Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How To Avoid A Salad Dressing Mess

Have you ever dumped way too much salad dressing on your plate?

Oh good, me too!

Have your kids ever done the same thing?

I like to buy salad dressings when they are on sale. That means that our brands vary and more times than not we open up the bottle to find an open mouth top which is just an accident waiting to happen. Not to mention the gooey lid that gets screwed back on the gooey top.

Gooey Salad Dressing Top

I was browsing Target one day and spotted condiment containers for $2.49 each. "Now wouldn't that be the perfect thing to help my kids not dump too much dressing on their salad," I thought to myself. Plus, we wouldn't have to unscrew tops and put them back on every time we brought out the dressings.

I grabbed six.

Condiment Bottle

Now if only there was a way to hold multiple condiment bottles all at once. I walked up and down the aisles trying to find baskets that might work. Most of them ended up having extra room and the bottles would tip over. And then at the very end I spotted something in the summer, outdoor kitchen aisle that would work perfect. It came in a few different colors and I snagged this white one for $9.99. It holds 6 bottles perfectly, not to mention the fabulous holder on the top that makes grabbing it with one hand a breeze. Seriously...no more juggling six different gooey bottles, all you need is one hand!

Condiment Caddy

I had just purchased some full sheet, clear labels to use on a toy organization project downstairs. I decided to give them a try and make a page with labels for my condiment bottles. This worked great since ketchup looks like catalina and honey mustard dressing looks...well, like mustard. We don't want our guests to get confused. :-)

Salad Dressing Labels

I washed the bottles, added the labels, added the dressings and found the perfect solution to our problems. The kids think it is so cool as it sits on the middle of the table and we can spin it around to pick the right dressing. I'm not sold on the long term durability of those labels since eventually the bottles will need to be washed. I think a sharpie, directly on the bottle might come in pretty handy. 

Salad Dressings In One Caddy

Since we go into our yard a lot for picnics or bbq's, this will work great. With just one hand I can grab all of the dressings and condiments that we need!

Perfect for picnics and outdoor bbq's

When we are done, they go right back into the fridge. 

What once looked like this...

messy fridge

Now looks like this!

clean fridge

*Update: And then a  few days went by since the condiment's photo shoot. I was just waiting to publish this post on Wednesday and in the meantime we used this set at almost every meal. I discovered two things. 
  1. We use it a lot and I love it!
  2. However, the labels don't work. 





With the condensation from the bottles being in the fridge and then on the table it is just a smudge waiting to happen and ink gets all over whoever grabbed the bottle. Any ideas on how to label these? On a side note: I think I have concluded that our family eats a lot of ketchup too! :-)

Reasons Why I Love Our New System...

  • No more dumping way too much dressing on our salad! 
  • No more messing with gooey caps!
  • Super easy to take out and put back in the fridge!
  • Easy to use at the table!
  • Great for taking outside!
  • Kid Tested...Mother Approved! ;-)
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25 comments:

  1. You can buy Avery waterproof labels, but they are kind of expensive. Laser printing will last a lot longer than inkjet printing. You can go with a regular label and put strong packing tape over the top (but in my experience, that will start to curl around the edges at some point...starts out great, though.) That's what I've got before dashing for the bus.

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  2. Also, for anyone else contemplating this, I think that Dollar Tree sells similar condiment bottles based on what I've seen posted online (I've never checked it out myself.) I just looked and they have a Red/Yellow set (both for $1) for ketchup and mustard, but I think I've seen other moms post about using the clear ones they have for craft stuff.

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    Replies
    1. Keturah,

      That is a great idea to look at the dollar store! I found some at a different kitchen store for $.50 cents cheaper but they were also a few oz. smaller. The ones at Target hold 12 oz. which is just shy of holding a full container of dressing.

