Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Aldi Deals 3/31/09

Wow! Boy, did I score some wonderful buys at ALDI today. Wonder if it was because it was the end of the month?

I went into the store to purchase rice. What I found was pork sausage rolls for 49 cents a pound. This sausage was in a plastic wrap tube. Nearby were 2 oz. packages of thin sliced, lean beef for 10 cents each. Next, I strolled by the frozen foods area only to spy 28 oz. boneless buffalo strips for $2.69! Deals vary by location.

For less than $8.00, I bought 2 rolls of pork sausage, 5 packages of thin sliced beef, 2 bags of rice (3 pounds each) and buffalo chicken strips. Thank you ALDI!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Turn Your Lights OFF

World Wildlife Fund is asking everyone to turn off all non-essential lights tonight between 8:30-9:30 p.m. It's called , "Earth Hour". This one act will save energy dollars and help the environment. So simple.

Go one step farther. During the hour, read a book by candlelight or play cards. What about having a romantic dinner or dessert by candlelight. The moon is still quite large and bright in the evening sky - you could take a walk around your neighborhood. Lots to do and it costs nothing.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Meijer Deal on Kraft 2% Cheese ends 3/28/09

OK. So I found out about this deal late. Good news is you can still get great cheese and save money. Meijer has Kraft cheese on sale for half price this week. The no-growth hormone added cheese is included in the sale. My local store has 8 oz. shredded for $1.77 after the sale price. There are 8 oz. cheese cubes for $1.88 or you can purchase 6 oz. packages of cheese strips for $1.77. The best deal is the 8 oz. shredded package.

Here's the deal.

Buy four packages of the 2% fat cheese, must be 2% version. That comes to $7.08. At the end of your transaction, a coupon prints for $3.00 off your next purchase(a.k.a. catalina). So your cheese now costs $4.08 or $1.02 each!!! Hurray!!!

Sale ends March 28, 2009.

(I also got 32 oz. of Dannon plain non-fat yogurt for $1.34...clearance price)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Bird's Nest Floral Corsage

Take a look at the floral corsage I made today at a seminar. It uses coated copper wire that's crimped. I love working with wire. Mix in flowers in an arrangement and you have the finished product. Flowers, wire and glam. My three favs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Almond Crescent Macaroons

This recipe is courtesy of Martha Stewart Living, April 2009 edition. The recipe says it makes 8 servings, I was able to get 10 treats from the ingredients. No flour is used in this dessert.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Whisk 1/3 cup sugar and one egg white together in a medium bowl. Stir in 1 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut, 1/4 cup chopped almonds, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and a pinch of salt. Form into mounds, approximately 2 tablespoons each on baking sheet. Leave about an inch or two between morsels for possible expansion while baking. Bake until golden on edges, about 15 minutes. Let cool on baking sheet before removing.

Here's a photo of the finished product. You can also drizzle the macaroons with dark chocolate.

Any Frugal Tips from TV and Magazines?

I admit it. I am sucked in to watching a TV show or reading a magazine when they boast about how much money you can save using their tips and tricks. Imagine seeing a teaser saying, "Save $500 a month by following these 5 steps." Who wouldn't want to save $500 these days? So I watch the program. You know what I learn? Squat.

Most of the tips are things our mothers, fathers, family, friends and teachers taught us. Things like; use vinegar and water to wash windows instead of Windex; wipe windows with newspapers; wash clothes in cold water; brew your own coffee instead of going out to buy that latte.

Hello! Been there, done that. Tell me something I don't know. I realize you cannot fathom each person's life experiences, but saving money buying shoes at Target rather than at Prada is a no brainer.

The best tip I heard lately was to use clean, discarded aluminum foil for eliminating static from clothing. Just roll the CLEAN foil into a ball and place it into your clothes dryer with the wet clothes.

Another laundry tip is to use distilled white vinegar in place of fabric softener in your rinse cycle. Pour about a quarter cup of vinegar into the washing machine during the rinse cycle and voila, soft clothes.

Or dry your clothes on a clothes line. No static, no energy usage and clothes smell great.

These money saving ideas aren't new. Our parents and grandparents used them for years. How did I learn about them? I asked people how they economize.

Think back to when you started out on your own. Maybe you ate Ramen noodles, brushed your teeth with baking soda or washed your car by hand. Try implementing a few of your lean days, stretch-a-buck strategies today. Include rice noodles in a salad. Eat dinner by candlelight. Go to a free concert in the park. Walk your dog. Reconnect with family and friends with a game night or card party.

