10 Ways to Make Your Produce Last Longer

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10 Ways to Make Your Produce Last LongerFood waste is a bummer.  Even more of a bummer is wasting your hard earned money by having produce go bad before you have a chance to use it.  Properly storing produce is key when it comes to getting the longest life out of it.  Here’s a couple of tips to keep your produce fresher longer:How to Organize Your Refrigerator to Reduce Food Waste

  1. Keep your fridge clean.  Mold spores from aging food don’t discriminate between that 5 day left-over casserole and your newly purchased cucumbers.  Keeping the fridge clean will keep those spores at bay.
  2. Keep fresh food away from your oven/stove.  If your bananas are hanging near a heat source, especially if you have a gas stove, it increases the amount of ethylene gas and sends the ripening process into hyperdrive.odd shaped potatoes
  3. Potatoes and apples will help each other out.  Apples slow down the sprouting process on potatoes.
  4. Wrap your lettuce in a paper towel and change it frequently.  Moisture will ruin a head a lettuce lightening fast.  The paper towel will absorb excess moisture.How to Make Berries Last Longer
  5. Clean produce with 1 part vinegar and 10 parts water.  It’s a great all-purpose fruit and veggie cleaner, plus it removes mold spores which will buy you a couple of extra days at least.
  6. Store your ginger in the freezer.  It will last for basically ever and it is super easy to peel and grate when it is frozen.blueberry orange spinach smoothies
  7. If you know you won’t be able to get to fruits/veggies in time, consider chopping and freezing them for health packed smoothies {HERE are some of my favorite smoothie recipes}.
  8. If you have excess herbs or know you won’t use them in time, try freezing them in olive oil.
  9. Bananas will last longer if you wrap them in plastic wrap.
  10. Some fruits produce more ethylene gas than others, so it’s best not to store them with more sensitive fruits and veggies.  Here’s a quick list of the worst offenders:  apricots, avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, honeydew, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, papayas, peaches, pears, plums, and tomatoes.  They will make produce like apples, cucumbers, lettuce, carrots, broccoli, green beans, etc. go bad much, much faster.

What is your BEST tip for lengthening the life of your produce?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



Skipchen – Another Solution to Food Waste

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Recently, One Hundred Dollars a Month Reader, Jess, shared a link on Facebook to a pretty awesome article about a group of volunteers in Bristol England and their solution to food waste {thanks Jess!}.

Apparently, they are taking the no food waste thing to another level by scavenging for still edible food, otherwise destined for the garbage, and instead, turning it into lunch at a restaurant appropriately called Skipchen.  Each night, the volunteers from the nonprofit restaurant scour the usual food waste sites:  grocery stores, farms, restaurants, etc. and gather food that is past its supposed expiration date, but still very edible.  They take the food back to the restaurant and prepare a unique daily menu–completely dependent on the kind of food they were able to “intercept.”  The restaurant is designed to manage food waste and provide affordable nourishing meals {customers can eat for free, or pay whatever they decide is fair}.

I think this is a pretty cool idea.  I mean, it’s like a soup kitchen for the masses–it isn’t about income, it’s about nutritious food that would otherwise end up in the landfills.

What do YOU think, would you be willing to give Skipchen a try?

~Mavis

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

New Amazon Prime Perk: Get Early Access to Lightening Deals

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Amazon-Prime-Early-Access-LightningJust when I thought Amazon Prime couldn’t get any more awesome, they go and announce this:

All Amazon Prime members will get 30-minute early access to select Lightning Deals on Amazon, and shop new events on MyHabit.com 30 minutes before other customers can access these designer deals.

If you know anything about Amazon Lightening Deals, you’ll know how helpful that is, especially with the holiday shopping season gearing up. Those Lightening Deals go FAST! Here’s what Amazon has to say about Lightening Deals:

Lightening Deals are hand-picked limited-time deals at great prices. When time has expired or the select quantity has been purchased, the deal is over. These Lightening Deals are for top electronic products, video games, tools, items for your kitchen and home, sporting goods, computer software, and more. They include hundreds of items throughout Amazon like HDTVs, movies or TV shows, fashion items like clothing, jewelry, and watches, toys, magazines and more.

Because those deals go so quickly, having a 30 minute head start can make the difference between scoring the deal or losing out. Yet another reason I love Amazon Prime!

Learn more about Amazon Prime HERE.

Check out my 10 Secrets to Save Big on Amazon HERE.

If you haven’t been an Amazon Prime member in the last 13 months, you can go HERE to sign up for a free trial.

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How Much Water Does it Take to Make Food?

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backyard garden harvest

So, until I ran across an article on Huffington Post about the relationship to water and food production, I literally had NO IDEA that it took so much water to make food.   Seriously, mind blown.  I mean, looking back on the information logically, it totally makes sense, but I never really gave it much thought.

Basically, the article broke down how much water is needed to make food and drinks that most of us consume regularly.  They calculated how much water it takes to produce a pound of each item.  The article put it in a sort of competition framework:  coffee vs. tea, chocolate vs. vanilla, chicken vs. beef, etc.  But, seriously, it all takes quite a bit of water.  Honestly, since I don’t live in an area that has huge drought issues, sometimes water conservation isn’t on my mind, but holy buckets people, when you get down to it, we use a lot of water we don’t even realize we are using, just to eat our favorite foods.

mavis garden blog greenhouse tomatoes

Here’s the breakdown {this is to make a pound of the food or drink, and I am not listing all of them, so check out the article for a more extensive list}:

Tea takes 108 gallons.
Coffee takes 1,056 gallons
Chicken takes 518 gallons
Beef takes 1,847 gallons
Rice takes 299 gallons
Pasta takes 222 gallons
Oats take 290 gallons
Almonds take 1,929 gallons
Broccoli, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts take 34 gallons {that seems like a ton on it’s own, but when you compare it to the others, it seems like a pretty good choice}
Olive oil takes 1,729 gallons
Chocolate takes 2,061 gallons {Yikes, my beloved chocolate is one of the worst as far as water goes}
Cinnamon takes 1,860 gallons

Seriously, the list goes on. Does this surprise you?  I am totally aware as a gardener that it takes water to grow my produce, but this is a lot of water.  Next time I cook up a pound of taco meat, I’ll totally think about how it took 1,847 gallons of water just for us to have tacos.  Crazy, I tell ya.

Does this surprise you the way it surprised me?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on Halloween

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10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on HalloweenWhen I was little, candy was a treat.  So, Halloween candy wasn’t that big of a deal.  It wasn’t like I was going to get it for standing in line quietly at school, and it certainly wasn’t in a steady rotation in our pantry.  It seems like kids get candy everywhere, daily, now though, so it’s a bit hard to feed the problem when it comes to Halloween.  If you are feeling overwhelmed by the volume of candy, but don’t want to give up the fun of the holiday completely, here’s 10 non-edible treats you can pass out instead:10 Non-Edible Treats to Pass Out on Halloween

  1. Mini Play-Dough.  Every kid loves brand new playdough {who am I kidding, I love it too}.
  2. Glow sticks.  Glow sticks can be used right then and there-or they can save them and use them later.
  3. Stickers.  They are cost effective to buy in bulk, but still get the job done.
  4. Temporary tattoos.  You can always find pretty cool temporary tattoos in bulk around Halloween.
  5. Hit up Oriental Trading and get little novelty items to give out {crazy straws, cards, bracelets, etc.}.
  6. Bubbles.  You can never have enough bubbles, plain and simple.
  7. Halloween themed toys:  plastic fangs, rubber eyeballs.  The kids seem to think the grosser the better.
  8. Sidewalk chalk.  Enough said.
  9. Little jars of slime or goo.  Kids love them.  Parents will hate you.  All in a days work.
  10. Mini Water Bottles.  Over the years, I’ve seen the kids sprint from house to house like their life depended on it.  By the end of the night, they are parched, the water won’t go to waste, I promise.

