:54:16

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Skyebluesapphire Thu 14-Mar-13 12:08:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thumbwitch Thu 14-Mar-13 12:21:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

LyonsDemesne Thu 14-Mar-13 12:23:48

I was given the tip when you have sick children or are toilet training them during the night. Make the bed up as follows.
Plastic bag/sheet and then the cotton sheet
and then repeat. So you will have two plastic bags/sheets and two cotton sheets made up like a sandwich filling.
This means if they are ill or wet the bed in the night you only have to pull off the top sheet and plastic underneath and voila you have a clean bed.

What are weevils?!

Napsalot Thu 14-Mar-13 12:26:48

My tip relates to duvets. Zip or button up the duvet cover before putting in the wash and dryer. This stops random socks etc getting caught up and bunching up inside.

Thumbwitch Thu 14-Mar-13 12:31:10

Flour weevils are tiny beetles. for more info - it's quite edifying!

Lancelottie Thu 14-Mar-13 12:31:37

Am I the only person you would tip themselves down the stairwell if I tried shaking our bloody huge duvet over it?

Mind you, I am slightly shorter than the duvet is wide...

My tip for double duvets: get someone bigger to do it.

Miggsie Thu 14-Mar-13 12:33:36

That you can clean almost anything with either vinegar or bicarbonate of soda and you can buy bicarb by the bucketful online then put some in a jam jar for easy access. Saved me a fortune - plus very little space taken up by cleaning prodcuts!

That you can make handcream at a fraction of the price of buying it.

Drying laundry in a room with a dehumidifier on is very very quick and massively cheaper than a tumble dryer. Also avoids all condensation problems.

Making bread is easy and cheap and is much better than anything you buy. I would put the breadmaker's pizza dough option as the best thing for quick kids meals ever.

zaphod Thu 14-Mar-13 12:34:13

Or just pop it in the pillow case and wash.

OhMyNoReally Thu 14-Mar-13 12:37:30

Not a doh moment but works amazingly. Copper stains in an old cast iron bath, you can remove them with a pumice stone and running water. It won't scratch the bath and the stain will come out.

Lancelottie Thu 14-Mar-13 12:37:59

Miggsie -- any recommendations for a dehumidifier? Sound good!

gollygosh123 Thu 14-Mar-13 12:41:15

Make hand cream?

woozlebear Thu 14-Mar-13 12:51:55

I've actually done this all my life and while I think it's obvious, most people who know me think it's a bit strange...

I wash everything inside out (less fading and bobbling), dry it inside out and fold and store it inside out until I wear it. I know at a glance what's clean and what's been worn once. I can't imagine how you could cope doing it any other way. But most people think it's odd. DH has been converted to the washing inside out, but then turns it the right way out before putting in cupboard hmm.

woozlebear Thu 14-Mar-13 13:00:37

Ooh I have another one - keep odds and ends (spare shelf brackets, light bulbs, radiator keys, all that sort of stuff) specific to each room in that room, rather than in a central odds-and-ends drawer.

Makes things easier to find and seems to take up less room overall. Spare lightbulbs and candles and shelf brackets for instance easily squeeze into a corner of a sitting room cupboard, other lightbulbs go in bedside table drawers etc. Random bits for mending dishwasher go under kitchen sink in cleaning box. No special storage space required. There'll always be some truly random bits that you want in one place, but we got our single collection of odds and ends down from one entire cupboard and drawer down to a small shoebox that way.

MrsPennyapple Thu 14-Mar-13 13:04:00

I used to store all clothes inside out when I had cats. One was black and one was white, so whatever they slept on showed cat hairs. (Crappy cupboards didn't close properly.) Once I turned my clothes the right way out, no cat hairs on show!

piemistress Thu 14-Mar-13 13:05:36

Marking place !

Miggsie Thu 14-Mar-13 13:07:36

Dehumidifier - we bought the one off Amazon iwth the best write ups!

LoopDeLoops Thu 14-Mar-13 13:18:05

Brown paper bags from grocer for compost, throw whole bag in.

woozlebear Thu 14-Mar-13 13:23:56

And another - and this is ridiculously obvious.

DH and I were getting really fed up with our daily what shall we have for dinner? I dunno, what do you want, I dunno either, what about blah, oh, we haven't got x, I'll pop to the shop etc etc. Sat down, wrote a 3 week menu and now do a 3 weekly online shop supplemented by a once a week trip for fruit and veg.

Truly revolutionary. Can't believe how long we spent shopping before!

BonzoDooDah Thu 14-Mar-13 13:25:15

fab ideas here. I discovered cutting pizza with a pair of scissors. is brilliant - the toppings don't fall off / drag across the pizza and you can cut through the crust really easily.

Pawan Thu 14-Mar-13 13:38:05

@ Lancelottie

I second the dehumidifier for drying laundry quickly and cheaply (and it takes up less space than tumble drier, and can be popped in a cupboard when not in use - ours is about the size of a rucksack). We looked at lots of different reviews before getting an "e-bac" one (recommended by which?) - slightly more costly than some of the others, but we've been really pleased with it.

Lancelottie Thu 14-Mar-13 13:50:16

permanently cold damp house here, and no room for a tumble drier even if DS wouldn't bang on about killing the planet every time we used one.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

PutThatDownNow Thu 14-Mar-13 14:07:03

Regarding the one about scooping water out of the loo before using limescale remover - no need to 'scoop'. If you pump the loo brush up and down in the water near the outlet at the back of your loo, water will go be sent round the u-bend, so emptier loo with no scooping. (Assuming you have a loo brush, I know this is controversial)

nightcap Thu 14-Mar-13 14:18:25

woozlebear, i love the sound of your three week menu, how did you get organised enough to do it though? i've tried before but whenever i sit to make the list my mind goes blank and i can only think of spinach pasta.

this might be the best mn thread i've ever seen. and i'm so sad i might just print off the whole thing and keep it for reference. my only tip to share is one that i think i nicked off mn anyway - bicarbonate of soda made into a paste and applied with a toothbrush gets the black mouldy stuff off the sealant around your bath! even shifts most of the stuff that looks like it's started to eat into it.

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 14:35:31

Regarding the pizza topping coming off when slicing...I have discovered that if you let the pizza "rest" for two minutes once out of the oven before slicing it cuts beautifully without the topping dragging off! Whenever I cut mine piping hot, topping disappears! hmm

Squinkie Thu 14-Mar-13 14:44:19

Open bags of peas etc by snipping about two inches down the top middle of bag then to close just tie the two bits together- stops pea explosion in freezer.

Make up cot with as many layers of bedding as you have ie waterproof sheet then sheet then repeat. If baby is sick or has leaky nappy in the night you just take off top layer to find clean bedding underneath.

Love scissor pizza idea. I now use scissors to cut up everything- baby food, sandwiches.

happynappies Thu 14-Mar-13 14:46:46

Have colour-coded towels for each member of the family. Have e.g. two large towels, and two/three small towels for everyone, in 'their' colour, and if you have a baby, instead of buying the cuddly wuddly baby towels, treat them to a set of boldly coloured 'normal' towels. That way you will always know whose is whose, and the children know too.

When people buy you talcum powder and you don't use it, keep it in the car - it is really useful for getting sand off children's feet and legs.

Keep change in a small purse somewhere out of sight in the car - you'll never need to hunt for change for parking (but you do need to keep it topped up).

Buy a years' worth of birthday cards for everyone from somewhere online/someone who sells them locally/or from your chosen shop, and if you don't want to write them, put a post it note on each one with the name of the person. Slot them into an A4 folder with 12 plastic pockets in, then for each month you can tackle the birthday cards without stress.

Keep a list (or spreadsheet?!?!) of what you've bought other people's children as presents and what they buy for yours, so you can keep track and not duplicate, and also remember from what your dc received good ideas to buy for other people, at specific ages.

pompompom Thu 14-Mar-13 14:49:40

Make up cot with as many layers of bedding as you have ie waterproof sheet then sheet then repeat. If baby is sick or has leaky nappy in the night you just take off top layer to find clean bedding underneath.

This one is SO useful when they're not reliably dry at night.

zipzap Thu 14-Mar-13 14:54:05

re the pizza cutting with a scissors - I always cut mine with a scissors before it goes in the oven and then just push it back together on the baking sheet.

When it's ready you can just lift the slices up - much easier even than cutting it up with a scissors when it comes out. Occasionally you need to snip the odd bit of cheese that stretches between two slices but very rarely.

I also cut croissant before they go in the oven to warm rather than afterwards. unfortunately they are a very rare treat these days [trying to be healthy smiley]

pompompom Thu 14-Mar-13 15:05:55

All of you that use scissors to cut meat etc - Ones that separate like these are good, so you can clean them properly - otherwise chicken gunk and other horrible things can accumulate around the hinge.

BornToFolk Thu 14-Mar-13 15:17:01

I love using scissors in the kitchen. They are great for chopping small slippy things like sun dried tomatoes or dried apricots, snipping herbs or green beans, as well as cutting up pizza of course!

Maebe Thu 14-Mar-13 15:30:19

Notcitrus - thank you!!!!! Have the world's worst limescaled toilet, I'm going to try that tonight.

It's so bad that when DFiL looked after DD for a few hours in our house the other day, he must have spent the whole of her naptime scrubbing that loo, he obviously thinks we are complete slatterns... blush

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 15:34:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pompompom Thu 14-Mar-13 15:37:47

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BeCool Thu 14-Mar-13 15:38:58

STARFISH only very briefly once or twice a year grin

What I ment was not the laundry basket where you put dirty clothes, but the laundry basket you put wet cleaned clothes in out of machine, to hang up. (I grew up in a far off land where the sun shone, and laundry dried in a sunny breeze in a matter of minutes - now I live in a land of drying clothes on a rack in the front room - boo hoo)

Squinkie Thu 14-Mar-13 15:42:29

Also Ikea big bath mats are great when the dreaded sick bug strikes to protect children's bedroom carpet or in reflux baby's bedroom.

I've always thought antenatal classes could do with an extra session.. How to clear up sick and other useful stuff nobody tells you.

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AWimbaWay Thu 14-Mar-13 16:23:04

Have an old spray bottle filled with a quarter washing up liquid then topped up with water, great for cleaning windows, shower doors, kitchen surfaces etc. Just spray then wipe with microfibre cloth.

Use clothes pegs to seal up frozen vegetables.

Chop and freeze on the turn fruit (strawberries, mango, melon) then throw in the blender with a banana and some fruit juice for an easy smoothie. Or make the smoothie before freezing the fruit and make smoothie ice lollies.

AWimbaWay Thu 14-Mar-13 16:25:06

Use (then wash and re-use) disposable cutlery in children's packed lunches, that way you don't mind so much when they lose it.

AWimbaWay Thu 14-Mar-13 16:27:50

Have an old jam jar next to the oven to pour any oil / fat into, saves clogging up the drains.

TheDipDapOfDestiny Thu 14-Mar-13 16:29:10

Oooo Chigley, that is genius. I feel like I spend my life faffing about putting away the cutlery in my dishwasher. You have just changed my life!

Only clean the bathroom when it is steamy. Half a job.

Do all messy work in the kitchen on the sirface above the dishwasher. Flour, slicing bread, adding icing sugar to stuff etc etc. Then just open the door of the dishwasher and sweep all the those small bits in with your hand. Much easier than trying to gather and remove yo a bin.


Hands up if you spend ages filing all your bills/correspondence into categories? Gas/electricity /water/mobiles/car insurance and on and on and on??

How often do you need to retrieve a piece of paper from this perfect onerous filing? Rarely, huh?

Don't sort it, then.

I shove all my filing from one calender year into a box file. If, and I stress, if I need to look for a particular thing, yes it may take slightly longer to flick through a big pile to find a July 2012 Vodafone bill, (but will be in the middle, obvis) but that time is WAY WAY WAY less than spending time filing it properly in the first place. Honestly.

