Thursday, August 11, 2016

Kettle Corn

If you have ever been to a state or county fair, or visited one on the many small carnivals that travel the United States, then you have most definitely had one of the oldest treats around...kettle corn. In fact, it is even a staple at our world famous 'Canton First Monday Trades Day.' Now, you do not have to wait until the fair comes to town to get your kettle corn fix, because making kettle corn is so easy that anyone can make their own delicious version of this carnival treat.

In this article, I will show you how to make kettle korn that is not only delicious, but it won't cost you $5.00 a bag that many people fork over while out shopping at 'First Monday.' Don;t get me wrong, I am not a 'First Monday' hater, I just hate spending that kind of hard earned cash for something that I can make for $0.40. So if you are like me, ad would rather keep your money in your pocket then keep on reading, I guarantee you will not be disappointed.

The Recipe

Kettle corn is so simple, but so delicious, with only four ingredients, almost anyone can make kettle corn. If you can operate a microwave oven then you can make delicious kettle corn or stove top popcorn in less than 15 minutes. Yes I know it takes quite a bit longer when compared to microwave versions that you could buy at your local supermarket, but the taste and texture of homemade kettle corn is far superior and quite a bit cheaper to make.

½ cup of popcorn kernels
¼ cup of sugar
¼ cup of canola, vegetable or corn oil
salt to taste

Combine the sugar and popcorn kernels in a small bowl and set aside.

Add the oil to your Dutch oven and place the heat on medium high. Add three popcorn kernels from either the bag or container in which you keep your popcorn or from the ½ cup of popcorn that you measured out and add them to the Dutch oven making sure they are sitting in the oil (see Three Kernel Test) do not forget to place the lid on your Dutch oven.

Chef's Note: The Dutch oven I use for making kettle corn or stove top popcorn has a 5 quart or 4.7 liter capacity.

When the Dutch oven is hot enough add the sugar and popcorn kernels and swirl them around so that the sugar and popcorn kernels are thoroughly mixed in the bottom of the Dutch oven.

Once the kernels of popcorn begin to pop vigorously, pick up the Dutch oven from the burner and shake it a few times and put it back on the burner. Do this every 15 to 20 seconds while the popcorn is popping. This shaking process not only keeps the popped popcorn from burning, it also helps to evenly distribute the sugar over all the popped kernels.

Chef's Note: Make sure you have a good set of pot holders or oven mits as the handles of your Dutch oven can get hot during the cooking process and you do not want to burn your hands when making kettle corn or regular popcorn.

Once the popping has slowed considerably, remove the Dutch oven from the heat and begin the salting or seasoning process (see below). If you leave the popcorn in the Dutch oven without tossing it while you are seasoning it, the residual heat could cause some of the popcorn to burn.

Once you have salted or seasoned your kettle corn, dump it onto a cookie sheet and allow it to cool. Initially it make stick together, but once the sugar has cooled (2 to 3 minutes) it easily breaks apart. After it is cooled, I dump the kettle corn in a brown paper bag (the kind you put ice cream in at your local Walmart) and shake it to separate the kernels. Eat it out of the bag, or dump it into a big bowl for sharing.

Chef's Note: If you decide you do not want kettle corn, simply omit the sugar follow the same process to make regular popcorn. If you like butter flavored popcorn, after you have salted the popcorn pour 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons of melted butter over the popcorn and shake to coat evenly.

Salting or Seasoning Your Kettle Corn

Once the popping has slowed down considerably, it is time to start adding the salt to the kettle corn. There is no scientific way to do this, and everyone has their own method and or tastes, but I will tell you how I salt my kettle corn and you can determine what works best for you.

I remove the lid and add 21 shakes of the salt shaker to the Dutch oven, replace the lid and then shake the Dutch oven a few times, remove the lid and repeat 4 more times. And yes, I actually count from 1 to 21 each time I shake the salt shaker, but that is how I maintain the consistency of the flavor of the kettle corn. 

