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How to Eat Free on Election Day

November 4th, 2008 at 05:29 am

You're certain to be hungry after standing in line to vote!

Check out http://dealnews.com/features/How-to-eat-for-free-on-Election... for meal deals.

Suze Orman on SNL

October 23rd, 2008 at 05:47 pm

This clip comes from a place of love-- I love Suze Orman; but this http://www.hulu.com/watch/19681/saturday-night-live-suze-orm... is too funny not to pass on.


via Jonathan at http://www.mymoneyblog.com/.

Granola Recipe

October 13th, 2008 at 12:43 pm

As requested, here's the granola recipe. The recipe was originally posted by Jodi on the Saving Advice Message Boards:

4 cups oats
1/2 cup slivered almonds (optional)
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup maple syrup
scant 1/4 cup brown sugar
2 TBS canola oil
Dried fruit (to taste)



Combine oil and liquid sweetener in small pot. Heat to simmer. Mix oats, brown sugar, almonds and spices in large bowl. Pour heated sweetener/oil mix over oat mixture and toss to coat. Spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 300 degrees fro 20-25 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add dried fruits (raisins, Craisins, dried cherries, etc) after removing from oven. Store in covered container after cooling.

NOTES: The type of oats doesn't matter: instant or old-fashioned will work. Do not over bake! When you remove granola from oven, it will not be crisp and crunchy, but the crunchiness will appear after it cools.

Back to Aldi

October 12th, 2008 at 07:21 pm

Groceries in my city are so much more expensive! I've been shopping at either Harris Teeter or Safeway (each about 1-2 miles from the house), but recently I've made a few trips to an Aldi about 5 miles away. I think the extra mileage and inconvenience is worth it. Milk alone is about $0.95 less at Aldi compared to the other chain stores.

Luckily, we have a few good farmer's markets where I can buy produce at a reasonable price. Other tactics I'm using to keep costs down are to use dry milk wherever possible (basically anything accept for drinking). I've also been making http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/02/18/entertaini... rather than buying cereal. I'm also trying to shop at the grocery store no more than 2x / month and supplement with produce from the Farmer's Market as needed. Although Aldi is farther drive, both Mr. Bean and I are commuting to work via public transportation, so our monthly gas costs are fairly minimal.

Depression Cooking

October 6th, 2008 at 03:39 pm

I lost my dear sweet grandmother in June of this year. Clara (the star of these videos) reminds me of my grandmother.

Depression Cooking with Clara:

Episode 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuMkW35BwK8&feature=related
Episode 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yREFkmrrYiw
Episode 3: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3OPQqH3YlHA&feature=related

Your Urgent Help Needed

September 23rd, 2008 at 06:43 pm

From http://angrybear.blogspot.com/2008/09/your-urgent-help-neede...

Dear American:

I need to ask you to support an urgent secret business relationship with a transfer of funds of great magnitude.

I am Ministry of the Treasury of the Republic of America. My country has had
crisis that has caused the need for large transfer of funds of 800 billion dollars US. If you would assist me in this transfer, it would be most profitable to you.

I am working with Mr. Phil Gram, lobbyist for UBS, who will be my replacement as Ministry of the Treasury in January. As a Senator, you may know him as the leader of the American banking deregulation movement in the 1990s. This transactin is 100% safe.

This is a matter of great urgency. We need a blank check. We need the funds
as quickly as possible. We cannot directly transfer these funds in the names
of our close friends because we are constantly under surveillance. My family
lawyer advised me that I should look for a reliable and trustworthy person who will act as a next of kin so the funds can be transferred.

Please reply with all of your bank account, IRA and college fund account
numbers and those of your children and grandchildren to wallstreetbailout@treasury.gov so that we may transfer your commission for
this transaction. After I receive that information, I will respond with detailed information about safeguards that will be used to protect the funds.

Yours Faithfully Minister of Treasury Paulson

[I hope to have some of my own material up soon! It's been a hectic few months but I hope you find this funny!]

CVS Savings Alert

August 18th, 2008 at 02:26 pm

My new life is proving to be busier than my old life, but I will resume regular posting again, soon.

If you're male, there's no need to continue to read.

In the meantime ladies: head on over to CVS and pick up a 72-count box of CVS Brand Tampons (plastic or cardboard) for $2.99. That's $10 off the regular price of $12.99.

Spending and Selling

July 22nd, 2008 at 07:10 pm

Sidestream Income:
$3279.93 old total
$60.00 dehumidifier
$100.00 kitchen table and chairs
$25.00 artwork
$100.00 washer/ dryer
$40 reel lawn mower
$20 area rug
--------------------------
TOTAL: $3624.93

I'm still alive! I just need about 4 more hours in the day in order to get everything done.

I told Mr. Bean I've been too busy spending money to post!

Although I've been doing my share of spending, I've also been doing some selling of things that either don't work in our new place or were sold just as we moved but I hadn't added to the tally yet.

The money from the sales is helping to off set some of the moving expenses and purchases for the new place. We didn't really buy much for the house after we got married in 2004 since we were starting grad school, so we're upgrading some of our ramshackle furniture.

The largest of the purchases was a new-to-me dining room table, chairs and sideboard off Craig's List for $1000. The furniture is from Crate and Barrel and according to the seller cost over $4000 in 2002. The seller was asking $1200, but took my offer of $1000. It looks great in our new place and I can envision this being our dining set for the rest of our lives. I suffered from some serious sticker shock once I started looking at new furniture. Used is definitely the way to go. Not only is it cheaper, but it also allows you to see how a piece wears after a few years of use.

