Sharing some of our favorite hacks, tips and organization with you that keep life just a little simpler (if that’s even a thing when you have a large family like ours). Enjoy these ideas from our family to yours, with loads of love. These are affiliate links to Amazon in this post.

TIPS & HACKS:

VEGETA- One of the greatest seasonings out there is, drum roll,… Vegeta. If you haven’t tried yourself some Vegeta, I send you my heartfelt sympathy, ha! I take my Vegeta situation very serious. Not being able to add Vegeta to almost of my recipes was one of the hardest things I had to give up when I started blogging. #TwasHard #NoJoke. Though I still use it, we’ve really cut back – a ton, because many readers had no idea what that is and I’ve just learned to use other spices. For those of you that understand me, here are a few hacks I’d like to share for Vegeta. You know how some of the pieces are larger and really annoying, sure you do. I always like to grind them in a coffee grinder, goodbye uneven pieces and hello awesomeness. Then just transfer to a salt shaker. The coffee grinder works wonderfully if you ever need other herbs ground into smaller pieces. I have had this grinder as long as we’ve been married and it was so affordable, I use it on a regular basis. (UPDATE: I didn’t think this post would turn into a Vegeta debate, LOL;)! T’was not my intent. No worries, Vegeta packages with NO MSG, check out the one we have linked:). Please no more comments about Vegeta, haha. :). THANK YOU)!! 

life hack, vegeta

FREEZING MEAT- My sister shared this tip with me. Take your ground meat and put it in a Ziploc bag and flatten it and place in the fridge so it freezes flat. It’s easier to store and so much quicker to thaw. The same applies to freezing meat.

Also, we go through a lot of ground meat in recipes. We use them in soups, casseroles or Ukrainian meatballs. I found that ground meat is SO overpriced. So, I purchased the meat grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer and it’s amazing. I no longer purchase ground meat and save so much money. I typically purchase meat once a month. I then divide everything into Ziploc bags and freeze the meat. I take some of the pork, beef and chicken and with my attachment, I just grind everything and freeze the ground meat in bags. Then just thaw as needed.

before and after of how to freeze ground meat

BREAD- Growing up in a large family, we were raised not throw food away. That’s something I would love for my children to carry on with them. If there’s a way not to throw food away and reuse it, do it! There are so many people hungry and don’t know where they will be getting their next meal and we are so blessed in this great country. One of the greatest challenges is having fresh bread in the home. I love this method of using bread going bad I’d like to share with you. If you start noticing bread becoming stale, please don’t throw it away. Slice it into slices (if not already sliced) and freeze in Ziploc bag (I use the Jumbo bags, it stores more). Then, as needed I make cheesy bread out of it. Frozen sliced bread is really easy to thaw, then just brush with melted butter, add some garlic powder with grated cheese and bake. The cheesy bread is phenomenal and you’d never know the bread wasn’t a fresh loaf. 🙂

Close up of homemade cheesy bread.

COFFEE CONTAINER– Empty coffee containers have the potential to be reused in so many ways. I’ll share one of my favorite. I took the coffee tin and spray painted it, then cut an opening at the top and we use it to store bags. Great, easy and recycled. #Winner

before and after of coffee tin hack

MINI TRASH CAN- My FAVORITE TIP! Keep a small basket or empty ice cream container and line it with a grocery store bag. Then, when you are prepping food, peel and throw all of the trash directly into it. No more messy counter with peels and trash all over:). Once you’re done prepping, just discard of the bag and line a new one for the next time you need. LOVE this! I just keep mine under my sink and closest to where I prep food. 🙂

Mini basket with grocery bag.

SHEETS- I love this trick I learned for sheets. (Sorry for the horrible photo.) We have 6 extra bed sheets I rotate for all of our beds in the home. The beds are all different sizes. So it got to a point when folding and removing it was so confusing to keep all the sheets that belong to the different beds organized. When you stack the fitted sheet, flat sheet and pillowcases it’s so easy to get them mixed up with another set and then it becomes frustrating. So, now, before the last fold of the flat sheet, I put into the fitted sheet and pillows for that set then close the sheets. Now it’s so easy to keep the sheets organized. 🙂

fold sheets

LAUNDRY DETERGENT ALTERNATIVE: So, we go through so much laundry detergent (large family will do that). I was always so scared of all the added chemicals in our detergent. I researched and researched and found these Laundry Detergent – All Natural balls. I purchased them last year and am IN LOVE! We have saved so much money using them and they are chemical free. I still use something a little stronger for my husband’s work clothing (he does construction), but for the most part, we only use these. I will just add some fresh lemon, or like a lavender oil for smell. Read up on them, they are AMAZING! Just don’t forget to recharge them. These are the dryer balls we use!

Two detergent crystal balls.

KEEPING IT ORGANIZED:

BASKETS- I really like using basket organizers for my onions, garlic and potatoes. They are easily accessible and stay fresh longer and look organized.

Potatoes and onion in basket bins.

CABINET TURNABLE- (AKA mini lazy Susan). This turntable is amazing. Used to store oil and cooking wines. Great to store cleaning products. It’s even great to use in the refrigerator for sauces. Just turn and get what you need without needing to take out half of the items in your fridge or cabinets.

CONTAINERS- One of the best ways to keep things organized in cupboards. I have these really container containers that I use to keep my rice, sugar, and flour in. I then use the smaller sized containers for the cereals, pasta or oatmeals

SPICES ORGANIZER– Not sure how I survived with my OCD and spices before I purchased this spices organizer for spices. A must-have for each kitchen, or so I believe.

REFRIGERATOR- Keeping the fridge organized is one of the hardest areas in the home to keep organized. It seems like no matter how often you clean it, the struggle is for real. Anyhow, recently I’ve invested in some organizer bins, and it’s so much easier to find items in the refrigerator as well as keep them organized. THANK YOU!

CLEANING POTS- Do you ever cook something and the bottom of your pots get yucky? Then it takes forever to try and scrub everything out? For a large pot add 1 cup water and 1/2 cup vinegar. Place onto the stovetop. Bring to a light boil and turn the heat off. Leave the pot on the stovetop. I just leave it on there until water completely cools. That’s it. Everything that is stuck will come right off. It’s amazing. I just use a wooden spatula to scrape the bottom, it’s easier that way. This even works on pans/skillets.

BROOM HANGER– This broom hanger is another great organizer.

DRAWERS- Great way to keep cabinets organizers are these organizers. Love them and use them everywhere in our home.

Do you have any TIPS or ORGANIZATION idea you love? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below. 🙂

Fondly,

Valentina

Valentina's Corner 2017 photos

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