Perhaps Tax documents need to be excluded from this and filed separately, but, meh, the other guff, just shove in a box a d then bag it up at th he end of the year.

Try it.

You will like it.

to roll out dough: put a piece of clingfilm on your work surface, put dough on top, cover with another piece of clingfilm and roll out.

Thank you, BOoks for Cooks for saving me from throwing sticky dough in the bin and covering all surfaces in the kitchen and myself with flour.

TheDipDapOfDestiny Thu 14-Mar-13 16:58:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDipDapOfDestiny Thu 14-Mar-13 16:59:15

Dehumidifier recommenders.....

Can I ask more about the dehumidifier thing? Do you just put your clothes on a rack and then turn on a machine right next to the clothes? How long does it take to dry them out? Are they still nice and soft, or do they go a bit 'crispy'?

Redundant that works brilliantly for pizza dough in particular, if I try and stretch it with my hands I always make a hole in it that I have to patch.

I now have the very thin cutting "boards" from IKEA - different colours for different foodstuffs - and I use two of those. No clingfilm to throw out, just a quick wash and I'm done with them.

When cutting a pattern into dough (that's going to be bread) dust it with flour first. The knife doesn't stick and you get nice clean lines. (OK it doesn't really save time but it looks pretty!)

To clean the microwave, put a mug of hot water in at full heat for 5-10 mins (make sure it doesn't boil dry though). All gunk will wipe off in 30 secs.

TheDipDapOfDestiny Thu 14-Mar-13 17:02:46

My top tips are never iron anything. The hours I have wasted. Then a few years ago I just folded stuff out of the tumble drier instead. No difference. Or nothing that doesn't drop out once you start wearing it.

Also, I don't quite get the duvet in a pillow case thing, because I go for a much simpler option. Have one set of bedding per bed. Wash, dry and replace on same day. Done.

Have a few spare white single sheets for puking children.

NightLark Thu 14-Mar-13 17:11:35

Two I got from MN, both excellent.

1. The dishmatic brush mentioned upthread for doing pans - fill the hollow handle with cleaning fluid instead, use it to clean the sink / bath etc. Scrubbed in no time at all. Keep in the bathroom cleaning kit. Great for giving the toothpasty sink a once over while the kids are in the bath.

2. For cleaning the shower (always a wet, spray-y job I wanted to avoid) - hang the cloth and the cleaning spray over the top of the shower door. Always. When you finish your shower, a quick spray with the handily-available cleaner on the hot steamy door and tiles, then wipe with the cloth, then get out of the shower. Job done, every time. No more grimy shower screen here

RIZZ0 Thu 14-Mar-13 17:15:23

-Keep every rubber band you come across (and the postman drops on your doorstep) in a pot or drawer in the kitchen. Use them to seal freezer bag of veg etc and pasta bags etc when the reservable sticker doesn't work.

-Buy bread bags to keep loaves fresher longer.

-If you're having a garden party or barbecue (it will come again, I promise), fill small plastic bottles which you have saved, with water and freeze them. They replace ice in the booze bucket and when they're melted your guests can drink them to soak up the booze.

-Keep nail polish in the fridge to keep it runny.

-Re-use weaning pots as raisin pots, decanting from a big bag, cheaper than buying individual little cartons.

-Ecover lime scale remover is really good and Eco friendly, obv!

-Frozen mash is a great time saver. Ocado has potatoes, milk and seasoning only and is cheap.

- kiddies flasks are great for using up leftovers for warm school packed lunches.

-Hairspray eats biro off work and school shirts.

-Let kids choose a mix of cereal each week for the cereal dispenser, keeps them interested. A small sprinkling of exciting cereal through otherwise mostly worthy cereal seems to work well.
I leave it on the table next to the fruit bowl and both are the only thing they can eat without asking. Stops them asking for a biscuit just as dinner is cooking.

I hate cleaning the shower - so I'll bear that one in mind!

RIZZ0 Thu 14-Mar-13 17:42:05

Also lemonade for cut flowers instead of water if you don't have a food sachet. Keeps them fresher longer and no slimy stalks.

RIZZ0 Thu 14-Mar-13 17:46:53

And glass shower panels - keep a squeegee in the shower. Quick wipe down after a shower and I never have to use any cleaning products.

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 17:47:34

OnTheBottom your microwave tip really works!!! grin I just road tested it, and now my microwave is all shiny with little effort! I have come across this top before but it said 3 minutes and it never worked so seems like it's the 10 minute tip that does it, thank you!

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 17:49:27

Double line your bin so if you get a leaky bin bag, you don't have to actually clean the bin out IYKWIM??? Plus stops the bin from getting stinky too! grin

sprout44 Thu 14-Mar-13 17:56:34

Fill you kitchen silk with water and a good dash of Milton overnight, it makes it bright and sparkly the next morning, no scrubbing and gets rid of all the tea stains, also soak cups and spoons with tea stains.
Vinegar is still my best tool, for shower doors and also soak the shower head in a bag filled with vinegar and its getting rid of all the limescale, its a great tip.

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 18:02:33

Spout, how long do you soak the shower head for? Does it damage the finish?

Iwantmybed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:07:07

I do the 3 basket laundry system and use a dehumidifier to dry. I do most of these, duvet set in pillowcase, make bed using inside out duvet. Fill sink during cooking and wash as I go. Clean kitchen whilst kettle boils. Cutlery dishwasher drawer thing comes out to sort on kitchen top. Use old sponge and old shampoo to clean down shower quickly before you get out. I've also used Car wash with wax for the shower to stop water marks.

Iwantmybed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:11:25

Cut all meat with scissors not a knife.

Dip dap - washing is not crispy with dehumidifier. We use it in the bathroom after a shower then for washing. Its reduced condensation as we no longer have it hanging on radiators all over the house. The house is warmer too.

reastie Thu 14-Mar-13 18:19:32

Great thread, marking place <gets out notebook to make notes>

zaphod Thu 14-Mar-13 18:23:29

That's a genius solution to stinky bin problem. Yay!

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:23:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZuleikaD Thu 14-Mar-13 18:23:36

I'm going away to test the sink/cups + Milton tip right now!

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:35:41

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:38:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

StoicButStressed Thu 14-Mar-13 18:39:17

Bold fail!

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 19:05:18

Zap, I don't think anyone has ever used the word "genius" in conjunction with me, lol! I like it, even if it is just to solve stinky bins! wink

lolalotta Thu 14-Mar-13 19:06:46

Stoic, going to try the light pull idea!! grin

NeverKnowinglyUnderstood Thu 14-Mar-13 19:07:14

if you have a little one who is going through getting dry at night.. turn the matress head to tow and put child back in bed and deal with the sheet etc in the morning.
Save takeaway tubs.
I have one with birthday candles
one with plasters
one with rubber bands
sewing kit

etc.. these are all labeled on front and top and in a cupboard in the kitchen.. v v easy to use.

have a kids cupboard in the kitchen. put in it cereals, plastic cups, bowls and plates.

have it in a low cupboard then the kids can get their breakfast ready themselves.

Open the dishwasher before you sit down for dinner, when the kids have finished get them to put their own plate and cutlery straight into the dishwasher, so all you have to do is close the door and voila dinner is cleared up

Sunnymeg Thu 14-Mar-13 19:15:00

Do a specific shop for the freezer, every four to six weeks. Stick the receipt (or a copy) on the freezer and mark items off when they are removed. That way you always know what is in there.
Likewise, if you freeze any batches of cooking write the details down and cross off as you use.

I find it easier to plan meals doing this, and I'm sure it helps me to save money as I don't end up popping the odd thing in my shopping trolley and then finding I already have three in the freezer!!

I also do the receipt thing in the kitchen, one large shop a month and then just picking up the odd thing when I need it.

CaveyLovesPendleton Thu 14-Mar-13 19:49:49
MrsJamin Thu 14-Mar-13 20:44:23

Dehumidifier tip is good. Another tip for managing washing without a tumble drier in your house is to do 3 loads of washing, then take it in your largest suitcase to the local laundrette- their driers take about 2.5 loads of my washing machine. 45 mins, £3, and its all done - only leaving non-tumble-dryable things on the drying rack with the dehumidifier. I do this once a week in winter and it saves my sanity - we literally do not have the space to dry a week's worth of clothes inside.

MrsHoarder Thu 14-Mar-13 20:51:36

Keep a shopping list on the go. Anything you run out of add to the list so you don't have to sts about what's needed. And have a spare pack if everything with a long date/non food.

Roll tights up to stop them mating in the g back of the drawer.

And yy to ikea blue bags for washing. They are prefect, especially if you need to carry washing and baby.

lovelyredwine Thu 14-Mar-13 20:55:45

Add cheap porridge oats to liquid fat after roasting etc until all soaked in (if you aren't keeping for next roast potatoes) and put out for birds- they love it.

BubblegumPie Thu 14-Mar-13 21:10:50

I've just tried the bicarb/water paste on grotty sealant. It has got some of it but the worst offending bits are still there sad Anyone know why this is or what I can do about it?

frazzledbutcalm Thu 14-Mar-13 21:12:56

bubblegum Needs cutting out and replacing sad

multitaskmama Thu 14-Mar-13 21:16:07

I make a lot of curries and use garlic and ginger paste and liquidised tin tomatoes. Its cheap and saves time.

Another thing I do is get the kids to help. I hate them playing console games but they are allowed Fri Sat Sun for one hour. I ask them to tidy up and vacuum and within 15 mins the house is immaculate. Toys in their rigthful place, clean house, laundry put away. Then they can play their game. I regularly place my kids socks and udnerwear on their bed and they roll up into matched balls and put away.

BubblegumPie Thu 14-Mar-13 21:20:43

Oh noooo! I wish I'd known the tip before it got so bad!!


vix206 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:23:46

Loving this thread.

Here's my tiny contribution. Always keep a small container (old butter tub, takeaway container etc) by your sink to put those bits of food/rubbish that block up your sink. I have to do this as our sink is in a utility area separate to the main kitchen and 10 ft away from the main bin! I empty it every day and it saves lots of drippy trips to and fro the kitchen bin.

Another bin one - when changing the bag, put 3-4 spares under the one in use.

Means you never put off emptying the bin because you don't have a fresh bin liner to hand. Never thought of the double liner though - going to do it from now on lola!

I find thick domestos type bleach on the kitchen sink (if it is stainless steel) swished round with the dish brush, and left for 5 mins and then rinsed brings it up lovely. Also the dish brush has been bleached so you know it is clean.

3littlefrogs Thu 14-Mar-13 21:31:34

Not a housework tip, but useful in very cold weather.

Invest in a couple of old fashioned hot water bottles.

If you get up in the morning and it is icy outside, get up and dressed, boil the kettle, fill the hot water bottles, and nip out and place one on the dashboard of your car and the other on the shelf under the rear windscreen.

Come back in, make a cup of tea, finish getting ready for work.

When you go back out to your car, the heat from the hot water bottles will have melted the ice on the windows and you won't have to scrape them.

Don't forget to remove the HWBs from the dashboard/rear shelf before you drive off though. I put one at my back to keep me warm until the car heater kicks in.

IsThatTrue Thu 14-Mar-13 21:34:57

Marking place.

I think all mine have been said already tbh.

Cheap vinegar in the kettle overnight to descale, pour back into the bottle in the morning, can be used 5 or so times. Rinse a few times before use.

There, that's my lot hmm

wendybird77 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:41:58

I had a D'oh moment today about bin liners. I've always put a few in the bottom under the liner so there is one ready to go. This only works until you run out of liners and DH is too lazy to put new in if it isn't right there. It has just occurred to me to keep a roll of bin liners in the rooms with bins. No more manky bathroom bins to wash out because no one has bothered to put in a bin liner. Or at least, far less frequent manky unlined bins.

pixi2 Thu 14-Mar-13 21:43:16

Line the bottom of your oven with tinfoil or a cheap baking tray. It will catch all the spills. Throw away and replace. You will never have to clean the bottom of the oven again.

