The Chef Next Door
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Help Me Save Money
We all need to save money, and we all enjoy a bargain. Especially now. Here are my tips on how to save money:

Tip number one: Create your own salad dressing.

Buy a bottle of olive oil, a bottle of your favorite vinegar, and you have saved yourself a lot of money by having the basic ingredients on hand for making your own salad dressing. You can purchase this in bulk at a local warehouse store and transfer the liquid into manageable bottles.

Jody’s Favorite Salad Dressing:

In a jar with a lid, mix two parts olive oil, with one part vinegar. If you need help with this, stick two fingers straight out vertically, put them against the jar, and fill it to the top of your fingers. Do the same with the vinegar, using one finger. For this recipe, let’s use white vinegar. Add a tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese. If you don’t have fresh cheese to grate, use the kind in the can. Add a teaspoon of oregano, add salt and pepper to taste. Add 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion. Let this sit while you put the rest of the salad together.

See Can Nuke a Mean Dinner for the salad. Put the two together. Congratulations – you have saved a lot of money.

Tip number two: If you are just too tired to even make a salad, or want to have a quiet dinner at home for two, try ordering take out, and order a single entree instead of two. You will not only save money, but calories too.

Tip number three: buy a countertop convection oven. Why? Because a convection oven cooks foods in reduced time, and uses less energy than a regular oven. Try making a pizza or roasting a chicken this way. Your energy bills will go down, and the food will be ready in less time.

Tip number four: make your own coffee! Splurging on a special occasion is one thing: spending this every day instead of banking it doesn’t make sense. With a few of the basic items in your pantry, you can save yourself money and get your caffeine fix at the same time.

Tip number five: Use skim milk with your coffee. I’m not sure that this saves you money, but it does save on calories!

Tip number six: Buy a water filtration container or system. Avoid paying money for bottled water. This also cuts down on environmental waste.
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