How many times a day do you scoop something out of a container? Coffee, drink mix, oatmeal or cereal, sugar . . . the list goes on and on. It seems like I’m always rummaging around for a measuring spoon or cup.
By accident, I simplified my life a few months ago. See, I had this old set of measuring spoons where all the markings had worn off. One day at Wal-mart, the featured item on display at the entrance was a full set of measuring cups and spoons — 1/8 teaspoon up to 1 cup — for a whopping $1. And so I bought it. The markings were clear and dark, and I relegated the old measures to the trash.
Every morning, I measure out 1 tablespoon of flax seed onto each of our cereal bowls. The next morning as I was doing it, I realized that I could just leave my “old” tablespoon measure in the container since I had my new good one to use in baking. It didn’t matter that the markings had worn off since I’d be putting the “right” measure in the bin. I retrieved those old measures from the trash.
And so it went with me tucking measuring cups and spoons into everything I routinely measured. I always use 1/3 cup of oatmeal for each of us when that’s on the breakfast menu, so the oatmeal bin got the 1/3 cup measure. Dave takes two teaspoons of a medicine in powder form — yep, you know where the old teaspoon measure went.
I’d never realized how many times a day I dug out a measuring cup or spoon until I didn’t have to. And so I ended up buying another of the el cheapo measuring sets, this time at the dollar store, just to leave in stuff. I could even read the marking on these!
Some of the places I’ve left a measure:
- Flax seed
- Brown sugar
- Flour (3 types)
- Dog food
- Iced tea mix
- Medicine in powder form
- Spices (I just put a 1/4 teaspoon measure in with them; after using, I give it a quick wipe off and put it back)
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
And then Dave got into the act, taking a one-cup measure and marking on the inside for the correct amount of oil for 5 gallons of gas (our outboard is a two stroke). He used one that was larger than he needed so there was some “slosh” room. It had a hanging hole in the handle, so he made a large loop through the hole with a cable tie, and now the measure hangs from the neck of the oil bottle.
So, for a grand total of $2, we have the measures we need, right where we need them. Sure, I still use my “set” of measures — I haven’t put a measuring scoop in everything yet — but it sure has cut down on the time I spend getting the right measure out.
An added benefit of having extra measures? I’ve got plenty of spares in case I lose one!