Do you have any ideas to add?

Have a safe and happy Halloween.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How Much TV Do You Watch Per Week?

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How Much TV Do You Watch Per Week

T.V. is one of those fantastic little time-suckers.  On one hand, if you find a show you like, it offers genuine enjoyment, but on the other, it really can become a waste of time.  Besides my weekly Friday Night Movie ritual, I’d say I probably don’t even watch an hour of t.v. per week.  Crazy, I know, but it has just never really held my attention for long.  I’d rather be doing other things.  I totally get that I am the odd ball, though.

I kinda wondered what the national average is for watching t.v.–which I should clarify as “screen time,” because YouTube and other mobile device viewing counts in my book.  I found a couple of different numbers {here and here} that suggested kids watch between 24-32 HOURS of t.v. per week, while adults are coming in as high as 5 hours per day–um, what?!  Holy buckets that seems high.  I flat out don’t have 5 extra hours per day, and I honestly don’t think I could find enough to watch during that time if I did.

One of the links above even broke down the viewing time per week by age:

2-11: 24 hours, 16 minutes.

12-17: 20 hours, 41 minutes.

18-24: 22 hours, 27 minutes.

25-34: 27 hours, 36 minutes.

35-49: 33 hours, 40 minutes.

50-64: 43 hours, 56 minutes.

65-plus: 50 hours, 34 minutes.

So, my here’s my question, how much t.v. do YOU watch per day {or week}?  Are the numbers I found an accurate representation of our television habits?  {Make sure to include all screen time–Netflix on your computer, YouTube on your phone, etc.}

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Kids and Homework

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Kids and Homework

I have to admit, when the kids were little, and homework came home, I totally felt like it was more “mom work” than anything.  They weren’t really equipped to do it on their own {obviously} and I certainly wasn’t all that equipped to teach them {gracefully} how to do it.  I kinda came to resent it in a way.  As they got older, they became completely independent with their homework, and although they would disappear into their rooms to do it each evening, it wasn’t really my problem.  Now, I can say, we have basically survived homework for better or worse.

BUT, that doesn’t mean the debate doesn’t rage on.  I found an article on the Washington Post that tries to summarize some of the research done on the benefit of homework.  The article clearly states that summaries on research studies aren’t all they are cracked up to be because a lot is lost in translation, but that is totally not going to stop me from trying.

Basically, research on the benefits of homework have shown that there is very little correlation to homework and overall academic performance.  Say what?!  I wasn’t personally sure what to think of that.  I mean, even though I kinda hated homework when the kids were younger, I consoled myself with the thought that at least it was reinforcing their learning.  Apparently, NO research has ever shown a positive benefit to assigning homework in elementary school.  As students move on to high school, the correlation between academic performance and time spent on homework is sketchy at best.  That’s pretty much the best I am going to do at summarizing–so pop over and read the article first hand, because holy buckets, my summary does not do it justice.

Article aside, I kind of came to conclusion that the benefit of homework really probably comes down to what kind of learner you are.  I am more of a hands on learner…and I am sure all kids learn differently, some probably like the quiet reinforcement that homework provides.   Still, I’m super curious what you all think.  Do your kids have too much {or too little} homework?  Do you feel like the homework helps them?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Do Emotions Drive Your Food Purchases?

