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#121 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 07:36 PM
 
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Am going to try the rice milk recipe. Thanks. Could I freeze this?

I want to make some soups in large quantities and would like to freeze them. What is the best way to freeze it? Freezer bags? Containers? How long can they be frozen for?
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#122 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 08:07 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NorCal Mama
Am going to try the rice milk recipe. Thanks. Could I freeze this?

I want to make some soups in large quantities and would like to freeze them. What is the best way to freeze it? Freezer bags? Containers? How long can they be frozen for?
The rice milk will NOT freeze- I tried this and ended up with fibers of "rice paper" floating in the thawed milk.

Soups can be frozen in bags or containers, just make sure the soup is cool before transfering to plastic freezer stuff. I usually use up freezer stuff within 2 months, not sure how long it would otherwise keep.

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#123 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 08:08 PM
 
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NorCal Mama-

I don't know if the rice milk if freezable but I'm going to give it a try. That would be really great if I could just have a few quarts of it in the freezer.

I get so excited about stuff like this. It's like a cheap thrill for me. And it makes me feel so darn clever. I am a nerd I guess. A frugalty-oogalty nerd.

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#124 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 08:10 PM
 
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Oops! I cross-posted with Ruth. thanks for the advice on the rice milk. That sounds dreadful--ack!! I will not be freezing it after all.

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#125 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 09:04 PM
 
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Rowdy-pea: love that you're a frugalty-oogalty nerd. I'm becoming that way. Out of necessity, so we can save and stop paying someone else for a house we live in. I have so much to learn about frugality. I love this thread.
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#126 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 09:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heket
Yesterday, you all inspired me to make banana pancakes from scratch to freeze and pop into the microwave during the week.
Could you post this recipe it sounds yummy...
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#127 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 09:11 PM
 
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Thank you mamas! This is my favorite discussion in a long time

All the recipes/ideas for the crock pot are great! The only thing I do now really is pulled pork which could be done in the oven. When country style ribs boneless are on sale for real cheap we buy as much as possible without other customers harrasing us!
Then we put one cup orange juice and one cup bbq sauce to every 3 lbs of meat. Bake on 300 coverd for 3 hours. then the last hour do uncoverd at 350. It should be able to be split with a fork. We shred it up with a fork and put on sandwiches- very yummy. This has also been done in the crock for double the time.

I pasted all the recipe/ ideas into a document so if anyone wants it, let me know, I can post it.

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#128 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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Thanks Rowdypea! I will check next time I am there.
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#129 of 509 Old 01-09-2005, 11:41 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tnrsmom
Jen, here was my idea for Golden Nugget Bars. Soften ice cream similar to play dough consistency. Roll into logs with a bit of a well on the top and freeze on a cookie sheet. When frozen, pour caramel and nuts in the well and freeze again. Let freeze overnight so they are really hard. Dip in milk chocolate and freeze again.
I may try that this week.
Wow, I never thought about rolling the ice cream into logs. What kind of caramel are you planning on using? I'll bet it would be good with almonds, too! Let me know how it works!
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#130 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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Golden Nugget Bars OH MAN does that sound good and I am no a no sugar in my diet right now.
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#131 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 12:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by MommytoMJM
Here is a recipe site for foods we eat in restaurants or candy, etc....to make at home, check it out!

http://www.copykat.com/
What an awesome site! I actually found a recipe for General Tso's Chicken!!!! Now just gotta see if it freezes well... Plus, Dairy Queen onion rings and Bennigan's garlic mashed potatoes. Who needs to eat out?!
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#132 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 01:14 AM
 
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NAK!

Hey frugal mamas! Didn't even realize you'd started a new thread!!
Am I the only one who's feeling like frugal living should have it's own forum?
I was just over checking out simpleliving.net. Pretty good website, but I'd like to see it get as organized as MDC! Go check it out if you haven't already!