The next thing we're looking for is lamps and night tables. Anyone selling anything? :-)

Trash to Treasure

June 26th, 2008 at 04:43 pm

Sidestream Income:
$3214.93 old total
$40.00 TV
$25 moving boxes
--------------------------
TOTAL: $3279.93

I'm still in the throes of unpacking but I want to track my cash inflow before I forget.

Two days before the move we decided to sell our TV ($40) and just now I sold all my old moving boxes for $25 on Craig's List. The sale of the moving boxes was quite a score since they were all boxes I collected for free. I listed the entire "lot" plus packing paper for $25. Sure enough, someone who is moving this weekend and in dire need of boxes scooped them up.

Bean, PhD

June 17th, 2008 at 07:16 am

I passed my dissertation defense yesterday morning. Phew!

The upcoming week is jam packed with making some dissertation revisions and packing. The movers come on Friday and I would LOVE to submit my dissertation to the Graduate School before I leave. You probably won't be hearing much from me in the next week, but when I return I hope I have some thoughts on keeping it frugal on the move! Any last minute tips are appreciated!

Staying Cool When it's H-O-T

June 9th, 2008 at 04:48 pm

We're in the middle of a heat wave and I sold my air conditioner a few weeks ago. What's a frugal gal to do?

Close all the windows and doors and draw the blinds. I'm surprised by how many people don't know this trick! As the temperature starts to rise, you want to trap the cool air in your house and keep the heat from seeping in. I've actually had people come into my house during hot weather and assume I have central air conditioning because the house is so much cooler than the outdoors. I don't have central air, but I do have I have an indoor/outdoor thermometer. Once I see the temperature outside is cooler than inside (probably around 9pm) I'll open everything up to let the cool air in. For safety reasons, I sleep with everything closed, but when I'm up in the morning I'll open everything up again until the temperature in the house starts to rise.

Break out the Crock Pot. No cook meals like salads are a great idea when the weather is hot, but I'm moving in a week and trying to eat down my pantry and avoid going to the store. Crock Pots are great for hot weather because unlike your oven or stove top, they contain most of their heat. Furthermore, if you have a porch, garage or basement you can let the Crock Pot work it's magic outside the living quarters to further prevent additional heat in the house.

Last night I found this unique recipe for http://blogs.scripps.com/abil/brye/archives/2008/05/slowcook.... I was thrilled because I could use 2 cans of tomatoes AND the remainder of my peanut butter plus the 2 chicken breasts that have been in the freezer for GodKnowsHowLong. I threw the ingredients in the Crock Pot and plugged it in in the basement before I went to work. When I got home, I put some rice in the rice cooker and plugged it in on the front porch. Before long, I had a hot meal and a cool house!

Prix Fixe Anniversary

June 6th, 2008 at 11:13 am

I'm with Mr. Bean weekend to celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary. Unfortunately, since I left my place on Thursday morning I wasn't able to find a rider to take with me since most riders want to go for a weekend trip. Oh well. This should be my last trip here before I move here for good.

To celebrate our actual anniversary (it was Thursday), we went out to a nice restaurant meal and had the before 7pm Prix Fixe option of 3 courses for $32. Appetizers were priced $9-11, entrees were $20-$24, and desserts were around $7, so the Prix Fixe was a good way to go.

Hello, Lover!

June 3rd, 2008 at 07:43 pm

All the Sex & the City afficionados know this is what Carrie says when she spies a pair of Manolo Blahniks in the window of an upscale boutique.

I had a similar reaction this weekend. Only I was in the Goodwill. And the shoes cost 2.50. But aren't they beautiful?



I went to the Goodwill to drop off some clothes, but I convinced myself to go inside. The Goodwill in my new town might not be as plentiful, right?



This find was especially fortuitous because I was in the market for a pair of shoes just like this. You know, for walking to school. Kidding. Here's the story-- In summer of 2006 I bought this dress on eBay:



It has served me very well. I've worn for at least 4-5 different weddings and am taking it on the wedding circuit again this summer. However, the shoes I wear with this dress have never done the dress justice. I told myself that if I saw a reasonable priced pair of strappy, gold shoes at a store this summer I should buy them as a reward for getting 3 seasons of weddings out of the dress. Yes, I know that's irrational.

I thought I would end up getting a good deal if I found a paid for under $30, so imagine my glee when I saw these FOR LESS THAN $3!

But the good fortune didn't end there! Oh no! Then I spotted these pointy toe leather Bandolinos for $5 (perfect for jeans or black pants),

and then these adorable brown leather Naturalizers for $3.25.


Total cost: $10.75

Eat your heart out, Carrie Bradshaw.

Not So Frugal Fries

May 31st, 2008 at 08:01 pm

I submitted my dissertation to my committee on Friday. I still need to get through the defense but this is a step in the right direction!

Thursday night I stayed on campus until about 8:30pm finishing up some last minute revisions. Walking home I was hungry and feeling celebratory, so I decided to stop at http://fiveguys.com/ for a burger. I had never been there before, but had heard that their burger and fries were among some the best in town. Plus, it fit the bill for what I wanted: tasty, cheap, indulgent, and quick.

I ordered a little cheeseburger and medium fries (medium and large are the only sizes available) without paying much attention to the price aside from noting that the "little" burgers (which were still pretty big) were at least a dollar less than the original burgers.

I was just cleaning out my wallet and entering expenses into Quicken this evening, I noticed that my cheese burger was $3.29 and the fries were $1.99. That seems like a lot for fries. I think it's one of those things where if you go to a burger joint it's almost sacrilege not to get fries.



I'm not that big of frugal nut that I'd skip the fries if I go there again since I eat fast food about 1x/ year. It's just interesting to note that they weren't that good and cost nearly 40% of the total bill. I wouldn't recommend eating this type of food regularly, if you do it's pretty easy to see how just making minor adjustments to your order could save hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.