10 Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets on Amazon for Under $20 

10 Must-Have Kitchen Gadgets on Amazon for Under $20 

I’m a big fan of Alton Brown and his idea on single-use items; there are a lot of really odd, single-use kitchen gadgets out there that might seem cool at first but will honestly just take up space and you’ll end up selling them at a garage sale and all you’ll have is .50 cents and a small pile of regret.

That said, there are some really cool items that fill a niche role but do it so well – or can be used for other things – that they’re absolutely worth having in your kitchen, pantry, or in your grill kit.

Amazon is a fantastic resource for cheap prices and lightning-fast shipping, but Its catalog has gotten incredibly vast over the years, so shopping for that perfect item is a slog. We’ve put together a list of 10 fun, useful, and best-of-all cheap kitchen gadgets that will delight anyone who rules the roaster in their household.

10 Must-Have Single Use Kitchen Gadgets for Under $20

single use items for the kitchen alton brown
Please note that the links below are affiliate links, which means I may earn a commission should you click through and make a purchase. This in no way impacts my recommendations or the cost to you.

Spread Butter Easier

Butter Knife Magic

Our son LOVES buttered toast but for real, cold butter is a substance that defies physics and destroys all bread it touches. This knife fixes that problem by allowing you to cut razor-thin slices, fun spirals, or spaghetti-esque noodles of butter, straight from the fridge!

Stop Boil Overs


Handy Lid

My husband is Italian, so we eat a lot of pasta during the week, but my husband is also absent-minded, so we clean up a lot of boiled-over pasta water during the week, too. This silicone lid sits on top of your pot in lieu of your traditional lid. It allows steam and bubbles to escape without boiling over and covering your stove or putting out your burners. They’re also adorable and can help strain pasta as well!

Gift Idea for Wine Lover


Kato Wine Accessories Gift Set

If you don’t drink wine, you know someone who does. I personally am not fond of digging around in the utensils drawer for the corkscrew and then trying to stuff the cork back into the bottle without sending it spiraling down into the wine itself and then having to Google if drinking cork-wine will kill me. This set has a foil cutter, a corkscrew, an aerator spout, a stopper, and even a drip ring, if you’re messy. It’s all stored in a convenient, cute wine-bottle shaped spy kit. How fun is that?

Air Fryer Accessories

Air Fryer Accessories

We had a small air fryer and we hated it – it just wasn’t big enough for anything useful. We got this particular air fryer for Christmas and it’s AMAZING. Food comes out crispy, it cooks quickly and with minimal oil, and it doesn’t take up much space on the counter. My husband uses it at least 4 times a week for dinner, and I love it because I can toss some hashbrowns or bacon into it for breakfast and go get ready while they cook perfectly. We have the manual one which is a dream, but there’s a digital one as well with more settings, if you’re into that.

Clean Grills Without the Fear of Metal Shards

The Grate Grill Scraper

Wire brushes are, while commonplace in grill-cleaning kits, very much not ideal for the task. The shards of wire can seriously hurt someone if they ingest them and it’s more common than you think. This brass – well it’s not a ring exactly, but it’s definitely a shape – cuts through stuck-on food and carbon extremely well and can fit nearly any standard grate-spacing, without the fear of metal shavings in your burgers.

Scoop Ice Cream Easier


Heat Conducting Ice Cream Scoop

Ice cream is, like revenge, a dish best served cold. This makes it fun and delicious, but also a pain in the wrist to scoop efficiently without flinging it all over your kitchen. This particular heat-conducting scoop is leagues above the traditional scoop with the little level that dishes out ice cream. Heat from your hand travels into the spoon and cuts through the icy treat and the heavy-duty utensil will stand up against even the coldest, hardest-packed ice cream possible.

Cute Spoon Rest

Splash Spoon Rest

Finding a place to put your spoon isn’t a difficult task, but this cute, fun utensil rest really makes a “splash”. With its vibrant color and deep grooves, it should keep a handle on any size spoon you need to set down for a moment.

