Thursday, February 3, 2011

Save and Stock

I randomly recall people in my family commenting about my great-grandmother who lived through the depression.  They would talk about how, when they went to her house to eat, she would take their finished drink glasses and pour out every last left-over drop into a pitcher to drink again later.  And it was either her or my grandmother that they would talk about opening the medicine cabinet and finding 30 bars of soap.

Perhaps it is heredity. . .I am such a stocker (not stalker. :) ).  I don't save our left-over drink droplets, but if one were to open my bathroom closet, one would find packages upon packages of toilet paper, paper towels, and hand soap.  And I feel the need to purchase more.  There was an advertisement yesterday for the brand of toilet paper that I like on a really good sale, in addition to a "$5 off a $25 purchase" coupon. . .we won't need toilet paper for about another year - or at least many, many months.

The fact that I stock up on things doesn't really bother me, but I do often wonder how normal it is.  I suppose, in addition to heredity, I feel the need to not have to worry about using the last _______ in the house and needing more - or finding out that there is no _______ because no one told me to purchase more or needing to purchase something expensive that it is not on sale when I need it (like my current nylon situation).  I try to limit some of my domestic stress in this way.

In fact, I believe limiting any stress possible is a necessity.  I must often laugh at myself when performing one of my "shortcuts."
  • When folding a sheet set, I stuff all of it into one of the matching pillowcases.  That way, I do not have to search for one piece when I need it.  
  • I also keep a 3-ring notebook filled with plastic sleeves with my cookbooks.  That way, if I clip or print a recipe I like or would like to try, I just slide it into a sleeve and don't have to worry about sorting a pile of paper later.  This also keeps the paper clean from spills and flour (which most of my recipe books are powdered with).  One could also "edit" a recipe with dry-erase markers.
  • I put all of my plastic food storage container bottoms into one bin and all of the lids in another, smaller bin.  That works better for me.
  • I am a firm believer in those little storage boxes that one would put into a drawer.  I bought a few rather large sets at IKEA for a great price a while ago and have used them ever since.  They are so helpful in sorting socks from hose from other things. . .all in the same drawer.
  • I keep a little fabric bag on the handle of my front door that has Daisy's "going outside" things (leash, flashlight, fleece vest, and treats). This is very helpful when she needs to go out at 1:45 AM. . .and I am not really awake. :)   This also helps in the morning when I am late to work, but need to take her on one last trip.  I don't have to run around to find where I last set the leash.
  • I keep a kitchen timer on my refrigerator.  I am not a very good self-motivator, so when one of my least favorite chores needs to be done, I set my timer for 15 minutes and just do it.  I am normally finished by the time my timer goes off.
  • Whenever I make a recipe that calls for an ingredient that I don't normally stock (like buttermilk and creamed corn for Alton Brown's corndogs), I separate what I didn't use into what the recipe called for and freeze it for whenever I need to use it again.
I hope to have helped someone get an idea for how to make their life a little less stressed.  If you have any shortcuts that are helpful to you, please share!

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