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  1. #23
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    10 Freezer Meals in 1 Day! - July 6, 2013

    This is such a cool article. This Lady’s house had a mass cooking day and made 10 freezer meals in one day. She did it with her sister in law and they made 20 meals in six hours. You could do this with more people and have fun while everyone ends up with 10 meals for the freezer.

    She has the list of ten recipes, the grocery list and they are both available in pdf form or an excel version. They also have an option on the grocery list for the amount of families you will be cooking for and she says each meal should feed 4 to 6 people. This would be kind of a fun weekend project for couples or just for the girls.
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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  3. #24

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    I realized I was wasting a lot of food one day. I had a lot of food going in the trashcan. Then I looked at why I was having to throw stuff in the trash. I was cooking too much food. I was used to having 5 people to cook for when now I only have 3. So now when I buy big packs of meat I divide it up into portions for a couple meals. I know how many each person will eat so that's how it is divided. Kinda keeps us from over eating when I cook something really good too. (which is everyday!) And I immediately pack up any leftovers for work lunch the next day so it will be taken instead of buying fast food.

  4. #25
    Jolie Rouge's Avatar
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    the epic tale of freezer meals + shopping list

    Last week, on an absolute whim, I decided it was time to try my hand at freezer meals. I figured if I could learn to declutter the rest of my day, it was time to simplify supper time. It happened innocently enough: I was making chicken & dressing for dinner and realized I’d made way too much for us for one meal. I thought “why not put half in the freezer?” I’d done it before with lasagna, so I knew it would mean the meal would hold a pan hostage for a few weeks, so I decided to pop over to the dollar store and buy some aluminum pans to put the second batch of dressing into so I would have a ready made meal without losing a pan.

    The trip to the dollar store led to me finding 15 different kinds of pans, which got my wheels to turning… I could buy a few (I think I bought $10 worth at 3/$1) and stock up on meals of all different kinds. I left with my pans, went straight to the grocery store, bought up a ton of stuff that I knew I could normally cook with (like chicken breast, hamburger, veggies, etc.) and then went home and started a four hour cooking marathon that ended up with 28 meals in my freezer.

    When I was finished, I mentioned it on Facebook, and there were lots of questions about what I made, recipe requests, and even tips for what I did. So I thought I’d write a post to share with you how I made 28 freezer meals in about 4 hours.

    Before I get started, I’m going to tell you this post will be long…. very long. I could have easily broken this into a dozen or so smaller posts, but this is a DIY blog, not a freezer meals blog, so I figured my regular (non-freezer-meal-loving) readers will hang with me for one post – if I started posting all of this separately you might think I was nutso and quit reading. Please don’t. Come back tomorrow and we’ll talk about lighting or sewing or something, m’kay? And also, know I’m not a professional cook – I’m a southern mom who’s raised four children and they’ve grown up on eating this food. I stuck to the basic recipes that we have eaten for years – so I knew what my family would actually eat.

    First, the tips (in no particular order):

    1) Make sure your kitchen is clean to start. You don’t want to have to clean then cook, because you’re going to be washing dishes while cooking at a rapid fire pace. At least I was. I only have a few pots and pans, a few mixing bowls, a couple of whisks, etc. I don’t have a fully outfitted kitchen big enough for an army. On a regular basis I feed four people – so my kitchen reflects our needs.

    2) Think about what you want to stock up on. I know we eat a lot of chicken meals, some with hamburger, and a lot of casserole type meals. You can start with what’s in your pantry and build from there. It’s a great way to make the most of what you have/

    3) Clean your freezer. I only have the freezer on my side by side refrigerator. I have had a couple of different deep freezers in the past, but they never got used properly, so I got rid of them. I thoroughly cleaned out my freezer and found that once it was all cleaned up, not only did I have enough room for all those meals, I even had a leftover shelf to fill with my favorite ice cream (which I totally did.)

    freezer meals - how to do it all in one day4) Stock up on freezer bags and aluminum pans. Those 3/$1 pans come in all shapes and sizes. I bought ones that hold about 2 pounds of food, because 4 people divided by 2 pounds is 8 ounces each. That’s plenty for the main dish for us. Buy good plastic baggies (I recommend Ziploc) in both gallon and quart size.

