Homemaking stuff, Kitchen tips, Life hacks

Life Hacks #1

There are a lot of things I wish I would have figured out sooner that save time and money. Thankfully, the Benevolent Dictator is always one step ahead of me on things like that, but I’m a quick study and have learned a few things of my own along the way.  Today I have three life-enhancing things that I have found many people don’t know.

Before you replace it, call the manufacturer.

Irons, blow dryers, hand mixers, kitchen faucets, food processor parts and even paint are things that we have either gotten replaced brand new from the manufacturer (if we couldn’t wait) or gotten reimbursement for our purchase price (in other situations such as the paint).

In Home Depot last week, my husband encountered a woman in the store looking for a Moen faucet to replace the one she had that broke. He asked her if she had called Moen, and she didn’t understand why she would do that. Well, almost all Moen faucets have a lifetime warranty. It breaks, you call them, they send you a brand new express mail one free of charge. She had no idea and her faucet was functioning enough that she could wait the three days for the new one.

Oh, the same thing goes for Fitbits. They send you a new one no questions asked if yours break. My SIL had replaced 3 before we learned and told her to stop wasting her money.

Sometimes it’s smarter to buy used.

In our breakfast nook, there was a cute little round dinette table with a glass table and 4 chairs. It was probably time for a new look in there anyway, but to nudge me along into shopping for a table, our 8-year-old broke the glass.

After a couple of weeks of the occasional trudging into furniture stores as we passed them, I settled on a set at Kane’s Furniture and was all set to stop by there on Sunday to buy it and have it delivered to the house.  I need to make a relevant parenthetical detour:

I have something of a *thing* about withholding as many dollars as possible from the consumerist machine. One of the reasons I love online classified sites for everything from homeschool materials to exercise equipment is that each one of those purchases denies the state more sales taxes and the junk consumer good market more dollars. There is only so much one can do in the context of suburban life, but I do what I can, to my husband’s amusements.

So, I was all set to bite the bullet and replace the dining set when my husband was in bed surfing Craiglist, and on the feed popped up a nice looking dining set for $250. It was very similar to the one I was about to buy, so we texted the guy and asked to see it. He agreed and not only was it in excellent condition, but his table was solid wood and much sturdier than the table I was about to spend $599 for:

Excuse the paper towel. I’m shooting this out on the lunch break.

And look! Same chairs:


That was a coup.

Waffle irons are good for more than just waffles:

I really enjoy freshly made hashed brown but in order for me to get them to that perfect crispness, I have to cook them in small batches. For 7 people, that can take longer than I feel like spending on breakfast some mornings. On Saturday, our oldest daughter suggested that we try doing it this way, which wold yield two servings per batch. It worked!


These were very good.

Well, those are my three life hacks from the past week. I also planted several herbs in the holes of painted cinderblocks but until I yield something we can eat using that idea, it doesn’t qualify as worthy of passing on. We’ll see.

Feel free to share any tricks and tips you use that can make life easier.



12 thoughts on “Life Hacks #1”

  1. I think you’ll appreciate it. Depending on your waffle iron, the heat setting they recommend might be a little low. We had to turn ours up.

    Might be time to buy a new waffle iron, which I will buy brand new, LOL.


  2. Great tips! I love buying second hand too. Dh and I still have our dining set we bought second hand when we got married. The chairs were starting to get a bit gross (because children and cat), so I reupholstered them and extended their life.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Iron skillet hack works because its thermal conductivity is higher than that of the wood or plastic you have on a cutting board. I would guess that a high quality stainless skillet with an aluminum or copper core might work even better, depending on the mass of the skillet, for the same reason.

    And your waffle iron hack works, I believe, because it’s got more surface area, an aluminium core, and heat sources on the top and bottom–I assume you’re using a plug-in iron. And it looks delicious, though I’m not quite ready yet to try it with my stovetop irons. (NordicWare)

    Liked by 1 person

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