Scoop It Up!

By Carolyn Shearlock © 2011 • all rights reserved

How many times a day do you reach for a measuring cup or spoon? Here's a simple way to always have the measure you need.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:

  • Oatmeal
  • Flax seed
  • Sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Flour (3 types)
  • Dog food
  • Iced tea mix
  • Coffee
  • 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
  • Bisquick

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!

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  1. Cherielynne Phillips on Facebook says:

    I do the same thing at home. But my husband gets frustrated when he can’t find the measuring cup for something he needs to measure! LOL! Guess I need to buy a few more. I saw some collapsible measuring cups at Walmart the other day. I think I will go back and get them.

  2. I finally had to buy Dave a set of his own for oil, ATF and so on — he doesn’t cook but I never realized how many other things there are to measure!

  3. Waterwoman says:

    Just one of those things when you slap your head and wonder “why didn’t I think of that”? Although, I do keep an old one in my tub of psyllium, now I’m going to the $ store and get some extras!

    Yesterday I baked some low carb chocolate chip cookies (used shaved unsweetened bakers chocolate and almond meal and erythritol). The measuring spoons are white, the markings are white….what numbskull thought that up? I had to use the magnifying glass under a bright light to make sure I was getting the right one. I will look for some with better markings. Ahhh, the simple things to make life easier!

  4. In reply to” Waterwomen”, who had white measuring cups with white lettering. If the lettering is raised just run a black magic marker over it to stain the lettering and coat with clear fingernail polish. Voila! Lettering you can see.

  5. I started doing this after I bought a special 2 1/4 teaspoon measure for bulk yeast. Spoon, container and yeast stays in a special spot in the freezer locker. So much cheaper than packets, does not have to be frozen, I just prefer to keep it there. Other ideas here that I had not thought of, thanks!

  6. Great tip, thanks.

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