NAK'ing, so I can't type as much as I'd like to, but if you're ,aking rice milk and want it enriched - go to your natural foods store and you can buy a liquid supplement thing, and just add a Tbsp. or so into each batch. We do our own soy, rice & almond milk, and use "Nature's Life - Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus Liquid". We also use brown rICE sYRUP , not honey, so you don't get any predominant sweetener taste.

Will chhat later when I have2 hands

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#133 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 01:07 PM
 
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Thanks Dready Mama! My first batch of rice milk turned out pretty good. And it was easy too. Plus I got to use my kitchen "power tools" that I love so. I'm glad I can enrich it too.

Yes I think a frugal living forum would be great. It seems like such a responsible way to live, but a lot of people (often me included) don't know how to get started or what changes to make. and of course support is important, because goodness knows there is so much out there trying to get us off our frugal wagon.

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#134 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 01:19 PM
 
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I'm really just a lurker on this frugal living thread but I have a garbage concern. We recycle. We do the best we can, I think. Yet we have SO MUCH DARNED GARBAGE every week. Like 6-8 big bags full. What's up with that? How much garbage do you all output in a given week? Ways to cut down on garbage?
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#135 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 02:01 PM
 
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We usually only have 2 bags of trash a week and we are a family of 5. I recycle everything I can and I try and only buy things in recyclable packaging. If I can't, well I can't but I at least try. We eat leftovers and put whatever we can't/won't use that will go down there in the garbage disposal. A few things like corn cobs can't so those go in the trash.

I use cloth diapers, napkins, towels (instead of paper towels), regular plates more than paper and a diva cup. That itself really cuts down on our trash. Before when we used all disposable products we had at least 3 bags a week of trash I was able to cut down to no more than 2, if it's a really good week we have 1 bag!
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#136 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 02:04 PM
 
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Something that generated alot of garbage for us was those darn soymilk containers. So we started making our own. Not saying that we have zero trash, or anything, but we have a dumpster for just our neighborhood, so I don't really keep track. I'd say we fill 2 or 3 plastic grocery bags per week. We also liberate lots of trash from the dumpster... stuff that's not really trash, just excess that our wasteful neighbors are too lazy to take to the thrift!

Thinking about going and posting on Q's that there be a Frugal Living Forum. There are just such a broad range of frugal topics to talk about and they get lost in just one thread, ya know?

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#137 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by vegiemom
I'm really just a lurker on this frugal living thread but I have a garbage concern. We recycle. We do the best we can, I think. Yet we have SO MUCH DARNED GARBAGE every week. Like 6-8 big bags full. What's up with that? How much garbage do you all output in a given week? Ways to cut down on garbage?
We struggle with this too. Some ideas that have helped us:

- Compost food scraps. Everything except meat can be composted. Crushed egg shells are really great for roses if you have any. This is double fugal 'cause later you don't have to go buy soil for you plants. You can even compost dryer lint assuming the items dried weren't acrylic.

- Use real towels instead of paper towel. My DH won't use regular towels for cleaning up spills and stuff, so I bought a bunch of muslin and am cutting/sewing it into paper towel size sheets. Some people also use the microfiber towels you can buy at Walmart in the auto section for this. We're also going to start using these towels to replace Kleenex. Kinda like big hankies.

- If you use swiffers use the above mentioned microfiber towels to mop with instead of the sposie ones. You can reuse the dusters too, just wash in the sink & let air dry. Even better get a good feather duster & don't buy the reusable ones at all.

- Cloth diapers. I can't even imagine how much more trash I'd put out each week if we used sposies.

- When possible make your own cleaners, convenience foods, etc. If you can't (or don't want) to make your own then at least make sure to buy the one with the least packaging or packaging that's recyclable.

- If you have cats change to a litter that's flushable. We use a wheat based litter, which I have to admit we don't actually flush, but it does weigh about half of what the clay stuff does (our trash is done by weight), works just as well, and is much healthier for us, our animals, and the environment.

