BUDGETMAW's SparkPeople Blog http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal.asp?id=BUDGETMAW BUDGETMAW's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community SparkPeople.com http://assets2.sparkpeople.com/assets/nav/logo_spark.gif http://www.sparkpeople.com/ March 19 and 20 - More Zero Spending Days! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5896734 Didn't spend anything at all yesterday or today. I had a house showing yesterday when my cleaning lady was supposed to come, so we rescheduled to Saturday. And the friends I had lunch with paid for my lunch. Didn't even have to pay for parking, as I found a spot in the free lot. <BR> <BR> My house sold! Offered, countered, and accepted. Closing is supposed to be on or before May 11. <BR> <BR> Looked at a new car, and negotiated them down about $2000, but then didn't accept it because they ... Fri, 20 Mar 2015 22:50:47 EST March 18 - Not a Zero Spending Day http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5895648 But not bad, either. I went to breakfast with the cleanup crew from the homeless shelter. We're a group from the same church, and it's a nice social occasion. And I put a dollar in the parking meter when I did my tutoring session. But that's all I spent. The no spending part kept me from buying a box of cookies or something "to keep me awake" and from getting pizza for lunch, when I saw the pizza place right outside the library. A good frugal day. <BR> <BR> Today (Thursday) I need to go out ... Thu, 19 Mar 2015 02:29:15 EST March 17 - St. Paddy told me not to spend any money! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894840 Today was a no spend day. Zilch. Nada. Zip. Zero. Well, unless the computer automatically paid one of my utility bills today, but I'm not counting that. <BR> <BR> My goal is to have the rest of the month as no spend days, but there are so many exceptions! There are utilities and health insurance premiums and things like that, that are due when they're due. OK, I can make an exception for that sort of thing. And then there are things I have to pay for the house, like the guys who came and wor... Tue, 17 Mar 2015 20:21:54 EST March 16 - Being Frugal http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5894192 Knowing I need to be extra frugal saved me about $20 today. First, instead of eating lunch at the restaurant where we played bridge, I just had water and left a tip for the waitress. No, it's not something I can do all the time. I figure I need to eat lunch at least once a month, can have just water once a month, and have iced tea the rest of the time. That seems reasonably fair to the restaurant. The others all eat lunch there, so the restaurant is getting lots of business for letting us use... Mon, 16 Mar 2015 20:15:29 EST March 15 - Need to be extra frugal! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5893639 I did some rough projections today, and realized that I need to be really frugal from now on. I'm planning to move to Idaho as soon as I sell my house, and that's not a cheap process. There's the cost of getting my house ready to sell, and the cost of moving my stuff and myself, and the costs of getting settled out there, and I need to buy a new car. I don't trust my 20+ year old Ford Escort to get me there. <BR> <BR> Anyway, for some reason I had never really figured out what I'd end up sp... Sun, 15 Mar 2015 23:09:28 EST February 8 - Budget Challenge Thread! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871829 Budget Tip #38 - Visit Our Budget Challenge Thread! <BR> <BR> Which isn't exactly a challenge, except that budgeting is always a challenge! <BR> <BR> Budgets - food budgets in particular - have come up recently on our main daily threads, so I started a food budget thread at Challenge Central. Low Cost, Low Carb, High Value. Please suggest a better name! <BR> <BR> Come over and chat with us about budget woes and budget successes. Tips, idea, recipes, complaints, venting, questions, challeng... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 12:45:10 EST February 8 - Elegant Dining http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871825 Budget Tip #36 - Eat Your Meals in Courses! <BR> <BR> You know how they say that it takes about 20 minutes for your stomach to signal your brain that you're full? And most of us eat until we feel full, so we eat too much? Try restaurant dining at home! <BR> <BR> Serve your meal in courses. Maybe start off with a light soup, then your main "meal." Or start with a salad instead of soup. Or somehow split up your meal or add a light bit of extra as an extra course. Your meal will take longer to... Sun, 8 Feb 2015 12:39:59 EST February 7 - Moving! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5871233 Budget Tip #36 - Moving! <BR> <BR> I'm moving sometime soon. At least, I hope it's soon. As soon as my house sells, anyway. I'm going to move back to Idaho. That's where Mom lives. And while she doesn't need taken care of, I have nothing to hold me here except inertia. I didn't move here planning to stay more than a year or two, and it's been ten. And I definitely didn't buy this house planning to stay in it. <BR> <BR> If you are moved professionally, they charge by the pound. If you move ... Sat, 7 Feb 2015 12:07:48 EST February 5 - Plastic Newspaper Sleeves http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5870208 Budget Tip #35 - Plastic Newspaper Sleeves <BR> <BR> You know, those plastic bags that newspapers come in when it's wet out? I've never counted, but I must get at least a couple hundred of those a year. And then what do you do with them? <BR> <BR> They make great pooper scoopers! Put your hand all the way in, and pick up the waste through the plastic sleeve. Then pull the plastic off over your hand, leaving the waste at the bottom of the bag. Tie it off, and you're done. They're a great siz... Thu, 5 Feb 2015 17:48:40 EST February 3 - This and That http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5868751 Budget Tips # 32, 33 and 34 <BR> <BR> No, I haven't run out of things to pontificate about. I decided to sell my house all of a sudden, and it seems like things are happening very quickly - or need to. I'm a wee tad distracted. <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #32 - Cabbage, Carrots and Onions - Used to be, these were pretty cheap all year round. That was probably back in the days when fish was cheap, too. Remember those days? Fish and hamburger were what you ate when money was tight? A long time ago, ... Tue, 3 Feb 2015 14:54:52 EST January 31 - How Big Is and Apple? http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5866419 Or a carrot? How much juice is in a lemon? <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #31 - Standard Produce Measurements <BR> <BR> Don't you hate it when a recipe calls for the juice of one lemon? Or a small onion? What do they mean? Well, it turns out that folks have calculated these things for us. (Though, to tell the truth, I usually don't measure anyway.) <BR> <BR> Here's a link to a site that gives a lot of this information. It says that it will "solve all of your produce conversion questions," but of cou... Sat, 31 Jan 2015 09:39:41 EST January 30 - Freecycle! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5865915 Budget Tip #30 - Freecycle! <BR> <BR> Do you know about freecycle? It's sort of like online classified ads, except that everything has to be free. You can post that you have something to offer, and anyone who is interested emails directly back to you. Or you can post that you want something, and anyone who has it emails directly back to you. I've not posted directly on it before, though I have responded to some requests for things and have gotten some things. <BR> <BR> As some of you may k... Fri, 30 Jan 2015 12:27:12 EST January 29 - Super Bowl Snacks http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5864948 Budget Tip #29 - Cheap Super Bowl Snacks <BR> <BR> Did you know that Americans spend over a billion dollars on food for watching the Super Bowl? Yikes! And the average American eats over 1000 calories on Super Bowl festivities! The calories aren't necessarily so bad for us low carbers (depends on what they are, of course), but the money! <BR> <BR> Here's a link to a post I wrote for our local food pantry last year, with ideas and recipes for a delicious and relatively inexpensive Super Bowl... Thu, 29 Jan 2015 03:41:46 EST January 28 - Aldi http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5864452 Budget Tip #28 - Aldi! <BR> <BR> Don't know what the sales are in your neck of the woods, but the Aldi here has 10 oz boxes of grape tomatoes or 8 oz boxes of mushrooms for 89 cents. Celery is 69 cents a head. Avocados are 49 cents each. One pound bags of baby carrots are 69 cents. Wed, 28 Jan 2015 11:28:10 EST January 27 - Be Prepared! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5863291 I'm a little bit early with this, but that's just the way it is. <BR> <BR> A couple of days ago I was thinking about going grocery shopping. They were predicting nasty weather - a combination of rain, snow, sleet, freezing rain and similar stuff - so if I was going to go I needed to go right away. I decided it wasn't worth going out (sheer laziness), but it reminded me of the way people shop before storms. <BR> <BR> Have you ever been to the store right before a blizzard or hurricane or st... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 21:15:12 EST January 26 - Don't Go Shopping! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5863119 Budget Tip #26 - Don't go shopping! <BR> <BR> Seems pretty obvious, doesn't it? If you don't go shopping, you won't spend any money. As long as you include online shopping in the shopping category. <BR> <BR> Rats! I can't find what I'm looking. Oh, well. You've heard it before anyway. That people go to the grocery store to "just buy one thing" and they walk out with a cartful. Seems like the number I've heard is six. You go to the store to buy just one thing (a gallon of milk, say) and you ... Mon, 26 Jan 2015 16:35:57 EST January 25 - Do What Veg Says! