Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Resolutions

I have so many New Year's Resolutions this year, but this one will be simple to keep. I am eating nothing but food from the Dollar Store in 2011. As it is, I go to the Dollar Store -- well, actually the 99 Cent Only Store mostly -- once a week, and that fills up my cupboard and fridge nicely. I'm also able to buy all my household goods there, so the only other shopping I do is for beer, and/or liquor.

I will keep my food , drink (including beer) and household items budget to $200 a month, $50 a week, or roughly $7 a day. If I curbed my alcoholic consumption I could easily keep it at $5 a day, but I do like my beer, and I hear moderate drinking is actually good for you . . . well, it is good for me, anyways.

I've already cut out fast food, and I rarely if ever eat at restaurants (if I do, it is comped with points or freebies from the casinos in Vegas),so this resolution really should be a cinch.

Another goal is to make my Dollar Store Diet healthy, and actually lose some weight. Again, I've had a lot of practice in this area (losing and GAINING weight), so if I stick to my guns and add a light exercise routine (walking stairs), I should be able to shed a few pounds.

So let's see -- I will be saving money, eating great, and losing weight!

I'm single, but many of my eating suggestions and recipes will easily (and in most cases most readily) feed a couple or family, so the more that consume, the more you can stretch your budget.

I hope you will join me, and I hope that I can keep another resolution, which will be blogging every day.

I'm afraid the recession is not leaving us any time soon, so here's to affordable, healthy living in the New Year! Cheers!

Peanut Butter and Pretzels

Peanut Butter goes great with many things . . . chocolate, bananas, bacon, celery, jelly, bread . . . most of these you can get at the dollar store (bacon bits I've found, but no real bacon strips yet), but lately I've been eating peanut butter and pretzels.

This week the 99 Cent Only Store had a small 12 oz. jar of Skippy Super Chunk, and a 10 Count Value Pack of Snyder's Mini Pretzels (.5 oz bags).

Both had expiration dates in 2011 -- I do check the expiration dates when I buy name brands from the Dollar Store -- and looked to be good buys.

I'm always a little nervous to have a jar of  peanut butter in the house, as I've been known to overindulge . . . I love it that much, but I am happy to say I have been able to control myself.

The small bags of mini pretzels have 0 fat, 50 calories, and 120 mg of sodium. This is a great diet snack, and you could easily eat 2 small (.5oz) ounce bags and still be worry free.

Peanut butter, on the other hand is loaded with fat (even if it is the good kind, it is still fat) -- 16grams, high in calories (190), but reasonable when it comes to sodium, with 120 grams per serving.

That said, the combination of the pretzels dipped in peanut butter is wonderful, and Vegan friendly. It is easy on the wallet too. I've been eating this while drinking beer, and it just doesn't get any better.

Well, unless you're Elvis. . .  and in honor of the King, here is his recipe for "Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwiches" taken from my potholder bought at Graceland:

2 Large Bananas
6 Slices White Bread
1 Stick (1/2 cup) Butter
1 Cup Peanut Butter

Peel and mash bananas. Mix peanut butter with bananas thoroughly. Toast bread lightly and spread mix on bread. Melt butter is skillet and brown sadwiches on each side slowly until golden brown.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wedding Cake or Snowball Cookies for Christmas

You just never know what you will find at the Dollar Store, and the Holiday Season brings all sorts of surprises.

These Snowball Cookies are marked $3.19 but are yours for just a buck. Perfect for Christmas cookie trays, to bring to the office, or just to snack on by your lonesome. The packaging is so cute, you may not even want to open them.

They are made by Ellison Bakery, from Fort Wayne, Indiana since 1945. I always like to choose foods made or grown in the good ole U.S. of A. when I can. The Ellison slogan is "Find Comfort in our Cookies," and at a dollar for 9.5 ounces, I say comfort is very affordable.

You will of course eventually open them, and they are delish -- powdered sugar, butter (well, they use margarine), and pecans makes for a classic Wedding Cake, or Snow Ball cookie.