A blog about "nothing"!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

The best 25 cents I've spent in a long time!

Let's be honest here: in this day and age, 25 cents isn't going to get you much.  You can't even buy a candy bar for that anymore. (unless you happen to find a clearance sale)  About the only way you are going to find anything that cheap that's worth buying is in a thrift store.  You see where this is going!
I haven't been doing as much thrift store shopping recently for a number of reasons.  I need nothing, I've been busy and being sick made it difficult.  A couple of weeks ago I was really itching to go, so I checked out my favorite Pittsburgh haunts.  I found some doll stuff and a few personal/household items: a tie for hubby, a summery shirt for me and a coffee mug to replace the one I broke a couple of weeks earlier.  Nothing very exciting though.
Last week I decided to go again, this time sticking a little closer to home.  About 20 minutes away we have a placed called "Easter Seals Yard Sale".  It's all donated items and the proceeds go to the Easter Seals organization (they work with a variety of special needs folks).  They have a space in an abandoned mall storefront which is only opened several times a month.  I hadn't been there for a while, so I decided that it sounded like a good place to start.
I found a few cute doll sized things which I was excited about.  The last thing I picked up was something I've been curious about for quite some time.  I'd never bought one because quite frankly, I never needed one before and I was skeptical about how well it would work.  The crazy part is I almost missed it because it was brand new, still in the box, and I picked up the box to read what was in it.  So glad I decided to do that!  Are you curious as to what it is?  A brown sugar disc.  I know some of you are saying "what?!"  Maybe you've never heard of one, so here is what they look like:
Basically it's a formed piece of terra cotta that is placed in a container of brown sugar to keep it from getting too hard to use.  I'd never had an issue with my brown sugar doing this because I generally kept it in a bag, but the last time I bought a bag, I decided to place it in a storage container I had to make it easier to get to.  BIG mistake.  I don't use a lot of it, so it takes a while to use up a bag of it, and my bag had progressively gone from being a nice, soft sugar to a solid lump that resembled a brick.  The last time I needed to use it, I literally had to chisel it out of the container.  When I saw this disc for 25 cents, I figured it was worth a try.
After I got it home, I took it out of the box.  No instructions, but something told me that you didn't just go and plop it in and hope for the best.  I was right, and after poking around on the trusty internet, I found instructions.  All you needed to do was place it in a bowl with water for 15 minutes, then pat the outside dry and place it in the container.  At this point I was still skeptical, but what did I have to lose.  It didn't help that I asked a friend if she had ever used one, to which she replied "I had one, but I don't anymore.  I don't remember, but I assume because I don't have it now, it wasn't impressive."  Hmmm...
That was on Thursday.  Yesterday (2 days later) I decided to check and see if anything happened.  I was not at all prepared for what I was going to experience.  I opened the container and looked inside.  The sugar appeared to be softer, so I got a fork and poked it.  WOW!!!  It really worked!!!  I now have a container of brown sugar that looks like brown sugar again.  No using it for construction purposes! I was impressed.  :)
The online instructions I found said that it lasts for about 3 months per soaking, so sometime in late summer I will need to get it out and do the process over again.  So worth it in my opinion.  And I'm so glad I decided to take a chance with my quarter.  Probably a better payoff than if I'd put it in a slot machine!


dan said...

The terra cotta disc seems to work perfectly... and it's nice to think that you paid only 25 cent for it!
To he honest, I have never heard about it before ...

Flo said...

I vaguely remembered seeing them in a catalog one time, but really didn't pay much attention. I'm glad I remembered!