Siriusstar Thu 14-Mar-13 21:54:27

I'm guessing that the vinegar everyone uses is white? Does malt work as well?

My tip is to give children ice lollies with a beaker so they can put the lolly in it if they need to put it down, don't want it anymore or need to catch the drips when they've nearly finished. Also means the sticky stick doesn't get anything else sticky.

Stopputtingitoff Thu 14-Mar-13 21:55:00

I've started putting the washing up brush / sponge in the top rack of the dishwasher to clean them instead of soaking in bleach. Hopefully the heat and detergent will kill the bugs.

squishee Thu 14-Mar-13 21:57:02

Oven roasting bags. You get a lovely roast dinner (browned on top and everything), zero fat splashes and an oven that stays clean.
I get catering packs of 100 bags on eBay. Well worth it.

BramblyHedge Thu 14-Mar-13 21:59:00

Lemon juice to get rid of stains on the kitchen counter

CheapBread Thu 14-Mar-13 22:09:25

stoic is on fire with these tips!

The only tip I can add (I already do many mentioned) is when making tea and toast, use the back of the warm spoon you made the tea with to scoop and spread the rock hard butter. Saves using another utensil. ^ Don't judge.^

Still pmsl about the 'wiping floor with babywipe and foot whilst sat at the table' tip.

IsThatTrue Thu 14-Mar-13 22:21:14

siriusstar I use malt in the kettle asda smart price smile

Startail Thu 14-Mar-13 22:26:32

Scissor and hair brush saturation is essential, weevils are evil bastards you get for being to lazy to bake.

Startail Thu 14-Mar-13 22:27:32

My computer is possessed I didn't press post????

camtt Thu 14-Mar-13 22:27:57

my top tip - Tubtrugs - those brightly coloured flexible baskets - I have four of them and use them to cart things around the house to their rightful homes, especially useful between upstairs and downstairs, good for laundry, recycling,garden, toys random stuff and I like the colours and they stack easily if not in use.

ozymandiusking Thu 14-Mar-13 22:31:30

We have a "useful box" originally from Play School if I remember right.
Sellotape, pritt glue, elastic bands, paper clips, pens, pencils, pencil sharpner,
stapler, staple remover, post it notes. probably other things as well but can't remember. All kept in an icecream box with a lid. Not too much, you can always replenish form your main store, but it's small enough to keep handy.

ItsOkayItsJustMyBreath Thu 14-Mar-13 22:34:00

A couple of tips from my DB's time as a student:

Don't bin junk mail, fliers make perfectly acceptable plates and provides something to read whilst waiting for your food to digest.

Cling film over plates reduces the need for washing up when the junk mail has all been used.

And that endeth the lesson wink

I never ate there

MrsPennyapple Thu 14-Mar-13 22:50:16

Sorry to be Captain Bringdown, but be really careful microwaving water for a long time, it can be really dangerous as it gets so hot, so quickly that the bubbles can't form and it splashes everywhere when you go to move it.

PigletJohn Thu 14-Mar-13 23:00:47


Are specially made with a tiny plastic egg a couple of inches below the switch. It unscrews so you can take all but the first two inches of the cord off and wash it, or cut it to the length you prefer, or replace with a new bit of nylon cord should you so desire.

If it matters to you, you can keep a few spare cords in a gay assortment of colours and textures a drawer.

Alicadabra Thu 14-Mar-13 23:04:38

I've spent years trying to tap and push unwilling ice cubes out of a tray, before a friend pointed out that you should twist the tray as if wringing a wet cloth, not bend it from end-to-end. I felt a right idiot. Please reassure me that I'm not the only one to have done this.

Someone needs to compile all of these into a book!

216 posts and no one has mentioned cling film tabs.


Mrscupcake23 Thu 14-Mar-13 23:35:55

Cling film tags??????????????? Go on then spill the beans.

Thumbwitch Fri 15-Mar-13 00:07:00

YY, in the ends of the clingfilm boxes there are push-in tags to hold the roll in place while you pull the clingfilm out. smile
They might be on some silver foil boxes as well but they weren't on Tesco's own.

Monty27 Fri 15-Mar-13 00:51:54

Cling film along the top of your kitchen cupboards for those of us you saddos that clean them grin

McGilly Fri 15-Mar-13 01:20:54

Baby wipes remove almost every mark. In fact they are so strong I would never use them on an actual baby. But everything else, yes.

If you are buying a high chair, always get the famous ikea moulded plastic cheapie. After dinner put baby in the bath, then later the chair (minus legs) gets a bath too. Spotless in seconds And ready for the next onslaught.

CuriousMama Fri 15-Mar-13 01:47:49

For bins, put the roll of bin bags in the bottom, then put a bin bag in the bin. When you empty the bin your bags are there ready to use.

I use an old spray bottle to spot clean carpets and rugs. It has carpet cleaner made up with water.

MechanicalTheatre Fri 15-Mar-13 02:05:48

I like Lyon's tip about freezing veg, I'm forever chucking stuff out and it makes me sad and cross.

Maybe this is totally obvious but I didn't figure it out til very recently. Don't freeze meet in the pack it comes in - decant it (if one does indeed decant meat) into a freezer bag. Loads more room in your freezer. And if you forget to label it, loads of fun guessing what's for tea.

HansieMom Fri 15-Mar-13 02:12:22

Instead of laundry baskets that you have to pick up and carry, I have some that are taller and have handles built in, and you can just drag them behind you.

Laundry tabs (liquid encased in film) are a lot quicker to use than powder or liquid. You just toss one in.

Hairspray is excellent for removing biro from leather - the cheaper the spray the better it works.

Just give the offending marks a quick blast and gently rub/wipe off with a cloth.

Lavenderhoney Fri 15-Mar-13 05:21:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ZuleikaD Fri 15-Mar-13 06:08:32

Tried the Milton-in-the-sink idea for my sink and tannin-y cups but I think they must have been too far gone. Still, a good session with a scourer this morning has sorted them.

Put the washing-up brush (and any other dishcloths, sponges, scourers etc) through the washing machine occasionally.

Have you tried bleach on the grotty sealant? If that doesn't work then yes, it needs cutting out and replacing.

I turn end-of-life veg into soup and then freeze it.

Stoic, can I ask what egg boiler you've got? Too many mixed reviews on t'internet to choose!

Turnipsoup Fri 15-Mar-13 07:07:08

If you have a dishwasher, when you using lemon juice or zest for cooking, scoop the seeds out of the lemon and put it in your dishwasher. Acts like a natural rinse aid and leaves your dishwasher smelling lovely.

Turnipsoup Fri 15-Mar-13 07:10:23

I still haven't tried the pringles lids on ikea cups for snack pots one that was on the last thread.....
Bicarb of soda and vinegar unblocks sinks.
If you use those candle wax melt things like DM does... Pop the burner in the freezer for a few minutes and the wax disk pops straight off.

abigailj Fri 15-Mar-13 07:13:17

To keep Lego collections manageable store in a sheet, unroll to play. Docs aren't allowed to take Lego off sheet, roll up again to store. Saves packing up a gazillion tiny pieces, or worse vaccuming them up. Idea originally from my mum who had six kids.

Turnipsoup Fri 15-Mar-13 07:15:21

A really unhealthy one from my childhood... If you are peeling potatoes for mash, scrub potatoes well first, dry, then peel. After peeling fry the peelings to make homemade crisps. Sprinkle with herbs, salt, chilli etc. You can do this with carrots as well.
(we do only do it as a treat) blush

loveonashoestring Fri 15-Mar-13 07:18:40

What a great thread to make an early wake up less painful today! Love the porridge in the roasting fat idea.

As my 3DC's have littered the lounge/kitchen/hallway with toys by bedtime I put on an upbeat song really loudly after tea and challenge them to get it all picked up by the time it finishes. Creates a far more fun atmosphere than me just harping at them!
Also, as I have a bad back I bought a plastic grabber arm toy and go around picking stuff up with that instead of bending down or trying and failing to bend my knees each time. Look a bit of a loony but it works.

Husband just had a few days off and decided to create 'seasonal boxes' to stash in the back of the under stairs cupboard as the random bits all over the place were driving him mad. So has put all Halloween decs, costumes, vials of fake blood and all the other stuff we accrue from Poundshop each year into one. Same with plastic jugs, cups, cutlery, BBQ tools, leftover paper plates etc in his 'Summer Box'. He is feeling very pleased with himself and I had to grudgingly concede it was a good idea!

zaphod Fri 15-Mar-13 07:34:53

Is it sad that I can't wait for the kids to go to school so I can wash the bin and put the bin bags in it? It is, isn't it?

Mrscupcake23 Fri 15-Mar-13 07:55:55

Thanks for the cling film tip. Quite excited my dh says I am sad.

Mrscupcake23 Fri 15-Mar-13 07:56:41

Always pick up a wet wipe before you go on the phone and wipe light switches.

CuriousMama Fri 15-Mar-13 08:22:44

Turnipsoup you can just bake the peelings too. Use organic pots though and coat in a bit of oil and seasonings.

mrspink27 Fri 15-Mar-13 08:26:05

2 cheap denture cleaning tablets down the loo overnight will bring it up clean and sparkly!!

BalloonSlayer Fri 15-Mar-13 08:27:29

If you have cooked dinner using the oven, put a saucepan of water into the oven after you have turned it off.

When you return after eating, the water will have heated up and you can use it for washing up. There will also be quite a bit of condensation in your oven, if you wipe around with a handful of kitchen roll you will be astounded at the amount of brown grease you can then wipe off. (well you will if you have an oven as filthy as mine)

CuriousMama Fri 15-Mar-13 08:38:17

BalloonSlayer I'll try that water trick thanks.

Loulousmummy Fri 15-Mar-13 08:52:09

Will be putting together 'seasonal boxes' this weekend to store under the stairs. Will use the spare storage boxes OH has been itching to use for his crap and will pass it off as my genius idea

mutley1 Fri 15-Mar-13 09:26:54

I am not a veggie but have a bit of a thing about raw meat euww. Now when cutting it up to make a stew/stir fry etc I use a knife(sharp) and fork no more raw grungy meat up the finger nails... Much better

These are amazing, I'm going to have to make a list!

Mine is: If you don't have time (or point blank refuse) to iron, but have that one item that clearly looks like it's been sat on for a month... Use hair straighteners to run over where there should be creases (front of legs for trousers, shoulders and collars for shirts. Clothing instantly looks smart(er) and wearable, and you don't have to faff about with things like ironing boards.

Also works great for making sure your seams are straight when you turn up trousers!

loveonashoestring Fri 15-Mar-13 09:31:45

Been thinking of others on the school run. Saturday lunchtime I always make 'Saturday soup' with any slightly ropey veg leftover from week, blitzed up so cannot be identified by fussy eaters. Then come Sat eve we always have a shop bought pizza in front of a game show, so I always feel like I have Sat night off from cooking but know they've had a shed load of veg earlier in the day. My DC's now revolt if I deviate from this routine!

Give the kids baby wipes and ask them to walk round the house running them along the dado rails and banisters. A job I never get round to.

Also Sat am the two oldest (6 and 8) sometimes make a to do list, 'like mummy's' that includes: tidy room, recycling out, reading little brother a story or play a game with him, put own clean clothes away in drawers, do homework, make birthday card for friend etc. First one to get through list chooses the film/TV prog they get to watch when all done. Blimey sounds a bit draconian now I've put it in writing but they seem to like it honest!

HuffleWitch Fri 15-Mar-13 10:47:44

If freezing mince, put it in a ziplock bag and flatten. Thaws much quicker, and easier to stack in freezer than odd shaped lumps. Also works for pre-diced or sliced chicken (or other meat).

