Product & Service Reviews Feed

Product Review: Barissimo Hazelnut Flavored Coffee Creamer

By Mike Thayer

Barissimo Hazelnut Flavored Coffee Creamer
This is the Aldi discount brand, replacing Friendly Farms?

Every morning, millions of Americans wake up to (or need it to wake up) a cup of coffee, java, joe, brew, mud, bean juice, morning jolt, wakey juice, call it what you will.... Many of those folks can't drink it black however, it's GOT to have some creamer in it.....

I'm in that latter category. Creamer is must! If I had to drink my coffee black I'd be more of a curmudgeon than I already am.

My preference is Hazelnut flavored creamer, Italian Sweet Cream is my Plan B (Shout out to Vicki S. for cluing me in on that option) if a Hazelnut selection is not available. Coffee with cream is just one of those simple pleasures in life, a good way to start the day and that Hazelnut flavor kicks off that start better than any other flavor for me.

So in need of creamer and picking up a few things from Aldi recently, I grabbed a bottle of hazelnut coffee creamer made by Barissimo Coffee.  This is a fairly new offering for Aldi, their discount brand used to be a creamer made by Friendly Farms, which I liked, but Aldi made a switch perhaps, or maybe it's just a temporary 'not available' thing.  With no Friendly Farms brand on the shelf, I'll be sampling the Barissimo stuff for the first time.

This stuff sucks!

Barissimo uses Soybean and/or Palm oil in making their creamer.  I hate that flavor, it reminds me of International Delight's creamer which I'll never buy again.  Other competitors don't use Soybean or Palm Oil.  It definitely changes the flavor profile vs. using a traditional vegetable oil.  It's not as sweet, it's almost savory which is not a good thing in a cup of coffee.  And like International Delight, the Barissimo creamer has a bitter finish.  Drinking coffee with this creamer isn't satisfying, it's a disappointment.

Barissom Coffee Creamer Nutrition Label
It has Palm Oil in it - YUCK!, I hate Palm Oil.

Costing me $2.45, I'm giving Barissimo Coffee brand Hazelnut Flavored Coffee Creamer just 2 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  The price is reasonable, but I hate the Soybean and/or Palm Oil element in the flavor profile.  I should have read the label before putting the creamer in the cart, but I didn't think to look for the Soybean and/or Palm Oil ingredient, assuming International Delight was the only creamer maker having those oils in their recipe.   Ooops!  This is NOT a repeat buy, I've since bought some Kroger Hazelnut creamer so I can enjoy my coffee again, I'll be using this Barissimo stuff to make some ice cream with.  Hopefully I can hide that palm oil taste with some other flavors.

2 stars

Related: Creamer vs. Creamer: Coffee Mate vs. International Delight vs. store brand vs. discount brand

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Product Review: Great Value Dishwasher Pacs

20220606_121244By Mike Thayer

There's all kinds of dishwashing soaps out there, a broad assortment of brands and types.

You can still get the classic powder detergent in the box with the little flip out slot on the side from which to pour an 'appropriate' amount of detergent into your machine.  That's hit or miss.  Without a true measurement, you can put in too little detergent resulting in some dishes not getting quite clean enough.  Or you can pour in too much detergent, resulting in the dreaded detergent residue on the dishes.  Rinse aid be damned (and something else to buy, UGH).  Rarely is the use of a box detergent just right.  Yes, that was kind of a Goldilocks and the Three Bears reference there...

With liquid detergent, you have the same issues but to a lesser degree.  Too little detergent and not all dishes get clean, especially if you didn't pre-rinse before loading.  Too much detergent and you get the poor result of detergent residue.  And about those rinse aids, unless you have a hard water issue, you shouldn't have to buy it. I don't know about you , but I don't have any residue on my dishes when they're hand washed, so it's a matter of finding the right detergent then, for the machine.

Measurement is key and that's why the pods are more effective overall than the classic boxed dry detergent or the liquid bottle stuff.   Detergent pods (Cascade calls them "Action Pacs") dominate the field and in this category the product variations multiply ranging from pacs of dry detergent, to gels, to various scents, to segmented pacs of dry detergent and gel detergent combos with rinse aids included.

