Friday, December 30, 2005

Review of 2005

This is the year I 'discovered' frugality. It appeals to me on a lot of levels. I'm still learning, but having fun while doing it.

I've learned how to make more things from scratch. I'm not sure how much money I've saved, but it is some.

This year has been pretty good. It did start with my mother's passing, four months after my father. I have a very small family, so that really made me feel somewhat alone. But my partner has been wonderful, I'm healing and getting closer to my brother's family.

Tomorrow, those resolutions!


Wednesday, December 21, 2005


I got my Kitchenaid mixer and I love it. I made a loaf of bread. It didn't rise very fast, but the bread came out tasty. I'm going to make another loaf today. Practice makes perfect!

I made another batch of corn and potato chowder. It gets thicker and more veggies each time I make it. I do have to try some new things, so I'm going to try a new recipe a week.

I also need to actually read the Tightwad Gazette I bought, instead of just looking at it sitting on the shelf. :)


Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Catching up

A few updates here. One, for Christmas my partner is getting me a Kitchenaid Artisan mixer from With a $25 discount and an A9 search engine discount and free shipping, total price is $173. Pretty good for a $320 list price machine. It will make making bread a lot easier. And I know it will last a really long time.

It's amazing how living the frugal livestyle is changing how I view things. I'm not as frugal (yet!) as a lot of people, but I'm getting there.

For instance, when I walk through the grocery store, I really do "shop the margins". I have very little need to go down most of the aisles. And I'm so much happier about what we are eating.

Yesterday, we did some shopping. JCPenney had sent me and my partner $10 gift certificates. Plus they had just about everything on sale. So, we picked up some towels and a bath rug that we needed. Out of pocket, about 5 bucks.

We also stopped at a thrift store called Value Village. It was the first time my partner had shopped there. I found a Chicago Cutlery knife block for some knives we had gotten for free for 5 bucks. And my partner picked up 4 shirts for work and a really flashy gold/black sweater for the holidays for a total of 20 bucks. The sweater alone would have cost at least 50 bucks new in a retail store.

I'm enjoying the frugal life!


Sunday, December 11, 2005

Mac and Uncheese

Tried a recipe for mac and uncheese that I got from frugalveggiemama. It tasted very good. I didn't make enough noodles, but I worked it out. Definitely have to have my partner try it out too.

Have to make more thousand island dressing today. Going to have miso soup later.


Saturday, December 10, 2005

Morningstar Farms Steak Strips

I tried the steak strips today. I made stir fry with mushrooms, brown rice, some soy sauce and some of the steak strips. Pretty good. Bland without the soy sauce, so you will need to season them. But had a good feel to them. They are pricey though, so not an everyday thing. More a buy a bag for the freezer in case of no time at all to cook.


Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Just going along

It is so true that vegetarian eating is frugal in and of itself. I've been eating great food and it doesn't cost much at all. I keep adding to my price book. The grocery bill has slowly been coming down. And we are eating much healthier!

Now, some things are more expensive. Ketchup, vegenaise, Earth Balance margarine, whole wheat bread (when I buy instead of make), all are more expensive. But they don't have high fructose corn syrup, or msg, or trans fats, or hydrenagated oils. That is worth the money, to me.


Thursday, December 01, 2005


I kept track of our expenses in November. Groceries were higher than I expected. I do have a handle on it and it is getting better. We have Julia's birthday next week and I'm making lasagna, her favorite. No idea what we are doing for Christmas yet. We're not big on presents, so we won't spend much there. We need to hit the thrift store for a couple of work shirts for her and a few storage containers for me, if we can find any.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Tomato experiment

Yesterday I tried making marinara sauce from four ripe tomatoes that I had. It came out okay, but there wasn't a lot of it and there were a lot of seeds, which I don't care for. I had blanched the tomatoes (first time I've ever blanched anything) and that worked out great. So I took the sauce and blended it. It came out fairly thick but more like creamy soup than sauce. So I put it in the fridge.

This evening, I added some water, tomato paste and nutritional yeast. Heated that then added some frozen steamed kale. Then some cooked brown rice. It was pretty good, but nothing to write home about. But it was fun trying!

I need to find a 'cheez' sauce to make mac and cheese with. I don't care so much about the taste as the creaminess. I don't want a grainy feel to it.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

Trying recipes

Did a bit of cooking on Saturday. Tried some receipes from Table for Two by Jo Stepaniak. The thousand island dressing was very good and my partner liked it.

