July 12, 2011

Tightwad Gazette III - Day Five - July 12th

Here are some great tips and ideas from the Tightwad Gazette III.


A reader wrote in to say that her family doesn’t care for cooked carrots, but she can often get carrots at a great price. So she uses cooked carrots in place of pumpkin for a pie. Her family loves it and it doesn’t take a lot of carrots – 4 large – for a pie.

TIP TWO – Tightwad Turnovers

Use the refrigerator dough to make turnovers. Simply roll a ¼ cup portion of dough into a circle. On one half of the dough place a savory or sweet combination, fold it over and pinch the ends of the dough. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 15 minutes. This is a great way to use up leftovers. I have taken seasoned ground hamburger along with chopped up leftover potatoes and some carrots and used it up this way. Also, leftover sloppy joe mixture is delicious and so is chicken or ham with some cheese. You can make up a few different ones with various leftovers for a “pot luck.”


Amy wasn’t one to brag about how she had influenced people’s lives. However she did receive several letters from readers detailing how she had changed their lives and after thinking about it she decided to pick one that seemed to represent all of the others.

The lady that wrote in “Karen” began her letter by pointing out that prior to reading Amy’s books she was a miserable spend thrift, in debt and was a working mother. Karen’s reading of Amy’s books inspired her to do the math and she discovered that her working outside the home caused her family to simply break even and sometimes lose money. So she quit her job and incorporated many basic lifestyle changes that produced immediate results.

1. Making school lunches every day.

2. Cooking from scratch.

3. Going to garage sales.

4. Reusing common household items, including Ziploc bags, foil and bread bags.

5. Using a price book

6. Using a freezer.

7. Buying in bulk.

8. Setting up and using a pantry under the basement stairs.

9. Using the library more.

10. Buying kids shoes used.

11. Being more creative with birthday parties.

12. Having her kids make economic choices. Karen and her husband provide the basics of life and her children figure out ways to come up with their own extras.

13. They entertain themselves with little or no money. Examples are free concerts, parks, garage sale board games and church activities.

14. Gardening

15. Cutting her family’s hair.

Karen also listed the benefits of these changes:

1. She doesn’t have to deal with the stress of working outside of the home and putting her kids in day care.

2. Her family eats better.

3. They are greatly reducing their consumer debt.

4. They enjoy family activities that they didn’t have the time for before.

5. She has learned how to cook at the age of 38.

6. Her kids have set new lunch trends at school. Other kids try to trade their store bought treats for their homemade treats.

7. Her kids have learned quickly about cost and value.

8. When she worked, her kids actually had to make an appointment to spend time with her because she was so busy.

9. Karen and her kids were able to drive to Florida to see her parents.

10. They are happier and life is fun.


Amy gleaned some information from a book she read that was recommended by the American Academy of Dermatologists and the book talked about what we need and don’t need. The book even addressed the fact that some homemade concoctions could actually irritate the skin.

So, what then “don’t” we need?

1. Scrubs. A simple washing and scrubbing with a wash cloth will do the trick.

2. Masks. Masks only make your skin feel better for a few hours at the most and the actual benefits are few.

3. Astringents. Also called toners, are to be applied after you wash your face to remove oil or between cleanings to refresh your face. Actually they irritate your skin so that the area around the pores swells temporarily making the pores appear to shrink. If your skin is oily you can use an astringent when you are not able to wash your face.

4. Wrinkle creams. There’s no proof that any nonprescription cream, lotion or gel will remove wrinkles.

Here is a list of products that are useful.

1. Cold creams and cleansing lotions. Great for removing makeup and useful for cleaning your skin if it is too dry for frequent washing with soap and water.

2. Soap and water. With the exception of the above uses for cold creams and cleansing lotions, soap and water are adequate for most cleaning. The choice of soap depends on skin type and personal preference. I got tired of spending a lot of money on a name brand cleansing lotion, so I started to wash my face with Dove soap and I love it. I think it works better than the cleansing lotion and is a whole lot cheaper.

3. Moisturizers. These make dry skin smoother and softer.

So in the end, you don’t have to spend a lot of money on your skin care regimen. Right now I use Dove soap to wash my face, scrubbing with a wash cloth, and Cetaphil moisturizer on my face after I wash it. That is all I do and I think my skin looks great.

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