Secrets of Success

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Pitch the catalogs

Christian speaker Matthew Kelly said that he used to look at catalogs and find things he didn't know he needed 10 minutes before getting the catalog. I was that way, too, buying stuff I didn't need. I long ago contacted all the catalog companies and told them to take me off their list. I've saved a ...

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Eat samples at stores

Sam's Club and our local grocery stores are offering tons of free samples. Be judicious in what you choose, and you'll be ok. And track what you eat while you're there.

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Prolong Your Produce's Life

Get Debbie Meyer green bags for $10. It works great for fresh blueberries, strawberries, zukes, tomatoes, green beans. Not so great with mushrooms or bananas. Read the directions and do exactly as it says!

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You Cannot Take It with You

When my sister died, everything she owned got thrown out or donated. It made me look at all my "stuff" in a new way. So now, I don't buy anything unless I truly need it. I wear out my clothes before buying anything new, if even then.

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31

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Stretch your ground beef meals!

Brown ground beef, drain the fat, then rinse beef with hot water (use a mesh collander; see one of my other tips). (Using hot water congeals the fat, and it won't rinse out through the collandar.)

Then add cooked brown rice to "stretch" your yield!

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How to Comparison Shop: Keep a Log

I keep a small notebook in my purse, with separate pages for major food categories: diary, frozen, cereal, baking, cleaning, paper, etc. On each page I make columns for the 2-3 stores I shop at most. At the store, I write down a particular product and put its cost in the corresponding store column

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Invest in a FoodSaver

I have used this for 10 years and saved hundreds and hundreds of dollars. I can buy in bulk,\ and freeze individual portions. I can cook ahead, and freeze future servings. I use the bags, and also Ball jars. This appliance has paid for itself many times over! It keeps your food fresh so much longer

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Curbing needless eating

I plan out my food, including snacks, first thing in the morning and put it in my SparkPeople nutrition tracker. I print it out and put it on the fridge. I titled it, "Are You Really Hungry?" It makes me thing before eating--if I'm not really hungry, I forgo the snack until I am hungry.

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Register for free restaurant meals/treats!

Many chain restaurants, and some independents, have free meals or treats on your birthday, and/or for just signing up on their website. Red Robin, Chili's, Culver's, Baskin Robins, BD Mongolian Grill--those are just a few. Check your favorites and see what you can score!

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Rinse your cooked ground beef

After training your cooked ground beef, try this!

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Please note these are member-submitted secrets and are not reviewed by SparkPeople's health experts for accuracy. If you feel a secret is inappropriate, please click the "Report Inappropriate Secret" on the secret's page and our staff will review it.