The corn and potato chowder was good, if a bit bland. I've never had chowder of any sort before, so I'm not really sure what it should taste like.

And then I tried a baked macaroni and vegetable casserole. It was okay, but not creamy enough. I have another sauce I'll try with it next time.

All of her recipes are vegan.


Friday, November 25, 2005

Misc food things

Bought some fresh green beans and steamed them with some dill weed. Added some already cooked corn. Very tasty.

I've started saving the heels of the bread to make croutons with eventually.

I'm going to try steaming then freezing kale. I've never done that before, but I have quite a lot hanging around.


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What gift to ask for?

I need some help. I can ask for one thing for Christmas, whatever I want (within reason). I'd like to get something for the kitchen. Either cookware (a pot or pan) or an appliance.

Now, this year I bought a Nesco 6 qt roaster/slow cooker, and a Waring Pro blender. So I'm set with that.

Can you suggest a favorite skillet? or small appliance? A good quality mixer for instance. (all I have is a cheap handheld one).

And I would want to use it to help make good healthy food. Whole foods, grains, bread, veggies.

I do also have a food processor and a bread machine, but both are put away due to lack of counter space. And I also have 3 large stock pots, so I don't need that either.

Any suggestions would be appreciated!!!


Sunday, November 20, 2005

Quinoa and veggie soup

Inspired by the ever talented frugalveggiemama, I threw together a soup of sorts today.

I had made some veggie stock a month ago and froze it in fairly small containers. I took one out, and put it in a sauce pan to melt. Added some spices to it. Then I added some more water, maybe about a cup. Cut up a carrot and a stalk of celery. Cooked that for a few minutes then put in about a half cup of quinoa. I had bought a box from Trader Joes. I found out afterwards that I was supposed to rinse it, but there was no bitter taste, so I guess I lucked out. I also added some fresh kale leaves, chopped. I've never had kale cooked, just steamed.

I brought it to a boil, turned it down to low and simmered for 15 minutes. When I checked, the quinoa was cooked and it was a soup. However, I couldn't eat it then, I had to go pick up my partner. I took it off the heat and left the cover on.

She was late getting out as usual. So I heated it a little bit. It had absorbed some of the liquid while it was sitting. Not quite soup, not quite porridge either. Anyway, it was very tasty. I enjoyed the veggies, which all got cooked just right, not mushy. And I enjoyed the kale cooked that way as well. My partner tried a little bit and liked it.

So, quinoa and veggie soup came out pretty good. :-)


Sunday, November 13, 2005

Bread success!

I made bread Saturday morning. It worked out great! No holes in the middle, high and light, it even had some oven spring. I followed Ruthies ideas, although I'm still hoping she'll post her bread recipe. I cut honey down from 4 tbl to 2 and used 2 tbl olive oil. I also mixed in more flour before turning it out to knead. I do it all by hand, so I'm getting quite a workout!

But I am thrilled that it came out so well! It's slicing good, I'm using a bread slicing guide thing I picked up at Goodwill.

My partner and I are going to go to the Wal-Mart Supercenter up in Vancouver to pick up staples and some things for Thanksgiving. We don't buy meat there, we are dubious about it's quality. But from my price book, most things are cheaper at Wal-Mart, even at regular grocery stores best sale prices.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

Found a deal

I'm not sure it's exactly frugal but anyway. Yesterday I went to the mall to do some writing. I'm doing National Novel Writing Month for the third time this year. I always park by the Barnes & Noble. I stopped into their music section to see if they had any Christmas music on sale that I might like.

I didn't find anything there, but I also looked at the new age section. I found a John Tesh 'Worship at Red Rocks' cd. 12 songs on it. and it was $16.99. Average price these days for a music CD. Both my partner and myself enjoy praise and worship songs. I kept looking and found a 'Worship at Red Rocks Platinum'. I'm thinking, oh boy, this is going to be expensive. To my surprise, it was priced at only $12.99. It had the same cd as the first one I saw, PLUS a second music cd with 10 more songs, PLUS the DVD of the concert with a few extras on it. I thought this was a great deal. I have a Barnes and Noble ten percent discount card, so for eleven bucks and change I got 2 music cds and a DVD, which we will both enjoy. I play music on my computer at night when we are both at our respective computers.

I'm happy about the purchase.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005


I picked up a bunch of apples so I can make more apple crisp and apple butter. My partner just loves the apple butter. I may need to learn to can so we can make apple butter for presents next year.

