Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stop Wasting Food!

We shop so carefully, using coupons and shopping sales!
Then we throw great amounts of food away because it goes bad. I finally got tired of it and did something about it at my house.

I love berries and when they are on sale, I buy lots of them. In the food-wasting days, I would come home and put them in the fridge so I could deal with them later. Sometimes, on the very next morning, I would pull out my berries to add to a smoothie or throw into my cereal and find some of them already had to be thrown out. Now, I do two different things to save my berries from spoiling.

First, add 3 cups of water to 1 cup of vinegar. Put your berries into the water and let them soak for 10 minutes. Rinse them off well. Rinse out the container or use a new one. Put some of the berries in the container for quick use. Strangely, it even seems to help if I put them in upside down.

Second, Put the rest in a freezer bag and freeze them. Do all of this as soon as you get home. Since I started my two-step plan, I have not lost any of my yummy berries.

When I buy bagels for my husband, they are often buy one/get one free. I freeze the second bag as soon as I get home.

If you notice your vegetables are getting soft, do one of two things. First, make a delicious stew and throw in all the veggies. Eating them in a stew will save you from vegetables that don't have any crunch.

Second, wash them, chop them and, you guessed it, put them in the freezer right away.

Bananas turn brown and then go mushy. Peel them and freeze them in a plastic bag. If you don't peel them first, removing the peel of a frozen banana is tough. Letting it thaw first is gross! Use them in smoothies or make banana bread. Of course, if you have time to bake right away, just make the bread now.

Wash grapes and pull them off the stems. Put them in little baggies or set them in drawers. If they are easy to eat, the family is more likely to eat them before they go bad. Put other fruits, like apples and oranges, in bowls on the counter where everyone will see them right away.

Another fruit that died quickly on me was my lemons. Because I use them for the juice, I just started squeezing them right away and putting the juice in an ice cube tray. Once they were frozen, I popped them out and put them in a marked plastic freezer bag. When I want to use one, I just set it out a little before it was needed and let it thaw.

Leftovers often get over-looked. Plan them into your meals. Add cheese or some other sauce when you can to make them look fresh and new.

This is not a sales commercial and I get no gain from this, but, there is one thing that I could that keeps my celery from going limp in a short time. Tupperware veggie crispers are great. I wash the celery, cut it up and place it in the crisper with the right ventilation.

Finally, another way that I have learned to stop wasting food is by planning meals. Once my week is planned, I only buy the food needed for my meal plans. The less food we waste, the more money we save!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Saving Money on Insurance

Insurance is a necessary evil! I only say evil because I have to pay for it. In reality, I do appreciate it. We pay our bill monthly and so it hurts every month. I asked my husband what we could do to lower the bills. Here is what we did:

1) I am required to carry high insurance on any vehicle I may use for my job, and so I had it on all our vehicles. We determined that their were paying for vehicles that we knew we would never use for work. We lowered the coverage on those vehicles.

2) We realized that we were paying full coverage for vehicles that were paid for and that were not that high in value. (We keep our cars forever because my husband takes such good care of them.) We put liability on all of them and dropped comprehsive coverage.

3) We sold a vehicle that we realized that we really did not need. Of course, we dropped that coverage completely.

When we were all done reevaluating our coverage, our insurance bill was only 2/3 of what it was before we started. Have you reevaluated your insurance lately? We are saving almost $400 for the year. That's well worth the time we took to change it.