It's easier than you think to save a buck or two, or $500.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Walgreens - Kleenex Deal week of 3/15/09

Haven't seen this deal listed anyway. On the back page of the Walgreens flyer is a coupon for Kleenex 110 count facial tissue - each box is 89 cents after using the store coupon and there is a 3 item limit. Use that coupon in combination with a manufacturer's coupon for 50 cents off any three Kleenex facial tissues (expires 3/31/09). The final price is a little over 73 cents per box. With cold and flu season still upon us, this is a pretty fair deal. Don't forget, spring and summer allergies are close at hand. Stock up!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Bill Davidson; Piston's Owner Dies at 86

Bill Davidson, the Detroit Pistons Basketball team owner died yesterday, March 13, 2009. He wasn't a flashy team owner. He never appeared on a reality show or sought the spotlight. Mr. Davidson loved sports and the Pistons were his baby - his pride and joy.

Let's be clear, Bill Davidson was a very smart business man. He rescued a wholesale drug company from bankruptcy in just three years. Three years! He followed this remarkable accomplishment by repeating his efforts with a surgical supply company. Then, this talented man took the family business, Guardian Glass, and made it debt-free. You know Guardian Glass. They are a huge player in the float glass industry. Automobile window shields use this type of glass, so do storm doors. Add glass insulation for homes and businesses to the mix and you'll understand the scope of the family business.

That's three championships under Mr. Davidson's belt before he purchased the Pistons. Before he owned the Shock, the Vipers, the Neon, and a host of other teams. He was pretty good at managing people and understanding business law. You could say that.

Not many people know that the Piston's owner was an athlete himself. He was inducted into the Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. He ran track and played football.

He was also a lawyer that knew how to negotiate a contract. Bill Davidson knew a good deal when he saw one. He believed in hiring talented people and letting them do their job. I worked for the Palace of Auburn Hills at one time and I seem to recall that he also liked to hire nice people. I can't remember any information or memo that crossed my desk about this, but it's a memory that I have of the man. Yet, I never met him in person.

It was a unique organization in that it offered vision benefits within 30 days of your hire date. I always suspected that we had the same benefits as the players received. Again, I have nothing in concrete to substantiate my claim. This small gesture, this small benefit made a world of difference to me. Not many companies offered vision, dental and health benefits outside of the Big Three automotive group. Bill Davidson made certain his employees were taken care of so they could do the best possible job for him and his organization.

I am grateful for Mr. Davidson's contributions to sports, entertainment, education and the business community and wish his family peace at his passing. The world of sports lost a leader and gentleman.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Easy Chickpea Salad - Courtesy of "Real Simple"

Easy. I like that word when it comes to cooking.

I found an easy recipe that uses chickpeas, a great source of protein, in the April, 2009 edition of Real Simple Magazine. I made a few adaptations. These were slight. I used watercress instead of mixed greens and omitted the red onion.

Give the recipe a try. So yummy you won't even realize it's good for you.

In a food processor, pulse 15.5 ounce of canned chickpeas (rinsed), 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, a chopped garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Scoop the mixture into eight 1/2 inch patties and coat lightly with flour. Two tablespoons of flour should suffice.

Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook the patties for about 3 minutes per side until golden brown.

In a small bowl, whisk 1/2 cup plain, non-fat yogurt, three tablespoons fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper. Divide eight cups of salad greens, one cup of grape tomatoes, 1/2 cup sliced red onion and chickpea patties into four servings. Drizzle with yogurt dressing.

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Scum Also Rises

I've been cooking a lot of chicken lately. When you boil chicken, the fat and connective tissue separate from the meat. The result is scum and fat rising to the top of the pan. And it's mostly scum that rises quickly, the fat appears later - much as in life.

What am I referring to? Consider Bernie Madoff. Scum or fat? I vote for the former. When the heat came on, there was no meat just scum that remained...and some fat. People are being bilked left and right in this economy. They were being swindled before, but they were able to recoup most of their losses prior to this recession. (Yes, we are in a recession and have been for at least two years). There's less meat for each citizen figuratively and literally.

How do we get more meat? How do we survive? Cut out the fat. Cut out the scum.

There's also something else that rises and that's cream. It has a high fat content, but no scum. It rises when the fresh, whole milk is very, very cold.

Embrace fresh thinking. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, out of the warmth of what you know and go into the cold unknown. It's only by learning something new, trying something bold that cream will rise in these tough economic times.