I also picked up ten pounds of russets for a good price. I'm going to try to make potato soup, among other things, from them. I also need to cook up some brown rice and make bread. My partner goes to work tomorrow and for once I won't be driving her there. So I'll have most of the day to cook.

I'm just hoping the bread turns out better this time.


Tuesday, November 01, 2005


I made oatmeal for breakfast this morning. I had bought frozen unsweetened blueberries, since they are out of season. Boy were they tart! I guess I'll try some stevia on top of them before tossing them into the oatmeal. They definitely need more sweetness.


Saturday, October 29, 2005

Price book

I wrote before that I was setting up a price book. I have a really good memory, and I've found if I take the time to write things down (longhand, not typing) it sticks in my memory even better. So now I do look through my price book, mostly when I'm at the computer going through the online ads. But being able to remember the best prices really helps in the store. If I see a good bargain, I know it's a good bargain. Plus, I do a lot more of thinking 'nope, not a good deal although it looks like one'.

So, I am getting better at buying frugally. Plus using the library as a place to get DVD's has worked out great.


Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Bread making

I'm making a loaf of whole wheat bread today. I only make one at a time for now. Two reasons. One, I'm still learning this fine art and I'd rather mess up one loaf than a whole bunch of them. Two, my partner and I take about 2-3 days to eat a loaf. Once I get the hang of it, I'll make multiple loaves and either freeze the dough or make extra loaves to freeze.

I got the video "Escape from Affluenza" from the library. Quite interesting, about simple living and frugality. It's good to see frugality in action, so to speak.

My partner is much better now, but I'm still fighting off a cough and sore throat. I HATE being sick.


Monday, October 24, 2005

Both I and my partner have had colds the last few days. I've found that Walgreens has some really good prices on OTC medicine. I've also been researching old time home remedies, since my partner can't take a lot of OTC medicine due to bad reactions.

Any suggestions or websites would be welcome! Please post a comment if you have anything that might help. Thanks!


Saturday, October 22, 2005

Back from vacation

I'm back from my trip with my partner to the coast. We had a great room, stayed in our budget and had a great time! Of course, I do have a page with a few pictures. Click here to take a look.

It was great just to spend time together. No tv, phone, or computer.


Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chicken and dumplings

I'm glad my partner is pretty easygoing when it comes to food. I had chicken in the freezer that I had cooked and stripped. The recipe for chicken and dumplings called for peas and carrots. Didn't have either, so I used frozen corn and some fresh cauliflower. It came out tasty, although my partner did give me a hard time about it not being 'colorful enough!'. Dumplings came out nice and fluffy.


Saturday, October 15, 2005

Waste not

Yesterday was a use up things so they don't spoil kind of day. Because of my partner's work schedule, I was up and back home by 6:15am. I had the remains of a ten pound bag of potatoes that I'd had for about two weeks. I was worried about them going bad, I had already had to get rid of two of them. So I pulled out 3 of them (fairly small russets) to microwave for dinner. The rest I sliced up and made potato scramble. This will provide 4-5 meals for us. I also sliced up a LOT of apples into my Nesco roaster and started some apple butter. I still have some apples left. I think I'll take a couple on our trip to use as snacks.

I could make an apple crisp but I don't know if we can finish it off before leaving on Tuesday, so I think I'll wait. Ditto on a fresh loaf of whole wheat bread.


Friday, October 14, 2005

Writing a lot

I feel that part of being frugal is not just about saving money. It's about investing in yourself, your family, and your health. In addition to this blog, I have two others. One is about my writing, fiction mostly. That is called NW Writing Adventures.

The other is one I feel very strongly about. It's called Real Health and I'm very proud of it. I am trying to live not only frugally but healthily, and improving my health, which has not been the best. This blog chronicles my efforts, links to useful articles and articles I've written about health.

I've always felt that having a variety of interests is a good thing. It keeps your mind active and helps you to keep your mind open to learning new things and seeing things from a different viewpoint.


Thursday, October 13, 2005

Vacation frugality

In less than a week, my partner and I are off for a couple of days at the coast. This is our first vacation in 2 years. We've done a couple of day trips, but that's all. I'm trying to be frugal about this one too. We will eat out once. Otherwise, we are bringing food. Our room (which we got a great rate on for a room right on the ocean) has only a refrigerator and coffee maker so we can only cook things with hot water. But it will be fun anyway!


