Back to Back Issues Page
Cheryl's Sensible Cents - 3/15/2006 Newsletter
March 15, 2006

Did You Know?

Vinegar has a limitless shelf life. It never goes bad.

By 1990 the the United State's largest producer of cat litter had retail sales of 210 million annually.

What's New?

I've added a Craft Section to the newsletter

In this Issue:

Featured Article:
How Much Is That Doggy in the Window? - by Cheryl Johnson

Eggs Foo Young
Coconut Cake
Universal Casserole

Saving tips

  • Pet Savings Tips
  • Recycle
  • Cleaning and Laundry
  • Reader's Tips

Craft Ideas

Stained Glass Art

Quotable Quote

Home life ceases to be free and beautiful as soon as it is founded on borrowing and debt. - Henrik Ibsen

Featured Sponsor

Personal Budgeting Software - Free 30 day trial

Featured Article

How Much Is That Doggy in the Window?

Probably too much if you have to ask. Right? Reality is, there's a lot more to consider than the price in the window.

Your pet will, or has already, become like one of the family with needs and expenses like every other family member. When we commit to pet ownership, we make a commitment to love and care for them. However, when finances get tight, pet needs can be one of the first expenses to get put on the back burner. Depending on what kind of pet you have, expenses can really take a bite out your personal budget.

If you're thinking of acquiring a pet, don't do it if you can't afford to take care of it. Unless, the poor thing is found lurking outside your backdoor, looking up at you with starving eyes, and now has worked it's way into your heart. You're stuck with it after that, trust me. If you're serious about getting a pet, and you've analyzed your budget to ensure that you can handle the extra expenses, then by all means go for it. Here are some expenses you might incur and some money saving tips to help reduce them.

  • Supplies: You'll need supplies or tools for feeding, cleaning, housing and possibly walking at the very least. How expensive these supplies will be depends on your choice of pet, your willingness or creativity in recycling goods and, in some cases, your environment and/or location.

    Money saving tips: Recycle whenever possible. For example: Use old bowls, buckets, etc for pet dishes. Our pets doghouse is an old child's playhouse that the kids have outgrown.
    Recycle fabrics to make your own pet bedding.

  • Veterinary: I assure you that saving money on veterinary expenses will be your main goal once you pay that first vet bill! It can't hurt to check out pet insurance if you have a high maintenance pet. Be sure to analyze cost of insurance, coverage, necessity, and actual savings before making a decision.

    For dogs and cats, you can get required rabies vaccine for free, or a small donation, at your local shelter. Some locations may warrant additional vaccines (i.e. lyme disease). Puppies will require a regular vaccination schedule, similar to the process children go through, to ward off various known fatal diseases. Call a local veterinarian to get some idea what is required and how much it will cost.

    Money Saving Tips: Does your veterinarian need a service or product that you can supply? Don't forget your bartering leverage.
    If you live near a veterinary school, or college that offers studies in vet medicine, you should check to see if they have a pet clinic. You could get services for a reduced rate.

  • Maintenance Medications: Some pets require preventative medications. This could depend on your location and type of pet. Ask you local vet what medications may be important for your location. Try to get some idea how much you will have to include in your monthly budget. Also, inquire about ways to save money on services and medications.

    Money Saving Tips: Sometimes pet pharmaceutical companies run discount campaigns available at your vet office.
    Check all resources for best pricing on pet medications, including online supply shops.

  • Pest Control: Flea control can be a big issue with dogs and cats especially. The cost of ridding your home and pet of fleas will far out weight the cost of preventative medicines. I highly recommend you invest in preventative flea and tick control if they are a problem in your area. Read the instructions on the medication. Veterinarians will almost always tell you to use monthly. If you read the instructions you will see that in some cases you may only need to apply every 2 to 3 months. This could mean substantial savings.

    Money Saving Tips: Pests (ie. ants!) getting in the pet's food dish? Try placing a metal pie plate under the dish, fill with at least 1/2 water and creeping crawly pests will be deterred.
    Ear mites can be wiped out and itching relieved using a cotton ball dipped in 1 teaspoon of baking soda mixed with 1 cup warm water.

  • Boarding: If you travel often or enjoy a yearly vacation, you'll want to consider the costs of traveling with your pet or boarding your pet. Both options can be expensive. Many travel accommodations require extra funding for the inclusion of pets. Some locations will not even consider housing animals. Inquire about fees at local boarding kennels.

    Money Saving Tips: Saving money by choosing a pet-sitter, with good references, could be an option. Check local newspapers, phone books, and veterinary bulletin boards for contacts.

  • Acquiring A Pet: How much is that doggy in the window, again? Truth of the matter is, you can acquire a nice pet at your local animal shelter for much less. The animals have had complete check ups, de-bugged, and vaccinated before they are offered for adoption. In most cases, you will have to pay a fee to cover licensing, vaccinations, and neutering or spaying of the animal. If you find a pet that was neutered or spayed before arriving at the shelter, you can save money. Fees are only charged for services the shelter has provided. Not a bad deal. I paid under $20 to acquire our family dog a few years ago.
- More money saving pet tips

EntirelyPets: Better Service, Better Prices


Eggs Foo Young

serves 6-8

Brown in skillet:
1/2 lb. ground beef
Combine in bowl:
3/4 cup finely chopped onion or scallions
1/4 cup finely diced celery
1 cup canned (drained) or 2 cups fresh bean sprouts
6 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon salt

Add beef to egg mixture.Heat in a skillet: 2 Tablespoons oil
Fry by 1/4 cupfuls. Keep patties shaped with pancake turner by pushing egg back into patties. When set and brown on one side, turn and brown other side. Serve hot with rice and sauce.