Cut Hot Dogs Quick

Dachshund-Shaped Hot Dog Cutter

The cutest things often come in small packages, and this little hot dog …dog… is proof of that. Sometimes it only takes a little bit of fun to encourage kids to eat their dinner, and this cutter makes small enough pieces for little hands and then holds them in place. Bonus doggie dish for ketchup or mustard dipping!

Grate Cheese with Ease

 Hedgehog Grater

This little guy will look great on any countertop, ready to zest citrus, grate some cheese, or shave some chocolate. He’s easy to clean, beautiful appearance, and BPA-free, and cute as a button!

Uses for a Pizza Cutter (besides cutting pizza!)

Ultimate Pizza Cutter

Look, nobody is going to argue that pizza is the best but sometimes the cheesy pie is difficult to cut and serve without losing all your toppings. This pizza cutter gives you ultimate control, cleans up quickly and easily, and you can use it on anything that needs sliced. I use it on my kids’ pancakes in the morning, on grilled cheese, and quesadillas and while it seems such a simple thing, it really does make a big difference!

Do you have any single-task or highly specialized kitchen gadgets that you’ve found you simply can’t do without? Let me know and I’ll add them to this list!

Meal Ideas Without an Oven

Meal Ideas Without an Oven

Looking for meal ideas that don’t require an oven? I certainly was this summer when my oven stopped working not once, not twice, but THREE times (seriously don’t ever buy Frigidaire products!!)

Luckily my misfortune can be to your benefit as I’ve since compiled some of the best oven-free recipes I used when we had to cook without an oven.

Now maybe you’re thinking “Hello, why not just use your slow cooker all week?” Heh well I kid you not – both our slow cooker and our grill bit the dust during this same week. Needless to say our meal plan did NOT work out accordingly.

Fortunately we did still have an air fryer, our stove top, and our garden fire pit to work with. So without further ado, here are some of our favorite recipes from the “no oven” week.

Oven-Free Recipe Ideas

Oven-Free Meal Ideas

Of course salads and the like are always an option when it’s too hot to cook in the oven or you just can’t/don’t want to. That said, after a few days, you’ll have to get creative with your salads or you’ll end up burnt out right quick.

Here are a few ideas as to how to freshen up your salads so you can eat healthy without feeling like a goat:

  • Taco Salads are always a good option! Make it a fun dinner and serve it taco bar style so everyone can pick and choose their own toppings.
  • Macaroni salad is delicious and if you throw in some ham, it’s a full meal in one bowl!
  • Chicken or tuna salad are always easy and you can make ’em extra healthy by using lettuce leaves instead of bread.
  • BLT salads are a staple in our family. We make an easy dressing of mayo + hot sauce and toss that with some bacon, tomatoes, spinach, and avocado. Yum!!

Spiralized Greek Salad with Rosemary Chicken

This salad is not only good for you, it’s super easy to make. You’re basically chopping veggies and grilling chicken. If you don’t have rosemary essential oil, you can always substitute the oil with 2 tablespoons of fresh rosemary.

Recipe: Available on Yummy Lil Things – Spiralized Greek Salad with Rosemary Chicken

You could also consider cooking up breakfast for dinner. While you can certainly go the sweet route of pancakes, waffles, or oatmeal jars, there are simple ways to mix it up and have a savory breakfast for dinner.

Cornbread Waffle Tacos

no oven meal idea cornbread waffle

This breakfast-for-dinner recipe can be done in a number of different ways, but I especially loved this recipe from Lexis Rose. Such an easy dinner, the whole family can have fun with it!

Recipe: Available on Lexis Rose – Cornbread Waffle Tacos

If cooking outdoors is an option, use this as an opportunity to cook up a bunch of meat for the week so you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying your week!

Foil Packs

oven free recipe foil packs

This is a throwback to my days in the Girl Scouts, but foil packs make for a great meal! This is a fun one that again you can tweak to suit your family’s needs – again make it fun and let everyone choose their own ingredients! Personally I love to put about 1/2lb of hamburger, 1/2 can of sweet corn, a few potatoes, and season to taste. It takes about 15 minutes to cook and it’s absolutely one of my most favorite dinners!

