Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Cider Baked Beans

Recipe by: Judith Finlayson | from 125 Best Vegetarian Slow Cooker Recipes
Yield: Serves 8

Ingredients

2 cups (500 ml) assorted dried beans
2 onions, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, peeled and thinly sliced
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 large parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp (10ml) chili powder
1 tsp (5 ml) salt
1 tsp (5 ml) cracked black peppercorns
4 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick piece, about 2 inches (5 cm)
1 cup (250 ml) apple cider or juice
1 cup (250 ml) water
½ cup (125 ml) maple syrup
2 tbsp (25 ml) cornstarch, dissolved in 2 tbsp (25 mL) cold water

Directions

1. Soak beans according to either method in Basic Beans. Drain and rinse and set aside.

2. In slow cooker stoneware, combine beans, onions, celery, carrots, parsnips, garlic, chili powder, salt, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, apple cider, water and maple syrup. Cover and cook on Low for 10 to 12 hours or on High for 5 to 6 hours, until beans are tender.

3. In a bowl, combine dissolved cornstarch with 2 tbsp (25 mL) hot cooking liquid from beans and stir until smooth. Gradually add up to ¼ cup (50 mL) hot bean liquid, stirring until mixture is smooth. Return mixture to stoneware and stir well until sauce thickens.

Get these variations

Cider Baked Beans with Bread Crumb Topping
Cider Baked Beans with Caramelized Apples

of the recipe at the website.

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Save on Product Warranties

From AARP Bulletin

Many consumer advocates say you should skip extended warranties on appliances, which can cost as much as $300 per appliance for five years of coverage. If you feel you must have a warranty, consider a package deal.

GreenUmbrella.com, for example, charges $9.95 a month and covers an unlimited number of appliances for up to four years from their purchase date.

All Six Warranty provides coverage for six major appliances, regardless of age, for $19.95 a month, plus $50 per repair (with a lifetime coverage limit of $1,500 per appliance).

If the appliance can’t be fixed, GreenUmbrella may reimburse you for the original purchase price, whereas All Six will replace the product with a comparable new model.

Get more home savings tips.

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Benefits of Outdoor Exercise

There is no debating the health benefits of daily exercise. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine, and the Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health all agree that we need at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense physical activity every day. The good news is that you don't have to work out in a gym to get in shape. Outdoor exercises are just as effective, can be more fun, and have some appealing advantages.

Reasons to Take Your Workouts Outside

Outdoor fitness can be a structured exercise program that takes advantage of the natural terrain of the outdoors to get you in shape, or it can be as simple as taking a brisk walk outside. Outdoor fitness can take many forms: Raking leaves, for example, is considered moderate physical activity. If you weigh about 135 pounds, you can burn close to 250 calories by raking leaves for an hour.

Whichever way you choose to exercise outside, there are numerous benefits:

No membership fees.
The outdoors belongs to all of us. "You don't need any special equipment — the outdoors is available wherever you are, just outside your door,” says Tina Vindum, the author of Tina Vindum's Outdoor Fitness: Step Out of the Gym into the Best Shape of Your Life and the first outdoor fitness instructor accredited by the American Council on Exercise.
The air is cleaner. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that indoor air is more than twice as polluted as outdoor air.

A free daily dose of D.
Scientists recommend outdoor exercise as a way to get your vitamin D through sunlight. This is especially important if you are overweight — a recent study found that people who are overweight are almost twice as likely to be deficient in vitamin D.

Exercise for your mind.
"When you exercise outdoors, your mind becomes aware of the changing terrain. Whether you use the hills, the sand on a beach, or a winding path, your mind has to focus differently than it would on a flat gym floor," notes Vindum.

So .... find out how to Get Started.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

56% Off Retail - One Day Sale

Buy 4 Bottles of Cascara Sagrada for only $25.00! 
Save $32.40 over Regular Retail Price of $57.40


Product Description
Sale PriceOur Regular
Price

(4) bottles of Cascara Sagrada Capsules (100 count)
$25.00$38.20

Benefits of Cascara Sagrada:
• Supports waste elimination.
• Helps cleanse the colon of toxins.

Cascara Sagrada, known as sacred bark, is one of Nature's Sunshine's most popular herbal products. The bark has been used by cultures around the world. Historically cascara sagrada has been used as an herbal laxative. 


Read more about Cascara Sagrada.
Cascara Sagrada - Save $13.20


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Does Money Buy Happiness?

They are two of the biggest things we seek in life: happiness and money. But researchers looking into what makes us happy haven't found convincing evidence that money and happiness are strongly linked. Until now. So how much does money influence happiness?

