homemaking hack #1: silverware jars

We've got a super busy day planned today- I'm covering two exercise classes for friends and I need to hit the post office and then Sam's club for a grocery run. I made my menu plans last night and was dreaming hoping to keep it under $100. Then I actually started listing what I needed. Yeah. Sam's and $100 week + grocery trips are not happening. Ha! At least I did the math before I went instead of letting the register do it for me. That has happened way more than once. ;)


We were out of everything breakfast related as of yesterday, so last night I mixed up some bread and set the timer on the bread machine. I used to make homemade bread all the time, but since I went bread-free last year I haven't gotten back in the habit. Now I'm thinking I might try it again on a regular basis. Everyone in the family loves hot bread. :) It had been so long that I forgot to set the crust to light, but it was still really good!

Here's the recipe I used. I hadn't tried that one before, but it was good. {I can't compare it to my Artisan bread, though! Not even in the same category.}


Here is the awesome bread machine I use- I stole it from GW for $10, and blogged about it during my 31 days of thrifting series!

But I couldn't get on with my week without showing you one of my more recent homemaking hacks. :) I have several of these planned to share with you guys in the near future. {*mischievous grin*}

This one is life changing. In the kitchen, anyway. ;)

Wait for it.... it's big....

I've started to leave all of my useful silverware out on the counter. 


Crazy, huh? 

You know me, I like to live on the wild side. :)

Though we stopped sorting them by size long, long ago and just used a big double caddy in the drawer, I was super tired of walking across the kitchen to grab a fork when I was cooking and preparing dinner on the other side. {or maybe I was just lazy...} I could have moved it all to another drawer close by, but I'm loving not having to cross the kitchen and open the drawer. 

Apparently, I either eat all the time, or I'm making food all the time, because I was having to get in that hard-to-pull drawer like every five seconds.

I could hide the jars when we have company, but the truth is, I like the way they look. Kind of like I'm having a dinner party on my counter every day. :)

And I estimate that I'm saving at least 15 steps and 30 seconds every day. hehehe.

It's officially a homemaking hack I'm quite fond of now. :)

So tell me...

What do you do with your silverware? 

Are you a silverware sorter? Or are you living the wild life like me? :P

Do you love your bread maker too? Any great recipes to share?? I'm always on the lookout! 

35 comments

Sharon said...

I'd love to leave mine out on the counter....except for those pesky cockroaches! The thought of them scurrying over them makes me ill!! Bread looks great. I love making bread in my breadmaker...going to make a loaf today!

Rebecca Jackson said...

I love the silverware tip, we have a small kitchen with very little drawer space so I love the idea to save me drawer space! I too have a breadmaker we got 6 years ago for our wessing shower & I still have never used it! I would love to but it just sits there & intimidates me, I think that's gonna change now! :)

Theresa said...

I love my bread machine. I don't bake the bread in it anymore, I like using the dough setting, and baking the bread in the oven. Here's my favorite recipe/tutorial:
http://www.thenaturalmommy.com/2009/07/29/honey-oat-flax-bread-bread-machine-recipe/

Stacey said...

What a great idea!

Sarah Mueller said...

I never thought of leaving the silverware out! Crazy! I am trying to keep my counters as clear as possible so I won't do this one but here is my crazy silverware tip - leave a spoon or measuring cup inside frequently used food containers. I leave a spoon in our brown sugar container, a cup inside the oatmeal, etc. Less dishes to wash and no double-dipping in the brown sugar.

JessN said...

What a fun idea! I loved the pictures of your kitchen the other day. Made me want to put a plant by my sink. Fun & inviting!

VanderbiltWife said...

I really like this cardamom yeast bread - I make the dough in the bread machine: http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/cardamom-yeast-bread-made-in-the-bread-machine

I also recently posted about bread machine cinnamon rolls: http://www.vanderbiltwife.com/2013/02/easy-bread-machine-cinnamon-rolls/

Mandy said...

oh yay! Let me know how it goes!! :D

Mandy said...

wohooo for bread machines! You can do it! :D It's so easy after the first batch! yay!

Mandy said...

Aw, thanks!! I have developed quite the love for house plants in the kitchen. They seem so happy! :D

Mandy said...

mmmmm! I don't know if I've ever tried cardamom but that bread looks amazing!! and we LOVE cinnamon rolls too! those look so yum! {pregnancy craving ensuing now, lol!}

Mandy said...

oh, that looks so good!!! and I love the idea of flax seed in there too... more omega 3s for the baby! :D

Joya Towne said...

I am most certainly a silverware sorter:0) But I love how yours looks on the counter!! We used to have a bread machine and I always loved starting it before bedtime so they house smelled yummy in the morning. It broke and we never got a new one but we make artisan bread alot. I've gone gluten free so I'm working on finding a good gf bread recipe now.

Anonymous said...

I used to do the same thing with mason jars. I loved it ....till one day the I found some glass in the box that held my jars. My holder was a cute wooden box. I realized the silver had actually popped holes of glass out of the bottom of the mason jars. I was bummed. I use stanless steel containers now. (i.e. cute Starbucks barista pitcher from an old Barista for my spoons). So, stick with the idea just be careful with the glass jars.

Leah said...

I have been thinking of doing exactly that with leaving the cutlery out in a caddy type thing for a little while now (but haven't yet got around to it!). Seeing yours looking so great I might have to add that to my to do list this week! I, too, loved the pic of your kitchen you recently posted. The plant definitely made it very home-y and fresh. Something else I will be looking into when it warms up a bit! (Oh and I am also pregnant due at the end of July with #4 so I love hearing about all that you are going through with your pregnancy. Your post on hormones? Right on! Thanks for sharing your heart on that.) God bless!

