Monday, November 30, 2009


As reported on my blog, we had a WONDERFUL family Thanksgiving. I am so appreciative and blessed with our family and the fact all of them (except David) live in the immediate area.

After dinner, while Dave was cleaning up the roaster pan, he asked Suzette about the turkey frame. She didn't want it and asked me if I'd like to take it home. She had prepared a 22 lb turkey. YOU BET I wanted to bring it home.


I want to share with you what I was able to do with that turkey frame and how many meals it has provided us with!!!

First thing I did was find a new soup, instead of the normal turkey & rice or noodle soup I usually make. Instead I made a vegetable soup. Here is the recipe:

Turkey Frame Soup

1 cooked turkey frame
3 qts, water
1 onion, quartered
2 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz.) can tomatoes, cut up
1 tbsp. chicken bouillon
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1/8 tsp. pepper
4 c. frozen stew vegetables
1/2 c. dry noodles

In large pot, add first 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer 1 1/2 hours. Cool and discard bones and solids. Add next 6 ingredients and bring to a boil and simmer for 45 minutes. Then add dry noodles and simmer for 10 minutes. This soup is great for after the holidays.

This soup has been our lunch for 2 meals and we still have enough left for the 3rd lunch.

After the frame cooled I removed all the turkey from the bones. This gave me a goodly amount of turkey meat. Today for lunch we had turkey sandwiches and tonight I fixed creamed turkey on toast. I have enough creamed turkey left for supper tomorrow evening and still have 1/2 the turkey meat left to do something else with!!!

So to recap - out of the turkey frame that many would just throw away we have had:

3 meals of a rich, vegetable soup
1 meal of turkey sandwiches
2 meals of creamed turkey
& remaining turkey to still make 2 or 3 more meals out of.

FRUGAL is a life style and not just a word!!!!

It also can taste mighty good.

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Here is a list of 72 money saving tips on Electricity that our local television station ran. Some of them are redundant but a lot of good tips. With the cost of EVERYTHIG going up we need to be doing all we can to cut the costs.

1Turn Off Your Lights - A simple habit to remember and one which can save you a fortune. Turing off the lights when you leave a room and when you go out makes financial sense, and should appeal to your common sense too.

2 Stop Your Dishwasher Drying Your Dishes - Turn off the dish drying function of your dishwasher cycle and save money by letting your dishes dry naturally.

3 Using Table Lamps - Table lamps will light just the space you are using, making them a much more efficient option than turning on all the numerous and larger overhead lights.

4 Shut Off Mains Power - If you are willing to reprogram your alarm clocks and recorders when you return, turning off your mains power when you leave the house can save you a lot of cents when you add up the power used when appliances are on standby.

5 Only Use Lights When Needed - Get out of the habit of turning lights on whenever you enter a room. Often by simply opening a curtain you’ll have enough light for general tasks during the day.

6 Turn Lights Off When You Leave a Room - A habit which is going to save you money on your electricity bill when you do it regularly – plus there is no substance to the myth that turning lights off and on uses more power than leaving them running, so no matter how long you’re leaving a room for, turn off the light.

7 Free Cooling Passages - The air comes into your fridge and freezer through a vent on the inside so make sure you don’t place food or items in front of that vent, as the appliance will have to work harder.

8 Use Task Lighting - If you’re working on the computer or reading a book, use lighting which will light up just the space you need. This is especially important if you are at your desk where your computer, monitor, printer and office equipment is already powered up.

9 Hand Wash Single Dishes - If you have a full load then your dishwasher is more water and energy efficient, but if not, wash the few plates or mugs by hand.

10 Untangle Your Drying - If you separate your washing before putting it in the dryer the dryer will be much more efficient.

11 Indoor Clothes Drying Area - Setting aside a space inside to hang your clothes on an airer will make it easier for you to stop using the dryer and all that extra power.

12 Turn Off Your Home Office - When working from home you need a break from the office too, even if you just close the door to the spare room and forget about it for the weekend. Well, while you’re forgetting about work, unplug all of your office equipment on the weekend too.

13 Unplug Your Home Office - If your home office doesn’t run at the same pace as an inner-city business then you don’t need to be using the same amount of power either. Therefore, if you’re not printing anything unplug your printer, if you’re not scanning anything unplug your scanner, if you’re not using your audio equipment then unplug your speakers.

