Tuesday, April 15, 2014

How to Render Ham Fat into Lard

Husband and I scored a sweat deal on a ham. Let’s hear it for seasonal grocery shopping!

Later we found out why our ham was on such a good sale. Our ham was covered in fat. Odd because hams are from the pig’s legs and are typically lean. Apparently Porky didn't like to exercise because his leg was thick with fat.

Up for another one of my crazy kitchen experiments? Keep reading!

Well, at least there wasn’t any chance of the ham drying out in the oven when we baked it. We had to cut most of the fat from each slice before we ate it. We don't want Porky to contribute to a first class ticket to heart attack city.*

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

How to Buy in Bulk and Save Money Without a Warehouse Club Membership

When newlywed us had a membership, I thought the only way to save money at a warehouse club was to buy giant sizes of stuff I don’t have room to store until they went bad. Eventually we cancelled our membership

Then I started paying more attention to unit prices, store sale cycles, printed coupons if they apply, and developed a simple way to track how much and how often we need to buy staple items. I got this. I don’t need bulk buying to save money.

I bet you’ll save even more money if you buy a truckload of dog food instead of the bulk bag. I won’t let it spoil. Promise!

Where to Buy in Bulk and Bulk Buying That Isn't a Warehouse Club

Monday, March 31, 2014

How to Make Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs Every Time

Eggs. Eggs. I love eggs!

I love them for boiling. I love them for frying. I love them for scrambling.
I also love that I learned how to make a perfect hard-boiled egg and the lazy way is how you do it!

You can eggs are perfectly hard boiled in an electric teakettle. Who knew?

Friday, March 28, 2014

Free BJ's Wholesale Club Trial Memberships!

One of the ways you can save money by buying in bulk is to carefully shop a warehouse club. Typically you need to buy a membership to get those great deals but what if you aren't sure if you will use it to make it worthwhile?

I can help you out with that.

BJ’s Wholesale Club is now offering a Free 60-Day Trial Membership to let you check it all of the find hidden gems throughout the club before you commit to buying a membership. You can sign up for the free trial membership through July 6 to experience wholesale club shopping and savings with full member benefits!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Six Tips for Saving Money When Bulk Buying and Buying in Bulk

After convincing myself we can’t save money buying in bulk because our house and family is small, a kitchen clean out made me realize we already are buying in bulk to save money for our small family and in a small house. Whodathunkit?

That’s when I realized when it comes to bulk buying, there are two ways to do it:

1. Buy the quantity/item you need from a large bulk shipment that has little to no extra packaging at a smaller unit price.

2. Buy a large package/quantity of the item at a smaller unit price.

Turns out we do both. I’m careful about how what I buy, how much, and how often since we don’t have the room for a giant piles of stuff (and frankly I don’t want the clutter it creates.)  My bulk buying looks a lot like this:


Most of my bulk buying is spices from bulk food bins or from stores that sell spices in bags that I use to refill the empty jars in my spice rack. We really use all of those spices on the pantry door!

How to Make Buying in Bulk and Bulk Buying Work for You

Monday, March 17, 2014

Stovetop Hushpuppies – No Deep Frying Required!

Growing up on Lake Erie, you’d think I ate a lot of perch as a kid.

Not really.

Maybe my parents don’t care for it or maybe my mom thought it was a pain to bread and deep fry fish. I don’t know. Other than the occasional fish stick or fast food fish sandwich I don’t remember eating a lot of fish and that’s a shame. Fish is one of our go tos for a quick meal (or more realistically I've-put-off-planning-anything-for-dinner-it-is-late-and-we-are-hungry-and-want-food-NOW meal) although we usually sauté it in olive oil, grill it, or pop it in the oven unbreaded because fried food sometimes kills my stomach.

Apparently I was born with the fussy stomach of a little old lady. *pout*

But that hasn't stopped me from liking fish’s best friend hush puppies. I only eat them when we are in restaurant because deep fat frying is a big messy pain (not to mention the whole fussy stomach thing or not so heart healthy depending upon what you use for frying thing.)

Husband recently put the hush puppy bug in my ear during dinner one evening which led to a craving. We car share and of course my craving hit its peak while he was out during my lunch time. Creating a baked hush puppy recipe was the only option.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

DIY Plastic Freezer Jar Lid for Mason Jars

My refrigerator is a frost free freezer which are notorious for freezer burning the food inside them.

No matter how I package it, after a few weeks or a month if I'm lucky I end up with some kind of freezer burn on my frozen food. 
Except when I use a mason jar to freeze homemade crockpot stock. Since there is little to no extra air in the mason jar, it doesn't get freezer burn like it did when I froze stock in zipper bags.

My budget and the environment give me a nice little hat tip for replacing a disposable with a reusable too. High fives all around!

You can't reuse mason jar lids to can new food but you can reuse a mason jar lids in the freezer or for dry goods in the pantry.

Unfortunately, I don't have as many used lids as I do empty jars. One of my circle is very nice about returning my empty jelly mason jars and rings (my unofficial policy is I give refills) but tosses the lid no matter how many times I ask her to return the lid so I can use it in the freezer. I've given up asking.

 I was about to order BPA free plastic mason jar storage caps from Amazon when I realized I already had a homemade mason jar storage cap in my hand and on its way to the recycling bin.