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(article, Culinate staff)
Most folks are always looking for easy-to-remember tips for keeping food budgets and kitchens under control. The dirty secret of all those tips, of course, is that they don't save effort or time. Coupon-clipping, for example, or mixing up your own cleaning products takes more work than simply shopping and spending. Which makes Susan Gregory Thomas' recent New York Times essay about how she feeds her family in these recession-stricken times rather refreshing. Sure, she declares that gardening, chicken-keeping, and, yes, making her own cleaning products is simpler than she'd anticipated, not to mention fun. But she doesn't pretend that she's saving time with any of it. On the Huffington Post, Jenny Rosenstrach recently published a top-10 list of random tips for harried cooks, including staying on top of kitchen clutter and freezing homemade sauces in compact, flexible bags instead of bulky, hard containers. The refreshing take here? Rosenstrach's offhand attitude, in which she reminds cooks, for example, that if they substitute ingredients and the resulting dish doesn't work out well, it still makes for a good story.