Most people spend the bulk of their time in and around the kitchen. The kitchen feeds both body and soul through aromatic flavors and family time memories. More often than not, the kitchen is overburdened from the weight and stress of adapting itself to all the roles it must play within the family. With all the bustle and activity that goes on in the kitchen, it is of utmost importance to have it functioning properly. The following 4 ideas can easily help control clutter, at minimal cost, while maximizing your space and time.
- Give your counter tops a modern look by placing glass bowls in a variety of shapes and sizes on your counter tops. Fruits, vegetables, and colorful straws, look great in glass bowls and serve as modern art while always conveniently being in arms reach.
- Cut the morning rush by creating a tea and coffee station,with coffee brewers, such as the Keurig B60, tea kettles, sugar, tea essence, mugs and more, taking care to have it stocked at all times. Having it at your fingertips will trim some time off the frantic morning routine and start everyone’s day the right way.
Ovens tend to get abused. They are scoured and scraped and spilt on until they’re smoky. All that aside, it doesn’t even take a year or two for your once brand-new oven to join the ranks of the rest of your old appliances. All it takes is a chemical-filled spray and within minutes your once brand-new oven is no more.
- According to GE, they get way too many calls from "smoking" customers who complain that the enamel in the oven has melted away. Time and again, the culprit is the harsh chemicals, steel wool and/or the bleach that is used to clean the self-cleaning oven.
- Flooding a stovetop to get rid of the ugly dirt is a big no-no. According to one expert in the field, water on ranges does, in fact cut the life of an oven short. The sitting water can get into the elements, which in turn causes it to rust or short out. He advises that if your stovetop is in need of a good cleaning, spray some oven cleaner and let it sit for a short while. Use a non-abrasive sponge to clean the grime away.
- Feel free to place the range grates, not the burners or caps, inside the oven while you are self-cleaning it. Many times, the gas will fail to light properly after a self-cleaning. Most of the time, all you have to do is poke a needle into the hole inside the burner to unclog it.
- Some of the leading oven brands have the heat escape through the back of the oven. Therefore, when using ovens for a longer period of time or when self-cleaning it, be sure to leave a 1-1/2” to 2” space between the oven and kitchen wall. If there is no breathing space left for the heat to escape, the heat can damage the digital clock.
There are those people who open the fridge door, stare at the food inside and just stand there thinking about whether or not to pull anything out. Then there are those who have been drilled for years to keep the refrigerator door closed, or else all the cold air will escape! Refrigerators are actually very tough when it comes to regulating their temperatures- that is, if the thermostats are in good working condition! However, there are various everyday habits that we have that can damage our refrigerators and freezers. Here are 5 of the most common ways we damage our refrigerators and freezers:
- If the shelves in your refrigerator or freezer have slats, refrain from putting a cover on top of the shelves. Doing so will inhibt the circulation of cold air. Solid glass shelves are not a problem, as the unit is built to accomodate these type of shelves. However, slotted shelves should be left uncovered or, in case of emergency, make sure to cut some holes in the covering.
- Ever used a sharp object to get rid of the crumbs stuck in the rubber gasket? Rubber gaskets and sharp objects are not on the best of terms and will do more damage than good. Next time, try using a soft-toothbrush, a rag and a vacuum cleaner. These do a better job at removing crumbs and do not damage the gasket. Aditionally, when something sticky spills onto the gasket and dries, the gasket will get stuck to the fridge. Pulling the fridge door open can cause the gasket to rip. Make sure to wipe down anything that spills using a soft cloth to avoid gasket mishaps.
- The million dollar question: Does placing hot pots directly into the refrigerator inflict damage? Well, the answer is both yes and no. Putting hot food straight into the refrigerator won’t harm the refrigerator but putting it into the freezer will create moisture that will build up on the freezer coils, forming ice. The real problem is that placing hot food into the fridge will increase the overall temperature in the refrigerator, which can cause perishable food already inside to spoil. That is why it is a good idea to allow the food to cool a bit before placing it in the refrigerator/freezer.
Almost every woman dreams of her ideal kitchen. Then again, the recession has forced many a woman to rethink her dreams. Good news! Your dream can now become a reality. Here’s a plan that will transform any kitchen from depressing to dazzling in ten days or less- without breaking the bank.
- For the cabinets, you can’t be any more economical than by painting or staining them. If your cabinets are gone, head to the lumberyard for replacement doors. Custom cabinets are totally unnecessary.
- If you thought granite was way out of your league, think granite tiles since they cost half the amount of the solid slabs. You don’t even have to get rid of the existing countertop since any professional tiler can apply the tiles right over it. If the granite tiles are still out of budget, opt for ceramic tiles that resemble stone. Use the same tiles for the backsplash and counter to create a neat look.
