Savvy Shopping and Stovetop Smarts

Some obvious- and some not-so-obvious- techniques and tips to shop smarter, eat better, and do it for less!
9 Pinek4 követő
DON'T pay up to $100 for a food dehydrator if you only dry herbs.  Get a few old plastic paper plate holders. Place the first one upside-down to serve as a base and a spacer to allow airflow. Fill the next one right-side with a layer of some fresh herbs. Top with another upside-down holder and repeat. Bottom photo shows a double-stack unit with two plates full of basil. Place atop your refrigerator for a free source of warm air. Enjoy!

DON'T pay up to $100 for a food dehydrator if you only dry herbs. Get a few old plastic paper plate holders. Place the first one upside-down to serve as a base and a spacer to allow airflow. Fill the next one right-side with a layer of some fresh herbs. Top with another upside-down holder and repeat. Bottom photo shows a double-stack unit with two plates full of basil. Place atop your refrigerator for a free source of warm air. Enjoy!

ON SALE!  Or IS it?  (Double check the prices in the picture!) Just because something is marked "on sale" doesn't necessarily mean that it is at the lowest price!  If in doubt, run the UPC through a Price Scanner. Use your smartphone to document any deals that are "too good to be true" to make things a lot easier when you check out!  Happy shopping!

ON SALE! Or IS it? (Double check the prices in the picture!) Just because something is marked "on sale" doesn't necessarily mean that it is at the lowest price! If in doubt, run the UPC through a Price Scanner. Use your smartphone to document any deals that are "too good to be true" to make things a lot easier when you check out! Happy shopping!

Crack the CODE before you crack the EGGS! Egg cartons must have 3 pieces of info: 1. A Packing Date, expressed as a 3 digit Julian calendar number (plenty of look-up sources on the web)- 292 in this case, which = Oct 19.   2. A Suggested Sell By Date- Nov 17 in this case, arbitrarily assigned by the packer.  3. A Plant Code - 18-0442 in this case.  Refrigerated eggs will keep for 4-6 weeks from the packing date. Crack the code, do the math, THEN crack the egg!

Crack the CODE before you crack the EGGS! Egg cartons must have 3 pieces of info: 1. A Packing Date, expressed as a 3 digit Julian calendar number (plenty of look-up sources on the web)- 292 in this case, which = Oct 19. 2. A Suggested Sell By Date- Nov 17 in this case, arbitrarily assigned by the packer. 3. A Plant Code - 18-0442 in this case. Refrigerated eggs will keep for 4-6 weeks from the packing date. Crack the code, do the math, THEN crack the egg!

BUY IN BULK!  Well, maybe not quite as much as this shopper! Seriously, this may seem obvious when there is a sale for canned soup, etc. Don't overlook buying produce in season and either freezing or preserving it. For example, I buy peppers & onions in the summer, dice them up and freeze them for use throughout the next 11 months for seasoning a wide range of dishes, from soup to omelettes!

BUY IN BULK! Well, maybe not quite as much as this shopper! Seriously, this may seem obvious when there is a sale for canned soup, etc. Don't overlook buying produce in season and either freezing or preserving it. For example, I buy peppers & onions in the summer, dice them up and freeze them for use throughout the next 11 months for seasoning a wide range of dishes, from soup to omelettes!

THINK "IN SEASON".  Sure, you can buy asparagus and apples at any time of the year. But, asparagus will be freshest AND cheapest if you buy it in the early spring for your area, and the apples, likewise, in the fall. Check the internet for produce "seasonality charts" for fruits and vegetables which show when each is at its peak for your area.

THINK "IN SEASON". Sure, you can buy asparagus and apples at any time of the year. But, asparagus will be freshest AND cheapest if you buy it in the early spring for your area, and the apples, likewise, in the fall. Check the internet for produce "seasonality charts" for fruits and vegetables which show when each is at its peak for your area.

SET A PANTRY COST FOR SMALLER ITEMS.  "How do I figure the cost of all those little bits of spices and seasonings I need to use in my minestrone or bouillabaisse", you ask?. Just set an approximate "pantry cost" for your recipes which use several seasonings. I use a 10¢ pantry cost for my average recipes and a 15¢ pantry cost for my more highly seasoned Mediterranean dishes when I calculate my total costs. And DON'T pay a company to measure them for you and put them on a card!

SET A PANTRY COST FOR SMALLER ITEMS. "How do I figure the cost of all those little bits of spices and seasonings I need to use in my minestrone or bouillabaisse", you ask?. Just set an approximate "pantry cost" for your recipes which use several seasonings. I use a 10¢ pantry cost for my average recipes and a 15¢ pantry cost for my more highly seasoned Mediterranean dishes when I calculate my total costs. And DON'T pay a company to measure them for you and put them on a card!

"COST OUT" YOUR RECIPES. Save money the same way restaurant managers do- learn to "cost out" a recipe. Total the cost of every ingredient in a recipe & divide by the number of servings. Here's a simple example: Cake mix = 99¢. Eggs = 3 x 20¢ = 60¢. Oil = 4 oz x 5¢ = 20¢.  Powdered sugar = 1¢. Let's add: 99 + 60 + 20+ 1 = $1.80. Divide by 12 servings = 15¢ per serving. Most recipes have more ingredients, but the process is identical: total the cost, divide by the servings, and  SAVE THE…

"COST OUT" YOUR RECIPES. Save money the same way restaurant managers do- learn to "cost out" a recipe. Total the cost of every ingredient in a recipe & divide by the number of servings. Here's a simple example: Cake mix = 99¢. Eggs = 3 x 20¢ = 60¢. Oil = 4 oz x 5¢ = 20¢. Powdered sugar = 1¢. Let's add: 99 + 60 + 20+ 1 = $1.80. Divide by 12 servings = 15¢ per serving. Most recipes have more ingredients, but the process is identical: total the cost, divide by the servings, and SAVE THE…

THINK IN SERVINGS!  How do you BUY your apples? By the pound, most likely. But, most of time, you EAT them by the EACH! All other things being equal, buy the bag with the highest COUNT of apples in the bag to get the most SERVINGS per dollar. And don't be afraid to weigh that "3 pound" bag if it feels a little light! And if the store sells produce "by the piece", THEN think in terms of buying the largest high-quality pieces available!

THINK IN SERVINGS! How do you BUY your apples? By the pound, most likely. But, most of time, you EAT them by the EACH! All other things being equal, buy the bag with the highest COUNT of apples in the bag to get the most SERVINGS per dollar. And don't be afraid to weigh that "3 pound" bag if it feels a little light! And if the store sells produce "by the piece", THEN think in terms of buying the largest high-quality pieces available!

DON"T PAY FOR WATER!  The "fill" for a #300 15 oz can of peas is as low as 11 oz, the rest being water! Actually, as long as there is a higher weight of peas than water, and the ingredients are listed in that order on the label, technically it is legal! The solution?  Buy FROZEN veggies! 100% usable and when steamed, a LOT more colorful and appetizing. Or buy FRESH veggies if you have a few minutes for prep time! Buy your veggies when "in season" and you will save even more!

DON"T PAY FOR WATER! The "fill" for a #300 15 oz can of peas is as low as 11 oz, the rest being water! Actually, as long as there is a higher weight of peas than water, and the ingredients are listed in that order on the label, technically it is legal! The solution? Buy FROZEN veggies! 100% usable and when steamed, a LOT more colorful and appetizing. Or buy FRESH veggies if you have a few minutes for prep time! Buy your veggies when "in season" and you will save even more!


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