Now, we have an old set of Rubbermaid salt shakers and we have been using these for more than 15 years so I am used to the amount of salt that it distributes when you shake it. Your shaker may put out more or less salt per shake so you will have to experiment to determine how many shakes you need to make sure the flavor is the way that you and your family like it.

Three Kernel Test

One of the biggest tips I can give you for making perfect kettle corn or regular stove top popcorn is to use the three kernel test. 

The three kernel test is just that, after you add the oil to your Dutch oven and turn on the burner to medium heat you take three kernels of popcorn and place them in the oil.

Once all three of the kernels have popped, then it is time to add the remaining kernels and sugar to the Dutch oven.

Seasoned Popcorn Salts

Generally I do not use seasoned popcorn salts, but many people do and enjoy them immensely. To make a quick popcorn seasoning salt add 1 teaspoon of your seasoning of choice to 4 to 5 teaspoons of table salt and mix thoroughly. Place it in a old spice shaker and use in place of regular salt on stove top popcorn, but not your kettle corn, unless you just want to experiment.

Barbecue – 1 teaspoon barbecue rub seasoning, 4 to 5 teaspoons table salt.
Cajun – 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, 4 to 5 teaspoons table salt.
Creole – 1 teaspoon Creole seasoning, 4 to 5 teaspoons table salt.
Ranch – 1 teaspoon dry ranch seasoning, 4 to 5 teaspoons table salt.
Taco – 1 teaspoon taco seasoning, 4 to 5 teaspoons table salt.

These are just a few of the more common seasoning choices, but any spice mixture can be added to a salt to make a seasoned salt. Adjust the amounts of the seasonings to suit you and your families personal preferences.

Cost Breakdown

While making kettle corn on the stove top does take more time than simply throwing a bag in the microwave, the cost savings are however quite significant. You can use the popcorn of your choice, and I have included three brands of yellow popcorn sold at my local Walmart, but I will be honest we use the cheapest Great Value brand and it works great every time.

Great Value Yellow Popcorn $1.88 for 32 ounces ($0.06 per ounce)
Jolly Time Yellow Popcorn $3.10 for 30 ounces ($0.10 per ounce)
Orville Redenbacher's Gourmet Yellow Popcorn $5.20 for 45 ounces ($0.12 per oz.)

So let's look at what it costs to make your own kettle corn using Great Value yellow popcorn. Corn oil ¼ cup (2 ounces) $0.05 per ounce, sugar ¼ cup (2 ounces) $0.06 per ounce, popcorn ½ cup (4 ounces) $0.06 per ounce, for a total cost of $0.46 per batch. So how much does a $0.46 batch of popcorn yield? That's an interesting question as there is a lot on conflicting information out here on the world wide web regarding the yield of unpopped popcorn, but according to Utah State University you should get the following yields with unpopped popcorn kernels:

2 tablespoons unpopped kernals (1/8 cup) = 4 cups popped
¼ cup unpopped kernals = 8 cups popped
½ cup unpopped kernals = 16 cups popped

That's $0.028 (2.8 cents) per cup of home made kettle corn. On average a 3.5 ounce bag of microwave kettle corn when popped is about 9 cups. Just for comparison I have listed three of the more popular brands of microwave kettle corn available at my local Walmart.

Microwave Popcorn

Act II Kettle Corn 6ct $2.80 ($0.47 per bag) or $0.052 per cup (5.2 cents)
Orville Redenbacher's Kettle Corn 12ct $5.20 ($0.43 per bag) or $0.057 per cup (5.7 cents)
Pop Weaver Kettle Corn 6ct $2.10 ($0.35 per bag) or $0.038 per cup (3.8 cents)

So you see that even the cheapest brand of microwave kettle corn 'Pop Weaver' is 27% more expensive cup for cup than making kettle corn with Great Value unpopped popcorn kernels.


