April 29, 2010

Save On Groceries Before You Leave Home

Save on Groceries Before You Leave Home, by Jill Cooper
 (This article comes from www.LivingOnADime.com)

One of the easiest ways to save money on your grocery bill starts before you even leave the house. It's no extra work, you don't have to deprive yourself of anything and you don't have to clip any coupons. What is it? Stop wasting food.

On average most families throw away 50% of the food they buy. If you have trouble believing that then watch your family's eating habits for the next few days. How many times did your child eat only half of his lunch or dinner or drink only half of his glass of milk or juice? How much food gets thrown away when you wash dishes? How many fruits and vegetables have rotted and been tossed? How much meat have you thrown away because it is freezer burned? And what about those leftovers in the fridge or the cartons of sour milk?

If this is you, do you realize if you spend $400 a month on groceries you are literally throwing $200 of it into the trash? What would you think if someone you knew took two $100 bills and threw them away?!? That would make dumpster divers out of the most genteel among us.

Here are some ideas on how to help you to stop the waste:

  1. Only fill a child's (or adult's) glass half full if they normally don't drink it all. You can always give them more when that is gone. If they do have left over milk or juice at the end of the meal put it in the fridge for them to finish at another time.

  2. When you get ready to cook a piece of meat like a roast or chicken, plan ahead. For example, when I take a roast out to thaw I don't think, “Ok, we'll have roast and mashed potatoes tonight.” But I think “I will have roast and mashed potatoes tonight, Bar-B-Q beef tomorrow and beef and noodles the next night.” That way you won't find yourself three days later gazing guiltily at that dying leftover roast thinking, “I really should do something with this but what?” and then end up throwing it out a week later.

  3. Check your fridge the night before you go to the grocery store. That way you can plan your menus and choose what to buy based on the leftovers you have.

  4. If all else fails, make one night a week as leftover night. That's when you set out all your odds and ends of leftovers for everyone to polish off. This is especially good if you do it the night before you buy groceries because this leaves your fridge empty for the new things you are buying tomorrow.

April 19, 2010

Appreciated Advice?

Familiar advice from Mother!

Your face will freeze like that.

What if someone told you to jump off a cliff--would you do it?

Always wear clean underwear; you never know when you"ll be in an accident.

Don't put that in your mouth; you don't know where it's been.

Close the door.  Were you born in a barn?

If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Be careful or you'll knock your eye out.

You have enough dirt behind those ears to grow potatoes.

What advice can you add that your mother gave you? Or that you, as a mother, give your kids?  (Please comment!)

April 13, 2010

Shoo, Fly!

What do you save room for on Thanksgiving?  Pie!

Yet, there was probably no pumpkin, apple, or pecan pie at the First Thanksgiving Feast in 1621.  The Pilgrims had venison and fowl to cook with, and it quite likely that their pies were made with these meats.

My family--being Pennsylvania Dutch--always adds Shoo Fly Pie to our dessert menu on every holiday.

The name certainly gets attention!  The "fun" reason for the name is that the farmer's wife put the pie in the window for it to cool, but the sweetness attracted the flies. So she shooed them away.  So,  Shoo Fly Pie. However, some people spoil that fun and claim shoofly is an alteration of some German word.  (The Pennsylvania Dutch today are descendants from German-speaking immigrants.  The German word for German is "Deutsch."  So we are really Pennsylvania Germans or Deutsch who somehow ended up being called Pennsylvania Dutch.)

Anyway, here is my sister's recipe for Shoo Fly Pie:

1 cup flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 T. shortening
1 egg, beaten
1 cup King syrup
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup hot water

Make crumbs of flour, dark brown sugar, and shortening.  Reserve 1/2 cup for topping.

In a separate bowl, mix egg, King syrup, and 3/4 cup hot water. Add to dry mixture.

Dissolve baking soda in remaining 1/4 cup water.  Add to mixture.  Pour into unbaked pie shell. Top with reserved 1/2 cup crumbs.

Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes.

My favorite pie is, yes, the Shoo Fly PieWhat is your favorite pie and/or pie story? Please comment!

April 10, 2010

Wait Until It Turns Funny Colors and Smells Bad!

(Photo by Amaviael, Dreamstime.com)

Remember when you added too much salt to the soup?  You couldn't stand to throw it out right away; that would have been wasteful.  So you shoved it to the back of the refrigerator.  And when it turned funny colors and smelled bad--then you felt OK about throwing it out!

So you already know that when you've mistakenly added too much salt or sugar to a recipe, you  cannot undo it and take it out. 

But one way to fix your problem is to add more of the ingredients in that particular recipe without adding more of the salt or sugar.

You will, of course, end up with a lot more food. You might like that. You could have leftovers, which would mean tomorrow's lunch or dinner is already planned. Or maybe this is a recipe that can be frozen for another time.

However, you may choose to not have so much extra food. You will need tips for fixing too salty or too sugary food. 

Too Salty

    If you mistakenly added too much salt to a recipe, add a small amount of white distilled vinegar.  

    You can also try adding a teaspoon of vinegar and a teaspoon of sugar to cut the salt.

    If you are cooking a very salty ham, try adding vinegar to it to eliminate some of the salty taste.

Too Sugary

    If you have mistakenly added too much sugar to a cooked meal, add a teaspoon of apple cider OR white distilled vinegar.  It will reduce the sweetness and save the meal!