Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store. If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
My first frugality experiment was to see how far I could stretch one large, whole chicken from the grocery store. If you want to skip all of the minute details of the experiment, and just see my total savings breakdown, you can scroll right to the bottom. I have highlighted the savings in a paragraph called THE BREAKDOWN.
OKAY, HERE WE GO…
I purchased a large chicken for $8.00. I avoided the pre-cooked rotisserie birds sold in the deli section. While you could use one of those, I often find that they are smaller birds, and might not yield the same amount.
There are an infinite number of ways to go with this experiment. I went with the best combination of meals for my needs this week.
I cleaned, trussed, lightly seasoned, and baked the chicken in a deep pot on a high heat. Once it was cooked through, I reduced the heat, covered the bird and baked it for an additional half hour until the meat was juicy and nearly falling off the bone. I used two thighs and one breast for dinner. The rest went into the refrigerator, still in the pot with a lid.
What I created was my version of our typical dinner for three from Saffron, my favorite local Thai restaurant. I served the two thighs and one breast on beds of basmati rice with salad. Had we stopped to pick up the same dinner at the restaurant, it would have cost around $20 or so.
The next afternoon I used a portion of the remaining breast to make two generously sized chicken sandwiches for two lunches. Served with a mango strawberry salad made out of fruit brought over by friends the previous weekend. Had my grandfather taken us out to his favorite lunch buffet, he would have spent about $16.
Later in the day, I got the chicken back out of the fridge, (still in the deep pot it was cooked in and sitting in the drippings from the original roasting) and added 14 cups of water until it just covered the carcass. I put a lid on it and let it simmer for an hour. Then I removed the pot from the heat and let it cool for another hour.
I removed the meat and bones and strained the chicken broth through a sieve. That yielded a total of 12 cups of concentrated chicken stock. I packed up most of that to freeze. When I get it out to use later I will thin it out by adding one cup of water to each cup of stock. This means that each cup of my concentrated stock is equal to one 2-cup can or carton of store-bought chicken stock.
I ended up freezing 9 cups of stock, which roughly equals $12. worth of canned goods that I will not have to purchase at the store. And I am looking forward to a lot of deliciously flavored risotto, soups, and sauces in the future!
Next, I separated the rest of the meat from the bones, and discarded the bones and skin. This yielded about 4 cups of shredded roast chicken.
I took one cup of that meat and the remaining 3 cups of unfrozen stock and returned them to the original, now empty, pot. I added 3 cups of water to it, along with one chopped onion, 3 carrots, 2 stalks of celery, and 2 cloves of minced garlic.
This will yield 6 cups (three bowls) of chicken soup for our soup and salad dinner for three tomorrow night. Salad courtesy of my garden. This will save about $5 in canned soup purchase, and will be much more tasty and nutritious as well.
The remaining 3 cups of shredded chicken will go into the freezer until the weekend, when it will be made into 3 giant shredded chicken burritos for Sunday’s dinner, using the remainder of the basmati rice from the beginning of the week and some local produce. Since we will not be running down to El Ranchito for Mexican food that night, our savings will be approximately $12.
What I bought:
One $8 chicken and about $4 worth or rice and produce
What I made:
Three chicken and rice dinners
2 chicken sandwich and fruit lunches
Three soup and salad dinners
Three jumbo shredded chicken burritos
9 cups concentrated chicken stock for later
Total cost if I had bought that food at restaurants/grocery stores: $65
Total savings: $53
Of course this total does not take into account every variable. There is also the gas savings of not driving to go out to eat. Nor does it factor in the costs of beverages and extra things we may have ordered at restaurants, like desserts or side dishes. My roasted chicken meals are also replacing inexpensive take-out food options, rather than more pricy dine-in restaurants. So the savings could be double or more, depending on the price points you are used to!
I was interested to learn a little bit more about raw, unpasturized honey and how I could benefit from adding to my diet. So I did a little research online and found out it is a lot more useful than I knew. Not only a food, raw honey can be used medicinally in a pinch.
Characteristics of raw unpasteurized honey (not highly processed supermarket honey.)
• Anti-Bacterial, anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory
• Vitamins: A, C, D, E, K, all the B-complex vitamins and Beta-Carotene
• Minerals: Magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper and manganese
• Raw honey contains live enzymes that help the body break down foods and undigested particles
• One Tsp of honey is about 21 calories full of nutrients and all natural.
Honey was revered by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians as a powerful medicinal agent and used to help heal burns and sores. During World War I, German physicians mixed it with cod liver oil to use as a surgical dressing for battle wounds. But widespread use of antibiotics to combat infections in the latter part of the last century left it back in the kitchen cupboard.
Honey is primarily composed of fructose, glucose and water. It also contains enzymes, vitamins B and C, iron, magnesium, calcium, sodium, silica, manganese and potassium. It is also highly acidic due to the presence of the enzyme glucose oxidase, adding to its antibacterial properties. This enzyme produces a secret weapon – hydrogen peroxide, which was once used as a wound disinfectant in hospitals.
Supermarket honey is not suitable for treating wounds, because it has been pasteurized which subjects it to high temperatures. Honey is primarily pasteurized to keep it from crystalizing over time, but is unpasturized honey does not spoil because of its high sugar content creating a waterless environment in which bacteria cannot survive
This do-it-yourself recipe will make your entire house smell great. And best of all, it is non-toxic, and inexpensive. Cut up a lemon and use about a quarter of the lemon slices in a small pot, with water, vanilla extract, and a sprig of rosemary. Turn the heat on as low as possible and let it simmer all day. Remember to check the pot throughout the day, and add water as the water level evaporates.
I suggest getting Artificial Vanilla Extract from your local Dollar Store, to make this on a budget. It smells just as good as the more expensive pure vanilla extract. One lemon will make 4 pots of this wonderful smelling brew. I use it any time I have company coming over, or whenever I want to lift my spirits. A big thank you to Morgan Moore at One More Moore for this recipe.
My news feed went seriously red last week, with nearly half of my Facebook friends changing their Profile pics and/or Cover Images to support Marriage Equality.
Having seen so many Facebook friends change their profiles, I was curious to know how widespread this phenomenon was across the country. Luckily, Facebook was also curious, and constructed a statistical model to estimate the likelihood that an individual in a given county would change their profile picture on March 26 to am red and pink equal sign or similar image. When they compared the week-over-week increase, here is what they found
Data analysis by Eytan Bakshy, a researcher on the Facebook Data Science Team.
To see the source and learn more about how Facebook came up with this map, check out this Facebook post.
Ready to GO RED on your Facebook timeline to support Marriage Equality?
I designed this set for anyone who may be looking for a new Facebook Cover and Profile image to support Marriage Equality. When combined the images look like this on your timeline
Just click on any of the images below and save them to your desktop.
And don’t forget to share this post with your Facebook friends so they can GO RED too. it’s easy to share. Just click on any of the sharing buttons at the bottom of the post.