Kielbasa and Cabbage

no oven recipe sausage and cabbage

If you have a dutch oven, this is a great one to cook either on your stovetop or on the grill! Chop up a head of cabbage, one onion, a couple gloves of garlic, and add to the dutch oven with two packs of Polish sausage. Let simmer for about an hour or until the veggies are soft. Add in a tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, a tablespoon of spicy mustard, and salt to taste. So good!!

Of course you also always put your trusty slow cooker to use!

Chicken Tikki Masala

no oven meal idea Chicken Tikka Masala

We’re huge fans of Indian food at our house, but I love this recipe because it’s not only done in a slow cooker, but it’s a “lighter” version of traditional Tikki Masala in that it uses greek yogurt instead of heavy cream.

Recipe: Available on Lexis Rose – Chicken Tikki Masala

Butternut Squash Soup

no oven meal idea butternut squash soup recipe

This butternut squash soup has become a staple throughout the colder months and it’s not only an absolutely amazing comfort food, but it’s fairly healthy, too!

Recipe: Available on Fit2Father – Butternut Squash Soup in Slow Cooker

Lastly, if you don’t yet have an air fryer, I would very much recommend investing in one! Not only do they make cooking easier and more fun, but they’re a healthy alternative to traditional frying!

Air Fryer Steak Bites

air fryer steak bites

They’re tangy, salty, crunchy, and delicious…and keto-friendly! This is a recipe the whole family is sure to love.

Recipe: Available on Fit2Father – Air Fryer Steak Bites

Tenpura (Tempura)

Fry something and I’ll almost certainly eat it (except celery, celery is the devil). One of my favorites, though, is veggie tenpura. There’s certainly an art to it, but when done right, tenpura is absolute heaven – clouds and all!

Recipe: Available on Thanks for the Meal – Tenpura

Do you have any ideas on oven-free meal recipes?

I’d love for you to comment and/or link them below!

Home Remedies That Actually Work

Home Remedies That Actually Work

Are you looking for natural ways to help your family live healthier lives? Do you believe in the power of natural remedies and want to start using them more intelligently?

There’s definitely a lot to learn and it can be tricky knowing where to start!

When my husband and I first met, he used to tease me about being a witch – and of course I’d have to answer back “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” (Princess Bride, anyone?)

It wasn’t commentary on my attitude, but rather my predisposition to homeopathic remedies whenever I was feeling sick. Now before we go too deep into this post, I do want to mention two VERY important things:

  1. I am in no way recommending you forgo talking to your doctor when you suspect something is wrong. I am a professional blogger, not a doctor, so don’t take my word as law.
  2. I do have affiliate links below, which means should you click through to make a purchase on any recommended products/services, I may receive a small commission. This in no way impacts my recommendation of said products/services.

So with that out of the way, back to our point – using nature to help you live a healthier life!

Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle Review

There are a few ways in which I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. I’ll drink ACV and lemon water, use a bit of coconut oil in my coffee, eat greek yogurt, and will even eat a garlic clove if I’m feeling off.

Heh I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes, but stick with me! In just the examples above, we’re looking at products that are jam packed with antiviral properties (the allicin in garlic and monolaurin from coconut oil) as well as antibiotic and probiotic properties. So again while I wouldn’t tell you to skip your doctor’s advice on medical care or a prescription, being conscious of what we’re ingesting can go a long way in preventing and shortening the duration of many illnesses.

That said, you do have to know:

  • What’s safe
  • What works
  • What to buy
  • Which remedies are right for which situations
  • And then how to use them all (recipes and techniques that actually work!)

With so many conflicting opinions online, finding clear answers can be hard – not to mention time-consuming and frustrating.

 

HEOSB2018 text graphic 2This is why I’m SO excited to talk to you to day about the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle created by my friends at Ultimate Bundles.

