Learn menu planning, tackle kitchen cleaning chores, save money at the supermarket and build an organized pantry to make kitchen chores fly!
On any trip to the grocery store, it's the first and simplest question: what's the price?
Time was, it was easy to know the price of any grocery item; before computers, each can, carton and bottle sported a physical price tag. Old-school physical price tags made food costs clear--and to raise prices, grocers had to re-tag food items.
This labor-intensive process discouraged wide swings in pricing. Shoppers knew what food cost, and it was easy to notice rising prices.
Hello, 21st century! In today's supermarket, finding the price of any item is no longer so straight-forward. What's a savvy shopper to do? More »
You've heard about bulk freezer cooking--an easy method of stockpiling prepared meals in the household freezer.
Commercial meal assembly franchises like Dream Dinners®, or Let’s Dish® have popularized the concept (at a cost), but smart home cooks know that feeding the freezer is an efficient way to feed the family. too.
Whether you know it as once-a-month cooking, freezer assets, OAMC or freezer cooking, the idea sounds intriguing. In a single day, freezer cooking lets you cook and freeze dinner entrees for a month--or more.
But the work! Loaded down with toddlers or balancing a full-time job, you can't imagine devoting two full days a month to shopping, preparing and cooking all those meals.
Take heart! Freezer cooking is not just for the energetic; it's possible to stock your freezer without the marathon sessions. Try these strategies to build your frozen assets bit by bit: More »
It's the secret weapon of a well-organized kitchen: a working pantry. A planned reserve of foodstuffs and sundries used in the home, a pantry saves time, money and stress in the kitchen.
Tap the pantry for unexpected meals and reduce trips to the supermarket. Stock it with frugal finds to lower grocery costs. Set aside a supply of food and sundries for a rainy day and protect your family against weather emergencies or financial dislocation.
Properly managed, the pantry is an integral part of an organized home. Polish your pantry pride with our best hints and tips: More »
Standing in line at the supermarket check stand, nobody can deny that we're on the dreary downside of a new year. Tabloid headlines scream the weight-loss secrets of the stars, while traditional women's magazines sing siren songs of money-saving, belly-busting, speed-cleaning tips and techniques.
We ourselves? All those resolutions that looked so basic, so easy, so noble through the champagne haze of New Year's Eve have lost their rosy glow viewed in the stark light of a morning cup of coffee. With the children back to school and holiday decorations back in their attic boxes, our resolve for a better, thinner, healthier and wealthier year has once more washed up against the hard and niggling realities of daily life.
Be of good cheer! There's a tried-and-true boost for just about anybody's New Year's resolutions. [I'm talking garden-variety resolutions here: weight loss, financial prudence, better home or personal organization. If you've vowed that this is the year you read the Russians, my hat's off to you but you're on your own!]
I'm talking about cleaning the refrigerator. Spearing the Great White Whale. More »
Who can imagine summer without summer food? Steaming corn-on-the-cob, each kernel bursting with sweet flavor. Burgers and barbecue. Ice cream sundaes. The crisp red smile of a watermelon wedge, dripping with sweet juice.
There's a darker side to summer meals. Food budgets groan under the strain of substituting quick-cook steaks and chicken breasts for thrifty stove-top casseroles. Ravenous children make the refrigerator door thump-thump-thump like a dog's tail. Catch-as-catch-can mealtimes, eaten on the run, substitute convenience for nutritional value.
What's a summer cook to do?
With creative meal planning strategies, summer doesn't have to bust the food budget, toss nutrition to the winds, or reduce the family chef to a melted, quivering puddle reminiscent of the Wicked Witch of the West.
Try these suggestions for simpler, cooler, more nutritious summer meals: More »
Shhh! Don't look now, but the holidays are right around the corner. Will you be ready to offer hospitality in your home?
Busy home managers have many reasons to dread entertaining, whether it's drop-in visitors or a large party. Entertaining can be costly, in time and in money. Our homes may not measure up to the standard touted in glossy furniture store ads. Often, we're unsure of ourselves in the role of hostess. Many of us didn't learn the knack at Mother's knee-yet we still measure ourselves against her yardstick.
Take heart! Changing times have brought changing ideas and standards. Entertaining doesn't need to be stressful. With an attitude adjustment and some advance planning, even the busiest home manager can entertain with ease. More »
What's for dinner? It's the question of the hour! Too many home managers look for answers in the supermarket at 5 p.m. Harried, harassed by by hungry children, they rack their brains for an answer to the what's-for-dinner dilemma.
Three meals a day. Seven dinners a week. From supermarket to pantry, refrigerator to table, sink to cupboard, the kitchen routine can get old, old, old.
No wonder we hide our heads like ostriches from the plain and simple fact: into each day, one dinner must fall. What's the answer? A menu plan.
Menu planning doesn't have be complicated! Planning meals ahead requires a small investment of time, but can reap great rewards:
With food prices soaring and energy costs at record highs, it's time for an energy-saving tune up for your refrigerator and freezer.
Keeping food fresh--while conserving energy--can bring a helpful boost to the strained food budget.
Try these tips to minimize energy use and save money on groceries: More »