Archive for September 5, 2014

DIY Plastic Scrubbie Tutorial

DIY Plastic Scrubbie (made from onion and orange bags)

Isn’t it the most charming plastic scrubbie you’ve ever seen? What? You don’t normally gush over plastic scrubbies? Oh…

 There are two things you should know about me up front: the first is that I collect a lot of disparate tips and tricks and life hacks for saving money and making life simpler, and I’m willing to try a lot of them. The other thing you should know is that I have neither time nor energy to continue using tips and tricks that don’t work well or are overly time consuming.

 So, when I say that I’ve tried making my own scrubbies out of old onion and orange bags, this is not that surprising. However, when I say that I save all my old onion and orange bags for making scrubbies (unless something’s gone moldy in them, because that’s just gross) and I never buy plastic scrubbies, this is noteworthy.

 Here’s how it works:

 DIY Plastic Scrubbie (made from onion bags)

 When a bag that looks like this comes into my house, usually containing onions or oranges or occasionally some other type of produce, I cut off an paper tags or metal clips on the ends and stash the bag in a kitchen drawer until I have several.

 Once I have a half dozen or more of these bags saved up, or whenever my current scrubbie has reached an untimely demise from tackling an unusually disgusting job, I take two minutes to turn the bags into a new scrubbie.

 At this point, with the ends cut off, the bags should be cylinders of plastic mesh. It doesn’t matter if they’re a bit torn, but unless they’re still basically in a cylinder shape they’re going to be a lot harder to use neatly.

DIY Plastic Scrubbie

 In this overly bright picture I have begun pulling the cylinders of plastic mesh over my arm so that they’re stacked or nested inside each other. Once all the bags, or cylinders, are layered, like a giant cast, I remove the whole thing from my arm. Then I begin to roll them up together from the end, like rolling up a giant pant leg.

DIY Plastic Scrubbie

When you’re done, it should look like a giant, inedible doughnut. (Mmm, doughnuts…)

DIY Plastic Scrubbie

 If you had plenty of mesh bags to start with, your scrubbie may function perfectly well at this point, but if your material was a bit sparse it may be best to tie a knot of sorts in this loop make it more solid and easier to scrub with. (It’s probably best if you just watch the video for my demonstration of how to do this, but in the end you’ll end up with something that looks rather like this.)

DIY Plastic Scrubbie (made from onion and orange bags)

Ta da! You’ve just made your very own plastic scrubbie out something you were probably otherwise going to throw away! Don’t you feel a glow of frugalness and environmentally friendliness inside now?

Menu Plan and Shopping List 9/4/14-9/10/14

For those who were concerned that my report last week that I followed my menu plan might indeed mean that I was living in an alternate universe, you can stop worrying. This week’s menu plan completely fell apart, so I think all must be right with the world again.

We had the salmon fillet sandwiches as planned, but when our fridge died over Labor Day weekend, the vast majority of our refrigerated food had to be thrown away, and I was forced to fall back on canned and frozen foods to make meals that had no leftovers, or leftovers that could be frozen instead of refrigerated.

On the bright side, we tried out Einstein Bros Bagels for breakfast one day, and I greatly enjoyed the Nova Lox bagel, causing me to decide that my life needs more salmon (especially smoked salmon) in it as a general rule.

I did throw together a pizza one night, but rather than continuing my planned experiments with New York Style crust, I used this no rise, no knead crust, which was surprisingly good. I defrosted leftover Spicy Honey Chicken thighs, added olive oil to the honey/vinegar glaze to use as the ‘sauce’ for the pizza, and topped the whole thing with parmesan and cheddar. To my slight surprise, it was quite yummy.

We also ate some fried potatoes and a tuna/pasta/frozen peas dish (to which I normally would have added a white sauce, but lacking milk, a bit olive oil and a lot of parmesan cheese sufficed quite nicely).

I’m trying to keep things somewhat simple this week, but using some of the ideas from last week’s menu, especially the sushi which I missed out on making.


Salmon Patty Sandwiches (with tomato and sauteed onion) with carrots and homemade french onion dip

New York Style Pizza

Leftovers/Fridge Scrounging

Crockpot Lasagna

Chicken Strips and Sprout Salad (something like this one, but my own version)


Sushi (depending on how ambitious I’m feeling I’ll either serve this with avocado fries or a simple avocado salad of diced avocado, salt and lemon juice)


Leftovers, and perhaps grilled cheese sandwiches if needed.


Last week we fell back on lemon muffins from the freezer a couple of times while our normal refrigerator breakfast ingredients were unavailable. This coming week may see more lemon muffins, but hopefully there will also be eggs and milk and fruit and maybe some fried potatoes.

Baking and Extras:

I’m currently testing my kombucha scoby to see if it’s still usable after some hiccups in my kombucha production yesterday. If it’s good, more kombucha making is in my near future. I also have some fresh ginger I’d like to start using up, perhaps including making pickled ginger to go with the sushi. I’m going to try to keep projects low key this week though. Depending on how things go I may be making whole wheat tortillas and lasagna noodles, and I definitely want to make good pizza crust this week, so I don’t want to add too much beyond that.

Shopping List:

Kroger has raspberries for $1 a package again, along with decent sales on tomatoes and continuing the $1/lb  price for organic kale. I’m not sure if I’m getting to Kroger this week, so the main part of my shopping list is for Aldi. I’m needing to restock quite a few basics after the fridge catastrophe, but the good sale prices include avocadoes for 49 cents and oranges at $2/3 lbs.


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