· Bright Ideas · “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Twenty

“Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” – Part Twenty

why didn't I think of that?

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you already know I’m all about sharing simple tips and tricks that make life a little bit easier. But sometimes, the tips that I want to share aren’t something I can write a whole blog post about!

And since I simply cannot waste a good idea, I tuck them away to use at a later date. I recently realized I had a fair amount of them in my collection, so I thought I’d share those with you today in what will be the 20th installment of my ongoing series “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?”

Missed the last installment, or want to revisit some of your old favorite tips? Check out the entire archive of the “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” series at the bottom of this post.

why didn't I think of that?

1. Keep Salad In Your Salad Spinner

After you have washed your lettuce and put it in your salad spinner to remove the extra water, dump out the water but keep the lettuce in the salad spinner. Once you put it in your fridge, the spinner will act like a crisper so your lettuce will be cold and crisp when you’re ready to eat it.

why didn't I think of that?

2. Test Your Pillows

If you want to know whether or not it’s time to replace your bed pillows, there’s a simple test you can use to figure it out. Simply fold your pillow in half, hold it there for about 30 seconds, then let go.

If your pillow is in decent shape, it should bounce back and lie flat again on its own. Pillows that don’t bounce back are likely being weighed down by dust, skin cells, and body oil, which means it’s time to replace them.

why didn't I think of that?

3. Pick A Ripe Pineapple

The next time you buy a whole pineapple at the store, here are a few tips that will help you pick a ripe one. First, check the bottom of the pineapple to make sure there isn’t any mold on it.

If the bottom looks fine, pull out one of the inside leaves from the top of the pineapple. If an inside leaf comes out easily, that’s a good sign that it’s ripe and ready to eat.

why didn't I think of that?

4. Catch Excess Cooking Spray

Before spraying a baking dish with cooking spray, open the door of your dishwasher. Hold the baking dish over your dishwasher while you apply the cooking spray, and the dishwasher door will catch any overspray and prevent it from getting on your counters, floor, or cupboard doors.

The excess cooking spray will get washed away the next time you do a load of dishes.

why didn't I think of that?

5. Freeze Extra Pancakes

The next time you make pancakes, make extras and keep them in a ziplock bag in your freezer. The next time you or someone else needs a quick and easy breakfast option, just pop a couple of those frozen pancakes in your toaster.

why didn't I think of that?

6. Keep Cereal Bags For Pounding Meat

Save the plastic liners inside of cereal boxes and keep them on hand for pounding out chicken breasts or tenderizing steaks. Just wipe out any leftover cereal crumbs before starting, and you’ll be surprised at how perfect those durable cereal liners are for these sorts of tasks!

why didn't I think of that?

7. Make Your Pillow Unforgettable

Some people prefer to bring their own pillow when staying at a hotel, but your pillow can be easy to forget if it’s in the same white pillowcase as the hotel pillows. But you can make your pillow a lot harder to forget simply by putting it in a patterned or colorful pillow case. A funky, colorful pillowcase is easy to spot and much harder to forget!

Do you have a favorite simple tip or trick?

The “Why Didn’t I Think Of That?” Series

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Bright Ideas

  • Great tips, as always. But my salad spinner had an instruction to not store lettuce inside it. The one time I did so when I was in a hurry, I found that my lettuce developed some hairy mold. So now I know why it had that instruction.

  • About staying at a hotel…. I worked at one for a while and was surprised to find out the comforters are nearly never washed. They easily go half a year without making it to a washer. It’s hard and expensive. Even as a housekeeper, I would bring some down that just had a funky smell just to get yelled at by laundry staff that unless there is a stain- it’s fine and to not bring it down. Ick!!!

    I bring blankets now with me- unless I’m flying. In that case I just say the comforter smells (even if it doesnt) and request a new one.

    • When my son and I take road trips that require a hotel stay, we always bring our own pillows and blankets. For us, it’s not just about being more sanitary, it also helps us with homesickness. No matter how much fun we’re having, we get homesick shortly after leaving.

  • Another great use for the waxed cereal box bags. Shake them clean and then use to store veggies and fruits in the fridge. It really prolongs the life of produce.