- Not going out to eat cuts down a lot on our trash actually. We always have leftovers and the containers are almost never recyclable.

HTH!
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#138 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dready*mama
Thinking about going and posting on Q's that there be a Frugal Living Forum. There are just such a broad range of frugal topics to talk about and they get lost in just one thread, ya know?
Just had to add ITA with this! Even a forum for the more general category of "money management" would work. Funny that something we all deal with on a daily basis (money) and has such a huge impact on our lives, world, environment, etc doesn't have a forum.

Then again there isn't a forum for SAHM's either, but don't get me going on that!
:
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#139 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 03:55 PM
 
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So, what do we need to do to get a new forum? Is there a moderator to ask? I have so many questions about frugality, and I don't want to bombard you all with all of them. I'm a beginner here in the frugal world.

Here is one question: I've been reading that a lot of you have saved your carcasses from Christmas. How long can you save something like that? Did you freeze it or what? Then re-cook it? I'm also a beginner with cooking and storing meat. I was a vegetarian for years, so I'm learning.

Thanks!
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#140 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 04:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by janerose
Just had to add ITA with this! Even a forum for the more general category of "money management" would work. Funny that something we all deal with on a daily basis (money) and has such a huge impact on our lives, world, environment, etc doesn't have a forum.

Then again there isn't a forum for SAHM's either, but don't get me going on that!
:
Dont even get me started on the SAHM thread, besides I am enjoying this discussion, so don't go there. :

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#141 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 04:20 PM
 
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I just read this whole thread while my kids are napping and I'm excited to join! We try to be thrifty and frugal (never buy new clothes, use cloth diapers, shop cheaply, etc.), but I know we could do more. One thing that I struggle with is the grocery budget. I budget $300 a month for a family of four and I usually come in under that, but then I read about the Tightwad lady (the Frugal Zealot, she called herself ... and whatever happened to her, anyway?) feeding her family of 8 on $180 a month and I feel bad. Btw, about the Frugal Zealot: she and her husband enjoyed the challenge of thrifting. That's why she seems to extreme. It was their hobby and their entertainment. I would never do a lot of the things she does, because the monetary gain is not worth my lack of enjoyment of the process. But I do find interesting ideas in her books, and they inspire me to be more creative myself.

Does anyone else struggle with balancing thrift with quality? I mean, I could buy all my groceries at Save-a-Lot and save money, but then I would be buying things with partially hydrogenated oils and stuff in them, versus going to Trader Joe's and paying more but getting better-quality stuff. That's another thing about the Frugal Zealot: to her it seems to be all about money and not about nutritional value.

Anyway, here's what we do and are trying to do right now:

-Scratch cooking: I try to do this as much as possible, but I find I still need to buy things like canned tomatoes and refried beans, etc. If I add canned tomatoes, am I still cooking from scratch?

-Breakfast: I'm trying to wean the kids off cereal. I bought a big box of Cherrios for $1.24 yesterday, but I try to make a batch of muffins every Sunday so that we can have muffins for breakfast during the week, and the kids like oatmeal, too. I've made and frozen pancakes in the past, too. I can't get motivated to make eggs or french toast or anything that's not quick in the morning. It has to be SIMPLE or I know I won't do it. Any other ideas?

-Leftovers: About once every two weeks I make "leftovers" soup. Any wilty vegetables, and leftover odds and ends from dinners we didn't eat up completely, etc., it all goes in a big pot and simmers all afternoon. As long as I add pasta, my kids will eat it. I'll even rinse the sauce or spices off a leftover so I can add it to the soup without adding an "off" taste. I am able to get several meals out of that one pot of soup, because during the week I just add things as I go, kind-of like a perpetual soup pot. I actually wondered yesterday how long I could go with one pot of soup before it was rotten!

-Bulk foods: I'd like to start buying in bulk, but I don't really know what I need, and I don't want to end up with 25-lb. bags of things I don't end up using.

