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Saturday, February 23, 2013

Stuck Under A Dollar

Want to go on an adventure? I would like to dare you to try, just for one day or hour of grocery shopping to only buy items that you can find for one dollar or less. And yes that would include bulk or fruit or veggies that you can buy for under one dollar per pound.

It can be quite challenging and liberating all at the same time. If you have watched Jeff Yeager...a.k.a the Ultimate Cheapskate hunt down the best bargains, he uses this little general rule, which is to always try to seek out items that are either priced at one dollar each or less or priced loose/bulk at 1 dollar per pound or less.

Are you ready to try? Even if you don't NEED to try this kind of experiment for financial reasons, I would like to challenge you to give it a try just for fun, just for the purpose of learning something new and interesting.

I guarantee that you will never look at grocery shopping in the same light again, once you realize all the great things that you purchase for a buck or less.

Ready to try?
Here's a few that I find are sometimes/often selling for dollar or less:

Tins of chunk tuna
fresh garlic still in the bulb
red grapefruits
red lentils
apples (at box stores/wholesale clubs)
fresh white potatoes
packages of pasta
large cans of diced/whole tomatoes
regular sized cans of black beans
regular sized cans of red/white kidney beans
garbanzo beans/chick peas
dry packages of quicky soups
cans of quicky soups
bulk all purpose flour
TVP (texturized Vegetable protein)
6 pk of bagels

I'd love to hear what sorts of items you can find at your country's equivalent of one Canadian or U.S. dollar.
Your comments are most welcome in the comment section!
 A Smart shopper is a happy shopper!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Humble Lentil

So I 've become a fan of the humble red Lentil. My dutch relatives would be pleased with the purchase price too which I found at a wholesale club for $6.99 for a 5 kg bag.
The nutritionists would be impressed too with the protein boost
 contained within as it is a whopping 22 grams of protein in only100 grams/1/2 cup red lentils!
What else is so cool about the lowly lentil is that  it is uber easy to prepare and throw into any soup or stew. If you want a pure lentil soup you need only add red lentils,water,a boullion cube, an onion and parsely and your extra fresh veggies chopped up and you have a wonderful hearty soup that will feed an army....ok maybe not an army but a BIG family. Our favorite flavoring to add to this soup other than salt and pepper is soy sauce.
Dig in!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

What Products Do Frugal People have in Common?

Yes, I've been scouring the web again, hunting up some morsels of information that may assist.
Frugal people often fall into lifestyle and consumer habits that are held in common amongst large swaths of people across continents and maybe even across the globe. So therefore I'd like to share a list of some of the items that I have discovered to be favorites among those who enjoy frugality. Note that many of these frugal folks are actually quite wealthy and live debt free lifestyles. Therefore remove from your thoughts, the idea that frugality is a necessity for "poor" people. In fact, if you have read Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko's book entitled "The Millionaire Next Door", you will have discovered that many families and individuals with large net worths, actually have some VERY frugal habits. In fact, I would suggest that frugality may be one of the stepping stones towards acquiring and retaining REAL assets.

Partial list of Commonly held household items by Frugal Folks:

Liquid Dish Soap
Olive Oil
Rubbing Alcohol
Garlic for medicinal use
Cotton cloths-- ( often cut from old clothing/towels)
Hydrogen Peroxide
Baking Soda
Microfiber cloths- used for cleaning and washed and re-used repeatedly

Partial List of Common Activities/Habit of Frugal Folks:

  1. Composting --- using vegetable peelings and egg shells in your home composting system to create your  own   nutrient rich soil for use in outdoor gardens.
  2. Re-using elastics from  newspapers delivered to your home
  3. Washing, drying and re-using clear plastic milk bags for freezing foods
  4. Washing and re-using marjarine/yogurt containers for storing small household items
  5. Using water that collects indoors in dehumidifiers/ other appliances for watering indoor/outdoor plants
  6. Collecting and using rain water run-off from eavestroughs and rain barrels for watering outdoor gardens.
  7. Washing clothing in cold water
  8. Hanging Clothes inside or outside on racks or clothes lines instead of using electric clothes dryers
  9. A love for chopping, stacking and using free firewood and  using woodstoves/fireplaces/chimineas and/or other appliances that consume wood and turn out "free" heat
  10. Using cold leftover tea in the tea pot to water plants.
 I invite you to add your own favorites to this list by sending in your comments through the comment section.
Peace and Prosperity.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Old Fashioned phones...NO BATTERIES!

I was looking into the availability of old fashioned CORDED phones. Yes, I did say "Corded"!
Oh the horror!
But seriously, in the event of a power outage it makes sense to have an old fashioned phone available to plug into your regular home phone line, that does NOT require electricity or batteries to function.
Yes it will be ugly, and yes it won't be cool, but it just may save the day when your batteries die or you have an electrical outage in your area.

Walmart in Canada carries these kind of simple phones from between $12.99- 17.99.
If you are tired of spending too much money on rechargeable batteries, or tired of searching endlessly for a misplaced cordless phone, I'd suggest considering the old fashioned route. Note of course, that without batteries you won't have call display and other fancy features , but it will give you communication with the outside world in an emergency.
The manufacturers of the phones I looked at on the Walmart websites state that these phones will run well during a power outage because they utilize the limited power that runs through normal phone lines. How cool!
Uniden makes a very affordable one that was selling through Walmart stores.

Sometimes there is peace and joy in simplicity and cost control :)

Monday, February 4, 2013

Gluten Free Five Dollar Chili

This is my great big "Throw in the crock Pot O Chili".

The bonus is that I estimate it's cost to be only 5 dollars or less and its GLUTEN FREE!
It serves at least 6 people.

  • 2 large cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 large cloves of fresh garlic peeled and diced
  • 1 small can of black beans
  • 1 small can of red Kidney beans
  • 3 tablespoons of chili powder ( if you like it spicy!)
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • one half teaspoon up to 1 teaspoon of sea salt
  • one small onion peeled and diced.
  • Water -- add 2 cups up to 5 cups according to your desired chili thickness and if you have unexpected company :)

Rinse and drain the cans of beans and add to crock pot. Set the crock pot onto high for up to 3 hours.
Keep adding in all the other ingredients in no special order. The negotiable amounts are the water and the salt and the quantity of chili powder that your palate can handle") You'll know the chili is done when the onions lose their crispness and start looking more translucent. Keep stirring it every 15 minutes.

EXTRAS: if you want to add some extras such as ground beef, just make sure you brown the ground beef thoroughly first and drain off the fat, before you add it to the crock pot. You can also serve it with one dollop of sour cream or plain greek yoghurt....one dollop per bowl of chili, plopped right on top of the hot chili. Serve with toasted gluten free bread or gluten free crusty rolls.

LOWER COST-- if you want to further reduce the cost of this chili, you can avoid buying canned beans by using dried* beans and soaking them overnight in your refrigerator.* dried black beans and dried kidney beans you can buy in prepacked bags at most grocery stores, or in bulk at your fave bulk food store/dept.  You can also use fresh diced tomatoes, garlic and onions if they are cheaper in season in your region or from local farmers. ( right now where I live in Canada we have zero local produce available other than eggs")

Bon Appetit mes amis! Please share this with your budget conscious friends or with those struggling to find gluten free food options.