So out shopping one day and need of some dishwashing detergent, I picked up a package Great Value Dishwasher Pacs.  I've tried a variety of pacs and to come back to the rinse aid issue, I don't like paying paying extra for it in the form of a segmented pac and I just don't see the point of buying a rinse aid separately if you can find the right soap and water combination to get the job done correctly in the first place.  

I'm not a huge fan of the Great Value brand, but my experience with the brand is for the most part with their food products that usually ranks low on the list of food challenges.  Their frozen pizza is less-than-stellar.  So based on the food experience I didn't have high expectations of the Great Value Dishwasher pacs going into this review, it is after all just a basic dry detergent pac, kind of and entry level dishwashing solution if you will.  Oh, sorry, it is scented, a notch above entry level pacs but I digress...  That's an apples and oranges thing, we're talking cleaning product here and I've been searching for a cheaper detergent that can do the same job as the much higher priced Cascade, Finish and other brands.

When I load a dishwasher, I do pre-rinse dishes that need it, a lasagna pan for example.  But I'm not one of those people that pretty much wash dishes before loading them in the dishwasher either, what's the point in that and talk about using too much water!  If a plate has a little schmear of dinner on it, it's going in, not rinsed.  If a coffee cup still has a couple swallows left in it, it gets dumped and loaded, not rinsed.  If a fork has a few cake crumbs on it, it's going in, not rinsed.  I think you get the picture.

I have to say, when putting the clean dishes away in completing this review, I was pleasantly surprised!  All dishes were clean and there was no detergent residue, no rinse aid required!  And this was a full load of dishes, minimal pre-rinsing before loading.  Normal settings were used on the washer, no "Heavy Duty" or "Heated Rinse" settings were enabled.

Costing me $3.98 for a 32 count bag of detergent pacs, I'm giving Great Value Dishwasher Pacs 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  I think I've found a simple, straight forward detergent pac giving my dishes the perfect soap and water mix to get clean.  Great Value has done the job just as well as the more than twice as expensive jobs the Cascade and Finish have done. 

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Product Review: Expert Gardener Soft Grip Adjustable Pruner

Exper Gardener Softgrip Adjustable Pruner
Inexpensive, with quality

By Mike Thayer

If you're looking for an inexpensive hand pruner to handle all the light pruning needed in the garden, the Expert Gardener Soft Grip Adjustable Pruner is it!

It's light, nicely balanced, the grip is very comfortable and it can cut up to 3/4" branches/stems with ease.

I purchased this pair today at Walmart, it was the cheapest pruner on the shelf, with other pruner options going all the way up to $23.75.  I looked at them all and while I usually buy something in the mid-range of price, I went with the least expensive pruner having bought Expert Gardener products before.  And in researching Expert Gardener, this is Walmart's private label, made by Scott's Miracle-Gro.

The all important blade is high quality forged steel and made clean cuts of the barberry bush I trimmed up this afternoon.  It's an anvil blade, to mean it's got one blade and a solid base, ideal for trimming away dead branches.  When it becomes necessary to sharpen the blade down the road, it will be easy to do so thanks to the adjustable feature.  The grips are high density plastic and non-slip and call it a stress test, I intentionally dropped them on my concrete driveway, no issues, no cracking, not a scratch.  I also like the high visibility yellow, which is easy to see and locate the pruner should I set it down someplace and get distracted.  No, I don't have a pruner holster, I'm not that guy...

Costing me $7.88 at Walmart, I'm giving the Expert Gardener Soft Grip Adjustable Pruner 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars out of the gate, time will tell how durable these are, but all indicators are that these pruners will last quite awhile with proper use and care.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Barberry Bush
Trimming up dead branches to ensure bush health

 

 

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Product Review: Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor

Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor
This machine can handle all food processor jobs

By Mike Thayer

Best food processor ever!

It's got power, it can process anything, it's got accessories galore.

