Tips for Living Simply and Well

Fr. George

Stratopedarches
Staff member
Administrator
Joined
Oct 5, 2004
Messages
21,830
Reaction score
16
Points
38
Age
39
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
One thing to remember if you do eat out: generally, the portions at restaurants are so large that in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle it should be divided into two meals.  So guess what?  Doggie bag 1/2 (I like to do 1/2 of each course, that way I can still have a 3 course dinner the next night) or more of the meal.  You won't starve.  You'll get all the variety of flavor you want.  You'll get double the meals for the same dollar (or $20).  It's more cost effective, and certainly more health conscious.
 

Tamara

Archon
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
2,208
Reaction score
0
Points
0
I brew decaffeinated tea or green tea for my younger son's lunch box instead of giving him prepackaged fruit drinks (he loves tea and teas are high in antioxidants). He has a stainless steel thermos to keep it nice and cold. I then decided to buy a larger stainless steel thermos for my older son to take to wrestling practice so he can have ice cold tap water during his break instead of bottled water that comes in unhealthy plastic containers. We never buy sodas and I rarely buy processed snack foods (crackers, chips, cookies). Instead, we eat fruits and veggies for snacks. We get apples from our tree in the backyard and we make real lemonade from our Meyer lemon tree. In the winter, for a time, we squeeze our own orange juice from our orange tree.
I dry many of my own herbs (ex: basil, mint, and I get homemade dried Greek and Italian oregano from my friend at church). When you dry your own herbs they are much more flavorful and potent for cooking.
Our downtown is close, so each afternoon, I put on my backpack and walk to Trader Joes to get various groceries, drop mail off at the post office, buy items from the drug store, and purchase meat at the butcher. Besides saving money on gas running errands, I get my daily workout walking downtown. ;)
Also, I have never purchased coffee drinks (Starbucks) or fruit smoothies (Jamba Juice). Imagine how much you would save a week if you didn't purchase a $3-$5 cup of coffee everyday!

 

Quinault

Protokentarchos
Joined
Nov 11, 2007
Messages
4,979
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
42
Location
Seattle, WA
Wow! You must live in a more temperate climate than I do. I wish we had an orage tree. My kids would be out there daily searching for ripe fruit. The crab apple tree just doesn't seem appealing to them ;)
 

Tamara

Archon
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
2,208
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Quinault said:
Wow! You must live in a more temperate climate than I do. I wish we had an or age tree. My kids would be out there daily searching for ripe fruit. The crab apple tree just doesn't seem appealing to them ;)
The California bay area is perfect for growing fruits and veggies. When I was growing up our backyard was full of fruit trees. My dad planted a plum, apricot, peach, fig, apple, orange, and lemon tree in our backyard. From the harvest Mom would make umradeen (the Arabic name for dried fruit roll ups), jams, pies, and canned fruit.
In the summer dad filled the left side of the yard with tomatoes, corn, squash, cucumber, eggplant and pepper plants. In the front yard he planted an olive and pomegranate tree. He said he only wanted to plant what he could eat. I remember a Greek neighbor lady coming over to our backyard to pick weeds (horta) for her Greek salad.

 

EofK

Protokentarchos
Joined
Jul 25, 2007
Messages
3,976
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
40
Location
Springfield, MO
Speaking of chips, Mr. Y and I have started baking our own tortilla and potato chips.  We buy a package of 100 small tortillas and cut them into quarters.  Spray with a little olive oil, and salt and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees.  It takes about 10 minutes until they're brown and crispy enough for chips.  It does take a little time, but you get hot tortilla chips for a lot cheaper than you can buy a bag of chips.  And, bonus, you can't make a ton of them at once, so it will be harder to overeat. 

Potato chips take a little longer (about 20 minutes) and they'll look more brown than bagged chips by the time they're cooked enough.  We add whatever spices sound good at the time (I'm fond of dill and garlic while Mr. Y likes the Sweet and Smoky BBQ rub from Pampered Chef).  Just slice the potatoes as thin as you'd like them but keep in mind that thicker slices take longer to cook.  The 20 minutes estimate is for chips no thicker than 1/4 inch (if even that).
 

