Book sale!

Book sale!
Jonni's last inventory on sale!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Potatoes: the under-valued food

When potatoes go on sale, they make an excellent base for frugal meals. They can be used as the main dish, side dish or the soup. They can be baked, boiled, hashed, scalloped, mashed or stuffed.
Potatoes are actually very nutritious. It's the deep-fried, cheese-laden things we do to them that is bad for us. Alone, a potato is an excellent source of vitamin C, B6 and minerals. The skin is an important part of this nutrition. Many of the elements found in a potato have been found to lower blood pressure and help fight disease. For more on the nutritional aspect of a potato, click here.
In addition to nutrition, potatoes are a frugal meal base. We can use them in any type of meal we want to serve.
Below is a meal that uses this versatile vegetable in both the main dish and soup. Enjoy!
Spanish potato
4 large baked potatoes
1/2 pound lean ground beef
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 cup diced onion
3 cloves garlic, pressed
6 ounces tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated Directions:
Bake the potatoes at 425 degrees F (or microwave) until tender in the center. Cut each potato in half lengthwise, and then scoop out the center of the potato with a spoon, being careful not to cut into the skin. Place the pulp in a large mixing bowl.
In a skillet, brown the ground beef. Drain the beef. Place the beef in the same mixing bowl as the potato pulp. Add the chili powder, onion, garlic, Tabasco sauce and tomato sauce. Mix well.
Stuff the potato shells with the potato-meat mixture. It will be heaping out of the skins. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons of cheese over the top of each potato. Place the potatoes on a cookie sheet and return to the oven for two to three minutes to melt the cheese. Serves four.
Cost per serving (1 filled potato): 59 cents
Per serving: 33g carbohydrates; 4g fiber; 20g protein; 18g fat; 351 calories.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Green is the new gullible

The Prius, and other hybrid vehicles, are touted by many as the ultimate statement of your commitment to the environment. But how much research did these enlightened consumers do before plopping $25,000+ down.

Have they researched how long it will take to recoup the cost of the car? Some hybrids recoup their value within 2 years, while others take 7 years before they become a profitable choice. And if they are paying a finance charge on your car payment for this beast, it might take longer.

What about the battery? Have they considered what happens to the disposed the toxic battery? Some are made of lithium while others are nickel metal hydride. Batteries commonly contain hazardous elements such as mercury, cadmium, and lead, which when incinerated or landfilled, present a risk to the environment and human health.Would the gas emissions of a Hummer be less toxic than the decomposing toxic batteries of a green car? CNW Marketing thinks so, as does the Washington Post (June 2, 2009): "CNW Marketing rates cars on the combined energy needed “to plan, build, sell, drive and dispose of a vehicle from initial concept to scrappage.” A Prius costs $2.87 per lifetime mile. By comparison, an H3 Hummer costs $2.07 per lifetime mile. Then there will be the problem of disposing of the used batteries."
And have they factored  in the cost of replacing their battery? They cost around $2500 per battery (new).

Don't get me wrong: green can be great and we should all be as responsible as we can with the environment. But don't be a lemming! Just because a company says "GREEN" don't believe them without researching it for yourself. Even the FTC thinks the green marketing has gotten out of hand, and issued a Green Guide that holds the marketers claims to standards.

What Can You Do?:
Be a smart shopper and use your wonderful mind that God gave you.
Read the FTC Green Guide
Don't be gullible!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Being Creative

Growing up overseas in third world countries gave me a new perspective on stuff. I watched poor children who lived in boxes make shoes out of discarded tires and make toys out of old bike rims and a stick. They had nothing but were happy and content to make something out of nothing.

How often do we think we need more stuff. Do we need a separate gadget for each purpose, or can some things multi-task? The television tells us we need a special strainer for our pasta. Mine works well for anything. Do we need 12 pairs of shoes? How many winter coats do we need?

Simplifying and frugality sometimes go hand in hand.

Just a frugal thought for the day.

P.S. If you would like to make your own tire sandals, click here

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rethink Christmas

As the holidays approach, the giant Asian factories are kicking into high
gear to provide Americans with monstrous piles of cheaply produced goods.
This year could/should be different. This year, Americans can give the
gift of genuine concern for others.

It’s time to think outside the box. Who says a gift needs to
fit in a shirt box, wrapped in paper? Everyone
gets their hair cut. How about gift certificates from your local
hair salon or barber?

Who wouldn’t appreciate getting their car detailed? Small, American owned
detail shops and car washes would love to sell you a gift certificate or
a book of gift certificates. Perhaps that grateful gift receiver would like his driveway sealed, or lawn mowed for the summer, or driveway plowed all winter, or games at the local golf course.

There are a many owner-run restaurants — all offering gift certificates.
And, if your intended isn’t the fancy eatery sort, what about a half
dozen breakfasts at the local breakfast joint. Remember, folks this isn’t
about big National chains — this is about supporting your home town
Americans who own their own businesses.

Local arts and crafts people spin their own wool and knit it into scarves. They make jewelry, and pottery and beautiful wooden boxes.

Plan your holiday outings at local, owner operated restaurants and leave
your server a nice tip. Musicians need love too, so find a venue
showcasing local bands.

Christmas is about caring about our friends, our local neighborhood small businesses to keep plugging away to follow their dreams. And, when we care about other Americans, we care about our communities, and the benefits come back to us in ways we couldn’t