Researchers polled 136,000 people in 132 countries and they found that money does indeed buy one kind of happiness. They separate happiness into two categories: life satisfaction (the belief that your life is going well) and emotional well-being.

They found around the world, as income increases, life satisfaction increases.

'Money is part of that. But it's not the positive feeling,' said Alan Steed, Ph.D., a psychologist with Allina Hospitals. Read the entire article.

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Save Money on Everything

Saving money isn’t about just clipping coupons or denying yourself that daily latte. By attacking areas where you spend the most money—your home, food, health, clothes, car, entertainment, travel, and investments—you can save up to $10,000 or more: the equivalent of more than five years of forgone lattes. 'I’ve always preferred to save a lot of money on a few things rather than a little bit of money on a bunch of things,' says Elisabeth Leamy, ABC’s 'Good Morning America' consumer correspondent and the author of Save Big.

Learning the new rules of saving also means taking full advantage of Internet and mobile tools, beating hungry retailers at their own game, and thinking like a consumer, not a patient, at the doctor’s office. For the shrewdest advice, we interviewed several of the nations’s most aggressive supersavers, including 'Coupon Mom' Stephanie Nelson, 'Cars and Money' blogger Jerry Edgerton of CBSMoneyWatch.com, and real-estate guru Ilyce Glink. Read the entire article.

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Things Frugality Has Taught Me

From The Simple Dollar

I’m going to list 48 things I’ve learned about myself and the world around me that I only discovered thanks to frugality.

1. I really like sun tea.

2. The patience and effort in teaching yourself something new is incredibly rewarding when you begin to succeed at it (like my piano playing).

3. When you’re sitting around a table with friends, it really doesn’t matter where you’re at.

4. Young children are usually more interested in the free packaging or other freebies than any item you might buy them.

5. A tall glass of pure water is the best first line of defense for many ailments.

6. Going nearly vegetarian when your garden is peaking in productivity is an interesting dietary adventure.

7. You don’t have to go to a dealership to buy a great car.

8. Fixing a toilet isn’t nearly as scary as it sounds.

9. Making a small sample batch of something before you make it in bulk is a really good idea. Read the rest.

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ban The Plush Toilet Tissue

Popular in U.S. households, plush toilet tissue requires pulp from virgin timber, some harvested from old-growth boreal forests.

Next time you shop for toilet paper [and tissues], before you reach for the soft stuff, consider the Blackburnian warbler. This splashy white, black and orange Neotropical migrant nests in the forest canopy—preferably of coniferous, old-growth trees—near the tip of a tree branch, where it secures its nest with a spider web.

The connection to shopping? The fluffy toilet tissue purchased by most Americans, and stocked in virtually all of our supermarkets, requires pulp containing long wood fibers found only in virgin timber (from live trees).

When you use premium tissue, you flush down the toilet part of a tree that may have been felled solely for that purpose. And that tree may have been harvested from Canada’s boreal forest, where 57 percent of Blackburnian warblers breed—along with a third of all North American songbirds. Read the entire article and then check out this website: A Shopper's Guide to Home Tissue Products

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Keeping Track Of Your Receipts

From Not Made of Money

I’ve blogged on numerous occasions how we religiously keep our receipts. They are the foundation of the financial reporting system for our family finances because we use them to track, identify, classify and graph our itemized expenses. We’ve done this for so long and trained ourselves to save every single receipt from every single purchase that we make.

I realize that while this works for us and for our situation, others might not be able to implement and carry through with such a monumental paperwork task. I recently came across an online system for tracking receipts, that would be especially beneficial to those who are running a business.

It is called www.Shoeboxed.com. Basically the way it works is that you send in receipts and even business cards using pre-paid envelopes, email, or your mobile phone. The company will scan, data enter, and organize your receipts for you. Read the entire article.

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Recycling Electronics Free and Easy

There's a program called Reconnect that matches up zip codes to places that you can drop your electronics off for recycling for free. Goodwill Industries is participating in the program, so for most of us, it's real easy to drop off your "dead" electronics. They don't need to work.

When these items are placed in landfills, they contain hazardous materials that we don't want in the ground and water supplies, so it's a really good deed to make sure they get recycled.

Reconnect accepts any brand of used computer equipment in any condition. They also accept just about anything that can be connected to a computer. More info about Reconnect and zip code search in case you want to check out some other area of the country.

I contacted Goodwill to find out if the Lake Monticello location at Turkeysag Gate was one of the places that accepted computers and they said it was. So that makes it VERY EASY! More info on Goodwill.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Recycled Home Decor

Check out the most interesting homemade one-of-a-kind home d├ęcor items made by various independent artists. Get some GREAT ideas for your own home and use up some of those items you don't need but don't want to give or throw away. View the slideshow and creation details here.

