Yesterday I wrote about some of the best Sam’s Club bargains that I’ve found (click here if you missed it). Today, I’m letting you in on some of the worst Sam’s Club deals. If you’re looking to save money, you should definitely pass on these products.
Fresh meat, poultry and seafood. Every time I visit Sam’s Club I wander over to the meat case, and I am disappointed every time. No matter what I am looking for, from steaks to salmon, the price is significantly higher than what I would pay at my local grocery store for the exact same thing. And don’t be fooled by the $1.88 per pound price tag on the boneless, skinless chicken breasts. Every package I’ve purchased has had a lot of water, fat and skin. It’s not much of a bargain if you ending up throwing half of it away!
I’ve been a Sam’s Club member for over a decade, and in that time I’ve learned a lot about choosing products that are going to save money.
When I am shopping at Sam’s Club, I have learned that just because a product is a good price, that doesn’t mean it’s a good deal for me and my family. These are some of my favorite Sam’s Club bargains – things that really do save us money.
My family loves popcorn – especially The Goose. That is the main reason why we have Family Movie Night every Saturday. On Saturday nights, I break out our hot oil popcorn popper and make a huge bowl of popcorn for all of us to share.
There are times, however, when I just want a small bag of popcorn and don’t really feel like hauling out the big popper. That’s when I’m thankful for this trick I learned many years ago – use the microwave to make air popped popcorn.
I have a small kitchen. Seriously – it’s tiny. I have two drawers, four lower cabinets (though I can only reach two of them easily) and four upper cabinets (that I can’t reach the top shelf of). So, when it comes to stocking my kitchen with supplies that I need when cooking, I am very choosy. Only my very favorite kitchen tools make the cut.
These are my five must have kitchen tools:
It’s inevitable… every few weeks I have a dinner fail. Once, I was making braised beef and grossly underestimated how long it would take to cook. Another time, I was getting ready to make chicken parmesan, when The Goose stubbed his toe and had a complete meltdown. There was no way I was going to be able to spare 30 minutes to bread chicken. And then there was the time we had a horrible rainstorm on the way home from swim class. Our usual fifteen minute drive took forty-five minutes, and by the time we got home we were starving, The Goose was crying and dinner wasn’t even started yet.
On those days, I am so glad that I have a quick and easy dinner back-up plan. Because, even when life happens, you still need to eat.
My family eats a lot of chicken. It’s inexpensive, easy to cook, and can be used in so many different recipes. I incorporate chicken into my meal plan at least four times each week. And, since I am always looking for ways to save time in the kitchen, I save myself a lot of work by making two pounds of shredded chicken in my slow cooker at the beginning of each week.
Shredded chicken has so many uses – we make chicken tacos, chicken quesadillas, barbecued chicken sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, chicken pot pies, chicken salad. By making plain chicken at the beginning of the week, I can throw any of these meals together in just minutes. This is essential, especially on those night when you are trying to feed your family a healthy meal while shuffling between swim class, dance class and soccer.
Believe it or not, making hard boiled eggs is not as easy as it sounds. Sure, the basic concept is simple enough – put eggs and water in a pan and boil. But, if you don’t cook them long enough they can be runny. If you cook them too long, they’ll turn green. If you put them on the stove and forget about them (like a friend of mine did a few years back), they might explode causing one heck of a mess.
I’ve heard of people boiling eggs in a pressure cooker, in the microwave, and even in the oven, but I always stick to my tried and true method. My eggs always come out perfectly cooked, and the peel always come off easily – keep reading to find out how I do it.
In the past, I spent more than my fair share of time trying to figure out a) What that mystery package in the freezer is, b) Exactly when did we open that lunch meat? Monday or Wednesday? c) What kind of jam is this? Blueberry or blackberry?
But then I realized that I had a valuable tool right at my fingertips (literally!). Now I keep a Sharpie in my kitchen at all times. I keep the cap attached to a string on top of the refrigerator, that way it never wanders off. And now I never have to throw out food because I’m not sure how long it’s been opened, or whether or not it has spoiled.
During the summer, I grow a fabulous little herb garden in my yard. I grow sage, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, lavender, and basil. We’re lucky to have fresh herbs all summer, into the fall (sometimes in the winter, too!).
Growing the herbs isn’t the hard part – my problem has always been storing fresh herbs once they’re cut!
Last night my family celebrated the winter solstice by building a fire in our back yard fire pit, drinking warm apple cider and talking about what why we are grateful.
If you’ve ever tried to build a fire outside, you know that it can sometimes be a challenge. Especially if the air is moist and the wood is damp. One way to make it a little bit easier is to make a homemade fire starter.