    5) Wear comfortable shoes. I did it barefoot and my feet were killing me at the end of four hours.

    6) Have help, if you can. I wish I had done it on a Sunday when my girls were home to help wash dishes, open cans, etc. I did the bulk of the work when they were at school, but by the last hour I had help and it made my life much easier.

    7) Remember this isn’t a fairy tale. Half way through you’re going to start thinking “Why in the crap did I think this was a good idea?!?” Well, at least I did. When you’re up to your elbows in marinara and casseroles, putting stuff into pans over and over again, you’re going to question the whole mess. It’s worth it. Well, it was for me anyways.

    8) Sharpies are your friend. You can mark every meal with the name and date, so if you have a straggler hanging around in your freezer 2 years later (which may or may not happen here), then you don’t have to wonder when it was made or what in the Sam Hill is in that dish. Plus, with the lids on, they’re all going to look the same. Sharpie it up, baby.

    9) Prep in batches. Need onion for 4 recipes? Chop it all at once to make your life easier. Poach all your chicken in one pot (which will also give you some decent broth). Brown all of your hamburger together then divide it out for the different meals. If you’ve got to do a lot of it, do it all together.

    10) Free pep talk. I think that’s all my tips, but wanted to throw in one more to just say if you really want to do this you TOTALLY can. Once again, I have a basic set of pots and pans plus one large stock pot, a couple of mixing bowls (one large, one medium), a few wooden spoons and some whisks. Plus ten is a good stopping point, which my OCD brain appreciates.

    Now for the cooking segment….

    I started by putting 5 packs of chicken breasts (15 pieces total) in a stock pot with water, to boil them all for the meals I needed. I used the biggest pot I had and boiled them all.

    While the chicken was cooking, I used another pot and began to brown 12 pounds of ground beef (in a smaller stock pot.) Once all the ground beef was cooked, I drained it all and added 1/4 of it back to the pot to make my marinara.

    Meat Marinara Recipe
    3 pounds ground beef, cooked and strained

    1 medium onion, diced finely

    4 cloves of garlic, minced

    4 large cans of crushed tomatoes

    1 12 oz. can tomato paste

    1 huge (the double size) jar of good store bought marinara

    1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

    1 Tablespoon of balsamic vinegar

    Salt to taste (1 1/2 Tablespoons or so)

    Pepper to taste (3/4 of a tablespoon)

    To the ground beef, add in the garlic and onions and let cook until onions are soft. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook for 45 minutes or so on medium heat, until flavors are combined.

    Freezer Lasagna

    I used the marinara to make 5 small lasagnas in 2.5 pound size aluminum pans.

    Easy Lasagna Recipe

    (makes 5 freezer meals)

    Meat Marinara

    Ricotta Cheese (largest tub)

    1 large egg

    1/2 Tablespoon ground black pepper

    1 cup grated Parmesan

    No bake lasagna noodles (2 boxes made all of mine)

    Shredded mozzarella cheese (the bag kind totally works for me) – it’s hard to say how much, but I used about 10 cups total

    In a small bowl mix together the ricotta, egg, pepper and Parmesan until thoroughly combined.

    On the bottom of your pan, ladle in enough sauce to lightly coat the bottom of the pan with a thin layer. Using a small spoon or tablespoon scoop, add in dollops of the ricotta mixture (I did 5 drops on each layer, one on each corner and one in the middle). Add more marinara onto and around the ricotta, sprinkle a thin layer of mozzarella, then add another layer of noodles. Do three layers, topping it off the final layer of noodles with sauce and good layer mozzarella cheese and cover with cardboard top. Set aside to cool before putting in freezer.

    When you’re ready to cook, take off the top, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes at 375 degrees, take off aluminum and cook for an additional 10 minutes or until top is lightly browned and bubbly.

    Add a salad and some garlic bread and you’ve got a meal in just a few minutes.