-Gardening: We had a garden last summer, wasted a lot of fresh produce, and learned a lot about what we'll do differently this summer. My mom bough me a pressure canner for my birthday, and I canned green beans and applesauce! We're still using them!

-I'm still addicted to frozen veggies, though: peas, corn, and lima beans. I'm thinking of trying dried limas, but I don't know what to do about the peas and corn. My kids love them, and they love to eat them frozen, and since we are vegetarian, we need to have a lot of variety in what we eat, so I try to have lots of types of veggies on hand for the kids.

-Line drying: We have some clothes lines in our basement, where the machine is. I don't use them as much as I should, but that is something I am trying to be better about.

Homemade cleaning supplies: I pretty much clean with vinegar, baking soda, and castille soap. I just bought some tea tree oil the other day. I'm excited about using it, but boy, it stinks!

Things we have tried that don't work for us:

-Freezer meals and once-a-month cooking: I hate cooking, and the idea of spending a whole day cooking is enough to scare me off. Even trying to cook one time for the whole week isn't worth it to me. My foul mood more than offsets any benefit we might derive from the reduced need for cooking. Plus, my husband doesn't like the taste of thawed food. So I have a meal plan that consists of 3 main dishes a week that I make double batches of. I then refrigerate part of it for another night in the week. My husband prefers to eat the same thing twice a week than to eat thawed leftovers. We also have one wild-card night where I try to use up anything we have sitting around.

-Turning down the thermostat: I read about this all the time, and they say "Just add a sweater." Doesn't work for me. I could be wearing 10 sweaters, but if my hands are cold, forget it.

Yard-saling: I hate it. I am not a shopper, and I hate going to yard sales. It's even worse if I have to take the kids along. I might go to one or two yard sales a year, and I never find anything I'm interested in, and I always feel bad if I leave without buying something. I don't like it when the salers try to interest me in their old junk, and I feel trapped and tongue-tied trying to get away from them without buying something out of guilt. I get most of the kids' clothes hand-me-down from friends and relatives, from Freecycle, from thrift stores, or from those twice-a-season mother's exchange type sales.

Looking forward to reading more!!

Namaste!
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#142 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 04:49 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
Does anyone else struggle with balancing thrift with quality? I mean, I could buy all my groceries at Save-a-Lot and save money, but then I would be buying things with partially hydrogenated oils and stuff in them, versus going to Trader Joe's and paying more but getting better-quality stuff. That's another thing about the Frugal Zealot: to her it seems to be all about money and not about nutritional value.
Yes, I do. I don't go to save-a-lot anymore because of it. The way I look at it is I'm extra frugal in some areas so I can afford to spend in others (organic milk, yogurt & veggies, fresh friuts & veggies even in the winter, etc). Also, it might be cheaper short term to buy those foods, but in the long run you'll probably save quite a bit of money on health bills.

I find co-op bulk bins to be the best solution for us bulk wise. If I buy a 25 lb bag of flour & toss it in the deep freeze it tastes funny before we're through it. Bulk bins are still a good price, but without all the hassel of storage either.
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#143 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:05 PM
 
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I wish I could use the bulk bins. I've seen meal moths hovering around them at nearly every grocery store in town.

Every now and again if my dh complains about our spending on food, I'll ask him if he really wants the Tightwad Gazette meal plan. I don't hear another peep on that topic for a long time! I do like the books for the philosophy and I picked up some grocery saving tips from them. But I like cooking and we all like eating too much to be eating mystery casseroles every night.
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#144 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dharmamama
I just read this whole thread while my kids are napping and I'm excited to join! We try to be thrifty and frugal (never buy new clothes, use cloth diapers, shop cheaply, etc.), but I know we could do more. One thing that I struggle with is the grocery budget. I budget $300 a month for a family of four and I usually come in under that, but then I read about the Tightwad lady (the Frugal Zealot, she called herself ... and whatever happened to her, anyway?) feeding her family of 8 on $180 a month and I feel bad. Btw, about the Frugal Zealot: she and her husband enjoyed the challenge of thrifting. That's why she seems to extreme. It was their hobby and their entertainment. I would never do a lot of the things she does, because the monetary gain is not worth my lack of enjoyment of the process. But I do find interesting ideas in her books, and they inspire me to be more creative myself.

