Sunday, April 17, 2011

Consumer Beware- The Good Advice May Not Work For You is a recent article on 15 foods never to buy again. The author did not identify his target audience but my best guess is that is is family oriented. ( This is a very annoying site, I have a good popup blocker and had to refuse to allow on every section of the article.)

There were four suggestions with which I disagree. #9 Salad kits, if I were feeding a family maybe this would not be a good idea but as I only buy them when they are on sale , some times as low as 75 cents to a dollar, for me a single , these can be a good idea. Alternative, buy the salad makings IF you intend to use it up - and if you can get individual portions of dressings, ( Urban Market sells them for 25 cents each pt) - it stops the "I am single and doomed to eat this forever feeling." Usually I buy the green salad mix when on sale as opposed to the kit, add what I want to it and  choose up to $2.00 of dressings from their individual rack. ( Average bottle dressing is 2.50-4.00 ) . I also have used salsa mixed with a little mayo as a dressing over hamburger which has taco seasoning in it.

#10 Individualized servings of anything. As a single person , you are well familiar with the 4-6 servings mindset of the food industry. As some one who is both American ( and our concept of portion sized is seriously skewed) and has fought with her weight, I would amend this to Temptation foods. I am seriously addicted to potato chips . I am better with the small bags of chips at 3 for a dollar at the dollar store than the bag marked down to $2.00 which maynot see the dawn if I am stressed enough. Going along with this, because ice cream is another temptation/trigger/comfort food for me, the article suggests don't buy gourmet ice cream(#13) . My amendment here is think of portion control and do invest in the individual cups of ice cream made by Blue Bunny, Haagen Daz, Ben and Jerry's, Walmart Neighborhood markets have a house brand that is a faux sundae all for about a dollar each.
I tell people that I buy slices of cake when I go out for coffee with friends as opposed to baking a cake. Why? its a slice of cake not a whole cake. While candybars can sit in my house for months without being molested, chips and ice cream do not. Stay mindful of what you are eating. Its not a bargain if you binge frequently on temptation foods. We live in stressful times- and we all feel betrayed and beaten up. McDonald's used to say " You deserve a break today." Yes , yes I do, I deserve the government that represents me and my interest  above all foreign ones, not to gorge on a 1/2 gallon of Brownie batter ice cream and the largest bag of Salt and Vinegar kettle chips because they were on sale. There is always a morning after the gorge. Plan for it the day before it happens . You may still eat more than you planned, but openng 5 individual bags is more conscious than opening 1 large bag.

#15 Tomato based pasta sauce: As a single , I like the jarred sauce and sometimes add things that I like to them. Sometimes it comes down to time , sometimes its the budget. I cannot buy everything that is in their sauce for less than I can buy their sauce though mine is better. Besides , as I buy jarred sauces, I have only to use what I need. I do make sauces on Sundays when I am off but even then not more than I would use in 2-3 days. Why? because my freezer is the size of 4 shoe boxes . I don't own, don't have room , can't see the need of a freezer. The investment is greater than the savings. So all of those well meaning family friends don't get it when they urge larger sizes on you and say that you can freeze it. Again, look truthfully at your own situation.

Having debunked those alleged savings, let me offer some more practical ideas. If you are Kosher or Islamic , it will be harder as the first one has a heavy pork base.
H.G. Hills, Urban Market, Reese, Save-A-lot, Food Lion all offer the 5 meats for 19.99. I like the pizzas that Reese includes in their selection. There is alot of pork based products in these selections, but it does stretch . Their selections are varied - when going this route, try rotating where you go.

Dollar Tree @ Madison Square : I spoke earlier about individual temptation foods. In the back , they have a frozen food section . The individual slices of pie that are $2.35 and up at the other markets are a dollar here. French Fries and onion rings( they have the good kind with whole onion rings under the batter) are a sollar each for a standard sized bag(usually 2.50-4.00 elsewhere.) They also sell small bags of cooked shrimp, turkey bacon, salmon, cod , talapia and pkgs of 3 legs and thighs (chicken) .Best value, in my opinion are the standard large size of vegetable mixes (frozen unsauced) and the bags of frozen fruit. This is a place to practice portion control watch as sometimes , its the size as well as the price which is smaller. Both they and their sister store, Deals in Rivergate, sell bread/breadproducts for $1.00. Deals sells canned goods but not frozen foods.