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Do Emotions Drive Your Food Purchases

It’s no secret that the whole fair trade, organic, buy local movement is taking hold, but have you ever stopped to wonder why exactly?  It seems like the obvious ethical thing to do, but it isn’t always easy when it means parting with more money than is in the budget.  Still, lots of people, from a wide range of economic backgrounds make the choice to do without in other areas, so that they can afford more ethically farmed and sourced foods.  So what’s the deal?  Well, I ran across an article on treehugger that suggested that emotions have a lot to do with driving our food purchasing trends.

albertsons double coupon shopping trip

The article noted that when people feel strongly about a purchase, rather than even just neutral, we tend to feel good about making the purchase, with less regard to price.  Feeling good equates to creating purchasing habits.  The whole idea that no one was harmed in the purchase of our fair trade chocolate bars makes us want to repeat the pattern.  We actually get more joy out of our purchase, so the cost becomes easier to swallow–literally.

safeway shopping trip

It’s not just the warm-fuzzies that drive our desire to seek out ethically derived food, either.  Apparently, negative feelings play a pretty big role too.  When people start thinking about large corporations, who for example contribute to pollution or less than desirable labor practices, they can easily villain-ize them.  Those feelings of “anger and disgust” totally contribute to people turning their noses up at those purchases, despite their lower price points.

According the article, one study found that if people that can emotionally assign feelings in three different categories:  ”contempt for villains, concern for victims, and celebrations of heroes,” they are more motivated to take action.  That action trickles into their purchasing choices.

whole foods market

So, what do you think, how much do your strong emotions play into your food buying choices?  Are you passionate about how the animals are treated?  Do you get angry at having unnecessary chemicals on your food?  Does that make more willing to spend more money?  What do you do without to make the purchases possible?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Zaycon Ground Beef and Smoked Ham Coming Soon

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beef_BI love me some Zaycon 93/7 lean ground beef . It cooks and freezes so well {which is totally important when buying in bulk!}. Now Zaycon is bringing it back this December and including their Applewood Smoked Ham {I’ve had that too, and it is also freakin awesome!}!

Zaycon’s ground beef is just $4.49 per pound and it sells in a 40lb case. Their Carvemaster Boneless Applewood Smoked Ham is just $3.89 per pound and comes two per case, each ham weighing in at 11 lbs. It’s pre-cooked and ready for you to heat n’ serve as part of a delicious holiday meal.

zaycon ham picture

Sales are open now and you can order Zaycon beef or ham HERE for pickup in December. I’d totally recommend getting on it because they sell out every year!

Find out where the nearest Zaycon event is to you HERE. Trust me you won’t regret it!

Wondering what to do with all that beef?

Cooking-Ground-Beef-in-the-Crock-PotHow to Cook Ground Beef in the Crock Pot

I love having a freezer stocked full of high quality meat! How about you?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Hugs and Personal Bubbles

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Pennywise the Dancing Clown

Personally, I think everyone should live in a personal bubble. I like my space.  18 inches is just about right.  And when people invade my bubble, well, I tend to get a bit hostile.  My shoulders tense, and I kinda feel like giving the intruder a small shove–you know, nothing overly aggressive, just enough to land them on their tails, so that I can run :) .  But… then then again I’ve been know to hug random strangers too.   Which, I totally get, is a contradiction that I have ZERO defense for.

So, when I ran across a pretty funny article on The Washington Post about a case against hugging, I couldn’t help but chuckle.  The author wanted to know when it became socially acceptable to by-pass all the rules of getting to know someone and just leaning in and pressing your body against theirs?  She even wrote letters to all of her potential offenders, explaining her case.  Germs and lack of intimacy were at the top of her list against hugs–she even suggested that studies have shown a fist bump to be the most hygienic greeting {least exchange of germs}.  As a result, from now on, I will only be fist bumping people.  I cannot wait to see the look on the other suburbanite moms’ faces when I fist bump them at the next PTA meeting.  It. Will. Be. My. Finest. Hour.

I agree with the article, hugging it out used to be reserved for intimate occasions.  Now, it seems we hug when we meet, we hug when we leave.   Hug, hug, hug.  What’s a confessed space monger to do?  Guess I am going to have to rethink hugging strangers…at least I will always have the fist bump.

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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