Label everything you put in the freezer! Freezer tape is your friend! Put the labels on the side you can see without having to lift every box, if stacking plastic boxes (yes DH, I am looking at you).

Citric acid (powder available at most supermarkets) also works for removing limescale. A teaspoon in the kettle, fill with water, boil and rinse well. Don't eat it concentrated, but it is a food ingredient, so not harmful if ingested. Doesn't smell nearly as bad as vinegar in the kettle. (Also what we used when boil-sterilising all DS's bottles etc, to avoid lime build up). And works to clean our steam humidifier.

Melamine foam is fab for cleaning most things metal sinks without scratching. Also known as "magic eraser".

We also do the "dish detergent on sponge, not in water" and therefore decant the dish detergent into an empty hand soap pump. Easy one handed dispensing of just a little. Other friends put diluted dish detergent into a small spray bottle, spray directly onto dishes and wipe. Uses much less than the concentrate.

If you get ants in the kitchen (or anywhere in your house), they die if exposed to dish detergent. A small squirt of dish detergent in a spray bottle full of water is enough. Spray on ants, they die, wipe up dead ants and dish detergent. No nasty chemicals around kids or on food preparation surfaces! (It won't discourage them from coming back - harsher measures may be required if that's a problem).

These are brilliant!

drjohnsonscat Fri 15-Mar-13 11:06:10

I've always thought antenatal classes could do with an extra session.. How to clear up sick and other useful stuff nobody tells you

That is totally brilliant. I have so much experience in that area that I can run that course now and you can get an NVQ at the end of it.

drjohnsonscat Fri 15-Mar-13 11:27:00

Key to a tidy kitchen is an empty dishwasher. It must be emptied the second it's finished otherwise people stack stuff up on the side and a huge mess results plus then there are two jobs to do - first unpack and then repack the dishwasher. So we have an "unpack the dishwasher in the time it takes for one song on the radio" challenge. DCs do the cutlery and I do the rest. Or it's "unpack the dishwasher in the time it takes to boil a kettle" if you are feeling really energetic. No one is allowed to stand and wait for the kettle to boil in my house.

drjohnsonscat Fri 15-Mar-13 11:48:36

oh and don't buy granulated sugar. Caster will do for everything you need granulated for but not vice versa.

Here is a tip I have never used but observed on my French exchange trip 30 years ago and frankly never got over it! Save on dirty bowls by simply turning your dinner plate over and eating your pudding from inside the little rim on the other side of your plate grin

squishee Fri 15-Mar-13 12:06:35

On the frequent rare occasions when you can't face washing up. Put the plate(s) and cutlery in the fridge, in a plastic bag if it's messy, until you can.

Loveonashoestring yours are brilliant. I'm going to pass my list love down to the dcs and maybe investigate Saturday soup. They're a bit young at the moment but theyllblove the baby wipe thing

squishee Fri 15-Mar-13 12:13:14

Use cheap pillboxes (those clear plastic ones marked with 7 days' individual doses or whatever) to store earrings. They stay in good condition and you can still see them all. No hunting around for odd earrings when getting ready to go out.

drjohnsonscat Fri 15-Mar-13 12:16:03

I do a "Saturday soup" except it's "Saturday pasta sauce". Literally everything from the fridge plus some onions and a couple of tins of tomatoes. You can even put in yucky bagged salad that has gone a bit too far. Blitzed to heaven. It's actually delicious with loads of cheese. Then I freeze loads of tupperware boxes and the DCs have it through the week with meatballs or whatever.

Mine is usually 2 onions, some butternut squash, manky old carrots, bits of old greenery (you can even put in the outside of leeks), garlic, tinned tomatoes (plus any fresh ones that have gone a bit wrinkly). Simmer it for an hour or so and throw in some chilli if you can get away with it.

"oh and don't buy granulated sugar. Caster will do for everything you need granulated for but not vice versa. "

Used to do this but have recently compared the price of the two and now keep both in stock. Was spending a fortune on caster.

BornToFolk Fri 15-Mar-13 12:24:01

oh and don't buy granulated sugar. Caster will do for everything you need granulated for but not vice versa.

Yes but you can turn granulated into caster by whizzing it in the food processor.

Trills Fri 15-Mar-13 12:50:19

I don't use caster, just use granulated.

MinimalistMommi Fri 15-Mar-13 13:00:21

When you're making cheese sauce from scratch, don't bother gently mixing flour and melted butter over the heat and then slowly adding milk while stirring...just whack the flour/butter/milk in together on a low heat and stir continuously with a small whisk until it thickens and then take off heat and add grated cheese.
Honestly, no lumps whatsoever, just perfect cheese sauce with no faffing.

MinimalistMommi Fri 15-Mar-13 13:09:45

Also, you can freeze pre- cut out scone dough and then just pop a couple into oven when you want fresh scones to have with jam and cream for example.You can do this with plain scones/cheese scones/fruit scones. Cook on non stick baking paper to make it really easy, they just slide of tray and tray is easy to wash.

If your children like cheesy straws which I just cut into biscuit shapes, you can also freeze the pre- cut out dough too and just cook on non stick baking paper when you want them. I tend to make about fifty at a time, especially around Christmas time.

You can do the same with plain biscuit dough too.

You can also do the same with home made welsh cakes, cut them out, pop them onto non stick paper on a baking tray to open freeze, when they've gone hard, pour them into a freezer bag. When you need them, just tip a few into a frying pan and cook slowly and gently until cooked through and golden. And then smother with butter and enjoy!

When I make mince pies at Christmas, I don't pre cook them and then freeze, I simply leave them uncooked, freeze them and then cook what I need. This way they stay very fresh and have that just baked taste (because they are grin)

LittleBoxes Fri 15-Mar-13 13:34:25

I like almost everything on here

I love this thread. I've taken note of many revolutionary ideas!

My tip is regarding the washing up sponge. I got sick and tired of how it always turned manky and smelled funky after only a few washes and needed replacing. One day in a fit of temper I threw it in the microwave and zapped it on high for one minute, thinking "die bacteria, DIE!". And do you know, it worked? I microwave the sponge for a minute every evening now and I've been using the same sponge for about two months at the moment. Always smells clean and fresh and I know it's not spreading germs around.

I also fold directly out of the dryer. I have an iron, but I couldn't tell you when I last used it. I don't think we look particularly wrinkly.

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Mar-13 13:57:32

My name is Stoic and I am an apologetic eejit of highest order

Have had no choice but to ask for my posts (& direct replies...) to be deletedblush

Don't have time to explain why now, but will later. AND will answer the Q's I can that have been asked above by way of amendssmile

<shuffles off to get something to eat, feels v v V stoopid;>

oooggs Fri 15-Mar-13 14:00:11

Littleboxes that link is brilliant - thank you

MissJudithArabesque Fri 15-Mar-13 14:02:26

Sick jugs instead of sick bowls. One under each child's bed, in car, a few spares for emergencies. Cost about 50p or so from Wilkos or supermarkets. Better than bowls, because child can hold handle without accidentally dropping/spilling contents.

Only use loo roll, not tissues, for sicky situations. All can go straight down the loo.

Cover all carpets with disposable change mats during sickness bugs. Then just chuck it all in the bin. Took us years and lots of carpet washing to arrive at this one. [Sigh]

BeCool Fri 15-Mar-13 14:21:57

OMG Stoic what a mystery?
What could possibly have gone on/wrong?

Hope you're ok stoic

Thumbwitch Fri 15-Mar-13 14:30:01

Bloody hell, Stoic! Couldn't you just have had any reference to your posts deleted instead of the whole post? <<grumbles>>
Obvs it's an important security issue but My Everso Important Note on freezing flour has now Gone!!

Will repeat it here. The answer about weevils is hugely upthread somewhere.

You can keep flour in the freezer!
It prevents flour weevils/beetles, and keeps for aages. I buy 10kg sacks of spelt flour because it's much much cheaper than buying small amounts; fill my ~2kg flour jar, then wrap the rest of the sack in plastic carriers and shove it in the freezer. The best bit about it is that you can use the flour straight from the freezer if you have to as it doesn't actually freeze grin

Pretty sure this was a tip I gleaned from MN in the first place but it revolutionised my baking life. smile

ChicHeroine Fri 15-Mar-13 14:31:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Thumbwitch Fri 15-Mar-13 14:32:40

Just in case it wasn't obvious, and I can believe it wouldn't be, my outrage was completely mock-outrage and tongue-in-cheek - hope you are ok and nothing bad has happened.

marquesas Fri 15-Mar-13 14:40:08

Brilliant thread, I've watched to read propery later but now really want to know all the deleted tips - why would so many different posters want to deprive us of their wisdom [intrigued]

Just been to the loo so grabbed a bby wipe on the way up. Most door frames are now clean, as are banisters

I suspect it was where people had responded to her or mentioned the things shed talked about

ZuleikaD Fri 15-Mar-13 15:19:11

For anyone who has inveterate crust-leavers... (I can't always be bothered to have the stay-at-the-table-till-you've-eaten-them fight).

Let the crusts get stale, then turn into breadcrumbs in the blender and freeze them. Or whizz them up as they are and warm up with some milk and sugar - they make a pudding a bit like rice pudding. (This is what they were always eating in the Famous Five after traumatic events.)

ZuleikaD Fri 15-Mar-13 15:20:42

Oh, and the babywipe discussion has inspired me to use them on all the skirting boards. Gosh we'll all have clean houses!

Presumably you cit the crusts off, rather than wait till they've mauled them and dropped them on the floor a few times

ZuleikaD Fri 15-Mar-13 15:22:33

Well, my pair are pretty adept at pulling off all the interesting middle bits and leaving a plateful of neat L-shapes.

Trills Fri 15-Mar-13 15:33:19

Methinks that Stoic forgot that her tip was patent pending and she shouldn't tell people about it in public yet smile

crazy8 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:44:36

I cook a batch of minced lamb spiced with onions, garlic, ginger, cumin powder, chopped coriander and a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. I then freeze the mince in a freezer bag and can take out a bit at a time to mix with a tin of chopped tomatoes for pasta or to eat with naan as a keema. Can add pea for keema if preferred. It's also delicious just mixing the mince mix with rice and eating it with yogurt. It's very quick to use straight from the freezer and thoroughly heat through. Also delicious baked in puff pastry parcels. Mmmm! Think I will go the freezer now and make puff pastry parcels.

crazy8 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:45:59

Can also add crushed green chilli or chilli powder to the mince.

Wandawingsthe2nd Fri 15-Mar-13 15:46:20

Wails Why can't I remember the tip?!?!

pixi2 Fri 15-Mar-13 15:47:37

Thanks for inspiring me. Dd and I have done the kitchen today. Three black sacks of rubbish thrown. Every drawer and cupboard cleaned. Entire kitchen rearranged and one confused DH when he eventually gets home as nothing is where it used to be.

Also hoping he doesn't notice the absence of two broken coffee machines that he never got around to fixing.

Very sad the steriliser and baby things have all gone.

Someone sensibly pointed out that my tip about cleaning the microwave (cup of hot water on high for 10 mins) has a hidden risk - that the water may boil over when you move the cup.

Can't find the post with the warning but you are dead right - however as I'm careful lazy I tend to leave the cup in the microwave for 15 mins afterwards, so by the time I take it out it's only warm.

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Mar-13 16:05:44

GoodJam In haste!

Have 2. One ANCIENT Phillips one which is bloody brilliant (the one my Mum got me and I thought was a bit hmm ) but have searched and searched and SEARCHED for you and seems discontinuedsad

Other is the (MUCH more expensive) Lakeland one but is - surprisingly, frickin useless (check out customer reviews on site, wish I had before bought!).

