Being a bachelor and living life well but with a budget in mind, I review Wichita Metro Area businesses, find the great deals and report on the best product and/or services available. I post my shopping experiences online, benefiting customers and businesses alike.

Bachelor on the Cheap - Making a difference in creating better buying decisions for everyone

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022Every day, people make uninformed buying decisions.  I aim to change that, but I need your help.  The Bachelor on the Cheap mission is about providing readers with quality, relevant, product, service, food reviews and cost comparisons that makes a difference in creating better buying decisions for everyone.

I’m writing to ask you to be a part of that.

I'm about consumer content.  So this Holiday season, in addition to taking a moment to appreciate what we have, I'm encouraging you to help share the work I do by paying it forward.

A gift of only $5 or $10 will help expand the Bachelor on the Cheap platform for sharing consumer information.  Just click the button below to help others make smarter buying decisions.

Thank you for caring, thank you for supporting!

Best,

Mike

$pend Wisely My Friends...

If you appreciate the work I do and want to support more great content, recipes, cost comparisons, product, service and food reviews, recall information, etc., on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help me expand my consumer information reach with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

 


Wichita Metro Area Jobs - Food Service

 
Wesley Woodlawn Hospital & ER
 
Wichita, KS, USA
We have an exciting opportunity for you to join the nation's largest provider of healthcare services as a Hospitality Environmental Services Associate I! We offer you an excellent total compensation ...
USAJOBS
 
Wichita, KS, USA
Food Service Worker Supervisor/PD99816S Relocation/Recruitment Incentives: Not authorized Learn more about this agency Help Overview * Accepting applications * Open & closing dates 11/21/2022 to 11 ...
Healthcare Services Group, Inc.
 
Wichita, KS, USA
Position Summary + Department Manager - Manages the food service program in a single site, provides leadership, support, and guidance to ensure that food quality standards, inventory levels, food ...
Kansas Surgery & Recovery Center
 
Wichita, KS, USA
Requirements Duties include the day-to-day organization and direction of the Dietary/Food Service department, ensuring quality service to all patients and customers. Responsible for all aspects of ...
Hardees - Capstone Restaurant Group
 
Wichita, KS, USA
As an Assistant Manager, you will achieve sales growth and maintain company standards of excellence for your assigned shift by managing the flow of food service activity, assigning tasks, overseeing ...

Millville oatmeal is just as good as Quaker Oats

Millville Quick Cook Rolled Oats
A bowl of oatmeal is one of the healthiest breakfast options you can start your day with.

By Mike Thayer

I grew up eating a lot of oatmeal as a kid, a warm bowl of oatmeal flavored with a little maple syrup and a bit of brown sugar is quite satisfying. Born and raised in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the city I grew up in is also home to the largest oat mill facility in the U.S., operated by Quaker Oats, so it was always that brand in the pantry.

When it comes to oatmeal, Quaker is THE name brand, prominently placed on the top shelf in every grocery store in the country and they've got a rich history dating back more than 140 years. But is oatmeal made by Quaker the best?  C'mon, we're talking about oatmeal.

I recently sampled Millville Quick Cook Rolled Oats, an Aldi brand, to find out.

I picked up a cylinder container - made famous by Quaker by the way - of Millville Quick Cook Rolled Oats the other day when shopping at Aldi.  I debated getting Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, but decided I don't have the patience for that and the 20-25 minute cooking time of the old fashioned variety.  

Millville Quick Cook Rolled Oats
A look inside the cylinder

For breakfast the next morning and in less than five minutes, I had a nice bowl of warm oatmeal.  When cooking and with childhood memories in mind, I added a bit of maple extract and brown sugar.  Along with a splash of milk, the oatmeal was hearty and satisfying, with just enough sweetness from the brown sugar and added maple flavor to invoke those pleasant childhood breakfast memories.  I haven't eaten oatmeal much as an adult, especially with today's convenience foods in play, it's all too easy to grab a sausage, egg & cheese biscuit when on the go.  But it's time to get back to some healthier breakfast roots.

So is Millville oatmeal just as good as Quaker Oats?

