Tag: food allergies

Frugal Friday: cheap candy

Okay, I know real candy is fairly cheap.  However dye/preservative free candy (which is what my kids require due to food allergies) is NOT cheap.  My kids don’t get candy too often–maybe a package a month if I buy it–but that is still $5 for candy.  So, instead I have done some research into candy making and have come up with some cheap alternatives. (Some of the linked recipes I adapt to suit our needs.)

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Frugal Friday

I thought I would share a bit more about our once a month shopping and what works for us.  I have several things that make this work for us.  I have three main places where  I shop once a month and other places that I use for “we’re out of” run-ins.

GNC: GNC is where I purchase all our supplements, including mine for RA plus all our enzymes.  Due to the food allergies in our house and Rachel’s neurological issues these are necessities and equivalent to purchasing prescriptions but without insurance covering the cost.  Therefore I purchase them during the first week of the month which is GNC’s Gold Card week–which saves me 20% automatically on my whole order.  I don’t shop at a company owned GNC but at a private, family owned GNC.  The owners know me and my kids and will often order exactly what I need so it is on hand when I get there.  They are also very helpful when I have a question unlike the other GNC’s in our area which are all company owned and have no control over their stock.  Because what I purchase is all GNC brand they usually have those items on sale meaning that more often than not I get what I need for 40 to 60% off instead of just the 20% off.  Since our regular bill there comes to about $300 a month without sales this is a big savings.  (I also stock up on the things I know we will need when there is an extra good sale.)

Sam’s Club (and before Sam’s club it was Aldi):    This is when I get our main groceriesI stock up on paper products (as I mentioned we have a house with too much space and plenty of dual purpose furniture so stashing is not a big deal.)  I also fill our deep freeze with frozen veggies and bread products.  There are also a few frozen  restaurant style foods I pick up–like egg rolls–which keeps us from going out to eat.)  Produce comes from here as well  since we tend to eat a lot of fresh when we have it–those five pound bags don’t last long.  When that is gone we eat frozen until I get back to the store.  We have a “when we’re out, we’re out” policy for many items that I consider treats.  Making fruit a treat is a good thing.  Eggs, soy milk, and bread also fall into this category.   We try to use up most foods BEFORE the next trip (other than crackers and that sort of thing which have a long shelf life.)    Meals can get pretty creative when we start getting low on things. 🙂

Before we joined Sam’s Club  I went to Aldi–there are certain items I will have to get there when we run out because my kids like their Fit & Trim brand of several things and if I am in need of small items then that is where I will go.

By shopping here once a month I save about $200 on our main groceries and another $200 or so just because I am staying home in instead of “running in”. 

Frankferd Farms: This is our local wholesale natural and organic foods warehouse.  Foods are sold in bulk with very little packaging and you wait in the warehouse while they load it into your car.  This is where I get my 25# bag of organic, unbleached white whole wheat flour for $10, my 10# bag of organic spiral noodles for $7, my 1# bag of yeast for $2, and the list goes on.  I get all our baking needs here as well as specialty foods for Rachel.  It often costs me less to get organic versions of bulk foods here than it would to get regular versions at the local grocery store.  I do not buy many prepackaged foods here unless they are on sale because the prepared foods are much more expensive.  It cost me $100 for what would cost roughly $500 at our local grocery store.

Finally, I occasionally make less than wise purchases.  With so many food allergies in the house I occasionally pick up a brand we find that someone is allergic to or we discover an allergy after purchasing the item.  Occasionally we find that I picked up a brand that someone used to like and lo longer does.  In some cases we eat it anyway but if something looks like it is going to be sitting around for months and no one touches I find it is time for a trip to the food cupboard.  We pack up everything that no one easts for whatever reason (the unopened packages) and drop them off so they will benefit someone else. This way we free up space and are helping others out.  Since my kids like to occasionally do a food run for the food cupboard anyway we don’t really consider this a loss.

Krispy Kreme imitation recipe

I had several email requests for this so am just going to post it here. 🙂 I found this several years ago and I have no clue where but it is a favorite of ours and has saved us quite a bit of money (especially since we have a place that sells Krispy Kremes within walking distance. ) It is some work to do but the kids think it is fun and with our food allergies I have found ways to substitute things the kids CAN eat for those they can’t–though they aren’t quite as good that way. 🙂 I have also been known to use Splenda instead of the sugar which worked all right. 🙂 For doughnuts that REALLY taste like Krispy Kremes you have to follow the recipe and use what it says–just saying.m Oh, and having a doughnut cutter REALLY makes a difference.

 

Ingredients:

 

  • DOUGHNUTS:
  • 2 pkgs. yeast
  • 1/4 cup water (105-115 degrees)
  • 1-1/2 cups lukewarm milk (scalded, then cooled)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • vegetable oil
  • CREAMY GLAZE:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4–6 tbl. hot water
  • CHOCOLATE FROSTING:
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 4–6 tbl. hot water
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate chips or semisweet chocolate chips

Preparation

Dissolve yeast in warm water in 2-1/2-quart bowl. Add milk,salt,eggs, shortening and 2 cups flour. Beat on low for 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Stir in remaining flour until smooth. Cover and let rise until double, 50-60 minutes. (Dough is ready when indentation remains when touched.) Turn dough onto floured surface; roll around lightly to coat with flour.

Gently roll dough 1/2-inch thick with floured rolling pin. Cut with floured doughnut cutter. Cover and let rise until double, 30-40 minutes.

Heat vegetable oil in deep fryer to 350 degrees. Slide doughnuts into hot oil with wide spatula. Turn doughnuts as they rise to the surface.
Fry until golden brown, about 1 minute on each side.
Remove carefully from oil (do not prick surface); drain.

Dip the doughnuts into creamy glaze set on rack; when slightly cooled spread chocolate frosting on top.

CREAMY GLAZE:
Heat butter until melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING: Heat butter and chocolate over low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in powdered sugar and vanilla until smooth. Stir in water 1 tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency.