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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2003, 12:40 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: southeast kansas
Posts: 24
chinese food

For those of you that are looking for some good chinese food recipes...
I go to a site called They have a section that is called ethnic inexpensively. You might be able to find some good ideas there.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2003, 01:05 PM
rosebud's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: north west ga
Posts: 51
I think the chinese noon buffet is a good deal also. we ate at one last week and it was around 10.00 for the 2 of us. have ya'll ever noticed tho that the food almost always taste identical? I think they must get most of that stuff from the same warehouse and just add fresh vegetables.

chicken vegetable stir fry

2 TBSP vegetable oil
1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast or thighs cut into 1-inch pieces
3 cups cut up assorted vegetables
1/2 cup stir fry or teriyaki sauce
cooked rice

heat 1 tbsp oil in skillet or wok over high heat. add chicken and stir fry until no longer pink in center. remove from skillet. heat remaining 1 tbsp of oil in skillet. add vegetables and stir fry about 2 minutes or until crisp tender. add chicken and stir fry sauce. cook and stir about 2 minutes.. serve over rice.

I use onions, bell pepper, yellow squash and zuchinni. I usually cook about 1/2 cup rice and just stir it all in together when the vegetables and meat r done. it makes a big bowl full. enough for 2 people. of course u can add more rice or chicken or what ever vegetables u want.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 02-24-2003, 01:42 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: ohio
Posts: 69
My flops are:
1. not brown bagging lunch
2. brand friendly- miraclewhip, heinz or hunts ketchup, name brand personal items
3.smoking cigs
4. not using up all the leftovers( getting better though)
5. i don't reuse foil and only wash out a few bags all depends what was in it.
but I do shop at Aldis, Dollar General, Family dollar, BigLots, Thrift stores, use coupons, rebates & refunds. Hardly ever refuse any clothing or items given to me. Do crafts for $$ and not afraid to tell a cashier if something rang up wrong ,ask for a raincheck or ask others if they had items I need they want to get rid of. The last item i asked for was terra cotta pots for a easter craft. I got 25 given to me in different sizes.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 08:21 AM
jen143's Avatar
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 135
I think my biggest flop was with food shopping. I found that some things cannot be scrimped on. To buy inferior or "less-than" products compromised the quality of my dishes. Some things you just have to spend a little more on to get the quality of food. I find this especially true with cheese. Inferior cheeses don't melt and therefore ruin dishes. My ds and one of my dd's don't drink milk so cheese is a staple for calcium consumption. If I'm making homemade mac and cheese and the cheese doesn't melt or clumps, it's a ruined dish! It took me awhile to find out what you can save money on and what you can't but I'm getting better! With meat, getting the least amount of fat content is worth the few extra pennies b/c it's so much better for you! Sometimes conveniences are worth it b/c it saves time and energy. Time and energy I'd prefer to spend on my kids, dh and with friends and family. I don't buy convenience items often, but they have their place in my house!

Now if we could just lessen the craving for pizza and wings...
Wife to Gil,
Mom to Cullen, Eden, Kate and Jonas
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 08:47 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Texas
Posts: 258
Well, today is the day the dogs got the broccoli beef disaster, they are so happy!

Thanks so much for the website and chicken stir-fry recipe. I am thinking that it is probably not that hard to make chinese food, just to get the recipes for the 'mixes and sauces'. It seems to be just regular old everday food, like the chicken, veggies and rice. SOme oriental recipes I see call for a bunch of stuff like 'oyester sauce, hoisin sauce, sesame seed oil', etc. Might be worth it to invest in those, hopefully just use a bit at a time.

Lynn, you remind me of my grandmother and grandfather. He swore up and down that he did not like cherries, did not want cherries, would not eat cherries. So, she cooked, baked, and served cherries, promptly told him it was strawberries and he ate all without a wimper!

I need to get better about asking for the rainchecks. Yesterday, went to Brookshire Bros to specifically get the stuff that was on sale. There were at least 3 things they were out of. And I also regret I did not get the Coke raincheck from Eckerds when they were on sale.

Also, how long do you think it is too long to go back for a mistake on a receipt. I bought pineapple that was tagged at $1.99, but, I did not realize until I got home that it rang up $3.99. I live 30 miles out of town, and am not about to go all the way back. If I dont shop there the next week, how long can I still say something? Also, it was my turn for snacks at Scouts, ran to the Dollar General and got snacks, only to find out when I got home, she had charged me for two boxes, and I only got one. Again, wont be back in town for at least a week, and might not even shop there until next month (usually only go once a month)
What do ya'll think?

