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OKANOG Posts: 7,088
10/17/07 3:08 P

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ADLINS ~

When you see your veggies such as spinach, mushrooms ect., getting tired lookin' how about cooking them up as a side dish. Sometimes a side dish ends up being a full meal for me.

Edited by: OKANOG at: 10/17/2007 (15:12)

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OKANOG Posts: 7,088
10/17/07 12:11 P

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Hi! ANGELAJBOLIN

I live in a condo so there is opportunity to share dinners with a few single ladies in the building. Which we do, take turns doing that.

I am the social director for my building and arrange a host of activities. A couple events that recieves a good attendance is PotLuck Dinners a dish is your entrance and Special Occasion Dinners, entrance is a paid ticket.

Edited by: OKANOG at: 10/17/2007 (12:17)

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ANGELAJBOLIN's Photo ANGELAJBOLIN Posts: 494
10/17/07 7:07 A

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Good for you for fitting in your veggies... I really don't have any great ideas... unless you know another single person and maybe you could split it...good luck

OKANOG Posts: 7,088
10/17/07 5:52 A

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ADLINS ~ Yes you could freeze bell peppers and mushroms together, then when you are making an omelete or egg scramble you just toss them in!
Or use the combo for making spaghetti sauce, stir fry's ect.



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ADLINS's Photo ADLINS SparkPoints: (55,690)
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10/16/07 8:04 P

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Thanks so much! Freezing would also make fixing breakfast go a bit quicker.



"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

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OKANOG Posts: 7,088
10/16/07 5:55 P

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How many times have your mushrooms flipped, just when you think of using them? Same as bell peppers as Elle mentioned in a previous post. Prep and freeze. A single's best friend ~ the freezer.

Button Mushrooms can be frozen.
I have a mushroom farm close by. Buy from the farmer and freeze.

Clean with a damp paper towel, slice, freeze on cookie sheet. Then pop in bags. Great for cooking with most dishes you would add mushrooms.

Bacon can be frozen for 2-3 months.
With 1 lb package of bacon, reduced salt, I open package and layer in stacks of 2 bacon strips, across cookie sheet. Freeze. Then store in a zip lock bag. This way I can stick to portion control and no more waste.

Edited by: OKANOG at: 10/16/2007 (18:12)

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BANANNIE07 SparkPoints: (0)
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10/15/07 2:32 P

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Congratulations Roberta!

IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
10/15/07 2:14 P

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emoticon

FOR THE INFORMATION,ELLE. MUCH APPRECIATED!

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ELLE299's Photo ELLE299 SparkPoints: (53,539)
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10/15/07 1:46 P

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I did some research and found what "fresh" items could be frozen and I buy those in bulk. I love bell peppers of all colors, so I buy the packages at Costco, slice them up and freeze them. When I need them, I just reach in and grab what I need and reseal the package. I am not wild about thawed carrots, but I have learned to use them in soups and stews. I mash them and add them to the base. It helps to thicken the base some and adds to the flavor immensely. If you buy corn on the cob in season, you can blanche it at home and freeze it yourself. The flavor is much better than store bought frozen. Just remember to lightly blanche, that way it doesn't get soggy. If you have doubts if something can be frozen, look at some frozen dinners, read the package backs - they can give you some great ideas. Hope this helps. Have a great day. Elle emoticon

70 pounds down!!!

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HELLO15's Photo HELLO15 SparkPoints: (12,925)
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9/22/07 9:38 A

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what an encouragement Roberta emoticon

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TIFFANYCTD's Photo TIFFANYCTD Posts: 2,078
9/19/07 3:46 P

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Roberta, that's AWESOME! That's what I'm hoping will happen with my cholesterol meds. Thanks for inspiring!

Tif, The Wonder Cootie

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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/18/07 9:27 P

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ROBERTA!

You are doing fantastic! You're showing up some of the youngers...and especially the doctors! You're an inspiration.

You go girl!
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9/18/07 12:17 P

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I think it's part of the "two can live as cheaply as one" adage. It is harder to shop for one and keep fresh things around and still keep the cost down. But you are right in that the savings come in better health, therefore fewer medical bills! I've already seen the benefit there as about a year ago, my doctor put me on blood pressure medication to the tune of $49 a month. I told him I would lose weight and no longer need it. He looked at me skeptically and said that would help. Well, I haven't been on the blood pressure meds for about six months now. I lost 58 lbs which made the difference. I still need to lose another 30 to make to optimum but am working on it.