Jari said...

Hey!!! I need to invest in a bread maker. I noticed several of my homemaker friends using a bread maker and the bread really looks good!! Plus, my family goes through bread like water. But I am a silverware sorter. I think that I have OCD, because I sort by size and silverware. The forks, spoons, and knifes are sorted by size and handle!!! Yes, I know that I am weird, but I am organized. I always kept out our useful silverware out, which kept us (me) aware where our spoons are going. I have runaway spoons, and often having to go out and buy more!!! Also, I have 3 little ones, which I keep their silverware for easy grasps!!!


But I will be looking out for breadmakers!!!

Mandy said...

Oh, I will keep a look out for that! I had no idea! Thank you!

Mandy said...

Wooohooo! congratulations!! My #4 was born in July too! :D I'm so excited for you! Let me know if you like the caddy trick- I am surprised at how much simpler it makes everything! :D

Mandy said...

We do love the artisan bread for sure! :) let me know if you find a good recipe! I know lots of people are probably looking for one! :)

Mandy said...

LOL! You aren't alone! I think I'm the only weird one by not doing it- heheh! :) Don't forget to check Goodwill- they have a ton!

Jari said...

I might have to check the Goodwill. We have about 2-3 local, so I will!! :)

JessN said...

I put our bamboo plant by the sink. LOVE IT! Sometimes it's the little things... :)

Anonymous said...

I got my bread maker at the hospice thrift store for 11.99! I made the whole wheat recipe on the 100 days of real food blog! It's yum! I'm going to use her recipe for homemade breadcrumbs with the leftovers!

Mandy said...

oh, yay! I love a good deal! It's incredible how much they are new versus used, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

On the blog "Salad in a Jar" Paula has many great tutorials. Several of them is why she loves her bread machine. She has several recipes that look awesome as well. But what drew me to her blog was the tutorial on vacuum sealing mason jars. Since I had recently bought a Foodsaver machine and found out you can vacuum seal the jars, I began scouring the internet for ideas and found her. Then I discovered that you don't need to buy the pricey Foodsaver machine and could do it for next to nothing cost wise. I contacted her and she put my method in a great tutorial. (I'll post the link at the end). If you've ever had cereal go stale, nuts go rancid, etc. and you want to preserve the food you buy and also bring down your grocery bill (because you're not throwing out stale food) then please check her out at:http://www.salad-in-a-jar.com/family-recipes/how-to-vacuum-pack-salad-in-a-jar-for-less-than-6-plus-a-video Then check out the rest of her vacuum sealing tutorials that detail how you can do this with lettuce and keep (very fresh) for a very long time.

Anonymous said...

And Mandy, if you do check out her blog and the link above, be sure to check out the comments section. Several more tricks and tips were given in the ongoing discussion. And I know you'll like Paula - she is a Christian woman from Texas!

mwimp said...

i'm lucky my drawer is right next to my stove, i have very little counter space, so it's twice the blessing. are you back to eating bread, or do u make it just for your family?

Keri said...

I need a wheat, dairy, egg, corn, peanut, and soy free recipe! My family loves bread, but our kids have food allergies. I was making some almond meal bread but all I got was a baby loaf and it cost about $10 to make. With four kids and my husband and I, the loaf obviously did not last long and left everybody wanting more. So ANYBODY who has any special recipe out there, post it!! :) If the wheat free flours are figured in the recipe, I can use replacements for a lot of other things. ex: applesauce for eggs, etc.

Anita Lauer said...

I never used to like the texture of bread made in the machine but when I stayed with my mom for a season, she started using it to make the dough for rolls, bagels, and nice, round, oven-baked loaves. Now I'm a convert!

Ella said...

Hey that's a lovely idea! They look so pretty and vintage! Also, considering I'm a little lazy (*blushes*) this could definitely be a good solution for me , so I don't have to walk all the way to the silverware drawer hehehe ;)!

Mandy said...

I eat it in moderation now, I still try to avoid it on a daily basis, but if I serve it, I'll have a small piece. and restaurants are anything goes! :P

Mandy said...

Hey, it's what we like to call efficiency right? ;) We're saving time on all sides! heheheee

Anonymous said...

I am SO doing the silverware in a jar thing! I've been trying to figure out what to do with my silverware, because I hats it in the drawer. It's right below the cutting board sitting on the counter, so there are always crumbs in it. I had considered attaching baskets to the bottom of the cabinet, but that's too much work, and we have low cabinets. Thanks tot my solution!

Rebecca Laird said...

I am wondering how much time this might save my kids in setting the table, too?! An idea for the breakage concern: Why not cut a small circle of felt, kitchen drawer liner, etc and place it in the bottom of the jar?

Jennifer Smith said...

my husband and I recently moved into a tiny apartment compare to our last one the good thing is is he had a giant bedroom hutch that had two shelves in itthat you can open the door and see and on the bottom had to drawers so we didn't have space in the bedroom floor because the room is much smaller now but there was a perfect little niche in a tiny kitchen that we ended up putting our plates and silverware on the drawers and close the cabinet and on the bottom side where the drawers are we ended up putting in are dry goods like cake mix oatmealwe have basically 4 other cabinets that we use for spices and our pasta sauces service little bit room hutch now matches our kitchen and save us so much kitchen space talk about repurposing
furniture