leftover cabbage recipe

What Do You Do With Leftover Cabbage from St. Patrick’s Day Dinner? Here’s a Recipe from 1891

A timely post from 2010. A delicious old recipe for leftover cabbage! Easy, too!  Continue reading “What Do You Do With Leftover Cabbage from St. Patrick’s Day Dinner? Here’s a Recipe from 1891”

What’s for Lunch? Low-Glycemic Leftovers

low glycemic lunchWhat do you do with a handful of leftover tuna, chickpeas, dried cranberries and almonds? Well, if you’re trying to whittle down your waistline and cholesterol — mix it together and have it for lunch (with a bit of salt, pepper and tablespoon of lemon juice). It was one of the best lunches I have had in a long time, and I’m feeling more energetic than ever. Continue reading “What’s for Lunch? Low-Glycemic Leftovers”

How Many Pounds of Boneless Chicken Do You Really Get for Your Money? (Not meant for the queasy…)

I wanted to see for myself just how much boneless chicken breast I’m really buying for my money after all the fat is cut off the poultry. It’s a bit of an eye-opener.  Continue reading “How Many Pounds of Boneless Chicken Do You Really Get for Your Money? (Not meant for the queasy…)”

vegetable garden

Earth Day is Every Day When You Strive for Zero Waste

In light our annual Fairfield, CT Earth Day Celebration, I have updated this post I wrote.

Hey, Fairfield, Reduce Your Waste! It’s Frugal and Sustainable!  Continue reading “Earth Day is Every Day When You Strive for Zero Waste”

Frugal Recipe: Pico de Gallo (fresh tomato salsa from scratch)

This is a recipe I regularly make, mostly in the summertime, when tomatoes are freshest.  It goes great with bean and cheese burritos, rice, beans, and cheese, or tacos.  It is also a great side dish for meat and fish entrees.  Chop and mix together the following:

4 Roma or Plum Tomatoes, seeded

¼  small white onion

1 serrano or jalapeno chili pepper

1 Tbsp whole cilantro leaves

½ tsp sugar

½ tsp salt

juice from ¼  of a lime

optional: pinch of oregano and pinch of cumin

As you may remember from an my first post on frugal kitchen investments, I mentioned that I received $40 of Kohls’ Cash for buying a bread machine last year.  At that same time “The Ninja Master Prep Professional Triple Play” was on sale for $45.  It was and still is rated as a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Combining the Kohls Cash and 30% off coupon, I got the Ninja Master Blender Set for $4.00.  Couponing rocks!!

With this new blender, Pico de Gallo is even easier to make.  I highly recommend it.  Enjoy this recipe, with or without the blender!

~Aimee, TFF

Prep the ingredients. (Save the seeded middle of the tomato for salad or some other purpose)
Put all the ingredients in the blender.
Pulse for 5 short bursts…
Pico de Gallo in a less than 15 minutes!

Inspiration for a Simple Lifestyle — The Zero Waste Challenge in Fairfield, CT

The Zero Waste Challenge – Fairfield, Reduce Your Waste and Health and Wealth Will Follow

We are a family of five, including three growing children.  Our ranch style house is 1,100 square feet, with a 600 sq. ft. finished basement that has a full bathroom (thank goodness!).  We have been a one-modest-income family for nearly nine years.  We live debt-free in one of the most expensive counties in the United States.  Little did I realize that it all began with cutting down on waste – literally, garbage.

The first expense we cut was our garbage service.  (If you are reading this from out of town, you read that correctly.  Garbage service is not covered by city tax.)  At that time, we had two in diapers and a town dump run four times a month.  So for the first couple of years, it was only a savings of about $100 per year.  However, a couple of years later, after our third child was born, we did two things that affected our garbage disposal: established a compost bin and discovered Freecycle.

Compost Bin
Image via Wikipedia

With a compost bin and worms from the backyard, our vegetable scraps turned to soil.  Composting eventually led to the start of a modest 4’ x 8’ ft. raised bed garden, which in two years lowered our food bill and raised our health quotient. Freecycling decreased our need to purchase items.  I’ve gotten great toys and games, arts and crafts, winter boots and clothing –in great condition- for our family.  Conversely, by offering items Freecycle, I began the long, on-going process of de-cluttering our house.  With composting and Freecycling, our trips to the dump and our spending began to decrease even more.  Bonus: the environment benefited, too.

Other ways we began to cut down on waste and spending:  for the last five years, since my daughter started 1st grade, we have been using cloth napkins, and much to my husband’s dismay, stopped using paper towels.  Instead, we reuse rags, wash with cold water and hang clothes on outdoor- and/or indoor- laundry lines.  Also, for the last eight years, we have belonged to an organic and natural food buying club and buy food items such as the “dirty dozen” organic produce, grains, flour, sugar, and dried herbs, and non-food items, such as detergent in bulk at much lower prices than stores such as Mrs. Green’s, Whole Foods, and even Trader Joe’s.

Today, with composting, single-stream recycling (as of last summer – #1 – 7 plastics and paperboard boxes (cereal and tissue boxes) can now be recycled), and just buying less, we go to the town dump once every three weeks!

Several months ago, an online news video story about the “Zero Waste Home” caught my eye.  Bea and Scott Johnson and their two growing boys downsized from a 3,000 square foot home to a 1,400 square foot home.  They went from filling two large rolling garbage cans per week to holding four months worth of garbage in two hands.

Their grocery bills have been cut by 25% by shopping locally and carefully planning meals.  Their utility bills have gone down even more.  “Zero Waste is good for your wallet,” Bea says.  But most of all, they have achieved a well-being of health and happiness they did not enjoy with having more stuff.  This family is a living example of “LESS IS MORE” and “HEALTH IS WEALTH.”

Living in Fairfield, CT, in Fairfield County, one of the most expensive and affluent counties in the United States, is being surrounded by a majority who believe that success is defined by having the most square footage, the most luxurious cars, and the latest “stuff”.  I challenge you, dear reader, especially Fairfielders, to help turn this definition around.  Let’s teach our children that success is defined by the ability to put people before things, and to refuse, reduce, reuse, and recycle.  Less IS more.  Health IS wealth.

Click here for The Zero Waste Home video news story I stumbled upon.

Here’s The Zero Waste Home Blog that inspires me.

The “Dirty Dozen” Organic Produce list helps make eating organic fruits and veggies affordable.  Download the app or print the wallet-sized shopping guide here.

One of many resources on cooking and eating on a budget here AND here for budget food ideas.

Our organic and natural food buying club is open to new members.  Send me your email address to learn more.

—Aimee, TFF