Tags: Cookbook stand
For a foodie like myself, particularly someone who bakes often and gets tired of leaning over the counter to check the cookbook, I present to you – the best. gift. ever.
For Christmas this year, my mom presents me with a giant “paper” box. You know, the kind that schools and large businesses buy full of paper. Although I go through a little paper, it’s less than two reams a year, so (to be honest) I’m thinking that there is no chance I’m ever going to use all the paper. And then I picked it up – whoa! – not heavy at all!
I opened the box, and voila! Here’s what’s inside:
That’s right – it’s a custom-made oak cookbook holder. Awesome! Beyond words! Now admittedly, my mom has one also, and the same gentleman made hers (and all her custom kitchen cabinets). From the picture, you can see that he filled in the screw holes from attaching the stand to the base. On hers, the screw holes aren’t filled in and I really like that look, too.
Here it is with a cookbook on it:
In the photo, you can see that it’s sized to perfectly hold the only cookbook I harp on regularly – the Betty Crocker Bridal Edition. It holds it perfectly and looks great doing it.
All that being said, if you don’t already own a cookbook stand, this one is exactly everything I could have hoped for … I highly recommend it.
One of my decisions at the beginning of this year was to try and make our meals healthier.
One of the cookbooks I remember, growing up, is my mother’s American Dietetic Association Cookbook. It was an old one, and, according to my mother, has gotten “too complicated” of recent years. She bought it to help my (diabetic) grandmother eat healthier. However, all of the recipes in this cookbook are simple, but healthy – not too much sugar, carbs, or fats.
So, after a quick consultation with my mother to get an ISBN for her copy of the cookbook, off to Half.com I went. This is the perfect website for frugal cookbook shoppers – I found a “like-new” copy, price tag and dust jacket still intact for $3.99. How could I resist? So … I present to you, my new (old) cookbook:
Here’s a new feature I’m adding to the blog. We go grocery shopping every week (or so). Each time I shop I find a new way to save money, so I will highlight my “discoveries” for you when that happens.
This week’s idea: use the Price Per Unit (PPU) cost on the shelf tag to your advantage.
Many people go to the grocery store and try to save a few bucks by buying bigger sizes or generic products. Often, this is a good idea, but not always. The easiest way to save money is by calculating the PPU of each item in the category.
For example, we bought tuna this week (for those of you who’ve been with me since the beginning, this is the first time I’ve even WANTED to eat tuna in a couple of months.) The selection of tuna available in our local HEB is mind boggling. Honestly, I didn’t realize a person needed so many different flavors and varieties of something so simple! But I digress. Between store brands and bigger sizes, you’d think I’d need to buy another 5-lb can, right? Not exactly. When I figured out the PPU of the tuna, the cheapest option turned out to be: Chicken of the Sea. In the small can. No, really. Name brand tuna in a smaller size was cheaper than the giant can of off-brand.
How does one calculate all this? Well, you simply divide the cost in dollars (or your currency of choice) by the (in this case) number of ounces in the can. Or number of eggs in the box, or whatever your “unit” happens to be. However, unless you’re my husband, mental math (particularly division) isn’t always easy, especially when you’re in the middle of the grocery store, blocking the aisle with your cart while you think. No one likes a cart blocker, so what do you do? It’s not really practical to carry a calculator through the supermarket (although I bet there are at least a couple of people out there who do.) So …
Behold the shelf tag!!
This simple little tag shows you how much an item costs, right? Well, see that smaller number on the upper left (your tag’s placement may vary)? It’s the PPU, calculated out FOR YOU by the grocery store! Now, not all grocery stores do this – but most (including Wal-Mart) generally include this information somewhere on the shelf tag. No mental cartwheels required!
In the tuna example above, the cheapest large can of tuna was PPUed at $0.11 per ounce. Not bad, right? Except the Chicken of the Sea cans I purchased were PPUed at $0.08 per ounce. I not only have smaller packaging – a plus when you’re only cooking for two – but I pay less, as well.
So next time you’re at the grocery store, remember that a little bit of math (or reading, depending on your grocer) can save you a lot of money!
One of my new features this year on my blog will be, essentially, to profile my cookbook collection and provide a review for each. Hopefully this will be helpful to you.
For Christmas this year, one of the things I mentioned to my family was that I wanted new cookbooks. And I got them! Lots of them, in fact.
The most precious to me is one that my mother has been assembling. It is essentially a 4×6 photo album with handwritten index card recipes. This is a VERY good thing because I can use it in a moveable, changeable way … and it includes all the recipes I loved as a child and growing up. Family “heirloom” recipes, as it were.
Second, the Blue Ribbon Country Cookbook, by Diane Roupe:
This is a great cookbook, chock-full of easy, tasty recipes. I have yet to try it, but it has some tasty-looking options, and there are a lot of them. The only disappointing thing about this cookbook is that there are no color photographs (which I find to be – usually – VERY appealing in a cookbook).
Finally, the Best of Amish Cooking, by Phyllis Good:
Having grown up in Amish country, eating Amish food, has spoiled me a little. Down here in McAllen, authentic Mexican is available on every street corner … but authentic Amish food? Not likely to be found – anywhere. So this little cookbook offers a wide selection of Amish-oriented recipes. There are some color pictures, but I really wish there were more. Another thing to be aware of is that Amish recipes don’t take shortcuts (no cake mixes or bisquick here). So some of the recipes may be time consuming.
That’s all for today, folks. Hope you get a chance to try out one or more of these cookbooks … if you do, let me know what you think!