THIS is the one I'd recommend. Is only £14.99 (I think?) Ditto should be free delivery. Will do job perfectlysmile

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Mar-13 16:10:42

HUMIDIFIERS!!!! Are on Groupon today at UBER cheap price but suspect will sell out super quickly. Ergo, if after one, would check it out (just google Groupon & "goods" if not used Groupon before).

Will explain later re why had to get my very specifc posts from yest, & de facto all direct replies (sorry re weevilsblush!) later. One, am in HUGE haste right now but posting any answers I can that might help peeps to apologise for my TOTAL stupidity that in turn led to my having to ask for my own posts to come downblushblushblush; and two - just mortified at own stupidity/trigger happy keyboard action on here yesterday!

<slinks off with very red face at pace to get DS from school:->

For me the answer to everything is soda crystals! Down the loo, down the plug hole, in the bottom of a yucky vase - love them!

higgle Fri 15-Mar-13 16:40:03

I have discovered in the last month that doing all your housework after work on a Thursday evening means you have nicer weekends. DH and I both work full time and we have one teenager at home now. For years and years our weekends have been taken up with a mixuture of procrastination and housework. Now we blitz the lot in 1.5 hours each, plus an extra hour for whoever is doing the kitchen then settle down for an easy supper and a nice weekend ahead. This wold of course be obvious to any one but us years ago as the way to go.

BornToFolk Fri 15-Mar-13 16:47:03

I don't use washing up sponges any more. I have two microfibre clothes with a scrubby side. They are much better at cleaning than sponges and less yucky too - I chuck one in with each load of washing I do so they are cleaned regularly. I must have saved a fortune on sponges since I started using them a few months ago and there's still loads of wear in them.

MousyMouse Fri 15-Mar-13 17:05:48

if baking cookies, the cookie cutter kind, roll out between two sheets of baking paper.
saves getting flour dust everywhere in the house esp when baking with small dc.

loveonashoestring Fri 15-Mar-13 17:05:54

Hang onto an old baby bottle brush or two. Good for cleaning awkward bits like the bottom of narrow vases.

Old toothbrushes for round the taps. Don't do what I did the other day though - left old brush on the sink when finished, then mixed it up with identical one DH currently using from the toothbrush mug. Only realised when saw DH doing his teeth at bedtime!! Look of horror on my face gave the game away. Frosty bedroom that night I can tell you! If had a clue how to use emoticons red face one would be here!

I do the toothbrush one. Only I use my toddler's old brushes. They get get into smaller spaces :-)

bluecarrot Fri 15-Mar-13 18:32:12

Havent read all yet but it just occurred to me the other day that instead of pouring pasta into the colander to drain, I just needed to put the colander on top of the saucepan then turn who thing over. All the water drains out but you dont have to try to pour the pasta back into the pan (if like me, that involves pasta going all over countertop too)

I freeze cookies precut on an open tray then place in a bag (could also freeze with bits of freezer paper between them) and can bake a few at a time when the dinner is on anyway.

bluecarrot Fri 15-Mar-13 18:35:16

cookie dough

Thank you for all of these.
My most useful gadget is a label maker that attaches to the computer.
It stores all addresses and can be used for jar labels, shelf labels, file labels (you get the point).

The cat is labelled 'cat, black, furry'.
I love Dymo smile

cleanandclothed Fri 15-Mar-13 19:30:53

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDetective Fri 15-Mar-13 20:05:50

My tips are:

You don't need to separate brights/whites/colours etc. Just put those colour catcher sheets in. You can cut them in half for the same results. You get 25 for about £3. I use them on my babys clothes, put all his clothes on one wash with a colour catcher. Everything stays perfect.

Do a 'tumble dryer wash'. Get all the underwear, pjs and anything else you tumble out the dirty wash. Do it in one wash, bung it all in to dryer. Hey presto, your basket will look far more empty!

ATouchOfStuffing Fri 15-Mar-13 20:35:41

Get some of these so you don't get the red/pink stain from keeping anything with tomato in a plastic container. Easy to clean and stack neatly inside each other and there's a size for everything.

I have 2 sets of scissors in the kitchen - 1 for bacon/food and the other for packets/cat food pouches (they never tear quite right and it goes all over my hands!).

If your DC's are anything like my DD they may well want to scatter their shoes all over the house. Small shoes = nightmare to find. I keep hers out of reach by hooking them onto double hooks that I glued behind the front door. Keeps them in pairs and out of reach! Doesn't work for boots (unless converse then you can roll down the high backs).

Never let DC have food upstairs. Never let Grandpa give them soft toys to 'play' with whilst eating petit filou hmm

Mooshbag Fri 15-Mar-13 20:40:16

I'm a real saddo, but I love this thread. I still don't get the need for duvet cover in pillow case, but each to their own. I'm going to make some scone dough and freeze it so that we can have fresh scones on demand.

I'm now very intrigued about the reason for Stoic's deleted posts.

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Mar-13 20:43:30

Again, my name is Stoic and I am an UBER apologetic eejit of highest order

Right, in my defence praying this may stem stream of 'you total Muppet Stoic' posts blush .... I was VERREEEE tired yesterday and it appears, in retrospect, that that the 'on' switch in my brain had not, in fact, flicked to on.... (I also had a DS home sick - does that count as another excuse for my ABJECT dumbness???!) I was, in a nutshell, as thick as shit yesterday.

So TODAY, was suddenly politely reminded by someone who scares me! that I so should not have posted anything here - eek and thrice eek and thrice more blush too. So had to politely 'report' ALL of my OWN bloody posts to poor Mod on today and ask for them (& by extension any direct replies - and feel AWFUL re the weevils etc that might have been in 'replies' - to my posts) to please remove them. One by one, I think mod may now hate me and have developed carpal wotsit and it will all be MY fault the very kind MNHQ thus deleted them.

Later I then - and in the HUGEST of haste - tried to answer couple of specific things re egg cookers and humidifiers by way of apology. And, as if not already feeling like a TOTAL tit, now feel even worse as only NOW seen/read what was above my 'written in haste' one, can I see some lovely peeps were actually asking if I was ok <insert utter shame emocion here>.

I am actually feeling SUCH a tit - and WAY worse now, given that some people (who I think may have known other stuff I've had going on recently?) were being nice and concerned, when in reality all that had happened was that I was just a no-brain-go area yesterday (LONGS for a multiple 'blush/embarrassed' emotion that could insert here!) that have sudden urgent need for wine and a really bad Marlborough Light too so am leaving keyboard for said emergency supplies and will finish this in a mo!

<shuffles off with head bowed but promises not just to return/finish explaining, but also to make amends with tips and promises of future on-topic gifts!>

PS Am also now in slight shock at fact I have, for first time ever funnily enough..... written the words: and feel AWFUL re the weevils grin

StoicButStressed Fri 15-Mar-13 20:48:02
squishee Fri 15-Mar-13 20:49:25

When making soup with potatoes in that's going to be whizzed up in a blender: Don't bother peeling the spuds. Far less work, and when the skins get whizzed up too they add taste, texture and fibre.

vix206 Fri 15-Mar-13 21:24:42

Stoic I am so confused!

Stoic I got your pm thanks, don't worry about not replying to people you are obv stressed. I know a little about your rough time recently but don't understand why you've had to delete all posts? Especially ones abt buckets and weevils. Anyway, my best wishes remain

Thumbwitch Fri 15-Mar-13 21:39:43

<SNORT> at "feel AWFUL re. the weevils" - don't worry about it Stoic, honestly! grin - it was fully tongue in cheek, I promise!

But yes, I do hope you're ok and so on and fully understand the posting in haste and with brain in neutral thing. smile

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 15-Mar-13 21:45:34

Is that Rob Lowe?

ChicHeroine Fri 15-Mar-13 22:27:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SerenaJoy Fri 15-Mar-13 22:27:50

Loving all these! Here's my top tip:

Cut the elastic waistband off laddered tights, and use them as hair bands. They don't pinch and hold your hair good and tight.

ChicHeroine Fri 15-Mar-13 22:37:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChicHeroine Fri 15-Mar-13 22:38:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Trills Fri 15-Mar-13 22:42:05

I like the bod of Stoic's view but the face of Olivia's view.

Anathu Fri 15-Mar-13 22:44:20

So many brilliant tips here! smile

Here are a few of mine:

Cleaning Lego - We have the big ones, Duplo, and they always get filthy and sticky after a few weeks of constant playing. Once in a while I throw a batch of the bricks in a textile bag, seal it tightly and wash in the washing machine (30 degrees).

Lemon juice - I use it in the kettle for descaling (I usually use 2 parts water and 1 part lemon juice and boil a few times). This works perfectly for descaling boiling pans as well.

I noticed the tip on cleaning the microwave by boiling water for 10 minutes and then wiping off the dirt. If you add lemon juice to that water, you don't have to wait 10 minutes. It's usually enough with 3, depending on the microwave of course. And yes, be careful with that hot water :S

Cardboard box fun - We have been moving houses a few times the last couple of years and the last three times we've done it with kids. They love to build things out of the cardboard moving boxes! We have built houses, kitchens, trains, cars… It keeps them occupied for hours, which gives us grown-ups a little more time for unpacking!

Anathu Fri 15-Mar-13 22:52:12

Oh, and all of you who suggested cleaning with vinegar; I absolutely love, love, love the idea of not having to use chemical crap especially with kids in the house! But what about the smell? Does it last for long?

Stoic, I hope you are all right! I read your great tips yesterday and I can't understand why someone would tell you to remove them. They seemed pretty innocent to me. Take care! flowers

SueDunome Fri 15-Mar-13 23:09:20

Wrap carrots in newspaper and they stay fresh a lot longer.

NannyR Fri 15-Mar-13 23:19:54

Write a list of the contents of your freezer on the door with a dry wipe pen. Much easier to see what you have than rummaging around inside it.

Lavenderhoney Sat 16-Mar-13 02:50:44

I have another- if you have a dishwasher, then just put your kitchen cloths and sponges, brushes on sticks, tucked into the shelf on the bottom. I finish cleaning the kitchen, put them in and bung on the dishwasher.

The extractor fans which are removable for cleaning get put in as well, much easiersmile

This evening I washed all the bedding, and did all the folding in the living room. Following the tips on this thread, the sheets and cases were folded and tucked together into one case. DD, who was watching, said "wow. Momma, that is such a good idea. They won't ever get mixed up or unfolded!".

Thank you MN, for making me a genius domestic goddess in the eyes of my DD grin

crazy8 Sat 16-Mar-13 08:29:17

If you open a bag of salad and don't use it all put a piece of kitchen roll in with the open bag and the salad will stay fresher for longer.

Fluffycloudland77 Sat 16-Mar-13 10:51:21

Pmsl at "cat, black, furry".

MissMilliment Sat 16-Mar-13 11:01:17

I'd marry this thread if I could!

Here's mine (not read whole thread yet so sorry if I'm repeating):

Wash cake tins as soon as you take the cake out of the tin, then put them in the cooling-down oven to dry. Store them in a big plastic crate with a lid - I use the biggest size that I can fit in my (dark, damp, poky) floor-level cupboard. That way you can just pull out the crate to rummage for the right tin without them clattering about and falling everywhere.

The lidded plastic crate is a great solution for storing stuff in otherwise awkward/damp places - just be sure that whatever you're storing is dry when you put it in.

MissMilliment Sat 16-Mar-13 11:03:25

Broccoli - cut the bottom off the stem and store it in the fridge with the cut stem in a bowl of water - it stays lovely and firm and fresh for aaaaages.

After reading this thread in its entirety last night I was inspired to clean the oven, clean and line the bin with extra layers, now all I need is how to ' a how to defrost freezer with food in it' thread I will have done all the nasty jobs I have been putting off for so long.

Thanks mumsnet grin

MrsPennyapple Sat 16-Mar-13 12:04:37

I put all the oven shelves, grill pan etc in the dishwasher, doesn't get absolutely everything off, but gets them a lot better, and I don't mind having a go at the more stubborn bits as the bulk of the work is done. With our oven, you can slide the inner piece of glass out, so they go in the DW too.