This phenomenal set will help you:

  • Match the best remedies to your unique health needs
  • Discover why and how the various remedies actually work (and the science behind it)
  • Use essential oils and herbs in your home for cleaning, relaxation, beauty, skincare, energy, even cooking and more
  • Feel confident with easy-to-follow guides whether you’re just starting out or ready for more advanced uses.

And the best part is, by partnering with the herbalists, certified aromatherapists, and other experts who created these resources (like me!), Ultimate Bundles can offer guidance on these remedies at an 83% discount.

You’ll learn how to use them for relaxation and body care, how to grow or forage for ingredients, how to make safe cleaning or beauty products, and how to respond to common ailments you or your family suffer from. This bundle was created by experts — aromatherapists, herbalists, a chiropractor, a registered nurse, a nutritional therapy practitioner, and more.

I bought this bundle a few weeks ago and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since! If you’re ready to check it out, you can CLICK HERE and get to it! But if you’re still on the fence, let me address some common questions I’ve had while talking to friends and family about this kit…

Keep yourself and your family healthy

What is Ultimate Bundles?

Well if you’ve read my post on Ultimate Bundles before, you know they’re a company that brings together products to sell to consumers at a massive discount; they’re able to sell these bundles at a low cost for a variety of reasons, namely that they’re VERY limited in the times that they sell them and also because of people (like me!) who contribute their products in exchange for a higher affiliate commission fee. It’s a genius business model if you ask me.

What is the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle?

It’s a curated collection of 22 eBooks, 4 eCourses, 6 printables, and 2 membership sites — all about natural remedies, and the use of herbs and essential oils.

What will this bundle help me do?

You’ll find natural remedies for colds, flu, infections, pain, stress, hormones, skin issues, sleeping troubles, and more (plus you’ll understand more of the research and science behind why they work and how to use them safely).

You’ll learn how to make your own (all natural!) lip scrubs, lip balm, hand salve, body scrubs, foot soaks, sunscreen, diaper cream, lotion, soap bars, rollerballs, relaxing sprays, facial cleansers… (and the list could go on)

And last but not least, you’ll learn how to clean your home with toxin-free homemade products, and even enhance your cooking with nutritious and beneficial herbal ingredients from your pantry (or even the wild!).

Better healthy doesn't come from a pill

Who is this bundle for?

It’s for anyone who believes in the power of traditional healing wisdom (combined with modern science) and wants to start using herbs and essential oils more intelligently in their home and life.

You’ll discover detailed information on individual herbs and oils (and how to combine them into effective combinations and easy-to-use remedies), new applications and uses you’ve never thought of, time-saving shortcuts and tips, ways to save money on ingredients by foraging or growing your own, and so much more.

Is there a guarantee?

Yep! 30-days, 100% satisfaction or ALL your money back. Rarely do online purchases come with such a worry-free guarantee, but should you be unhappy for any reason all you do is e-mail the folks at Ultimate Bundles and you’ll get your money back, easy peasy.

When it comes to your health, I know how easy it can be to give in to discouragement. But I truly believe a healthier life is possible for people who embrace the power of natural remedies and holistic wellness. Hopefully it won’t lead to your significant other calling into question the potential of witchcraft, but hey those results you’ll see will certainly be magical!

Buy your bundle today before it’s too late!!

Then comment below and let me know – do you already use any sort of home remedies when you’re feeling ill? Turmeric tea perhaps? Or maybe lemon water? Share with me in the comments!

DIY home natural remedies to help families stay healthy and avoid getting sick

35 Uses for Vinegar

35 Uses for Vinegar

When not turning into wine, vinegar is my second favorite use for grapes (and getting that nasty gunk off ’em!) Vinegar also makes for a fantastic part of a salad dressing and it’s a nice way to marinate some meat, but it’s a high-performer elsewhere in the house as well. That said, please note that my suggestions below are just that – suggestions. Don’t use vinegar on something without spot-testing first as I am in no way liable should you use vinegar in a way that causes unfortunate results.