14 Turn Off and Turn In - Before you go to bed it will cost you nothing to double check that all lights, TVs and electrical equipment are turned off.

15 Use Your Front Door Not Your Garage Door - Your garage door opener uses power every time you come and go from your house. Therefore, if you’re stopping at home quickly leave your car in the driveway instead of opening and closing the garage door. Plus, if you have an entrance to your home from your garage, use it, instead of opening and closing the garage door for your car, and again for yourself.

16 Turn Off Your Computer - A simple money saving habit to get into and one which will save you a fortune in power you’re just wasting when your computer sits idle.

17 Not a Fan - If you are cooling off in front of a fan, make sure to turn it off when you leave the room. A fan is only going to make you feel cooler when you are in front of it and leaving it on when you’re not there is not going to lower the temperature of your home.

18 Turn Off Appliances When You Leave - If you’re not watching the TV remember to turn it off, same too for your computer and games console. You can turn them right back on when you return.

19 Transfer From Freezer to Fridge - If you plan out the next several meals you can transfer all that food from your freezer to your fridge at once. Opening your freezer less will mean it doesn’t have to work as hard as if the door was regularly being opened.

20 Christmas Lights Light Up the Night - Don’t leave your Christmas lights running during the day – no one can see them. Also make sure to wait until it’s actually dark to turn them on at night.

21 Turn Off Lights When TV is On - The TV provides its own light if you need to get up and move around the room and you certainly don’t need the light on to see the TV better – in fact it’s likely to look better in the dark.

22 Turn the TV Off When You’re Not Watching - If you’re going in and out of the room getting ready for work or cooking or cleaning, don’t leave the TV on when you’re not there to watch it.

23 Watch Less TV - Turning the TV off when you leave a room may also lead you to watch less TV all together which can save you even more. Plus, flat screen TVs especially, get very hot when on for long periods of time so get off the couch and couple saving electricity with exercise, gardening or board games.

24 Don’t Dehumidify When It’s Not Humid - You will only need a dehumidifier to be running when it’s humid so to avoid unnecessary electricity consumption, turn them off during late autumn, winter and early spring.

25 Unplug Battery Chargers - After your iPod, camera or other device has charged, unplug the device and the charger from the wall. Even when your device isn’t plugged into its charger, the charger is still consuming electricity.

26 Turn Off Appliances - Leave your fridge and freezer running of course, but make sure all other appliances are off when you leave the house – your microwave, stereo and coffee maker don’t need to stay on while you’re gone.

27 Take All Food From the Fridge at Once - If you’re cooking take all the ingredients from the fridge at the same time, or if you’re making a sandwich get all the toppings in one go as opening the fridge door less, means it doesn’t have to work as hard.

28 Clean Fridge Coils - Clean coils means your fridge will take less electricity to keep its contents cold.

29 Use Half As Much Light - Go through your house and unscrew every second light bulb and see whether you really do need so much light in your home.

30 Clean Dishwasher Drain - If your dishwasher is clean, then your dishes will be too and if you allow only clean water to come through the drain, there is less chance you need to rewash the dishes and use yet more power.

31 Keep Dryer Lint Trap Clean - If the moisture can easily leave the dryer through a clean lint trap then it will be more efficient and be able to run for less time.

32 Run Full Loads of Laundry - If you run full loads of laundry you can therefore put more items in the dryer at the end of each cycle, and run the dryer less often.

33 Soak Your Dishes - Soaking off the tough food stains on your dishes overnight means that the following day you can put your pre-soaked dishes in the dishwasher on an energy conservation cycle.

34 Check Your Dryer Before the End of the Cycle - Just because you’ve set the dryer for 90 minutes, it doesn’t mean the items won’t be dry before then. Checking before the end of the cycle allows you to remove the items which are dry and turn off the dryer, or let the items which need more time dry more quickly on their own.

35 Check Your Dryer Efficiency - As your dryer runs it may tangle large items such as sheets. However, if you check their progress regularly you will be able to untangle them so they can dry more quickly.

36 Don’t Completely Dry Clothes in the Dryer - Taking items from the dryer when they are still damp will help them last longer and it also means you can use your dryer less if you hang them up to dry naturally.

