Tropical Cabbage Slaw
During the month of March, grocery stores may run really good sales on cabbage – whole heads as well as the bags of slaw. This is super news because such healthy foods aren’t always THIS cheap! Cabbage is a great source of vitamin C as well as fiber AND is low in calories – or at least is CAN be unless you go drowning it in mayo by making it into coleslaw. Here is a flavorful tip to try – use lemon or pina colada flavored yogurt for the dressing INSTEAD of mayo. It adds great flavor and a little bit of calcium to your diet. Rather than mixing up a big bowl, stir together what you can eat at one meal or snack. If you use fat free yogurt, you have a side dish that is very inexpensive AND easy on your waistline. To make it more fun, add some fruit and nuts (small amounts since they are higher in fat and more expensive). Here are some combinations I like:
Make time for family meals…and save money, too!
I love to talk about family mealtime – it reminds me of happy memories of my childhood and all the conversations we shared around meals! I didn’t realize then how important our time together was, nor how much money we saved by eating at home. It’s true, though, families can save money by eating at home. When you eat out or use processed foods, you buy labor as well as the food.
4 Tips to Make Convenience Foods Healthier
Are you trying to eat healthy AND use packaged foods because your time is limited? If so, here are a few tips to make convenience foods healthier:
Organic, locally grown,…are they the same?
Consumers used to ask me about products labeled for specific nutritional attributes such as sodium free, trans fat free and rich in omega 3’s. Now, they are asking if there is a nutritional advantage of organic foods.
Canned fish for Lent? How to pick…
What’s better? What’s cheaper? Canned tuna or salmon?
Do the new “green bags” really keep food fresh?
The “green bags” are designed for fruits and vegetables that ripen by the production of the plant hormone, ethylene. Ethylene gas is produced in copious quantities by certain fruits, most notably bananas. As the concentration of ethylene gas increases in an enclosed environment, the fruit ripens faster. Removal of ethylene helps keep fruits from over-ripening quickly. The green bags are made of a polymer that allows the escape of the gas while keeping others, and some of them actually use additives to the film to absorb other gases that promote ripening or deterioration.
Easter Egg Safety
For many, Easter is a time to decorate eggs for the egg hunt. I remember gathering around the kitchen table with my siblings decorating eggs by writing names and sticking on the decals. The next morning my parents hid the eggs the first time, then after the first kids got up and found the eggs, we re-hid them for the next group.
Substitute Cream Cheese for Goat Cheese?
I saw a recipe recently that called for goat cheese. WOW! I know cheese can be expensive, but I thought this was really high. A 4-ounce portion cost almost $5.00! I went ahead and bought it, tried the recipe and found it to be quite tasty. As I was straightening the kitchen, I read the Nutrition Facts label and realized there really wasn’t much “IN” the goat cheese. So I pulled a package of reduced fat cream cheese out of the fridge to compare labels. Know what? NO real difference! And the cream cheese was only $.99 for 8 ounces. I made the recipe again substituting cream cheese for goat cheese. Was there a significant flavor change? Apparently not. I had 30 child care providers sample both products and they really preferred the cream cheese!
Cereal Cost Comparison
I usually have ready-to-eat cereal for breakfast. In fact, my family eats a lot of cereal. We not only have it for breakfast but also for between meal snacks, bedtime snacks and when we are really lazy, we eat it for supper. Over the years it has been my most common response to my children’s complaint of “I’m hungry, what’s to eat around here?”
Don’t be ‘trixed’ in the cereal aisle…
Recently, I wrote about checking on cereal prices at the grocery store (see Cereal Cost Comparison). One of the stores I visited has the unit prices posted on the shelves. The store unit price for cereal was figured per ounce, but I discovered this may not be the best way to figure unit pricing for cereal. Here is an example:
Shopping Myths Busted
I recently went grocery shopping with my daughter. She needed shredded cheddar cheese and planned to buy the brick of cheddar cheese and shred it herself. As we looked at cheese prices, we discovered that the shredded cheese was not any more expensive than the brick cheese. Here are the cheese prices we found for a store brand cheese:
The Sandwich—Suitable for Royalty
Apparently, sandwiches were invented in the 18th century when the Earl of Sandwich asked for his meat to be served between slices of bread, to avoid interrupting a gambling game or getting his cards greasy. If the Earl were alive today he probably would have invented sandwiches so he could eat while driving, or to avoid getting his cell phone dirty!