With that out of the way, we use so much vinegar in our house that we have to buy huge jugs of it from Aldi almost every week so we can use it on things such as…

Vinegar Uses – Home and furniture

De-decal your windows – If you like to put up window clings during the holidays, or your children love to put stickers on…everything, you can use vinegar to remove all traces! Simply apply undiluted vinegar to the grimy aftermath of the stickers or decals and let it sit for 5 minutes. A credit card or other thin piece of plastic will help you scrape off the bits and then a good scrubbing should remove the rest of the remnants.

Erase pen marks – Undiluted vinegar and some elbow grease can remove your children’s artwork from hard surfaces. It may take a few applications and some assurances to your kids that you still love their art, but it works!

Undustify your blinds – Venetian blinds are the worst to clean, but you can make it far less terrible with vinegar! Get a bucket of equal parts vinegar and water, wet the fingertips of a cloth glove or a rag, and use your index finger and thumb to glide along each slat. The vinegar helps get rid of the oil and dust incredibly well.

Spruce up wood (haha, “spruce”) – Wood ages like anything else, be it paneling or furniture. A mix of 1 cup warm water, 4 tablespoons of vinegar, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil will help bring it back to life. Mix it up and wipe it onto the wood with a cloth. Let it sit and soak for a few minutes, and then buff it up with another dry towel.

Hide scratches in wood – A mix of undiluted vinegar and iodine (small amounts) can conceal scratches in wood. Use more vinegar for lighter woods and more iodine for darker woods, and then apply with a small brush (a nail brush works well).

Keep your computer clean – Get rid of oil and dust buildup on your electronics with a mix of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar. Use the mixture to dampen a cloth and wipe down your electronics and accessories. Don’t use a spray bottle, and don’t overly saturate the cloth. Again, I’m not liable for bad results, so be smart here and use common sense!

Clean carpets – A mix of 1/2 cup vinegar with 2 tablespoons of salt will remove minor carpet stains. Simply mix the two together and rub into the stain with a cloth and then let it dry. Once it’s dried, vacuum it up.

Vinegar for the Kitchen

Pickle EVERYTHING – If you have a bumper crop of peppers, onions, or (of course) cucumbers from your garden on a budget, you can whip up a pickle in an instant. Mix 1 cup vinegar with 1 cups water, 2 tablespoons salt, and 1 tablespoon sugar, and bring it all to a boil. Chop your veggies and add them to jars (you ARE re-using jars from the store, right?), and pour the brine on top. Let them cool to room temperature and then store in the fridge. After about 3 days they’ll be delicious and pickley.

Perfectly poached eggs – Poached eggs are really delicious but it’s super easy to obliterate the egg on accident. Adding 2 tablespoons of vinegar to your water along with 2 teaspoons of salt, and adding your egg in just before the water reaches a boil will help keep the egg together. Cook for about 2 minutes for a nice soft poach, or 3-4 for if you like them a bit firmer.

Clean your garbage disposal – You can’t really scrub your disposal for at least several good reasons. Fortunately, lemons and vinegar will do it for you. Take an ice cube tray and put a wedge of lemon in each cube. Then, fill each cube up with undiluted vinegar, and freeze them. When they’re good and frozen, pour 1/2 cup of bakin soda into the offending garbage disposal, add 3-5 lemon cubes and run the disposal until they’ve stopped rattling. This will do a great job of deodorizing your garbage disposal.

Unclog your drains – 1/2 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar, poured directly into the clogged drain (you can use a funnel) will help unclog drains. Once the commotion and bubbling stops, run hot water from the tap. Wait about 10 minutes, and then run cold water. This is also a great way to deodorize your drains (particularly if they’ve been clogged for a while).

Fight that grease! – Getting rid of grease from your hard surfaces doesn’t require harsh cleaners. Simply wet a cloth with an equal mix of water and vinegar and wipe down the greasy surfaces. It may take some muscle, but it will work. It’s also a great idea to mix up a spray bottle of 1/2 cup vinegar, 2 cups water, and 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid. Use this daily on surfaces to keep them clean and repel grease.

Clean your nasty microwave – If microwaved food explosions have you in the pits, place a bowl with 1/4 cup vinegar and 1 cup water into the microwave, and then turn it on for 5 minutes (on high). The steam it creates should loosen any food or stains and they should easily wipe away with a damp towel or sponge.

