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Cheryl's Sensible Cents - 2/15/2006 Newsletter
February 15, 2006

Did You Know?

Chewing gum while cutting onions will keep you from crying.

What's New?

Medical and Health Care Money Saving Tips

In this Issue:

Featured Articles:
Debtor's Disease? - by Cheryl Johnson

Honey Oatmeal Bread
Seasoned Rice Mix
Homemade Stuffing Mix

Saving tips

  • Grocery Savings Tips
  • Gardening Tips
  • Beauty Tips
  • Reader's Tips

Quotable Quote

Ordinary riches can be stolen; real riches cannot. In your soul are infinitely precious things that cannot be taken from you - Oscar Wilde

Featured Sponsor

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Featured Articles

Debtor's Disease

Debtor's disease is a silent killer. Killer of respect, marriages, self control, and families. There isn't a part of your life that it won't touch and destroy with it's deadly power.

Some of you won't even know you have it for many, many years. It's a sneaky affliction; creeping into your life and slowly but surely taking control of every part of your existence.

Seems a bit of a dramatic description, doesn't it? But, the sad part is, it's all true. Even though we often hate to admit it, debt will control our lives totally. Even when we first realize it, we won't do anything about it. We will deny it, continue to feed it, and give it all it needs to thrive within our lives.

Oh, you'll have help, no doubt about that. There are many ways we fuel the fever. Falling into the credit card trap is just the beginning. Self justification is your worst enemy. Why, the human mind is masterful at justifying just about any action, or purchase, given the right circumstances.

Don't despair. There is a cure for the deadly debtor's disease. Diagnosis is the first step. To diagnose debtor's disease is much harder than you might expect. Oh, the symptoms are very clear for sure. But, since most of us hate to admit our own vulnerabilities and defeat, they can be nearly invisible to the victim.

I experienced nearly all of the symptoms below before I finally excepted the fact that I did indeed have the affliction. It is quite a humiliating experience to realize that so many obvious warning signs were present and you continued down the wrong path.

They say hindsight is 20/20; Meaning that the past is clearer when we look back. And, when things go wrong, we like to hope that we would have done things differently if we knew what we know now.

Well, I'm hoping I can prevent you from some of that humiliation and financial disaster. You can stop it from growing to destructive levels if you can identify the warnings early on. The path to recovery can be much easier if you identify problems and fix them before it becomes devastating.

Make no mistake, if the following scenarios apply to your situation, you are headed for trouble. There is no stopping it if you continue on your current path..... Read on to learn it's symptoms, and the cure.


Honey Oatmeal Bread

A Blue Ribbon Winner
Makes 2 loaves

5 3/4 to 6 1/4 cups flour, divided
2 packages (2 Tablespoons) dry yeast
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup plus 6 Tablespoons Quick-cooking oats, divided
1/2 cup honey
1 Tablespoon salt
1/3 cup butter-flavored shortening
2 eggs
1 egg white beaten with 1 Tablespoon water
oats for sprinkling

Combine 2 cups of the flour with the yeast in a large mixer bowl. In a saucepan, combine the water, 1 cup of the oats, honey, salt, and shortening. Heat until the shortening is almost melted. Cool to 110 F and add to the flour mixture.

Add the eggs and beat on low for 30 seconds and then on high for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much flour as possible. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead in enough of remaining flour to make a moderately stiff dough that is smooth and elastic.

Shape into a ball and place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 90 minutes.

Punch the dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 parts. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease two 9x5-inch loaf pans. Sprinkle 3 Tablespoons of the remaining oats into each pan. Shape the dough into loaves and place in the pans. Cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the tops of the dough with the egg­-water mixture. Sprinkle lightly with oats. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes. Cover loosely with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes of baking to prevent over browning. Remove from the pans and cool on wire racks. -Sue Thomas, Indiana State Fair - From Best Home Baking

Seasoned Rice Mix

3 cups uncooked rice
1/4 cup dried parsley flakes
6 Tablespoons instant chicken or beef bouillon powder
2 teaspoons onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

Mix all ingredients, and store in an airtight container. To use, put 1 cup mix, 2 Tablespoons margarine, and 2 cups water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes or until the rice is tender.

Stuffing Mix

6 cups cubed bread
1 Tablespoon parsley flakes
3 Tablespoons chicken bouillon powder
1/4 cup dried minced Onion
1/2 cup dried minced celery, (or fresh celery can be sauteed and added just before cooking)
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon sage
1/3 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the cubes on a cookie sheep and bake for 8-10 minutes turning to brown evenly. Cool. In a plastic bag or bowl, toss the bread cubes with rest of the ingrediets until well coated. Stor in a tightly closed container for up to 4 month or in the freezer for up to a year.

To Use:
Combine 2 cups stuffing mix with 1/2 cup water and 2 Tablespoons melted butter. Stir to combine thoroughly. Warm on the stove top or in a microwave. Stir again just before serving.

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Money Saving Tips

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Grocery Savings

Beauty Tips

  • Toothpaste is a great finger nail cleaner. It will remove yellow stains caused by nail polish. Brush with toothpaste, then rinse nails clean.
  • Vinegar softens cuticles and conditions nails
    Before applying nail polish, dip fingernails into a mix of one half cup water and two teaspoons white vinegar. Pat dry, apply polish. Polish will go on smoother and last longer.

    To dry nails quickly, spray with cooking oil (i.e. pam spray) Let sit for 5-10 minutes and gently wipe off excess with tissue. Or, use a recycled nail polish brush to brush on oil.

Gardening Tips

  • Before you start a home garden, know your soil. Determine if your soil is alkaline or acid. Get a soil testing kit at garden supply to measure PH. Knowing your soil will give you some insight on how to prepare the soil for successful planting.
  • Water soil thoroughly after applying chemical fertilizer to avoid fertilizer burn. (unless otherwise directed by the manufacturer)
  • Fertilizer nutrients, what do they do? Ever wonder what the nutrients in fertilizer are for?
    Nitrogen - An essential element of chlorophyll, aids rapid growth
    Phosphorus - makes plants sturdy and aids in seed formation
    Potash - necessary for production of roots, especially in vegetables.

Reader's Tips

  • Take the champion cheapskate test at The Champion Cheapskate Training Center
    - Arthur Hawkins, Chicago Illinois

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