Monday, April 23, 2018

Akki Rotti Recipe and Technique- Indian Flatbread from Leftover Rice

As a frugal person, there's a few parts when it comes to lowering food expenses. One big part is making sure to get the lowest prices for what you're buying, and sticking to lower cost meals. But another big part of frugal living is making sure that the food that you already have doesn't go to waste. The first part, I'm quite good at, if I may say so myself, but the latter is actually a big struggle of mine. Because I buy a lot of past prime produce, some of it goes off before I can get around to using it, but I'm ok with that because of how little I pay for it, and still overall my grocery bill is decently low.

But what bugs me more, the type of food waste that is most rampant in my house, is leftovers. You know how it is when you specifically make more food than is needed for one meal, because you want to be able to relax a bit and not live in the kitchen, so you make a larger amount to be able to serve at another meal as well? And then your kids decide that they had enough of it; one meal was enough for them and they have no interest in eating another meal with that item.
Tell me that doesn't just happen in my household.

Because leftovers go to waste far too often here, and it's just so frustrating. I don't want to have to fight with my kids "Eat this!" nor do I want to have to cook new meals when there's perfectly good food sitting in the refrigerator that will go in the garbage.

On top of that, I don't eat the same diet as my kids, so there's often things that I made for them leftover that I don't eat myself. Rice is a big one of them. I try to stay away from rice (I'm not perfect about it though) because it makes me gain weight, makes me bloated, and makes me exhausted, among other things, but when I have so much rice leftover that the kids are refusing to eat, it makes it hard for me to watch it spoil instead of eating it.

When I have plain white rice, that's easiest, because I can repurpose it into rice porridge, something my kids will happily eat any day (and request often). This last time, though, I had rice cooked in chicken broth and tomato juice, which therefore couldn't be repurposed into rice porridge. I made most of it into a soup, some blended with leftover sweet potatoes and leftover tomato soup and some unblended, and fortunately my kids all enjoyed the soup. I still had a decent amount of rice left and I knew if I made it into soup again I'd get kids complaining.

Then I had an idea, and googled to see if there was such a thing as Indian flatbread, made with cooked rice (dosas were what came to mind at first) and I found this video for akki rotti- exactly what I was looking for, with the added bonus of it being frugal, vegan, gluten free, etc!

Prozac and Treatment of OCD: Medical Guide

While in an ideal world, no one would need psychiatric medication, everyone would feel great emotionally without medicine, and we'd all be able to heal whatever ails us naturally, easily, and with diet, the reality is that many people in the world need antidepressants and anti anxiety medication and a whole bunch of other psychiatric meds. Here's a post by a reader, teaching us all a bit more about the common antidepressant known as Prozac.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Our Cheapskate Fun BBQ and Homemade BBQ Stand Made From Pallet Wood

My family loves barbecues! Who doesn't? (Ok, other than maybe vegetarians and vegans...) The other day, we just had a barbecue with nearly my entire family (siblings and siblings in law, parents, nephews and nieces) and my dad. My dad- remember him, the insanely frugal shopping guru that I interviewed for my blog? Well, was the one who supplied most of the food for the BBQ, and what he didn't supply, I did. You combine my dad and myself and what you get is an awesome barbecue for 18 people that cost less than 50 dollars, and had a lot of food left over afterwards!

Because for most families, barbecues are expensive affairs, I wanted to share how we did this barbecue so frugally, to maybe give ideas about how you can do it too.

But before I talk about what we served at our barbecue, I wanted to show you this awesome barbecue grill that my husband, Mike, built himself out of... you guessed it- pallet wood!

Check Out Shopkick- Make Money While Grocery Shopping

Some frugal people do extreme challenges, where they literally do not buy anything, ever. They just barter, make things from scratch, dumpster dive, etc. But for most other frugal people, even though we are trying to save money, spending money is an inevitability. Wouldn't it be nice, then, if while we're spending money on the things we would be buying anyhow, we could get money back?

