Food

Uses for Butter Wrappers

For those who like extreme frugal measures, consider saving the wrappers from sticks of butter or margarine. They will keep in the fridge or freezer for a long time.

You can use them as needed to grease a baking pan, put a little butter on top of rolls or biscuits, grease a knife for smoother cutting of sticky things like brownies, take a dab to moisturize dry cuticles, or use the wrappers to separate hamburger patties in the freezer. 

 

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So Easy: Walmart Free Shopping Service

Wow. I just shopped at http://www.walmart.com/groceries from the comfort of my recliner, very easily found everything I could possibly need, put in my discount code, and later this afternoon I’ll pull up to the store and someone will put my groceries in the car for me.

No more hoping there’s a parking space less than a mile from the door. No wondering if there’s going to be an electric cart available. No wandering around unable to find the right department for something I don’t usually buy.

You can designate whether you’ll accept substitutions for each item or not.

If you pick up during their normally scheduled pickup hours, there is no charge for the service.

This is great for me with my physical limitations, but it could also be great for someone who’s pressed for time, or who spends too much money if they wander around the store seeing all the cool stuff.

 

Get $10 off your first order: http://r.wmt.co/i7O3a

Where’s the Beef?

I heated up a frozen dinner, Korean-style beef with vegetables and rice. Come to take off the covering film, there’s no beef! Delicious vegetables and rice, but no beef. I just got off a live internet chat with a rep at the site given on the package. They’re sending me coupons for a couple free meals.

When something isn’t right, let the manufacturer know.

When something is great, let the manufacturer know.

The Trick to Freezing Milk

The key to successfully freezing and later using milk is in the thawing. If you start pouring the thawed part before the whole container thaws, the taste and texture will be different than you expect. Let the whole container thaw, then shake it up good before drinking.

Before putting the container in the freezer, make sure there’s room for the milk to expand as it freezes.

The Magic of Craigslist

Now and then I look at the Free section of my local Craigslist and mentally furnish a life from it. If you’re starting out or starting over, it might be worth renting a truck and spending the day retrieving the free household goods in your area.

Today I could go and get several couches, chairs, a nice wooden table, three chair-style barstools, a king size mattress and box spring, a large china cabinet, a hutch, an Ikea dresser, a section of kitchen cabinetry, two old-style televisions, a box of VHS tapes, some hardcover books, a box of packaged foods, three different exercise machines, a patio table, lots of firewood, a large birdcage, kittens, and some tropical fish.

To find your local Craigslist, Google “Craigslist” and the name of your town.

As with any used items, examine furniture closely for signs of bedbugs or mold. These are free items, given away by the owners, so there’s no guarantee and no delivery.

 

 

The Rest of the Can

The recipe calls for a tablespoon of tomato paste. The can contains more than that, and you don’t need the rest. Consider freezing a tablespoon each in ice cube tray compartments. Once it’s solid, you can decant it into a plastic freezer bag, ready for the next time you need tomato paste.

This works for many things. The rest of the condensed milk. The yolk of the egg when you only needed the white, and vice versa. Chopped vegetables when you had to buy a whole pepper or onion and only needed part of it.

Leftover coffee, milk, creamer, juice. . . .

Fresh fruit you need to use up.

The possibilities are nearly endless.

BOGO vs. Half-price

Where I shop for groceries, Buy-One-Get-One literally means you must buy one to get one–you have to take two of them. Where the two three-dollar items would have cost six dollars, on a BOGO you pay a total of three dollars for the two of them.

If you don’t need two, well then you can pay full price for one, or take two and freeze one, or donate one, or share with a neighbor.

On the other hand, if the pricing says “Two for $5,” the chances are you can buy just one and pay only $2.50 for it. Stores have different policies on two-for-one pricing, so ask at the service desk before assuming.