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Archive for February, 2008

Crock pot extravaganza and Side Stream Income

February 28th, 2008 at 07:26 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1509.93 old total
$40.00 babysitting
--------------------------
TOTAL: $1549.93

I made $40 babysitting last night.

I've also been working really hard this month to eat from my pantry and freezer. I should run the numbers and see if my grocery bill was any different this month.

I've also been making great use of my beloved Crock Pot:

http://www.simple-vegetarian-recipes.com/crock-pot-lemon-gar... used up some bulgur I've had on the shelf for some time. I skipped the parsley because it would have required a trip to the store. I didn't precook anything and just tossed everything in and cooked on low all day. I also used homemade http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/search/label/broth made from a chicken carcass (mmmm, tasty) I had stored in the freezer. The end result of the bulgur pilaf was decent. Not something I LOVED, but good enough. The chicken broth, on the other hand, was great. I really like how the recipe has you puree the chicken meat and vegetables into the broth rather than just toss them. It gives the broth a richer flavor and adds more nutrients.

Free $100!

February 27th, 2008 at 07:56 pm

Did you get your http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/02/14/free-suze-... on Valentine's Day?

If not, there's another chance for a freebie advertised on page 85 of the book:

Get started on Suze’s Save Yourself Plan by opening a new account with TD AMERITRADE, featuring a special high-yield deposit account with a 2.78% Annual Percentage Yield (as of February 1, 2008). Your cash is held in an FDIC-insured Money Market Deposit Account (MMDA) at TD Bank USA, N.A.

There are no maintenance fees on the account, plus you receive the $100 offer for making 12 monthly automatic deposits of at least $50 each to help you build up your account balance. […] Should you need to withdraw the money prior to the twelve-month commitment, you may withdraw all of your deposits, plus the interest earned. However, you will forfeit the $100 bonus.


I'm game! AMERITRADE's money-market interest rate isn't as good as others, but the $100 bonus makes up for it.

For more info, see http://www.tdameritrade.com/saveyourself/message4.html and http://www.mymoneyblog.com/archives/2008/02/100-from-suze-or... post on this offer.

Ripped Denim

February 20th, 2008 at 07:49 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1474.93 old total
$35.00 babysitting
--------------------------
TOTAL: $1509.93

I made $35 babysitting tonight and then fell on the sidewalk after leaving their house and ripped a hole in the knee of http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/01/14/beauty-dil.... Uggh. Ripped designer denim IS NOT the look I'm going for!

Sidestream Income

February 18th, 2008 at 06:29 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1114.93 old total
$360.00 House / Dog sitting
--------------------------
TOTAL: $1474.93

I received payment for the house / dog sitting I did earlier this month. I've decided to deposit all house sitting money in my Roth IRA to help me reach this year's 5K maximum contribution.

Free Suze Orman "Women & Money"

February 14th, 2008 at 07:53 am

Download a free copy of Suze Orman's book "Women and Money" until 8pm tonight from http://www2.oprah.com/tows/pastshows/200802/tows_past_200802....

The related show looks very interesting. Unfortunately I'm traveling and won't be able to watch my Tivo'ed episode until next week!

Leftovers + Creativity

February 11th, 2008 at 06:19 pm

I love being able to make dinner using odds and ends in the kitchen.

Last night I threw the following into the Crockpot:

1/2 diced onion
1 diced green pepper
Tomato Sauce (leftover from a 28 oz can I opened last week for homemade pizza)
1- 8 oz package tempeh, crumbled (purchased for a recipe I intended to make weeks ago but never did)
Leftover black beans from http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2008/02/04/dried-bean...
2 TBS soy sauce
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

I turned it to low and let it work it's magic while I was at work all day.

Any guesses to what this made?

Anyone?

Vegetarian Sloppy Joes! I spooned the "meat" onto a roll with some lettuce... the result was super yummy, frugal, and easy.

Frugal Valentine's Day

February 10th, 2008 at 07:30 am

Even though we're currently living in different cities, I am going to be able to spend Valentine's Day with Mr. Bean this year. That's a special treat itself since Valentine's Day is on a Thursday and I usually can only visit on weekends.

Our Valentine's Day plans are pretty much the same as they are every year: a special home cooked meal and night in. We're both happy with this arrangement. We do have tickets to a performance on Friday night, so that's another something special to look forward to. I blogged about our http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/02/18/entertaini...- it was fabulous, but again, it was the time together rather than any fancy event that made it so much fun.

Read Meredith from http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com/ post and comments on http://likemerchantships.blogspot.com/2008/02/st-valentines-... post for more ideas. I particularly liked the one idea in the comments to secretly spruce the guest room as a romantic Valentine's Day suite! What a fantastic idea! We don't have any spare rooms, but if someday we do, I'll definitely keep that idea in mind!

Pinecone Survey

February 6th, 2008 at 05:54 pm

Sidestream Income:
$1111.93 old total
$3 Pinecone Survey
--------------------------
TOTAL: $1114.93

I received my first PineCone check today! The money certainly is better than MySurvey.com-- the only other survey site I participate in. At this rate, I could stand to make $20 / year from surveys ;-)

I haven't babysat in a week, but I will housit starting on Friday for 6 days. That should bring in another $360.

Aldi Love, Aldi Hate

February 5th, 2008 at 06:06 pm

Remember my excitement over the http://threebeansalad.savingadvice.com/2007/12/11/sushi-at-...? Well, put your jealousy to rest, beacuse that was about all they were worth. The rice was hard, and the fish texture was off. All in all, I was disappointed and glad I hadn't paid the original price of (gasp) $5.99 / box. With that said, I ate all the boxes I purchased and was glad I had them on hand for days when I didn't have leftovers for lunch. I'd say I was as happy with the frozen sushi as I'd be with a microwave meal.

This got me thinking about what Aldi items I do love. Things that came to mind:

Mama Casita Canned tomatoes with chilies, at $0.49 / 14.5 oz can these are a great value, plus the chilies are nice and spicy- unlike my store brand. The plain diced tomatoes are also a great value at $0.44 / 14.5 oz.

Block Cheese, $1.79 / 8 oz

Just Juice (a Juicy juice knock off), $1.89 / 64 oz

Millville Cereal (most are $1.69 / 16 oz. box and taste just like the name brand)

Millville Rolled Oats ($1.49 for a huge canister)

Fresh baby spinach, $1.39 / 9 oz bag. although the last time I was there it was close to expiration and on sale for $0.50!

Butter, $1.89 / pound.

Chicken Broth ($0.39 / 14.5 oz can)

I am disappointed with the Aldi shredded cheese. It has a lot of extra preservatives and it doesn't melt terribly well. Similar issues with Aldi's 100% Whole Wheat. It is 100% whole wheat but also has a laundry list of other ingredients, including high fructose corn syrup.

What Aldi items do you love? What are you disappointed with?

Dried Beans

February 4th, 2008 at 03:59 pm

My blog's title is due in part to my fondness for the humble bean. Legumes are wholesome, tasty, versatile and cheap, what else could you want in food?

Despite my bean penchant, I admit always buying the canned rather than dried variety. Once, as a college student, I tried to cook dried beans and the result was less than appetizing. My local grocery stores sells a variety of canned 15.5 oz beans for $0.55 each, so dried beans hardly seem worth the hassle.

However, yesterday I threw caution to the wind and cooked up some dried beans in the Crockpot. The result was superb! I mixed 1 cup dried beans with 4 cups water and 1 bay leaf, turned the crock pot on high and ~5 hours later, I had a pot of tasty, fragrant beans.

I used about 3/4 in a chili recipe and will use the rest later this week.

I'm converted!