The easy way to make a delicious meat sauce
Who doesn’t love a plate of pasta covered in a beautiful homemade spaghetti sauce? Buying sauce in the jar at the supermarket typically means a lot of added salt and often added sugar as well. And homemade just tastes better. This past week, Laurie over at The Frugal Farmer posted How to Make and Can Spaghetti Sauce which gave step-by-step instructions on preparing a delicious-sounding homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes and preserving it in jars. She makes it sound easy but if you’re anything like me, you might be a little intimidated by a 3-day cooking process and dealing with canning supplies. For those of us who want to take baby steps, I thought I’d share with you this recipe for meat sauce using canned tomato products and dried herbs, plus the convenience of freezing portions.
Where’s the meat in the meat sauce?
Most meat sauces in a jar at the supermarket are really just “meat-flavored”. This basically means that the meat and the sauce shook hands and went their separate ways. But with this sauce recipe (originally from my wife’s Aunt Julie), the meat and the sauce have a passionate love affair. If there’s too much meat, you can reduce the amount to suit your family or your budget. Plus, there are other ways to alter the recipe to your taste, and I’ve made a few notes below to that effect.
When dealing with customer service, take a calm and friendly approach
When you’re a shopper, no matter what you’re shopping for, there will be times when you are dissatisfied and will need to know how to deal with customer service. Since I have had many years’ experience in the retail world, from department stores to specialty retail to grocery stores, I frequently am asked what to do when shopping and you’re not satisfied. There are practices that I advise, because remaining calm, honest, and professional will achieve results. Continue reading
Dine out on a budget
While shopping at the supermarket and cooking at home is the best way to keep your food costs low, we all know there are times when we just want (or need) to dine out, whether it’s at a fast food joint or a nice restaurant. Saving money while dining out can be a real challenge, but it is possible. Here are some easy ways to save: Continue reading
Follow these do’s and don’ts for more savings
While good planning, and following that plan, is the key to saving money on groceries, there are still things you can do to limit your spending while you’re shopping at the store. Whether it’s avoiding the influence of the supermarket as they try to coax you into spending more, or simply asking for what you want, here are 10 do’s and don’ts to save while grocery shopping:
Setting a budget goal for food will help you save money
Do you have a monthly grocery budget that’s working for you? Too many people head to the supermarket, start shopping and know that they are finished when their cart is “full”. Without a workable budget to guide your shopping, you’re probably spending more than you need every month with much of it going to waste.
Unfortunately, for lots of people the idea of budgeting is either scary (will I need to know spreadsheets?) or restrictive (I just want to buy what I want). It doesn’t have to be either one. A grocery budget is simply a goal to help you plan for what’s really important. You can treat it like a game where the object is to see how little you can spend while still providing nourishing and tasty meals and snacks for your family and the prize is putting that extra money toward another goal. Continue reading
Know when to buy fresh seafood and what to look for
A lot of people suggest buying from the local fish market, but you can get fresh seafood at the supermarket more conveniently and for less. We all know that eating fish is a part of healthy diet. It’s easy to prepare and readily available at your local supermarket. But it’s important to know what to look to get the best taste and insure your money is well spent. How should it smell? Should it be shiny or matte? What should you look for if the fish is already wrapped and not on ice? Because it can be confusing, almost half of all Americans seldom eat fish at home! Here are my tips for buying fresh:
Do dollar stores really offer a good price?
My mom always told me to steer clear of the dollar stores, and that was back when there weren’t many of them and they were not really a player in the grocery business. Wow, has that changed in the 21st century! In the past several years alone, the number of shoppers in these stores has grown by 500%. Dollar stores have added plenty of food items from milk to eggs, cereals to brand-named package goods, and the chains have grown to be household names in every neighborhood.
More shoppers mean manufacturers are now selling directly to dollar stores, including companies like General Mills and trendy start-up companies like Hampton Creek. They’re even becoming suppliers to the stores’ own “private label” (store brand) products. Continue reading
Planning healthy meals in advance makes your shopping easier
Shopping for healthy choices can be a real challenge. The supermarket’s goal is to get you to spend more and the selections of glamour packaging and promotion often makes finding healthy choices difficult on a budget. Factor in your time and energy to inspect labels and contents and you will see that it can lead to “easy” choices which may be poor ones. In the long run, it costs more money if your health is impacted and your spending on medical care increases.
A few months ago, my wife and I began making changes to our diet to improve our health without making a dent in our budget. Buying fewer processed foods, more whole grains, leaner proteins and more fresh produce has helped us to lose weight and feel better. Do you have the right ingredients for a healthy diet on a healthy budget? Continue reading
Buying fruit in season saves money and provides better quality
Buying fruit in season, even more so than vegetables, allows you to save money based on the increased supply as well as obtain better taste. The selection of fruit in the supermarket has changed over the past few years and in most cases this has lead to a better variety, selection and freshness factor. The fruit is available from places around the world and now caters to the diverse nature of our population featuring items that weren’t available locally just a short time ago. Local produce is featured in season at your supermarket, and that insures top freshness and lower prices if you take advantage. Here are some hints that can save you money and make your fruit selections top notch.
Buy vegetables in season for the best value and taste
Selecting the right produce is a challenging shopping endeavor that can mean great value and health for you and your family. Buying your fruits and vegetables in season is an important way to save money, eliminate waste, and obtain the best flavor. The keys are knowing when are the best times to buy a particular item and what qualities to look for.
In this day and age, most fruits and vegetables are available all year long now that produce is available from various parts of the world. However, there are peak seasons that insure the best quality and value. Here are a few tips that can insure your satisfaction: