Good morning on this first day of December! December kind of blew in here with colder temps and flurries. Yes, it literally blew in - it was very windy yesterday and still pretty breezy today. I think a lot of people got snow - luckily we just had a few flurries. Highs today will be around 34*F. Brrrrrr!
Let's start the month out with a few reminders on some simple ways to save a dollar and save your stock. Money and stock is precious ALWAYS - but more so for some right now. Any way that we can save money and make things last longer is a great help.
- Store your cottage cheese, sour cream or dip upside down in the refrigerator. Make sure that lid is on securely and then flip it over. It keeps the air off the top of the product and they last waaaayyyy past their 'best if used by' date. I have done this for years. Glen loved cottage cheese and I way stock up when on sale and it would last months - fresh as new.
- Place an old dish cloth or scrap of t-shirt in the bottom of your crisper to absorb moisture. This enables your fresh food to last longer. Some people use paper towels - but they cost $. I just use an old dish towel and I can launder it.
- If you have fresh veggies that have had better days - trim off anything that has darkened or spotted and use the rest. Don't throw away the whole thing because of spots. ie: cauliflower - cut those dark spots off and cook the rest. Trim up carrots and use balance. Don't waste!
- Milk - keep it toward the back of the shelf. It is actually colder at the back of shelf - it doesn't warm up when opening the door. Milk lasts a lot longer.
- Eggs - don't keep in the door in the fancy egg holders. Keep them in their boxes on a shelf in the frig. Anything like milk or eggs - warms every time you open the door. Be careful what you store in the door - that is actually the warmest part of frig.
- Jazz up bland foods - add spices or herbs or cheese. You can make bland foods taste great - don't just toss them.
- Do you have fruit that is getting older? Turn it into jam or marmalade. Cook apples (fried apples), make applesauce, or make baked apples. Mix different fruits together for a yummy jam or cobbler. Use in smoothies (you an freeze for later). Don't waste it.
- Keep bacon fat in a jar for seasoning. great to use when frying up blander foods - fried potatoes = Mmmmm. Use to season in beans or other foods. I also keep beef fat (from ground beef). It can be used for frying and seasoning as well. Save your oils for other things.
- Keep you steel wool pads (Brill-o) in a baggie in the freezer to keep them from rusting in between uses.
- If you want to keep coffee in your pantry long term without taste changing - keep coffee beans. They last almost forever. You can get a cheap coffee grinder at most thrift stores (I have 2 and paid $1 ea. at yard sales). Also instant coffee - unopened - lasts virtually forever as well.
- Get yourself a food safe bucket or two and store extras in it. Mark the date on the outside of bucket and set it aside. If IT ever hits the fan you have extra stores that you have put back and just ignored until really needed.
- Did you know that you can plant many dried beans that you cook? Do a test (damp paper towel, seeds and plastic baggie) to proof. Worth a try.
- You can regrow Romaine or bib lettuces that you purchase as a bunch. Slice a thin slice off bottom to get a fresh bottom - place in small amount of water to root and plant. Same with celery. Many people do green onions this way - I eat the whole thing myself!
- Remember to watch the holiday markdowns for great deals. Candy, baking stuff, plates, napkins, candles, cards, wrapping paper, cookie decorations, candy canes, etc. Stock up now and use for upcoming occasions - birthdays, Valentines Day, St. Patty Day, Easter..... OR "I just need chocolate" day!!!!!!!!!!
- If you get a great sales on hard cheese or butter - buy it and FREEZE. Cheese is great for grating and cooking. Butter is wonderful frozen and lasts.
- Remember to shop YOUR shelves first - ALWAYS!!!!!!!!!!
- Buy cheap when you can - things will always go up in price and getting it cheap is money in the bank!
Just remember - success doesn't come from dollars. It comes from hard work, learning and better experiences. Learn to save by spending less and using less NOT necessarily by earning more.
Be MONEY WISE
You have a great money saving tip?