Courtesy of Cindy C., the hardest working woman I've ever met in my life and my best friend, I've got an it can do anything food processor.  I think Cindy is on a mission to ensure a bachelor's kitchen is a well equipped kitchen.  She and I go way back, I've known her since 1990 when I worked part-time at a grocery store deli and she was the assistant manager.  I can tell her anything and she wisely takes it all in, offers sound advise and slaps me upside the head a few times as necessary when I get stupid.  But to get back on topic, she has tutored me in the world of baking and cooking in general, we've learned from each other when grilling/smoking be it on a Weber Kettle or a Traeger Smoker and she knows her stuff when it comes to having the best kitchen equipment available to do the job right.

The Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor

Here's the description from the Cuisinart website:  The Cuisinart Elite Collection® 14 Cup Food Processor boasts a 1300 watt peak power motor to power through your favorite recipes with ease. With innovative design solutions including a 4½ cup work bowl nested inside the 14 cup bowl, adjustable slicing disc, and a reversible shredding disc, Cuisinart gives you multiple food processors in one! The SealTight™ Advantage System including BladeLock maximizes the capacity of your work bowl by containing ingredients in the sealed bowl - and the blade locks in place sealing the bowl from the bottom and won't fall out when removing your prepped ingredients whether mixing, processing, or pouring. Plus clean up is a breeze as the removable parts are all dishwasher safe.

Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor
Additional bowl, spatula, blade options

I've burned through a few food processors in my day, with trying to make dough usually being the culprit in killing a processor prematurely.  You just can't do dough in an ordinary processor, you have to have something heavy duty like the Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor.  There is a three year warranty on the motor, not typical in the food processor world and with 1300 watts of peak power, this unit will knead dough, chop nuts and mince meat.

This machine will slice, dice and mince any vegetable you desire in short order.  You can make a tasty pizza dough in minutes without having to worry about burning out the motor.  With an assortment of blades to match up with the food processing task, this machine makes all food prep easy and all detachable parts are dishwasher safe!  Coming with two work bowls, this machine chops, purees, kneads, slices, shreds and whips.

Retailing for about $350, I'm giving the Cuisinart Elite Collection 2.0 Food Processor 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It may seem pricey, but you won't have to buy another food processor ever again.  It will do everything you ask it to do and then some.

5 stars

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Cuisinart Food Processor
Cuisinart has you covered in having the right blade for the job

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Product Review: Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker
A very bachelor friendly appliance

By Mike Thayer

Out of all the countertop kitchen appliances out there, the last thing I thought I would ever own was a pressure cooker. 

I didn't see the need.  "I'll never use it enough to justify having one," I said.  "They can be dangerous to use," I claimed (a myth for modern day pressure cookers by the way).  But I was wrong to dismiss the pressure cooker, dismissing it because I didn't take the time to know what a pressure cooker can really do.

Courtesy of Cindy C, I now have a Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker.  This woman is doing a stellar job of making sure I have a properly equipped kitchen!

A pressure cooker reduces cooking time by at least 1/3 to 1/2 of traditional cooking times and you will use less liquid too.  Using a pressure cooker also means more nutrients are preserved during cooking time because they can't evaporate away, something I hadn't considered.  And talk about "set it and forget it, walk away one pot meals..."  This is a Bachelor's dream in creating an easy peasy, delicious meal.  More flavor?  More nutrients?  What's not to like?

Here's the promo piece from the Cuisinart website:  It’s easy to make entire meals or side dishes fast with the 6-Quart Pressure Cooker! Just toss ingredients into the pot, close the lid, and let the pressure cooker do the work. Brown, simmer or sauté food right in the pot before cooking, and keep it warm when done! Food retains more vitamins and minerals than with traditional cooking methods, it stays moist and flavors stay true. 

The first meal I made in my pressure cooker was a chicken dish with onions and peppers.  It was delicious, the chicken was juicy and the veggies were tender crisp and it was done in half the time it would have taken me to do in a traditional stove top preparation.  I was able to brown the chicken in the cooker before adding the veggies and putting the pressure lid on.

Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker
This thing can do a decent sized brisket!