I never, ever thought of putting extractor fan bits in there though - genius! Thank you.

MousyMouse Sat 16-Mar-13 12:15:01

if you have silicone bakeware, esp small fiddly types, you can wash them in the washing mashine with a little washing up liquid and no spin.
those little muffin forms otherwise go all over in the dishwasher and don't get clean if they end up in the bottom under the water sprayer thingy.

ZuleikaD Sat 16-Mar-13 12:18:15

I never wash cake tins at all - use the cake tin liners from Lakeland and not only will you never have to line (or grease-and-flour) another cake tin but your cakes will look beautifully professional and if you're batch-baking can just be wrapped in foil and frozen.

PigeonPie Sat 16-Mar-13 12:32:11

Put the extractor fan bits, including filters if they're metal, in the dishwasher and then when they're finished, pop them in a warm oven to dry; the condensation from the filters make it easier to clean the oven - two jobs done in one!

" passmyglassplease

After reading this thread in its entirety last night I was inspired to clean the oven, clean and line the bin with extra layers, now all I need is how to ' a how to defrost freezer with food in it' thread I will have done all the nasty jobs I have been putting off for so long."
Meal plan . Challenge yourself to buy as little as possible over the next month and make use of what you have.

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 16-Mar-13 13:19:53

I had an ah ha moment when I realised that spills on things (front of kitchen cabinets etc) are easier to remove when they happen rather than postponing it until I've finished cooking or whatever. Yes this is obvious, but I'm really not very domestic...

I was also delighted when I found out about the pillowcase thing grin - pinterest is brilliant for that kind of home organisation idea.

Trills Sat 16-Mar-13 13:30:33

Buy a frost-free freezer. If you are planning on buying a freezer they are not a lot more but they really do not need to be defrosted. I've had my current one since the beginning of 2011 (moved into a rented house with just a fridge with freezer "compartment" and it is not icy in the slightest.

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 16-Mar-13 13:42:11


pinterest is brilliant for that kind of home organisation idea.

Pinterest is also good for spending a whole day pinning wholesome recipes and amazing ways you will be able to colour-code your children's belongings to make them both stylish and inviting and you turn round and realise the toys are still a blardy mess and you've only got beans on toast for supper.
bitter voice of experience

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 16-Mar-13 14:10:34

Olivia Ah yes, but in my head my house does actually look like my pinterest boards grin

The key is to not look at your actual house too hard... (or repeat 'work in progress' when you are forced to look at it!)

DoIgetastickerforthat Sat 16-Mar-13 15:35:57

When your changing the beds, take one of the dirty pillowcases, turn inside out and use it to have a quick dust round to freshen the place up.

StoicButStressed Sat 16-Mar-13 15:47:21

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ)

No. I see your image and I raise it with THIS grin

PS here to re-post what had 'posted' last night only for bastard evil BT bloody NON-'Total' Broadband to go down JUST as hit 'post message it to sadly disappear in an uber unfortunately timed net connection fail <grrrr..>

But instead of what came on to post, am now thinking of the hot men I totally objectify in the way some men do to women and which I loathe! cute views on offer.

I blame you Oliviawink

Even more confused stoic!

Ooo MrsPennyapple I may actually have a good tip for your freezer!
DH borrowed a steam cleaner. Unpacked the freezer contents into a cool box, steam cleaned it and had it back running and cold before anything could defrost.

Oh and it wasn't even an all purpose cleaner, it was one of those wallpaper strippers.

StoicButStressed Sat 16-Mar-13 16:32:55

'Stoic The Fool's' (belated) explanation.

Is a long explanation or a short one. Wrote the long one last night only for bastard net to go down. So here's the inbetween short/long onesmile.

And yes, you may all laugh at me like donkies who have just enjoyed a spliff or two.... as is SO verreeee beyond dumb even I'm now laughing at me (which is, btw, a DISTINCT improvement on how thick/embarrassed/mortified felt yesterdaywink )

Mid short/long version:

1: I had to ask for my posts to be removed as they broke copyrightblush.

2: I had posted them with a 'very sleep-deprived but just wanting to share the lurrvee - i.e. the bloody usefulness of them when have DCs, &/or may be skint etc - hence posting SOLELY the ones I figured weren't that well-known/others prob wouldn't post etc/didn't post any of the other ones know, as knew someone else would likely post/share those etc) with lovely MN'ers who have helped me sooooo much (one or two tw*ts aside...) over past few weeks' and in good faith AND genuinely just in a "oooh, lovely! Can help lovely MN'ers" kinda way.

3. Did all above with a VERY non-'ON' brain.

4: When realised was pointed out to me by a.n.other party involved had broken copyright, obv had no option but to ask for them to be removed ASAP as breaking copyright is a VERY.BAD.THING.TO.DO.

THAT's why had to get them removed. And reason I felt so so SOOO verrreee thick/mortified/dumb as shit etc. once realised needed to get them deleted, is even more blushblushblush...

<whispers: was my own and de facto future publisher's copyright had broken>

OrbisNonSufficit Sat 16-Mar-13 17:40:15

Ooh I remembered another one - the moment I discovered there was a way to neatly fold fitted sheets by putting their corners into each other, rather than just kind of crumpling the whole thing into a semi-flat ball.

And when I found a way to get the (super-king so unwieldy) duvet into the cover by turning the cover inside out, getting hands inside in both corners, grabbing the duvet and then turning the cover right way out again around the duvet. SO much easier than attempting to stuff the duvet in with the cover right way out.

(I've realised mine mostly relate to bedding, what does this say about me)

BalloonSlayer Sat 16-Mar-13 17:41:23

I once emptied the contents of my very small freezer into the back of my car as it was very cold weather, while the fridge/freezer defrosted.

This would have been a great idea if I had not then gormlessly driven my car into the back of another one while in town. My car was undriveable and so I had to get a taxi home, weeping, with my shopping plus several unwieldy bags of frozen sundries. grin

TeaOneSugar Sat 16-Mar-13 17:53:51

A microfibre cloth and a water spray will clean most things.

Edlyu Sat 16-Mar-13 18:37:52

Keep the contents of a defrosting freezer in freezer bags until the job is done. Newspaper lined(several layers) carrier bags will do in an emergency or to transport frozen food .

In an emergency or hurry you can get the creases out of most clothes by using a hairdryer while the clothes are being worn. Wont manage linen I suspect ( not tried it) but most fabrics are vastly improved in no time .

If you buy wrapping paper and occasion cards in advance keep them in a lose leaf binder with a separate pocket for each paper or card type. Keeps everything flat , usable and easily accessible.

Rhienne Sat 16-Mar-13 20:21:10

Not sure if this is quite the same sort of thing, but I searched for haircutting scissors for me to cut Ds's hair, that were sharp to cut hair but didn't have sharp points. Couldn't find anything.

Then wandering in a little hardware store in a small town - the type thas has everything - happened down the pet aisle and found just what I'd been looking for. So now cut DS's hair with good sharp scissors with blunt ends - designed to cut dogs' hair. blush. It works for me!

vole3 Sun 17-Mar-13 07:17:07

I only defrost my freezer in the winter and preferably when stuck at home due to snow. Decant contents into my washing baskets, leave outside in the snow whilst blasting freezer with hair dryer to get job done in quick time.

Thumbwitch Sun 17-Mar-13 07:24:55

Oh Stoic!! <<Shakes head>>
Well I'm rather glad that it was a © issue rather than a safety/outing issue. But it seems like you might need to remember to switch brain on before posting from now on, m'k? wink

ATouchOfStuffing Sun 17-Mar-13 12:31:19

Orbis (love your name btw - my DD's initials are ORB and I plan to make her soethis with your name on :D ) However - I am still struggling with folding fitted sheets! Saw the pics/step by step guide but the 3rd one confuses me blush...which order do you do them in?

Anyway, I have spent the morning sticking cotton wool balls onto loo rolls and cutting out ears to make rabbits and also painting an old CD rack white after taking out most of the shelves. I plan to use it as a planter :D
(That post was inspired by the Pinterest topic as it is a bit crafty)

ATouchOfStuffing Sun 17-Mar-13 12:32:04

soethis? Something!

AnitaManeater Sun 17-Mar-13 12:34:20

I chuck the kids fabric insulated lunchboxes in the washing machine on Fridays. I flip them inside out first and they come up really well.

OrbisNonSufficit Sun 17-Mar-13 15:21:48

Aw thanks OTOS, I picked it 'cos it reminds me to keep on dreaming about bigger and better things grin.

Generally whenever I'm folding fitted sheets I do it wrong at least twice before I get it right. Mainly because I try to do it standing up & holding the sheet usually - it's much easier if you lay it on a bed. Fold in half, stuff corners into other corners, then fold in half again (on bed) but turn the top side you're folding into the bottom side (iyswim) inside out as you're folding it into the other one.

It's a crafty day for everyone it seems. I've been Ikea hacking (well, mini hack, cutting sections out of a HOL blanket box so I can use it as a tv stand - the plan is to hide all of the cables and x-box etc inside it and hopefully as it has holes the remote control will still work). Then if it ever stops raining I'll lime wax it so it doesn't look quite so IKEA...

OrbisNonSufficit Sun 17-Mar-13 15:27:11

The wonder of the hand-held steamer. I'm not a huge fan of ironing, and anyway a lot of my clothes that need some kind of ironing are delicate things that I always seem to damage when I iron them. Hand-held steamer to the rescue! Faster AND easier (no faffing with ironing board required).

Ditto the wonder of the hand-held vacuum - we just got a dyson one and I LOVE it, so quick to whizz around a few messy bits without having to drag the massive normal one out of the cupboard and manhandle it etc.

Showtime Sun 17-Mar-13 21:35:05

Struggling first thing in the morning with stiff joints and trying to measure out 5ml medication in the small spoon provided, too much went over the sides before reaching mouth, But have recently found that using the 10ml-size spoon on the other side, filling it only half-full, makes life much easier and not a drop spilled.

StoicButStressed Sun 17-Mar-13 23:17:59

Dear Allsmile Yes, it's Stoic The Fool here grin

BTW Thumbwitch, YY re all... other than the outing issue (given at ome point in the future I'm gonna have to name-change AND delete whole load of personal posts tooblush.

Right, now am well steered away from thick posts but DO still want to help, here is today's offeringsmile - but focussing on the money saving stuff re all above rather than posting own copyrighted materialwink - (& yes, do still feel a bit doh funnily enough!)

1: If needing buy anything (gift, something for home, whatever), you MUSt go the MSExpert site; 'search' on 'main site' option for Amazon; and you will find a pre-coded Amazon discount finder (which unless you are freakin AMAZING at coding yourself, will NEVER be able to do). Can pick category want to look in and then 'set' the % discount level - i.e DC clothes at 80% off etc). ONLY caveats are i) Check the postage carefully (as seller may be recouping losses via that; ii) Check you CAN'T get it cheaper somewhere else (I.E. if a seller had put in a hugely inflated price in first instance so 'appears' cheaper when may not in fact be cheapest. Other than those caveats though, it is an amazing tool as lets you see stuff that Amazon have squirrelled away and that you prob would NOT find on a 'normal serach'.

2: THIS site is just awesome. Sells what are obviously end of lines etc, but ABSURDLY cheap - WAY cheaper than seen elsewhere; and can not only search by category but simply go DIRECTLY to their £1 'shop'. E.G.'s of today's stuff (& prob tomorrows too):

- ASDA Fleece - £1.00shock

- Clip Lock Containers (size: round, square or rectangular)....
..... THREE Pack for £1.00smile

- Umbrella 50cm Astd Colours - I just bought a clear one with pink spots for a quidsmile

List just goes on and on and ON - nail clipper for a quid; very posh eye-liner for a quid; _ SIXTEEN AA or AAA batteries for a quid_ shock; Non-stick pizza tray for a £1.50, ditto Roasting Tray, ditto... you get drift!

