Yesterday I found a surprise on the front porch—a dutifully-delivered telephone book, complete with Yellow Pages and the old familiar “white” ones, too, a term I used advisedly as that color is anything but white.
Am I the only one who thought telephone books went out with VCRs? Apparently they have not because someone out there is spending a ton of money to produce and deliver them. Which begs the question, “What to do with a perfectly good telephone book?” Today’s first tipster begs to answer.
SHRED BED. Whether for cushioning a package or lining an animal’s bed, shredded phone book paper produces a nice soft shred. A great new use for clean but outdated or unused phone books. — Linda Continue reading
Posted on May 21, 2013
Just as summer-grilling season approaches, here comes news that the cost of supermarket beef has hit an all-time high, up at least 5 percent so far this year, and still rising.
Recently, I caught up with Teri Gault, founder of the TheGroceryGame.com, to find out what’s going on. Teri and her TGG crew closely monitor national food prices on a daily basis, so they’re my go-to source for all things related to the cost of food. But more than that, Teri has great ideas for how to overcome this kind of unhappy news so we can afford to keep our grills fired up this summer.
It’s a problem of supply and the environment, reports Teri. The U.S. cattle herd is at its lowest level since 1952. Cattle producers have been hard hit by drought, late freezing weather, doubling of feed costs and poor pasture conditions. Supplies are down, which drives prices up both at the grocery store and restaurants, too. But not to worry. Teri says that overcoming the high cost of beef is a matter of changing our thinking, habits and behaviors. Continue reading
I don’t consider myself a complete stranger to high-priced gourmet fare. After all, I did enjoy a lovely $100-per-person meal once. But even that experience in my semi-impressive culinary repertoire did not prepare me to handle gracefully the idea of a 10-course dinner with a price tag of $25,000 per person. And it wasn’t a political fundraiser. Just a fancy meal in an exotic location—Bangkok, Thailand.
Sure, this gastronomic extravaganza included the very best in Cristal champagne, foie gras, truffles, Kobe beef, Beluga caviar, Belon oysters and mousseline of pattes rouges’ crayfish with morel mushroom infusion, but come on! Twenty-five grand per person—a price that does not include tax or gratuity or airfare?
I don’t think I could do that even if I were so rich $25,000 would be mere pennies as compared to my vast net worth. There are some things I simply would not be able to get out of my mind like: Continue reading
Dear Mary: We grow our own potatoes but I find I still want to spend money at the supermarket to buy frozen hash browns and Tater Tots. I hate to do it because we have so many potatoes. But every time I’ve tried to make them myself, they turn to mush. Thanks for any ideas you might have. –Norma, Wisconsin
Dear Norma: I tore through my vast recipe collections and have come up with three recipes for you that use potatoes and other ordinary ingredients, which you’re bound to have on hand.
The Hash Browns are very traditional, Crispy Potatoes make an elegant side dish for just about any dinner entree, and I believe you’ll find the Potatoes Bites to be a more than reasonable facsimile of your favorite “Tater Tots.” All of these recipes are a bit involved, but the results are well worth the effort!
Dear Mary: My husband has two jobs–he is an artist and a salesman. He earns commissions from both jobs so we never know what our income will be. I work part-time and am paid hourly. How can we possibly live on a budget? –Jenn P., Texas
Dear Jenn: The mistake many people who live with an uncertain income (or what I call “mystery means”) make is they spend whatever amount of money they earn as it comes in.
They multiply a good month’s income by 12 and figure that’s about what their annual income should be and then set their lifestyles accordingly. Then they starve during the lean months, allowing all the bills to go past due hoping that a good month will follow soon.
The secret to living on an uncertain income is to determine the very minimum you need to live each month. What dollar figure must your husband’s commissioned jobs produce so that when added to your part-time paychecks will allow you to pay all of your bills? Whatever that number is, let that become his new salary. Continue reading