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Cheryl's Sensible Cents - 11/01/2005 Prepare for Winter. Energy Conservation Tips
November 01, 2005

Did You Know?....

The first American Thanksgiving was celebrated in 1621. George Washington was the first president to declare the holiday, in 1789.

Each year the President of the United States pardons a turkey before Thanksgiving at a White House ceremony. This tradition dates back fifty-seven years. The turkey is given to Kidwell Farm, a petting zoo at Frying Pan Park in Herndon, Virginia. View the 2004 webcast and read more about this historic ceremony at

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The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything. They just make the best of everything. - Anonymous

Featured Articles:

Energy Conservation. Prepare for Winter - by Cheryl Johnson
How to Save Money on Home Heating Costs this Winter - ARA Content

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After Thanksgiving Soup
Sweet Potato Bake

After Thanksgiving Soup

1 turkey carcass
4 Chicken bouillon cubes
2 ribs celery, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 medium onion, chopped
2 potatoes, chopped
1 teaspoon parsley flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper
salt to taste
1 can peas
1 cup uncooked noodles

Simmer turkey carcass in a large pot with enough water to cover. Add boullion cubes and spices. Cook 45 minutes.Strain broth and pick meat from the bones. Return meat to broth. Add remaining ingredients except peas and noodles. Cook until tender. Add peas and noodles. Simmer until noodles are tender. - tightwad gazette

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Sweet Potato Bake

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

Combine in mixing bowl:

4 cups cooked mashed sweet potatoes
2 cups crushed pineapple, drained
6 Tablespoons margarine, melted
1 teaspoon salt
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Turn into ungreased casserole. Sprinkle on:
1/2 cup bread crumbs

Bake 30 minutes

- From the More-With-Less Cookbook

Go Bananas! Try one or more of our Banana Bread Recipes for your holiday celebrations.

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Need ideas for dinner?


Cooking, especially baking, can be a good activity to do with your kids. It's a sneaky way to squeeze in some more "quality time" that we find so hard to enjoy in these fast paced times. Read more about how Time-Crunched Families can Turn Baking Time into Family Time

Cooking is an educational family entertainment activity. But, you don't have to tell them that! So, go cook up some fun with your kids.

Share Money Saving Tips, Recipes, and Frugal Living Ideas.
Send in Your Readers Tips

It is our goal to one day have a large reader's tips resource for each of our savings categories. Please won't you help us by taking a few minutes to share your tips? Recipes, recycling and cleaning tips, crafts or other savings strategies are all welcome.

Money Saving Tips:

  • Thanksgiving Foods - Thanksgiving season is a great time to save on baking supplies, canned goods, and popular holiday meats (turkey and ham). Flour, sugar, baking powder, butter, canned pumpkin, pie crust, canned veggies/fruit, turkey and ham, and much more will be available sometime during the season at a greatly discounted price. If you have storage space and the finances available, now is the time to stock up for the winter months.
  • Getting Ready for Christmas? - It's time to make that Christmas list if you haven't already. Start shopping for bargains on craft materials you'll need for those homemade gifts, and clearance sales for other items. Making a list will keep you on track for the holiday season.

    If your still sending Christmas cards, consider these alternatives to save money.

    • Send e-cards
    • send postcards instead of enveloped cards, postage is cheaper
    • Make your own cards by hand or on a computer program (many computer programs have the option to include a photo also!)
  • Halloween Clearance - Buy your Halloween supplies for next year now.
  • Cleaning Tips

  • Using salt as a deodorizer - Salt is a terrific odor eater. If your hands smell of garlic or fish, rub dry salt on hands and fingers to lift the odor out.
  • Lemon juice stain remover - Bleach out stains in butcher block counter tops using lemon juice and salt. Squeeze a lemon wedge over stain, sprinkle with salt. Scrub lightly with lemon wedge until stain is gone.
  • Recycling

  • Milk Jugs - Cut down and use to freeze water to make large ice cubes for party punch bowl. Or, freeze juice or fruit drinks to add to punch bowl (it won't dilute the flavor as it melts). Lightly run warm water over bottom to release the ice cube.
  • Panty hose - Use to patch a screen until it can be repaired.

  • Survey Sites

    E-ar-n and/or wi-n cash and prizes for your opinions.

    Opinion Outpost

    American Consumer Opinion


    Energy Conservation. Preparing for Winter

    Conserving energy not only saves money, it's just the right thing to do. Whether you need to cut back on expenses or just want to contribute to energy conservation, the following tips can help you conserve resources and save money.

    For older homes. weatherizing can be a difficult and costly task. Short of doing major renovations like new insulated siding and windows there are some less expensive options for conserving your resources. Every little bit helps!

    I live in a very old home that has been in my family for over 70 years. While I am quite thankful that I have the privilege of residing in the family home, it comes with a few kinks to say the least. For one, it was built in a time when energy was not as much a concern as it is today. The home was heated with wood originally and wood was available on the property itself and on neighboring lands for small or no fee. So, heating the home was not a huge financial concern. Therefore, insulating the home was not a priority.

    No insulation and a drafty home equals big bills. My father, who lived in the home before me, added insulation to some areas where he could and this has helped somewhat. But, I knew there were things I could do to improve conservation even further.