Making your own kettle corn at home is an inexpensive and delicious treat for you and your family. In fact you can save 25 to 30% by making your own kettle corn as opposed to buying the less flavorful microwave brands. So skip the microwave and breakout your Dutch oven and make a big batch of kettle corn and sit back and enjoy a movie or watch your favorite sporting event and enjoy not only the fruits of your labor, but the satisfaction of knowing you saved almost 30% off the price of microwave kettle corn. As always if you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends on Facebook and Google+. Don't forget to send us a friend request so that you will not miss any of our new articles.


Friday, August 5, 2016

Dehydrating Onions

One of the few items that I never attempt to grow in our garden is yellow or white onions. It is just not a good use of our garden space as onions can be purchased on sale almost every week cheaper than we can grow them. Just last week white onions were on sale at one of the Mexican markets for $0.98 for 2lbs ($0.49 lb). So, when we did our weekly shopping we comp'd 6lbs of white onions at our local Wal-Mart. FYI, the Wal-Mart price was $.99 for 1lb, so we saved 50% using our 'Flipp' app (see my article 'Saving Money With Flipp').

So why so many onions? Well, we were getting low on dehydrated onions and it was time to restock our supply. While 4lbs of onions (which was 9 large onions) sounds like a lot, however, when dehydrated they take up the equivalent space of a one quart mason jar. We use dehydrated onions in a lot of our cooking, especially when making beans, soups, stews, marinades and spice mixtures (4 – 5 tablespoons of dehydrated onions is equal to about one medium to large onion). They are shelf stable and make a great addition to your minimalist pantry. My friend Steve Coyne who writes the 'I Grow Vegetables Blog' dehydrates his onions and then roasts them in the oven and grinds them into onion powder. I have yet to do this, but may one day in the future.

In this article I will show you just how easy it is to cut and dehydrate onions. Unlike other vegetables, you do not have to blanch or treat the onions to keep them from becoming discolored during the dehydration process. In fact, they are probably one of the easiest vegetables to dehydrate.

Preparing The Onions

When dehydrating chopped onions I have found that when using my L'Equip 528 dehydrator each tray will hold 1 ½ large onions. My L'Equip has 6 trays so I can dehydrate approximately 9 large onions (about 4 lbs) at a time. For chopped onions, I cut them into a small to medium dice, or the same size as I would use them in a soup or any meal in which I was sautéing them. If you are going to grind your onions to make onion powder then you can leave them in rings as you are going to grind them later with your food processor or food mill.

I cut my onions one tray at a time and then stack them onto the dehydrator, but if you like you can cut all of your onions and then place them on the trays. The important part here is that you try and evenly distribute the onions across the trays without to many touching to allow adequate air flow. Once you have all of your onions stacked onto trays it is time to get on with the drying process.

The Drying Process

Most dehydrator instruction manuals tell you that for dehydrating vegetables you need to set your temperature between 125 to 135 degrees. My Nesco FD60 manual indicates that onions cut 3/8” thick need to be dried for 9 to13 hours. The manual for the L'Equip 528 that I am using for this article indicates that it takes 6 to 12 hours to dehydrate sliced or diced onions. Of course actual drying times will vary as the process is affected by the moisture content in the onions, the relative humidity in the air, temperature used, and the size of the cut onions you are dehydrating. For me, I have found that dehydrating onions cut to a small and/or medium dice, 12 to 18 hours of drying time works better for me, and if I forget and leave them on for 24 hours then no biggie, they cannot get to dry. If you want bigger slices or pieces of onions, then you will probably need to dehydrate the onions for 24 hours.

So if cutting onions makes your eyes water, just wait until you get 4 to 6 pounds of them dehydrating in your kitchen. My wife is pretty sensitive to smells and has underlying asthma so when I dehydrate onions or any other strong smelling vegetable I begin the process when she is not around. Because we do not have a garage or basement, I place the dehydrator on our glass top stove and turn on the vent hood. The smell is the strongest when you are first dehydrating the onions, but the drier the onions become, they less they smell up your house.