The cooker is quite versatile too, the recipes provided by Cuisinart range from appetizers and salads to soups, side dishes, entrees and desserts...  Can  you say, "Lemon Cheesecake done in a pressure cooker?"  Yes, yes you can.  Are you a fan of hummus?  This machine can make it in about 40 minutes.  You can't do that in a traditional stove top method.

Retailing for about $120, the Cuisinart Electric Pressure Cooker is available at Walmart, Home Depot, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon and other retailers.  This cooker is versatile, reduces cooking time, food is healthier prepared this way and the one-pot meal ability is a HUGE bonus.  I'm giving the cooker 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Thank you Cindy C!  This appliance deserves some space on your countertop.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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Product Review: Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker

Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker
This countertop appliance ROCKS!

By Mike Thayer

In my childhood years and one of four kids (3 sisters and "No, I don't want to play Barbie dolls with you and NO, the Ken doll will NOT work as a GI Joe!") we didn't eat a whole lot of rice in the Thayer household.  When we did, it was usually the Minute Rice stuff with Chunky beef soup poured over the top for a quick meal. 

In my early adult years and marriage #1, I still didn't eat much rice, it wasn't really a staple in the Mike Thayer household and if rice was consumed, it was usually at a Chinese restaurant.

But as I got into cooking, my appreciation for rice grew and we're talking real rice, not the Minute Rice stuff.  It was old school white rice, the 2-1 water/rice ratio in a pan with a little butter, salt and pepper on the stove for 20 minutes.  Mastering that, my appreciation for rice grew tenfold through marriage #2 and three boys, with rice becoming a big time staple in the pantry, as in 20 pound bags staple.  White rice, brown rice, Basmati rice, Arborio rice, Jasmine rice and graduating from cooking simply with water, butter, salt and pepper to using beef, chicken or vegetable stock, aromatics, and/or a variety of spices.  But the cooking for the most part was still old school, sautee for a bit in butter or olive oil and the 2-1 liquid/rice ratio in a pan on the stove top.  I do like to cook rice on the grill using a cast iron skillet with a glass lid and that cast iron does a nice job giving the rice a nice crispy edge to it.

Kicking rice up another level with the Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker

Kudos to Cindy C in getting me a rice cooker (she's so good to me!).  I've never had one before and wow does it make a HUGE difference in what goes on the plate or in a bowl!  Hindsight being 20/20, I wish I would have invested in a rice cooker long ago.  Rice comes out perfect every time and the one pot meal capability - AWESOME.  You can "set it and forget it" until the timer goes off, dinner is ready!

Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker
Steam basket, measuring cup, rice paddle

Here's the promo piece on the Cuisinart website:  Cuisinart® gives home chefs so many ways to cook – and so many different foods to cook – in one pot! The Cuisinart® Rice and Grains Multicooker redefines versatility. With 18 pre-programmed settings, perfect results are guaranteed whatever is in the pot, and Cuisinart® includes lots of recipes that demonstrate the full range of functions. This multicooker even has a preset for Pre-wash, making cleanup exceptionally quick and easy. With its family-sized, removable pot and easy-to-navigate Selector knob and LCD screen, this is sure to become every cook’s favorite countertop cooking appliance.

This thing is indeed a multicooker!  It sautees, steams, keeps items warm.  You can do rice, oatmeal, beans, all kinds of grains, risotto, pasta, it's great for one pot meals or just a bunch of rice for a side and yes, I can even get that nice crispy edge if desired like I do from the cast iron.  This appliance is seeing regular use.  I don't store 20 pound bags of rice anymore just being a household of one, but I do have a variety of rices and grains to choose from in the one to two pound bag range.  I've steamed eggs for a perfect 'boil' in making egg salad and I'm looking forward to doing a sausage and shrimp Jambalaya.

The Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker is available for about $140 and you can find it at Walmart, Kohl's and other retailers.  With it's versatility, consistency and ease of use - punching up a one pot meal on this appliance is easy peasy - I'm giving it 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's also easy to clean, even after doing a pot of baked beans with bacon.  It's worthy of a place on your countertop.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

Cuisinart Rice and Grain Multicooker
Large capacity bowl

Help support the continued content for Shopping, Dining, Best Deals, Product & Service Reviews, Tips, Hacks, Recipes and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Product Review: Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal

Kingsford Garlic Onion Paprika flavored charcoal
How much garlic, onion & paprika flavor will this deliver?