    After I made my lasagna, I put the rest of the marinara into gallon Ziploc bags, two cups in each, then squished all the air off and froze them flat in the freezer. When I want to make spaghetti, I cook the noodles, warm the sauce, add a salad and some bread and I’m done.


    Easy Chili Recipe

    2 pounds of ground beef

    1 onion, diced

    3 cans of chili beans

    1 can Rotel tomatoes

    1 can of diced tomatoes (14 oz can)

    2 packs of chili seasoning

    1/2 table spoon salt

    2 cups water

    Put browned ground beef into a pan with onions and cook until onions are soft. Add in all the other ingredients (including the juice of the tomatoes) and cook for 30 minutes or so until flavors have combined.

    It’s hard to measure, but I used two gallon bags to put in 1/3 of the mixture into each, and then split the rest up into a couple smaller quart bags for chili dogs or chili chips and cheese (things where chili is not the main meal.)

    Easy Cheeseburger Casserole

    (makes 3 freezer meals)

    For the topping:

    2 pounds of ground beef (again, mine was pre-cooked)

    1 onion, diced very finely

    Six cups Cheddar Cheese, grated

    For the crust:

    5 cups of self rising flour

    3/4 cup of sour cream

    1 egg

    1 cup (more or less) of water

    In a saute pan, cook together the ground beef over medium high heat until onion is soft. Set aside to cool.

    Make the crust first by combining the flour, egg, sour cream and enough water to bring it together into a thick, but spreadable consistency.

    Spray the pans (I used three round pans) and spread a layer of the dough into each one. Sprinkle the cooled meat mixture over the dough, then top each one with about 2 cups of cheddar. Top with lid. To cook, bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly.

    For a variation, you could put some of the marinara on the dough, and have a cheeseburger pizza casserole. We sometimes use marinara for dipping – it’s the perfect finger food!


    For the rest of the ground beef, I divided it up into a couple of quart Ziploc bags for sloppy joes or tacos.
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  5. #26
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    Now let’s work on the chicken recipes. I shredded all of the chicken and used it in several of the recipes below. After they were all made, I put the rest of the shredded chicken into quart size Ziploc bags and froze them flat for Chicken Tacos, BBQ Chicken sandwiches, etc.

    Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe

    (makes 3 freezer meals)

    3 cooked, shredded chicken breasts

    2 boxes of pasta (I used penne), cooked and draine

    2 cans of Campbell’s cheddar soup

    2 cups of chicken broth (I used the broth from cooking the chicken)

    2 bags of frozen broccoli

    1 Tablespoon Salt

    3 cups of shredded cheddar

    Combine all ingredients except shredded cheddar into a bowl, divide out into three pans, the top with cheddar cheese. When ready to cook, bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes, until warm and bubbly. Because I’m getting carbs, veggies and protein all in one dish, I usually add another veggie and some garlic bread and that’s it. So yummy!

    Tex Mex Chicken Casserole

    (makes 4 freezer meals)

    4 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded

    8 cups of cooked rice

    2 can of Rotel tomatoes

    2 packs of taco seasoning

    2 cans of whole kernel corn, drained

    2 cans of black beans (undrained)

    1 small can of black olives, drained

    6 cups of cheddar cheese, grated

    Mix together all of the ingredients in a bowl, except the cheese. Divide out into four pans, then top each with the cheddar cheese and top with cardboard topper. To cook, remove cardboard piece and bake at 350 until thoroughly heated and cheese is melted (all ingredients are already cooked, so it’s just a matter of heating it well.) I serve with sour cream and salsa on top and tortilla chips on the side.

    Basic Chicken Casserole Recipe

    (makes 3 casseroles)

    4 shredded, cooked chicken breasts

    5 cups of cooked rice

    2 cans of cream of chicken condensed soup

    1 cup of chicken broth

    2 bags of frozen peas and carrots (I used mixed, but you could use one bag of each)

    1 Tablespoon of salt

    1/2 Tablespoon of black pepper

    3 cup of French’s onions

    3 cups of shredded cheddar cheese

    In a small bowl, combine the cheese and onions together – set aside (for the topping)

    In a large bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients together, then separate into pans. Top each one with 1/3 of the topping mixture and freeze. When ready to cook, bake at 350 until thoroughly warm and cheese is melted (everything is already cooked in the casserole.)

