"Raising Souls"

"Raising Souls"

Monday, June 13, 2011

Starving Artists - Edition 1 - Berries all year round!

They say that artists are starving. Well, that is true in some cases, and is quickly becoming a reason for fear in my home as ticket sales at the theater drop to a dangerous low. Who can compete with this weather??

I may be acting a bit overly dramatic on this topic but it inspired me for a new series of posts on how this family of starving artists gets by on a super tight budget.

Each year I wait and I watch for seasonal deals at Aldi. If you don't shop at Aldi you should start. They have incredible deals on most things and its worth the extra trip and the quarter you need to "check out" a shopping cart. I have to note though that the quarter is not required. If you are like me and say... 'I don't need a cart' only to later find yourself carrying and balancing food items on every strip of body part that is useful for carrying and dropping spaghetti sauce to the chagrin of everyone around. Than, no, a quarter is not required. Recommended but not required.

So one deal that I watch... and wait for... and set up calling trees for... is their blueberry sale. At one point each year their blueberries go on sale for as low as $1.00 per pint. I load up and freeze them for blueberry feasting year long! This year my Mother In Law mentioned they were on sale for .49 a pint and my jaw hit the floor! Turns out strawberries were as low as .39 each container too! Jeremy and I were just heading out to a performance but I was desperate to get a piece of this deal! She offered to pick up a bunch for me...

She got two cases of each for me!!!!!!! Wooohoooo! Now that's money saving at its finest! I sure do love a good deal and now the two berry lovers in the house will get berries all year long. That chest freezer came just in time.

If you come upon a deal like this here is what I recommend for storage for easy access...

1. Wash berries in a mixture of water and vinegar. Apparently the vinegar cleanses the chemicals off, I got that from my mom and find it works well and it is natural and cheap. Next rinse with water.

2. Spread berries out in a single layer on a cookie sheet and freeze.

3. Once frozen, loosen berries from the pan with a spatula and put into freezer bags. 

This system allows for clean berries that are loose in a bag together for easy measuring for recipes or toddler snacks.

Nope this family will not starve for lack of berries, not this year anyway. :-)

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