It almost pains me to say it, with Quaker Oats being a home town employer and a brand I grew up with, but I wouldn't be doing my Bachelor in the Cheap duty if I didn't inform you that yes, Millville is every bit as good as Quaker Oats.  It's milled oats, it's not like there's a recipe to compare.  The Millville brand of Quick Oats is right there with Quaker in all facets, quality, convenience, texture and taste.

Costing me $3.69 for a 42 ounce container, I'm giving Millville Quick Cook Rolled Oats 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It takes on added flavor beautifully, cooks up easily and provides a nice nutritional punch for breakfast.  Compare the Millville price to a 42 ounce container of Quaker Oats Quick Cook Oats priced at $5.79 at the mainstream grocery store.  That's a difference of $2.40, which is huge and without a sacrifice in texture, nutrition or taste!  With these two oat products being equal, there's no reason to pay extra for the name of Quaker.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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When is the last time you cleaned your garbage disposal?

Baking soda and vinegar
This combo is every bit as good as a commercial product, and WAY cheaper too!

By Mike Thayer

The garbage disposal, a common household appliance that does a dirty job.  They're handy if you don't like to throw away food scraps (I prefer to throw veggie scraps in a compost bin), but a nightmare if you clog one up. 

Garbage disposals do make the job of cleaning up the kitchen easier, but how clean is your disposal?  When it comes to cleanliness, this is an item that more often than not, gets overlooked.

The processes of cleaning the kitchen, rising dishes off for the dishwasher, hand washing other dishes, washing hands, rinsing sponges/brushes, etc., leaves a lot of people thinking all the warm water and soap used during clean up rinses all the food goo out of the disposal, giving you a 'clean' disposal.   

Not so.  Some folks don't realize how 'unclean' their disposal is until they catch a whiff of rotting food goo slime emanating from the sink.  Despite all the warm water and soap going through the appliance on a daily basis, there's still a buildup of food goo slime that takes place, especially on the underside of that splash guard.

Clean your garbage disposal every week or two, using a combination of baking soda, vinegar and citrus.  To get rid of the food goo, dump a 1/2 cup of baking soda into the disposal.  Follow that with 1 cup of white vinegar.  It's going to foam up and that foaming action = getting rid of goo.  Let that work for about 10 minutes.  Turn on the faucet and run your disposal.  Repeat the process to clean the splash guard, scrubbing it with an old toothbrush.  Rubber gloves are recommended, that food goo is gross.  Finally and to get that disposal smelling not just clean but GOOD, feed your disposal some chopped up citrus.  It can be oranges, lemons or limes, but NO SEEDS!  Chop the rinds up into small pieces too, you don't want to cause a clog.  Feed the disposal the citrus, faucet on, running the disposal.  Go with a slice of citrus at a time, until your disposal smells "Citrus Fresh."

TIP:  Run your disposal with cold water, not hot.  Your disposal actually has to work much harder when hot water is used.  Heat expands, cold contracts.  So food scraps + hot water = a bigger chore for you disposal, which can lead to clogs and premature motor burnout.  Cold water is best for your disposal and your pipes and bonus:  Your water heater isn't working as hard as a result, saving on the heat bill. 

What NOT to put down your garbage disposal.

The following items should not be put down your garbage disposal, they will lead to clogs, maybe not during that particular grind, but it will eventually, with food items getting tangled and wrapped around the disposal core.

  • Fibrous vegetables, like celery, artichokes, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, potato peels and onion skins.
  • Bones, seafood shells.  Can you say, "Clog and premature motor burnout?"  Yes, yes you can...
  • Egg Shells.  My dad told me when I was young that egg shells help to keep the blades sharp.  He was wrong.
  • Chicken skin, fats and oils in general.  The small bits of such items from plate scrapings is not a big deal, but don't remove chicken skins in preparing a dish and throw them down the disposal.  If you don't want chicken skins, throw them away.
  • Banana peels.  This becomes a problem because the whole peel is put down, it's too much, all at once.  If you chop it up into little pieces you'd be fine, but it's easier to just throw it away or put it in the compost bin.
  • Seeds, pits, nuts.  Your disposal is kitchen hardy, not machine shop hardy.
  • Coffee grounds.  It may make your disposal smell better short term, but the grounds develop into a paste, sticking to the core of your disposal.
  • Rice, pasta, oats.  Again, the occasional small bits from plate scrapings is not a big deal, but don't be dumping whole portions of the stuff into the sink.  Rice, pasta and oats will continue to expand with the water used to run the disposal, creating a thick paste that's hard on your appliance.