  • Thank you so much for all the great tips. Especially for picking a ripe and ready pineapple. I am guilty of asking a friendly produce shopper for help many a times.

  • […] your young kids to avoid burning their tongue by teaching them the lip test. Just touch the hot food on your fork gently to your outer lip and if it’s too hot for your lip, then it’s too hot to […]

  • Kami,
    Love these tips, I am opening that dishwasher the next time I spray my pan! Thanks for sharing posting on my Facebook page and Blog. {gurvygreen.com}

      • Hi KL! I promise that I haven’t been deleting comments that mention other blogs :) However, my spam filters usually send any comments with links in them to me for approval. There is a chance that somehow your comments just haven’t gotten approved right away.

  • Have a couple of additions to:
    #4 SMELL the pineapple, it should be pineapple-y fragrant.
    #6 Instead of expensive parchment, use good ole’ waxed paper cut to fit your pancakes.

    • Hello All.

      This might not be the best place but:

      I’ve been wondering this for a while….I’m an American living in Australia for many years. I never heard of parchment paper before – here or when I lived in the States. What is the difference between parchment paper and waxed/baking paper? I’ve noticed Martha S mentioning parchment paper but I always assumed she was talking about waxed paper.

      This is how behind we are here Down Under: no freezer paper – had to bring it back from a trip home; no Olive Gardens believe it or not; no DAWN! Blue or any other color; no dryers here – everybody (even the rich) hang their clothes outside (that’s not a bad thing), the benefit of a wonderful climate; no Mexican and awful onion rings!

      What I give up for love!

      Jillee – a new topic – what you and your readers have given up for love…

      • 9 years Lynn has been waiting, hope she hasn’t given up :-) Lynn, parchment paper is a baking paper that has been impregnated with silicone so it is non-stick. It is safe in oven temps (away from flame if gas) up to about 450F but keep in mind ovens can vary as much as 50 degrees on either side of the set temp, so I personally would not use it in an oven set over 400F.

  • The pineapple test isn’t quite accurate. The better way is to look and smell the pineapple. If the pineapple is green and doesn’t smell like juicy pineapple, it isn’t ready. If it is yellow and smells like pineapple, it is ready.

  • #8 is actually genius. Totally doing it.

    I’d like to share a tip as well. Store your tuna fish cans in the fridge. I usually place them in the corner somewhere. Whenever you need a quick COLD tuna sandwich, it’ll be waiting for you. Easy peasy!

    • Why didn’t I think of that? Back in the days of jello salads with canned fruits I used to keep the fruit in the fridge to speed the jello setting process. The fruit cocktail or whatever was chilled and ready whenever inspiration (or desperation) struck.

      • That makes total sense as well. I’ve been telling everyone about my tuna tip and it’s spreading like wildfire. haha! Glad to help :)

    • I would love to be there, if only I could , but Dubai is a little far , Oh I just reemmber on the 24 I will be in England. never mind maybe on day…I will be thinking of you all I am sure that you will have a great time,if possible share some photos , so we can see you all having fun.Hugs Laura

  • #5 – Why didn’t I think of that! #1 – Bought a used spinner at a thrift store. I use it for hand washables. After rinsing, give ’em a quick spin and they dry much faster!

    • What a genius idea (salad spinner for hand washables)! Using it as a crisper is great too, my problem is it needs a fair amount of space and I never seem to have enough in my fridge.

    • Great tip! For those that have a washing machine with a spin-only setting like mine does, you can also just put your hand washables in and set it to spin.

  • #5 above would add more grease to your dishwasher. I would use the sink or a newspaper in the sink for easy kitchen clean-ups. I don’t know why, but my dishwasher collects grease along the door bottom inside rim, which I am always wiping off. I’ve using baking soda, vinegar, etc, in the wash to get rid of it, but not very successful. So grease in my dishwasher is a problem that I don’t know how to deal with.

    Thanks for your list otherwise. I do use the pineapple ripeness test.

  • I’m off to the store to buy a crazy pillow case. I forgot my favorite (& expensive) pillow this year at a hotel over an hour away. I drove back for it the next weekend! Never again lol

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