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Hot Water Heater on low may be responsible for serious lung infections

September 28th, 2006 at 03:42 pm

Please do some serious research about the controversies surrounding the SAFE temperature for your hot water heater, as lowering the temperature MIGHT lead to very destructive health consequences.

Here are two links about this:

MAI Lung Infections


MAY/2006 Indoor Environment


Please be cautious, you do not want to damage your lungs with these serious infections.

Save Energy - cook in a thermos, seriously

September 27th, 2006 at 02:56 pm

I've only read about this, but am really interested to do some experimentation, NOW, before any emergency situation, during which time, it would really be useful to know how to cook a HOT meal without having to plug in a generator for any extended time period.

The idea is to get a quality wide-mouthed thermos and prepare the meal with boiling hot water MANY hours before it will be eaten.

An easy example is oatmeal, you prepare it for breakfast the night before in a thermos which then slow cooks it overnight.

Here is one of many interesting URLs about THERMOS COOKING, and provides alot of precise details:


Yep, I'm actually gonna spend the twenty-five bucks to see how this works out - LOL, at least the oatmeal is super inexpensive, pennies per serving, right?

One person experienced with this mode of cooking oatmeal claims that normally the next morning her breakfast oatmeal SLIDES out the thermos - that sure makes for easy cleaning, no?


Almost time for cocoa sales!

September 27th, 2006 at 07:39 am

At this time of the year, and sometimes continuing through about February, stores frequently slash prices on boxes of instant cocoa to around a dollar a box.

I'm not fond of most instant cocoa mixes on the market, but I discovered that if you add one teaspoon of baking cocoa powder when you make a cup of instant cocoa, that the resulting cocoa tastes VERY good, like the gourmet brands which can be very pricey, hovering around a dollar, or more, per packet.

Baking cocoa is cheeeeep, because it lasts for years - and if unopened the tin is one of a few things that actually lasts indefinitely.

Anyway, for several years in a row, by keeping the cocoa coupons handy at all times, and carefully watching sales, I've been able to pick up many boxes of cocoa for under fives cents a box, not bad at all.

One of my friends on the east coast mentioned that adding a tiny bit of non-instant chocolate pudding to each serving of cocoa also results in a rich & creamy cup of "gourmet" cocoa at tightwad prices.

I plan to experiment this season, after the weather turns chilly - and of course, after the cocoa coupons start arriving and the big sales on boxes of instant cocoa start up again.

staples vs. splurges, anyone?

September 27th, 2006 at 07:14 am

Which fresh fruits & vegetables do you typically have on hand at all times, and are your fresh produce selections due mainly to the nutritional value or to monetary considerations, or both?

When splurging on fruits & veggies, what do you choose?

How do you make sure that your family members are getting enough FRESH fruits & FRESH vegetables, especially during the winter months?

We always have on hand the cheapest costing:

fresh potatoes
fresh carrots
fresh onions
fresh yams
fresh cabbage
fresh garlic
(also, a wide array of various frozen veggies)
(lots & lots of canned veggies, too)


(NON-fresh items on hand at all times include things stocked away in the pantry like applesauce, canned pears,
canned pineapple, canned mandarin oranges, generic frozen o.j.,
generic frozen grape juice, etc.)

Mainly, we try to save money by watching sales, choosing generics, shopping often at ALDI, and especially not ever having to throw away any fresh produce gone bad.

"Splurging" ???

Now, what is THAT?

Hmm, maybe that means the rare day where we don't have home made soup for one of the main meals. Smile

These are some fruits & veggies that I purchase only very infrequently,

Artichoke hearts
Harvard style pickled beets
Heirloom tomatoes
Organic peppers in red, yellow, purple

MIRs don't necessarily save money

September 26th, 2006 at 02:09 pm

Our pantry contains several dozen cans of veggies, and although we're getting low on canned fruits, we weren't planning on doing the Del Monte $10 Mail-In-Rebate because there are so many other brands of fruits which invariably are much less expensive.

But at the grocery store we learned that Del Monte has all sorts of "specialty" vegetables, and new kinds of tomatoes. The dilled green beans are delicious, the zuchini will be perfect for casseroles and the diced tomatoes with basil/peppers/onions,etc. are only outdone by those containing jalepino peppers.

Obviously, I decided to do the MIR, but I wasn't expecting to find all these really good tasting varieties of veggies, I thought it was going to be a matter of WHERE will I put more canned green beans & corn & peas?

Different problem has arisen in that I'd like to really stock up on these pricier Del Monte 'specialty' canned veggies, but Del Monte doesn't seem to frequently offer coupons -- I've got almost all of the newspaper coupon inserts from last July through last Sunday, and there simply weren't many coupons for anything by Del Monte, not at all. Less than half a dozen.

I guess I don't think that this ten buck rebate is going to save us ANY money as I can seriously foresee that the 'specialty' veggies will probably fast become 'necessities' -- and not merely some more boring old cans stored in the pantry.

I wish some of these companies would start "Buyer Rewards" programs where you send in POPs for mdse or gift cards.

Fresh Fruits & Veggies, or GIGO?

September 26th, 2006 at 10:11 am

If your fruits and veggies are regularly going bad on you, and you're regularly tossing them out, then you might be buying too large a quantity of produce too infrequently.

A great way to save money on produce is simply to make sure that you use ALL of the fresh produce you've purchased, which is easier when you buy smaller quantities more often.

Vegetables last lots longer if you immediately remove the original store wrappers, wash them and store them in brand new clean wrappings.

For instance, cabbage can last for weeks under refrigeration, if it's stored properly. (And presuming it was fresh when purchased.)

The trick here is to NOT cut into the head of cabbage, but instead to peel the leaves off, just as much as you need.

The external outer green leaves are usually very thick & tough, and frequently are unnecessarily thrown away --- but after being well washed, under running water, the thick outer leaves of the cabbage can be minced and sauteed, then stuck in the freezer in small amounts - they are a welcome addition to a whole variety of homemade veggie soups, imparting both flavoring & thickening to the broth.

Simply contine to peel off a few leaves once or twice a week until the cabbage head is smallish, and then use it up entirely - make a bowl of cole slaw, or cook a cabbage-based casserole.

Green onions are delicious when fresh, but they are finicky and can turn quickly; before they have a chance to fade away into garbage --- carefully clean those you can't consume fresh, --- then chop up the green ends, tuck them into a tiny snack bag, and stick them into the freezer. Add these chopped green onions to your next homemade soup.

I have a friend who mentioned she'd stopped buying radishes altogether, because she'd always end up throwing away at least a third of them, sometimes more -- as they went bad before she could use them up.

She was using one or two radishes every other day or so, in salads. Until she got to the rotten ones, of course. I told her to instead, carefully clean all of the radishes and keep stored in an airtight container.

Then... instead of grabbing a couple WHOLE radishes, to instead take slices from both ends of each & every radish - slice off both ends of ALL the radishes every time she prepares a salad. In this way none of the radishes go bad, in fact, a small bunch of radishes can usually garnish salads for well over a week when used this way. Of course, much depends upon how fresh the produce was when first purchased at the grocery store.

Outer leaves of many lettuces are tough and sometimes bitter, unlike the hearts of lettuce which typically are succulent and moist & crunchy.

But those tough colorful, (vitamin-filled) outer lettuce leaves, if carefully washed under running water making certain that any bad spots are carefully disposed of --- these well-cleaned leaves which many people routinely toss out, as they are too rough & tough for salad fixins' -- are then absolutely fine and nutritious to use in many sandwiches.