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Insurance Tips

Bundle Insurance - When you have all of your insurance policies with one agency, you save 5-15% compared to what it would cost to buy policies separately. Be sure to consider this when pricing insurance.

Considering Dropping Collision Coverage - If you can afford car repairs if you have an accident that is your fault .. or if you replace cars frequently .. collision coverage may be something you don't need.

Get Better Auto Rates - If you carpool, have low mileage, or commute by rail and park your car at the station, many companies offer discounts on auto insurance. The same is true of good student teenage drivers who have good grades.

Life Insurance - Non-smokers, exercisers and people who maintain a healthy weight can enjoy as much as 50% savings on life insurance.

Homeowners Insurance can be reduced by 10% for people over 55 because they spend more time at home and can better monitor and maintain their property.

Raise the Deductible - Consider raising the deductible on auto and home policies. Generally raising it from $500 to $100 saves you 15% on a homeowner's premium.

Security Improvements - Adding an alarm system or fire sprinkler system may cut your homeowner's insurance cost.

Source: AARP Bulletin.

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Compare Car Repair Pricing

If you need some work done on your automobile, be sure to check out Repair Pal to find out how much the repair should cost. The website gives free quotes based on surveys of thousands of shops.

Now you don't have to have that uneasy feeling that you're going to get ripped off. Car repair places may have a bad reputation because of some in the industry, but there are good guys in every realm of life.

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Saturday, August 7, 2010

Free Admissions

Free admission to more than 100 museums and science centers is yours on the first weekend of each month if you have a Bank of America ATM card or check card. Get details at Bank of America's website.

Even if you don't have a Bank of America connection, many museums have a free day each month, so it's good to check online or give them a call.

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99 Great Ways to Save

Millions are looking for ways to shave dollars and dimes from their daily expenses. Listed in categories like home and health, they add up to 99 tips.

Cut Costs at Home (19)

Save on Health Expenses (6)

Save When You Shop (16)

Save When You Travel (13)

Cut Car and Gas Costs (12)

Save on Your Taxes (8)

Save on Insurance (13)

Money-Saving Tips From Real People (12)

Source: AARP Special Report

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Rent That Extra Room or Storage Space

Renting an extra room or storage space in your garage, basement or backyard can bring in some extra dollars.

Visit SpareFoot.com or StoreAtMyHouse.com to list availability and your asking price. The listing is free too!

SpareFoot gets a transaction fee equal to half the first month's paid rent. The site also sells legal lease agreements for $19.

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Sunday, August 1, 2010

GreenScaping Yards Saves Money and Time

Our yards are our outdoor homes: fun, beautiful, great spaces for relaxing. By taking care of our lawns and gardens properly, we can save money, time, and help the environment. GreenScaping encompasses a set of landscaping practices that can improve the health and appearance of your lawn and garden while protecting and preserving natural resources.

In nature, soil recycles dead plants into nutrients for new plant growth. Plants are adapted to the water, sun and soil available in their site. Maintaining a wide variety of healthy plants, soil organisms, beneficial insects and animals can keep most pests and diseases in check.

By working with nature, you can have a great-looking yard that's easier to care for, cheaper to maintain and healthier for families, pets, wildlife and the environment.

How? Start with these five steps.



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Scratch and Dent Groceries & More

There are stores that sell groceries, drug-store items and even small appliances, discounting them by 50% or more. These are truckloads of items that are damaged, or near expiration date. Maybe a couple of cans in a case are dented, so the whole case was considered inferior. Sometimes it's out of season items (think Easter, Christmas, etc.), or just items that did not sell well.

For a directory listing of these stores by state, visit Anderson Country Market's Directory nationwide.

Also consider that many large appliance stores will sell a damaged appliance at great discount. You might get a refrigerator with a scratch or dent on the side that will be hidden against a wall. What about a dented dryer with the side that's dented going up against your washer?

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Dental Work For Less

Get dental work done for a fraction of the cost at dental schools. These procedures are done by dentist-supervised students at the school. We had friends who used this service numerous times in Alabama and were very happy with it.

Find a school at Dentist.net listed by state. For low-cost, federally funded care, go to www.nidcr.nih.gov and click on "Finding Dental Care."

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"Simplicity of living, if deliberately chosen, implies a compassionate approach to life. It means that we are choosing to live our daily lives with some degree of conscious appreciation of the condition of the rest of the world." Duane Elgin

"Do what is good with your own hands, so that you might earn something to give to the needy." Ephesians 4:28