Roberta

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TIFFANYCTD's Photo TIFFANYCTD Posts: 2,078
9/18/07 11:19 A

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I've noticed that my grocery bill has gone up since I started eating better. But I figure that eventually, I'll be saving probably even more on medical bills later in life, so it's a good trade-off.

Tif, The Wonder Cootie

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh crap....she's awake!"

"Rise and shine! It's butt whipping time!"


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9/17/07 11:13 P

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I saw some of the individual steamer packs and was psyched till I saw the price. However, since I do mini ears of frozen corn, which is basically a single serving, I may splurge on the peas, because no storage in the fridge and they would always be cooked fresh and no measuring, it's a serving.

I also get the individual carrot packs. Getting used to having them with lunch.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
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HELLO15's Photo HELLO15 SparkPoints: (12,925)
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9/17/07 8:40 P

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Someone else mentioned the steamer bags. I guess I'm not aware of them. They sound like they would be pretty handy though.

I buy the snack pack carrot sticks fairly often. They are great to take to work for one of my snacks. Of course, just like this morning, there is always someone who comments on why would you eat carrots for a snack?? LOL.

My response - it won't add near the impact to the waist line as the snickers bars do, plus I feel better eating the veggies. (Of course, if I didn't know the consequences of doing so, I'd love to splurge with a Zero candy bar - my favorite!)

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JANE180's Photo JANE180 Posts: 797
9/16/07 11:44 P

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Hey, don't forget that a lot of veggies come in single packs. I use them to add to a lunch, since they are frozen, they keep well. I haven't found any good ideas for salad greens either or slaw! I want to try the new steamer bags out there, anyone else checked them out?

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9/11/07 10:51 P

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Same here. I'll need to make a quick trip to get more fruit tomorrow, but I really need to check out the SP site and the Kraft one and see what I can come up with that doesn't require a lot of prep work. I know in the end that will make things much easier.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
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Co-team leader: Cooking for One or Two


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9/11/07 10:42 P

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I really need to check out that Kraft food website.

Perhaps this weekend will be one where I can do that.

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RJPERE's Photo RJPERE SparkPoints: (0)
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9/11/07 12:03 P

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You can let someone else 'do the planning' by using suggested menu plans, such as found on the Kraft Food website. All you have to do is check the 'serving for one' box and then check the shopping list option, click on the stuff you don't need so it deletes those, print it and voila! you're ready for the store!

Roberta

If nothing changes, nothing changes!


 
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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/11/07 12:12 A

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HOWDY YA'LL (I lived in Texas for a couple years!) One of the strategies I used to use was PLANNING AHEAD on my Food Tracker...for the whole week. it was time consuming at 1st, by I soon got into the hang of it.The advantages are:
1)You know what you're eating at any given meal on any given day.
2) You can plan accordingly for your busier days(make enough the day before for leftovers.)
3) You know what you need from the store ,so you're not running there every other day(EOD ends up costing more)
4) You don't buy groceries impulsively...stick to the list
5) You don't have to stand with your head in the fridge saying, "There's nothing to eat!"
6) You try new recipes more often
7) If a recipe calls for 4oz of grd beef,you can either freeze the rest,or incorporate it into another meal. You don't waste food this way
8) I find myself doing more prep cooking for the next day.
(9)I lose weight better,because I have a plan(the same could apply to working out,drinking your water
10) You know the nutritional facts when you plan ahead,and then you can adjust if necessary.
11) You do not have to track if you stick with your plan! You can substitute things,and change it on the tracker in a sec
12) Planning is making a commitment
13)Planning is FUN!
14)You can make your grocery list as you plan on the tracker.

Hey ADLINS! This is something I posted a couple of weeks ago. It doesn't really tell you HOW to do it...just lists the advantages. Tiffany had some good ideas about how she plans her meals. The 1st time you do it, it seems like it takes forever,and then it gets easier. Try visiting SparkRecipes...you can transfer a recipe right to your tracker. Make a couple of meals so you can plan for left-overs on busy days.This kind of weather just makes me want to cook! I love to cook soup...it's therapy.Of course,I have more time on my hands.Make a list of meals that sound good.That helps me. You go girl!

Sandy





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Edited by: IT*SNEVER2LATE at: 9/11/2007 (00:19)
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I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD!
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9/10/07 11:19 P

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Ack! Meal planning. That's the step for this week and I can see it stretching an additional week. It would be really great if I could do it, but do what someone else said and plan for the week and not the day so there is still some variety.