Disinfect all the things – Undiluted vinegar is a very potent antimicrobial. If you read my post on interesting ways to save money, you know that we use vinegar as a cleaning solution every day! Wipe down surfaces you cut raw meat on, especially counters and cutting boards, with undiluted vinegar. Creating a spray bottle full of undiluted vinegar for optimal disinfecting is another way to help kill nasties like staph, e.coli, and salmonella. A solution of 1 part water to 1 part vinegar is also very good for disinfecting kids’ cups or sippies that can harbor mold growth. Just let them soak and wipe them down.

Make metal magnificent – Silver soaked for a few hours in 1/2 cup white vinegar with a tablespoon of baking soda will regain it’s luster. Be sure to wash it off in cold water and dry with a soft washcloth. A paste of vinegar and baking soda (equal parts) can be applied to copper and brass to remove tarnish. Again, this might take some elbow grease but it’s very effective.

Sanitize water bottles – If you use BPA-free, reusable water bottles day-to-day, you really need to keep them sanitary. Every few days, fill it 75% full with equal parts vinegar and warm, soapy water. Shake it up well to get into all the crevices and then let it sit for half an hour. Rinse it thoroughly with warm water and let it air dry.

Clean kitchen shears – Don’t use water to clean your scissors or kitchen shears – it will rust them. A better idea is to use undiluted vinegar and wipe down the blades and then wipe them dry. This will also disinfect them. You can use this for regular scissors as well, as rusting is not good for them, either.

Ungunk your can openers – Can opener blades are disgusting, let’s just admit to that. You can make them reasonably not-disgusting again by using a toothbrush and undiluted vinegar to scrub in all the nooks and crannies. You may need to scrub a lot, but a douse in cold water should remove all that gunk afterwards.

Get rid of gnats (fruit flies) – Whatever you call them, those tiny little bugs are the bane of kitchens everywhere (especially if your husband forgets to leave a dry piece of cardboard over the top of your DIY worm farm…) Make a vinegar trap to catch and eliminate those little buggers! Take a jar with a lid, poke some holes in it, and fill it about halfway with apple cider vinegar, and place it where they’re the worst. If your kids eat yogurt a lot, you can also re-use those cups before they hit recycling – pour about a 1/4 inch of ACV into a coffee mug, poke two or three holes into the bottom of a cleaned yogurt cup, and then put the cup into the mug. It should do a fantastic job of getting rid of them, no matter what you call them.

Clear the air – If you burn food or simply cook something smelly, you can boil 1/2 cup vinegar with 1 cup water until it’s evaporated (or very nearly). It will get that smell right out of the air and remove all traces of that sardine-and-cabbage casserole your husband burned yesterday.

Clear away mineral deposits in a teakettle or coffee pot – Boil 2 cups of undiluted vinegar in your tea kettle or in a pan to then pour into your coffee pot. Let it sit for a minimum of 4 hours but overnight works well, too. Rinse it out the next day and it should be sparkling clean.

Naturally non-stick – Boil a cup of water until it evaporates in a frying pan to give it a natural non-stick coating that lasts on average about a month.

Homemade cottage cheese – Bring 1 gallon of whole milk to a near-boil (around 190 degrees Fahrenheit), then pour in 1/2 cup of vinegar. Once the mixture is cool, it will be separated into curds and whey. Pour it through a strainer and add the curds to a bowl, mixing in salt and whatever other spices you want. A smidge of cream here makes it smoother, but it’s not necessary, and it’s read to eat!

Clean Your Car with Vinegar!

Prevent frost in the winter – At night, spray your windows down with a solution of 3 parts vinegar to 1 part water. This will help prevent frost from forming and it will help reduce the impact of ice buildup. It’s not going to stop snow from building up, but at least you won’t likely have a hard layer of ice to deal with after clearing snow away.