      If anyone else reading this finds them at the dollar store, please let us know...cheaper is always better! :-)

      ~Sarah

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    2. Went to Target tonight...in the dollar spot, they have a package of red, yellow, and white containers with writing already on them (ketchup, mayo, mustard)- $3 for the three bottles, only sold together.

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    3. Keturah,

      Cool! I checked out the dollar tree and only saw the red and yellow ones for sale but I didn't walk around the whole store so maybe I missed the clear ones.

      ~Sarah

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    4. I was at the Dollar Tree today...and they had the clear bottles for $1 each and the red/yellow combo package for $1 I was already in the check-out line...and didn't dare loose my place in line...so I'm not sure how many ounces they hold. :) They were on an end cap with picnic items...and not in the kitchen section with the red/yellow bottles.

      BTW...my Dollar Tree (Inverness, FL) just did a complete remodel. It looks more like a department store and I'd swear they doubled their inventory! Happy Dance!

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    5. Tina,

      Perfect! Thanks so much for letting us know! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  3. Keturah beat me to it...was going to suggest a laser printer, the ink lasts much longer. :) You could take your file on a thumb drive (or picture) and labels to Office Max or Office Depot and they will print/copy it for you for pennies. No need to buy a laser printer.

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    Replies
    1. That is a great suggestion to hit up an Office supply store, thanks!

      ~Sarah

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  4. This is a great idea and after reading the comments I didn't know that office supply stores would do that, awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Erin,

      I love that the comment section can be so helpful! I didn't know that either until today! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  5. What a great and cute solution! I bet you will figure something out for the labels. You could use a label maker, but it wouldn't be nearly as cute. Thanks so much for linking up at the Real Family Fun link party! Hope to see you next week.
    KC

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  6. This is awesome! I make most of my own dressings and keep trying to figure out a good way to "package" them. :) Love this idea.

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    Replies
    1. Lydia,

      These would be perfect for packaging your own dressings! Thanks so much for sharing the Amazon link too! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  7. Amazon has some great less expensive options for the bottles: http://www.amazon.com/s/?_encoding=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&field-keywords=condiment%20bottles&linkCode=ur2&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Acondiment%20bottles&tag=thethrfrumom-20&url=search-alias%3Daps

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  8. Just now seeing this post. What a fantastic idea. I love your condiment caddy. Definitely go to Office Max or Depot and have labels or other things printed. So much easier and super cheap. :)

    My family LOVES ketchup, too. ;)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Julie, I can't wait to try the easier, cheaper version! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  9. This is an awesome idea! Some nights there are so many condiments that we need to bring to the table that it's ridiculous! And they don't look very nice once you get them there. I hope that one day I can create my own condiment caddy.

    Thanks for sharing!

    Oooh...after thought... One for breakfast would be awesome too! (Syrup, jam, etc.)

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    Replies
    1. Amelia,

      Making some breakfast bottles would be a great idea! :-)

      ~Sarah

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  10. I just stumbled upon your blog today and am really enjoying your organization posts. I own a small bar/restaurant so we use condiment bottles for a number of things. We have found that using a permanent sharpie on duct tape works the best for labeling. Duct tape comes in so many fun designs and sharpies come in so many fun colors to coordinate! It will eventually wear, but for us, this has lasted the longest. Hope this is helpful!

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    Replies
    1. Kim,

      You are right, with all of the fun duct tapes available that would be a fun solution! Thanks for sharing. :-)

      ~Sarah

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  11. I LOVE this idea. Wish I had thought of it but now I will use it. I have a 6-yr-old and we buy different brands of dressings too. Why doesn't every bottle come with the little hole in the top? Duh. Anyways, with the labeling, I have often used a sharpie directly on the bottle and then covered with clear packing tape. I did this to label my kid's cups, tupperware, etc. It stays on through several washings and doesn't rub off. It works great on sunblock bottles.

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  12. Exactly what I was going to say Kindra! I use sharpies on things like this quite often. It will eventually fade, but it stays on for quite a while. :)

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