And then GIFTS[GRIN]

GORG cuff adjustable bangles in diff colours - 65p each! (Yes, ordered a few for present cupboard - just wrap in tissue paper before gift paper and NO WAY will ANYONE know it cost you 65p!)

And then if you REALLY want to splurge out wink - FAB 'duvet' slipper booties for £4; snuggy fleece dressing gowns for £7; and then LOADS of make-up/gift-sets including Elizabeth Arden gift sets, FCUK gift set etc WAY cheaper than in stores. Ditto Technics Nail Varnishes for a quid and loads of branded make up (& other branded products in other categories) at WAY below normal retail price.

P&P is £4.95 so either order a fair few items yourself to justify that (or will lose your fab savings...) OR get together with a few mates, order together, then the P&P maybe just a quid eachgrin

PS. Is also an 'adult section' (IYKWIM??!) that is also WAY cheaper than THAT popular 'High Street Adult chain of shops', cough... <the one that sells Rampent Rabbits etc;->

Thumbwitch Mon 18-Mar-13 00:51:57

Stoic - advice point no. 2 = fab, but I can't get your first advice point to work - MSExpert doesn't seem to have the option you're suggesting, but when I went to Resources and Search, put in Amazon and got 0 results. Not sure what I'm doing wrong there but something, that's for sure!

lolalotta Mon 18-Mar-13 06:40:28

Stoic, I'm being a bit thick, are you writing a book? Is that why you had to delete your posts?

Trills Mon 18-Mar-13 08:23:35

It looks like it.

Follyfoot Mon 18-Mar-13 08:36:24

For defrosting the freezer, if there is too much stuff for cool boxes. I shove everything in bin bags then wrap the bags in duvets.

StoicButStressed Mon 18-Mar-13 13:39:49

Thumbwitch Have got it for you:

But just in case you - or anyone - wants it again, will re-write instructions & try be clearersmile

1. Go to MSE site;
2: On top right is a search box;
3: When you use that search box, it usually offers you options - EG search: forums; main site; etc etc.
4: Click on 'main site' option'
5: Then type in 'Amazon'
6. The discount tool will appear in 'results', but may be lower on list if they have any other Amazon discussions &/or 'active' Amazon offers on at time you search; ergo may need to scroll down a bit, but you WILL always find it (unless at some point they take it down but suspect that's unlikely!)

They also currently have an adjacent page with what they think are best categories with current bargains in (e.g. White Goods 60% off etc), but it's the tool above which I think is genius (other than the fact they haven't been able to do it for ALL Amazon categories/sub-categories, but most ARE in theresmile ) and has saved me a FORTUNE vs. 'normal' Amazon search results grin

reastie Mon 18-Mar-13 13:51:09

I tried the frozen scone dough trick over the week end and cooked a frozen cheese one for DDs lunch - worked really well so thanks for that

StoicButStressed Mon 18-Mar-13 14:05:09

Lolalotta In a nutshell, yes. Am actually writing meant to be writing but procrastinating wildly on MN 3 books: the one that I did blush SOOOO dumbly (but with the best of intent to help lovely other MN'erssmile ) break copyright around on this thread; one fiction; one non-fiction. Writing IS one of the the things I do, but not usually the predominant one; more of an adjunct to what I do normally DO. But - for reasons won't bore you with now, though are on my profile - simply cannot 'do' the things I usually/used to do etc; hence writing much more now.

PS downside of fact I write is that it is literally IMPOSSIBLE for me to EVER write anything short! I type at about 90wpm and am so used to writing the way I do, that even on here I literally cannot 'do' short/succinct...

PPS suspect length of my posts (due to above....) does seriously irritate people sometimes!blush

tigerlilygrr Mon 18-Mar-13 15:49:34

Here's my tip as a thanks for all the great advice I've got since joining mumsnet. If you have a number of kitchen appliances but not enough plug sockets, label your plugs. This will avoid you unplugging your breadmaker half way through the cycle whilst thinking you're unplugging a kettle!

StoicButStressed Mon 18-Mar-13 15:51:31

THE ICE AGE smile - aka Stoic's redemption offeringgrin

Ok, I am CERTAIN I CAN write these down as I KNOW(??!) that SOMEONE else will post them at some point IE I won't get into trouble for this one! smile

ICE-CUBES - Know sounds a no-brainer, but if you need a LOT of ice-cubes (e.g. for party/BBQ/Mr Grey games/whatever), DON'T buy those bags of ice-cubes from supermarket or off-licence. Apart from fact you don't know what's in them (I mean aside from the water, obv...), is also stupidly expensive AND you can just do it yourself...

1: Use 4 ice-trays, or 3 or 5 (you get gist..) to 'match' depth of your freezer drawer is (plural is DEF best for this btw, and the plastic ones are cheap as chips, and even if buy 4 new ones, they will still be cheaper than even ONE 'bag of ice' purchase). Obv buy from right place - Poundland, Wilkinsons etc if don't already have - to minimise £ outlay.

2: Fill them with, err, water. Only need to start maybe 2-3 days before you want/need them, or obv well in advance if that suits you better you are more organised than me

3: Stack them on top of each other in freezer to minimise space, but MAKE SURE YOU OFFSET EACH OF THEM by a couple of millimetres to avoid them sinking into each othergrin

4: Will be frozen in a few hours. At which point, just empty ALL of them into either a food freezer bag OR, ideally (as zero extra 'cost'...), a brand-new, unused (IE swipe an extra one at checkout that is still 'flat'/hasn't had the 2 sides open in any way) so ergo not contaminated or grubby in any way, carrier bag.

5: Plastic ice-cube trays usually have 3 'holes' (fnarr, fnarr) across, & 6 in length so 18 per tray. If used 4 trays, will have bag of 72 ice cubes which simply bung back in freezer.

6: Repeat all above until have desired number of ice-cubes.. my max thus far has been 10 times for a bit of a do, so had ready over 700 ice cubes - all without shelling out on buying 'bags' of them smile. The finished bags of ice took up less than a drawer of my freezer, but if you are low on freezer space, just ask neighbour/friend/whoever to wallop one or all of your bags in prior to the day you need them for.


When need ice-bags for packed lunches for long school trips (I.E NOT school packed lunches where cheapest and most reliable to be returned home are obv insulated child-specific bags) - do not ever, EVER!!!, use ice-packs. Am talking about the trips where school has said to bring a lunch in a carrier bag etc so can just be disposed off etc, though think is still best tip even if it's a trip where they will need & have rucksack for clipboard/pen yada yada...

1: They're bloody heavy and DC's really don't want to be lugging stuff around when meant to be admiring the dinosaur exhibitsgrin

2: You also might almost certainly WILL not on X occasions out of Y school trips not always get your, pretty expensive, ice-packs back; <firm voice of bitter experience here via many an ice-pack gone but never to be seen again>

3: But you do HAVE to keep it safely chilled as often a really early start and poss >6 hours until will be eaten...

4: AND lost, very expensive, ice-pack non-returns aside, LAST thing you want is a DC ick (from ham/chicken/whatever that has been allowed to get really warm over time/on a packed hot coach etc and has become a delightful breeding ground for bacterial, uber-swift, growth), so NO 'chilling item' really is simply not an option.

5: Repeat - DO NOT USE ICE-PACKS!!!!

6: Use their DRINKS instead as pseudo ice-packs. Depending on what your DC usually has &/or your budget, either use:

i) A Capri Sun squidgey pack/Ribena carton/'name that drink'; OR
ii) An empty water bottle filled with squash, but making sure leave couple inches free at top - both to allow expansion etc, and also as whilst you want it frozen, you also want it either UN-frozen or nicely 'slush' like (for some reason DCs seem to really like icey but nicely 'slushy' drinks!) - but if you use way too much it obv will NOT defrost enough by lunchtime;
iii) Bung in freezer night before trip;
iv) Add to the packed lunch in the school dictated carrier bag as you pack it up in morning.

Means an ice-pack equiv WILL keep food safe; means you will NOT have your real ice-packs go bloody AWOL; means DC has, at time for lunches to be eaten, a by then nicely defrosted but still cold drinksmile

PS - on note of all things ice-related, THIS:

Alicadabra Thu 14-Mar-13 23:04:38
I've spent years trying to tap and push unwilling ice cubes out of a tray, before a friend pointed out that you should twist the tray as if wringing a wet cloth, not bend it from end-to-end. I felt a right idiot. Please reassure me that I'm not the only one to have done this.

This is the ONLY tip I didn't already have/know, and you're right, it's bloody genius as well as soooooo easy (I too feel uber doh for never having clocked it before - many recollections of banging bloody ice tray over and over on worktop just for loads to then finally explode all over floor!). Can I use it please? Will, obv, credit you with it in list of creditssmile - will you let me know please? Ta x

OrbisNonSufficit Mon 18-Mar-13 20:21:45

I have an ice one! We discovered the other day that egg trays (the useless plastic ones that come with the fridge) make AMAZING ice cube trays - the ice cubes are perfect hemispheres so they're really easy to get out of the tray.

RachelHRD Mon 18-Mar-13 20:49:25

Love the Dishmatic as cleaning brushes idea and found them and the replacement heads in Poundland today - bargain!! I now have sparkling clean sinks and baths smile

lolalotta Mon 18-Mar-13 20:50:36

Good luck with your books Stoic, writing seems to come very naturally to you! grin

MousyMouse Mon 18-Mar-13 20:53:11

I have an ice one, too.
for dc's lunch bag (the normal everyday school packed lunch in insulated lunch bag) put in a yoghurt/rice pudding/fromage frais that has been in the freezer over night. have tried it with he juice but that stayed frozen past lunchtime.

PoppyAmex Mon 18-Mar-13 21:15:37

Damn, triple damn!

1yo DD just vomited for the first time ever shock and I remembered seeing the instructions for assembling a vomkit here, so came look only to find it gone for copyright issues. Not fair! <pouts>

Although the links for Sam's pretty face kinda made up for it. (none his g/fs on the WW deserved him. fact)

jenduck Tue 19-Mar-13 10:37:30

A great thread! Here are a few tips of my own to add:

1. Whenever I get a credit card bill/party invitation/important note from school, I put the date & amount (if applicable) into my phone with a 24-hour warning. This means I don't forget things, as I have 24 hours reminder for everything! I learned this after one late-payment charge too many blush It takes up less room than paper calendars & I always have my phone on me so can be reminded wherever I am.

2. When making any meal or part of a meal that will freeze (casserole, potato-topped pie of any sort, pasta, mashed potato etc), always make a bit too much & freeze, in portion sizes, for DC's dinners. This means that there is always a healthy, cheap 'ready meal' in the freezer for when DC are whingy at dinner-time most evenings It does also mean that sometimes they have different dinners, but hey-ho hmm

3. Every time I boil the kettle/make toast/heat something up in microwave, I do a kitchen task - it is just enough time to pop a wash on, un/pack half the dishwasher, wipe down sides etc

4. When drying washing, I try to group it into each person. Then I can take it down 1 person at a time & pop it away, which takes about 5 minutes per person-load.

5. If I need to take rubbish out/pop something in the garage (in a block not attached to our house), I do it when DS2 (23m) is in his highchair or pushchair (having just got home), so he can't escape grin

6. I never buy paper kitchen towel, as I seem to have hundreds of paper serviettes from Costa et al which do exactly the same jobs grin

I don't know if this helps but if you can, try and join one of the bulk buy warehouses. if you've got room it can be so handy. I've saved money and shopping trips on household cleaners, loo roll, kitchen roll, washing/laundry liquid, bin bags, food bags, tinned veg, tinned tuna, baked beans, cereal, easy suppers (quick noodles), tea bags, coffee, American peanut butter, toothpaste, nappies, baby wipes and meat.
I split the meat into portion sizes and freeze it in the food bags.