    Chicken & Dressing

    (makes 3 freezer meals)

    A big pan of cornbread (use your own fave recipe) cooked and crumbled

    2 cans of cream of chicken soup

    1 can of chicken broth

    1 medium onion, finely diced & sauteed in butter

    2 Tablespoons of ground sage

    1 1/2 Tablespoons of salt

    3/4 of a Tablespoon of ground black pepper

    2 cups of cooked, shredded chicken

    *you can also add a couple of stalks of celery, however we don’t like it – so my dressing doesn’t have it.*

    Mix all of the ingredients together, put into pans and freeze. When you’re ready to cook, bake at 350 degrees for about an hour. Make sure to have chilled cranberry sauce and basic chicken gravy for the side, because that’s what a good southerner would do

    My total freezer meals recipe stash:

    5 lasagnas
    2 bags of pre-made marinara (for spaghetti)
    2 bags of chili (plus 2 additional small bags for chili dogs/nachos)
    3 cheeseburger casseroles
    3 broccoli cheddar chicken pasta bakes
    4 Tex Mex chicken casseroles
    3 basic chicken casseroles
    2 bags of ground beef (ready for sloppy joes, etc.)
    3 bags of shredded chicken breast (ready for tacos, etc.)

    Plus the original Chicken & Dressing that started it all

    Grand total – 28 meals (plus two small bags of chili)

    a month of freezer meals in one afternoon Final Notes:

    If you get going, you can really crank out a lot of this very easily. I spent an hour at the grocery store (and spent $300 to produce all those meals, plus all of my other essentials for two weeks – so maybe $200 of it went into this), and spent four hours cooking to get all those meals into the freezer.

    Will we eat these every night? Probably not. There are things my family likes that takes very little time to make and should really be made fresh (like potato soup.) These meals will probably last us two month total, if you take out a couple of nights a month to eat out, making fresh meals in between, etc. But those four hours basically gives me an easy meal every other night for two months. Totally worth it to me! I don’t know that I could force my family to eat lasagna five times in one month. But five times in two months is pretty realistic.

    Now that I know what’s for dinner, I think I’m gonna go sew something… or paint a chair… or rearrange furniture. Whatever it is, something that’s way more in my comfort zone than making freezer meals.

    And… because my awesome reader Paula put it together, I have added in the shopping list for the meal! I never thought to do it, so a big thanks to her for sharing it with us all Just click on the image below to open into a new browser, save to your computer and print. Easy peasy!
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  6. #27
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    50 Supermarket Tricks You Still Fall For

    Food experts, industry analysts, and store employees share their insider strategies on how to save money on groceries, stay healthy, and beat the supermarkets at their own game.

    We’re very aware of the role that the senses play in marketing.

    When you walk in the door, you smell bread baking or rotisserie chicken roasting in the deli area because we know those smells get your salivary glands working. When you’re salivating, you’re a much less disciplined shopper. —Paco Underhill, consumer expert and author of What Women Want: The Science of Female Shopping

    It’s no accident that shopping carts are getting bigger.

    We doubled their size as a test, and customers bought 19 percent more. —Martin Lindstrom, marketing consultant and author of Brandwashed: Tricks Companies Use to Manipulate Our Minds and Persuade Us to Buy

    The more people buy, the more they consume.

    If you used to buy a six-pack of soda and drink six cans a week but now buy a 12-pack because that’s the current standard size, you’re probably going to start drinking 12 cans a week. Be mindful when buying larger sizes to make sure your habits don’t change as a result. —Jeff Weidauer, former supermarket executive and vice president of marketing for Vestcom, a retail services company

    The average consumer tends to remember the price of only four items:

    Milk, bread, bananas, and eggs. Ninety-five percent of shoppers have no idea what all the other items cost and don’t know if they’re getting a good deal when they buy them. —Martin Lindstrom

    The produce department is at the front of the store because...

    its bright colors put you in a good mood and inspire you to buy more. That’s why I recommend that you start shopping in the middle of the store, with its bland boxes and cans. —Phil Lempert, grocery industry expert and editor of

    Over 60 percent of shoppers off-load products as they check out.

