A Word About Dough…The $$ Kind


Hey, I don’t know about you, but I’m not made of money. And having been, at one time, a so-called working musician (which translates as: starving poor person), believe me, I know how to stretch a dollar till it screams for mercy.

So here are some tips from me to you, to save you money and aggravation as you try to eat yourself slim.

 THE DOLLAR TREE is a great place to save money on kitchen essentials. And the best part is–you guessed it! Everything there costs exactly ONE DOLLAR! Or less. Here are some things I’ve gotten lately at the Dollar Tree:

  • sea salt in its own grinder
  • whole pepper corns, also in their own grinder
  • garlic powder (not garlic SALT, oh, NAY, NAY as John Pinette would say!)
  • a large jar of paprika
  • canned diced tomatoes
  • Columbia brand penne regata pasta (not for nuthin’ but pasta is like crack to me, so I go easy. Not that this should apply to you, just sayin’ is all) 😉
  • oven mitts
  • kitchen towels
  • a silicon pastry brush
  • plates and bowls (that match!)
  • flip-flops

Okay, granted the flip-flops aren’t for cooking, but hey, they were a great buy! So check it out. I do try to avoid buying any food products at Dollar Tree made in China–and not because I have anything against China or the Chinese people–I’m just not sure about the quality control over there, if you hear me.

Also, look for produce at the grocery store that is going out of season. You will get the best prices on things like avocados, watermelon, strawberries, corn on the cob and other produce that has a relatively short season when that season is ending, because obviously they want to sell as much as they can before they have to toss it.

Don’t be afraid of Wal-Mart ™. I know, I’ve not only heard the stories, I’ve lived them. That’s why I like to go early in the morning, before there are crowds. You can get great deals on cooking utensils, fancy schmancy bottles with the little pour thingies on top just like on your favorite cooking shows, and naturally, they too have groceries in many of them. I found FlatOut flatbread at my local Wal-Mart before any of the other ‘regular’ grocers carried it. So don’t be afraid to explore. And at check out time, just remember, as you’re impatiently tapping your foot, staring at the ceiling and huffing about why is it taking so @#&%$! long to check out your ten items…There but for the grace of god…go thou.

Splenda ® brand sweetener is sucralose, and you can buy it generically for considerably less than the brand. Just be aware that some kinds, especially the kinds for baking, contain ‘real’ sugar, so check the label. I made a simple syrup from sucralose that works GREAT in anything you would use ‘regular’ simple syrup in. So put THAT in your purist  pipe and smoke it, you scoffer!

Queso fresco, which is much like mozarella, but which is usually found in the Latino food section of your grocery, can often be substituted for mozzarella and may be much cheaper. The taste, fat content and moisture vary from brand to brand, so experiment to see what works. Fresh mozzarella can be gotten on sale but does not last long, so beware. I don’t know yet how it holds up after freezing, but I’ll let you know once I thaw out the crop I’ve got in my freezer right now. 🙂

I make my own hummus now, for which I will be publishing a recipe soon, and trust me, doing the whole dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans for the rest of y’all) thing is totally worth it for the savings. Unless you hate hummus, in which case you are a barbarian, and there is just no hope for you. Go away.

Just kidding! Stay, stay, eat! Shop! 😀

It’s amazing how many things we can make ourselves and save a bundle of money in the process. Yes, it does take longer. And yes, you could think of that as ‘work.’ But hey, what in this life that comes easy is worth a darn? Remember you are laboring for yourself, to create a better, healthier, happier and slimmer YOU! Oh, yes…you’re worth it. Your body  AND your pocketbook will love you for it.

As always, if you have a question about how to save on a particular item or you can’t find something, or you want to know what to substitute for a more expensive item, just ask me, I’ll be happy to help.

Happy shopping!