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Cheryl's Sensible Cents - August 15, 2005 Newsletter
August 15, 2005

Did You Know?....

The definition of frugal - characterized by or reflecting economy in the use of resources. ...economical in use or expenditure; prudently saving or sparing; not wasteful.

*What's New: Invest in Your D.ebt

"Waste neither time nor money, but make the best use of both. Without industry and frugality, nothing will do, and with them everything." - Benjamin Franklin

Featured Articles:

Invest in Saving or Debt? by Cheryl Johnson
Stop Saving Your Mo.ney! by Jeffrey Strain of (opens in a new window)


In this issue:

Oven Rice
Fried Rice
Stir-Fried Shrimp w/Pineapple

Oven Rice

Makes 8 servings

1 Tablespoon butter or margarine
2&1/4 cups boiling water
1 cup long grain rice
1 teaspoon salt

In 1&1/2 quart casserole stir butter into water till melted. Stir in rice and salt. Cover: bake in 350 F degree oven about 35 minutes or till rice is tender. Fluff with fork after 15 minutes.

Fried Rice

A great way to use leftover rice:
2 Beaten Eggs
3 Tablespoons cooking oil
1/2 cup finely chopped ham, chicken, or pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mushrooms
3 Tablespoons Soy Sauce
3 Tablespoons thinly sliced green onion
4 cups cooked rice
Soy Sauce

In skillet, cook beaten eggs in 1 Tablespoon of the oil, without stirring, till set. Remove from pan an chop into small thin strips or pieces. In same skillet cook ham, pork, or chicken, mushrooms, the 3 Tablesoons soy sauce, and green onion in remaining oil about 4 minutes, or until mushrooms and onion are tender. Stir in cooked rice and egg strips, heat through. Serve w/ soy sauce.

Stir-Fried Shrimp w/Pineapple

1 lb. fresh or frozen shrimp in shells
1 8 & 1/4 - oz can pineapple chunks
2 teaspoons corn starch
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
2 Tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoons grated gingerroot
8 green onions, bias-sliced into 1 & 1/2 inch lengths
1 8-oz can water chestnuts, drained and sliced

Thaw shrimp if frozen. Shell and devein. Halve shrimp lengthwise. Drain pineapple, reserving liquid. Blend reserved pineapple liquid into cornstarch, stir in soy sauce and set aside.

Preheat wok or large skillet over high heat; add oil. Stir-fry gingerroot in hot oil for 30 seconds. Add green onion and stir-fry 1 minute. Add water chestnuts: stir-fry 1 minute more. Remove green onion and water chestnuts. (add more oil if necessary) Add shrimp to hot wok or skillet; stir-fry 7-8 minutes or till shrimp are done. Stir soy sauce mixture and stir into shrimp in skillet. Cook and stir till thickened and bubbly. Stir in pineapple, green onion and water chestnuts; cover and cook 2 minutes more. Serve at once. Makes 4 servings. Serve with oven rice or fried rice.

Money Saving Tip: Plan the above dishes when leftover rice or meat can be used from a previous days dinner.

Share Money Saving Tips, Recipes, and Frugal Living Ideas

Money Saving Tips:

  • Serve water with meals as often as possible. It's healthy and free.
  • Store candles in fridge. Cold candles burn slower making them last longer.
  • Dollar Stretcher Tips 8/4/05
  • Cleaning Tips

  • Remove gum from hair by rubbing with some peanut butter or salad oil
  • Use lemon wax on inside of shower doors to repel soap scum
  • To store blankets, tuck into pillow shams and use as throw pillows
  • Recycling

  • Cut leftover linoleum to fit as shelf liners. Easy to wipe clean and are durable
  • Use old gift cards to make gift tags. You can sometimes get several tags from one card. Cut sections or individual elements out, punch hole in corner, add yarn or ribbon to create your own customized gift tag. Good idea for xmas gift tags. Recycle old xmas cards.
  • Use a turkey baster to easily water small houseplants with no mess
  • Still working on A Frugal Christmas


    Invest in Saving or D.ebt?

    --by Cheryl Johnson
    Invest in your d.ebt? I was puzzled when I came across this statement. But, as I learned the meaning behind the phrase, I must say I was really impressed with my findings.

    Building financial security is a long and seemingly endless task if you have outstanding d.ebt obligations.

    I have in the past stressed the importance of including savings in your budget in order to build financial security. This being an important part of preparing for life's unexpected events and little emergencies. And, preventing us from resorting to c.redit when those times arise.

