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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 08-12-2002, 07:43 PM
MrsManiac's Avatar
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Location: Michigan, USA
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Teresa--I started stocking my pantry by buying extras when they were on sale--one for using, one for the pantry. If you don't count your pantry as part of your meal planning, it adds up quickly! Just remember to rotate, and keep a list of things you have in there lol! Not too long ago, I ran out of canned fruit, but had about 20 bottles of bbq sauce! We had bbq everything for a while. Also, keep in mind that buying stuff in bulk(ie, BJ's) isn't always cheaper--you really have to know the prices in your area! We get quite a bit at Sam's Club, but the majority of my canned goods come from Sav-a-lot, I get my produce at the Farmer's Market, etc.

While you're working on your pantry, don't forget your freezer! A lot of things can be frozen-bread, milk, flour(to keep it fresh). Even fresh veggies that will go bad before you can eat them! On a somewhat related note--as you're cooking, make extra. Even if you only brown an extra pound of hamburger, that's a good 10 minutes you'll save making dinner someday! I do this a lot--with steak strips, chicken, hamburger, whatever. Why should I pay almost $5 for 8 oz. of Tyson precooked chicken? I mention this because my freezer is a big part of my pantry, and I wasted a lot of money buying prepackaged food while trying to keep it stocked!!

Btw, Janet--you can stash your box anywhere. The man that I spoke to about it says you should be able to go in 10 minutes! I could get my box out of the basement in 10 minutes, but there are other things to do, like pulling plugs, closing windows, etc, that would eat the time. So I keep mine right by the door in the coat closet. I have stuff stacked on top, but it's still easily accessible.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2002, 04:57 AM
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MrsManiac, I do have a freezer. What do you find works well in storing your browned hamburg? Do you use freezer bags from Ziploc? Hamburg is on sale this week (90% lean for $1.99 a lb.) which is good for this area. I'd like to stock up. Any suggestions?

I also agree that Sams and BJ's have higher prices on some things. I am careful. We also have an Aldis which have good prices on no name brands. I usually get baking goods there.

An emergency box is a good idea. You never know.

Thanks ladies for all your great ideas.
Teresa - trying the simple life
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2002, 07:38 AM
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Teresa, you are lucky to have an Aldis in your area, I just discovered it last year (thought it was crummy, so never went) when a friend took me. I now always get most of my staples there.I now have a running Aldis list on the refrigerator so when I use something that I always get there I can remember to replace it.If you were ambitious, you could make a master list and then just check off what you need as you use it. You have to know your prices, so you know what's a good deal The other stores can't beat their prices even when they have sales. If you are lucky to have double couponing do take advantage of that also. Sometimes I get things for free or almost free when they are on sale and I coupon. I read a tip on the freezing of meats that I mean to try soon...buying large packs of burger and dividing it into meal size portions..but the addition of seasonings at that time.She also said to add marinades to meats before putting into freezer, then when you take it out, it's already one more step done while it is defrosting.The best thing I have started to preserve my frozen food and prevent freezer burn is to first wrap meal portions in saranwrap (for instance I buy large packs of Salens hot dogs or large packs of chicken and then divide into packs of two or three)Then put as many of these as I can fit into a large ziplock bag. I suck the air out before sealing.
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2002, 08:12 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Jacksonville, Fl
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My husband laughs at me sometimes because I guy different things and he always asks why. I am so structured, always have been. A place for everything and everything in its place. Even when my kids were young. I ran myself ragged trying to keep things neat. Now that I am a great grandmother things are not quite as structured as I would like but I try to run a pretty tight ship. The kids laugh when they come to the house and go through my pantry and cabinets. They say they came to go shopping because they know that I am always prepared. We live in Fl and never know we will have to depart this time of year due to the hurricanes. My pictures and papers are in a certain spot and have a big plastic container with paper towels, napkings, toliet paper, soap, water, baby wipes for the quick clean up while traveling. Things that can be opened and are good not heated.
Necessary hand can opener. Friends of ours have a huge camping trailer so when and if we should have to evacuate we know we will always have a place to cook and eat if we can not reach our destination or find a motel. The last evacuation was a joke. Took us 8 hours to travel 70 miles. No hotel within a radius of 300 miles. May decide not to go this time. Just board up the windows and stay in the hall way. I am prepared just in case we chicken out and make a run for it. I love Save-A-Lot. We do save a bit of money and we shop Sam's a lot also. We have a Super Wal-Mart and sometimes you can shop cheaper there. I always compare prices where ever I go. I keep a book in my purse of the prices at different places and know when it is really a bargain.
The larger cans and sacks are not always the cheapest. Always read the ounces and poundage and compare to the smaller ones.
Your two for one sometimes are not a good deal either. So always check that. We bargain hunters are always on the look out for good things at a good price and they are out ther but we have to know when to buy and not to buy.
Just an after thought, always have a flash light and candles handy. My store room is full of bathroom tissue, paper towels and water, blankets. Always know where they are. The cars are on pretty close to full this time of year. If the electricity goes out you sure are not going to get gas.
My husband tells me sometimes I am not thrifty I am just down right cheap. Oh well we always have plenty in an emergency.
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2002, 01:44 PM
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What I do when I cook and freeze meat is to measure it out into baggies(usually 1/2 lb per bag). Then I stack them in a large plastic freezer container--that way they don't slide around every time I open the freezer lol! Since the meat is cooked, I wash and reuse the bags.