Monday, October 10, 2005


I have my price book set up (mostly) and I use it when I go through sales ads. We needed a few things today, so I checked the sale prices through (a GREAT resource) and then found that Wal-Mart was cheapest on the items. So I went there, but they didn't have the type we wanted. So I'll have to wait, because the next cheapest place to get it is a buck more. Not worth it.

Frustrating to know where the best price is, but can't get what you want.


Saturday, October 08, 2005

Spanish rice and crockpot apple butter recipes

I've tried two recipes these last two days. Thought I would share them with you.

First is Spanish rice. I'll give the recipe then the changes I made to it.

Serves 6

1 onion, diced
1 green pepper, minced
2 tomatoes, peeled, quartered
15 ounces tomato Sauce
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons vegetarian Worchestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
3/4 cup brown rice
2 tablespoons salsa
Stir all ingredients together. Cover and cook on low 7-10 hours.

I didn't have 15 ounces of tomato sauce so I used 8 ounces tomato sauce and a can of Rotel tomatoes with chilis. I put it in my Nesco Oven and cooked it for 5 hours on low. Spicy and tasty. Probably should have cooked it a bit less though.

Next is Crockpot Apple Butter.

8-10 apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I use Granny Smith)
1 cup apple juice (I juice my own, but you don’t have to)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground allspice
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Combine in a crock pot the apples first, then spices, pour apple juice over all and stir to distribute. Cover and cook on high for 4 hours. Stir often to help the apples break down. Uncover and cook on high for 2 more hours to reduce liquid. Cook as long as you need to get the right consistency. Makes about 2 cups. (Added extra: the whole house smells like apples and cinnamon!) ENJOY!

I used Gala apples, 8 of them. After 4 hours covered and 2 hours uncovered, I blended it, continued cooking it uncovered, for another 3 hours. Made about 1.5 cups. Didn't use cloves, but my partner loves the taste.


Friday, October 07, 2005

Cooking and cleaning

Yesterday was an organizing kind of day for me. Straightened up around the dining room table and completely reorganized the kitchen countertop. Cleared it, cleaned it and reorganized it so I had room for the microwave, my Waring Pro blender and my new Nesco roaster oven. I even ended up with a bit more counter space for cooking!

I like having an organized kitchen. One, it speeds up preparation. I know where things are. Two, I like to wash dishes as I go. We do have a dishwasher, but I often clean things I need to use again soon. We have a dish drainer on the counter as well.

I made the Brown gravy recipe from Table for Two yesterday. It was quite tasty, but it doesn't reheat, you need to make it and use it right away. I'll try it out on my partner on Monday probably.

She just loves my apple crisp. I've been sending it with her as dessert for lunch every day. And yesterday, just before I dropped her off at work, she said something that really touched me. She said that when she's eating her lunch, she thinks about me and that I made this food for her, with love and care and it really makes her feel good.

That's what it's really all about, isn't it? :)


Thursday, October 06, 2005


Here in Oregon we are charged 5 cents anytime we buy a bottle or can of soda, beer, whatever. There are recycling centers outside almost all grocery stores where you can turn them in.

Now, while I am trying to drink more water, both I and my partner drink soda. So we do recycle.What I'm going to do is cash in the tickets when I recycle and put that money in an envelope on the side. It'll be nice to actually SEE some money that we're putting aside.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005


I have a few things to do today. I have to find room on the counter for my new Nesco roaster oven. I also have to make a loaf of wheat bread, try a recipe from my cookbooks and start taking notes from the books I have from the library. They all have to go back before our trip to the coast.

Late yesterday I also got the Compassionate Cook cookbook I ordered from for a $1.50. Haven't really had a chance to look at it yet.

My partner and I worked out a budget last night. The numbers are not good, but the things I'm doing to save money on food is helping.


Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Books and ovens

Today I got a visit from my friendly UPS man. I got (from, with a A9 discount and a $20 promo certificate and free shipping) The Complete Tightwad Gazette and Jo Stepaniak's Table for Two cookbook. And I got my Nesco 6 Qt Roaster oven. I plan to use it for slow cooking, soups, stews, you name it.

The cookbook is well done, with a lie flat binding. It has explainations of things like what is seitan. I'm going to make whole wheat biscuits from the book for dinner tonight.

Also went with my partner to the Portland Art Museum. First time we'd been there. They recently added a new wing. And, as I posted before, we had free tickets! It was a great time together. And in about 2 weeks, we are going to the Oregon coast for a few days. No phone, tv, or any other distractions. I can't wait!