- As for appliances, you don’t have to buy new ones. Refrigerators can be sprayed and you can buy a new panel for the dishwasher. All appliances should have the same finish or color- either white, stainless steel or black. In the event that you have no choice but to buy new appliances, purchase them all from the same place and have them installed on the same day.
- The key to flooring is to find something that can be placed over your existing floor. It will save lots of time and money. Cheap flooring can last just as long as the expensive flooring.
- The sinks and faucets do not have to be replaced if they’re working just fine. However, if they are not, buy them off-the-rack in a discount lumber store.
For those of you just starting up, it seems simple. Find the piece that meets your specifications, pay for it, and you’re done. Easy enough, huh? Not so fast. Many people have invested tens of thousands of dollars in equipment and installation, only to find out that it doesn’t pass inspection. We put together a list of all you need to know BEFORE you purchase your equipment. If you follow our instructions below, you shouldn’t have a problem passing inspection.
- Before purchasing anything, speak to the local fire department and health inspector. They will be able to tell you all you need to know about restrictions in your kitchen. They may even be able to give you a list of specs that you can compare with before purchasing.
- Stay away from used equipment. You never know who used it before and what happened with it when they did. The extra money you pay for a new item is worth the peace of mind and will avoid potential problems.
- In order to pass inspection, every piece of equipment you purchase for a commercial kitchen needs to have an NSF sticker. This is a small blue sticker that is found on every piece of equipment. Make sure it’s authentic and not a duplicate before purchasing. Without an NSF sticker, you won’t pass inspection and may be fined.
- If you are purchasing from a dealer that is not well known, be sure to check very carefully. The few dollars you save by going to a smaller company may cost you big bucks later on.
- Before purchasing equipment have your electrician and plumber come down to let you know what the kitchen can accommodate. You don’t want to purchase equipment and then have to redo the whole structure of the kitchen.
2 slices of pizza + a can of coke =approximately -$4.00 + 400 calories! $4.00 x 7 days/week = $28.00/week. 400 calories x 7 days/wk = 2,800 extra calories/wk. For the average man, 2 slices doesn’t do the trick, so we are talking about the minimum here. That being said, pizza still ranks as one of America’s most favorite food. No one is asking you to cut it out of your diet, but in these trying times, why not save on some money and calories? This pizza recipe is sure to be a real hit. Let’s keep the whole wheat ingredient a secret. Unless you spill the beans, they’ll never know.
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
2 ½ cups warm water- 110°F
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
½ cup whole wheat flour
5 ½ cups unbleached flour
Thinking about a get-away? Well, February through May and September through November are the ‘off-season’ months. So now would be the best time to plan a vacation. Airfares are lower, hotels are cheaper, car rental rates are down and entrance fees into attractions are less. What can be better than coming home from a vacation with some money still left in the bank without having to compromise on the vacation?
First things first, vacation is a necessity, not a luxury like most people believe. Now that we got that cleared, here are some ideas that can help lower the cost of the vacation without compromising the experience.
- Budgeting throughout the year and setting aside some money each month will end up being a big help financially. Eliminate unnecessary spending such as going out to eat frequently, compare prices when grocery shopping, buy only the necessities and take advantage of the sales.
- Not waiting for the last minute to plan a vacation is a brilliant idea since the closer you wait to book and plan, the higher the rates will be. You want to plan everything from A-Z prior to the vacation, such as the car rental, hotel, attractions, food etc. enough in advance. Do your research. It will save you lots of money and time.
For me, “SHOPPING” is probably my biggest pet peeve. I’d rather sit at home and stare at the walls or out the window than go shopping. In no way do I look forward to a shopping trip as an enjoyable outing on a day off. I always come home with a big head-ache, starving and dead tired. I absolutely hate it! ( My husband loves me for that.) However, there are times when you have no choice but to face the music. Like when the children have outgrown their clothing or when an appliance decides to kick the bucket on me or when a household product goes dry. And now, with the holidays approaching… shopping stares you straight in the face.
With the economy down in the dumps and the sky-rocketing prices, it has become pathetically expensive to shop. Therefore, here are some courses of action you can take to make shopping a somewhat more enjoyable experience.
Barter, haggle, negotiate, bargain… I too would love to just get over with it, but close your eyes for a moment and imagine that sensation of coming home with a steal.
Here are some bargaining tips that just may make you rich one day:
Waste is a huge issue in the restaurant industry. In fact, waste is a major contributing factor in the financial demise of any food establishment. By not controlling how much food is used, it’s nearly impossible to determine a true daily budget. Few restaurants order just the right amount of food for daily operations.