Rehydrating Your Onions

If you want to rehydrate your onions to be used in place of fresh onions simply reconstitute them in boiling water. You will need 2 ½ to 3 cups of water for each cup of dehydated onions (a 2.5 to 3 ratio of liquid to dried onions) that you want to reconstitute. I know it sounds like a lot, but do not skimp on the water or you will be disappointed with the results. Let the onions sit for 90 to 102 minutes (2 hours) for them to fully absorb all the liquid that they can. Once they are done, drain the water as use as you would fresh onions. Keep in mind, that as with most vegetables, rehydrated onions will rehydrate to about 80% of their fresh state and may be a little more chewy than fresh or frozen onions.

Adding Dehydrated Onions To Soups

If like me, you want to add your dehydrated onions straight to your bean or soup pot, you have to take into consideration that the onions will absorb some of the cooking liquid. So when cooking beans and or soups with dehydrated vegetables add additional water and stock as necessary during the cooking process to maintain the amount of final liquid you desire in your recipe.


Dehdrating onions is a simple process and they are one of the easiest vegetables to dehydrate. They are also one of the more fragrant. Remember that dehydration times will vary depending on the size of the onions used, the moisture in the air, the temperature of your specific brand of dehydrator. Dehydrated onions are shelf stable and will keep almost indefinately. My experience has been that when adding dehyrated onions to soups and stews is that 1/3 of a cup (4 – 5 tablespoons) of dehydrated onions is equal to one large fresh onion. As always, if you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook and Google+ so that you will not miss out on any of our new articles.

Other Related Articles On Our Blog:

Resources For This Article:

Markham, Brett, The Food Dehydrating Bible: Grow it, Dry it, Enjoy it!, New York, NY: Skyhorse Publishing, 2014

The Ball Blue Book Guide To Preserving (2011)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Choosing Your First Dehydrator

My first encounter with dehydrating foods was when we lived in Alaska during the 1970's. Drying meats and vegetables was a way of life for many of the people who lived in the state whose motto is “the last frontier.” For many locals fish and wild game were the primary things that were dried to supplement their winter stores. While we were stationed comfortably on an United States Air Force (USAF) base in which we were never in need of dried foods. The wildlife and fish stocks were so plentiful that many of us learned to dry fish and meats because that was simply the Alaska way. Or at least that is how I remembered it.

Needless to say, I have been dehydrating fruits and vegetables for along time and have gone through a variety of different dehydrators. Some of the first commercially produced dehydrators for home consumption were of the small round plastic variety that had a single heating element in the bottom and you adjusted a small vent on the top of the cover to regulate the heat. This was a basic no frills dehydrator, with no real way to regulate the temperature, it was pure trial and error. It would however work and I made more than my share of jerky on this type of dehydrator. I actually still have one in my shop (Ronco brand), but it is regulated to drying my pistol and rifle brass after it has been wet tumbled for reloading. I bought it for $3.00 at my local Goodwill store specifically for drying my brass. I am not sure if they still make these cheap single element dehydrators, but my advice is to avoid them at all possible costs. They are hard to clean, have a steep learning curve, and produce inconsistently.

This article is only going to cover fan mounted stackable type dehydrators. I have never used the rigid box type of dehydrators which have removable 'slide-in' trays. These rigid non-stackable type of dehydrators tend to cost twice that of stackable tray type dehydrators. Many people make the mistake of purchasing an expensive dehydrator, use it once or twice and then it sits in the garage to become next years garage sale item. Therefore, I do not recommend them as your first dehydrator. Buy one later if you like, but my recommendation is that you try a more modest costing stackable tray type dehydrator. You can always add more trays or accessories to a less expensive model as needed or simply buy a nicer dehydrator later if you so desire.