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5862588 Budget Tip #25 - Do What Veg Says! <BR> <BR> I'm too lazy to come up with any budget tips for today, so I'll just say to read VEG954's suggestions in reply to my post yesterday! Thanks for some great ideas, Veg! Sun, 25 Jan 2015 23:31:22 EST January 24 - Use It All! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5861751 Budget Tip #24 - Use It All! <BR> <BR> Do you remember Melissa d'Arabian on Food Network? Maybe she's still there. I don't get that channel anymore. Anyway, I really liked her during the shows where folks were competing as the Next Food Network Star, so I made a point of watching her show. She lost all credibility with the first episode of her show, Ten Dollar Dinners. She was supposed to be showing how to cook economically. On her first show, she made a pie, including homemade pie crust. Fi... Sat, 24 Jan 2015 18:29:56 EST January 23 - Shop Your Pantry! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5860904 Budget Tip #23 - Shop Your Pantry! <BR> <BR> One of the budgeting/frugality books I read suggested putting aside a little bit of money each week or month (whatever your budget period is) to buy things that are on sale and stockpile them. That way, over time, you will have enough things on hand that you've purchased at sales prices that you can "shop your pantry" and always use things that you bought on sale. Here's how it works. <BR> <BR> Say your food budget is $100 a week and you decide ... Fri, 23 Jan 2015 10:25:25 EST January 22 - Recap and Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5860489 A much better day today. <BR> <BR> B - yogurt with cinnamon <BR> L - soup (bone broth, eggs, kale, tomatoes, green onions, coconut oil) <BR> S - yogurt with sour cream <BR> D - pork loin and cabbage fried in lard <BR> <BR> Breakfast was about 80 cents. Lunch was about $1.50. Supper was about $1.25. The snack was about 50 cents. Total for the day was about $4.25. <BR> <BR> 1571 calories <BR> 126 grams fat <BR> 65 grams protein <BR> 29 grams carbohydrates <BR> 10 grams fiber <BR> 19 grams n... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:57:23 EST January 22 - Sprouts http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5860091 Budget Tip #22 - Grow Your Own Sprouts <BR> <BR> Sprouts are cheap, easy to grow, and don't require special equipment or light. And they're ready in just a few days and are low carb and good for you. Doesn't get much better than that! <BR> <BR> Growing sprouts is easy. First, get the right kind of seeds. You need sprouting seeds, not garden seeds. Garden seeds often have pesticides and/or other stuff to make the seeds grow well. You're eating the seeds when you eat sprouts, so you want to b... Thu, 22 Jan 2015 08:30:32 EST January 21 - Recap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5859816 I'm not talking about today. I'm pretending it didn't happen. Though, as they say (or at least used to say) in TOPS, "Even though we overeat in private, the excess pounds are there for all the world to see. What I fool I've been." Wed, 21 Jan 2015 20:34:17 EST January 21 - Pickle Relish http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5859219 Budget Tip #20 - Pickle Relish <BR> <BR> Have you priced sugar free sweet pickle relish lately? Yikes! <BR> <BR> I grew up putting sweet pickle relish in a lot of salads - tuna salad, egg salad, chicken salad, "ham" salad, and so forth. All the "salads" that we put in sandwiches had sweet pickle relish in them. <BR> <BR> When I started eating low carb, I'd use a bit of vinegar or lemon juice and some artificial sweetener to get a similar taste. <BR> <BR> Someone online commented about... Wed, 21 Jan 2015 03:18:18 EST Green onions http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5859099 It really works! I bought some green onions a couple of days ago, and cut off and ate the green part, then stuck the bulb in some water, along with the other onions. There are definitely green shoots coming out of the top! Now if I could only remember to use the green onions. They're in the bedroom with the only south facing window, and the door to the room is closed to keep the cat out, so I don't notice them as I walk by. I haven't used green onions on a regular basis (as in, probably only ... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 22:52:55 EST January 20 - Recap and Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5859096 First of all, I want you to know that I basically have no social life. You may not believe that, when you remember that I ate out yesterday at noon, and when I tell you that I met a friend for tea this morning and that I'll be having breakfast tomorrow with friends. Truly, I have practically no social life! It just doesn't seem like it this week. (Lunch yesterday was with people I play bridge with. Tea this morning was with a woman from China who wants some help with her conversational Englis... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 22:45:13 EST January 20 - Yogurt http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5858718 Budget Tip #20 - Make Your Own Yogurt <BR> <BR> I bought some yogurt a few days ago, since I'm on antibiotics. It was $2.99 a quart for Dannon full fat plain yogurt, which was the cheapest they had. I could have gotten a gallon of milk (four quarts) for $2.69. Having the manufacturer make the yogurt quadruples the cost. <BR> <BR> Yogurt is easy to make at home. I don't know why I haven't made it lately. I will, though, now that I've got yogurt with live cultures to use as a starter. The bas... Tue, 20 Jan 2015 12:13:06 EST January 19 - Recap and Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5858352 A strange day, food-wise, today. I'm taking oral antibiotics for ten days, and had an IV antibiotic Thursday evening, and I've been forgetting to eat my yogurt. Yogurt doesn't have many calories or much protein, so I ate a big breakfast, planning to have the yogurt for lunch. Then I remembered that I was eating lunch out. I dithered a while, trying to decide whether to go ahead and eat out or to stay home and eat my yogurt, and decided to eat out. I had the salad bar and was very careful with... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 23:18:56 EST January 19 - Don't procrastinate! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5857780 Budget Tip #19 - Don't Procrastinate, and Don't Ignore <BR> <BR> How many times have you bought something and then not used it? It might be food that gently rots in the fridge, or clothes that go out of style or that no longer fit, or materials for a craft that you never get around to doing. <BR> <BR> My biggest downfall in this area is gardening stuff. I buy plants and then don't plant them and end up throwing away the soil they were planted in. I've got bags of manure and compost and oth... Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:15:42 EST January 18 - Recap and Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5857382 No menu or recap yesterday. It was not a good day. Actually, it was probably cheap enough. Cake at the library for lunch was free, after all. But enough said. <BR> <BR> Went to the co-op, today, which is mostly organic. Mostly went there because it was handy. I got a bunch of green onions with really fresh looking roots, and put them in water immediately. I had the green part from one of them for lunch, and the bottom is in the water with the others. We'll see how they do. Also got some bul... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 20:05:51 EST January 18 - Television http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856978 Budget Tip #18 - Television. <BR> <BR> How many channels do you actually watch? Probably not very many. So why pay for them? Of course, the cheapest thing to do is to ditch television altogether, but that may be going a bit far. Or get your television over the air instead of with cable. Or, apparently, use hulu.com, though I don't know anything about that. <BR> <BR> There is a compromise between no tv and a zillion channels, though. Cable companies are required by law to provide a very stri... Sun, 18 Jan 2015 09:27:54 EST January 17 - Simply Smart Dinner Plans http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856293 Bonus Budget Tip #17.5 - Chef Perry's Simply Smart Dinner Plans <BR> <BR> Chef Perry is a chef in, I think, the Portland area. He publishes cooking tips every week or so. Things like What is Poaching. What is Sauteing. That sort of thing. You might take a look at them. He teaches cooking to at-risk kids and their families, and I assume that the blog posts come from that. Ah! Here's a list of the most recent posts - What is All-Purpose Flour. What is Fish Sauce. What is Drizzling. What is Dic... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 09:35:38 EST January 17 - Regrow Green Onions in Water http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856150 Budget Tip #17 - Regrow green onions in water <BR> <BR> I've never tried this, but apparently you can regrow your green onions. You save the roots and an inch or two of the bulb, and put it in water in a glass and place it in a window. After a few days, green shoots will appear, and after a week or so you'll have new green onions to use! Just the green part, obviously, since you save the bulb to grow the next set of of greens. You can use the same bulb half a dozen times or so. Here's a link... Sat, 17 Jan 2015 00:46:45 EST January 16 - Menu and Wrap-up http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5856012 Another afternoon shot at the walk in clinic. They drew lines around the red and swollen areas on my hand when I was at the ER yesterday, and said to go back to the doctor if the redness or swelling went outside the lines. It did and I did and the NP said it was ok. Good news, just took all afternoon to get it! However, much better to spend a long time getting no news than to get bad news quickly, right? <BR> <BR> B - yogurt with splenda and cinnamon, tea with splenda and coconut oil <BR> L ... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 20:02:05 EST January 16 - Recycling http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5855663 Budget Tip #16 - Recycling <BR> <BR> I live just outside the city limits, and have my choice of trash collectors. (It's very efficient - I think there are three different companies who collect trash in my cul-de-sac - all eight houses of us!) The company I use offers curbside recycling, but we have to pay extra for it. $5 a week extra! That's ridiculous! Especially as the recycling center is only about a mile away. <BR> <BR> Check your trash company and see whether you pay extra for recycli... Fri, 16 Jan 2015 09:39:25 EST January 15 - Menu and Daily Recap http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5855335 Another day that didn't go as planned. (Do they ever?) <BR> <BR> Yesterday I picked up another cat to foster for the animal shelter. Last night it bit me. Hard. I reported it to the shelter manager, who kept telling me to watch out for infection. He knew that the cat was current on rabies and I knew that I was current on tetanus. Sure enough, my hand is infected. Took less than 12 hours for visible signs of infection. I went to the walk in clinic, and the doc there prescribed antibiotics and... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 21:09:37 EST January 15 - Library Book Sales http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854978 Budget Tip #15 - library book sales. <BR> <BR> I don't know about your library, but ours here has two or three big book sales each year. They sell the books that have been withdrawn from the collection because they're old or haven't been checked out very often or in bad condition or whatever, and also books that have been donated. <BR> <BR> The first day, books are about half what they're usually priced in the library's bookstore. The second day they're half of that. The third day they're ... Thu, 15 Jan 2015 10:38:16 EST January 14 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854528 A strange day. I slept and dozed until 11:44 (I was really tired!), so no breakfast. Lunch was eggs scrambled in lard. Supper was a sort of Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo, except something didn't work right. It was chicken (frozen), broccoli (frozen), butter, cream and parmesan cheese, but it didn't turn out saucy. And it wasn't nearly as good as when I made it at Mom's, which may be because I actually followed a recipe then, and may be because I used half and half here instead of heavy whippin... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 19:44:45 EST Wednesday, January 14 - Homemade Mayo http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854519 Thank you, Naypooie! This brings me current! <BR> <BR> I mostly make my mayo by guess and by golly, but wanted to get a real recipe to give you. Turns out that among the thousands (literally!) of recipes I have saved, there's not one for mayo! And the cookbook I have here beside me doesn't have one, either. Strange. Anyway, here's how I do it. Either in the blender or in a jar with an immersion (stick) blender. <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #14 - Homemade Mayo <BR> <BR> 1 egg (or 2 egg yolks) <BR> ... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 19:22:58 EST Wednesday, January 14 - Homemade Salad Dressing http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5854431 I skipped yesterday, because I was travelling all day. And I renumbered Budget Tip #10.5 to Budget Tip #11 so my tips would match the date. I wonder whether I can come up with 365 tips. Anyway, I'm off again, since no tip yesterday. One of these days I'll come up with two and then things will be back on track. In the meantime... <BR> <BR> Budget Tip #12 - I like homemade salad dressing, though I haven't found a homemade ranch dressing that I like. Mostly I make variations on vinaigrettes - o... Wed, 14 Jan 2015 16:32:25 EST Monday, January 12 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5852994 B - yogurt, flaxmeal, cinnamon, cream, splenda <BR> L - eggs scrambled in bacon drippings <BR> S - pork chop, carrots, delicata squash w/butter and cinnamon <BR> <BR> Breakfast - around $1.50 <BR> Lunch - about 35 cents <BR> Supper - around $2.50 <BR> Total - probably between $4 and $5 <BR> <BR> If the plane can get in tonight (it was cancelled last night because of weather, and it's supposed to be foggy both in Salt Lake City and in Twin Falls tonight), I'll be home tomorrow! Mon, 12 Jan 2015 20:41:38 EST Monday, January 12 - One Minute Muffin/Muffin in a Minute http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5852624 Budget tip #11 - MIM/OMM <BR> <BR> (Otherwise known as Muffin in a Minute or One Minute Muffin) <BR> <BR> A MIM is a flaxmeal muffin. It can be made sweet or savory. It can be sliced in half and toasted or used to make a sandwich. It can be eaten like hot cereal with cream and/or butter and splenda. Here's the basic recipe. Don't be put off by the cinnamon. You can't taste it at all with just one tablespoon, and just barely with two. The Splenda is necessary, even for a savory version. Agai... Mon, 12 Jan 2015 11:30:27 EST Sunday, January 11 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5852153 B - eggs poached in bacon grease (instead of butter) and cream <BR> L - corned beef, lettuce with peanut butter <BR> S - tea w/splenda and cream <BR> D - salad of tuna, egg, lettuce, carrot, celery, mayo, seafood cocktail sauce, sunflower seeds; cucumber in sour cream; low carb chocolate peanut butter fudge Sun, 11 Jan 2015 21:00:17 EST Sunday, January 11 - Sterilize Potting Soil http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5851832 Budget Tip #10.5 - MrThing commented on yesterday's post that he used commercial potting soil inside and lots of little insects grew out of it. His solution is hydroponics. Another solution is to cook the potting soil. Here's an article that gives several ways to do it - steaming it either in a pressure cooker or not, baking it, or nuking it. <BR> <BR> <link>www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-<BR>to/soil-fertilizers/sterilizing-soil.htm </link> Sun, 11 Jan 2015 13:50:41 EST Sunday, January 11 - Don't Overeat! http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5851780 Budget tip #10 - Don't overeat! Seems like a no-brainer, doesn't it? So why do we keep doing it? Eating too much means buying too much which means spending too much. And there are also all the costs associated with overeating - health issues, having to buy new clothes, and so on. <BR> <BR> Nope, it's just plain not worth it. Do yourself and your pocketbook a favor and eat enough but not too much. It's good for you, for your bank balance and for the environment, too. Sun, 11 Jan 2015 12:29:58 EST Saturday, January 10 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5851373 B - cottage cheese with sunflower seeds <BR> L - chicken drumstick, a little bit of leftover chicken soup, salami with cream cheese, almonds <BR> S - corned beef, carrot, broccoli, onion, cucumber, sour cream dressing <BR> <BR> No idea how to price it, but I'm guessing probably $4, plus or minus. <BR> <BR> ps - had mixed nuts, cheese and sausage this afternoon while playing bridge Sat, 10 Jan 2015 21:34:47 EST Saturday, January 10 - Grow Lights http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5851251 Budget tip #9 - Grow lights <BR> <BR> The food pantry at which I volunteer sent out a newsletter with their Martin Luther King Day activities. They're asking folks to come in and, among other things, clean and plant the flats for starting plants inside. It's a neat food pantry - in addition to handing out food, they have nutrition classes and gardening classes and they have four big gardens around town. In 2014 they grew over 3500 pounds of food that was distributed to their patrons! <BR> <... Sat, 10 Jan 2015 18:49:11 EST Friday, January 9 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5850648 My usual yogurt for breakfast, with blueberries, slivered almonds, flaxmeal, cinnamon and cream. <BR> <BR> Lunch was salami rolled up with cream cheese inside, and celery with peanut butter. <BR> <BR> Supper was at a mom-and-pop Mexican restaurant. I asked for fajitas, minus the tortilla and rice, and with extra lettuce. I got the sizzling dish of grilled beef, onions and peppers, and the other half of the plate, that would usually have the tortilla and rice, was a huge pile of shredded let... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 21:46:14 EST Friday, January 9 - "Natural" peanut butter http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5850272 Budget tip #8 - Kroger has a "natural" peanut butter that's only peanuts and salt. No oils, sugars, or unpronounceable ingredients. It comes in either creamy or chunky, and a jar costs the same as their regular peanut butters. It actually costs a bit more, because as I recall, a jar of the natural peanut butter is an ounce or two smaller than a jar of the regular. So it probably costs about 10% more than the regular stuff. It's still a lot cheaper than the "natural" versions of the national b... Fri, 9 Jan 2015 11:32:43 EST Thursday, January 8 - Menu http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5849850 eggs scrambled in bacon grease and the drippings from frying the ham last night <BR> cottage cheese with sunflower seeds, celery with peanut butter <BR> soup (chicken broth (made from the chicken carcass), a few scraps of chicken, broccoli, carrots, onion), celery with peanut butter <BR> <BR> A cheap day today. The eggs cost about 35 cents and the grease and drippings were "free." Lunch was probably about $1.25 to $1.50. For supper, I figure the chicken broth was "free," and the rest cost a... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 22:20:00 EST Thursday, January 8 http://www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_journal_individual.asp?blog_id=5849453 Budget tip #7 - Having just a plain old uninteresting supper? You can perk up a meal by doing something a bit fancy with the side dishes. How about a sprinkle of cheese on the vegetables? Or some sunflower seeds or sliced or slivered almonds on the salad? An inexpensive extra can make a meal seem much more interesting. <BR> <BR> Don't forget, though, that food is for nourishment, not for entertainment! Our meals don't need to be exciting or even interesting all the time, as long as they are ... Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:45:00 EST