Does anyone else struggle with balancing thrift with quality? I mean, I could buy all my groceries at Save-a-Lot and save money, but then I would be buying things with partially hydrogenated oils and stuff in them, versus going to Trader Joe's and paying more but getting better-quality stuff. That's another thing about the Frugal Zealot: to her it seems to be all about money and not about nutritional value.

Namaste!
Welcome! I totally understand where you are coming from. I do not see a value on stuff from the aisles of food at Walmart and super target because we do not eat stuff like that- PHoils, high fructose corn syrup etc.

I too would rather spend a few pennys more and get trader joes. Also I will not bend on organic milk. Its a few dollars more, but its worth it that DD is not ingesting antibiotics, growth hormones or any other fun things like that.

I too cannot fathom spending time driving to see other people's junk in their garages but I have at least 3 good friends who do and they do it well. I'm more home at a department store's clearence rack.

After doing a veggie garden for 8 years we have learned what we eat and what gets wasted. But it took a few years to balence it. It helps to make a list of how many plants, what was fruitful what was not. We are down to 3 herbs from 10. Also 4 varieties of tomatoes down from 7. We still get a HUGE tomato harvest but we eat it all year from our canning in sept/oct.

I also have learned that milage credit cards are worthless for us. I learned watching other people do this and realizing they got no better deal than I did. Also there are blackout dates. We still fly, but for very cheap. We are going to florida at the end of January for $370 for the 3 of us on United. Since my parents are there, the biggest expense will be groceries when we get there. Watch the airlines, go to their websites etc. We went to London 4 years ago, the flights were $400 for the 2 of us, the plane was empty and we stretched out.

I agree also on the thermastat. We keep it low all winter and have insultated our house to keep our bills down. But I and DD like it cool. So in the summer, if its hot, the air is on full blast. Its a reward for not spend $$ all winter to keep warm.

Good shoes. We buy the most expensive well made shoes we can afford. They stay nicer longer and my feet stay warm. DD wears Stride rites and they are expensive but they are leather and her feet stay non smelly unlike with non leather shoes and warm. She also wears them 5-7 months instead of the 3 shoe people say they should.

My black fashion boots are a soft leather that were expensive and made in Europe. They are also 3 seasons old and are still perfect. Also my birkenstocks have seen 9 countries. I bought them in college as a splurge that turned into a frugal thing. They have averaged about $97 spread over 11 years = around $9 a year. DH bought 4 pairs of Mephistos in Europe. They were $80 each pair. They are $370 at Nordstrom per pair. That was 5 years ago and they still look like new since he keeps them cleaned and shined. We also shine our own shoes. He has had two pairs of shoes resoled recently that he bought ten years ago. They are as good as new. Since men's styles do not change that often, his dress/work shoes stick around and they are worth the expense.

So every family is different. What works for one, may nto work for another- you're right! Who else can add to this list?

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#145 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:23 PM
 
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I used to buy all organic. But I'm being frugal now. In a magazine I found the dirty dozen of fruits and vegetables. These are the ones with the strongest amounts of pesticides etc. So now, I try to only buy these in organic along with meat.

peaches, strawberries, apples, spinach, nectarines, celery, pears, cherries, potatoes, sweet bell peppers, raspberries, and imported grapes.

