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Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

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  • PrincessPerky
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    We reuse bread bags for packing...bread/ sandwhiches

    I think the longer you do something the less you think about it, the easier it is.

    When I started recycling paper, it was hard to remember, but on vacation last week, I had the hardest time not packing up all the paper to bring to the recycle center! (not to mention the plastic bottles)

    When I started tossing food out for the backyard err whatever eats it... I had to remember not to put it in the disposal. On vacation last week I had to ask my DH what I was supposed to do with it! (we have small kids, there is always food dropoed on the floor or left on the plate)

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  • lrjohnson
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    I still reuse mesh bags and breadbags. I reuse lots of packaging; I got concentrated juice in a little plastic bottle-no juice can lid on these, but the bottle is great for dressings, etc. I reuse Pump shampoo bottles by pouring in the cheap stuff. The cheapest dish detergent has no squirt lid, but I pour it into an old squirt lid bottle. Old clothes become pajamas. I just put my muffins in a old Tortilla bag. I took flat promotional magnets and made nice gifts by gluing on artwork and photographs. I put the water eggs were boiled in in my houseplants. I compost - that's a way to re-use trash. Hand-me-down big Ice Cream tubs are my compost buckets. My bulk food collection is in 48 oz PB Plastic Tubs, and the huge Red Vines plastic tubs (not ones I bought). Bulk food creates little packaging to convert! I put TP in old square Tissue containers. Bottles from sauces and such are candidates for bath oil or bath salts. Broken costume jewelry I find (there seems to be a lot out there), old weird keys, trinkets, all go in the gift wrapping box to make a unique wrap.

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  • Tightwad Kitty
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    A fun article to read this time is ‘What to do with’ Vol p216 (CTG)

    Frugal tips to reuse items from readers. I will just list the items here.
    A Wire Coat Hanger, Broccoli Rubber Bands, Butter Wrappers, Frozen Juice Lids, Watermelon Seeds, Bread Bags, Old Towels, Potato Peels and Chicken Skins, An Old Sock, Old Roll-on Deodorant Bottles, Old Mattress Pads, Aquarium Water, Cold Cereal Boxes, Mesh Bags. They are many more articles of this kind in the book, all from readers at that time. (1990-1996)

    My thoughts on this article … I wonder if anyone who had read some of these tips then is still doing them today, nearly 16 years since they were written. How much and how little has charged in those 16 year since Amy started to write back in 1990. We all are still looking for ways to s-t-r-e-t-c-h our dollars further than we did in the last week, month, year or decade before. With the high price fuel these days we need too!

    My budget is a lot of $ s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g strategies to s--t--r--e--t--c--h it as far it will go and have a life also! When I can find the time and write a Personal Finance Blog, this will be my main theme. May be by the end this week or next week . At the moment I am in the process of this new idea as ‘$-t-r-e-t-c-h strategy’ putting it on paper and downsizing my stuff which will be my other theme. It funny when you have done something for so long then you give it a name when you want to analyze it a bit more first.

    Does anyone else have this problem? At the moment I am analyzing each and everything that I do to see if it has a pattern or not and which strategy in Amy’s D. mind would it come under or in my own mind.

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  • PrincessPerky
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    I never read amys recipie, I use the one that came with my yogurt maker, I am to chicken to trust my oven to stay the right temperature (I have enough trouble getting it to make muffins right!)

    My kids tell my whole milk yogurt is terrible, we use I think lowfat starter, and 1% milk (it is what we drink)

    Mixing in a tablespoon of dry milk makes it thicker, but the kids don't like the taste as much.

    I have found boiling it (light boil) longer helps flavor and thickness, but leaves a lot less yogurt (it reduces the milk)

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  • Tightwad Kitty
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Originally posted by lrjohnson
    I've been gearing up to do yogurt. I admit I've been gearing up for years, it took me a long time to get to the muffins. I buy the non-fat plain large tubs, sometimes fancy organic, sometimes not.

    Tightwad Gazette III, pages 140-143 (not sure there in the "Complete" Book") has a long detailed article on how to make yogurt work.