    But, given my own experiences and recent research, I have been convinced that maybe, for those of us with d.ebt issues, it's not so important. I can't believe I'm saying it. But, after researching and number crunching, I can now see that as long you have d.ebt, it is useless to save.

    Your saving may actually be costing you m.oney. You earn minimal interest on savings. And, all the while you are paying a high price to carry the same amount in d.ebt that could, instead, be eliminated. And, the faster that gets eliminated, the faster you'll have those funds available to invest in yourself!

    America Saves lists paying off the high cost of d.ebt as it's number one strategy for saving money. Review America Saves' 5 Savings Strategies

    It is also apparent that most of us never manage to save the recommended security blanket while trying to eliminate d.ebt. My insistence on savings was in reality a security blanket. Something to catch you if you fell.

    However, I must agree with some other authorities on the matter that the emergencies we fear will happen, rarely do happen. And, that when we are d.ebt f.ree, our biggest emergency "fears" tend to disappear. Without the burden of d.ebt we have no reason to fear life's emergencies.

    Being d.ebt, we are better financially equipped to handle all of life's incidents. Also, it is a fact that most of us (especially those with d.ebt) have been living without that security net all of our lives. Why start now, when the main goal should be to get rid of d.ebt!

    I know from my own experience that in hard times, we always manage to find an alternative to using cre.dit when cre.dit isn't an option. It's just too convenient to choose the easy way out when it's available.

    This is why getting rid of your cre.dit cards is the best way to prevent the temptation. Making that first big decision to stop creating d.ebt is essential to successfully becoming d.ebt f.ree. Being f.ree from d.ebt is the first crucial element to financial security.

    I also found that after months of trying to build my own emergency fund (which I formerly recommended to be about 3 months salary), I had been unsuccessful at achieving the goal. First of all, it's simply impossible to save m.oney you don't have! Even when I tried to set aside a meager $10-20 per month I would find myself having to use it before it could amount to anything substantial. And this was after I had cut my ex.penses to the bare bones!

    Seeing in myself what so many others must be experiencing, I decided to analyze further the question of investing in savings or d.ebt.

    When I was unable to meet my savings goals I felt defeated. The worse thing that can happen when you're genuinely making every effort to manage your m.oney responsibly is feelings of defeat. Once this feeling takes hold of you you're likely to throw in the towel and go back to old habits.

    So, I decided that rather than stress over my inability to reach my savings goal, I would rather change my focus to eliminating my d.ebt. After all, after my d.ebt was paid, I would no longer have to worry about where the mon.ey would come from to handle life's emergencies. And, as long as I continued to pa.y down d.ebt, I was successfully reaching towards my final goal. To be d.ebt f.ree. I realized that to Invest In Your D.ebt is to in.vest in yourself and your financial security!

    The logic in investing in your d.ebt is there. I cannot deny it. Saving will only delay your freedom from d.ebt and is not a good investment while seeking d.ebt elimination goals. For those of you who are already d.ebt f.ree, or successfully meeting savings goals, by all means saving and investing is an essential part of managing your m.oney and becoming financially secure and independent. It is essential to build financial security in order to "remain" d.ebt f.ree.

    But, for those of us who are finding it difficult to eliminate d.ebt and save at the same time, the most important goal may be to eliminate d.ebt. When you have freed up all that m.oney you've been investing in the card companies, then it's time to start investing it in yourself!

    I still insist that you should, if at all possible, have a small emergency fund. $500 should be enough to see you through for now until your d.ebt is eliminated. I wouldn't stress over saving this emergency stash if it seems like an impossibility. Just do the best you can.

    Eliminating d.ebt doesn't give you license to start all over again. Once you are f.ree from d.ebt, it's time to start investing in yourself to build your financial security. Continue using mon.ey saving tips to reduce expenses in your budget and live within your means. Apply funds formerly bud.geted for d.ebt eli.mination to investment efforts to build financial security and independence.

    Reduce exp.enses, live within your means, eliminate d.ebt, invest in yourself, live d.ebt f.ree, and you're on your way to financial independence and freedom. Congratulations! Enjoy!


    F.ree Budgeting E-book

    Saving Secrets

    Webmaster Tools

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    Favorite Savings Sites

    F.ree M.oney Finance
    F.ree and simple discussion on m.oney and finance designed to increase your net worth.

    Aldi's Grocery
    Find one near you for great grocery savings.

    Torn Bread - Fun, helpful and informative sites.

    Tips on Saving M.oney and Energy at Home - Provides a wide variety of areas where you can potentially save m.oney on home expenses.

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