Category Archives: Saving Strategies

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Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades- Bastes, Butters, Glazes, too – A review

Barbecue Sauces, Rubs, and Marinades–Bastes, Butters & Glazes, Too

I had a time limited electronic galley of this book provided free, but I bought this book on the publication date (May 2, 2017)  because I wanted to make sure that I had a permanent hardcopy. When I really like a cookbook, I want a hardcopy. I love this cookbook. I knew I liked it almost as soon as I got started in it. After I tried a few recipes, I knew I loved this one. I consider it money well spent.

I love barbecue, and spice blends. Now, warning- this book has caused me to spend about 100.00 already in just the few weeks I’ve been using it. It had a section of equipment and turned me onto stove top smokers, so I bought one of those (Love it), extra wood chips (love them), as well as various spices and meats to try. After making the pastrami, I bought coriander in bulk, and then I bought mustard in bulk for some of the spice blends. Then I bought more empty magnetic tins for spice blends. Later in the sauces section, I ended up buying a 6 pack of squeeze bottles so I could keep some of those made up and ready. Oh, it has been so much fun!

The first recipes I tried were some of the salt blends, and I knew I wanted a hardcopy of this book as soon as I started making those. Just all the recipes have been great, and I feel like a better cook for having read this book, which is a good measure of a cookbook to me. It isn’t just recipes, the author really explains the equipment and how it is used, and ingredients. For instance, in the sauces section, the author lists common ingredients and what they DO in barbecue sauce. He puts them in categories and explains how the categories blend together to make a good sauce. I had been making some of my own sauces up, after asking a chef once what was in his wonderful sauce, and he gave me a basic talk that was a lot like this book’s breakdown. That had been enough to get me started, but this is much more through as if that talk had turned into a full-blown class.

This book is more than just barbecue recipes though. There are some international types of foods here too, like jerk rubs and jerk sauces.
Ingredients are generally easy to find as well as equipment discussed. Both are generally affordable. The newspaper salt blend is great for fries, and some of these rubs are just good to put on some chicken breasts to just bake them in the oven, so the recipes don’t always require a big time investment into cooking out or smoking something. Of course, those longer methods of cooking are covered too.

I only had one other book on sauces and rubs, but this one blows that out of the water. This, to me, would be a good book to start learning or to continue learning, either one. It seems to have all the basics -everything good that I really wanted- in it.

5 out of 5 stars

Back online!

Wiresplice had to go offline for a while.  I needed to get some clarification that it was OK to post my Amazon Vine reviews on my site from the folks at Amazon, and clarify my affiliate goals and status.  While I am an Amazon affiliate, I do not get a payout from them.  They assisted me in getting my account set up so that I am able to use their tools, but won’t ever meet a threshold for payout.  It’s simply not my intention to profit off my reviews where items or books have been provided to me. I stay pretty busy though, so I am not doing any 3rd party reviews on request.

I also noticed that there were some great new coupons out. Grab them while they are still available!

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Thanks for all your continued support.

Aldi’s – give it a try, we LOVE it

We really love our Aldi’s. At first, I wasn’t too sure about a store that I had to carry my own bags for, bag my own groceries, and pay a deposit to get a shopping cart.
Now I have it down to a science- I always keep a quarter in my car and also my purse. “That’s my Aldi’s shopping cart quarter,” I tell myself, “can’t spend that!” I have a small sack full of shopping sacks too, and before I hit the store, I make sure to carry it with me. I do know though that if I should forget my bags, I can always get a box or pay about a nickel each for bags there. The savings is worth it.

My first time, I wasn’t too keen on it. The generic brands scared me, and the store seemed so small. However, if you cook most of your meals, and don’t use a lot of convenience foods, you’ll find about everything you need for most meals. The main thing I really like are the great deals on produce and dairy. I plan meals mainly around the produce that is in season and on special. No store in my area beats the Aldi’s produce prices, and my store has great produce. That can vary though, I understand, depending on what region you are in.

The Aldi’s generics, I now know, are often BETTER than retail brands. Aldi’s is good to leave out artificial colors and preservatives whenever possible. That’s stuff I certainly don’t miss.

Wednesdays are a good day to go. They have a lot of special sales on Wednesday.

Besides eating a lot more fresh foods, Aldi’s lower prices means that I don’t have to cut coupons to get good deals. I have more time and freedom NOT having to cut coupons, and yet my grocery bill is about the same, and there’s healthier food, and less ‘junk’ in my cart.

