Friday, July 31, 2009

10 Ways to Stay Cool This Summer

*Don't open the windows until it really starts to heat up. (I don't get this either -- seems like you should open when everything is cool...but it really does help keep cooler air IN and warmer air out.)

*Open the windows in time to catch the evening breeze! (Which comes through about 5 or 6 p.m. at our house...)

*Spray down any concrete by your door. Evaporating moisture will help cool things down. Water and mist your flowers, while you're at it, and wash down the back glass door.

*Add insulation to your attic. Keeps the hot air from working its way down to living areas.

*Hang damp towels or sheets on a door. Preferably by an open window with a breeze. You'll have clean dry sheets and towels...and cooler air.

*Let clothes dry on your body, instead of in the dryer. Sleeveless shifts are particularly good for this.

*Put out a bowl of ice cubes out when you think of it. Keep the bowl out until everything's melted, then water a plant with it. Evaporation is our friend.

*Certain smells just make us 'feel' cooler! Mint and cucumber, for example...lavender does it for me, too.

*Take at least 5 minutes a day to sit and sip something cool.

*Instead of letting portable fans spray air on your face, aim them closer to your feet. Cools your whole body down this way, instead of getting a sore throat or chills from the air hitting your face.

Have a cooling summer!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Win a $50 Flower Gift Card!

Flowers are such a wonderful mainstay of life...we're lucky now, to have so many blooming. Every type makes me happy, from roses to those big bossy yellow yarrow (that are trying to push said trembling roses around...)

Win a $50 gift card to 1-800-FLOWERS from Frugal in Virginia; it's easy, just post a comment! (Thanks, Frug, for your generous offer.)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Free Coldplay Album...for the Downloading!

Just click here, and it's yours...

(Daughter #1 will be thrilled.)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Saving on Toilet Paper

As Diane Hopkins points out, don't look at the size of the package or the number of rolls...

it's the square footage that counts!

She uses a penny per square foot as her 'bargain gauge.'

I'm thinking we spend slightly more per square foot out here in the Denver, CO area, but it's a good start, at least.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Family Meals...for $5!

Try Frugal Living Skills' Cheap Meals category for a bunch of great -- and cheap -- meals, ranging from pork roast to pizza.

Not to mention a host of goodies from


Here's one of my favorites, especially right now, when the veggies are ripe and the livin' is easy:

Oriental Stir-Fry

2 cups of chunked chicken breast OR pork roast OR thin-sliced beef OR shelled shrimp
(or substitute your favorite protein or tofu)

2-4 cups vegetables, sliced thin and/or chunked. Possibilities include:
snow peas, onion (or green onion), cabbage, spinach, carrots, zucchini, mushrooms broccoli, green beans, celery, your choice --
the fresher, the better (use what's on sale)

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 tablespoons Chinese cooking wine
4 tablespoons soy sauce
1 small piece fresh ginger

hot rice

Start the rice while you cut up your veggies and protein. (Hint: protein slices easier when it's still half-frozen.) Separate out the fast-cooking veggies for adding last. Start the oil sizzling in a fry pan, dump in the slower-cooking protein and veggies plus the ginger and stir for a minute or two. Sprinkle in the wine, stir a minute or so more. Add the soy sauce, then the slower-cooking veggies. Turn the heat off and stir one more time to mix everything nicely. Discard the ginger.

Pile on top of the rice, grab your chopsticks, and enjoy. This serves 4...or 2 very hungry people.