What To Look For In A Dehydrator

There are a variety of good dehydrators on the market and you do not have to break the bank to purchase one. No matter the brand, there are a few things that you should look for. One of the most important features in my personal opinion is that it has to have a fan to circulate the warm air as good air circulation is essential to getting a even dehydration throughout the unit. I have read some reviews that indicate that you need to rotate your trays during the process to get even drying, but I have never found that to be the case with units that have a fan for air circulation. It does not matter whether the fan is on the top or the bottom. I have two dehydrators (Nesco and L'Equip) one has a top mounted fan, and the other a bottom mounted fan. There is a differing of opinion on which is better, but I have found them both to perform about the same.

Another thing that you should look for is variable temperature control. Although I cannot vouch for the accuracy of the temperature dial on stackable home dehydrators, it is a nice to have one. Does my Nesco dehydrator actually heat to 135 degrees when I have it set to that? I am not sure, but if I had to guess I would say it would probably be somewhere within 10 degrees. Another thing to consider is are the trays dishwasher safe. Dishwasher safe trays is definitely a big bonus.

My Dehydrators

As I mentioned I have two dehydrators and I use them both. I change between the two depending on they type of food I am dehydrating. They both have fans, one mounted on the top and the other the bottom, and they both can stack up to 12 trays, however the most I have ever used is 6 trays.

Nesco FD-60 American Harvest Snackmaster Express
Power: 500W, Round Trays: 4, Temperature Range: 95 – 155 degrees

This was the first dehydrator that I purchased that had a fan. I have had the Snackmaster Express for about 15 years and it is still going strong. It has a top mounted fan, a decent temperature dial and it has 4 (1.125 square foot) round stackable trays. Although I have dried many different types of foods in this dehydrator, it is the only one in which I will make jerky simply because I do not have to worry about any liquid falling into the fan since it is on the top of the dehydrator. If you have read any of the articles on our blog regarding making beef jerky, this is the dehydrator you will see in those pictures.

While the open spaces on the supplied trays allow maximum air flow, they can be a little large and smaller vegetables and fruits when dried can fall through to the next tray on the bottom of the unit. Because the bottom of the unit is solid this is not a problem, I simply dump any thing that has fallen to they bottom out onto a paper plate, no muss, no fuss. You can buy small round 'Clean-A-Screen' mesh screens for $6.95 for two to keep smaller dried items from falling though (these come standard with the L'Equip). Additional trays can be purchased for $14.95 for two. The 500 watts means that it has a lot of drying power and it is expandable to a maximum of 12 trays. There is no on/off switch, just plug it in and it starts. The Nesco comes with a 1 year limited warranty.

Nesco still makes this model which in my opinion means that is it s pretty good performer. You can currently find it for about $55.75 on the Wal-Mart website, and on Amazon. It would be nice if it came with 6 trays, but I personally think this is a great first dehydrator, and if I ever find another on any of my garage sale excursions I will be sure to buy it.

L'Equip 528
Power: 500W, Rectangular Trays: 6, Temperature Range: 95 – 158 degrees

Out latest dehydrator, the L'Equip is a rectangular shaped dehydrator with the fan mounted in the bottom of the unit. The temperature gauge is basic with only three labeled temperature ranges 95, 125, and 158. There are of course gradation or 'marks' on the dial that appear to be increments of 5 degrees for each one. So for example three marks past 125 degrees would be 140 degrees, three marks below 125 degrees would be 110 degrees. Not a deal breaker, but I like the dial on my Nesco better.

The L'Equip comes with 6 rectangular (1.2 square foot) trays and while the holes in the trays are about the same size as the Nesco, each tray for the L'Equip comes with a small flexible insert that has smaller holes for dehydrating smaller cut vegetables which is a nice feature. In addition, I think the rectangular trays are a little more efficient space wise for drying foods although they have almost the same drying capacity per tray as the Nesco. The L'Equip comes with a 10 year limited warranty.