Sunday, October 02, 2005

Apple crisp and Potato scramble recipes

Since I've modified frugalveggiemama's recipes, I thought I'd post them. I encourage you to make your own adjustments. That's part of the fun of cooking for me at least.

Apple Crisp

4-6 apples cored and sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/4 cup melted margarine or canola/olive oil
3/8 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/8 c brown sugar
1/2 c oatmeal (I've used both quick cooking and old fashioned)
3/4 tsp cinnamon

Put the apples in an 8x8 oiled baking dish. Mix the remaining ingredients until crumbly and sprinkle over apples. Sprinkle top with a bit more cinnamon. Cover with tinfoil and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Remove the tinfoil and bake an additional 15 minutes.

Potato Scramble (modified for two people)
4 medium potatoes scrubbed and sliced into wedges, I leave the skin on (if you need it to cook quickly, shred them)
1/2 onion, chopped
any or none of the following: chopped carrot, leftover chick peas, chopped broccoli
1/2 cup tamari (I use soy sauce)
1 Tbs. nutritional yeast
1 Tbs. maple syrup

In a heavy pot, brown the onions in a little olive or canola oil. Add the potatoes and stir frequently until they begin to brown. Add in optional items. Whisk together last three ingredients and pour over potato and onion mixture. Add water to just cover potatoes and cook covered until potatoes are tender. To make it thicker simmer with cover off once potatoes are cooked. Serve as is or as a crepe filling. This doesn't look pretty but it tastes great. Reheats very well too.


Goodwill shopping

Yesterday I made my first trip ever to Goodwill. Now, this wasn't my first trip to a thrift store. About two weeks ago, I stopped at a place called Value Village, and picked up two nice winter shirts for myself.

There are several Goodwill stores in the Portland area. This one is huge, a lot of clothes. That wasn't what I came for though. I had a list of some things I wanted to look for. I actually didn't find any of those, but I did find three things at a good price.

I used my George Foreman rotissierie to make 2 of the 3 chickens I got on sale at .58 a pound at Fred Meyers. I'll make the third one today. I strip them and save the meat in marked baggies in the freezer. Serving sized already of course.


Saturday, October 01, 2005

Adjusting recipes

I got two recipes from frugalveggiemomma and have tried them both twice now. I made some adjustments the second time and wanted to share them.

The apple crisp, the first time I followed the recipe exactly. I had fairly large chunks of apple. My partner liked it, but it was a bit dry. So the second time, I sliced the apples thinner. I also used margarine instead of olive oil for the topping and added just a tiny bit of brown sugar. Then, when I baked it, I covered it with tinfoil for the first 15 minutes, then uncovered for the last 15.

Both of us like it better. The apples stayed a bit moister and the topping just worked better this way.

Now the potato scramble. Last time I basically used large chunks of potato, almost wedges. This time I sliced them thinner. It came out fine, but we both agreed the larger chunks tasted better. I also need to try making the scramble with red potatoes, which hold together better.

I haven't baked bread since the last one (with the hole in the middle!) because I found wheat bread on sale for 50 cents a loaf.

Tomorrow, I'm trying a Cuban black beans and brown rice dish recipe I found on the Whole Foods Market website.


Friday, September 30, 2005

Mindset change

Yesterday, I wanted to setup an old DayRunner I had to be my permanent price book. It is sturdy, has a leather cover and a pen loop. It had some old business cards in it, but only like 2 sheets of paper.

Now, I tend to be a packrat, so I thought I had a pad of paper for the dayrunner. Looked through my file cabinet, and found it! So I filed the old business cards and such, and used the tabbed pages from the address book in the DayRunner, sticking a few pieces of paper between each. So now I'm all set.

I know this probably doesn't sound like much. I didn't really save any money, but it's the mindset I'm trying to develop. Reuse, recycle, use what I have or can reuse cheaply. It's a small step in that direction at least.

My partner and I had a good talk last night about money. We talked about ways to save money on electricity this winter, since we have electric heat and we pay for electric here. And we don't pay for water, but we do pay for the electric water heater. We also talked about the changes I've been making. So far, all the food changes and more home cooking is working well. It helps that neither of us care a lot about high end brand names. For instance, a lot of people here have Columbia Sportwear jackets. They work well handling the mist and damp of a Portland winter. We have no name jackets that are 50-300 bucks less then the Columbia Sportswear jackets. They work fine for us.


Thursday, September 29, 2005

Free tickets!