Combine in saucepan:
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons vinegar
3/4 cup water or chicken broth

Cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is clear. Keep hot
- From the More-With-Less Cookbook

Coconut Cake

1 pound (4 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour, divided
6 eggs
2 1/4 cups (7ounces)unsweetened coconut
1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 10-inch tube pan. Cream the butter and sugar. Add 1 cup of flour. Beat in eggs - one at a time. Add remaining 1 cup flour and beat. Add the coconut and vanilla and beat until well mixed. Pour into the pan and bake for about 1 1/2 hours or until toothpick inserted in cake comes out clean. Cool on wire rack for about 10 minutes before removing from pan.

To make glaze, while cake is still warm, combine the water, sugar, and almond extract. Pour slowly over the cake. Cool completely before serving.
- From Best Home Baking: Irresistible Recipes from America's Blue Ribbon Bakers (Old Farmer's Almanac Home Library)

Create a Casserole

Universal Casserole Recipe

1 cup main ingredient (suggestions: tuna, cubed chicken, turkey, ham,seafood)
1 cup second ingredient ( thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, peas, chopped hard boiled eggs)
1-2 cups starch ingredient (potatoes, cooked rice or noodles)
1 1/2 cups binder (cream sauce, sour cream, can of concentrated soup)
1/4 cup goodies - optional (olives, almonds, water chestnuts, pimiento)
Topping (bread crumbs, crushed potato chips, cheese)

Combine all ingredients. If dry, add 1/4-1/2 cup milk or stock. Place in buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-45 minutes. Top with desired topping.
- From the The Complete Tightwad Gazette

Send us Your Recipes

Need ideas for dinner? -Go to Recipes & More Section
Recipe Secrets
Free Recipes at ClubMom!
Country Cooking Recipes
E-Cookbooks Library

Money Saving Tips

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

Visit our money saving tips directory here - Save money everyday on everything you do and buy!


  • Plastic Milk Jugs - Make a watering jug. Punch numerous holes in the area opposite handle, in front of spout. Fill with water, put cap on if available (optional) tilt (as with a regular watering can) to pour water out holes. Kids like this one!
  • Kitty Litter - Soak up messy spills in the house. Great for yucky clean ups like vomit! Toss kitty litter on the spill or mess, let sit a minute and wipe up or sweep into a dust pan to discard.

Pet Savings Tips

  • Flea Control Use cedar shavings in bedding and, in and around outdoor housing. Wash interior walls of housing with a solution of salt water or 1 cup of lemon juice to 1/2 gallon of water to deter fleas.
  • Veterinarian Services - Barter with you veterinarian for services and/or products.

    Check out pet health insurance for high maintenance pets.

    Be sure to inquire at Vet Schools or colleges for pet clinics.

  • Homemade Cat's Toy - Use an empty film canister. Place inside the canister: beans, small jingle bells, buttons, anything that will rattle. Close cap tightly. You now have a homemade toy for your cat.

Cleaning and Laundry Tips

  • Air Freshener - Lemons: Roll on counter top to release juices. Cut lemon in half and place in a dish. Let sit in room to be freshened.

    Put a small pot of water on stove to boil with a 1/4 teaspoon of one, or more of the following spices; cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, add orange slices or apple slices. Turn down to simmer. The steam will fill the house with a delightful smell.

  • Clothes Whitener - Remove rust and mineral discolorations from cotton t-shirts and briefs using lemon juice. Add 1 cup to wash cycle for natural whitening action and lemony fresh laundry.

Reader's Tips

- Please share your tips

Craft Ideas

Stained Glass Art Craft:

Make crayon shavings (you can use a veggie peeler for this) Keep colors separated. Place a towel or paper towels on counter. Put a sheet of wax paper on top of towel. Sprinkle crayon shavings onto the wax paper. Place another piece of wax paper on top of shavings. Place another towel on top and run a warm iron overall. When finished and cool to touch. Cut shapes for sun catchers or make bookmarks. Use decorative edge scissors for more interest.

Sponsors and Advertisements

Can't pay the bills anymore? Get 100% online debt relief.
Get more info

A smarter way to manage your money

Get a great mortgage with no closing costs. Mortgage Information Link

First Home Secrets

Webmasters and Website Tools - Free, creative, and innovative article distribution site. Opt for premium service including free advertising with each article submitted, adsense revenue, and affiliate benefits. Re-inventing the benefits of article distribution.

Free Affiliate Master's Course

The Webmaster Business Masters Course

Free Webmaster Tools

Interesting Sites to Visit

Family Friendly Sites

Finance Sites

Back to Back Issues Page