    In the 70's the home was remodeled modestly and drop ceilings were installed in nearly every room of the house. Don't ask, it's a 70's thing. Since I could not afford to tear down the drop ceilings and completely renovate with new ceilings and insulation, I had one other temporary option that could help conserve energy. Maybe others with similar construction can benefit from this idea.

    The idea, which originated from my father, was to place insulation between the drop ceiling and the original ceiling. This would help prevent the heat and air conditioning from escaping through the ceiling, into the attic, and out the uninsulated roof.

    We used R13 insulation, simply because of space restrictions, and insulated two 12x12 rooms and a small hallway for about $60.

    Another problem we faced was heat and air loss through the window frames. Being old and drafty, I was sure we could improve our energy conservation efforts by addressing this issue. There are two lower cost options short of replacing the windows.

    The first was to buy a large roll of plastic, available at any building material store (such as lowes or home depot), and use scraps of wood or buy wood strips to frame plastic on the outside of the windows completely covering the window and frame. This turned out to be a difficult task for myself and my husband to endeavor on a two story home. So, we opted for the second option, inside window insulation. Much the same concept only easier for us to access the windows. It is, however, more costly than the first option.

    The window insulation kit to complete 3 windows was $5.99. So, each window cost about $2 to insulate using this method. The kit comes complete with plastic film and tape to enough to do the specified number of windows. Additional equipment needed: hair dryer.

    While checking out the other insulation products I picked up some light switch and socket insulators. I have read that an amazing amount of air can be lost through these receptacles collectively and they should be insulated to prevent heat and air loss. Being on a mission to save as much as I possibly could, I felt it well worth the cost; less than $2 for 8 sealers. These are simple to install, requiring only a screwdriver to remove and replace covers.

    Among the vast aisle of insulation products I also found other products you may want to consider including, door bottom sweeps, garage door weather seal, pipe/duct insulation, door thresholds, weather sealing foam tape, gaskets for doors and windows.

    It's a good idea to use caulking to seal any gaps or cracks in window frames, door frames, wall baselines, or anywhere you find a crack or hole in the construction of your home. All these little cracks and holes add up to a lot of heat and air loss. Inspect your home in preparation for winter and plug these leaks. Especially, if you live in an older home.

    If you are capable, or have a family member or friend who will help, it's a good idea to insulate crawl spaces if this applies to your home. Cold air leaks up through the floor just as heat and air will escape through the ceiling. Insulation installed under the floors via the crawlspace will prevent cold air from seeping into your home reducing heating costs.

    Just as "small leaks sink great ships" so can "small leaks sink savings." All of these small steps are sure to add up to substantial savings throughout the year.

    If possible, save for those major renovations that can save you money and conserve energy such as, insulated siding, insulation, and insulated windows. Energy conservation efforts are tax deductible in many cases. If funds are limited, check out your local resources to see what programs are available for limited income families that help with energy conservation efforts. Contact your local energy assistant program for more information on energy cost assistance and energy conservation programs.

    Stay warm and save money this winter season! It's predicted to be a very cold winter this year.

    Recommended Reading

    Visit our site for more Energy Conservation Tips for the whole house.

    How to Save Money on Home Heating Costs this Winter

    (ARA) - During the frigid winter months, heating bills in many homes go through the roof. This winter could be worse than usual as the effects of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita are likely to cause an increase in heating costs. The U.S. Department of Energy predicts home heating oil prices could rise 30 percent over last year, with gas prices increasing anywhere from 40 to 70 percent. Luckily, there are ways you can reduce your heating bills this winter.

    By properly setting a programmable thermostat, you can reap significant energy savings. However, recent Honeywell research indicates nearly 70 percent of homeowners who own programmable thermostats find them too difficult to operate, and lose out on energy-saving benefits.

    To eliminate this challenge and enhance your opportunities for lower energy bills, Honeywell developed a programmable thermostat called VisionPRO that uses touch-screen technology -- similar to the technology used in ATMs -- to help prompt you through the programming process, making it effortless.

    To take full advantage of the energy-saving benefits of programmable thermostats, you should turn your thermostat back 10 to15 percent for eight hours, while away at work or sleeping at night. This can result in significant savings on annual energy bills.

    "Because homeowners can easily use the VisionPRO thermostat, they’re programming it correctly and saving money each month on their energy bill," said Eileen Youds of Honeywell. "VisionPRO has also been very popular because it can be removed from the wall for easy programming and it also automatically adjusts for daylight savings time."

    In addition to using a programmable thermostat, follow these U.S. Department of Energy tips for saving energy dollars during the cold winter months:

    • Clean or replace the natural gas furnace filter every three months to ensure the furnace is running at full efficiency.

    • Test your home for air leaks, particularly at doors and windows to prevent heated air from escaping. Weatherize those that are leaky.

    • Caulk or weatherstrip gaps around leaky windows and doors. Open blinds or curtains on sunny days to let warm sunshine in, and close them at night for insulation.

    • Install energy-saving showerheads in your home to reduce hot water use without sacrificing water pressure or temperature.
    For more energy saving ideas, visit - Courtesy ARA Content

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