    So supermarkets started making checkout lanes narrower, with less shelf space, which means it’s harder to ditch goods at the last minute. —Martin Lindstrom

    We let you linger … and it’s good for business.

    Customers would tell me as they went through the checkout, “I just stopped in to get eggs,” and they would have $250 worth of stuff. —Jason Swett, former bagger and cashier at a grocery store in Kalamazoo, Michigan

    To save money, wear headphones and listen to upbeat music as you shop.

    Many stores play music with a rhythm that’s much slower than the average heartbeat, which makes you spend more time in the store—and buy 29 percent more. —Martin Lindstrom

    Supermarkets aren’t out to steal from you.

    The average supermarket makes about 1.5 percent net profit a year. To give you some idea of how low that is, the profit margin for clothing stores can be several times that. —Phil Lempert

    Kroger uses heat sensors... track where people are in the store to determine when there’s likely to be a rush of shoppers to the checkout counters so that they can get cashiers to the front in advance. —Jeff Weidauer

    Please have your money or credit card ready at checkout.

    Some stores time each transaction. If you take too long, we get in trouble. —Aimee Brittain, former grocery cashier,

    In my experience, food safety is the biggest priority...

    ...especially when it comes to produce. Employees were required to sterilize cutting boards every four hours; they had to fill out a cleaning log each time the boards were washed. Some employees would try to get out of doing the dirty work, so it was my job to pop into the department throughout the day and check the log. —Linda King, former store and department manager for a Connecticut chain

    One thing that shocked me... that prepared food in the deli area, like chicken or potatoes, is thrown away at the end of the day. Stores can’t save it. They won’t even give it to their employees. —Aimee Brittain

    Grocery stores can’t compete with Walmart on price.

    So what are they doing? Bringing in people who are passionate about food. They’re hiring butchers who are skilled at cutting up meat, produce managers who are experts on fruits and vegetables, and a few dietitians who give seminars on healthy eating habits. —Jeff Weidauer

    Most grocery stores have a budget for supporting local causes...

    ...and are interested in being a part of the community. So if your school is having a fund-raiser, don’t forget to talk to your nearby store. —Jeff Weidauer

    You can’t win when you’re a bagger.

    If you put a loaf of bread in a bag by itself, some people get mad because they want it with their other groceries. But other customers get mad if you don’t put the bread in a 
separate bag. —Jason Swett

    People believe milk is located in the back of the store... that they have to walk through the aisles to get to it. But the real reason is simple logistics. Milk needs to be refrigerated right away; the trucks unload in the back, so the fridges are there so that we can fill the cases as quickly and easily as possible. —Jeff Weidauer

    About 80 percent of what shoppers buy, they buy every week.

    Keep your receipt, which shows the item and the price you last paid, so you can tell when something is on sale. That’s when you should stock up. —Phil Lempert

    If you need a cake, don’t buy it the day you need it.

    We’ll have to give you one from the display case, and those cakes have often been sitting out for a while. If you order in advance, we’ll make the cake for you that day or the night before, and it will be a lot fresher. —Lindsay Smith, former cake decorator and bakery worker at a grocery store near Birmingham, Alabama

    Believe it or not... years of research have found that the average apple you see in the supermarket is 14 months old…or older. —Martin Lindstrom

    Some of the same cheeses displayed behind the deli counter...

    ...are available in the dairy case. The packaging isn’t as fancy, but they’re much cheaper. —Phil Lempert

    The mist that’s sprayed on your fruits and veggies...

    ...may make them look fresh, but it can make them rot faster. The water also adds to an item’s weight, so make sure you shake off leafy greens. —Martin Lindstrom

    Our French bread was exactly the same as our Italian bread...

    ...which was the same as our White Mountain bread. They were all made with the same dough and then shaped differently. —Lindsay Smith

    There’s a lot that grocery store employees will do for you if you just ask.