    Do you follow Amy's recipe? Have you ever used non-fat tor low-fat yogurt? Any tips to add? ....
    The article is ‘No More Culture Shock’ Vol 3 p718-721 (CTG)

    I have never made Amy’s recipe. I do remember that you must make sure that your starter culture is a live active culture, most of the cultures here are not live cultures. So if you do have a failure don’t think you have done something wrong, first look at your starter. As we are lucky here as one NZ company, Easiyo http://www.easiyo.com has come out with a system, that you buy yogurt in powder form, mix with cold water put in a special yogurt maker jar filled with hot water. You need to buy the yogurt maker, which you can now buy in thrift shops & garage sales. It workout to around 50% less than buying fresh yogurt, rarely a failure. Each 140g pack make 1kg (2.2lbs) of yogurt, I use Slimmer version.

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  • lrjohnson
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Princess:

    I've been gearing up to do yogurt. I admit I've been gearing up for years, it took me a long time to get to the muffins. I buy the non-fat plain large tubs, sometimes fancy organic, sometimes not.

    Tightwad Gazette III, pages 140-143 (not sure there in the "Complete" Book") has a long detailed article on how to make yogurt work.

    Do you follow Amy's recipe? Have you ever used non-fat tor low-fat yogurt? Any tips to add? I wouldn't be getting less sugar, because I don't get the sugar stuff to start with. I'm trying to decide if it'd be worth it for me. With muffins, I can freeze them and use them for a long time. How long does your yogurt last? If I could make a month's worth once a month I'd be more into it. I mix yogurt with granola or bran or wheat germ, or I make breakfast shakes with fruit.

    Leave a comment:


  • PrincessPerky
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    We can get halfway decent bread for 69 cents a lowaf, and it would cost more (though healthier) to make it, except I am terrible and unreliable, somedays my bread rocks, others you can use it as a door stop! I like reliable, so we buy it.

    I do make my own buiscuts, muffins, and cookies/cakes though, I figure the health benifits outweighs the possible cost difference.

    Oh and yogurt, it would be cheaper to buy the cheap stuff, but we like to uyse the good no sugar added organic as a starter for homemade. cost per serving is almost the same as storebrand, but heathwise much less sugar. (and of course no preservatives)

    Leave a comment:


  • cercis
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    We can't even buy the good stuff in the stores here. I have to mail order it. It's amazing how much a difference in locality can make.

    Leave a comment:


  • lrjohnson
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Cercis: I don't at all want to discourage you from baking bread, but at my bread thrift store I can get the good whole wheat or whole grain or nut loaves for 75 cents each. Not the pseudo white whole wheat loaves, but the dark, rich, grainy good stuff. No white flour, no preservatives. It is marked for over $4 a loaf for regular sale, I wouldn't pay that though. Not all othe good ones are available at all times, but when those good loaves are available I sure stock up and put them in the feezer. I don't like the cheap white stuff or kinda sorta whole wheat stuff myself; that's why I'm willing to pay 75 cents instead of fifty cents. I'd never buy the $4 loaves, or even the $2 loaves, at a regular market.

    Leave a comment:


  • cercis
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    I just baked a loaf of whole wheat bread (no white flour at all). To buy a similar loaf would be $4 or more. Obviously, it was more expensive than walmart's white bread (that's what? 50 cents/loaf?) but it's much cheaper than buying the good stuff.

    Leave a comment:


  • stngymama
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Just thought someone might be able to use these conversions* (I've had this chart for years so don't know if its from Amy D., or what):
    # ounces (wt) =1 cup
    Flour, 6
    Oatmeal, 4
    Cornmeal, 6
    Soy flour, 4
    Sugar, 8
    Brown Sugar, 7
    Dry milk, 7
    Liquid Milk, 7
    Margarine, 8
    shortening, 8
    Corn Oil, 8
    Cocoa, 4
    Baking Powder, 8
    Baing Soda, 8
    Cream of Tartar, 8
    Salt, 10
    Raisins, 4
    Coconut, 2

    *might want to recheck before using in a recipe but could be useful to calculate costs.

