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November 26, 2008


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Janet Barclay

I have one that takes #20 a step further. When chopping veggies, I put the scraps, i.e. broccoli stalks, carrot scrapings, etc. in a large freezer bag, and when it gets full, I use it to make a pot of stock for homemade soup. Costs nothing, tastes great, and has no added salt or artificial ingredients!

Jeri Dansky

1. Recently, I'm using the library more. Books are my weakness; this way I find out which ones I REALLY want to own before I buy them. I was buying too many books that sounded good, but were disappointing when I actually got them.

2. Where I live, you need cable to get any TV reception at all. Years ago, when I realized how little TV I watched, I stopped the cable and got rid of the TV. No cable charges, no Tivo charges. If I want to see a movie, I can rent the DVD and play it on my computer.

3. For health reasons as much as budget reasons, I gave up drinking a 6-pack of Diet Vernors per day. Now I drink water - tap water, run through a sink filter - from my CamelBak water bottle. (Someone called these sippy cups for adults, and that's a pretty fair description.)

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

Jeri, you are my HERO! I dream of giving up TV...but I think I may actually
be addicted. When I'm away from home I don't watch...but when I get home,
one of the first things I do is catch up on everything I missed (I have a
DVR) When I didn't have a DVR, I would actually be very upset to miss an
episode of a favorite show. I spend an hour or 2 each night watching TV to
put me to sleep...it's about the only thing I do that calms me down like
that. So I suppose I have to face that it could be an addiction.
I too use the library, I borrow audio-books a lot too.

Re: soda...I gave that up so long ago...but the water...I'm having a hard
time transitioning away form the bottled water. We have Brita to supplement
our bottled water usage...but again...they helped me quit everything else
and are SOOO convenient, it's very hard for me to go back to filling up so
many bottles a day...I get so obsessed about trying to keep the reusable
bottles clean. It takes a lot of time. We do recycle every inch of the
bottles though. At least, we are moving in the right direction. We are
looking for a really good house water filtering system so that we can drink
right out of the tap.


You do, in the end, pay for those "free" points you get by using credit cards. Charging credit costs retailers more than debit, checks, or cash. Eventually the retailers are forced to raise prices because their overhead becomes inflated with credit card purchases.

As they say, no such thing as a free lunch. The banks wouldn't push the "free points" deals so much if it was *them* footing the bill.

Ariane Benefit, M.S.Ed.

HI Fox, That is so true! I didn't mention this but we don't use credit
cards when we pay small business that trust our checks, like our car
mechanic, chiropractor, cleaning service and others. Most of the businesses
we shop with though prefer credit cards over checks.
Do you have an alternate idea in mind as a more "conscientious" way to shop?
I would love to go back to a cash based economy in an "idealistic"
way...but I can't see that ever happening. Can you?


Your posts are wonderful - thanks for this great site!

It's so nice to read someone advocating frugality, and I love how you show and encourage organizing with the materials and containers one has on hand.

I'm sort of the queen of cheap, but I forget until I'm around others who are spending.

A huge money-saver is to pick one day of the week for grocery shopping. I keep a list all week, knowing I will only shop that one day. I draw 2 lines down the long, narrow page (the back of coupon sheets received in the mail weekly) to divide the page into 3 columns, and a horizontal line across the middle of the page (a total of 6 "cells" on the page.) The left column is for the grocery store, the middle for the natural foods store, and in the right column, I list the meals I'll make that week, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, then list the ingredients and other items to buy in the grocery store columns. I list produce above the center line, and other items below, in the approximate order I'll buy them according to the store layout, to save time at the store. I just cook for myself, usually, so if I make two dinner recipes each week that have 4 servings each, that's 8 meals, enough for one week. So I shop on Fridays (I do all errands Fridays), and then make one recipe for dinner on Saturday night, the other recipe on Sunday night, and then alternate between the two for the rest of the week. I just reheat and add a salad on weeknights, and never have to waste time/gas/money running to the store mid-week. Very lazy, saves time, and saves money on food by planning easily and well. Warning: just don't bring the recipe card to the grocery store (write the ingredients on the shopping list) because that's a great way to lose a beloved recipe!

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