Archive for October, 2010

16
Oct

Homemade frozen dinners…solving a problem.

   Posted by: John    in Food

Cathy mentioned the other day about making homemade frozen dinners, like the ones you get at the store.  The problem with the store ones is not the price in so many cases, but the sodium and fat content.  At least until you get to the “healthy” ones, then you pay a few bucks each.  Of course, the convenience factor is hard to beat.  Heat for 6 minutes in the microwave and there is your meal.

If you are like me, I can’t cook a meal that comes out to exactly 4 servings for each item.  It’s more like 10 servings and there’s a lot left over.  Then, some of the leftovers will sit in the fridge and rot because everyone is sick of it after 3 or 4 meals of it. 

The frozen dinner problem has been what to put it in.  Sure, you can get Tupperware or similar products, but taking a container and remembering to bring it home, or into the house when you get home has proven to be less than consistent.  Today, I solved this problem, and rather cheaply, too. 

I went to Cash-and-Carry, a food service store, but open to the public.  I found 10 inch three compartment plates, and gallon size ziplock bags.  Sure, you can get these items at WalMart or wherever, but these were pretty reasonably priced.  These plates are microwaveable (cardboard fiber, not plastic or styrofoam).  Kind of like Chinet plates, but about 30% less pricewise.

Plates and Bags

Plate in a bag.

The plates fit inside the bags nicely.  The trick will be to put the food on the plate, freeze long enough to make the food solid, then put it in the bag.  That will keep the food from sticking to the bag so it can be removed prior to heating.  Plate and bag can be tossed when done.  The cost would be about 14 cents per meal.  Before you think that is awful, compare that to the cost of the food that would have otherwise been chucked.  At 5 per week, the total is less than 75 cents.  That’s a lot cheaper than any purchased lunch.

Over the period of a few weeks, after making a variety of meals and freezing leftovers, there will be several different things in the freezer, making for a variety of lunches and quick meals.

13
Oct

Some Changes to Links

   Posted by: John    in Miscellaneous

In an effort to provide some handy links and keep some kind of order to them, I have created a couple of link categories.  These are to the right of the posts, at the top of the first column.  They are currently listed as “Coupons and Frugality” and “Political”.  More may be added as time goes on.

13
Oct

More Goofy Cat

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

Cat in a cave

 Clive got under the sheet as I was putting it on the bed.  For a few minutes I was running my finger around over the sheet and he was chasing it.  I got him all wound up then proceeded to take this picture.  Not quite sure what to make of the eyes.

6
Oct

Awesome Web Site

   Posted by: John    in Bargains, Coupons, Money and Shopping

These days it is all about saving money at the grocery store.  My sister, Cathy, has been bragging about how she is saving all this money while shopping, but I have been struggling to get things going, so to speak, in the whole couponing and sales thing. 

While looking at a friends computer, we were talking about saving $$$ at the store, and she sent me to this website called Fabulessly Frugal.  It is run by a group of ladies who share all kinds of good information on how to shop and save money.  They list tons of information in a blog format every day.  Where the sales are, where the bargains are, what coupons are listed and can be used in combinations, etc.  Today, for example, are links to the lists of “Catalina” coupons that are available, extra ones that you get when you check out.  And there is information on how to use those in conjuction with other coupons, doublers, etc.  And, since it is a blog, other people will post bargains, share price info, success stories, etc as they shop. 

Check it out!

4
Oct

A comment I made on someone’s facebook post

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

Nicki: “Doing laundry to avoid paperwork.”

Me: “Paperwork was invented by the devil and perfected by the government. Or is that the other way around in reverse?”

4
Oct

A couple of phoneys?

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff, Pictures

Karen and Ashley

Taking pictures of me while taking pictures of them…

4
Oct

Goofy Cat

   Posted by: John    in Clive

Clive jumped up on the bannister and was peering over the edge.

Mr. Bright Eyes

Peering over the abyss...

2
Oct

Floating Deathstar Tennis Ball

   Posted by: John    in Fun Stuff

Read the rest of this entry »

2
Oct

Road Trip to Orofino

   Posted by: John    in Outdoors, Pictures

A friend of mine has a trailer business.  He called Thursday evening and asked if I could make a trip to Orofino with a few trailers for him on Friday.  The money was right, so why not.  It’s a nice drive, 535 miles round trip, about 12 hours to make the trip including stops.

I took the little Kodak camera with me and snapped some shots along the way.  Most of these are taken while driving, so there may be a little blur, but otherwise they turned out well.  My cheapo Kodak works pretty good for this.  No, I would never dream of using the big Nikon for this while actually driving.

Map of the trip

Because much of Hwy 55 is suffering from tons of road construction, I went up Hwy 95, almost from the Oregon/Idaho border and headed North from there.  Here are a few pictures between Weiser and Tamarack. 

Along Hwy 95 before Tamarack (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 5.5, 1/250 sec)

On Hwy 95 before Tamarack (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 5.5, 1/320 sec)

Hwy 95 at Tamarack (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 2.9, 1/250 sec)

 I stopped at Cottonwood and dropped one of the trailers there.  At that point, to get to Orofino, you have to either go up through Lewiston, or cross over to Hwy 12 at Kamiah.  The GPS pointed me that way.  A lot of farmland, but also a lot of real pretty mountain scenery.

Between Cottonwood and Kamiah (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 2.9, 1/125 sec)

Between Cottonwood and Kamiah (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 5.5, 1/200 sec)

 There’s a little town called Greencreek along the way.  This is largely farmland. 

Between Cottonwood and Kamiah (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 5.5, 1/500 sec)

Silos at Greencreek (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 5.5, 1/500 sec)

 Hwy 12 from Kamiah to Orofino follows the Clearwater river.  It’s about 20 miles of pure scenic delight.  Because I was in a hurry to get to Orofino before the dealer closed, I did not stop to take any pictures along the way, and it was almost too dark on the way back.  I did however get this one that came out pretty good.

Between Kamiah and Orofino (Kodak C180, ISO-80, f 2.9, 1/125 sec)

It was way too dark to get pictures along Hwy 13 from Kamiah to Grangeville.  It is a gorgeous winding drive through some very mountainous back country. 

Another thing I noticed was that the fall colors were not really out in abundance yet.  It has been warm throughout September and the colors are delayed by a few weeks.  Bummer.  Perhaps I will get another trip up there in the next couple of weeks.