I forgot who mentioned it(sorry! )but I like the idea of seasoning/marinating the meat before freezing. I do a lot of oamc, and this one escaped me!
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 08-13-2002, 07:20 PM
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For ground beef, I get the huge family packs. I brown, drain, rinse and add onions. (Most things I make with it include onions.) Bag in small zip lock bags and then put a bunch together in a gal. size freezer bag. I have been known to wash out the plastic zip lock shredded cheese bags and use them for the small portions.

My goal is to find some TVP (textured vegetable protein) and add it 1/2 and 1/2 with the ground beef. I think TVP is similar to what is used in Boca Burgers. Anyone know for sure?
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  #37 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2002, 04:38 AM
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Thank you for the tips on freezing hamburg. I get paid Thurs. so I will stock up then.

I went to the consignment store yesterday and found a couple of great deals. A pair of jeans for my 14yr. old son for $5. They look new. Also a nice shirt for $2. Every week or two I go to the consignment store to find deals on clothes. This way I don't have to shop all at once for school clothes. Plus the kids have new clothes (new to them) throughout the year instead of just the beginning of the school year.

Have a great day everyone, Teresa
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2002, 06:06 AM
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I just thought of one more tip I read somewhere.....saving the inner waxed bags from large cereal. I fold them neatly (I don't save too many) and use them for when you want to coat something in breadcrumbs. Saves dipping it into a dish, keeps your hands clean, does a good job, and best of can throw it away guiltfree when you are done and no extra dish to wash!
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  #39 (permalink)  
Old 08-14-2002, 07:39 AM
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SLB427, I never thought about re-using the inner bags in cereal boxes..I am going to start doing that! Thanks for the tip!

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  #40 (permalink)  
Old 08-15-2002, 10:12 PM
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Location: Lane County, Oregon
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Here is an appropriate article from one of the many Simplicity websites (organizing, sustainability & thrift). It is reprinted from The Dollar Stretcher "Living Better...For Less"; August 12, 2002; Volume 7, Number 32:

What Is Simple Living?
by Doris Dobkins
Eliminate the clutter.

This is a question I hear all the time, and appropriate too as
"Simple Living" is one of the top ten trends of the decade.

But what exactly is it? Do I have to move to the mountains,
heat with a wood stove and grow my own vegetables?

I'm happy to tell you that "Simple Living" is not one thing or
one path. It is not the same for you as it is for me. It is
instead personalized for each individual based on what they
want out of life. Simple Living is not following the status
quo. It is not doing things because that's what your friends
or neighbors are doing or telling you that you should.

Rather, it's living the way you want to live and guarding your
limited resources such as time and money. It is also
eliminating the clutter from your life and stripping away what
is not important to you.

Simple living is a choice. You choose your existence rather
than allowing others and your circumstances to choose your
life for you.

In this article, let's look at one point of how Simple Living
relates to our "time". The point is to do one thing at a time.

Instead of trying to multi-task all day long (like making
dinner while talking on the phone or cleaning house while
doing laundry), try doing one thing at a time and enjoy the
experience. Think about it while you do it. Try to enjoy
whatever it is that you are doing at the moment. Don't think
ahead what else needs to be done and don't think back about
something you've already done.

We will never get "everything" done in life that we want to
get done. Therefore, why not slow down and enjoy the moment,
whatever it is.

If you truly want to live a simpler life, this is a great
place to start!

Doris Dobkins is the publisher of the free weekly ezine $mart
Money New$. To subscribe, click on this link or visit her web
site: mailto:[email protected]
Striving to be...

Cheap - Thrifty of my/family/community's time/effort/resources by being resourceful.
NLazy - Effective/efficient servant of God/Family/Community with a minimum of effort through simplicity (thrift/self-sustainability/organization).

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. -FDR

Well done is better than well said.
-Benjamin Franklin

Witty sayings mean nothing.
- Voltaire
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