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It’s time for a miscellany post!

Miscellany posts appear around here every now and then when I have a bunch of small things to share with you…things too small for individual posts, but too much fun not to share at all. You can poke through the miscellany archives, if you’d like to read more of this kind of thing!


A Sight for Sore Eyes

If you’ve joined me in my fight against food waste, you know that a sink full of empty leftover containers is a sign of a very successful lunch.


A No-Ziploc Chicken-Freezing Method

Way back near the beginning of my blog, I posted about how I freeze chicken. In case you don’t feel like clicking on over to the post, I’ll just tell you that I buy large packages of chicken, freeze the pieces on a baking sheet, remove the pieces, and store them in plastic bags. This method keeps me from having to buy the more expensive small packs of chicken and also ensures that I’m not trying to pull a few pieces of chicken off of a solid mass of frozen chicken (which is what happens when you stick the value packs straight into the freezer!).

The only downside to this method is that it requires plastic bags, and the plastic bags really can’t be re-used after they’ve housed raw chicken. At least, I don’t think that I could get mine clean enough to reuse.

It recently occurred to me, though, that plastic cereal bags could be used for this purpose. Since they’d be trashed anyways, and since I didn’t pay anything extra for the cereal bag in the first place, I don’t feel as bummed out about throwing them away.

I press as much air out as possible, fold the top of the bag over several times, and secure it with a couple of clips (two of those were saved from some helium balloons that were given to us).

It’s not pretty, to be sure, and it might not be the way to store chicken if you plan to keep it in your freezer for a really long time, but it’s been working out fine for me. In some ways, I even prefer the cereal bags to plastic bags because the cereal bags are thicker and more resilient, even when frozen. I never have to worry that a particularly pointy chicken piece will puncture the bag and let the dreaded air inside of the bag (a sure recipe for freezer burn).

I’m not buying much cereal these days, but we do go through about one box a week, which is more than enough to meet my chicken-freezing needs.

I should mention that I am aware that you can buy bags of individually frozen chicken pieces, but I am partial to Tyson chicken (which mercifully goes on sale on a regular basis at Weis), and so far I have not found individually frozen Tyson pieces.



Remember how I said I love the small size of my Anchor brand glass containers, but that the lids were cracking?

Well, I found a brand-spankin’ new Pyrex brand container at Goodwill in the small size. Hooray! I love this size for lunch-packing purposes.

I thought $2.99 was a bit high for a single, small glass container at Goodwill. The salvage tag was the wrong one…it was from a larger container, so I pointed this out and asked if $1.50 would work. And it did.


Lastly, you might live with the Frugal Girl if…

you are eating Christmas M&Ms in January…

and Valentine M&Ms in March.

Because the Frugal Girl only buys M&Ms when they are on clearance after a holiday. 😉


Check back here in a few hours, because over on my review page I’m going to be giving away an awesome prize that all of you could use (it might be some spending money 😉 ), and I’m going to be doing it again several times in the next few months. Whee!

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Michelle H.

Sunday 4th of April 2010

My M&M's are always a holiday behind, too! Love those after holiday sales.


Saturday 3rd of April 2010

1. If the bag of frozen chix stays frozen, then you don't need to clean it. Empty it, leave it in the freezer, fill it up with the next batch. It helps to write "raw chix" on the bag so you don't forget between batches.

2. The loss leaders are good this week so I may go to four stores (three more than my usual). Extra opportunity for on-sale candy! I love me some peeps. I hear they've debuted chocolate-covered ones this year.

Steve in W MA

Friday 2nd of April 2010

You need a stronger detergent than hand dish soap to clean fat off of plastic bags. I suspect stirring a half teaspoonful of dishwasher detergent in a pan full of water would do the trick. Just put the plastic bag in the water and stir for a while . You can do this on the stovetop or just use hot water from the tap.

Personally, I find that the Ziploc manual vacuum bags (the kind you use with a manual pump) work great with meats, and cleaning them as I described above is probably the best way to go. If you were really paranoid, a 1% bleach solution would sanitize them fully. But keep in mind that after the bags dry for a week or more no bacteria will likely survive on them anyways.


Thursday 1st of April 2010

Kristen, here's an extension on your chicken freezing comments. We love to grill chicken breasts. When they go on sale, I follow the recipe from the powdered packets of McCormick Grill Mates and put all the ingredients into a gallon zip lock bag. After I mix (squish) all those ingredients together I place enough fresh chicken breasts into the bag so that they are one flat layer. Those go into the freezer. The night before the planned grilling the bag goes into the refrigerator to thaw. Throughout the day I flip the bag several times to distribute the marinade. By dinner time they're thawed and ready for the grill. Very tasty!


Thursday 1st of April 2010

Sad to say that the only thing I consider when purchasing meat is the price and the lower the better. However, I now own an upright freezer and have always "dreamed" about having one stocked full of local meats. Through research, I have found several local farmers who could accomodate me, but the price is high. So I am considering having another ING account for this. Wanna consider this as well? I suppose it all boils down to where we put our priorities. Perhaps the $20 a week I am saving everytime I make home made pizza could go towards this.

Just imagine a freezer stocked full of enough meat to last out the entire winter (next of course) and then some. Grass fed, free range, humanely treated, no steriods, no antibiotics, no this , no that... and local. Supporting local, small farmers and letting corporation know what we really want. Sounds good, huh?


Friday 2nd of April 2010

Here's another thought. Meat from animals that were hunted / fished from the wild should probably also be considered decent and humane. (After all, the animals spent their lives living in their natural environment.) A husband who hunts could be a relatively *frugal* (if messy) alternative to buying organic, free-range, humanely treated, etc, etc, meat.

Also, here in Alabama, I know that it's necessary for deer to be hunted. We no longer have natural predators like Florida panthers and wolves, so prey species like deer would overpopulate and end up starving if they weren't hunted. And considering that these animals presumably lived a much better life than, say, your hamburger, hunting meat may be the way to go if you're going to eat it. (I don't eat meat myself, but my husband and daughter do . . . not hunted and rarely of the responsible variety.)

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