Shopping Sales & Looking Beyond The Coupon — The Thrifty Gourmand

Couldn’t agree more with this post.

Growing up with a mother who couponed like a fiend made me forever averse to creating a grocery list centered exclusively upon sale items. Not only is the process tedious and time-consuming, but it also forces you to buy larger quantities of food than you need. All of these extra items then must either be […]

via Shopping Sales & Looking Beyond The Coupon — The Thrifty Gourmand


#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 7/17/2016 and 7/24/2016

This shopping trip for the weeks including the Menu for Week Starting 7/17/2016 and  7/24/2016 really turned out great, this time we included the middle weekend for a total of 11 evening meals for 4.

This week we finish up using the last of the ham from last week. We really like ham but it is really easy to over do it. So knowing that we left plenty of trimmings on the ham bone and froze it. This week we will be using it to season some beans. That makes for a really inexpensive meal

Given that and other meals of that type we had a really successful shopping trip.  Continue reading “#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 7/17/2016 and 7/24/2016”

Why my kids don’t allow couponing

People love coupons, in fact one site reports that anywhere for 81%-96% of Americans report using coupons. If that is the case we are in the minority, but why? Clipping coupons is usually the first thing that comes to mind when people think of saving on the grocery budget. Why don’t we use them more? Continue reading “Why my kids don’t allow couponing”

#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 7/4/2016 and 7/11/2016

We did our shopping a little different this week. There are a couple of new ‘cost plus’ stores that have opened near by. So far we haven’t seen any ads ran for these stores so while we were out one evening we stopped by to see what they were all about. In the end those stops decided what we put on our menus for the weeks starting  Menu for Week Starting 7/4/2016 and  7/11/2016 Continue reading “#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 7/4/2016 and 7/11/2016”

Grocery Shopping while #budgeting

As mentioned in several of our recent blog entries we have started altering our cooking methods to try and adjust to the inevitable rise in our electric bill as summer gets along.

Altering our cooking methods though, is only one way we try and budget for those inevitable rises the electric bill. No matter what we do inside the house the temperatures will rise outside and so will the electric bill. This is a known seasonal happening and must be properly dealt with to stay on our household budget.

With this inevitable seasonal increase how can one stay on the over all budget? Continue reading “Grocery Shopping while #budgeting”

The Right Spice — Your Kitchen Prescription

When we first started cooking we received a wonderful give of a spice rack fully loaded (actually a couple of them).

They were a loving and wonderful gift. Albeit, completely mysterious. It might as well have been an alchemists chemistry set.

As nice as it was it didn’t tell us what spice goes with what cuisine.

Take a look at this wonderful article for a nice beginners guide to spices Continue reading “The Right Spice — Your Kitchen Prescription”

#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 6/20/2016 and 6/27/2016

Our menu plans for this two weeks includes our Theme weeks for Latin Theme Week and Asian Theme Week.

So how did we do this week at meeting our goal of staying under $200 for 2 weeks dinners, the Week Starting 6/20/2016 and the Week Starting 6/27/2016Continue reading “#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 6/20/2016 and 6/27/2016”

The Dirty Dozen – What to do? #Healthy Living

Recently I discovered (EWG = Environmental Working Group) They maintain an updated list of 48 popular fruits and vegetables organized by pesticide contamination levels as tested by the USDA and FDA.

EWG’s 2016 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™

Clean 15 Dirty Dozen
1 Avocados 1 Strawberries
2 Sweet Corn* 2 Apples
3 Pineapples 3 Nectarines
4 Cabbage 4 Peaches
5 Sweet peas frozen 5 Celery
6 Onions 6 Grapes
7 Asparagus 7 Cherries
8 Mangos 8 Spinach
9 Papayas* 9 Tomatoes
10 Kiwi 10 Sweet bell peppers
11 Eggplant 11 Cherry tomatoes
12 Honeydew Melon 12 Cucumbers
13 Grapefruit
14 Cantaloupe
15 Cauliflower
* A small amount of sweet corn, papaya and summer squash sold in the United States is produced from GE seedstock. Buy organic varieties of these crops if you want to avoid GE produce.

So what do you do?

2 things – Wash your produce or Avoid the contamination in the first place.

Does washing work? A post on Dr.Gourmet says:

“It appears so. In an article published in 1996 researchers at the Southwest Research Institute reported on their experience in washing various produce items. Their results:

For grapes, strawberries, green beans and leafy vegetables they swirled the items in a dilute solution of Palmolive dish detergent and water at room temperature for 5 to 10 seconds. They then rinsed with warm water. The solution was 1 teaspoon of the Palmolive in a gallon of water.

For other fruits and vegetables they used a soft brush to scrub the food with the detergent solution for about 5 to 10 seconds and then rinsed with warm water. They didn’t include such items as lettuces and citrus fruits, because their analysis showed that most of the pesticides were in the outer leaves or the rinds, which were not eaten. Washing, they found, removed about 75% of the pesticides.”

Another clear choice is to try and avoid the pesticide contamination entirely by choosing to source your produce in another way.

One way to avoid pesticides, probably the most budget friendly, is to grow your own fruits and vegetables pesticide free in your own garden. There are many health benefits to gardening that go way beyond the produce you are after. Benefits very similar to the Japanese practice of Shirin-Yoku, like reduced stress, lowered blood pressure, enhanced immunity….

If, however, you are like me you can’t grow all of the produce you enjoy eating. You still have a choice if you want to avoid pesticides.Vote with your wallet and buy organic. Eventually, the conventional growers will get the hint.

Buying organic can be an expensive option. One that for us can be and usually is cost prohibitive. This is where the EWG list comes in. Rather than purchase all of your produce organic buy only the “The dirty dozen” organic. Why?

The EWG site states that for the Dirty Dozen for 2016:

  • More than 98 percent of strawberry samples, peaches, nectarines, and apples tested positive for at least one pesticide residue.
  • The average potato had more pesticides by weight than any other produce.
  • A single grape sample and a sweet bell pepper sample contained 15 pesticides.
  • Single samples of strawberries showed 17 different pesticides.

Whereas for the Clean 15:

  • Avocados were the cleanest: only 1 percent of avocado samples showed any detectable pesticides.
  • Some 89 percent of pineapples, 81 percent of papayas, 78 percent of mangoes, 73 percent of kiwi and 62 percent of cantaloupes had no residues.
  • No single fruit sample from the Clean Fifteen™ tested positive for more than 4 types of pesticides.
  • Multiple pesticide residues are extremely rare on Clean Fifteen™ vegetables. Only 5.5 percent of Clean Fifteen samples had two or more pesticides.

So it would seem the most budget friendly way to avoid pesticides is to grow you own produce. If you can’t then consider avoiding the EWG’s Dirty Dozen.

For more healthy living tips click here




Budget tips for grocery shopping

Have you noticed how much of your household budget goes toward groceries? Grocery shopping is a significant expense for most, but there are ways to make it more affordable.

Menu planning is integral to succeeding in managing this expense. In April we discovered just how important it really is. We didn’t have time to make our menu plan and shopping list and as a result spent almost as much on two on the fly meals as we did for the remaining planned meals.

Here are some money saving tips Continue reading “Budget tips for grocery shopping”

#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 6/6/2016 and 6/13/2016

It’s been a while since we posted any results of our shopping efforts.

So how did we do this week at meeting our goal of staying under $200 for 2 weeks dinners, the Week Starting 6/6/2016 and the Week Starting 6/13/2016Continue reading “#groceryshopping results for the #menuplan for the weeks of 6/6/2016 and 6/13/2016”