With a grand title like that, you may be expecting news of changes of world-shattering proportions in the Used-to-Bees household.
But I have to tell you that this is actually about two very small and easy changes we made recently, that have had effects far greater than we'd have imagined, most notably on our finances.
The first change was prompted by a trip to a Sainsbury's outside our local area. There we saw the 'JUGIT' milk system, and as the jugs were free with two bags of milk, decided to give it a go.
|It even works if you put the bag in upside down!|
We were impressed with the system when we used it - all the more so because I had been
constantly ranting getting ever-so-slightly annoyed with our usual milk cartons which refused to pour without dribbling. With my love of crumb- and dribble-free work surfaces, the Jugit is a great help! What's more, you can freeze the bags of milk (I haven't actually done this yet, but it says you can), so buying a full week's worth of milk is now an option, without filling half the fridge.
Luckily the Jugit milk bags are available in full-fat, semi-skimmed and skimmed varieties, and in our local Sainsbury's. Some Asdas and Tescos stock them, as does Ocado. You can see where it's available on the JUGIT website.
At the risk of sounding like I'm being paid to advertise this product, I would wholeheartedly recommend it - convenient, dribble-free (unless you let an untrained teenager put the next bag in! Train 'em up to do it right, or dribbles - nay, torrents - of milk will pour forth!), and eco-friendly.
The second change is to do with another daily staple - bread. For quite some time, our bread machine has stood unused and we have been eating a variety of (mostly sliced) breads from the supermarket.
Now I know there are people out there who love to make bread properly, by hand, with lots of pleasurable kneading, and teacloth covered mounds of dough proving in some warm corner, but for us, a breadmaker is the only way we're going to have fresh bread on anything other than a very irregular basis.
Throwing a loaf together takes very little time, and the results from our Panasonic Breadmaker are great. The one irksome bit of the 'throwing it together' has always been the requirement for 15g of butter/margarine. (It's amazing how irksome weighing out a lump of butter can be when you've got a machine to do most of the work anyway, but there you are!) I decided that doing a bulk-preparation of lumps would be the way ahead, and it is amazing how over the past few weeks, because the little pats of approximately 15g of butter have been there, ready to throw in, we have never once run out of bread.
Look - here's an amazing step-by-step of how Mr U-t-B does it! These photos could revolutionise your life!!!
|Other brands of butter are available...|
|Use the 50g markers on the wrapper to help|
|PS This is NOT my hand! Actually, looks like it might belong to yesterday's gargoyle!|
|5 x 50g lumps|
|Divide each 50g lump into three - 16.6666g (recurring) of buttery goodness in each one!|
(I doubt the extra 1.6666g recurring will ruin the recipe)
|Store in fridge or freezer|
(For my next trick - how to teach your grandmother to suck eggs...)
So, since we fired up the old bread machine, we haven't bought a single loaf from the supermarket, and our pockets have benefited in a number of ways.
One - bread machine bread is surely cheaper than most half-way decent tasting loaves from the supermarket.
Two - Breadmachine bread is not damp and does not go mouldy, sweating away in a plastic bag and ending up in the bin.
Three - When we were buying bread from the supermarket , we often had to top-up half-way through the week. This involved either a trip to a local shop (and the exorbitant prices charged there) or a trip to the supermarket, where no doubt we would buy additional things just because we saw them (and we're easily tempted).
Four - I'm sure it's no coincidence that since beginning our breadmaking crusade, we have used less diesel! So it's another eco-friendly choice!
The only problem with all this is that whilst I have lost the milk dribbles, the crumbs have multiplied exponentially! And delicious bread = expanding waistlines, so we could be needing new wardrobes soon...