Shop watchfully.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Let's Talk Portion Control

There are many ways that we ,as consumers , are being duped. Raising the price is one- one company recently raised the cost of its potato chips by thirty cents. Another lowered the weight of the contents but kept the price the same . What looks like a bargain , maynot be a bargain .

Example: I recently bought coffee on special from CVS. It was a national brand and was 2 for $5.00. So mentally , you think , great 2 lbs for $5.00 pt. Look again , each can only contained 11 oz so instead of 32 oz or 2 lbs, I actually recieved 22 oz which is 1 lb 6 oz. Was it still worth it to me? Yes, because it came in dark roast and most of the coffees on sale are a medium or light roast. Its hard to find bags of coffee that are really a lb. You can go to Peets, Starbucks and Books-A -Million but you are going to pay a higher cost per oz than the prepackaged stuff. Instead of paying 2.2 cents aprox per oz., 5.6cents per oz.
(This information is supposed to be on the white tags with the bar codes on the front of the shelves in supermarkets. It is not always updated.) Becareful , though, as they are not always updated as regularly as we would wish.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Day That Nothing Goes Right Part 2-Worth and my Dream Job

Last time , I asked you what you would do if? It can happen to anyone. 

Here is what I am doing that is proactive while I still have a job.
I am looking  actively for another and I am asking what I made what I did before the nimrods in DC decided that I but not they earned too much.
Am I out of my mind? Maybe but if I am not for me, then who is? Something more expensive is always more desireable. I am not a charity though this last eight plus years , I have been nonprofit. That ended yesterday.

What are you worth? Not what they want to pay you, but what are you and your experiance worth?
Remember you are selling your presence , your experiance, your knowledge, and your time. Time is pieces of your life that you won't get back. Like any challenge on RuPaul's Drag race, I echo his last instructions for any challenge presented. "Don't %#@!! it up!"

I do have a dream job. As far as I can tell, it doesn't exist but you can see it in Three Days of the Condor. Its the one that Robert Redford had, analyzing novels for terrorist threats . Technically he worked for CIA ( which isn't of interest to me) but the idea of sitting all day and reading , not interacting with the general public is very appealing. I read everything and always have. I recommend this to start :

Monday, April 11, 2011

Urban Market 4th and Church

I found some good values here this week . I got 2 (13 1/2 oz) low fat cream cheese for 25 cents each, chuck was marked down from $4.49 to about 1 1/2 lb to $2.49 and I got 2 large chicken legs and thighs for 1.99.

I had paid full price for a bag of 6 bagels last week, got some salmon($1.00 in pouch( but not lox), a red onion and tomato  But for the price of $1.08 a day , I have (faux) lox and bagels for lunch .

Urban Market is owned by H. G. Hills.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Starting at the beginning- The Day that nothing goes right.

You have recieved the news have to take yet another cut in salary to keep your job. People think that you are morally bankrupt because you now cannot meet your most basic of bills. You know that is not true, but you want to keep your job. You are smart enough to know that the unemployment figures are a lie. They are tweaked not by a massive rise in employment but by some poor sap falling off the benefits payroll.

What do you do? Chances are they told you at the end of the day so not to disrupt the office. You get mad, you cry , you scream , you get drunk until you almost puke. Been there- as a single person , male or female, these are terrifying times. Then you get realistic.
-What can you cut
-What do you have to keep
-Can you get a letter from your employer to document your new found poverty ? If so contact everyone , and I do mean EVERYONE that they will be recieving payments probably less than they want . Explain the situation and lay your plan of action before them. What are you going to do tomake the situation better , preferably sooner.DONT' WAIT on this and mean to keep your word on any promises.

-Keep a papertrail, and hold your breath. YOu have lived this long, and you are strong enough to solve this. If you are reading this, I would love to hear what you plan or are doing.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011