Windshield wipers – Dirty wipers will streak your windows and that’s pretty much the exact opposite of their intended use. A cloth soaked in undiluted vinegar, wiped up and down the blades a few times will get rid of the grimy buildup and get your wipers back to fully functioning fabulousness.

Remove old bumper stickers – If you’ve got the ghost of an old bumper sticker sticking around, undiluted vinegar applied directly on top and to the sides will help get it off. Use a thin piece of plastic like an ice scraper to remove the paper parts, and then reapply the vinegar to get the sticky icky glue-bits off, too.

De-grime wheel wells – If you’re prone to muddy driving, chances are good your wheel wells are less than sparkling. That’s okay, because a solution of 1:1 vinegar to water will help clean them off and also aid in repelling dirt!

Laundry Room + Vinegar

Deodorize that washer – So it’s not doubt that washers can get stinky. You could use bleach but vinegar is far safer and not likely to ruin clothes if it doesn’t get washed out completely. Run an empty small, hot wash cycle and add 1 cup of undiluted vinegar. If you can, add a second rinse cycle to make sure it’s all gone.

Pre-treater for stains – Mix 1 cup water, 1 cup vinegar, and 1/3 cup borax in a spray bottle, directly apply to stains, and then let it sit for at least an hour before throwing in the washer.

Deep-cleaning towels – Mildew buildup can still leave towels smelling awful, even after being washed. To remedy this, toss your towels by themselves into the wash. Turn the water on hot, and use 1 cup undiluted vinegar and 1/2 cup baking soda to wash them 1 full cycle. This will banish your mildew and get them smelling like things you’d want on your body again.

Destinky stinky shoes – Spray the insides of the offending footwear with 1:1 vinegar to water solution and let it sit overnight. Then, add a few drops of an essential oil of your choice to a cotton ball and put it in the shoes and let THAT sit overnight. The vinegar solution should kill odor-causing bacteria and the cotton ball should give your shoes a much more pleasant scent.

Miscellaneous Uses for Vinegar

Remove dry skin from your feet – This one is weird and I know it’s going to sound weird, but bear with us. 1 cup of Listerine and 1 cup vinegar with 2 cups of warm water makes a foot soak you’ll soak in for about 15 minutes. Then, apply a pumice stone or foot file and the dry, dead, gross skin should come right off.

Non-toxic weed killer – Fill a spray bottle with undiluted vinegar and then add 1-2 teaspoons of dish soap, and apply to weeds and the ground around them. The acetic acid in the vinegar will burn the weeds and alter the pH of the soil, killing the root, too. This solution is non-toxic, but it will murder any plant it touches, so be careful what you spray it on. Dish soap helps it stick to the plant, and the pH imbalance will wash out after a good rain, making the ground suitable for planting again.

Disinfect your mops – If you have mops with removable heads, you can use vinegar to disinfect and deodorize them. Simply toss them in your washer, add a cup of vinegar and wash on “hot”. They’ll be whiter, brighter, and actually CLEAN.

Everyday scented spray cleaner – Take an empty spray bottle and fill it with 2 parts water to 1 part vinegar, 1 tablespoon of dish detergent, and the peels of lemons, oranges, or other assorted citrus. Let that soak for a few days before using and you’ll have a great, all-purpose cleaner that smells divine.

 

GenF20 Plus for Moms

GenF20 Plus for Moms

As a busy business mom, I’m constantly on the go, working with clients, taking my kids all over, and everything else that’s expected of moms these days. I get to the gym when I can but most of my energy comes in the form of a delicious, brewed miracle bean drink called “coffee”.

So when the opportunity arose to try a supplement that supposedly reduces symptoms of aging and fatigue – and it wasn’t coffee – I was skeptical, but intrigued. GenF20 Plus is supposed to spur the body to create HGH through a mix of herbs, neurotransmitters, and amino acids.

Again, I was skeptical, but I thought it might be worth giving it a shot; my husband has been taking the male version of this product (TestRX) and seems to like it. The increase in HGH is supposed to give you a boost in energy, focus, help with weight loss, and increase your libido. If you follow me on the Thrifty Guardian Facebook page, you may have noticed my husband and I were featured in The Wall Street Journal about how Netflix impacts our love life, so that last benefit made me chuckle…but is also relevant to most married couples and parents.