37 Can Your Dryer Sense Moisture? - If your dryer has a moisture sensor feature make sure this is activated as your dryer will shut off once it senses the clothes are dry.

38 Do Consecutive Loads of Laundry - When your dryer is already warmed up, keep washing to take advantage of the warmth, rather than making it heat up from cold again another time.

39 Don’t Use the Wrinkle Shield Feature of Your Dryer - If left unattended, the Wrinkle Shield will run the dryer at the end of the cycle for two minutes, every five minutes to stop the clothes wrinkling inside. If you’re out and unaware, your dryer will be running almost the entire time.

40 Turn Off Your Home Office - If you don’t want to scramble around with cables when you’re not using your office equipment, at least turn them off when they’re not in use.

41 Put Scanner on Sleep Mode - This means you don’t even have to remember to turn off your scanner after use, and you can still save electricity.

42 Put Printer on Sleep Mode - Using the sleep function means you don’t have to plug in and unplug your printer each time you stop using it, but you can still save on your power bill.

43 Put Fax Machine on Sleep Mode - Leaving your fax machine on full time in case a fax comes through is unnecessarily using power but putting it to sleep mode can combat this waste.

44 Turn Off Your Games Console - Anything like a Nintendo an X-Box or a PlayStation will keep using power even when you’re not playing so if you’ve finished or are taking a break, save and turn it off.

45 Unplug Your Games Console - Even if the console is off it is still using power so unplug your Nintendo, X-Box or PlayStation at the wall.

46 Unplug Your Phone Charger - Even if you’ve unplugged your phone from its charger, the charger is still sucking out power if it’s left plugged in.

47 Manual Gardening - Use manual shears to trim the bushes and hedges in your garden rather than powering up your electric trimmers.

48 Manual Can Opener - If you have an electric can opener, you probably still have a manual one so get it out of the drawer and stop using an electrical appliance when you have a manual one which works just as well and for free.

49 Have Bread Not Toast - Choosing to eat your bread fresh rather than toasted can save a lot of power over breakfast, especially if the whole family gets onboard with bread.

50 Rotate Cordless Phones in One Charger - Instead of having several cordless phone handsets charging at once, use just one charger base on a rotation basis.

51 Computer on Standby - This is a setting you can easily change and you can chose the time-out period before your computer powers down after inactivity

52 Air Dry Your Hair - Before you blast your hair with the hair dryer, consider whether you really need to – are you going out, are you going to catch a cold? Probably not, so where you have the opportunity to air dry you hair, do – try washing your hair at night and when you wake up in the morning it’s dry, for free.

53 Light Free Day - Get into the habit of using no lights for just one day a week. You can make it into a game or challenge for your family, or simply start a romantic candle-lit dinner tradition – all while saving on your power bill.

54 Don’t Dispose of Garbage in the Sink - If you have a garbage disposal system in your sink, think before you use it – do you really need to or can you just take your rubbish out to the bin?

55 Fill Up Your Dishwasher - Don’t run your dishwasher unless it’s full as you’re going to do more loads in the long run and waste all that power and water on a half load.

56 Unplug the Second Fridge - If you have a second fridge in the laundry or garage for beers and food and other drinks for parties, it doesn’t need to be plugged in all the time. If you can, even try to get rid of it all together.

57 Disconnect the Microwave Light - Your kitchen is likely to be quite well lit so when you (responsibly) unplug the light bulb in the microwave to save on electricity, you probably won’t even miss it.

58 Raise the Fridge Temperature - Don’t raise the temperature so far that your food spoils, but just check the setting now – is it on the coldest setting? Probably. Well it doesn’t need to be, turn the thermostat just a few notches warmer and your fridge won’t have to work so hard.

59 Raise the Freezer Temperature - The same electricity saving idea can be applied to your freezer too because unless your freezer is packed to the brim, it doesn’t need to be on the absolute coldest setting to keep things frozen.

60 Remove One Light Bulb in Your Garage Door Opener - While it’s convenient for your garage door opener to light up when you’ve just entered, most systems will have two light bulbs, so try it with just one and see whether there’s enough light.

61 Turn Off the Porch Light When You Get Home - If you’re the last one home at night, who are you leaving the porch light on for? This is a simple habit to get into when you get home.