I was at Fred Meyer's yesterday, getting some things on sale that were a great price. For one of them, (toilet paper) I needed a coupon from the ad but there weren't any upfront. So I went to the customer information desk and she went to get some ads. They had a sign about the Portland Art Museum.

It has finally finished adding on a new wing, and so over the next two weeks they are have a celebration. Fred Meyer donated money toward a plaza connecting the new wing, so they are giving out tickets free. So I got two free tickets and next week my partner and I will take the bus downtown to the Park Blocks and visit the Portland Art Museum!


Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Finding sales

I use my computer to help me find what's on sale. I have bookmarks to the online ads of several of my local grocery stores. But I've found a site that is even easier to use. It's, a dumb name for a useful site.

No signup is required. You put in your zip code and a keyword of what you are looking for. Simple is best. 'Toilet paper' or 'rice' or 'beans'. You'll get a price and an image of what's on sale. They seem to have all the stores around here listed, at least the major ones. It's very useful and keeps you from wasting that expensive gas going from place to place.


Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Learning from mistakes

I've been making whole wheat bread from scratch. So far I've made 3 loaves. The first one I used the bread machine for mixing and the first rise. It came out pretty good, but quite a dark top.

The second one I did by hand, and it didn't rise as much, but it was tasty. Sunday, I got a good rise but I guess I was overly gentle with the dough when I was shaping it to put it in the loaf pan. Once it was baked, I found out there was a nicely done bread, but with a fairly large hole in the center.

Now, obviously this wasn't any good for sandwiches. ;-) So, trying to be frugal, I used 2 slices for breakfast and cooked an egg in the middle of the bread. I got that idea from watching Moonstruck a long time ago. Then for dinner, I stuffed the hole with some steamed veggies and a little marinara and heated it up. Sliced it and enjoyed it a lot.

I'm going to continue to make bread. I enjoy it, it is very cost effective and both I and my partner like it a lot. And it's good for you!


Monday, September 26, 2005

Potato scramble

I made potato scramble yesterday. It didn't look like much, honestly, but it tasted good. Another thumbs up from my partner. She did ask next time that I have a meat side dish.

I bought some boneless skinless chicken breast the other day on sale. The breasts were huge! So, I sliced them up into approximately 6 ou pieces, which is a recommended serving size. I am trying to get away from supersizing myself by eating large portions.

I'm old enough to remember when going to McDonalds was a treat. I think my mother gave in about once every 2-3 months (yes, months, not days or weeks). We were all satisfied with what is now a small hamburger or cheeseburger (the ones for around a buck), a small fry and a small drink. At some fast food places I've been at lately, you can't even buy a small fry, just medium. Sometimes I buy a kid's meal, because honestly it's at least smaller and a bit healthier.

You can get apple dippers at McDonalds, mandarin orange slices at Wendy's. The plain baked potato at Wendy's is good too, as long as you don't get all the fatty add-ons. I like potatoes with BBQ sauce, or salsa on top. Tasty yet healthy.

Speaking of potatoes, I did find at Safeway 10 pounds of russets for $1.99. Since they are usually .69 a pound, I snapped up a bag. So I do have to eat a lot of potatoes fairly soon.


Sunday, September 25, 2005

Gaining knowledge

Knowledge is power as they say. The person who really inspired me to start this more frugal way of life, is another blogger, frugalveggiemama, who posts regularly. She recommended a few books.

Now, trying to be frugal, I am first getting them from the library. I use the Multnomah County Library, which last year had the most circulation of any library in the country. Something like 15.4 million items. Reading is a good way to pass the rainy winters.

Anyway, I've got a few books on hold and one video. The video is called Escape from Affluenza, and two books I'm really looking forward to reading are The Complete Tightwad Gazette and Yankee magazine's living well on a shoestring : 1,501 ingenious ways to spend less for what you need and have more for what you want.

Today I'm making a potato scramble. Yesterdays apple crisp got good reviews from my partner.


Saturday, September 24, 2005

Hello from Portland!

I have recently decided to start living more frugally, to simplify my life. Saving money is a big part. I want to eat well, but not spend a lot. I want to eat healthy, but not spend my life cooking. I want time with my partner, and savings for retirement later.

So I'm learning about a frugal lifestyle. It's different from a lot of people, in that I live in the middle of a large city, in an apartment. I don't have a yard, or a basement, or much storage space. So even if buying beans in 25 pound bags is much cheaper, I can't because I have no place to put them.

My partner is willing to try this lifestyle. We are low on funds, but rich in our life together. We will see how this goes, how to save money yet live a full life together.