Friday, June 24, 2016

Dinner......and other notes

We went to Dollar  tree yesterday.  I ran out of rug cleaner and need to clean the stairs .   I also ran out of cupcake liners and had made delicious raspberry muffins with the fleishmans  muffin mix from dollar  tree.  It takes vanilla Greek  yogurt.  

I priced the pinto beans,   They are made in USA and nonGMO.   They are cheaper than Costco's bulk, and cheaper than Wincos bulk.  --.50 a lb.   

There are a few things at dollar tree that are cheaper and work as well as anything else on the market.  
I'm not inclined to buy cheap throw away toys.   The workbooks, on the other hand, are very good.    

You can find good expensive books there,.   The cleaning products are good for the most part.   They carry Brillo products.   I bought a brunch that holds liquid soap.   It's really handy for ore long stuck on thing before the dishwasher.    I keep ot on a small pitcher that sits on the counter.   

They have name brand cosmetics and soaps.   Watch the quantities.   Some are smaller.   Bar soap is name brands,    

Betty Crocker kitchen implements are good.  The measuring cups and spoons can't go in the dishwasher well.  The markings wash off.   But the kitchen shears are good and I like to have several pairs.  When I'm cooking, I change them out often.  I don't want to cross contaminate- especially when I'm cooking meat.   I put them through the dishwasher with the blades separated .   Great for cutting chives or parsley.   They have a small spatula that works great for small jars.   

Some of the things are made in China.   I avoid China made food.   As for other products.  Take a look at the things I your grocery store,    They are made on China too.  So, why pay more-- especially if it is something you are going to throw away...single use items like cupcake liners.    

Sundry items are almost never cheaper at the grocery store.   They are there for convenience and convenience almost always starts with $$$.    

Rarely, does something  made for saving you time, save you money too.    The price of pasta sauce with coupons or on sale with coupons is a rare exception.   By the time you buy the tomatoes to make sauce, you can spend more than ready made.    I got Alfredo sauce for .48 a jar.   The cheese and the cream would cost more.    If you are a foodie and have th Bucks it might be worth it,, but we neither have the excess money nor are we really particular.  It has to taste good, but gourmet isn't our middle name,   LOL.  

I can cut up my own fruit. I control how I clean it and how big the pieces are and it's lots cheaper.   
Studies have proven that washed greens are cleaner than of you wash them at home.   They tested washed greens,  then, they washed the greens.   They had more germs after washing than before.   

I can't spend all day in the  kitchen and I am retired.  I would venture to bet that working mothers can't either, besides working, they have to shop, pay bills, clean house, and take children where they need to be-- not to mention the laundry.   Been there, done that,  you can involve children in cooking.  There  is a lot of lessons to be learned -- everything from how to fold on an ingredient to fractions in measuring,   Some adults I've seen on u tube don't know the difference between a liquid measuring cup and a dry one.   Glass measuring cups are for liquids because you can get a more accurate measurement .  Dry measures fill to the top and you can level them with a case knife.   Also, of you are baking and have two liquid ingredients  , you can use the same cup and bring the sewing ingredient to the combined total measurement.  IE measure 1/2 cup of oil, then if the recipe calls for 1/4 cup of water. Add water to the 3/4 line. 

I usually mix all the wet ingredients and then all the dry ingredients in different bowls.   Them fold one onto the other.   Over mixing makes the dough tough.   I also break eggs in a separate bowl just in case one is bad.   Mesinplas bowls are 4/1 at the dollar store. 

Also, over mixing your mixture of ground meat can make it tough too.    

Speaking if meat, jenne-0 turkey bacon is at the dollar store.   Eggs are at the dollar store for a buck a dozen,   Also. They are a dollar at Walgreens this week too.   Dollar store also has Betty Crocker mixes, uncle ben's rice, zatarans , Libby's,   There are other things on the freezer that are name brands, be careful, they are sometimes more expensive than the regular store.   Name brand catsup is always a buck.   I have got ot for .80 at Safeways lately.    The BBQ sauce is more expensive at dollar tree than on sale .   Hunts  pasta sauce is more expensive too.    

The linens at the dollar store are poor quality.   The Best Buy I have found for kitchen linens is to buy seasonal , holiday linens at a regular store or Joanne's -- past the season.   They are marked down sometimes  as low as 90 percent.   They dry the dishes, who cares what print they have on them.  You can out out whatever season is aooropriate and use the rest.    My mother one time got towels with turning leaves on them for a dime.  She bought each of we three girls and herself ten of them.  Virtually, four of us got 40 towels for the price of one or two.  

Now you know where I learned to shop wisely.   LOL.   

Groceries on the cheap is looking at the "put the meal on the table train" from  a different perspective. 
The emphasis is on purchasing good shelf stable or frozen food  for a RBP in quantity - enough to last you until ot goes on sale again or to keep a controlled non-perishable stock of the things you  use  on a weekly basis. 

This means that instead of shopping daily or weekly for just the things you need to cook your meals for the week. You go to two stores and buy :
1) a protein that is a RBP - enough to make that meal for x number of days. (I.e.: if you eat it once a week, buy enough for 4 meals.)
2) produce and dairy you will need to fill in the meals for the week. 
3) a stock item, if you need to and it is on a RBP - enough to fill in to your self imposed stock level. 

You often are paying 1/2 price for your food.   This allows you to put well-balanced meals on the table consistently on a four dollar a day per person budget.   You spend more time on the locomotive ( planning and shopping ) end of the train, and less time in the caboose ( kitchen j) by cooking more efficiently. 

 Four dollars a day is the target amount for people on snap.   My premise is that of you can do it on 4 dollars a day, spending more is not difficult and you still get more nutrition for your buck. 

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