How to clean a stinky garbage disposal

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Stinky Garbage Disposal

The other day I came home from running errands and as I walked into the house the first thing that hit me was a really bad smell.  You know, the kind you get when a potato has gotten pushed to the back of a cupboard and lost until it starts to really stink.  I hunted and hunted for the source of the offending odor.  I cleaned out cupboards, drawers and garbage cans with no success.  The next day as I came down the stairs I was hit with the awful smell again.  The kids and I did a major clean on the main floor to try and find it.  Finally, I realized the stink was coming from the garbage disposal.  There was nothing inside, but oh boy did it smell bad.  I went searching for a way to get rid of it.  After a quick Google search, I decided to try the easiest method and it worked really well.

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Strawberry Jam

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Strawberry Jam

Strawberry Jam

We love homemade strawberry jam.  I like to make the freezer version because it is so easy.  We ran out of the last batch and as strawberries were on sale, I decided to make more.

I loaded my cart with strawberries and headed down the isle the pectin should be on.  Apparently I was not the only one who wanted to make jam because they were totally out of the Sure Jell pectin I have always used.  After some grumbling to myself, I decided to try out the jar of Ball brand pectin on the shelf.  It comes in 3 varieties: Classic Pectin (AKA cooked version), Instant Pectin (freezer version) and Low Sugar version.  I chose the Instant Pectin.

I am so glad I was “forced” out of my regular habits.  We love the jam we made and I will not go back to the old ways.  Let me tell you a few reasons why.pectin comparison

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Mega Baking Day!

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Mega Baking Day

I got quite a bit of baking done today, but not as much as planned. The burritos did not turn out 🙁 Lesson learned. The chicken rolls were good. I put two in a snack-size baggie. I have enough for 32 lunches. Bread turned out great! I only got a double batch of the peanut butter chocolate button cookies done. I’ve package them two to a baggie and have enough for 40 lunches. I plan to make the breakfast sandwiches, cupcakes and maybe the pumpkin muffins done tomorrow.
I’ve been doing these baking days for a few years now and I’ve gained a few insights along the way. Continue reading »


School Lunches

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I make my kids lunch every day. Three lunches for hungry teenagers can be a bit of a challenge. In addition, I have one child who leaves the house at 6:00 am. I’m half asleep when I’m packing lunches. I’ve found a few items that have helped make the process easier and more ful”filling” for my kids. To start with I have found the perfect lunch boxes. They cost around $8.00 at Walmart. I’ve only been able to find them just before school starts each year. They are insulated and have a hard liner inside. The liner comes out and can be easily washed. It also helps protect the food so that it does not get squashed. There is also a pouch on the front for other things. The Velcro tends to tear over time, so we just use the zipper option. Continue reading »

What’s for Dinner?

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What's for Dinner?

What’s for Dinner?

The eternal question of “what’s for dinner” has plagued many a parent. While I fully admit that occasionally we have ‘cold cereal night’ or ‘fend for yourself night’, I do usually make a meal for us to share. I’ve tried a number of different ways to create and stick to a menu. The method that works the best for me is a simple list. I make a list of 14 meals and then make sure I have the ingredients for all of them. Each day I pick a recipe off my list that sounds good to me. Once the recipe has been used, I cross it off the list. The list I am currently working off is: Continue reading »



Price Book

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Price Book

Price Book

A while ago I mentioned using a price book to track sales and grocery prices. I originally got the idea from a book titled “The Complete Tightwad Gazette” by Amy Dacyczyn. It is the best way I have seen to track grocery prices and know a good deal when I see it. As Amy said,
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“It quickly became evident that not every sale was really a sale. But when I did find a good buy, and I could verify it with months of records…what power! I could stock up with confidence.”
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I’ve used this method over the years.  I decided to create an excel file to keep track on the computer. I also printed the pages of items I wanted to track. I have made a pretty extensive list of items, some I don’t personally track but may be of interest to others. The master file is currently 146 pages (one page per item), but I only track about 90. My printed price book; which includes a grocery list and pouch for coupons goes with me to the store. I made a front cover on MS Publisher and the grocery list is in excel. Here are a couple of pictures. Continue reading »