By Mike Thayer

Make no mistake, I am a charcoal enthusiast.  In my humble opinion, for a grilled meal, you can't beat charcoal and a Weber Kettle. 

I do like to throw some added flavor through wood in combination with the charcoal, chunks of pecan wood to do up some brats, chunks of a fruit wood for pork or chunks of oak for beef.  It all depends on what you're grilling or smoking.  The key is creating layers of flavor.

I recently did a review of Kingsford's Cumin Chili Flavored Charcoal and I really like it. I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of 'spice flavored smoke,' thinking, "How much spice flavor will that actually crank out?" and "Isn't that what spices, rubs and marinades are for?  Talk about lazy grilling...." 

I lost all skepticism I had for 'spice flavored smoke' when I dumped the chimney of that Cumin Chili charcoal.  You can smell all those spice notes, it's like I was already grilling something and I hadn't even put any food on the grill yet!  The aroma of the cumin and chili was enticing and it did indeed help create depth of flavor in the chicken I fired up that day.

So today, I'm reviewing Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal.

Here is the description pulled from the Kingsford website:

Garlic Onion Paprika:  "Savory, caramelized flavor featuring an earthy base of garlic paired with the mildly sweet notes of onion and warmth of paprika."  The flavored briquettes are hickory based.

Bacon cheddar brats, bacon wrapped hot dogs, bacon wrapped Kielbasa
It's a celebration of bacon!

In testing how much flavor this charcoal delivers, I did a "Celebration of Bacon," grilling up bacon cheddar brats, bacon wrapped hot dogs and bacon wrapped Kielbasa.  You can't beat a brat done right on the grill and everything is better with bacon!  I used to do beer brats, then I experimented with wine and doing brats in those ways are tasty, but my favorite way to do brats is to just let them pick up the smoke flavor over indirect heat and my go-to wood for brats is pecan.

How did the Garlic Onion & Paprika charcoal do?

I continue to be a fan of the Kingsford line of 'spice flavored smoke.'  All of the meats I prepared on the Weber were delicious, complimented with those notes of garlic, onion and paprika.  And complimented is a key word, it's not overpowering smoke, it lets the deliciousness of the meat shine!  The brats had that nice crisp, snap of a bite when puncturing the skin, the sausage inside was juicy and there was that nice smoky spice flavor throughout.   The dawgs, Kielbasa and bacon was all good too, but those brats were the best.

Kingsford Flavored Charcoal
In the bag, traditional Kingsford briquettes and 'Signature Flavor' briquettes

Costing me $13.99 for an 12 pound bag, I'm giving Kingsford Onion, Garlic & Paprika Flavored Charcoal 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  It's reasonably priced and most definitely delivers another layer of flavor on whatever you're grilling!  This charcoal is certainly a repeat buy and I can't wait to try the Basil, Sage & Thyme flavor!  Marinade and/or dry rub (on this day it was bacon & black pepper)+ Kingsford Flavored Charcoal = Another Dose of YUM!

5 stars

 

I take great pleasure in grilling good eats!

~ Mike Thayer

Related:  Product Review: Kingsford Cumin Chili Flavored Charcoal - Grillinggoodeats.com

A bacon cheddar brat
The brats really picked up the flavored smoke
brat
A juicy brat, with a nice smoky bite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

$pend Wisely My Friends...

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HelloFresh vs. EveryPlate: Which meal subscription service is better?

HelloFresh
Timely, cold delivery, both services

By Mike Thayer

I recently received and reviewed a meal subscription service, HelloFresh.  In a Bachelor on the Cheap series, I sampled four meals and the reviews included an assessment of cost, shipping, tracking, ingredient quality, ease of prep, instructions and most importantly, taste. 

