Sunday, November 30, 2008

I'm still here!

Wow, I haven't posted for quite some time! It's been busy with the Thanksgiving holiday, family and of course, work. But never fear, I have some ideas and will be posting soon :)

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Cheap and green books

Just got a phone call from my aunt who knows how much my family LOVES books. Even my 7 year old loves reading. Well, my aunt told me of a "bookstore" she recently visited downtown called "The Book Thing".

Why is the Book Thing green? People donate books to them to be re-read, re-used, recycled. Less trash in the landfill...although I have no idea how someone can throw away a book!

Why is the Book Thing cheap? Well, it's beyond cheap. It's free. No, not a's FREE. Look around, take as many books as you want. FREE. The guy who started the Book Thing wanted to keep books in circulation. He knows there's a book out there for everyone. I know this is a local Baltimore thing, but perhaps there's someplace like this in your community?

There's a great article on this that appeared in the Chicago Times a few years ago. Check it out, and I'll be making my trip down there to check it out in person soon!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Breaking up with Netflix

Before I get into this, can I say I LOVE Netflix? It's cheap and convenient and it gets delivered to your mailbox. I've used Netflix for years and never a problem. this economy, we've been looking for areas to cut out extras. We've been having the "do we or don't we keep Netflix" conversation for about a month now. I think Netflix is pretty cheap (we pay about $9 a month for one dvd at a time) considering what the video store charges.

Twelve months a year x $9 is more than $100/year for movies. While a little painful, we decided to break it off ("it's not you, Netflix, it's me"). We already have digital cable which had millions of channels including the free movie by request channel. Our local library is AWESOME. It has all the new movies and great classics and it's free. So, really, we're just losing the convenience of getting a particular movie at a particular time. I can be biggie.

So I go to Netflix's site to cancel. I call my husband at work to make more we really want to end it? Netflix has been so good to us. But alas, he confirms it. I click the cancel button.

Then, unexpectedly, a screen pops up. "Too busy for movies right now? Put your account on hold." For 90 days I can put my account on hold, not receive movies and not be billed. It's like the Ross and Rachel "on a break" from Friends. So we're on a break from Netflix for a couple months, and if we haven't missed it by February, then we'll end it for real and save ourselves some money.

But I'll always love you, Netflix ;)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Trying to EAT cheap and green

I have a dilemma. Eating cheap and green is getting to be quite the challenge in this economy. We don't eat 100% organic (although we do buy organic for the dirty dozen), but we do make most of our foods ourselves instead of prepackaged, processed stuff.

I am totally intrigued when I see articles saying, "Feed your family on 25c a day" but then I read the food/ingredients and know that won't work for me. Sure, I could feed my family for super cheap if I served Hamburger Helper, but we started avoiding that stuff mainly because of my husband's high blood pressure.

So I have the dilemma of preparing foods that are cheap and green, healthy yet easy. We have a couple of standby's (chili is one of our favorites) but I need some new recipes that stick to my cheapness but are healthy. I have found some good ideas at A Year of Crockpotting, but what kinds of recipes do you suggest? Keep in mind...easy recipes...I'm not a great cook :)