Monday, October 4, 2010

Dual-Use Dynamos

I like objects that can serve more than one purpose. They save money, and they save space. What are some dual-use items in your house? Here are a few of mine.

My microwave is used to heat up food, and also sometimes to store foods I want to protect from bugs, and my cat. One example would be freshly baked cookies. If left on the counter, they might be subjected to the lick test by our resident feline taste taster. When placed on a plate in the microwave they are sealed away safely from the eyes of the cat and from those of Mr. Bargain.

Another kitchen item I use for two different things is my plastic microwave plate cover. Not only is it great for preventing splatters when reheating food, it also makes a good colander for rinsing a few veggies under the tap.

Corks are another multiple use item. When they are done sealing my wine bottle, I reuse them for sealing bottles of cooking oil or vinegar. I also prop my washing machine open with a cork after use to allow it to dry thoroughly, preventing mildew.

Chopsticks are a similarly versatile item. When they are not being used to shovel Chow Mein into my mouth, I use them for various craft purposes. They are good for gently popping the bubbles around the edges of the mold when making soap. They are also good for tying wicks around to hold them upright in just-poured candles until they become solid. Another use is poking decorative doodads through the mouth of small bottles or glass ornaments.

On many occasions I have used a juice glass turned upside down as a cookie or biscuit cutter. Simply roll out the dough, flour lightly, press the glass down into the dough, then twist gently to loosen.

Rubber bands aren't just for holding groups of objects together. I use them all the time for holding plastic baggies in the dishwasher so they don't fall down onto the heating element while being washed. Place the baggie around six or so prongs, and pull the rubber band down over it to hold it on. The baggie will fill up with water. Once the machine is finished washing, simply empty it out before pulling the rack all the way out.

These are just a few of the dual-use items in my house. Please share some of yours. I 'm looking forward to learning some new uses for the objects I already have at home!


Anonymous said...

Good ones! I uses my taper candles on my kitchen counter as baggie dryers! Candles for a romantic dinner and handy ziploc dryers too!

Zengirl @ Heart and Mind said...


I like to use multi use items or find creative ways to use something I already have!

I like the idea of using juice glass a cookie cutter. I will do that next time.


Betsy Bargain said...

Good one, Anon! I usually wash mine in the dishwasher, so I just let them dry on the prongs, but if I wash them by hand, I sometimes use a wooden spoon stuck in a measuring cup to dry them on.

Betsy Bargain said...

Glad I could give you a useful tip, Preeti. I just read another tip in Real Simple today about using a muffin tin turned upside down as a cooling rack. Brilliant!