All of that sounded good so I took the plunge and started my GenF20 Plus experiment.

GenF20 Review

GenF20 Plus Review

What is HGH?

HGH stands for human growth hormone, and from the moment you’re born it drives everything in your body from organ development to height. As we age, there’s less and less of it to go around, and this creates tell-tale signs of aging like wrinkles, fatigue, and that sort of general laggy feeling. Weight lifting increases HGH, as does fasting, but this supplement claims to boost them in addition to all that other stuff.

Supplementing with GenF20 Plus supposedly:

  • Increases muscle mass, which will boost your metabolism
  • Helps burn fat
  • Reduces the signs of aging
  • Improves mood
  • Improves sleep
  • Boosts libido
  • Provides more energy

There are more supposed benefits but I was certainly interested in sleeping better, burning fat, and having more energy. I decided to try the supplement for 2 weeks and see how I felt.

How does GenF20 stimulate HGH production?

As I said before, it’s cocktail of various things, but essentially there are ingredients that boost metabolism, ones that are directly linked to HGH production, and ones that reduce stress and inflammation. Together these work to fight against some main causes of early aging (obesity, stress, and inflammation).

L-arginine, L-lysine, L-ornithine, and L-glutamine are all amino acids and they work in tandem to boost HGH levels, along with GTF chromium and deer velvet antler. They also throw in GABA, which is a neurotransmitter that helps calm you down and helps with clarity of thought along with colostrum. Finally astralgus root and l-tyrosine help relieve stress, reduce fatigue, and boost your metabolism for better energy and fat burning.

Apparently in addition to the benefits the supplement is directly intended for – increasing HGH basically – the ingredients are also useful for younger looking skin, lowering cholesterol, and improving hair and nails. As a mom I can definitely get behind literally all of that.

How Much to Take

So the pills are normal supplement pills, and the ideal dosage is 4 capsules a day, roughly 2 in the late morning and 2 in the afternoon (about an hour before dinner). That adds up to a whopping 120 pills a month which is kind of intense. There is also an oral spray bottle that you spray under your tongue and then don’t eat or drink for 30 minutes following.

Does GenF20 work?

I’ve been taking it for 3 weeks now, and I do feel like it’s giving me energy. The first few days when I took it I felt especially focused and energized. Now it seems more like a steady ability to stay focused on a project or task, and less mental fatigue. It’s especially nice after I take it in the afternoon as I find I’m less eager to zone out in the evening, so I’m getting more done.

I have seen some weight loss but I think that would be even better if I were dieting or exercising in a focused way. One thing at a time, eh?

My nails are growing better, and I can’t really tell if my hair is different. Heh if you’re new to who I am, my hair is incredibly long and luxurious. (*brag alert!*)

Overall, it does seem to provide better focus and energy, and the rest of the benefits, though potentially coincidental, do seem to be there.

The Cost

Ah now here’s where I battle frugality vs productivity…

A 1-month supply of GenF20 is $82.99, which I feel is pretty steep given that’s about how much I spend on a week’s worth of groceries for my family of four. While it is possible that taking it for months on end with a super tight workout and dietary plan would reap better results, it’s certainly something I’d have to think about before permanently adding it into our budget.

Now I always go the blunt honesty route when reviewing products and GenF20 is no different. If you’re looking for a mental/physical boost, GenF20 (or TestRX for men) is the seemingly easier way to go, but intermittent fasting can provide nearly the same benefits and it’s free….soooo you can see my dilemma.

Does GenF20 work? For me, it certainly seems to deliver at least some of the results it claims to provide, and it’s probable that those results would compound if I took it longer.

At its $82.99/month price tag, however, it’s hard to justify and if the results didn’t continue to get more impressive, it would be an unfortunate waste of a lot of money.

In the end, this is something that I would really recommend you check out for yourself and (as always) talk to your doctor before starting any new regimen.