The object you see covering the plate of chili cheese fries above is a microwave spatter cover. Maybe you already have one; if you do, you already know how handy they are. I didn’t own one until a couple of months ago — which is a shame, because it’s already paid for itself several times over.
Last summer, in the interest of paying down debt and getting to that tiny house of our dreams faster, we stopped eating dinner out so much and started cooking at home five to six days a week. That’s saved a lot of money, a lot of empty calories and a lot of paper wrappers and plastic straws, but it’s also caused us to use a lot more paper towels.
One day as I was warming up some marinara sauce to go with lunch, it occurred to me that I was using at least three or four paper towels a day to cover dishes in the microwave. Three or four might not seem like a lot, but they add up quickly: Three a day works out to 21 a week. That’s a full roll every two to three weeks, depending on the brand.
I vaguely remembered one of the families I babysat for in the late ’80s owning a plastic plate cover for microwave use, so the next time I was at Target, I checked to see whether such a thing still existed and whether they carried any. I found a Nordic Ware model,* which set me back a whopping $1.79 — roughly the price of a roll of paper towels. It’s exactly the right size to cover my biggest dinner plates, and it doubles as a sort of steamer for softening tortillas. I use it just about every time I cook, and since I bought it in December, I’d estimate it’s saved me at least four rolls of paper towels. Not bad.
*NOTE: Nordic Ware didn’t give me free products or money or anything for this review. I just mentioned the brand because it’s what I happen to have, and I like it. I doubt it really matters what brand you get. I mean, we’re talking about a plastic plate cover, not a complicated electronic device.