Shopkick is revolutionizing how people shop, by giving them kicks, or points, for the things they are anyhow buying. You get kicks for checking into stores, scanning specific products, and buying stuff either offline or online. You do this via their app that works either on Android or iOS.

Once you have enough kicks, you can trade them in for a variety of different types of gift cards, from Amazon to Walmart, Target and many others.

Yes, it is legitimate. So far $64 million in gift cards have been given out to date. Why not save money on groceries, learn about cool new products, and have fun shopping? If you're going to be spending the money anyhow, you might as well be betting something back from it?

You can also get kicks by watching some videos online.

Just a note- you don't get points for every item you buy; there are specific types of items that will give you kicks, but by check them out you might learn about new products that you will love, or you might already be buying those items, so why not get money back for it?

To find out more about Shopkick and download it, check out this website.

See my disclaimer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

My New Frugal Wardrobe Makeover that Hides my Mummy Tummy

I have a confession to make. I currently weigh more than I've ever weighed in my entire life, other than perhaps when I was 9 months pregnant. And even then, I maybe weighed one or two pounds more than I do now.
There's a bunch of reasons why I weigh what I do now, and those reasons aren't as relevant as the fact that I am about 40-45 lbs overweight and most of that weight is in my central region. I am attempting to lose the weight again, via exercising and eating better than I have been, but I accept that this is not going to be a quick fix, and I'm trying to learn to love my body, and I'm not actually upset about how much I weigh now, however...
I'm kind of sick of all the comments about "my pregnancy". Usually its innocuous comments, like the person on the street who stops me and blesses "me and my baby". Or the person who asks me when I'm due. And while it doesn't offend me, because honestly, I do look pregnant (about 5 or 6 months along, depending on the day and outfit), and I know the people asking me aren't being malicious, at the same time, I do find the comments annoying.

Basically, it comes down to this. I have a belly. Partly due to a mostly healed diastasis recti left from giving birth, and part simply from fat situated on my belly. And because I have a belly, I have the uncomfortable luck that when I wear tighter clothes, people assume I'm "showing off my belly" and therefore must be pregnant, and when I wear things looser on my belly, people assume it's maternity clothes and I must be pregnant. It's a "lose lose" type situation. Most of my clothes fit one of these two categories, which is why I get pregnancy comments on an almost every day basis.

In the winter, I did manage to figure out one type of clothing combination that worked really well at drawing attention away from my mid section, and therefore it stopped the pregnancy comments- knee length pencil skirts, shirts, and long open cardigans (especially with vertical ribbing), and I feel really good in those types of outfits and get lots of compliments on them.

The problem though is that summer is nearly here, and it is too warm for me to be wearing cardigans, even lighter cardigans, on a day to day basis. And all my summer clothes fall under the aformentioned categories of too tight-must be showing off my belly, or too loose-must be maternity clothes.

I took to the internet to ask style advice from fashion forums, what is the best style of summer clothing that minimizes attention to the belly area, that won't make me look pregnant, and won't be too hot.

I got suggestions to go especially with long shirts, so they won't stop directly at my belly, which therefore calls attention to the area. People suggested T-shirt dresses, peplum tops, wrap shirts and dresses, and loose drapey tops.

Your Complete Guide To Diversified Investing

Dave Ramsey talks about many stages of smart money management. It starts with building up an emergency fund, paying off debt, and then building up 3-6 months of living expenses as savings, and then investing. Unfortunately we're not at the investing stage yet, but for those that are, here's a guide from a reader about how to do diversified investing.

With the health of the economy in question, more and more consumers are seeking out different alternatives to supplement their income. Some individuals have even looked to the stock market, whereas others have took on part-time jobs. Neither option is a bad one, but with the right investment strategy and know how you can make a bundle of money with half the work. Unfortunately, the only problem is that the stock market is risky and it can take years to develop the perfect strategy. Luckily, this is where diversified investment can come in handy.

What Is Diversified Investing And How Does It Work?

