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Cheryl's Sensible Cents - 4/01/2006 Newsletter
April 01, 2006

Did You Know?

Black pepper is made from a red berry

What's New?

In this issue: Alternative Uses for Common Household Items

In this Issue:

Featured Article:
Debt Management - What Solution is Right for You? - by Cheryl Johnson

Meatloaf made w/stuffing mix
Crock Pot Oatmeal
Lentil Burgers

Money Saving Tips

  • Alternative Uses for Common Household Items: This issue; The wonders of salt, baking soda, and vinegar
  • Household Expense Savings Tips
  • Reader's Tips

Craft Ideas
Miniature Easter Baskets

Quotable Quote

Live Debt Free to Be Free - Cheryl Johnson

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Featured Article

Debt Management - What Solution is Right for You?

Which debt management option should you choose.... Knowing what each involves is the first step in determining what approach is best for you. Read On


Cinnamon-Apple Crock Pot Oatmeal

2 cups milk
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon melted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup regular oats
1 cup peeled, chopped apple
1/2 cup chopped dates or raisins (optional)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Spray the inside of a *3- to 4-quart crock pot/slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in the crock pot and mix well. Cover and turn on "low" setting. Cook overnight, or 8 to 9 hours. Stir well before serving.
* Note: Ingredients should fill the cooker at least halfway, but no more than two-thirds. Double recipe for larger crock pots.

Meatloaf made w/stuffing mix

My family's favorite meatloaf. And, it's so easy to make!

2-3 lbs ground beef
1 (6oz) box of Stuffing Mix
1 cup water
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup catsup
1/4 cup tomato sauce
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning

Combine beef, stuffing mix, water, eggs, and catsup in large bowl. Mix well. Place in loaf pan (may need 2 pans if using 3 lbs beef) Top with tomato sauce and sprinkle with Italian seasoning. Bake at 375 degrees F. for one hour. Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.

Lentil Burgers

To make a meat substitute lentil-bulgur mixture mix equal parts of lentils and bulgur wheat. To cook, simmer one part lentil-bulgur mix with two parts water for 45 minutes. (For example: 1 cup mixture to two cups water)

2 cups "cooked" lentil-bulgur mixture
2 cups bread crumbs
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
4 Tablespoons mixed Italian herbs (basil, oregano, thyme, etc.) or Italian Seasoning
4 cloves garlic ( or 4 teaspoons powdered garlic)
2 eggs ( or 2 Tablespoons soy flour and 2 Tablespoons water)
1/2 cup milk

Mix the first six ingredients. Mix in eggs. Add milk and mix well. Chill 1/2 hour. Make into patties and fry for 10 minutes on each side or bake on cookie sheet at 350 degrees F. for 10 minutes each side.

Serve with lettuce, tomato, pickles, all your favorite burger toppings and condiments.
- From the The Complete Tightwad Gazette

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Money Saving Tips

Share Saving Tips, Recipes, and Frugal Living Ideas.
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Visit our money saving tips directory here - Save money everyday on everything you do and buy!

Alternative Uses for Common Household Items

The Wonders of Salt

Keep Milk Fresh - add a pinch of salt to milk or cream to make it stay fresh longer.
Clean Silk Flowers - place 1/4 cup salt in a paper bag, add silk flowers, shake gently.
Soothe a Bee Sting - wet the sting and cover with salt. It will lessen pain and reduces swelling.
Easy Peel Boiled Eggs - add a teaspoon of salt to the water before placing eggs in pan to boil
Perfect Poached Eggs - Keep egg whites intact. Sprinkle about 1/2 teaspoon salt in the water just before you put you eggs in the water. It sets the white of the egg.

The Wonders of Baking Soda

A sealed box of baking soda has a shelf life of about 18 months. An open box will keep for about 6 months. To see if it's still good, pour a small amount in a dish and add a few drops of vinegar or lemon juice. If it fizzes it's o.k. Here are just a few household uses for baking soda

Use as Mouthwash - Add a teaspoon to a 1/2 glass of water and gargle
Sneaker Deodorizer - sprinkle baking soda in tennis shoes, let sit overnight to get rid of smells
Cleaner Laundry - baking soda is a natural water softener, add 1/2 cup along with regular detergent for whiter whites and brighter colors
Soothe Aching Feet - soak feet in a bath of 4 tablespoons baking soda to 1 quart of warm water
Clean Corrosion from Battery Terminals use an old toothbrush to apply a paste of 3 Tablespoons baking soda and 1 Tablespoon water. Brush away corrosion.

The Wonders of Vinegar

Cleaner Produce - clean hidden dirt and/or pests from store bought fruits and vegetables using 4 tablespoons vinegar to 1 gallon of cold water.
Relieve Aching Muscles - Add 2 cups to bathwater and soak
Vaporizer - add 1/4 cup white vinegar to a hot steam vaporizer to help ease congestion due to cold.
Treat Corns and Calluses - Soak a piece of white (or stale) bread in 1/4 cup white vinegar for 30 minutes. Break off a piece of the bread large enough to cover the corn. Keep in place, overnight, with gauze and tape. Next morning, remove and corn should be easy to remove or callused skin should be dissolved.

Household Expense Savings Tips

  • Trim Your Movie Budget If you use more than one service for movie entertainment, trim it down. Analyze all movie services (cable movie channels, mail subscriptions, and video store rentals) to determine which suits your family's needs best. Pick the one that brings you the most entertainment for your money. Then, eliminate the rest.
  • Energy Bills - Unless you have health problems that require air conditioning use, try to go as long as possible before turning on the cool. You can save significant amounts of money if you choose not to use air conditioning at all.
  • Fix Before Replacing - Sometimes it's possible to fix a major appliance for a fraction of the cost of replacing it. I recently saved hundreds when I fixed two burnt out burners on our 20 year old electric stove. The burners and the burner connections had been damaged in a grease fire. I thought there was no hope, but discovered I could replace the parts and install them myself for $73. Maybe it'll last another 20 years!

Reader's Tips

- Please share your tips

Craft Ideas

Miniature Easter Baskets:

These miniature Easter baskets are easy to make and are great decorations or gifts.
You will need:
Colored cellphane wrap
Candy, Plastic eggs, Toys, Trinkets, etc. for basket filler
miniature baskets or berry baskets

Recycle pint (or half pint) baskets that berries are packaged for sale in. If none are available, use miniature baskets available at dollar stores, etc. Cut a square of colored cellophane large enough to completely wrap the basket, leaving enough to gather and tie at top w/ribbon. Fill basket with plastic eggs (filled with candy if desired), candy, and/or small trinkets or toys.

Place basket in center of cellophane, Fill with goodies, gather cellophane around the basket and gather at top. Tie with a pretty ribbon (recycled pastel colored fabric scraps make great ties also)

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