Penny Pinchers

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John Oliver on Food Waste

By Julie Norman
Tuesday, July 21, 2015

My concerns about writing too much about food waste have been assuaged! Like him or not, John Oliver makes some very good points about food waste in this recent episode of "Last Week Tonight." Click the image to watch.



Using the coconut oil

By Julie Norman
Tuesday, July 7, 2015

You may remember that back at Christmas I made coconut hand and foot scrubs for people. Well, that jar of coconut oil has been sitting in my cabinet ever since...I keep staring at it thinking, "don't waste it!" And yet...I never use it.  BUT! A few weeks ago when it was so hot, the coconut oil liquified! It's amazing how much more likely I am to use it now that I've noticed this.  I've used it for cooking 2 nights in a row and plan to use it again tonight. FINALLY! I'm not wasting it!


A new book for pinching pennies

By Julie Norman
Monday, June 29, 2015

Haute Mama Richie forwarded the press release for this book to me a few weeks ago with the note, "This would be great for the blog!"  Finally today I had a chance to at least read the "sneak peek" pages on and I think Richie was right.  If you're still looking for a way to get your finances under control or set up a budget, this book might be helpful. The author, Danielle Wagasky, is quite engaging and down to earth. Like most of us, she didn't start out knowing how to be Frugal. She had to learn it the hard way and she shares many of her tips in this book.  

If you want to order it on Amazon (it's only $5.99 for the Kindle version) here the link:


Walking…it’s cheaper than therapy

By Julie Norman
Thursday, June 18, 2015

Lunchtime walks on the Riverfront trail are not only good for my mental and physical well being, they're free! As an added bonus, I get views like this.


Waste anxiety

By Julie Norman
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

On Saturday after coming home from the grocery store I started to panic a little bit...See, I'd forgotten we had dinner plans on Sunday and so, of course, I'd bought things for a meal for that night.  I had SO much produce! Immediately I started thinking, "what if I end up having to throw something out because it goes bad?"  This, in my penny pinching mind, is the ultimate failure. Waste. I HATE WASTING FOOD. Sure, I realize the starving children in other parts of the country or world aren't going to eat my leftovers, but that doesn't mean I should just not care when I'm basically throwing money into the trash. 

So instead of panicking, I tried to find solutions. On Monday since we didn't have any leftovers, I packed fruit and a big salad for myself.  I was able to use up some of the produce that way.  Today I made sure to eat cereal to use up some of my blueberries (they had the organic ones on SALE for super cheap!).  We had giant salads for dinner last night which went a long way towards using up peas from the garden and delicate lettuce.  

Tonight and tomorrow night we're having fajitas (with mushrooms, bell peppers and onion) and mushroom/black bean burgers which will, I think, finish off the giant bag of mushrooms I brought home and will finally get the produce back to a normal level. 

I can't help it...I get in the produce aisle and just go crazy! Fortunately my menu for the week has helped me to take care of most of this excess.  

In the end though, there's a fine line between being frugal and getting obsessed. If something gets thrown out (as some blueberries did the other day), it's ok. Maybe it's not ideal, but we can't beat ourselves up over things like that.  We have to just accept it and move on.  Be frugal when you can, but accept that sometimes things just don't work out like you wanted.

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