With proper care and routine clean up, your disposal will last for years, clog free and smelling good. 

Up next, how clean is your washing machine? 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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Food & Booze on the Bachelor on the Cheap Search Directory

Bachelor on the Cheap Logo small 08032022The Wichita Dining Scene: See it all in the Bachelor on the Cheap Search Directory - a dining, drinking & food directory for the Wichita Metro area. The directory is all things FOOD in Wichita - PLUS!

Whether you're a lifelong resident of the Metro, a Wichita State student, or just visiting the area, you've come to the right place if you're looking for information about restaurants, dining, drinking and food shopping in the Wichita metro!

Where to go and yes, where NOT to go is listed here in the Bachelor on the Cheap Search Directory.  Serving the food, drink and shopping community of the Metro area, Wichita, Haysville, Derby, Andover, Bel Aire, Park City, Valley Center, Kechi, Maize - PLUS!

Just type in a keyword or two to get started, like "Burgers" or "Pizza near me" or "Asian Cuisine"

 

SONIC Drive-In to Donate $350,000 to Fund Classroom Projects for the Holidays

Donations will help teachers provide comfort to students during the winter season

SonicTo support the needs of public school students this holiday season and going into the new year, SONIC® Drive-In will donate $350,000 this December as part of its Limeades for Learning initiative to fund classroom projects submitted by local teachers across communities SONIC serves. Funded by a portion of SONIC drink purchases*, donations will be distributed through the brand’s longstanding educational nonprofit partner, DonorsChoose, a platform that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests.

For the brand’s winter donation, SONIC will focus on funding classroom projects in select markets** that are meant to improve the lives of students both in and out of the classroom. From gloves and scarves to keep students warm to healthy snacks to eliminate hunger and keep them focused throughout the school day, these special teacher-submitted requests each look to provide children with comfort whether they’re at school or at home.

“While teachers work to address the needs of their students year-round, there are additional needs that arise as the holiday season approaches and the weather gets colder. Our Limeades for Learning program aims to help teachers give children the tools and comfort they need to succeed, and we hope our donation will make this season a little brighter and less stressful for educators, students, and families across our SONIC communities,” said Lori Abou Habib, Chief Marketing Officer at SONIC.

SONIC is also thanking teachers for all their work in supporting students with a special end-of-the-year reward. Educators enrolled in SONIC’s Teachers’ Circle Rewards Program*** through the SONIC App will receive an offer on December 5 for a Free Small or Medium Shake with purchase, which they can redeem through December 12.****

SONIC’s Limeades for Learning initiative has donated more than $23 million to fund local classrooms since the program began in 2009. SONIC guests can help support teachers and students by visiting their nearest SONIC location and purchasing their favorite drink, shake or slush, and SONIC will donate a portion back to local public schools. They can also visit DonorsChoose.org and donate directly to one or more of the thousands of public school teacher requests seeking support to provide students with educational resources.

*SONIC donates a portion of proceeds from every cup sold at participating drive-in locations to fund classroom needs submitted by teachers across the U.S., in partnership with educational nonprofit DonorsChoose.

**SONIC’s donation will be used in December 2022 to fund existing projects on DonorsChoose that are listed under the “Warmth, Care & Hunger” project topic. Funding will be put towards projects at schools across the United States, including in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wyoming.

***To join SONIC Teachers’ Circle Rewards, download the SONIC App, register, open your account settings by tapping your profile icon on the bottom left of the app, then tap your name to open account settings. Under “Account,” select “I’m A Teacher” and provide your information to sign up. The program is available to educators employed by K-12 schools and colleges/universities in the United States. Once verified, Teachers’ Circle members will receive exclusive discounts and offers within the app, only available to teachers. Program has capacity limits; sign up now.

