Frugality

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Saving stuff for re-use

My sister was pretty mortified that I'd take apart a handmade card that someone had sent me (for a thank-you, birthday, etc) to save the usable bits for reuse and toss the rest of the card to avoid cluttering up my house. Tell me, who's right? Take my poll and leave a comment explaining your answer!

The Cost of Quality?

Does it really save you money to buy the cheapest stuff available? It may seem so in the short run, but when the cheap stuff wears out so quickly, you ending up buying a replacement much sooner!

Let's use shoes as an example. Several years ago Frugaldad would go to the shoe store, buy a $30 pair of sneakers, and wear them to work every day. After only a few months they would wear out. The fabric would tear, the rubber soles would crack, and he'd have to go out and buy another pair.

A few years ago he decided to try a different approach, and he went to more expensive shoes. These would cost between $60 and $80 a pair and would last at least a year. So while it seemed that he was spending more on shoes, one pair was lasting as long as two or three pairs of the cheap shoes so the cost was at least the same, or less.

Then he tried again. It was always the fabric on the cheaper shoes that would wear out first, so he bought a pair of all-leather sneakers that cost almost $100. Almost three years later, these shoes are finally starting to wear out. So for the cost of 3 pair of the cheapest shoes, they lasted 9 times as long.

So sometimes, it seems that buying the cheapest thing is the best idea, but not always!

A Question

I have unsuccessfully tried to find online instructions on how to tailor suit pants, specifically, taking in the waist. Before I just dive in with my seam ripper and sewing machine, this is my last-ditch effort. Surely someone out there must know how to do this at home without going to a tailor? We got a screamin' deal on a suit a while back and Frugaldad wants the pants in a little. I am sure I can do this, but instructions would be greatly appreciated.

2008/02/11 Chicken Curry with Lentils and Rice

A couple weeks ago my friend Amy came over to sew. She brought some leftover chicken curry for her lunch. Instead of eating it over rice, her husband had cooked lentils and rice together. I thought that sounded really good. Then I saw that Meredith at Like Merchant Ships had found a blog called Lentils and Rice and the lady who write that blog makes a big pot of lentils and rice every week.

I took this as a sign that it was time to try making lentils and rice together. I put a pound of lentils and a pound of brown rice in a pot with some salt, covered with water (maybe an inch or two over the level of the lentils and rice), brought it to a boil, then simmered it until it was done.

We ate it under my standard chicken curry sauce. It was so much more filling than regular rice and I thought it was really delicious. Only the youngest kid would eat it, so I let the others eat bread.

It made a lot extra, too, so I will have to figure out a way to eat the ~8 cups of leftover lentils and rice.

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