Tamara

Archon
Joined
Nov 23, 2006
Messages
2,208
Reaction score
0
Points
0
The bartering system with friends at church could work for some folks on this site. In our parish we have one family who raises chickens for their eggs. They usually have an abundance of eggs so they will share them with other families in our parish. Another gentleman grows blueberries on his farm and is a beekeeper who produces honey. When blueberries were in season he invited folks from the parish to come pick berries. If you have folks in your parish who have farms or orchards perhaps you could work out a barter with them for the things they produce.
 

ozgeorge

Hoplitarches
Site Supporter
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
16,379
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
54
Location
Australia
Website
www.greekorthodox.org.au
"The Freecycle Network" is another way in which communities reduce waste by freely gifting excess among it's members. There are over 4,600 Freecycle communities worldwide (inluding one here in the Blue Mountains). I managed to get a mountain bike for free as well as a box of figs from which I made jam and gave some jars of it away to other members! See if there is a Freecycle community near you: http://www.freecycle.org/
 

Ebor

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
6,492
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
64
Location
Maryland
We're on three different Freecycle groups (since we're in an overlapping area) and they can be very useful and helpful.  I've also found a couple of very good items very inexpensively on CraigsList.  But care has to be taken with that.

Ebor
 

lizzyd

Jr. Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2009
Messages
54
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
Atlanta, GA
For those with babies/planning on babies... cloth diapering and breastfeeding are two sure-fire ways to save a lot of money.
 

Tatiana

Newbie
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
47
Location
Iowa
EofK said:
Potato chips take a little longer (about 20 minutes) and they'll look more brown than bagged chips by the time they're cooked enough.  We add whatever spices sound good at the time (I'm fond of dill and garlic while Mr. Y likes the Sweet and Smoky BBQ rub from Pampered Chef).  Just slice the potatoes as thin as you'd like them but keep in mind that thicker slices take longer to cook.  The 20 minutes estimate is for chips no thicker than 1/4 inch (if even that).
This also works great with sweet potatoes. I usually just do a little salt, pepper & olive oil. They really great with the frozen Parmesan-encrusted fish fillets I buy at the grocery store. Even the two-year-old likes them (although not the fish - fish sticks, yes, but a fish fillet, well forget it).
 

Jibrail Almuhajir

Taxiarches
Joined
May 15, 2007
Messages
7,220
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
The Ozark Mountains
Tatiana said:
EofK said:
Potato chips take a little longer (about 20 minutes) and they'll look more brown than bagged chips by the time they're cooked enough.  We add whatever spices sound good at the time (I'm fond of dill and garlic while Mr. Y likes the Sweet and Smoky BBQ rub from Pampered Chef).  Just slice the potatoes as thin as you'd like them but keep in mind that thicker slices take longer to cook.  The 20 minutes estimate is for chips no thicker than 1/4 inch (if even that).
This also works great with sweet potatoes. I usually just do a little salt, pepper & olive oil. They really great with the frozen Parmesan-encrusted fish fillets I buy at the grocery store. Even the two-year-old likes them (although not the fish - fish sticks, yes, but a fish fillet, well forget it).
Welcome to the forum, Tatiana!  :)

BTW, I'm not sure they really classify as food, but... who doesn't love fish sticks?!?  :D
 

DavidH

High Elder
Joined
Nov 2, 2005
Messages
541
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
56
Location
Dallas, Tx.
Website
www.LandscapeDallas.com
Just cancelled the satellite TV last month (~$70 per month). Many of my favorite channels are online and have full past recent episodes of my favorite series. No FOX news but between townhall.com and the O'Reilly premium membership I can keep up with my favorite flavor of propaganda :)
Cancelled the land line and Verizon cell phone, too. Metro PCS is much cheaper as is MajicJack.
Books? Reading reruns. They're good the second time around, too!
 

Tatiana

Newbie
Joined
Dec 8, 2009
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
47
Location
Iowa
GabrieltheCelt said:
Tatiana said:
EofK said:
Potato chips take a little longer (about 20 minutes) and they'll look more brown than bagged chips by the time they're cooked enough.  We add whatever spices sound good at the time (I'm fond of dill and garlic while Mr. Y likes the Sweet and Smoky BBQ rub from Pampered Chef).  Just slice the potatoes as thin as you'd like them but keep in mind that thicker slices take longer to cook.  The 20 minutes estimate is for chips no thicker than 1/4 inch (if even that).
This also works great with sweet potatoes. I usually just do a little salt, pepper & olive oil. They really great with the frozen Parmesan-encrusted fish fillets I buy at the grocery store. Even the two-year-old likes them (although not the fish - fish sticks, yes, but a fish fillet, well forget it).
Welcome to the forum, Tatiana!  :)

BTW, I'm not sure they really classify as food, but... who doesn't love fish sticks?!?  :D
Thank you! My husband got me hooked tonight - at the moment we're holed up for at least a day or so thanks to the massive snow storm blanketing Iowa at the moment. On the upside, we have all the food we need and we won't have the opportunity to spend money.

