Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Personal Chef, Debbie Spangler, In The News Again!

A Blog A Day For A Month: Day 16. Only 15 more days to go.

Half way through my month of blogs. Wow this has been difficult!

Did you read the Enquirer this morning? Life & Food Section? Did you see me smiling out at you above the fold?

A couple of months ago, Polly Campbell called and asked if I had some tips for saving $$$ at the grocery store. You betcha! I never say no to Polly.

The concept of the article was to give the average Jane Shopper tips to stretch her food budget money.

So the article Savvy Shoppers Do Save finally appeared with a 4~color smiling moi top right corner of the article. My photo isn't in the online link, but you all know what I look like. It's not like I'm subtle or shy about promoting myself.

The line "Debbie Spangler, a personal chef who shops every day, sometimes bargains for her food ~ at flea markets" is in the first paragraph and implies that I purchase a lot of my client food at flea markets.

Let me clarify this a little. While I do occasionally shop at flea markets for bulk produce, I don't make a habit of it like the article makes it sound. I do, however, shop at flea markets when strawberries, tomatoes or corn are in full season and I can bargain and buy tons of bulk produce.

For sweet husband Tim and me. Never for clients.

Some of the other tips that were overshadowed by the flea market idea:

  • Avoid prepackaged fresh foods. For instance, fresh lettuce is less than a dollar a head. Washed and torn lettuce in the bag is $2.99 (or more) for 10 oz.
  • Do look at frozen veggies in place of fresh. Broccoli this week is $1.99/pound for crowns. A bag of frozen broccoli is $1.19/pound. If you're using broccoli in something like a stir~fry or any cooked casserole, frozen will work just fine and you won't lose any nutritional value or taste.
  • Look for alternative vendors. I shop at Findlay Market for lots of items that I could get at the grocery store. For instance, a pound of sharp cheddar cheese at Gibb's Cheese is $5.99 so I'll buy what I need and shred it myself. Depending upon the type of cheese, you can save $2.00 or more a pound by shredding cheese yourself.
  • Rethink your cuts of meat. Instead of buying boneless, skinless chicken breasts for $5.99/pound buy a whole young fryer and cut it up yourself. Watch the sales and you can save $3.69/pound.
  • Don't buy bulk unless you need a large quantity. Why buy an entire bottle of whole nutmeg for $7.99 when you can purchase just one piece of whole nutmeg for .59/each at Herbs & Spice at Findlay Market. It could take the average cook years to use an entire jar of whole nutmeg.
  • You can save grocery money. Shop smart. Look for sales. Don't purchase more than you have to.

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