Be blessed, and warm and dry
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 09:46 AM
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Location: north west ga
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beckie that's really aggravating to get over charged like that. if I were u I'd save the receipts and show them the next time u go to town.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 01:22 PM
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Location: Michigan, USA
Posts: 1,098
beckie--the stores around here are usually willing to work it out if you can call ahead of time--don't wait a month and then say something! I've learned to always, always check my receipts before I leave. Our major stores are 30 miles away, too!

Now I don't feel so bad about being brand-loyal to certain things. Tide, Dawn, Starkist tuna, to name a few lol!! I buy mostly store-brand stuff, but there are things I will not compromise on lol!!

I was using cloth diapers on ds2, but got a lot of disposables for free(friend potty-trained dd) so have switched to those. I hate the thought of them ending up in a landfill, but take solace in the fact that I'm saving on laundry.

I'm not good at Oriental food, either. I usually "fake it" with packaged sauces and seasonings--though I keep trying to get ot right because I LOVE the cuisine!!
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 01:51 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Westford, Mass.
Posts: 5
My latest flop occurred yesterday. It started out with me being frugal -- I had finished painting the walls in the kitchen and carefully poured the leftover paint into a small, sealable, plastic container to save it for touchups. I left it with the big cans of paint on the floor in one corner of the kitchen.

While we were at work, our dog went exploring and found the small plastic container. He is a black lab, and he LOOOOVES to chew things. When we came home, there was a puddle of yellow paint on the (fairly new) family room carpet, another puddle on the door mat, and smudges of it all over the house. I was VERY unfrugal as I used a ton of cleaner to get it out of everything, and fed the dog a lot of treats in an effort to bribe him into standing still long enough for me to brush the paint out of his fur...

Beckie asked that I post my recipie for Chinese 5-spice marinade here, so.... here goes! I tend to make things up as I cook, so the amounts are approximate, just adjust things to suit your taste. I also don't cook with much salt, so feel free to add some if you need to!

Chinese 5-spice powder is available in many grocery stores (check the ethnic and baking aisles) and in Asian grocery stores, but you can also buy it online at Since spices are so light, you only really need to buy a little at a time -- an ounce of spice can be quite a lot! Penzeys is more expensive than the dollar store or walgreens, but the quality is a zillion times better...

You can also make your own blend:

1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. cloves
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 Tblsp. ground anise
1 Tblsp. ground fennel seeds

Mix together and store in an airtight container. Spices don't go bad, they just kind of get faded, so it will keep for a long while if you store it in a dark, cool place.

(5-spice powder also works amazingly well with almost any apple dessert -- crisps, crumbles, baked apples, pies -- instead of plain cinnamon...)


1 tsp. 5-spice powder
1/4 cup sherry or dry cooking wine or even water
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 tsp. honey
1 tsp. soy sauce

Blend ingredients together in a bowl and add about a 1/2 pound of very thinly sliced chicken. (Thinly sliced pork works well, too). Mix to coat the meat, then refrigerate and marinade about 20 minutes, or put everything into a zip-lock type bag or an airtight container and freeze.

To cook:
Thaw the meat.
While it's thawing, cut vegetables (Broccoli, scallions or onions, green or red peppers, or a combination) into bite-size pieces or strips.

Heat about 1 tsp of oil in a skillet or wok. Remove meat from marinade, but don't throw out the marinade. Saute meat until it begins to brown, then remove meat from wok.

Heat a tiny bit more oil in the wok. Add the veggies, and cook about 3 to 4 minutes, until their colors get really really bright. Return the meat to the wok and add the leftover marinade. Let it simmer for a few minutes, until the marinade begins to bubble (or until eveyrthing is really hot hot through, if there's not enough marinade left to see it bubble).

Serve with plain white rice.

Hope you like it! I sometimes add a bit of hot sauce to the marinade, or use pineapple juice instead of sherry. I also like to make this with strips of sweet peppers for the veggies (if my or my friends' gardens have been good to us).

-- Lalu
"Life is a garden. Tend the things that will sustain you as they grow. Don't water the weeds."
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 02:27 PM
Eight Year Member
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Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 15
Thanks, ladies

I appreciate you sharing your oriental recipes. I'm anxious to try them. Also, thanks for the link to budget101.

I'm going to go be frugal retouch my own grey roots... I can't stand the thought of paying full-price. Of course, I'll look like Eddie Munster for the next couple of days with my "ring around the face" haircolor stain. Oh well... thank goodness for bangs!
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 02-25-2003, 06:25 PM
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Location: Michigan, USA
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OMG Lalu!! I'm glad you were able to get the paint up before it dried!! Actually, I'd say you were frugal for cleaning it up as opposed to just buying new carpet! Dh has a habit of leaving footprints all over any time he paints anything--he just can't seem to paint without stepping in it .

Thanks for posting the marinade--I'm going to start putting the marinade on the meat before freezing. I always forget to take it out to marinade it, so this will help a lot lol!!
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