Anyway using the SP Meal Planner?

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
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Co-team leader: Cooking for One or Two


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9/10/07 7:26 P

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meal planning - my biggest weakness.

I think it comes from being single for so long and not having to plan ahead. Now that lifestyle choices are changing this is really something I have a need to work on.

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9/5/07 1:13 P

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This has been great! I just moved to Stage 2 and one of the actions for this week is developing a system for left overs. My freezer won't accommodate it now, but I know what I need to do.

Sandy - great stuff. I'm so impressed and ... inspired.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Co-team leader: I Love Muffins
Co-team leader: Cooking for One or Two


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RJPERE's Photo RJPERE SparkPoints: (0)
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9/5/07 12:50 P

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This is an excerpt from the Weight Watchers website:
If you're cooking for one…
Try these solutions from Paulette Mitchell, author of The 15-Minute Single Gourmet (Hungry Minds, 1996):

Shop smart. A wide variety of foods are available in single-size servings. You may pay a little more for these smaller sizes, but the automatic portion control may be worth it.

Freeze! Cook a batch of vegetable soup or tomato sauce on Sunday and freeze half in individual servings for some quick dinners a week or two down the line. Be sure to label and date it clearly.

Enjoy. Eating alone is no excuse for eating over the sink. Set the table with real plates and silverware.

If you're dining out…
Plan ahead. If you're going out for dinner, try to eat light, but also eat smart for breakfast and lunch that day so you're not starving by dinner.

Order wisely. Instead of the cheese enchiladas or fried beef burrito, opt for the grilled chicken fajitas or fish soft tacos. Alcohol counts too, so stick to light beer or drinks with sugar-free mixers.

Set limits. Before you go out, decide how many POINTS® values you can use. Have a healthy late-afternoon snack to cut your hunger so you don't overeat.


Roberta

If nothing changes, nothing changes!


 
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TIFFANYCTD's Photo TIFFANYCTD Posts: 2,078
9/5/07 10:54 A

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Thanks for all the info, Sandy. I do a lot of the same things. What I usually do for meal planning is make up a list of dinners that I'll want, but I don't assign them to a particular night. So I'm meal planning, but I still get that little bit of "what do I feel like having?" It also really helps since our schedule changes so often.

I definitely have become a big fan of cooking and freezing extra. In fact, Sunday afternoon, I grilled 6 pounds of chicken breasts. A lot of the recipes I like call for cooked chicken, and it gets really expensive to pay $4.99 every time I need some chicken chunks. Instead, I got a 6lb. bag at Sams for $14.99. That will probably last me a couple months.

Tif, The Wonder Cootie

Live your life in such a way that when your feet hit the floor in the morning, Satan shudders and says, "Oh crap....she's awake!"

"Rise and shine! It's butt whipping time!"


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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/5/07 1:46 A

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These are a couple of shopping habits that I've picked up over the years.

-The day before grocery day I clear out and straighten the fridge. Out with the old...in with the new!

-If you habitually shop at the same store, you get to know where most things are in the isles. Call me obsessive, but I make my list out according to the isles. Makes things easier and quicker!

-I try to keep 2-3 frozen dinners. The "healthy" kind for emergency meals during the week...when unexpected activities come up. I like to buy the entrees that I don't normally eat,like- French Bread Pizza(Healthy Choice), WW Lasagna Bolognese, whatever.

-When I get home from the grocery store, I tend to break things down before I stuff something in the back of the fridge or freezer. Even the prep cooking.

-I think the smartest thing that always works to your advantage is WEEKLY MEAL PLANNING. I typed another post on that subject.

Sandy emoticon

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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/5/07 1:24 A

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ARINDANA~
The Target site mainly had the "Food Saver" line. &100- yikes! That was way more than I spent on my Seal-A-Meal! I'll have to think about how often that I would use it, and what I would use if for.

SO ON THE SHOPPING FOR ONE TOPIC WE DECIDED TO:

-Plan your menu so you can incorporate the perishable food you buy into several meals on your menu ,especially produce.

-Post grocery list on fridge or someplace accessible so when you run out, you can add whatever to list while you're thinking about it.

-Use vacuum sealer or bags so you can divide leftovers and place in freezer. Label and date.



Edited by: IT*SNEVER2LATE at: 9/5/2007 (01:29)
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I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD!
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9/4/07 10:29 P

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airtight seal is different than vacuum sealing so bear that in mind.

