Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Share the surplus

The last green peppers and tomatoes from the garden filled two large grocery sacks. After keeping a few for our use, I took the lot to my folks, who took what they wanted. What was left I took to the local Centro Latino (outreach center for immigrants/migrants), along with the last of the jalapeños picked before the frost. This was such a little thing too do, very little effort on my part (especially because my husband culled the garden), but I feel really good about having helped someone else. Christianity would grow faster if people shared their surplus as willingly as they share their beliefs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Salad days

I can still picture Elaine on Seinfield going on and on about BIG SALAD. Folks seem willing to pay big bucks for those big salads, because they have the appearance of being healthy, I suppose. Had a big salad myself last night, but in not out. Didn't go out to eat, that is. Picture this: a healthy portion of baby spinach (@ $2.88 for a bag), broccoli ($1.67 a bag), red pepper ($.78 for one whole pepper), shredded cheddar ($2.51), hot & spicy pre-cooked chicken tenders from the deli ($3.98/lb.--cut up only one on top of my salad), and carrots ($2.99 for 2 lbs.), all tossed with Newman's Own Light Honey Mustard Dressing (forget the cost, proceeds go to charity). Not only did I have a very satisfying, quick meal at a fraction of what a big salad costs in a restaurant, but I have ingredients for future meals. Think steamed broccoli with cheddar sprinkled on top, steamed carrots tossed with a little brown sugar for glazed carrots, spinach and red pepper quickly stir fried in oil & garlic and seasoned with cumin. To paraphrase Shakespeare, my salad days don't make me green in judgment but save me cold hard cash. “My salad days, When I was green in judgment: cold in blood” (Antony and Cleopatra, I.v.73). 

Monday, October 29, 2007

No Impact Man

I have decided to dedicate this site to the frugality aspect of good ole Ben Franklin's virtues, so here goes: The No Impact Man website has sure made an impact on me. I realize there are so many ways that I waste electricity, hence my money. His conclusion after nearly a year of doing without the glo-juice that most of us couldn't live without: "So concrete result number one: Moving forward, I'm willing to live without A/C, the TV, a freezer, incandescent lights, probably the clothes dryer, and hot water in the laundry machine. I'm not willing to live without CFL lights in winter, the laundry machine using cold water, the fridge set at 45 degrees or so, once a week use of a vacuum cleaner." In my efforts to be a more conscious consumer of electricity, I have recently unplugged unused appliances, to avoid the dreaded "phantom load." I'm also in the market for a wind-up clock, so no more batteries wasted either. How many things that now rely on electricity used to rely on just a little effort by the user? Hmmnnn...
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