Explain the PITA factor?

The PITA (Pain-in-the-Ass) factor is judged on a scale of 1 to 10. One is something my dog Miles could do even though he lacks opposable thumbs, like opening a lever-handled door or learning to fake-sneeze to get attention.  Ten is something I wouldn’t ever attempt on my own again unless my life was at stake, like brain surgery or refinishing wood floors.

How do you figure the price of homemade foods?

Careful calculations. I record the price of everything I buy (and I save my receipts), then for each ingredient, I determine the price per ounce (or mL or cup or pound or yard whatever). Then, I figure out about how many ounces (or mLs or cups or pounds or yards) I used, and do some simple addition. Betty Crocker’s Picture Cook Book (first edition published 1950) has some helpful conversions, and I also use a kitchen scale to measure as I bake.

Why are your prices so low?

a) I live in Iowa. Cost of living is pretty good here. However, I figure the costs of homemade vs. store-bought will remain relatively proportional across the country. If everything store-bought is substantially move expensive for you, try moving to Iowa.

b) I love generics. I use them whenever possible, unless I know for a fact that a non-generic is somehow better. For example, I use generic canned beans, but real vanilla.

Why are the majority of your posts food related?

I just really, really like food. And I think about food a lot. And I spend a lot of time in grocery stores, comparing foods. Also, food is something that everyone needs and most people buy – not everyone has a house or is getting married or has a space to garden in. Food is pretty universal.