Before I go, I always check the list at Southern Savers to see what the sales are: Aldi Weekly Deals.

Heading into Christmas, a consumer report…and a few gift ideas

I feel that testing products gives me a chance to see some new and unusual products, as well as check in on how some old favorite brands are doing.
Here’s a few tidbits I wanted to share.

Dashboard cams are starting to ‘race to the bottom’ in prices. Motion sensing and recording cameras are starting to flood the market from China. While dashboard cams are still often priced in the $150 range, I am starting to see some decent cams enter the market lower and lower. Tonight I saw one just listed for $48 that I’ll be testing soon. Many are coming with storage disks, adding to their value. I project that by the end of this quarter, there will be some amazing deals on them. The same holds true for IP cams and surveillance cameras in general, though ‘big’ corporate brands with more user-friendly software will continued to be priced high. If you are technically proficient, look for no-brand clones to become very affordable.

With online shopping, be very careful of sizing issues with Asian sellers. While many are starting to get “Small” and “Medium” sizes correct, larger sizes still elude their ability to properly denote. Be very careful with purchases on discount sites for plus size clothing unless you are already familiar with the site. Many ‘dress’ sites are popping up on social media featuring very inexpensive dresses that are often stylish and cute, but many of these are from the same lots that I’ve tested and found to be way off in size and cut for the American market.

Some really good deals do exist coming from Asian vendors- I have been overall impressed with the quality and value of knit goods for instance, and there’s some very nice messenger bags, backpacks, and tablet portfolios on the market.

Some eco-friendly products that I’ve liked have included wool dryer balls and fragrance diffusers. The dryer balls help speed clothes drying time, soften clothes naturally, and can be used to scent laundry by applying essential oils to them. I’ve had a set for months now and they work great. The diffusers help scent a home naturally.

The citrus essential oils, such as orange, lemon, lime, and grapefruit, are usually a good bet for quality. are generally inexpensive, and most people enjoy these scents.

I am NOT having much luck with heated electric linens, such as electric throws, blankets and underpads. I’ll write more on this later but for now my advice for now would be to steer clear of these items for gift giving. Too many are failing, even from brands most Americans have come to know and trust.

For the PREPPERS and multi-purpose gadget lovers – There is one product whose brand I will mention by name, though other sellers also offer similiar lights and it might pay to shop around. They did send me a free copy to test, but this is NOT an affiliate link. It is NEVER my policy to make income from third-party vendor product tests.

This light is really very unusual. It functions as a light, AND a charger for USB powered items, like smartphones and tablets. The solar panel is a good size and works well, and it took me 3 full days to run this light down after one sunny day’s sunlight charge. It also works like a regular light bulb, if you prefer to use it like that. I’ve found it practical, unusual, and “delightful.”

There are some very unusual (to me at least) LED lights coming out of the Asian markets. I was contacted about one that is a regular screw in LED lightbulb, but it’s ALSO a Bluetooth speaker. I look forward to testing that one!

That’s all for now. If I can ever be of assistance with ideas, clarification, or recommendations, feel free to contact me. As long as I have a bit of time, I’ll try to help.

Simple things I learned this week…

Old Lady Gif

I learned a few simple random things this week that I thought I’d share.

  1. Kroger’s bottled brand generic Ranch Dressing tastes like Hidden Valley Ranch & it is a lot less expensive.
  2. Aldi’s hot sauce tastes like Franks to me, and is in the same size bottle at a fraction of the cost.  It makes good hotwings. Aldi’s has great prices on produce. Also, their generic brand Dill Pickles are good.
  3. Red’s all natural burritos are much more 2-3x more expensive than El Monterey’s, but they are worth it.
  4. Avocado oil is as good as argan oil to me for my hair, and it is GREAT on skin. It is also less expensive.
  5. It’s definitely worth it to upgrade the Android version on a smartphone. My battery is lasting a lot longer and the camera now works better.

I’ve been participating in Bzzagent’s Kroger’s Store Brands campaign, so I have been trying new generic foods and paying more attention to them. The salad dressing mentioned in this post though, was provided free directly by Kroger via digital coupon. If you’ve not signed up for Kroger’s Digital coupons yet, I do recommend it- they usually have a Friday freeby and occasionally freebies just show up in my account as I find it pays to always check the items under their SAVINGS tab.

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