    The butcher will tenderize meat for you, the baker will slice a loaf of bread, and the florist will usually give you free greenery to go with your loose flowers. At some stores owned by Kroger, the seafood department worker will even coat your fish in flour or Cajun seasoning and fry it up for free. I couldn’t believe it the first time they did that for me. —Teri Gault, grocery savings expert and CEO of

    If we’re having a sale on a baked item...

    ...and you don’t need it until the next month, ask if you can buy it now, during the sale, but not pick it up until your event. We let people do that all the time. They bring back their receipt a month later and get their order. —A cake decorator in an Ohio grocery store

    Is there a product you want that the store doesn’t carry?

    Talk to the manager. A lot of today’s supermarkets will special-order things for you. They’ll even arrange to bring something in for you on a regular basis. —Jeff Weidauer
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  7. #28
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    If you see something in the bakery...

    ...or meat department that will expire the next day, say, “Hey, this is expiring tomorrow. Are you going to mark it down?” A lot of times, they’ll mark it down for you right then. You’re really doing them a favor, since they have to unload it anyway. —Teri Gault

    In a supermarket, a good sale is anything that’s half price.

    “Buy one, get the second one 50 percent off” discounts are not good sales—that’s only 25 percent off each. Almost everything is reduced to 50 percent at some point. —Teri Gault

    The store I worked at would make some of its sales very specific...

    ...and, in my opinion, very deceptive. For example, it would offer 50 percent off a ten-ounce package of deli ham and put the sign right between the ten-ounce packages and the 16-ounce ones. Shoppers would wind up grabbing the wrong one and paying full price. —Jason Swett

    Customers think that when they buy in bulk, they end up with a better deal.

    But that’s not always the case. In the produce department, individual peppers are almost always cheaper than those in the multi-packs, and loose avocados are usually cheaper than the ones grouped in mesh bags. —Teri Gault

    The ten-for-$10 promotion is one of the most effective.

    When a store does it, volume takes off, even if the promotion raises the price of something. We’ll take an 89-cent can of tuna and mark it “ten for $10,” 
and instead of buying six cans for 89 cents, people will buy ten for $10. —Jeff Weidauer

    Do not assume...

    ...that if something is displayed at the end of an aisle, it is a good deal. Often, it’s not. Those endcaps are sold specifically to companies trying to promote a product. —Paco Underhill

    Just because something is advertised in your grocery store circular...

    ...doesn’t mean it’s on sale. There’s a whole lot in there that’s full price. —Teri Gault

    Grocery stores usually don’t have the best milk prices.

    The milk at drugstores and convenience stores is typically priced 30 to 50 cents less per gallon; it may even be locally produced and hormone-free. —Teri Gault

    Do you like the hot pizza from the deli?

    It’s likely the same store-brand pizza offered over in the freezer section for almost half the price per slice. —Bradley McHugh, meat manager and deli clerk for an independent grocery store in Ohio

    At the fresh seafood counter...

    ...most products are labeled previously frozen in small type. Those same products are probably for sale in the frozen-food case for 40 percent less. Not only that, but you won’t have to use them right away, since they haven’t been thawed out. —Phil Lempert

    I’ve tasted every item in our deli case...

    ...and there’s very little difference between what’s been prepackaged and what we slice fresh. A lot of times, it’s the exact same product. But you’re paying $1 to $2 more per pound for the same product just to have us slice it for you. —Bradley McHugh

    When you buy fresh bread...

    ...we give it to you in a brown paper bag. Why? Because the bread may go stale faster, sending you back to the store to buy more. A quick fix: Place loaves in airtight plastic bags as soon as you get home. —Lindsay Smith

    If you can, shop when the store is not busy.

    Studies show that most consumers buy more when the store is crowded because they 
subconsciously want to be part of the group. Mondays and Tuesdays are the best days to shop. Whatever you do, avoid weekends. —Phil Lempert

    It’s almost always cheaper to buy a large cut and have us trim it for you.