Friday, April 13, 2018

Crispy Salmon Skin Bibimbap Recipe- Gluten Free, Easy, and Delicious

Recently, I was cleaning out my freezer, and discovering all sorts of goodies that I had stashed away there, like the containers of cooked fish that I deboned myself from free fish bones I got at the market. And I also found lots and lots and lots of salmon skin that I got free from the market. 
I brought home the salmon skin because I know just how delectable salmon skin can be. I mean, hello, they even sell salmon skin sushi in fancy restaurants, so obviously it is good.
Anyhow, as I defrosted my salmon skin, I turned to the internet looking for ideas of what to do with it, and honestly, I came up short. Even a hunting and fishing group that I'm in, that usually has terrific ideas for what to do with such "food scraps" wasn't helpful, and they suggested using it as bait to catch something else. 
Not helpful. (They also suggested a recipe that involved first dehydrating it and then frying, but that was more work and time than I was looking for.)
But then I found this idea for crispy salmon skin rice bowls, which they called a "poor man's sushi roll" (avocado is far from what I'd call "poor man's food" especially with how much it currently costs locally), but my brain took that idea and flew immediately to bibimbap. 

Bibimbap, as I've written about before, is a Korean rice bowl filled with pretty much anything you have on hand, and why not crispy salmon skin?

The Coddling Couple - A Guide to Safely Introducing Your New Baby to the Outdoors

Image Source
As soon as your baby is born they become the most important thing in your life. Being so tiny and fragile, you vow to do everything in your power to protect them. For this reason, many parents are hesitant to initially take their newborns into the outdoors. However, by taking a few simple safety precautions, you can all enjoy what nature has to offer.

Avoid busy city streets and crowds, your baby’s immune system will take a while to develop and you don’t want them getting sick from being around highly populated areas. Instead take them to parks, reserves, national parks, and on bushwalks. It’s not natural for a baby to be cooped up inside, so rug them up, take them out and let their senses enjoy all the beauty of the great outdoors. They may just teach you to appreciate it more as well.


Thursday, April 12, 2018

Video and Review of My Biolomix Blender and Dry Jar

I've written a few times already about my brand new high powered blender, the Biolomix blender that came with a dry jar, to be used as a grinder, and is much cheaper than the name brand equivalent- the Vitamix.

Many people have been skeptical about buying something like this that is from China, questioning whether you can trust the electronics, etc... So here I'll give my full 100% honest opinion of it, no holds barred. Keep in mind I make nothing from anyone buying this, no commission, didn't get this free or anything, so it's not biased at all. (While I would love to get a kickback from sales of this, Aliexpress has an affiliate program but it doesn't cover this blender, unfortunately.)
I just like to help you save money and get good deals.

So first, I want to say that it was a pleasure working with the seller; I got my order very quickly.

Secondly, I don't live in the US; my plugs and voltage of my electricity are quite different than that in the US, and I really like that Aliexpress gives you the option of choosing what type of plug to order, what voltage, etc... so I don't need to use a converter or transformer for this like I do for the rest of my heavy duty appliances, which makes using it a breeze (not to mention cheaper, because if I didn't have a transformer, I'd have to buy one if it ran on American electricity, and transformers are really expensive).

Thirdly, I like that there are many options when it comes to ordering it- you can choose the color, you can get just the blender, you can get an extra blender jar, you can get an extra blade and socket, you can get a dry jar, etc... I ordered a dry jar, which is meant to be used for grinding grains to make flour.

Determining How To Choose A Doctor

I have been very lucky when it comes to doctors for my family. At first, I used one physician who also saw kids and also saw adults, and he was very respectful of my family's less conventional health care choices (he was totally chilled out about my homebirths and even saw my infants before I could get them covered by medical insurance, without charging me for a private visit), but unfortunately he stopped working locally. Then I switched to another doctor who was also great and respectful, but he moved away. Luckily though, not long after, I switched my kids to a new doctor who is beyond amazing, friendly, caring, responsible, thorough, respectful, etc... My husband and I see another doctor who has been spot on with many diagnoses and coming up with good solutions. Fortunately, we're lucky in this sense; not everyone has as much success with doctors. Here's a post from a reader with her suggestions on how to chose a doctor for your family.

Many Angles To Consider

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