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Save money with portion control

By on April 8, 2011

Portioning out food is a frugal tactic. Typically it involves buying or cooking a bulk amount of food for less money, measuring and dividing it into smaller portions and repackaging into storage bags or containers. A kitchen scale, ice cube trays and an ice cream scoop can be handy to help with this. Of course, strive for healthy serving sizes based on the pyramid (, too. The first reader tip shares another great way to portion out food.



I was making sloppy joes and pulled pork BBQ for sandwiches. I made tons of extra. I took paper cupcake holders and filled each one and placed them in the freezer for a few hours, then removed the paper and put them in freezer bags. Now, when the kids want a sandwich (I keep hamburger buns around), they pop one in a bowl and nuke for 1 minute and put on the bun. Quick and easy. We have been doing this for a few weeks and wow, it is a real time saver, especially with hungry husbands and kids. — Louise, Georgia
Note from Sara: You can skip the paper liners and freeze directly in a muffin tin, too.


I went through all the remedies to clear my cloudy goblets. The last time I tried I was dismayed to find that were clouding again. I got a closer look at them and then realized that steam was being trapped in the overturned goblets that were draining onto a cloth I had put on the counter top. — Rosann, e-mail


The other day I baked four medium yams in the oven. I peeled and mashed them, added oleo and then realized I had no brown sugar. My replacement was amazing. There is a product called “Dessert Topper ” (like caramel ice cream topping). I purchased it at Big Lots, 14 ounces for $1. The flavor was Orange Crush (like the drink). I squeezed about a 1/4 of a cup into the mashed spuds, covered them in mini marshmallows and baked a few minutes until the top was brown. When I spooned into the potatoes, I cannot tell you how orange they were. I shared some with neighbors and all the comments were good, but all mentioned the color. How easy was that! — Caroline H., Texas


A quilted oval placemat makes a good adult bib. At one end, attach a fabric strip long enough to place it comfortably with a Velcro tab to attach it to the placemat. Another is making quilted little cosmetic bags with a zipper top. Doubled up and sewn together, quilted fabric makes good potholders. (As a quilter I always have extra bits of binding to use as binding on the pot holders.) — Nancy S., e-mail


A couple placed one inside the other makes a great oven mitt, I don’t buy mittens for the kids, I simply use the old socks, and yes I have even done the color coding thing, but I took it a step further. Each member of my family has their own color so I no longer spend hours sorting socks. — Tina A., e-mail


One of my favorite tips is how to cut drying time in half when drying laundry in the dryer, and it absolutely works. Put a clean, dry, lint-free bath towel into each load of drying laundry. It’s amazing to me the difference in drying time for the clothes. It literally cuts the drying time in half. I do hang laundry out in the summer time to save money, but when it’s not an option, this trick sure works. — Lisa, forums

photo by mary thompson

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