    We can cut a chuck roast into stew cubes, a whole boneless strip loin into New York strip steaks, or a flank steak into stir-fry strips. We’ve had people buy one big roast and have us remove the bone for soup, run half of it through the grinder for hamburger, and cut the rest into a pot roast. That can save you about 30 percent compared with buying everything cut. —Bradley McHugh

    Just because a cut of meat is labeled Angus doesn’t mean it’s going to be a great steak.

    What you really want to check is its USDA quality grade. Prime is the best, then choice (usually the highest grade available in grocery stores), followed by select, and finally standard. —Kari Underly, former grocery store meat cutter and author of The Art of Beef Cutting: A Meat Professional’s Guide to Butchering and Merchandising

    Find out when your butcher marks down meat.

    At most stores, it’s between eight and ten in the morning. —Teri Gault

    One of our best-kept secrets... that you get filet mignon much cheaper by buying whole T-bone steaks. Every T-bone has a small filet mignon on the bone, and a New York strip on the opposite side. The price difference can be $3 to $5 a pound. —Bradley McHugh

    If you’re worried about what’s in your ground meat... a piece of roast when it’s on sale and have your butcher grind it up for you in-store. A sirloin roast would be so delicious as hamburger. —Kari Underly

    When I was training as a health inspector...

    ...the instructors beat into our heads how to inspect restaurants. But there was very little training focused on grocery stores. They took us through a grocery store in one day and then turned us loose, even though the stores have all this processing equipment that’s tough to clean. And I have to admit, I’d look at some of these machines on my inspections and say, “Yep, looks good.” But I didn’t really know what I was looking for. —Grocery store public health consultant

    When you buy prepackaged ground meat in one of those tubes or foam containers... may have come from hundreds of cows. If just one of those cows had E. coli on its hide, it’s now in your hamburger. If you ask a grocery store meat cutter to grind your hamburger in the store, it’s coming from just one cow. There’s still a risk of contamination, but it’s a much lower one. —Bill Marler, food-safety advocate and Seattle attorney who has frequently sued food companies

    Everyone handles the produce.

    I’ve seen customers drop something, pick it up, and put it back on the shelf. I’ve seen kids take a bite and put the item back. It took me a long time to start eating fresh fruits and vegetables again after working in a store. —Aimee Brittain

    In almost every store we walk into...

    ...the employees tell us they don’t have enough time to clean properly. The result: I’ve seen some mice infestations so bad that they were living in the dairy cooler. —Grocery store public health consultant

    We recycle the vegetables and fruits that don’t sell in time... using them in our prepared foods. —Bradley McHugh

    The carts never get cleaned.

    I’ve seen babies soiling carts and carts with chicken juice leaking on them. That’s why I give them a once-over with my own sanitizing wipes. —Aimee Brittain
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  8. #29
    Jolie Rouge's Avatar
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    34 Creative Kitchen Hacks That Every Cook Should Know

    Cooking is hard enough, but there are a lot of kitchen hacks that can help make that easier. These will help you become creative and efficient in the kitchen.

    1. Use a Mason Jar and a Salt Lid for an Easy-to-Use Container for Coffee or Sugar

    Use a Mason Jar and a Salt Lid for an Easy-to-Use Container for Coffee or Sugar

    2. Use Your Blender to Make Ice Cream

    Forget having to use salt and ice, you can actually make ice cream using your blender!

    Here’s how and 13 recipes for it.

    3. Aerate Wine With Your Blender or Pitchers

    For real, cheap wine will taste 10 times better and more expensive.

    4. Know Your Wine and Cheese Pairings

    9. The Anatomy of a Cheese Plate

    31. Know Your Knives and How to Use Them

    34. Know the Tastes of Different Wines

    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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  10. #30
    Jolie Rouge's Avatar
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    Who Knew???

    Post-Workout Drink:
    Forget coconut water. Athletes swear by pickle juice's scientifically proven benefits to exercise recovery. In one 2010 study, pickle juice halted post-workout muscle cramps in 85 seconds. That, plus its electrolyte-restoring powers has even yielded Pickle Juice Sport - a dill-flavored sports drink. But really, most athletes stick to good old Vlasic!