As for fish sticks, yes, I love them too, but I can't convince him that it's the same stuff as the fish fillets. It has to be in that unnatural stick form for him to recognize at food. I suppose it's the prerogative of being 2.

And I have to second all the cloth diaper comments out there. It's definitely a money saver. I cringe every time we spend a weekend at my parents' (we don't travel with them b/c they have nasty rural water) and have to buy a pack.

As for breast feeding, definitely cheaper, but not everyone can do it. If that's your lot (as was mine), go for the generic bulk formulas - they're no different. In fact my pediatrician chided me for not using generic to begin with.
 

Asteriktos

Hypatos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,083
Reaction score
28
Points
48
Age
41
- I'm getting ready to modify my diet so that I cut out the processed foods and start eating/cooking with fresh foods more (especially meatless chilis, stews, soups, etc.), which I think will help cut down on my food budget, and also be healthier for me.

- This one would hurt me to put into practice, but one tip for living simply is to limit the DVD's, CD's, and books that you have to one or two book cases or storage units.

- Walk when you can. I caught myself one day almost driving my car from one side of the parking lot to another when I was going to go to a different store. What, I couldn't walk that 35 yards?

- Keep a clean house. Does that count as living simply and well? I think so. Also, avoid pack-rattery, and if you have that habit, break yourself of it if you can.

- Don't use chemicals you don't have to, whether that be tylenol for a minor ache, to dietary supplements, to smoking. Use what you need, but don't fall into the trap of thinking that you should have or need a chemical for everything in life.

- Watch how much garbage you create, and take steps to create less. Recycle if you can manage it and need to.

- Take shorter showers, turn the water off while brushing your teeth, etc.
 

melissa84

Newbie
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
4
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Oby gods commandments,

Stay loyal to your famil and friends.

Stay fit and well.

Avoid adultery,homosexuality etc.

And praise the 1 TRUE GOD-JESUS CHRIST
 

Ebor

Taxiarches
Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
6,492
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
64
Location
Maryland
Asteriktos said:
turn the water off while brushing your teeth, etc.
Maybe it was due to my parents being thrifty or maybe because out in Montana we were raised with a sense of "water discipline" since it's fairly dry, but the idea of letting the tap run while brushing my teeth is utterly alien even now that I live on the soggy eastern seaboard.  We were taught to fill a small cup with water and turn off the tap and then brush and rinse.  Is letting the water keep running common? 
 

Asteriktos

Hypatos
Joined
Oct 4, 2002
Messages
39,083
Reaction score
28
Points
48
Age
41
It was in the houses I grew up in, though I don't know about others.  :)
 

Crucifer

Archon
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
3,068
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
60
Location
VA
Website
www.uscj.org
Turning off power strips at bedtime. Even on "sleep" mode TVs, DVD players, computers and such use electricity. I've reduced my bill by about $30/month.

Also I stopped buying books, I hit the librarys now. Luckily I have access to a large seminary library so I can get religious reading there.
 

Crucifer

Archon
Joined
Jun 9, 2004
Messages
3,068
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
60
Location
VA
Website
www.uscj.org
Ebor said:
First off, as others have said, learning to cook at home is an excellent method, and that means from ingredients rather then heating up prepared items.  If one is in school or working all day, a slow-cooker/crockpot can be used to make sure that a hot healthful dinner is waiting and then the leftovers can be lunches or used as a base ingredient for another meal.

For young people just starting out on their own, both male and female, I've recommended Peg Bracken's books from the early 60s The I Hate to Cook Book and the Appendix to the I Hate to Cook Book.  Copies can be found used for very cheaply and they have lots of good yet easy to follow recipes.  We both like to cook, but I still have copies of these books because they're good and the kids will be taught how to cook before they leave home. 

Next, thrift shops.  In this area at least we've found that many things sent to thrift shops are in excellent or nearly new/brand new condition.  Somethings have to be bought new (underwear) but for example for a costume for a child to represent an adult a trip to the thrift store found just the sorts of things needed.

Ebor
i remember that book...my mom taught my sisters how to cook with that one!
 
Top