Britchic Tue 19-Mar-13 13:57:26

Great thread!!

One I learnt last month from my mum.... lighter fluid on an old cloth is great at getting sticky stuff off.... any sticky stuff, off anything!!

If, like me, you tear recipes out of magazines and end up with them lying around, and getting manky, try this:
1. Buy an envelope folder to stuff recipes into at the time of tearing.
2. Buy a lever arch folder and a pile of clear plastic folders (the type that clip into your lever arch folder)
3. When you have time, place the recipes into the clear folders (you can fit in quite a few per folder, esp if you have them facing front and back), staple them in so they don't move, then file them in the lever arch folder, ideally in starter, main course etc. sections.

Hey presto! Your very own personalised cook book with wipe-clean recipes!

CamperWidow Wed 20-Mar-13 20:42:53

Marking place

pinkparrotpink Wed 20-Mar-13 21:30:51

Silly question but re the frozen scones - do you just cook from frozen then?

redastra Wed 20-Mar-13 21:31:40

Also marking place, these tips and tricks are great!! Thanks already tried quite a few

DevonCiderPunk Wed 20-Mar-13 21:36:06

Just marking place as haven't read it all but will add a personal favourite:

Half a lemon in a bowl of water. Microwave on high power for 10 mins. Any blerg in the microwave is now steam-cleaned off & easy to wipe away, plus your house smells like lemons.

pinkparrotpink Wed 20-Mar-13 21:41:10

devon - I did that this morning, worked a treat & boy did it need doing!

Am loving this thread & now have my washing up liquid in an old soap dispenser & have just popped the washing up brush & scourer thingy in the dishwasher!

whodunnit Wed 20-Mar-13 23:25:34

The best one i heard recently was that you can start wahing up with only an inch of water in the bowl while it fills up, and use the water that is coming out of the tap to rinse off the washed items as you go. It works very well for me. Nice clean crockery.

lolalotta Thu 21-Mar-13 06:03:44

Yes parrot I cook my scones from frozen too (works with cheese straws too for the kids) just need a few minutes longer in the also works with welsh cakes! Oh and homemade pizza... grin

StoicButStressed Thu 21-Mar-13 10:00:48

ROLL UP, ROLL UP, LADIES... for FREE coffee EVERY DAY & NO £££ spend shock

Waitrose have devised an ingenious scheme to entice you in to do your shop there, so obviously do NOT succumb to that bit (unless you want to, obvs) as this FAB offer does NOT require you to make any purchase AT ALLsmile

Details are HERE and you DON'T need to 'sign-up' online and then wait for AGES for offer card to arrive - you can just go to the 'Welcome/Help' desk in store and get a temporary card which you can use IMMED - IE TODAY and EVERY day for a free cup of coffee. gringringrin

LIKE this offer a LOT as if you have a Waitrose on way to/from school run, can get one every day for free vs. the circa two quid you'd have to pay for same take-out coffee in any of the Coffee Chains. Offer is - currently - unending, so in theory you could save over £500 in the next year if you ARE that person who buys a take-out coffee every day**.


** If you ARE that person btw, you shouldn't waste your money that way anyway (unless stonkingly rich and can lob cash around without thought!). Should buy an insulated Coffee Mug (good ones usually less than a tenner - i.e. about 5 of those coffeeswink ) and just MAKE YOUR DAILY CAFFEINE FIX AT HOME AND TAKE IT WITH YOU (ESP. if you use a coffee chain that pays less bloody tax in total than even JUST you as an individual do - grrrrrangry )

reastie Thu 21-Mar-13 10:29:38

stoic sounds great on the site but it looks like you only get a free coffeewhen you buy stuff from waitrose (you have it scanned when you pay)

reastie Thu 21-Mar-13 10:35:10

OK, read terms and conditions and it says no purchase necessary so you might be on to something there - I've registered grin thanks

StoicButStressed Thu 21-Mar-13 10:43:25

Atta girl reastie wink

(But don't forget the fact that registering online WILL mean you won't get card for ages, so BEST way appears to be to get the 'temporary one' in store and THEN go online & register THAT card number - IE to enable you to have free drinkies from the UBER generous Waitrose as of right NOWgrin )

Growlithe Thu 21-Mar-13 10:57:08

My DSis taught me a great way to change a double/King sized duvet cover.

Turn the cover inside out and lay it top side down neatly on the bed. Lay the duvet on top of it.

Start rolling the duvet up in the top layer only. The bottom layer will sort of follow you but keep it separate from the roll. This is quicker with two people, one on each side of the bed, but I do it myself quickly enough by just swapping sides as I go.

When you get to the top, reach into the duvet, grab the corner and turn it inside out (again easier with two people but you can just do them one at a time). Put the corners where they should be on the bed, then just roll the duvet back down the rest of the bed.

Sounds convoluted the way I've described it, but the whole thing takes about a minute and is perfectly smooth, no lumps and bumps where the duvet has bunched inside.

Jojay Thu 21-Mar-13 11:00:42

My top lunch box tip is to put DC's sandwiches in a little bag, secured with a klip it. Once they've eaten them, train them to put crusts, apple cores, yoghurt pots etc back into the bag adn do the klip it up.

When you get home it goes straight into the bin, and the inside of the lunchbox stays clean. I use tesco value freezer bags, they're only about 50p a roll and last ages.

I hanen't read the whole thread so apologies if someone has suggested this already.

piemistress Thu 21-Mar-13 17:15:25

Did I miss any tips for easy sock washing sorting!

MinimalistMommi Thu 21-Mar-13 18:46:15

Pinkaparrot yes you can cook scones from frozen, they might need a couple of minutes longer until they go golden.
I have also let them defrost for five or ten minutes before cooking and that also works fine too.... grin

reastie I'm glad your scones worked for you! I always make up loads in one go now and chuck a load in the freezer!

dontoutmyselfthistime Thu 21-Mar-13 19:00:41

Oh I´ve got a couple!

One if you have painted a room and their is paint left over, secure the lild with a piece of cling film over the hole and then put the lid on and store upside down. Also make which room the paint if for. This will stop the top layer of the paint drying out.

In the summer, I make DD sandwhiches up on Sunday, bread, butter and cheese, ham etc NO salad and freeze them, take a sadwhich out a day and put the salad in, wrap up and put in lunch box and by lunch time they are still cold but NOT frozen. Saves a job every morning as their are 3 lunches to make

MrsHoarder Thu 21-Mar-13 19:08:23

Easy sock sorting: when you are putting the washing on the line, leave the socks in the bottom of the bag until last. Then hang them in pairs (so leave a gap as you go if the "friend" isn't obvious) and pair as you fold the washing to take them in.

RunsWithScissors Thu 21-Mar-13 19:10:16

I empty the water from my condensing dryer into a bottle to use in the iron. Perfect for hard water areas and free!

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 21-Mar-13 19:22:24

Pie - we used to have these at school if they help?
I think the tip earlier was to buy the same colours for each person in the household and then if one gets lost it isn't so obvious/hard to match smile

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 21-Mar-13 19:22:43
redwellybluewelly Thu 21-Mar-13 19:29:10

We have four beds in our house, each a different size. Cot. Single. Double. King.

I do the duvet plus sheets in pillowcases but then have a slim low plastic tub under each bed. Should any of the beds need changing in the middle of the night the clean items are right where you need them.

I keep a small wicker basket of upstairs cleaning items in the bathroom and clean when small is in the bath.

Set out the clothes for the week for dd and I on a sunday evening.

Buy a big bottle of liquid soap and decant into hand pumps in each bathroom. Saves a fortune.

ATouchOfStuffing Thu 21-Mar-13 19:33:34

Runs I use my tumble water to water my plants and rinse sink after a quick scrub smile

mathanxiety Thu 21-Mar-13 19:47:20

Keep all socks, tights and underwear for DCs in one basket in central location - no more trying to remember whose is which. Buy only plain white socks so no problems matching pairs.

Never iron. Christmas and Easter max. Hang wrinkled shirts, etc in steamy bathroom and they will sort themselves out.

I keep my cake and fairy cake pans in a box in a floor level cupboard. I keep little jars of spices and herbs in boxes on shelves higher up. Baking spices, raising agents, vanilla and other essences are in one. Next shelf has herbs and stuff like tabasco, worcestershire, etc. Another has boxes of jelly, drink mix, instant puddings, etc. Cuts out the rummaging and knocking paprika out of the cupboard while looking for sprinkles..

I also corral all the art supplies in a big basket.

I second Antionette's Dustbuster tip. Much handier than anything else I have ever bought in the hoovering dept.

Rattitude Thu 21-Mar-13 21:35:41

My top tip relates to kitchen bins and may not be that relevant as most people are already equipped with one. Still, my recommendation if you need to buy one is to get a 12L Brabantia bin such as this one.

I don't understand how generating much rubbish has become aspirational but bins seem to have become a status symbol over the past few years: the bigger the better! Plenty of 30L and 50L kitchen bins around.

The advantages of having a smaller bin:
- supermarket bags are a perfect fit (no need to buy bin bags); they are also easier to tie with the handles rather than fiddling with a little thread.

- full bin bags won't be heavy and won't split; it won't be that much of a chore to transfer them to the bin outside. Yes, you might even be able to do this yourself rather than relying on your partner thus avoiding potential arguments. wink

- your outside bin won't fill up as quickly when you have lots of smaller bags rather than huge lumpy ones.

- the kitchen bin is really easy to clean; I just give mine a little wipe with a kitchen roll sheet, slightly wet and with a little dash of lemon-infused white vinegar and it is good to go. (Tea tree oil would also be good.)

Disclaimer: There are only 2 people in my household. We recycle religiously and compost all vegetable and fruit peels. We also do not consume many ready meals or take-aways. I also typically cut plastic fruit or meat trays in 2/4 pieces and pile them up so that they take less space in the bin.

My kitchen bin only gets full after 3 or 4 days though so I suspect that even for a bigger household or one who generates more rubbish than we do, a smaller bin is still a viable option.

I have a slim council-provided bin and only put it out every month. Yeah!

One final tip: if I have a plastic tray which held fish, I leave it in the sink so that it gets rinsed whilst I am cooking (when I am washing my hands,etc.). It then gets binned before I do the washing up: fewer bin smells that way!

That was a long post - I appreciate I am a bit anal evangelical about bin matters! grin

lolalotta Thu 21-Mar-13 21:43:45

RunWithScissors, sorry for being stupid, but how does using water from you condenser dryer benefit your iron in hard water areas?

MousyMouse Thu 21-Mar-13 21:52:21

because the water from the dryer is pure, it is like condensation on windows. pure water without any solid particles.

Littlefiendsusan Thu 21-Mar-13 22:31:18

piemistress Buy each family member 2 of those zipped laundry bags for delicates.Keep clean socks in one bag - it helps if they are all the same-and train (ha!) everyone to put their dirty socks into the other bag. The whole bag of socks can then be washed and dried and put back in the drawer.
Obv only really works with tumble dryer.

tigerlilygrr Thu 21-Mar-13 22:38:09

Little fiend that is sheer genius!

lolalotta Fri 22-Mar-13 05:58:04

So can the socks be dried in the bag too? Do they dry properly?

lolalotta the socks can be dried in the tumbledryer. smile

piemistress Fri 22-Mar-13 08:41:04

Thank you! Next step is get a tumble drier

Instead of buying liquid handwash (@£1.50 for 500ml), get a large bottle of non branded bubble bath and decant. Am currently using Sainbos Creme Bath which is 67p for 1 litre. Have been asked more than once what brand of handwash I use as it smells so nice.

Showtime Fri 22-Mar-13 09:24:22

Running water to right temperature for washing dishes, store it in kettle or similar and use for rinsing after - no wasted water.