Saturday, March 10, 2012

Stuff it! {aka - How to make snacks go further}

Today I'm going to share a "Quick Tip" with you...

Have you ever found a really cute bowl in your 'stash' or in a store and wanted to use it for chips, cookies, rolls, whatever, but then realized you would need to fill it with, oh, I don't know....  about 5,000 POUNDS of said chips, cookies, rolls, whatever so that it wouldn't look pathetically empty? Yeah. Me too. Sucks, don't it?

Well, I'm here to share my little secret with you on how to get around that little dilemma...


Yes, you read that right, I use paper napkins. {and, yes, you could easily use cloth napkins if you want to be more green, I just prefer to use paper - especially if they already match my theme. sue me.}. The first time I discovered this trick was during the great popcorn fiasco. Haven't heard that one? Oh, do let me share...

Sometime last summer, I found these super cute plastic popcorn containers in the Dollar Spot at Target (it's so dangerous to wander in there, isn't it??). I got one in each of 4 different colors. So cute, right?

Plastic popcorn containers from Target

The only problem was that they were just way too deep to fill all the way up with popcorn for my pre-schoolers. There was just no way they could eat all that popcorn. Well... on second thought... maybe they could, but they didn't need to! ;)  So, I usually make one of those 100 calorie packs and let them share it between themselves. But when I dumped 1/2 of the bag into each container, they only got filled up about 1/2 way full.

Well, if you have little ones, you know that THAT was NOT going to fly. Don't mind the fact that this is the SAME AMOUNT they would always get in the OTHER BOWL I used to use...

As far as they were concerned, there was PLENTY OF ROOM LEFT! They wanted the container to be filled up to the TOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Give me MOOOOORE!! Hey, and while I'm at it, I'd like to point out that... SHE has MORE than I DO!!! MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOMMMMMMM! NO FAAAAIIIIIIRRR! {ever hear those kind of shrill cries coming from a 3-year old?? yeah, good stuff.}

So, I quickly drank a shot of tequilla improvised and stuffed a loosely-crushed napkin down into the lower half of the container to help take up space.

Then I poured the popcorn back in (which now went right to the top) and the rugrats couldn't have been happier. And it isn't like they didn't know the napkin was in there. I guess it was the ~visual~ of a half-empty container that just didn't sit well with them. You know, like I was trying to gyp them or something. Not that I have ever tried to do that to my children. Ahem. Moving on...

(and yes, that is how you spell "gyp" - looks weird, I know, but I checked Webster's HERE and it's right).

Sneaky, sneaky!

Ahhhh... peace and harmony had been restored to our household... at least for the next 5 mintues. :/

I also used this trick during Boogey's RAINBOW party (posted HERE). I had found some cute colored buckets at the party store and grabbed them on a whim, not really knowing for sure how I planned on using them. Ultimately I decided to use them to house some chips, pretzels and goldfish. But they were so deep that I knew I would need double the amount of chips, pretzels and goldfish than I had just to fill them up to the top. Um, yeah... not going out to buy more snacks, especially when I know they won't all get eaten anyway.

Insert... the napkin trick!

Use a paper napkin to take up space in the bowl

I ever so slightly wadded up a paper napkin and stuffed it into the bottom of the buckets. The napkin minimized the amount of open space in the buckets so I was able to use less snacks to make them look "full" and, therefore, make my snacks go FURTHER! Yay!

Make your snacks go further! It's all an ~illusion~!

Of course the napkin trick won't work as well with really heavy snacks but works great with things like chips, crackers, etc.  If you have something that is heavier, you should, instead, use an inverted bowl or cup as your filler. This is a pretty common trick for vases and such and would be a great option to make heavier treats like M&M's and other candy items go further. Yes, it's all an ~ILLUSION~ folks! :)

And that's my 'quick tip' for the day! Do you have any food display "cheats" you like to use? Let me hear about 'em!

p.s. I want to say a quick "THANK YOU" to Michelle over at Macaroni Kid for featuring my Rainbow Cupcakes on the Macaroni Kid (Harlem edition) website {Click HERE to see it!}!

This project was featured! Be sure to check out these fabulous blogs!!

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Linking up to these parties - check  'em out!
Someday Crafts
The Thrifty Home
A Turtles Life for Me
Bacon Time with the Hungry Hypo
Polish the Stars
Keeping it Simple
The Scott's Crib

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  1. what a clever idea! Thanks!

  2. This is very very sneaky indeed and I likey! I would love it if you could share your tip at my cheap finds party:) Yes, clever indeed! I'll leave the link if you're interested, have a great week!

  3. Great idea! This is the most viewed link last week at the Whatever Goes Wednesday party at

  4. I forgot to say that I am featuring this today at

  5. This is such a great idea! I would love for you to link up at my Linky Party via:

    Mrs. Delightful

  6. What a great idea. I found your blog at the Polish The Stars party. I'm a new follower, and I would love if you stopped by and followed back so we can stay in touch. Talk to ya soon, Lori

  7. I love your ideas! Just curious, I know it was 2 years ago but do you remember what the 4 different colors of popcorn containers Target had? I am trying to look around for colors other than red :)


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