No matter how much experience we have in the kitchen, there’s probably still plenty of everyday annoyances that we wish we had a better solution for. We can be great cooks but still not know the best way to open a certain package, keep food fresh, reuse old containers or efficiently organize things. In these cases, it pays to think a little bit outside of the box and to make your kitchen life just a little bit more fun. Fortunately, we have five great kitchen hacks for you today that you may not have seen before—and all of which will make your life just a little bit easier.
1. Reuse your old Pringles cans.
If you’re a Pringles fan, you know that these chips come in a uniquely long, tube-shaped container. Though it may be annoying when you’re eating the chips and there’s a little stack at the very bottom that you can’t quite reach, they’re actually perfect for storing some very common and very long kitchen objects: spaghetti noodles! If you’re anything like us, you open a package of spaghetti, try to wrap it up, carefully set it in the cupboard and then end up dumping it on the floor when you take it out again. Next time, just put the whole package in the tube and seal it up for easy access.
2. Add another hole to your liquid cartons.
Depending on what brand of milk or juice you buy, you may have cartons in the fridge that come in processed paper or cardboard containers (chicken and veggie stock containers are another example of this). Although these cut down on our use of plastic, they also have little round caps and a really annoying tendency to spill everywhere when we pour them, particularly when they’re full. To fix this problem, use a knife to cut a tiny slit in the top of the container behind the cap. The extra airflow will stop the weird vacuum effect from happening and your pours will be much smoother. Put some tape of the hole before putting it back in the fridge!
3. Liven up your spice cabinet.
If you tend to hold on to old plastic containers and jars but don’t know what to do with them, there may actually be a way to reuse them. In particular, Tic-Tacs and Orbit Gum-style containers seem to make a lot of unnecessary waste while still being useful little holders in themselves. For fun, try transferring some of your more commonly used spices into these containers and keeping them on the counter—the openings allow for easy pouring and measuring!
4. Add more storage space to your fridge.
Anyone who has a big family knows how tricky it can be fitting all the groceries in the fridge. If we do manage to do so, we still end up not having enough room for our more elaborate recipes that require cooling time and many little pieces—things like cookies or ravioli, for example. In these cases, you can actually make your own mini-racks to save on room! Get a few cutting boards and fill each one with whatever you’re cooking. Open up one of the bigger pull-out drawers and put one of the boards down. After that, stack three or four shot glasses on the first layer and add another! You can do this about three times in most normal fridges.
5. Clean your wooden cutting boards the natural way.
Although wooden cutting boards are sturdier and more professional than their plastic counterparts, they can also be trickier to clean. A simple rinse never really does the trick and even using soap can still leave stains in the grain. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution. First, sprinkle your wet cutting board with a generous layer of heavy salt. After that, cut a lemon in half and use one of the halves to scrub the salt and lemon juice around the board. This method is sure to take out any stains or smells!
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