Handy Hacks

Hack: clever or quick fix; finesse something for use in a new way–or a way to save yourself time, effort and or money.

**A huge time saving tip–brown several pounds of ground beef at once. After much trial and error, here’s the best way–put your still wrapped still frozen directly from the deep freeze beef in your crock pot; as much as will fit. Cook it on low until it’s soft enough to unwrap. Mush it around with your spoon, and cook on low for several hours until browned (My crockpot has automatic shut off so I set mine to cook overnight for 8 hours). Suck out the grease with a turkey baster and spoon in two cup increments into freezer bags. Freeze FLAT.

If you are ever running late for dinner, it takes about two minutes to defrost these. Awesome–and not much work to begin with.

**Reuse single serve applesauce containers as paint pots

**Save on paper towels by using yesterday’s newspaper or newsprint to clean windows and mirrors. The newspaper especially will keep from streaking much better than paper towels.

It’s also fun for the kids.

**Reuse a cinnamon shaker for toothpick storage. One shake and one toothpick pops out.

This also works amazingly well for toddler entertainment.

**Vinyl gutters can be re-purposed for easy access, front facing bookshelves.

**Another use for your pet kennel: Baby Jail.

**For thousands of abso-smurf-ly terrific parent related hacks, let me direct you to a clever little site called: Parent Hacks

12 thoughts on “Handy Hacks

  1. I also buy ground beef in large quantities and divide and freeze. I’ve found if I wrap it in freezer paper and then put it inside a good ziplock bag, it won’t get freezer burn.

  2. Well, aren’t you just the niftiest mom out there? I love all these tips and plan to steal quite a few of them… that ground beef tip… LOVE IT!! and those vinyl bookshelves… def those are my two favs… THANK YOU THANK YOU!!!

  3. Browning it all and freezing it flat is Genius! Thanks !!

    And I heard of that gutter idea years ago… had forgotten all about it. Thanks for the reminder- it looks nice on your wall!

  4. Boiling big amounts of ground beef also works. The water removes most of the fat, so you have a much lower fat portion of beef. When the water cools you can skim off the fat, and then you have some fantastic beef broth for your next soup.

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