Salvation Army Green Bay pantry in desperate need

August 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Grocery, News 

The Salvation Army center in Green Bay is getting desperately low on pantry goods, as is often the case during the summer months.  Their wish list includes:

  • canned meats
  • cereal (maybe I will do a Copps run or two this week with the GM deal going on)
  • dried noodles
  • Skillet Helper (hamburger, chicken, tuna)
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Instant Potatoes
  • Ramen Noodles
  • Rice Meals
  • Peanut Butter
  • Jelly
  • Spaghetti Sauce

Donations can be dropped off M-F, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at either 626 Union Ct. or at the New Kroc Center at 1315 Lime Kiln Rd.

I do not like to get preachy but you all know I am a big believer in Paying it Forward.   Last month I made a huge donation to Paul’s Pantry but I can still put together a box or two of things for this latest request from the Salvation Army.

Most of the items listed above can be bought very cheaply by using coupons and matching them up with sales right now (all of which can be found on the Green Bay Consumer home page).  If my family is ever in a jobless situation again, I would hope that we might rely upon organizations like the Salvation Army if we needed to, until we get back on our feet.

And now I’ll get off the soapbox. :-)

Save your sanity: Freezer/pantry inventory made easy

June 22, 2011 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Grocery, News 

How do you keep track of your food?  How much do you throw away because it goes bad before you can use it?  Ever found something embarrassingly old in your freezer or pantry?  I’ve got my hand raised.  But it’s a very rare occurrence these days because of something I came up with a few years ago.

One of my money saving bibles, The Complete Tightwad Gazette, is usually one I use to draw inspiration for money-saving ideas in my every day life. But I never liked the suggestion of how to keep track of your freezer items. The example was to take a piece of paper and inventory the freezer, making an X for every bag of beans or what-have-you. Then, as you consumed the items, you circled the X to indicate the item was taken out of the freezer.

UGH!  My paper was wrinkled and was just a mess a few months after using it with all those circles and cross marks on it–A giant tic-tac-toe game!

This is how I do it for my chest freezer but can easily be adapted for smaller freezer or even your pantry stockpile:

  • Get a dry erase board, 1 permanent marker and 1 dry erase marker of a different color.
  • On a piece of paper, figure out how many categories you need and how many items in each category (example: Vegetables, Fruit, Dairy, Ready-Made Meals,etc)
  • Draw grid lines with permanent marker on the board using a straight edge
  • Write your Categories on the grid with permanent marker, making sure to leave enough room in each for different items
  • Write down items in each category.  For items I regularly buy, I use permanent marker.  For items that I stumble upon, I use Dry erase marker
  • Take inventory!
  • Use the dry erase marker to make a hash mark for each item you have
  • Hang on or near the freezer
  • The hardest part: remembering to wipe off a hash mark when you pull something out!

You can also take a closer look at my dry erase board on my very first appearance as The Bargain Sleuth on my In the Media page or by clicking here. After the story aired, the number one thing people mentioned to me, besides the fact that I used that forum to tell everyone outside my family that I was pregnant, was the dry erase board and what a good idea it was!  That and how much they enjoyed me telling the kids we didn’t need to buy pudding packs, I can make pudding and put it in reusable containers. :-)

Want more information on food waste and what you can do to prevent it?  The guys over at Milwaukee Consumer wrote about it recently.  You can read that article by clicking here.

Stamp Out Hunger May 14th

May 8, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Grocery 

As you’ve been scoring the great grocery deals by matching sales and coupons, have you been setting aside part of your stockpile to donate to those in need? This Saturday you can put those items to good use with the USPS annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive.

I know it might sound silly, but Stamp Out  Hunger and the Annual Boy Scout food drives are my favorite.  Why? Because it’s so easy. Here’s all you have to do:

  • Place Non-perishable foods in a bag
  • Put it by your mailbox Saturday May 14th
  • Your letter carrier picks it up

That’s it.  How easy is that?  I can’t tell you how many times there’s been a food drive and magically the bag of non-perishables I set aside to take with me gets left behind.  Agh!

If you want more information on the United States Postal Service Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive, including a list of acceptable non-perishable items, click here.

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