July 01, 2011

Tightwad Gazette III - Day Two - July 1st

Today’s reading profiles the USDA Food Plans which I like to use to compare to my own budget for food. Also there are some great tips from Readers and we end with Amy’s tip for using refrigerator yeast dough.


A reader sent Amy a copy of the USDA’s guidelines for food plans along with a cost per plan. These food plans are labeled as Thrifty, Low-Cost, Moderate and Liberal and as you may have guessed there is a specific amount of money set per plan. This money amount is a guideline. So as you may have guessed the Thrifty plan has the lowest amount of money and the Liberal has the most amount of money to spend on food. Amounts are given for children in a specific age range and adult male and females in different age ranges per the different plans.

Amy figured that her food budget for her family was below the amount allotted for the Thrifty plan.

Years ago I found the USDA food plans listed in a magazine. I was fascinated by the amounts given on these food plans and I have used it as a guideline ever since.

Here is the link to the 2011 USDA Food Plans. How does your budget compare to the plans?


When drains get sluggish, try this time tested remedy:

Pour 1 cup of baking soda in the drain. Follow the soda with 1 cup of vinegar. Pour a pot of boiling water down the drain and follow with a plunger.

In some cases boiling water will be enough.


Instead of purchasing a product such as Static Guard, make your own by mixing 1 part liquid fabric softener with 20 parts water. Pour into a clean spray bottle. When your clothes have static, spritz on a small amount.


Amy’s husband would stir up a batch of refrigerator yeast dough on a Saturday night. On Sunday mornings he made powdered sugar and cinnamon sugar doughnuts from some of the dough. Monday night Amy made homemade tomato soup and yeast rolls from a portion of the refrigerator dough. On Thursday her husband made 1 dozen cinnamon rolls from the balance of the refrigerator dough.

The point of this is that refrigerator yeast dough is very versatile and inexpensive. Amy didn’t give a recipe, but found hers in an old Betty Crocker cookbook. This recipe called for mashed potatoes so they used potato flakes for instant mashed potatoes. You can find a recipe on the internet. The dough can be used for just about any type of bread product and that can be a money saver and a great addition to any meal.

We will pick up our reading tomorrow, (I’m rested up – finally). Some of the interesting articles we will review are dressing for work on a budget, shopping and does a dishwasher save money.   And as always there will be a few reader tips.


Theresa said...

Just found your blog a few days ago, and am enjoying reading back through.

Love your Tightwad Gazette posts. Always a good reminder.

Rose said...

I know what recipe Amy is referring to. It is a refrigerated potato dough for rolls and such and it is awesome! I make it whenever I make mashed potatoes and even when I've added pepper to the potatoes, you won't even notice it. You can get 3-4 batches out of it. I make cinnamon rolls and clover rolls mostly. It lasts about 1 week and the starch in the potatoes feeds the yeast to that's why it lasts in your fridge. Easy and delicious!