    Leave a comment:


  • stngymama
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Originally posted by lrjohnson
    ....... I do know that if I made my own bread I would probably inhale the loaf, because homemade is so good..
    LOL ain't that the truth!!

    Good points, too: the nutrition vs cost things, and maybe save my efforts for the more expensive stuff (those popup biscuits are soooo easy though!!

    Speaking of yeast, I'm resorting to incantations to get my batch today to rise (not working.........!!!)

    Leave a comment:


  • lrjohnson
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Mama-the way I went was to bake the things that are much more expensive store bought, or not as healthy, for example, muffins. I haven't yet baked bread, because I'm both intimidated by yeast, and have a good bread thrift place. I do know that if I made my own bread I would probably inhale the loaf, because homemade is so good. I'd like to do it to replace fancy loaves for fancy cheeses, though. Sometimes we'll bring a loaf of french bread and cheese to a potluck; I would like to bake a loaf instead of paying up to $3.49 for a rich, dense, tasty bakery loaf.

    I know Amy D baked less when she had less time and went with thrift loaves, but baked more when she could. If you have time to bake that bread, even if it is more expensive, the quality and nutrition may make it worth it in other ways.

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  • stngymama
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    In the spirit of calculating cost per serving, today I am trying to figure out whether baking a loaf of bread is cheaper than buying..so far doesn't look good for homemade!
    i won't go into specifics, but basically used price/ingredient that I have a record for, and went to Safeway's website to pull off ones I didn't know off hand. Granted these are generally higher, but I'm shooting for a rough idea. I also used this calculator to figure cost of running our gas oven for the 45 minutes to preheat and bake (I suspect California prices are higher than this).
    http://www.wisconsinpublicservice.co...ppcalc_gas.asp
    (I didn't factor in the cost of washing up )

    My results seem to suggest that a home baked loaf of buttermilk bread (?weight) costs about $1.20.

    Has anyone else done this calculation, and what did you come up with?

    Leave a comment:


  • Tightwad Kitty
    replied
    Re: Re-reading Tightwad Gazette

    Originally posted by katwoman
    I bought organic cocoa (no sugar) for $4.99/8 oz.

    Another "organic" cocoa was on the shelves but looking at the ingredient list was sugar and a whole slew of other stuff. It was priced @ $3.99 for 12 oz. Wasn't worth it to me.

    Like lrjohnson I will use Splenda for the mix.
    The other cocoa priced @ $3.99 for 12 oz.’ This is what I think is call here as ‘Drinking Chocolate’ which you could use too!

    I use pure cocoa that doesn’t have anything added to it. Expensive stuff is pure Dutch cocoa, but I have found a ‘Homebrand’ for pure cocoa that’s just as good but can be a bit lumpy at times so I need to sieve it first and then sieve again when mix together. I drink my Hot Cocoa without sweetener or sugar.

    At American prices & weights. Math’s on the prices that you have given.

    Amy’s recipe 1/3 cup milk 29.6c +1 tsp. cocoa =10.3c price = 39.9c serve without Splenda

    My mix’s recipe = (5 cups milk + 1 cup divide by 21 serves)
    5 cups milk (21oz) @ 2.99 for 24oz = $2.62- 7 oz cocoa @ 4.99 = $4.36 =33.23c per serve
    or both would be less if you found cheaper supply of cocoa.

    With the number of years since this article was written and inflation, price do go up. Another thing to remember is "What may have been cheaper to do 15 years ago, may be expensive today." Rabbits and roast dinners do come to mind here.' On the subject rabbits over 60 years ago, rabbits cost around 3 for 2 shillings (20 cents) a poorman dinner, now they are $12 to $15 each here if you can get them!

    Weight and as Measured Tables used: (Best I can come up with using my digital scales and charts.)
    48 tsp. = 8oz
    1/3 cup milk = 2.375oz & 1 tsp. 1/6oz or .166oz cocoa
    1¼ cups 5.25 oz skin milk & ¼ cup cocoa 1.75oz x 4
    number of ozs 1.5lbs = 24oz

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