Friday, June 13, 2008

Say Cheese: Shredded vs. Block

I don't think I have a favorite Frugal Sense tip on Bankrate's contest this month. However, I did once try saving money on cheese as Ruth Neihart of Edmond suggests. I suppose it did save me a little money, but it wasn't something I really got into. However, if you think this is a tip you want to try, I suggest doing this kind of task in front of the TV. I did that the day I shredded a couple of blocks of cheddar. Being entertained while shredding made it go by a lot faster. One day I may give do-it-yourself shredding another shot, and if I do, I'll definitely be watching TV at the same time.

Another tip about cheese: I have a tendency to open a bag of cheese and not use it all up at once. (I suppose if you have a big family or are feeding a crowd, that wouldn't be an issue.) After the bag is opened, even if I seal it well and even if the expiration date hasn't passed, it usually will get moldy before I finish the leftover cheese. So, I now freeze the remaining part and use it another time. It thaws well, and I don't waste what I didn't immediately need.

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Kristen said...

betsy, I do this pretty often. I don't mind shredding cheese, and like you said, if you do a whole big block all at once while you're watching tv or listening to the radio, it isn't all that bad. One thing I definitely recommend, though, is to toss the shredded cheese around in a big bowl with about a teaspoon of cornstarch before you put it in the fridge to store it. All of the pre-shredded cheese that you buy has some sort of additive like cornstarch to keep it from sticking, and it won't affect the taste or texture of what you cook with it. It'll just keep it from turning into a mushy lump of shredded cheese at the bottom of your ziplock. And cheese definitely freezes well. I usually keep all of my shredded cheese in the freezer and just pull out the handfull or two when I need it. It stops me from wasting a half a bag with green fuzzies all the time.

Betsy said...

Ah - thanks for answering the point that I forgot to address, Kristen! I didn't know the tip about the cornstarch, but yes, the freshly shredded cheese does stick together, which is annoying. Maybe I'll have to give shredding another try -- this time with the cornstarch.