Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What do you think?

Test post from my phone. Now, is this frugal or no?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Start of Something Frugal, episode 1

In an effort to give you, o elusive reader, an idea of what I might be posting, I figured I should write a few entries. Now, all I have to do is figure out where to start.

I suppose I could half way cheat, and start with the split pea soup recipe that I already have typed out! So, if you've meandered over here from LJ, this may look a bit familiar:

For a nutritious, simple, and frugal meal, think soup. Think split pea soup. Don't run away, crying that soup is too hard! Honestly, split pea soup is fairly easy to make, and if you have a half-way stocked kitchen, then it can be pretty inexpensive, too. The best thing, in my opinion, is the versatility of the recipe. Really, treat the recipe like a guide for temp., proportions and times. Most everything else is fair game.

Even though I like following recipes, I almost never follow to the letter. So, an abbreviated and modified version of the split pea soup recipe from the back of the Lowe's [as in the grocery store in NC] split pea bag:

mince 3 cloves of garlic, start heating in the bottom of a soup pot over medium high heat, as you get the meat ready. I'd been using two links of sausage. [Recipe calls for 1 lb beef, cubed.] Salt and pepper to taste.

Add and brown meat. Wash/sort peas, add peas to pot.

Add 6 cups of liquid [some combination of broth/stock or bullion and water]. Bring to boil. Stir occasionally. Reduce heat.

Simmer for 1 hour.

Dice 2-3 medium carrots and one onion, after soup has simmered for an hour, add veggies. Simmer for additional 20 minutes.


The back of the bag also says to add one diced bell pepper with the onion and carrot.

I think that a bay leaf or two would be a good addition.

I had a lot of this stuff on hand. I'll try to buy several bags of peas when they are on sale. The sausage was gifted to us during a visit to my aunt. The stock I made, then froze months ago. Carrots were on hand. I had to buy the onion. So... inexpensive. Plus, this will easily feed the husband and me for two dinners, and maybe even a lunch. And, it freezes well. Still have some in my freezer from a month ago in a re-used sherbert container.

So, how many frugal ideas did you spot in that last paragraph?

The Start of Something Frugal

So, I've got this idea that has been kicking around inside my head for awhile. 

It started because I obsessively read the "Save $10 a week!" and "How to do XX on the cheap" and "Go Green and Save" articles that cross my computer screen.

Great, huh? You'd think that this would be a good thing, and that I would have learning a tidbit or two. And, you are right. I think I learned exactly that. A tidbit or two... like, I didn't know before about of babysitting clubs/pools. But, all of the information to save on groceries and other daily sorts of chores, or to make extra money, was old-hat to me. I know a lot of those tricks. 

Anyway, the point is that when I read a lot of these articles, I am left feeling like it was the last assignment given out, to a person who really wanted to write something else more "interesting," and so the article was thrown together, minutes before deadline, with minimal research. OR - that a lot of the ideas bandied about, while good ideas in of themselves, are geared towards very comfortable middle class people, for whom tightening one or two notches on a relatively roomy belt is enough. That is not exactly where I am.

I could be wrong. I could be very wrong. It could be that for a lot of people, the whole price per unit or price per ounce verses price for the whole bottle of XX IS a revelation, every two weeks. [If so, go Mom, thanks for teaching me!]

At any rate, I have spent too much time stewing over this [aren't there better things in life on which to spend my energy?], and complaining to friends about how inane this week's "Save Money Now!" is. I've thought that I could write these articles at least as well, and perhaps be a bit more informative.

I could also chronicle my experiments with things like quilting, making freezer jam, pin-curls, and generally trying to do more to help myself, my family, and also, my planet. 

A few things make me nervous about this:
1) Do I really know enough that 'teh internetz' won't just blow me out of the water with frugal-fu after a week or two?
2) I'm an introvert, and rather a private person, yet lookin' to voice my opinion all over the internet, with nary a friend-lock to protect me?
3) Will I be able to sustain such a blog, with interesting and relevant information?
4) Would anybody read?

So, I put it to you: would you?

In case it matters, I would start another blog specifically for this. In the mean time, I figured I'd use what I have to see if this concept could get off the ground.