Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Life Hacks

We all wanted to know how to save money. Here’s a few I’ve learned over the years.

·         Check out the bargain bakery bin. Most of the bread and bakery good are ready to expire, but can be frozen.

·         Orphan or bargain fruit rack. The majority of the items broke off from the bunch or spilled out of a bag and or much less than normal.

·         Sample items. Because they usually come with a $1 coupon and are on sale that week. Don’t get them if they’re still very expensive or you don’t like the product.

·         In-store coupon dispensers. Often it could be dispensing a coupon for something you were going to buy anyhow.

·         Rotate your groceries. Use what is going to go bad first. Over forty percent of food gets thrown away in the US. Some because it de-evolved into something nasty while waiting to be used.

·         Browse the deli for the sale stickers. It’s hard to go wrong with a rotisserie chicken.

·         Always check out seasonal items the week after a season passes. I used to load up on seasonal candy for my students. They didn’t care it if had reindeer, eggs, or hearts on it.

·         At home, make sure you include a paper towel in your salad kits to soak up the excess moisture. Try to use it within a week too.

·         Spinach limp? It can be sautéed, go into soup, or form the base of a green smoothie.

·         Sale on cheese? It can be frozen too, except for cream cheese.

·         Meat is usually cheaper in the huge family packs. Can’t afford it, then split it with a friend. 

·         Crackers, chips, cookies can be refreshed in the oven on a high rack, around 225 for 5-8 minutes. The object is to make them crisp, not cook them.

·         Slow foods are less expensive, instead of minute rice, use long grain rice. You can use a rice cooker, which you can pick up at your local thrift shop. Several couple received one as a wedding present and don’t have a clue what it is.

·         Too much salad? It will last another day if you don’t put cut tomatoes or dressing on it. Grape or cherry tomatoes are your better choice.

·         Don’t overlook The Dollar Tree when shopping for food items. I picked up name brand premade turkey gravy for a dollar, which was less than the grocery. They have a large assortment of spices too.

·         Applesauce, apple butter, and other fruit sauces can be turned over after securely fasten the lid to make an air vacuum. This prevents mold.

·         Storing dry pasta in a plastic container prevents weevils.

·         Putting bread on top of the fridge dries it out and promotes house pests.

·         Freeze bacon, especially turkey, it goes slimy in about two weeks.

·         Feeling ambitious, pre-cook a large meal and freeze half of it. Then helps on those rushed days. It also uses less electricity.

Those are my food tips for the week. 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Seasonal Bargains

I’m wishing I bought the greatly reduced patio furniture back in October. It’s full price now. What should you buy in late March & April?

·         Television and other electronics made in Japan because the Japanese fiscal years ends in March. They are now last year’s models.

·         Houses. Yeah, houses. Those who plan to sell are putting their houses on the market. A crowded market makes for a motivated seller. It’s easy to point out that the house down the street is going for $30,000 less.

·         Cookware and kitchen essentials are on sale, probably because all the big cooking holidays and it is time to fire up the grill. (Grills are not on sale.)

·         Digital cameras, which would be perfect for your vacation. Digital cameras aren’t the must have item they used to be with smart phones, but still better as far as photo quality and getting your photo off the camera.

·         Thrift Items because people are spring-cleaning. Check weekly. Monday is the best day since people tend to drop off items on the weekend.

·         Home Improvement Items. There are sales on everything from blinds to paint.

·         Sneakers. There are several winter shoe clearances going on right now. Get boots for ridiculously low prices now.

·         Vacations. Not the spring break kind, but those after all the college kids leave, especially cruises.

·         Seasonal clothes- most stores already have summer clothes in stock, which means major clearance on winter and even spring clothes. I noticed J.C. Penney’s is already on their 80% off on clothing.