There’s never been a better time to make some changes to the way you do things in the kitchen. These hacks are all very simple and achievable in most homes..
They include ways to transform your recycling into useful objects, ideas to get the most out of your food and clever recipes using limited ingredients.
1. Milk carton planters
Why not grow some herbs, lettuces or even flowers on a sunny windowsill? An empty milk or juice carton is the perfect size to transform into a planter. Just cut the empty carton in half, rinse with water, fill it with soil and then plant your seeds. You could even decorate the outside of your new planter.
2. Egg carton freezer containers
Plastic egg cartons are the perfect size to store individual portions of food in the freezer, although we recommend giving the containers a rinse in the sink first. You could freeze half a dozen individual portions of pasta sauce, and then take them out of the freezer when you need them. Did you know that eggs can be safely frozen, but that egg shells don’t freeze well? If you crack each egg into an individual indent in a plastic egg carton you can freeze your eggs and then use them as and when you need them. We wouldn’t recommend this with a cardboard egg box.
3. Put kitchen roll in your salad drawer
If you pop a couple of piece of kitchen roll at the bottom of the salad drawer in your fridge it will absorb moisture and help your food to stay fresh for longer. It may well help to keep your fridge cleaner too.
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4. Freeze your milk
Did you know that milk can be safely frozen? This is an ideal option if can only buy a carton larger than you need or strike it lucky on the reduced price shelf. Milk expands when it freezes so don’t put it in a tight container. Make sure that it’s thoroughly defrosted when you want to use it and shake it before using.
5. Flip your cereal bag
This is an obvious one, but lots of people don’t do it. Flip your cereal packet over before you use it and you won’t end up with crumbs at the bottom of the packet.
6. I didn’t know you could freeze that!
Lots of different foods can be safely frozen to help reduce waste and to stock your freezer. This includes cheese, cooked pasta, chocolate, chopped fruit, vegetables and cake.
7. Banana pancakes
If you can’t get hold of flour, eggs or milk you can still enjoy pancakes. Just mash a banana with a handful of oats and then fry in a pan. It’s also vegan friendly.
8. Homemade ice cream (that isn’t actually ice cream)
Cut a ripe or over ripe banana into chunks and freeze. Once it’s frozen, blend or mash the banana with a splash of milk to make an ice cream alternative. You could try this with berries instead of banana if you have them.
9. Hang cleaning products on a rod
If the cupboard under your sink is a mess and you can never find that bottle of kitchen cleaner, make a rail for them. Screw a metal rod into the cupboard and hang the handles on it to make more space.
10. Tidy up your carrier bags
This might be something to task children with if they complain of being bored. You could try folding every individual carrier bag into a neat origami-like shape. Alternatively you could fill empty tissue boxes with carrier bags so that you can pull them out as you would tissues.
11. Jam jars
Clean, empty jam jars can be used for a whole host of things including tea light holders, mini vases for wild flowers and, our favourite, for keeping food in. If you’re trying to stay healthy at home, chop carrots and celery into batons and pop them in a jar and keep them in the fridge for snacking on.
12. Saucepan handles
If you didn’t know, the reason why there is a hole in a saucepan handle is so that you can rest a wooden spoon in it.
13. Wine bottle watering can
You might be getting through more alcohol than usual being stuck at home. Use your empty wine bottles as watering cans to feed the plants instead.
14. Coffee jar vase
Bigger than a jam jar, they make excellent vases. If you’re lucky enough to have a garden to grow them in, brighten up your house with flowers.