Archive for September, 2008

Doesn’t it seem that the healthier we try to eat the more money we seem to spend? We all know we need to eat better, but why is eating healthy more expensive? Well…not anymore. Here are a few tips to help you feed your family nutritious meals without breaking the bank.

Plan your meals around sales. Grocery stores often have buy one item, get one free so this would be a good time to stock up for the upcoming months. Watkins often has Monthly Specials on their Natural, Organic and Gourmet foods so you can feel good about what you feed your family while saving money. If you primarily purchase sale items you will have well stocked freezer and pantry and a smaller grocery bill. Stock up on all your Natural and Organic favorites.

Do not purchase boxed foods. These foods are full of preservatives and trans fats. If you like the convenience of boxed foods try these mixes for a healthy alternative: Watkins Dessert Mixes, Watkins Soup and Gravy Mix, Dips and Spreads and easy to prepare (but good for you) Watkins Bread Mix and Pizza Crust Mix. Enjoy the convenience while giving your family something good.

Use coupons. Many grocery stores now accept competitors coupons and many times will double their own coupons. But be careful to only purchase items you would normally use. Do not buy impulse items simply because you have a coupon as you might end up spending more. If the store brand is a better bargain than using a coupon for the name brand always buy the store brand. I find the quality to be just as good. Better yet, wait for an item to go on sale and then use the coupon. What a savings!

Buy produce when in season. It will taste better and typically the cost is less when in season. Try not to purchase produce already cut up. You will always pay more. Bring it home and cut, chop, dice, put in baggies and either refrigerate or freeze. This way you will always have a healthy snack ready to eat.

Make a grocery list and stick to it. Avoid temptation. We always go home with several items not on our list. Do we really need them? If it wasn’t on your list then probably not.

Shop when you are full. This might sound silly but when you are hungry and you go grocery shopping you will end up buying a lot more than if you shopped right after a good meal.

When purchasing meat think of recipes where you can get more than one meal out of it. Sprinkle your meat or chicken with Watkins Seasonings. These delicious flavors are a healthy alternative to oils and salts. Try them on chicken for dinner and save a little leftover for your salad the next day for lunch. Having these leftovers will make it easier to eat right without grabbing unhealthy foods.

Another great way to save money is to shop around. With the price of gas so high you won’t want to drive several miles just to save a couple of dollars but plan your route to be near a grocery store or discount store when some of your favorite healthy items go on sale. Always try to take advantage of great deals.

Remember you can eat healthy and save money. It might take a little planning but it’s worth it for you and your family.

For delicious recipes using some of Watkins Natural and Organic foods please visit www.VanillaGourmet.com and enjoy life…Naturally!


Most of us use baking soda for baking and to remove odors from our refrigerator, but we never think to use it for other things. Did you know that baking soda is a natural cleaner and deodorizer that’s cheap and effective?

Many cleaners use artificial scents and harsh chemicals to cover up odor. These scented chemical products can be really irritating to your skin and your respiratory system. Baking soda is a safer alternative. Instead of covering up odors, it absorbs them and locks them away. So you know it can get rid of odors in the fridge with baking soda, try putting some in your garbage cans, shoes, diaper pail, litter box, drains and garbage disposal. It is a great way to safely remove offensive odors from pretty much anywhere.

Watkins lemon all purpose cleaner

Watkins lemon all purpose cleaner

Baking soda is a great abrasive cleaner to remove dirt and anything else that might be stuck on surfaces. Just sprinkle it on a wet cloth and scrub away. You can even use baking soda to get stuck on grease off your floors, counters and even pots and pans. For more cleaning power mix baking soda with Watkins degreaser or Watkins natural all-purpose cleaner. Remember to rinse all your surfaces well after you clean them to remove any remaining residue.

While baking soda can be used for general cleaning, it’­s also a great to remove stubborn stains. Just mix with a small amount of water to turn the powder into a paste. You can then apply this to stains in your kitchen, bathroom, and even your clothes. Just let sit for a few minutes and then scrub. It will make your stainless steel sink shine. This paste is also great for cleaning your silver.

You can even use baking soda to disinfect laundry, toys and diapers or other items around your home that get handled often such as door handles, light switches, and telephones. Washable items can be soaked in baking soda and water for half an hour or so. For other things simply cover the area and let it sit for a minute before wiping it off.

These are just a few ideas for you on how to clean and deodorize with baking soda. It is such a versatile product, the possibilities are endless. So why not pull your baking soda out of the cupboard and give it a try all around your house? You may find yourself buying a lot more baking soda on your next shopping trip.


Oh my! I have just realized that some of my choices that I make for myself and family maybe placing the both of us in harms way. To clarify, what exactly do I mean by “harms way”, when I bundle up our sweaters, blouses or slacks to be sent to the dry cleaners; the cleaning process that is used to clean my items (percholorethlene) called perc for short is used by at least 85% of all cleaners.

This process is toxic in a many ways, the chemical pollutes the air, it is a probable human carcinogen and it can cause symptoms from headaches, nausea, and infertility in men and miscarriages in women and it is considered toxic waste.

Watkins lemon laundry detergent

Watkins lemon laundry detergent

My exposure and my families exposure to this chemical doesn’t stop when I bring the dry cleaning home. When, we go to put the garments on the chemicals can bleed thorough our skin into our systems

Just thinking about that made me want to find a solution today not next week, I had to stop the exposure to my family. What I found was a natural home care product that is plant based and non-toxic that was important to me. JR Watkins Lemon liquid laundry detergent concentrate, can be used in cold water and is easy on the budget. You only need 1 oz per load, that is about 2 tablespoons!

It is also great to use on your hand washables and baby clothes for it contains a soy-based fabric softener that leave your clothes soft and clean.


Superb Substitute

My husband and I love grilling fresh salmon. I like to let it marinate with a little olive oil, Watkins lemon pepper and Watkins Dill. Recently I had no fresh lemon to squeeze over the top. Looked in the cupboard and found some Watkins Lemon Peel, so decided to try it instead of running to the store! It tasted so good, I use it along with fresh lemon all the time now! Isn’t necessity the mother of invention!

Poor Man’s Pie

This is such a simple recipe! Mix right in the pie shellJ

1 unbaked pie shell 12 oz half and half

1 cup brown sugar 2 ½ tsp butter, cut in small bits

3 Tbsp flour Watkins Ground Cinnamon

Speck of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In pie shell place b. sugar, flour and salt. Mix with your fingers until combined well.

Pour milk over flour mixture, but do NOT stir. Dot with butter. Liberally sprinkle Watkins Ground Cinnamon over all. Bake for 50 mins or until filling bubbles up in the center. Filling may not completely set, but that is the way it is supposed to be.