I received the following four meals that serves two people per meal and the delivery included all the base ingredients and instructions for the following selections (links to reviews of those meals are below):

  • Meatloaf A' La Mom
  • Italian Chicken Over Lemony Spaghetti
  • Taqueria Pork Bowls
  • Citrus Pork Tacos
HelloFresh Packaging
No worries about food spoilage, both services

I've done the meal kit thing before, subscribing with EveryPlate last year and that was overall a good experience.  EveryPlate, a sister company to HelloFresh, was actually cheaper than the grocery store*.  I did end up cancelling my subscription after a bit however and for two reasons.  The EveryPlate menu options at the time were pretty limited and I started to travel a lot with a new job.  *During the time I was an EveryPlate subscriber, they were running an introductory price of $1.99 per meal for you first couple shipments.  After that, the price goes up and then the cost savings vs. a grocery store becomes negligible.

I was impressed with the HelloFresh shipment, the tracking was spot on and the packaging was top notch.  The quality of ingredients was also top notch from the meats, fresh produce, dry ingredients, to the packaged sauces.  The recipe cards are an easy read, the instructions clear, so even if you're not an experienced cook, no worries!  The most impressive of all that though, the meals are individually wrapped. 

HelloFresh Meal Kit
HelloFresh packaging is superior to EveryPlate.

Contrast that to my experience with EveryPlate, which was boxed up nicely and remained cold through delivery, but shipments were always very simply packed.  All meats were lumped together, all other meal ingredients were lumped together into one large box, so you had to sort through everything, the produce, the sauces, the dry ingredients, using the menu cards to pick out what was needed for each meal.  HelloFresh eliminates that task (part of their elevated price).  While the meats are packed separately, all the other ingredients for each meal is wrapped in it's own, labelled and secure brown bag.  No sorting, no digging, no having to read menu cards to select the necessary ingredients, it's all ready to go for you with HelloFresh. 

The packaging affects meal prep time.  Both services list prep times and a cook time on their recipe cards.  Because HelloFresh packages their meals in it's own unique bag, their prep time is accurate.  EveryPlate's prep time....  Not so much.  I realize they are gauging prep time from the point you have all ingredients out, organized and ready for washing, slicing and dicing... But if you ask me, having to sort through a big box of potatoes, carrots, zucchinis, onions, garlic, sauce and seasoning packets to pick out the right ones for a particular meal - that's prep time too!

HelloFresh vs. EveryPlate Meal Cards
Which meal would you prefer?

Instructions are essentially the same for both services, you can see the sister company similarities here, the only major difference being HelloFresh prints their meal cards using the Landscape format, EveryPlate uses Portrait.  Everything was easy to read and follow and both services provide Chef Tips and making preparation easier.  And in terms of ingredient quality, it's high quality, both companies, sister companies after all.

Meal vs. Meal.  I enjoyed all the meals from both services, but I would have to give the nod to HelloFresh which has a larger menu and greater variety, we're talking 28 menu options vs. 13.  Both services offer the ability to upgrade for an additional charge.  HelloFresh also offers more add-on choices than EveryPlate.

Both services have a website and app that makes managing your account easy and you can skip meals, pause delivery or cancel your subscription at any time without paying any additional fees.

Both services are convenient, all the meals are tasty and fun to cook, so what this comparison boils down to is price.  HelloFresh is more of an upscale meal subscription service offering greater meal variety, more ingredients and smart, prep convenient packaging.  EveryPlate seems to be focused on affordability without sacrificing product quality, but simpler meals on their menu with fewer ingredients to work with and prep at meal time.  

Overall, I have to go with HelloFresh if I had to pick one service over the other.  EveryPlate is cheaper, but HelloFresh is more convenient with the smarter packaging and the meals are little more exciting.  And while EveryPlate has a lower cost per meal rate, I'd rather pay a little extra for a nicer meal.  With either service, if you don't feel like spending a lot of time at the grocery store, here ya go.