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9/4/07 10:21 P

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LOL Sandy! The tips are great! I do have a magnetic notepad and I try to make a list before I grocery shop, but I always forget something. Writing it down when you know it's gone is good.

Sometimes, though, the leftovers get to me. I really need to organize/clean my freezer and create a space for my cooked leftovers to be frozen.

I also saw a little gizmo this weekend, which I didn't get and wish I had of, that re-seals bags. They were thinking chips, etc, but I'm also thinking maybe produce. It's supposed to create an airtight seal.

"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission." -Eleanor Roosevelt-

"What wisdom can you find that is greater than kindness?"
-Jean Jacques Rousseau-
~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Co-team leader: I Love Muffins
Co-team leader: Cooking for One or Two


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9/4/07 8:11 P

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THANKS FOR THE INFO ARINDANA...YOU'RE SWELL! SANDY

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LIVE IT...DON'T DIET
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I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD!
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BOOP-OOP-A-DOOP!


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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/4/07 8:10 P

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5 Steps to Running an Efficient Kitchen

1) Start a grocery list. Keep a notepad on the fridge and train every family member to jot down any item once they’ve used the last of it. A magnetic notepad on the fridge is a lifesaver. If someone uses the last paper towel or drinks the last sip of milk, they write it on the list. I also use a Target list, for school supplies and other household items that need to be replaced.

2) Do a weekly menu plan. Shop once a week. This saves time and money. If you are afraid that you can’t predict what you will be hungry for on Thursday, remember that you can always make substitutions. This plan saves you from making extra stops at the grocery store. It also gives you a sense of control and freedom from the pressure of trying to make these decisions at dinner time.

3) Cook ahead and freeze. Double a recipe and freeze one. If you are making a pan of lasagna, why not make two and freeze one? It’s so nice to have a few “back-up meals” waiting in the freezer.

4) Do advanced prep work. Perform simple tasks like chopping vegetables or browning hamburger when you have a few spare minutes. This speeds up the process when you are assembling dinner.

5) Clean as you go. Keep a sink full of hot sudsy water and wash dishes while you cook. Staying ahead of the mess makes cleaning up after dinner a breeze. Plus your kitchen doesn’t look like a disaster zone

This isn't about shopping,but I thought the article had some good ideas for organizing the meals/kitchen. Blame it on HELLO15! She taught me how to Copy & Paste, and now I can't stop!!! Sandy

.•*´¨ ) ¸.•*¨) -:¦:-
(¸.•´(¸ ;.•Sandy•*¨)

LIVE IT...DON'T DIET
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I'M TOO YOUNG TO BE THIS OLD!
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BOOP-OOP-A-DOOP!


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BRILYNN79 SparkPoints: (14,027)
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9/4/07 6:39 P

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I agree it is very hard to shop for one. I get to the grocery store and buy all the produce and then it goes bad. I had started just buying stuff as I needed it, but then the farmer's market started and I have been going to that. After the season is over I may try to go back to just getting what I need. Then my meat is always fresh and never frozen, my produce is fresh and I dont have the waste. Its a little more hassle but I waist less and then eat a little better.

Might have to check out the food saver. You would highly reccomend it? Maybe Santa will bring it.

Edited by: BRILYNN79 at: 9/4/2007 (18:40)
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Watch your Thoughts, they become words.

Watch your Words, they become actions.

Watch your Actions, they become habits.

Watch your Habits, they become character.

Watch your Character, for it becomes your Destiny.




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9/4/07 5:21 P

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Sandy, I'm not sure to be honest plus product carried at various storis sometimes slightly differs.

I have the brand name machine Food Saver which I bought at Costco. I think Walmart Canada carries a lower end one. Food Saver is also a bit more expensive than other brands but it is one I trust a lot so I don't mind paying a bit extra. And I bought my attachment at Walmart so I can assume that Walmart in the US carries it too. I also think Food Saver is also referred to as Tilia. I tihnk they are the same company.

Rival is another brand that is carried in Canada. I guess all you need to do is a consumer report search on those brands and decide. I think Rival is supposed to be good. I think they've come a long way. I don't know what kind of bags theyhave tho. I know that Food Saver has heavier bags.

I'm also not sure on attachments with Rival. You'll want to find one that can do canisters and if you can do canisters you should look into the mason jar vacuum attachment.

foodsaver.com should have information there.

http://www.cooking.com/products/shprodli
.asp?DeptNo=3000&ClassNo=0335 another link with many products

http://www.bizrate.com/vacuumfoodsealers
/

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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/4/07 3:11 P

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TIFFANY- Good planning...I like that in a consumer!!!

