Money Saving Microwave Tips and Tricks

The microwave is more than just a time saver. With these microwave tips and tricks, you can save money, too

While Martha Stewart has been known to sneer at the very idea of owning a microwave, she just might change her mind if she ever learns about these microwave tips and tricks. You see, that little nuclear-powered box on your kitchen counter can save you a surprising amount of cash.

First off, it’s a lot cheaper to use the microwave than to use a stovetop or range, simply because a microwave uses less energy. You probably knew that already… but there’s so much more to this little device to delight the average tightwad!

Some Surprising Uses

Being a microwave oven, most of us associate the magic box with cooking. However, there are some potential non-foodie uses that you might not have thought of. For example, you can use a microwave to:

-Make a roll of masking tape sticky again. Give it a 10 second jolt.
-Heat a soaked washcloth for a minute to make a hot compress.
-Dry a “ruined” rain-soaked newspaper on a low setting until it’s readable.
-Remove a postage stamp undamaged from an envelope in 20 seconds.

How about that, eh?

Food, Of Course

We all know you can melt or soften things like chocolate, cream cheese, or butter in a microwave (or possibly chocolate, cream cheese, and butter together if you’re brave). But there are many other neat things you can do food-wise, simply because microwaves work by exciting the water molecules in stuff. You can:

-Decrystallize honey with a two minute zap at half power.
-Roast garlic cloves in a minute per side on high power.
-Ripen an avocado on medium for two minutes on half power, before turning it over and giving it one more minute.
– Freshen stale bread or muffins with a quick zap.
– Get more juice out of a lemon with another quick zap.

And that’s just a taste of all the possibilities!

Milk and Sugar

But wait, there’s more! To soften and remove lumps from brown sugar, put the offending sweetness in a microwavable container, and then slide it into the oven along with a cup of water. Nuke a half-pound on high for two minutes; a full pound will take three. Presto! Soft, lumpless sugar.

Here’s a trick for extending milk’s shelf life for up to 10 days: if it hasn’t gone bad yet, nuke it on high in a microwave-safe container until it reaches 160º F throughout, based on the reading of a meat thermometer. This should take about half a minute per cup. Then immediately put it in the fridge.

There you go. Got any other microwave tips or tricks we should know about?