The L'Equip is definitely a nice dehydrator and is expandable to a maximum of 12 trays as is the Nesco. It is also 500 watts which means that it has a lot of drying power as well, and it has an on/off switch. The L'Equip 528 sells for $119.00 on Amazon as well as a variety of other vender's on the internet.

Cost Comparison

So before you make any decisions regarding these two dehydrators, we need to compare apples to apples. The Nesco is definitely cheaper (base price $55.75) but to expand it to six trays like the L'Equip we need to purchase two additional trays for $14.95 increasing the price to $70.70. The L'Equip comes with 6 small flexible inserts to make the holes on the tray smaller. So we need to purchase 6 'Clean-A-Screen' inserts for the Nesco at $6.95 a pair for a total of $20.85, making the total cost of the Nesco $91.55.

Nesco FD-60 American Harvest Snackmaster Express (Total Cost $91.55)
Power: 500W, Round Trays: 6 with 6 'Clean-A-Screen' inserts
Temperature Range: 95 – 155 degrees
Warranty: 1 year limited warranty

L'Equip 528 (Total Cost $119.00)
Power: 500W, Rectangular Trays: 6 with small screen inserts
Temperature Range: 95 – 158 degrees
Warranty: 10 year limited warranty

So at this point the two dehydrators are point for point equal, the only difference is the warranty. The cost difference at this configuration is a difference of $27.45 in favor of the Nesco making it 23% cheaper than the L'Equip. However the L'Equip has a better warranty.

I like both of the dehydrators a lot and we use them both frequently. I wish the L'Equip had a top mounted fan as I have had more than once had a few dried vegetables drop into the fan in the center column. I wish the Nesco came standard with the 'Clean-A-Screen' screens, but it does not, and I have not found this to be a problem. In fact, until we got the L'Equip, we never even knew this to be an option.


Based on my experiences with both of these dehydrators, if I had to make a recommendation between the two (Nesco Snackmaster and the L'Equip 528) to someone who was buying their first dehydrator, I would have to recommend the Nesco simply because of the initial purchase price of $55.75. I realize at this price, the Nesco does not have all of the features of the L'Equip, but the initial investment is 53% cheaper (55.75 / 119.00 = 0.468), and you can always expand the number of trays as the need arises. I have been using my Nesco as I stated for 15 years and still only have the four original trays, and it has more than outlived either of the two machines warranties.

The bottom line, I like my L'Equip, and if money was not a problem, I would choose the L'Equip. Having said that, if I had to choose only one I would buy the snackmaster for two reasons, 1) because of the lower initial investment, and 2 ) simply because I make a lot of jerky and think it is a better dehydrator for that particular application. Therefore, if you are looking to purchase your first dehydrator and you are on a budget you cannot go wrong purchasing a Nesco Snackmaster FD60. As always, if you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook and Google+ so that you will not miss out on any of our new articles.

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Money Saving Apps (Flipp)

There are many techniques that will allow you to save money on stretch your food dollars. The we use every week and I get the most questions about is 'comparative shopping' or 'comp shopping'. Simply put 'comp shopping' is taking the various grocery adds from your area and looking for the best deals on items you have on your shopping list and or staples that you can stock your pantry with. Finding a grocery store in your local area that will accept competitors adds is a major money saver. Love them or hate them, Wal-Mart accepts all local competitors grocery ads so we do a lot of our grocery shopping there. In fact, it is pretty safe to say that a large percentage of Americans now have or live in an area in which there is a Wal-Mart. This is not an endorsement for Wal-Mart, just simply the way that it is.

In the past, on every Wednesday we would purchase a bundle of the Dallas/Ft. Worth (DFW) grocery ads from a local beautician for $4.00. The printed ads lasted for a week and we always saved more than the $4.00 it cost us to purchase them so it was a no brainier. Then about 8 months, while standing at the check out, someone mentioned the 'Flipp' shopping app that they had on their smart phone. A quick download of the app, and after adding in a DFW area code, and I had most of the major grocery store chains ads on my smart phone. At the time most of the Mexican markets were missing, but the app has a request feature so that they can add more grocery stores and within 3 weeks the Mexican markets began to appear on the app as well.

