If you haven’t already gotten rid of the junk in your pantry, now is the time! To make the transition easier, I compiled a list of ways to use those non-foods for other household purposes. I hate to waste as much as the next person, but I finally had to realize that my body is not a garbage can, and I refuse to use things just to finish what is in the house. When we switched to a real food diet, I donated all the unopened non-perishables, but what to do with the opened packages of flour, sugar, oatmeal, etc?
I remembered some natural beauty recipes and kid-friendly activity ideas I’d read in the past, and the kids had a blast (and I got pampered) while we used up the rest of our “junk food.”
These were my solutions:
Make Play Dough or Paper Mache for Your Kids
A win-win situation- you get to spend quality time with your kids and teach them that the best use for flour is not in their mouths or digestive tracks. (If you don’t have kids, this could be fun for grown-ups too… consider it stress relief)
To Make Basic Play Dough from That Flour You Shouldn’t Be Eating:
- In a large pot, pour two cups of water and 1 cup of salt.
- Heat over low heat until salt is dissolved.
- Stir in 2 cups of flour until well mixed. (thing #1 to get out of the pantry)
- Add 2-3 Tablespoons of vegetable oil (another thing to get out of the pantry)
- Add 1 Tablespoon Cream of Tartar (optional)
- Keep stirring over low heat until it thickens and pulls away from the sides into a ball. (like when you make bread -another thing to get out of the pantry)
- If it is too sticky, keep stirring over low heat until it thickens.
- Remove from the heat and let cool until you can handle it.
- Add kool-aid for color (another thing to get out of the pantry)
Unhealthy things you used up: flour, vegetable oil, table salt, kool aid!
To make Paper Mache Paste:
Mix equal parts of white flour and water to make a glue-like paste. (hmmm, flour and water make a glue like paste… probably shouldn’t eat that!) Let your kids use their hands and some old pieces of newspaper to make creations. Once it dries, it is much like a sculpture (yeah, definitely shouldn’t eat that!).
As kids, we used to blow up balloons and put paper mache over them. When they dried, we popped the balloons, cut them in half and painted them to make masks.
Make a Luxurious Facial Scrub or Kill Ants
Exfoliating Sugar Scrub: Sugar= bad for your body but good for your skin. Make a spa-quality facial scrub that costs pennies. Mix 1/2 cup of sugar with enough olive oil to moisten it and any essential oils you like (optional). I use lavender and orange oils. Mix well and put into a small jar. Use a little scoop with wet hands to exfoliate your face and body.
Ant Poison: If rubbing sugar on your face isn’t appealing to you, mix 2 parts sugar with 1 part borax (which is great to have on hand for cleaning). Put in a little container or jar that ants can crawl in and out of. Make sure your kids can’t get to it. Borax is poisonous to ants, but they can’t resist sugar. It won’t kill them immediately, but they will take it back to the nest and eventually kill all of them. I’ve used this twice to get rid of ants in our house. Killing ants=good use for sugar!
Clean Your Hardwood Floors Naturally
There are natural ways to clean any type of floor, and that nasty vegetable oil (or canola, soybean, cottonseed, etc) lurking in your pantry makes an awesome cleaner for hardwood floors. Rather than letting it skew your Omega-3 and 6 ratios, use it to make your floors shine. Mix 1 cup of vinegar and 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil OR lemon juice to make a very effective floor cleaner. Benefits: clean floors and clean bill of health!
Dry Out Electronics that Got Wet
I’ve had three cell phones thrown or dropped into water by my kids (and one I dropped myself). Three of the four were saved by rice. Store your rice in jars and when an electronic gets wet, put it in the jar and close the lid tightly. The rice will absorb the moisture and pull it out of the gadget. Unless there is structural damage, this usually works. It can take a few days or even a couple weeks, so be patient.
Get A Facial or Calm Itchy Skin
I don’t recommend eating oatmeal, unless you are a fan of insulin. I do recommend using it on your skin. For a relaxing facial, powder oatmeal in a blender or food processor and add warm milk to make a paste. Rub on face, let dry and wash off. It tightens pores, removes blackheads and moisturizes. You can also use the powder as an oatmeal bath for sunburns or itchy skin.
Clean Your Toilet
Toilet dirty? I’m sure yours is not, but mine sometimes is. Pour a can of coke in a toilet and let sit an hour. Use a brush to remove stains and flush. It will shine. We even tried this on a 30-40 year old toilet in a house we remodeled- it worked (and that toilet probably hadn’t been cleaned in 30-40 years). To me, that is enough reason to never ingest the stuff but if not, here are some other things you can use it for so you don’t drink it:
- Removing gum from hair- soak hair in it for 10 minutes and gum comes right out
- Unclog drains- just pour in the coke and wait (Did I mention you should not ingest this stuff!)
- Remove that gunk from car batteries-pour on and it come right off
- Clean grout- soak a sponge in it and use to clean grout stains
- Remove grease stains on clothes-soak the stain in coke and wash well
Things not to use soda for: human consumption.
Polish Stainless Steel
Oh the fingerprints! Stainless steel shows smudges, a lot. After normal cleaning, pour or rub some flour onto the stainless to make it shine and remove fingerprints or water spots. Caution: keep flour away from mouth!
Hope this gave you some alternate ideas for that junk food that might still be lurking in your pantry. If you haven’t already, consider getting rid or (or creatively using) wheat and gluten containing flours of any kind and products made from them, harmful fats and products made from them, and sugar or sugar-containing foods. Have any other ideas? I’d love to hear them below!