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S.O.S. Chili – Failproof Spring Cleaning in Less Than 20 Minutes!



“This chili is fantastic!”

The Trader Joe’s employee eagerly agrees and gets his spiel underway, “And it’s low-fat, cheap and has lots of protein!” He had me at low-fat. The six cans of chili for only $5 dollars didn’t hurt his pitch either. I enthusiastically pile six cans into my cart. Well, stamp “SUCKER!” on my forehead and call it a day. Can’t wait to get home and enjoy my new favorite Turkey Chili for dinner!

An hour later.


Huh. I thought after spooning in the first bite of Turkey Chili. It’s okayyy…but doesn’t quite have the pizzazz it had in the store. Delicious in the store, but as a bowl, uhm, interesting. No gracias.

Almost a year later, five cans of Turkey Chili sit in my cabinet. They have been residents of the same area for far too long. Taking up valuable space for potential mommy comfort foods like brownie mix, potato chips, chocolate, and Chardonnay. (Don’t judge. It’s a serving of fruit, grapes.)

The buggers catch my eye. It’s time. Well, it was time seven months ago after they sat on my shelf for three months, but who’s counting? Time to do one of my favorite things. Shop in my home. I’ve done this for homeless shelters, day laborers and their families and struggling single moms. Love it. But before we get shopping, one important thing to note, everything we put in the bag should be in its own package.

I grab a brown paper bag with handles, like the ones from Trader Joe’s, and walk around my home filling it with anything and everything extra that I have, starting with cans of turkey chili. Those of us who shop at Costco can have a field day shopping in our own homes. Seriously, do you really need three boxes of toothpaste? Me neither. Throw one, PACKAGED, in the bag. Six boxes of Macaroni and Cheese shrink-wrapped together? Nah-uh. Throw half in the bag. Got 23 different shapes of pasta? Throw two boxes in the bag. And a jar of sauce – don’t care if it’s your last one – round out the meal. See those 52 rolls of toilet paper? If you go through those in less than two months than you need to schedule yourself a colonoscopy. Take a 4-pack, PACKAGED, and toss it into the bag.

Are we getting the hang of it yet? Feeling like living life on the edge? Go throw your must have food staple in the bag. I cannot live without peanut butter. I’m a lazy mom with few taste buds so PB & J sandwiches are a gourmet meal in this home. Hey, what can I say,  don’t need fancy restaurants, so it’s not all bad, I’m a cheap date. Trick is to go on one. Just can’t be bothered to actually style my hair and shave my legs in the same hour, eh, maybe one of these days. I digress…

If the bag is for a single mom or family add a flower vase. This may not work for everyone; I love flowers so I’ve got a gazillion vases which make it easy for me to share. Put the vase in the bag and put some flowers in it (without water); she’ll love them, flowers add so much warmth to a home. Oh, and grab a Ziploc bag and fill it with as many quarters as you can find on your dresser, your pants pocket, the ashtray in your car (if you’re a smoker, tsk, tsk), the bottom of your washing machine, your couch cushions, you get the drift. More often than not a single mom or day laborer and his family have to do their laundry at a Laundromat.

By the way, if you’re anything like me, a cabinet cleaner slacker, check the expiration dates before you put everything in the bag. I tell ya, no matter how many times I’ve “shopped” in my home I still find a can of beans that has expired.

We’re done. Feel good? In 30 minutes you accomplished a little spring cleaning; created extra cabinet space for new residents to move in, like chocolate; and spread a little sunshine to a family whose every dime truly matters. Good times for all.

Plus, turkey-chili breath isn’t my thing anyway.

Huh, interesting. Come to think of it, that could explain the dating drought. I’ve gotta move these cans out of my house pronto.

I’m happy to S.O.S.



Originally Posted in Single Sassy Mom (dot) Com | Jan 14, 2012 |

A supportive community for healthy co-parenting and motherhood ups, downs, and are you freakin’ kidding me?!

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Originally posted 2013-05-27 01:19:21. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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