As I mentioned, we have been using 'Flipp' for more than 8 months and we no longer have to spend the $4.00 each week to purchase grocery ads for shopping which leaves us with $4.00 more to shop with. I realize that it does not sound like much, but over a years time (52 weeks) that's a savings of $208.00.

Flipp On The Smart Phone

It does a lot of things besides display grocery ads, it also collects circulars for general merchandise, sporting stores, department stores etc… However, our primary focus in this article is saving you money add increasing on your families food budget. I do not usually review or endorse any particular item on this blog, but I believe that they features of this app are of such value to our readers that I felt compelled to write my thoughts on using this smart phone app.

Flipp has a lot of features, one of the best is that when you find an item you want, your simply tap the screen and the app circles the item on the sales circular and adds it to a separate folder called “clippings”. You can then access all your clippings through a specific menu so that when the cashier wants to see the sales price you can show them on your phone without having to scroll through each ad.

You can setup the application to show only your favorite stores, a feature which we use. This will save you from having to look through ads from stores that either are not in your area, or ones in which the grocery store in which you shop will not accept. Once you have all your favorite stores then performing a search for an item will give you results only for the grocery stores you choose. You can of course search all the stores on the app, but the more specific the search, the better the results.

In addition, the app is pretty intuitive or setup to know when a particular grocery ad is expired and will notify you by placing the word 'expired' on any clippings that are out of date. Hitting a button on the right side of the screen brings up a pull down menu that allows you to delete expired and sent items. A very handy feature.

The app is not prefect. Some grocery ads on occasion are slightly blurry. My personal opinion is that it is the grocery store or whoever scans the ads into their respective computer that is at fault and not the app, but I could be wrong. It is a small inconvenience and usually you can figure out what is displayed in the ad, but not always. In addition, under the clippings button you have the option to delete 'expired or sent items.' I am not sure what 'sent' items means. It should mean that you are able to send or share your clippings with another smart phone. I use a Galaxy Note 4 (Android OS) and I do not see a way to send my clipping to another user. The option may be available on the IPhone, but as I do not have an IPhone I am unable to verify this minor issue. This may an added feature for the future and they have simply not implemented it yet, I honestly do not know.

Flipp On The Computer

If you do not have a smart phone, you can also use Flipp on your computer by logging onto their website ( Simply enter the area code you want to use and you are off an running. It is obviously not portable, and I see no way in which to link or send items from the computer to your smart phone (a future feature that would be nice). The computer makes it easier to see the ads, but the major disadvantage is that there is no print option at this time and about 50% of the time the cashier wants to see the ads, and they have the right to do so. So if you need to show your clippings to the cashier, you need the mobile app.


Just remember that each Wal-Mart is different. Our Canton Wal-Mart takes competitors adds from up to 70 miles away (DFW Metroplex), including all of the Mexican markets. While I current have 25 grocery stores listed in our Flipp app on our smart phone, we probably only use about 8 to 10 on a regular basis. Your store may accept less. In fact, they only have to take local competitors adds, which in our area is Brookshires, and Dollar General, but they amazingly take all corporate grocery ads within about 70 miles as I mentioned earlier.

Flipp is not perfect, but it is pretty darn good and the fact that it is free is even better. In fact, I never pay for apps on my smart phone or tablet, but I would definitely purchase this app if there was a way to share clippings with another phone, or sync the computer with my phone, and or print the clippings from the phone or computer to take to the store.

The bottom line is that if you are not using this tool to help stretch your food dollars, you might as well throw your hard earned cash out of the window. As always, if you have enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends and don't forget to send us a friend request on Facebook and Google+ so that you will not miss out on any of our new articles.