Wednesday, July 1, 2009

More pennies in your pocket; tell us how you save
Saving money has been a fun challenge for me long before all this economy talk. I love to see how far I can stretch the food budget, and I’d love to hear how you readers do it, too.
Send me a note and I’ll share helpful hints with News readers.
Here are a few budget enhancing tips from Enzo Febbraro, co-owner and executive chef of D’Acqua Ristorante in Washington, D.C.
• Shop alone. Shopping with others, especially the kids, can add to your grocery bill. The stores place items marketed to children at their eye level.
• Avoid hunger. If you shop hungry, you are more likely to buy what sounds good, rather than what’s on your list.
• Get creative. You can save money by trying new things, such as opting for the generic brands to see how they compare, getting your produce from a farmer’s market, and skipping convenience foods. Buying a ready-made sandwich or cut-up watermelon is going to cost you more than if you did the work yourself.
• Drink differently. Ever look at how much of your bill is spent on drinks? Instead, make a big pitcher of fresh iced tea for the family. Not only will it cost you less, but you will also be serving up some antioxidants. Try different flavors of tea or add fruit to give it a refreshing taste. Just don’t load it up with sugar. 

Step up soy
So you think you like soy sauce … try San-J’s tamari, made with more soybeans than regular soy sauce. Look for gold, platinum and bronze labels in with reduced sodium and wheat free varieties. The premium is, as they say, premium.
Just a sprinkle will give fresh Southeast Texas cucumbers and carrots an exotic Asian flavor. Don’t even get me started on grilling ideas.

Packaging matters to make a sale
Packaging matters. Look for minis and full-size versions of Banana Republic scents in bottles that look as good on the dresser as they smell on your man. For Father’s Day he may want to go woodsy with Cordovan, with key notes of leafy green fig, raw nutmeg and vintage leather. Maybe this could help him get his new car smell back.
Slate’s key notes are tobacco leaves, cognac and cedarwood.

The crave
Since I started eating right through Weight Watchers, I can honestly say cravings don’t bother me, but I did want to try Crave-NX, a spray designed to help you lose weight in 7 days. The orange flavor sprayed toward the inside of my cheeks gave a slightly numbing sensation. To me, it’s like chewing gum so the minty flavor doesn’t make you want sweets. Crave-NX is designed to use for seven days so that you can hopefully avoid calories daily and lose weight.

That airbrushed look
Dermelect Cosmeceuticals offers high-end treat-yourself products such as a tube of Pore Revolution & T-Zone Mattifier. As even “metrosexuals” can now define a T-Zone, we ladies want ours looking good this summer. This and Lipo-Conquer Body Toning Cream with ginko biloba are keys to lovely skin even in the Southeast Texas heat. I think this cream really does have a firming effect. Pack them in your hurricane go-bag; it could be your sole luxury while away.

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