62 Leave the Porch Light Off - Chances are your street is lit with street lights so do you really need to leave the porch light on at all? Moonlight, coupled with the street lights or even the light of your mobile phone should be enough to help you find the right key at night for free.

63 Use a Single Power Board - You can use one power board in the lounge, one in the office, one in the bedroom, one for the kids…once you connect all appliances in a room to one power board you can quickly and easily turn off everything at once so you can be sure you’re not wasting any standby power.

64 Separate Your Fridge and Stove - If your fridge is next to your stove, your fridge is going to have to work a lot harder to keep cool with all that extra hot air around – especially if you open the fridge while you’re cooking.

65 Paint Light - Choosing light paint colors can help minimize the need for more lighting as light paint naturally reflects light into dark spaces.

66 Give Your Electronics a Holiday - When you go away on holiday, give your electrical appliances a break too and unplug all the clock radios, DVD players, game consoles and TVs. If you’re leaving for an extended period even try and empty out the fridge so you can unplug that too.

67 Fill Up Your Fridge - If your fridge isn’t full, place some (full) water bottles inside as this leaves less space that your fridge has to work on to keep cool, and the cold items will keep the fridge itself cold too.

68 Collect Leaves Manually - Use a rake instead of a leaf blower and take the opportunity to get a little exercise as you save some electricity.

69 Clean Your Light Fixtures - If your light fixtures are clean, you will probably find you can get away with turning on fewer lights, as there is more light coming from the ones already on.

70 Keep the Pool Pump Clean - Make sure the strainer baskets in your swimming pool pump are free and clean, because when they start to get blocked, the pump has to work harder and use more electricity.

71 Keep Your Freezer Full - If your freezer is full, the frozen items will work to keep the inside of the freezer cold and allow the freezer to use less electricity.

72 Shovel Snow by Hand - Get out there and put your back into shoveling snow by hand, rather than using your snow blower. It might even help you work off those extra winter kilos you put on over the holidays.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More With Less

This morning, I needed to find a recipe for a bread to make to go along with a meal to take over to a young mom who has just had a baby. Time is short, as usual, so I needed something quick, but felt it was also important that it be a healthy bread. So I turned, as I have time and again for the past twenty-five years or so, to a beat-up little cookbook in my kitchen utility cart drawer. You know what I mean when I say it's pretty battered. It cost me so little but I have got more than I bargained for out of this small investment. In fact, it has lived up to its title in a way different than was the intent of its being named as it was. This cookbook may be in your kitchen, but if not, I strongly urge you to make sure that it is before too long. Trust me, it will be worth it. I thought about the folks who come to this blog and felt I should take a few minutes out of my day to do a quick post to talk about it, knowing if I don't do it now I'll forget all about it and will never get around to it. I am pretty sure you ladies are of the sort who would appreciate it. I have marks and food stains all over pages in this book, and ditto the sentiments of a quote I found on another website about it:

"As I turn the pages of my More-with-Less Cookbook, the spots and stains and drips and smears tell me the value of a particular recipe. I call it my “scratch and sniff” cookbook. If the page is full of markings (food or otherwise), the recipe is most likely a good one, a tried and true favorite!"
— MKB, Newton, Kan.

What is this cookbook all about? Coming from the Mennonites, it was published in 1976 and addresses the North American problem of "consuming more and more food made up of wasteful calories and unnecessary packaging." It's full of recipes and suggestions on better and more nutritional eating habits while consuming less. I like it that the author was making an offering of ways for us to live more simply and "joyfully" while being concerned about the needs of a hungry world. This is a subject close to my heart, and I only wish I were more diligent in being less wasteful and more concentrated in my efforts to feed myself and family in such a way as to leave more for the needy. I would like to think I was making more of a contribution at least, and this cookbook is a nice tool in my hand to do that. If nothing else, it could at least help me to save money, and maybe some of that which I saved could be sent off to help feed hungry children?

Think about it. Perhaps you have been wondering if there were more ways you could make a difference. Maybe a purchase of the More-With-Less Cookbook would be a start. Honestly, I don't think you'd be sorry if you did. You can purchase it here at Amazon. You can also read more about it's philosophy here.

Thanks, gotta run!