****Reward is valid one time through December 12, 2022, for one free Small or Medium Shake with any purchase online or in the SONIC App as a registered user. Educators must be enrolled in the Teachers’ Circle Rewards Program before December 5, 2022, to receive the offer. Add-ins cost extra. Not valid with Combos, delivery, or any other offers. Mobile ordering available only at select locations; hours may vary.


Making your own coffee creamer

Store bought coffee creamer
Tasty, but not exactly the healthiest option to flavor your coffee. Creamers are going up in price too.

By Mike Thayer

I've GOT to have coffee in the morning, but I can't drink it black. It HAS to have creamer in it. I used to add sugar to my coffee too, back in the day when I first started drinking it, but that became too sweet (like me) so these days it's just the coffee creamer added to my cup of java.

My favorite store bought stuff is Hazelnut flavored creamer. My Plan B is Italian Sweet Cream (shout out to Vicki S for that recommendation). French Vanilla doesn't do much for me and if I have to do a Plan C because the store is out of my Top 2, then I usually go with whatever seasonal flavor might be in stock. It's been a challenge buying my preferred creamers lately though, my neighborhood grocery store has been out-of-stock much of the time. 

So, tired of going to the store and seeing they're once again out of my favorite creamers and not feeling like driving to another grocery to get some, I decided to make my own.

Milk + extract + sugar + cornstarch = home made coffee creamer.

This takes about 10 minutes tops to make and it's actually quite a bit healthier than store bought creamers, take Kroger's Italian Sweet Cream Coffee Creamer for example: 

IngredientsWater, sugar, vegetable oil (sunflower oil, and/or canola oil), and less than 2% of natural & artificial flavors, sodium caseinate (a milk derivative*). Dipotassium phosphate, polysorbate 60, mono and digiycerides, color added, sodium stearoyl lactylate, salt, sucralose and carrageenan.

*Not a source of lactose.

I can't pronounce half that stuff, let alone know what it is or does for the creamer.  General rule of thumb, if a bunch of ingredients listed are tough to pronounce and/or you have no clue what it is, then it's probably a highly processed food and not so good for you.

So in making my own creamer, I control the ingredients and there are only four or five of them.  Bonus:  Store bought coffee creamers will typically run you anywhere from $3 - $7 depending on brand and variety.  I can make a good creamer from items I already have at home.  Healthier + cheap to make + tasty = Bachelor on the Cheap wallet and taste bud friendly!

Maple Cinnamon Coffee Creamer

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • A splash of Maple extract
  • A couple dashes of cinnamon spice
  • 1 healthy teaspoon of corn starch (to thicken the creamer)
Custom Coffee Creamer
Making your own coffee creamer is easy peasy!

Directions:  In a small saucepan over medium heat, add all ingredients, whisking to blend.  Bring to a boil while continuing to whisk, dissolving the sugar and fully incorporating the cinnamon.  Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce heat to a low simmer, stirring occasionally, simmer for about 5 minutes.  Allow creamer to cool, then pour into a container and refrigerate.  It will keep in the fridge for as long as the expiration date on the milk you used.

You can use 2% milk but it won't have the robust flavor or consistency of a good creamer.  You can also use heavy cream or half & half, even add sweetened condensed milk for a richer flavor, but that also drives up the calories.   If you don't have whole milk, try the 2% milk blended with heavy cream or the half & half.

I would have made a Hazelnut flavored creamer, but didn't have that extract flavor on hand.  You can really get creative with the flavors, playing with all the extract options out there.  Try to stay with the pure extracts, the imitation stuff can contain some of those ingredients you can't pronounce...  And don't forget to look at your spice rack too, ginger, nutmeg, allspice, cocoa for a mocha flavor and then there's the dreaded pumpkin spice...  You could even change up the milk, going with coconut, almond, cashew but those tend to be thinner in consistency.  Just amp up the corn starch a bit, tapioca starch works too.

Putting this home made creamer together cost me maybe... 50 cents and it's quite tasty!  I'm digging the maple/cinnamon combo.  It kind of has a Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal taste to it.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Buy Me a Coffee

If you appreciate the article you just read and want to support more great content on BachelorontheCheap.com, you can help keep this site going with a one-time or a monthly donation.  Thank you so much for your support! ~ Mike

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