Friday, January 21, 2011

Keep warm, lower the electric bill, maximize your resources

There has been a lot of snow, sleet, ice, wind, and just plain cold this winter.  Yikes!  Whatever happened to Global Warming?  All kidding aside, people are really being slammed with high electric bills, gas bills, fuel oil bills, cost of food increases, and just general pocket emptying expenses.  What are some simple day-by-day things you can do that will help you maximize each and every one of your resources?  Let's try these on for starters:
  • Laundry your clothes in COLD water. Most of the time cold water and liquid soap will clean the clothes fine. You save on heating the hot water.  (Did you know that Consumer Reports recommends liquid "cold water" Tide for washing clothes?)
  • Hang clothes to dry. You can do this inside on coat hangers from the shower rod for small wearables. Use a dryer rack for undies and such. Line dry sheets, etc. outside. Drying clothes inside the house during the winter will generate moisture in the air which makes a lower-set heat temperature more comfortable and also is better for your breathing.
  • Use fans to circulate air during the hot weather. You can tolerate a higher set thermostat for your air conditioning if the air is moving. Floor fans, and ceiling fans work great for this.
  • Avoid eating much sugar during hot weather. Your body converts the sugar into fuel which your body goes into gear to burn. So you start getting warmer.
  • During the winter you can cook moisture generating soups, etc. which help to heat the house. Baking also helps to heat the house.  And as an added bonus, these home made foods just simply taste so good!  Double bonus:  warm moist air protects your mucus membranes and help keep you well and comfortable.
  • During the summer, cook large batches that need long cooking. You can rewarm these pre-cooked items quickly in a microwave. The pre-cooked meals are convenient, and one-cooking time utilizes the heat for preparing one meal but you get several meals for the heating "price" of one. During hot weather, the one-cooking time heats up only once saving on your AC and also saving on the fuel to cook. Microwaves are great for no-heat cooking.
  • Cook up a batch of boiled chicken. Make chicken salad. Freeze meal portions of cooked chicken for other uses - salads, tacos, casseroles, quick-stir frys.  Freeze the broth that boiling the chicken created for you.  This saves the cost of purchasing broth, and is usually better for you.  The broth can be used for soups, gravies, and for cooking vegetables or rice.
  • Remember, to eat cold meals on hot days.
  • Eat hot meals on cold days.
The little tips are simply ways you can help YOURSELF to use your resources better during hot or cold weather.  Stay comfortable.  Conserve your own energy and all your natural resources. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Things I Learned in the South

Being a Southern Lady myself, I can poke a bit of fun at folks who live below the line that divides the South from the rest of the US. Now read on . . . . . . .
A possum is a flat animal that sleeps in the middle of the road.
There are 5,000 types of snakes and 4,998 of them live in the South.
There are 10,000 types of spiders. All 10,000 of them live in the South, plus a couple no ones seen before.
If it grows, it'll stick ya. If it crawls, it'll bite cha.
Onced and Twiced are words.
It is not a shopping cart, it i's a buggy!
People actually grow and eat okra.
Fixinto is one word. It means I'm fixing to do that.
There is no such thing as lunch. There is only dinner and then there is supper.
Iced tea is appropriate for all meals and you start drinking it when you're two. We do like a little tea with our sugar.
Backwards and forwards means I know everything about you.
The word jeet is actually a phrase meaning Did you eat?
You don't have to wear a watch, because it doesn't matter what time it is, you work until yer done or its too dark to see.
You don't PUSH buttons, you MASH em.

You measure distance in minutes.
You switch from heat to A/C in the same day.
All the festivals across the state are named after a fruit, vegetable, grain, insect, or animal.
You know what a DAWG is.
You carry jumper cables in your car - for your OWN car.
You only own five spices: salt, pepper, Tonys, Tabasco and ketchup.
The local papers cover national and international news on one page, but require 6 pages for local high school sports and motor sports, and gossip.
You think that the first day of deer season is a national holiday.
You find 100 degrees Fahrenheit a bit warm.
You know all four seasons: Almost summer, summer, still summer, and Christmas.
Going to Wal-Mart is a favorite pastime known as goin Wal-Martin or off to Wally World.
You describe the first cool snap (below 70 degrees) as good chicken stew weather.
Fried catfish is the other white meat.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

What kind of shopper are you?

A survey company revealed some statistics about our shopping habits and I was just wondering how you fell in line with their findings.  Ask yourself the following questions:
  1. How frequently do you run to the grocery store to pick up a few items?
  2. Are you firmly a once-a-week grocery shopper?
  3. Do you use coupons?
  4. Do you shop environmentally conscious in your selection of products?
  5. Do you take your own reusable bags to the store?
  6. Do you take a list and stick to it when buying groceries?
  7. Do you shop according to what the "deal of the week" is and plan your menus accordingly?
I would love to have your comments.  The surveys revealed the following:
  • Over half make 2 or more "quick trips" to the store a week to pick up a few needed items.
  • More than two-thirds of the grocery shoppers bring a list to the store, while the rest wing it! 
  • 58% always use coupons, 40% sometimes use coupons and 2% are non coupon users.
  • 50% frequently bring reusable shopping bags to the store.