    PMS Remedy:
    For those same reasons, pickle juice is widely used as a cure for menstrual cramps. It may also prevent you from eating four bags of potato chips in one day. Not that we ever did that. That was a friend.

    Potato Pick-Me-Up:
    Add a heavy splash of pickle juice to a pot of simple boiled potatoes for a fantastic side dish. The flavors absorb so perfectly you won't want to add salt, butter, sour cream, or anything to these taters once you're done. Making potato salad? Skip the mayo, and toss with veggies and pickle juice for a much healthier (and more flavorful) version.

    Pickleback Shot:
    Odds are you've seen this cocktail on a bar menu sometime in the last couple years (lore has it they were first sold out of a London food truck in 2011). Perhaps you scoffed or called it a fad, but the truth is bartenders claim this to be the perfect complement to whiskey, instantly soothing the taste buds and aftershock of a rough liquor. Order one, and you will order five. For bonus points, follow that up with a

    Hangover Cure:
    If you can stomach it on a hangover tummy, pickle juice is a known folk remedy that actually works. It replenishes your depleted sodium levels and helps to assist in rehydration. In many countries, people even take a shot of pickle juice before going out to help prevent dehydration in the first place.

    Vinegar Replacement:
    Pickle juice works in place of vinegar in salad dressing, soups, or virtually any recipe. It is essentially vinegar on steroids.

    Heartburn Cure:
    Along with its flavor-boosting benefits, pickle juice seems to have the same health effects as straight-up vinegar. Particularly effective as a heartburn soother, pickle juice may also help to avoid blood-sugar spikes if taken with a meal.

    Bloody Mary Booster:
    On the not-as-healthy-but-just-as-important side of the spectrum, pickle juice is absolutely dynamite in a Bloody Mary. When its hangover-killing benefits combine with a little hair of the dog, nothing could make your Sunday morning any greater.
    Except cronuts

    Cleaning Agent:
    Food industry insiders have been using pickle juice to clear blackened copper pans for years. It also works well as a grill cleaner, making those charred, crusted-on bits much easier to scrape off.

    Dill Pickle Bread:
    Make this. Make it now.

    Pickle Popsicles:
    True, you can buy these on (actual, real thing), but you can also just pour some of this glorious nectar into pop molds, paper cups, or ice-cube trays and make your own savory summer snack.

    Or maybe you just want some more pickles? Empty your vegetable drawer and throw some onions, carrots, peppers, whatever, into the jar of leftover pickle juice. Let them sit for a few days and BOOM: new pickles!

    Meat Tenderizer & Marinade:
    Pickle juice has amazing meat-tenderizing abilities and, as a marinade, will add a ton of flavor to your meats, without the extra cals in heavy sauces or marinades. It works exceptionally well on chicken - some claim a skinless breast soaked overnight in pickle juice will taste like fried chicken when cooked, and we say that is voodoo but we're okay with it. Try it on cuts of pork and beef, too.

    Fish Poacher:
    There is very little in this world that sounds more healthy-boring than poached fish. But, add your pickle juice to the poaching water and you will never look back.

    Weed Killer:
    The high vinegar and salt content of pickle juice has made it a longtime favorite with gardeners. Dumping it on dandelions, thistle, and virtually all common weeds that crop up around your home. Bonus, it's pet-friendly and you probably already have it in your fridge!

    Recipe Add-On:
    We lost track of all the things you can add pickle juice to, but some favorites include: BBQ sauce, hummus, chicken salad, mac 'n' cheese, gazpacho, deviled eggs, vinaigrette, borscht, beet salad, salsa, bean dip, and meatloaf.

    Hiccup Stopper:
    We've found little scientific evidence backing up this claim (and, frankly, we're glad the scientists are working on other things), but many, many people claim that the number-one cure for hiccups is a small glass of pickle juice. Given how well this stuff works on everything else in the world, we believe it.

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    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  11. #31

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    Probably the best way is to grow your own food in your backyard. Even if you don't have a lot of space there are plenty of creative ways to grow food in small areas.

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