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    Forget the steak… five reasons to love stews

     When the temperature dips there’s sometimes nothing better to eat than a bowl of hearty stew. It’s comfort food at its very best and some of my favorite food memories from childhood are indulging in a stew my grandmother had cooked. Meat, vegetables and a savory liquid that are simmered together for hours on top of the stove to take away the chill of a winter’s day. It’s not surprising that just about every cuisine in the world has its own version. However, the best thing about a stew is, apart from the fact it tastes so good, it’s the budget smart cook’s best friend. Easy on the Cook Stews are one…

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    Buy It or Make Your Own

    During every trip to the supermarket I ask myself is it cheaper for me to buy that item already prepared or should I make my own. It’s not only money that I base my decision on, time plays a factor too. Here are some guidelines I’ve come up with and items I will and won’t buy already prepared. Time/Convenience If you’re short on time then opting for readymade makes perfect sense. One great example is potatoes, whether they’re mashed, oven roasted etc. I keep at least one package of each in the freezer or pantry. And the great thing is instant potatoes taste a lot better than they used to…

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    More Ways to Stretch Your Food Dollar (and some recipes)

    Entering the Grocery Challenge contest? Here are some more ways to help stretch your food dollar along with some recipes. Shop at the Drug Stores Don’t just think of the supermarket when you’re buying groceries. Sometimes you can get better deals at places like Walgreens and CVS Pharmacy. Friends with Memberships You might not want to pay $50 for a membership to a warehouse club but for this challenge ask if friends, family or co-workers if they do and stock up some pantry essentials. When I had a membership to Costco I found things olives, sun dried tomatoes and most cheeses were great deals. And if you want to make…

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    The Blog-Grocery Challenge

    Each time I get asked what are my favorite money saving tips, one thing that always makes it to the list is a subscription to All You magazine. The June issue arrived in my mailbox last week with more great coupons and tips. I was going to put this in the newsletter but thought I’d tell you about it here The Second Annual All You Grocery Challenge Contest. You signup at www.allyou.com/grocerychallenge. The contest runs from June 20-July 17th. The goal is to spend $25 or less per family member per week on groceries during this four week period. Winner gets $1,000. They’ll also have a blog with money saving…

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    Budget Resolutions (or goals)…and sites to get you organized

    I usually have my New Year resolutions all worked out by the time Christmas rolls around. This holiday, I didn’t. So this week when I’ve had a spare minute or two I’ve been making notes about what I want to achieve this year. Lots of things are on my list and most are about saving money on just about everything, but my top priority is the food budget. Here are some of my goals, they might be yours too. Make More Ready Made Meals This was on my list last year. I did make some meals now and then but this year I want to be more consistent. Which leads…

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    Reasons for the Budget Smart Cook to Love Christmas

    There’s so much to love about the holidays. Being with family and friends, the food, creating memories, and okay, the gifts too. But the budget smart cook has some other reasons to celebrate this season. Sales During the Holidays Have you noticed how many food items are on sale between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day? Being a budget minded cook, I really look forward to receiving fliers from all my local stores this time of the year. If I’ve been a bit lazy about planning ahead or organizing the pantry, seeing all the items I can buy gets me back on track. December is the perfect time, and if your…

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