I'm also big on having good shoes. They're so much better for your feet and spine. Currently I have 2 pair of sandals and 2 pair of closed shoes. My feet grew a 1/2 inch with my second pregnancy, so it'll take me awhile to have a variety when the shoes I like cost at least $60 a pair. I love my shoes, they're so comfy. So, compared to someone with a large collection of shoes that have to always replace them because they're worn, I feel like I'm being thrifty.
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#146 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by NorCal Mama
I used to buy all organic. But I'm being frugal now. In a magazine I found the dirty dozen of fruits and vegetables. These are the ones with the strongest amounts of pesticides etc. So now, I try to only buy these in organic along with meat.

peaches, strawberries, apples, spinach, nectarines, celery, pears, cherries, potatoes, sweet bell peppers, raspberries, and imported grapes.

I'm also big on having good shoes. They're so much better for your feet and spine. Currently I have 2 pair of sandals and 2 pair of closed shoes. My feet grew a 1/2 inch with my second pregnancy, so it'll take me awhile to have a variety when the shoes I like cost at least $60 a pair. I love my shoes, they're so comfy. So, compared to someone with a large collection of shoes that have to always replace them because they're worn, I feel like I'm being thrifty.
Amen sister!

You would be a model patient for my DH. He's a physical thpt and always preaching about shoes and how they affect your feet and spine and back.

One good thing that came out of my 7 week bedrest while pregnt is my feet stayed the same size. Also my daughter came on time so that was the great thing!

I have toned down my shoes to just a few pairs that I need. But they still are good and not worn out. Also- I have no where to go that requires a huge shoe collection.

"The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly out distances us."
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#147 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:54 PM
 
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Rowdypea (love your username BTW) just tred the rice mlk! It's awesome and easy! For the price you pay, you'd thnk it would be complicated. Thank you for the recipe! I used wildrice mix, rice syrup and just happened to have lqud calcum on hand because got my big discount vitamin order the other day. Boy, this will save us $. Too bad you can't freeze it but oh well.

Anybody with vegetarian crockpot recipes? Or one for rye crispbread?

We went to a party the other night and I made everything from scratch except I did buy a box of crackers to go with the bean dip. I was tempted to save time and just buy everything but I am so proud of myself for staying frugal. I need to get mor organized, though and get more stuff in the freezer to avoid the last minute panic.

About balancing frugality with value, I, too, buy extremely good shoes and then take good care of them. The kids usually get cheaper ones because they are growing so fast but for myself, it is worth it. Also, I bought myself a really good, warm winter coat last year. It was epensive but I pan on getting my $ out of it! I couldn't find what I wanted at Value Village and I am so enjoying being WARM!

A local lady dropped me off 50lbs of organic potatoes for $20 today. I love having a cold room!

Hope everybody has a good day!
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#148 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 05:59 PM
 
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I turned down our thermostat 1 degree last week and I am still struggling with it. Who would have thought 1 degree would make a difference? My feet have definately noticed. :LOL

I buy good shoes too. I wear Birks all summer, nothing else. Even if I buy a new pair every year, which I don't, it is worth it. I have also found that my Land's End All Weather Mocs that I bought last year have held up great! They were $24.50 and are on their 2nd full snowy season. My dds all have wide feet so we have to buy them good shoes. The boys are easy to fit so we don't buy super expensive like we do for the girls but decent.

We are down to 2 credit cards with $500 limit each. We only use them in emergency situations and got through the holidays without using them.

We typically do not travel much. My parents have a cottage on a lake 2 hours away so we spend a lot of the summer there. All we have to pay for is groceries and gas for the boat and jet ski. We went to an indoor waterpark last winter that we all loved so we had my dad and step-mom give us a GC for Xmas. We will be going sometime next month. Rates are a lot cheaper during the week so we will be pulling the boys out of school for 2 days. Dh and I both agree that the kids are just as good with life experience as a day of schooling.
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#149 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 06:19 PM
 
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My dog gets all of my ds' droppings from the high chair, so I feed him less dog food. Hee, hee. :LOL

This thread is hot, hot, hot! I'm really enjoying it!
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#150 of 509 Old 01-10-2005, 06:22 PM
 
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This thread is hot, hot, hot! I'm really enjoying it!
Me too
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