HelloFresh vs EveryPlate

Related: Meal Kit Review: HelloFresh vs. EveryPlate

Related: Meal Kit Review: HelloFresh Citrus Pork Tacos

Related: Meal Kit Review: HelloFresh Italian Chicken Over Lemony Spaghetti

Related: Meal Kit Review: HelloFresh Taqueria Pork Bowls

Related: EveryPlate meal kit club vs. going to the grocery store

Related: EveryPlate meal kit club vs. the local grocery store - Griddled Onion Burgers with Creamy Dijon Aioli & Frites

Related: EveryPlate meal kit club vs. the local grocery store - Greek Pork Meatball Bowls

 

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Jim's Tire in Wichita is the place to go for vehicle repairs

By Mike Thayer

Jim's TireOut and about on a Mother's Day Sunday, the passenger rear tire picked up a large screw somewhere in those travels. Alerted by my tire pressure sensor and air pressure down to 14psi, I temporarily remedied the situation with Fix A Flat. On Monday morning, May 9, 2022, I took my truck in to Jim's Tire to have that tire patched. I arrived at 8am and was out by 8:20am. I'm a regular customer at Jim's Tire, using them as my trusted auto shop since 2015. The service is professional, friendly, top notch and the prices are reasonable. Simply put, I trust them with my vehicle.

Jim's Tire gets 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  Stellar service!

5 stars

Jim's Tire is located at 1205 S Rock Rd, Wichita, KS 67207.

www.jimstire.com

 

Help support the continued content for Shopping & Service reviews, Tips, Hacks and other great information by buying me a coffee. Your support to keep Bachelor on the Cheap a free resource is much appreciated! ~ Mike

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Planting potatoes using ANPHSIN 10 Gallon Garden Potato Grow Bags

By Mike Thayer

ANPHSIN 10 Gallong Garden Potato Grow Bags
Talk about making it EASY to grow potatoes!

It's late March, about 60 degrees out and I've got spring fever bad!

To deal with that 'fever' today I'm planting potatoes!

I've grown potatoes before, in a traditional garden plot direct in the ground and in raised beds.  It's not difficult to grow potatoes and I enjoyed some very tasty spud harvests, but potatoes do take up a lot of space in the garden, especially in raised beds.  So with space considerations in mind, I haven't grown potatoes in my gardens for a very long time.

Enter the ANPHSIN 10 Gallon Garden Potato Grow Bags

This is the first time I've used grow bags and what a great concept!  Ordering a 4 pack of these bags on Amazon, these things are made of a heavy duty aeration fabric, come with a Velcro flap to harvest the potatoes and sturdy handles make the bags easily mobile.

Planting the potatoes was easy peasy.  I filled the bag about half full with potting mix, put four certified seed potatoes - Kennebec Russets - in the bag eyes up and covered them with about 4 inches of the potting mix.  Once the vines break through that top layer of soil and start reaching for the sun, I'll add more potting mix to fill the bag as the vines grow.   Kennebec Russets are a great all purpose potato, good for baking, roasting and mashing.  But their flavor really comes out in frying.

Potato Grow Bags
3 to 4 tubers to a bag

Harvesting the potatoes will be even easier!  Back in the day when I used to grow potatoes and it came time to harvest - after the tops of the vines died back - I would reach for my trusty potato fork.  Potato forks are great because there's a lot less damage done to the potatoes vs. using a regular shovel, which would tend to slice a lot of spuds.  But even with the potato fork and careful digging, you still might spear a spud or two and then there was always a spud or two that got missed, left behind in the dig.   There's no digging necessary with these bags!  That flap allows for super easy access to potatoes ready for eating, just reach in and grab!  And there's no way to miss harvesting any potatoes because you can just empty the bag when tossing the dead vines in the compost prior to storing some potatoes and the bag you grew them in at the end of the season.

Potato Grow Bags
Mobile and space saving

Costing me $20 on Amazon for a 4 pack of bags, I'm giving ANPHSIN 10 Gallon Garden Potato Grow Bags 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap stars.  They're very reasonably priced, durable, mobile, easy to use and will be easy to store.  Bonus:  You can grow other veggies such as onions, peppers and tomatoes and given the nice, tidy soil environment, garden pests that like to live in the soil should be marginalized.

5 stars

$pend Wisely My Friends...

TKUCC