ARINDANA- I forgot all about those "machines". I used to have a Seal-a-Meal,but always ran out of the special plastic. Do you recommend a certain brand? One that would have all the special parts & attachments at,say, WalMart?

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9/4/07 2:45 P

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Always a question of what to do huh. It is tough and annoying. Plus you have the issue of extra waste because you buy less at a time of the fresh stuff and have to return (in some cases).

I don't buy a lot of fresh stuff because of this and I guess I don't end up eating as properly as I should because of this. Catch-22 huh.

What I have done is invest in a FoodSaver machine. It's a vacuum seal machine that sucks the air out of the bag or canister. It's awesome!!! I ended up buying a separate attachment that allows me to vacuum mason jars so that also saves on wasting the bags which is not cheap either. I put everything in mason jars now from fruit that is small enough like strawberries or my salads or shredded cheese. I even make up sauces and what not and freeze these (make sure there is enough air space in the jar) and I ended up throwing out last and not only do things stay fresher longer they LOOK just like the day I bought the stuff.

it's not the be end all solution but it does help. Canned stuff is fine but it's often high in sodium which is not good. Frozen is ok but depends on what it is.

Do your grocery stores not have loose produce that you bag yourself? If not, then is there a separate fruit/veggie store or market? In Ottawa they have Farm Boy and Market Fresh. A bit more expensive but you also have perfect looking fruit and veggies. And mostly loose and you get more variety.

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TIFFANYCTD's Photo TIFFANYCTD Posts: 2,078
9/4/07 12:25 P

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I go through the same thing with mushrooms. There's just something about fresh mushrooms that's just SO yummy! What I try to do is plan several different meals that would use them. I'll throw them into stir-fries or spaghetti sauce, or sometimes just eat them raw instead of chips or carrot sticks.

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9/4/07 12:13 P

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Thanks for all the tips!

I'll have to try the lettuce in the baggies or even the spinach for that matter. I'm going to check the more specialty stores and see what they offer (like Whole Foods or Central Market). My local grocery didn't have fresh mushrooms separately. I don't mind canned, but the fresh taste better.

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9/4/07 11:48 A

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I find that buying a head of romaine and preparing it myself actually lasts longer than the pre bagged lettuce not to mention the fact that it is cheaper. I bring it home and wash it and spin it in my trusty little salad spinner I got from Wal-mart and one head fills a couple of zip closure bags. Make sure it is totally dry when you bag it. Much of the time, I use canned products if I can't get small amounts of fresh. Canned chopped tomatoes are just as good (or maybe better out of season) as fresh in salads. I just make sure to drain them well and use the juice for something else. Canned mushrooms work fine in salads, too.

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4-1HEALTHYCYNDI's Photo 4-1HEALTHYCYNDI Posts: 11,276
9/4/07 10:54 A

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I've found that most of the chain grocery stores have at least a few types of mushrooms loose in the vegetable section, where you can buy just what you need. It may be a bit more expensive cents wise, but a better buy in the long run as you don't

I'm not sure about the spinach though. Don't recall seeing that loose. However... I don't eat much fresh spinach. As you are cooking it anyway, what about frozen spinach?

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IT*SNEVER2LATE's Photo IT*SNEVER2LATE Posts: 4,026
9/3/07 11:01 P

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That is a VERY good question! You can't freeze any of them without compromising quality and texture. Is there any way that you could fix prepare and cook the burritos and freeze them from a prepared state?

I guess I'll have to sleep on this one.I know I have a terrible time using fresh spinach and mushrooms before they get funky.Regular lettuce I can keep for almost a month if I wrap it good in paper towel and then the plastic that it came in.

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9/3/07 10:51 P

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Okay, here's the flip side of cooking for one and that is shopping for one. I've begun putting spinach and fresh mushrooms in my breakfast burrito. Obviously, for one egg, with several other ingredients, it doesn't take much of either, but it adds flavor and helps me eat more veggies.

But, they come in big bags and big containers. Fortunately, they aren't priced that outrageously, but I can almost assume I'm not going to use all of either before they go bad.

Any strategies out there for fresh veggies like lettuce, spinach, mushrooms, etc? Even the pre-bagged stuff lasts me a while. I'm also using the spinach on my lunch sandwich in place of lettuce.

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