Friday, July 9, 2010

THE PICTURE SHOW

Good morning everyone! How are you doing today? Pat yourself on the back and yell CONGRATULATIONS! You made it to the end of another grueling work week... YAY! Now its time to sit back and relax and enjoy the weekend! So what do you have planned? As for me, not quite sure yet since the weather has been pretty unstable lately.

Ok yesterday I brought you an article that had some frugal tips. My mother left a comment about how unreal this guy seems... I agree- as even I am not this frugal. However, I believe we all COULD be. Some of these tips might not apply to everyone, but what is the harm in applies as many tips as we could right? So I am gonna cover the second half of the list now (even though many of you may have already read it through the link from yesterday LOL!).

The Cheapskate Guide: 50 tips to being frugal
Post written by Leo Babauta

(Feature continued from yesterday's post)

26. Drink water. Often we drink lots of calories through sodas, coffee, alcohol, juices, tea, etc. And that costs a lot too. Drink water, save money, save calories. Here are some tips for forming the water habit.

27. Batch your errands. Instead of running an errand or two every day, batch them into one errand day, and plan your most efficient route, to save gas and time. Also do as much bill-paying online as possible, to eliminate some errands.

28. Stay home. Becoming a homebody might not sound like a lot of fun, but it really can be. I love staying home with my family. We can do all kinds of fun things at home. Or I can spend a day alone, if the family is at school, and really enjoy it. It’s quiet and peaceful, I can read or watch a good movie or respond to comments on my blog or write. Staying home can save tons, in eating out expenses, shopping expenses, gas, and incidentals.

29. Stop using credit cards. Credit cards are not evil. And before you flame me, once again, I realize that they can be used to good purpose. If that’s how you use them, then that’s good, skip this tip. For others, credit cards make buying too easy, and end up making them buy too much.Not only that, but if you don’t pay your bill in full each month, they will cost you a lot in interest. The average American with at least 1 credit card has more than $8,500 in credit card debt. Don’t make that mistake. Here’s my story.

30. Cancel subscriptions. With the wealth of information and entertainment online, do you really need magazine subscriptions? With all the news online, do you really need a newspaper subscription? If you can get DVDs for free or cheap, do you really need a Netflix subscription? Don’t flame me if you think you do need any of these — I’m just asking you to consider whether they’re really essential — the answer might be yes. Also consider other subscriptions you might be paying for — I’m not saying you should cancel everything, but seriously consider whether they can be canceled without much loss of value. Read more.

31. Make your own. I won’t go into all the possibilities here, but many times we buy things when really, we could make them ourselves for much cheaper if we get a little creative. Now, this might take a little more time and effort, but it can be fun, especially if you make it a family project. We recently made our own (very simple) bookshelves with only a couple of pieces of lumber, instead of buying them. If you don’t know how to make something, search for it online. You’ll most likely find some instructions.

32. Do it yourself. Instead of hiring someone to do something, try doing it yourself. Sure, it takes some time and effort, but it’s satisfying, and of course cheaper. It’s also educational, if you don’t know how to do it — again, do an online search, read up on it, and give it a go. Frugality freaks are DIYers.

33. Stop paying interest. I mentioned the interest of credit cards, and auto loans, and mortgages. I consider them a waste of money. I’ve talked about how to live without credit before, and I recommend it for a frugal lifestyle. Consider any other accounts or loans where you pay interest, and see if you can eventually eliminate as much of these as possible.

34. Reduce convenience foods. Frozen foods, microwaveable stuff, junk food … anything that’s packaged and prepared for our convenience is not only more expensive than something you cook yourself, but also most likely less healthy. I’m not saying to eliminate these completely, but reduce consumption.

35. Travel frugally. I actually don’t travel (or haven’t for years), but if you do have to travel, some advance planning can save you money. Airfare is most expensive, usually, so look to buy your ticket in advance, and look for deals. Also consider train travel. Shop around for car rental rates, as they can vary greatly (or use public transportation). Look for cheaper accommodations, or stay with a friend or relative. Just a note: I do plan to travel, but not until I finally eliminate all of my debt.

36. Cut the cell phone. This will not be a popular suggestion either. If you don’t like it, move on to the next one. It’s not for everybody. But think about this: 20 years ago, most people didn’t have cell phones. And miraculously, they survived. A cell phone is not a necessity. It’s a convenience. When people needed to make a call, 20 years ago, they either waited until they got to a destination (wait to make a phone call?! omg!), or pulled over and used a pay phone or a phone in a business establishment.

37. Cut your own hair. Again, this one isn’t for everybody. Personally, I use electric clippers to shave my head. It’s easy, it’s cheap, it’s minimalist, it’s care-free. I don’t worry about my hair getting messed up, or having to fix it in the morning. However, I’m not saying you should shave your head. Many people cut their own hair, in many simple but nice hairstyles, long or short. Saves money, and time.

38. Maintain stuff. This is a no-brainer, but we don’t often think about it: if you take care of what you have, it will last longer. You’ll then spend less on buying new stuff. When you buy something worth maintaining, take a few minutes to read the maintenance manual, and create a maintenance checklist that you can attach to the item. For important things like your car’s oil changes or tune-ups, put them in your calendar.

39. Save energy. There are little things we can do to lower our power bill. I don’t use a dryer or hot water heater, although those are a little extreme. Try these tips.

40. Save gas. With the rising price of gas (and no end in sight), fuel has become a major monthly expense for many people. Small things can add up to big savings. Try these tips.

41. Only buy bargain clothing (when you need clothes). OK, so you’re a cheapskate like me who only buys clothes when the old clothes have too many arm or leg holes. But now you need new clothing. I mean really need it. So instead of buying new, look for thrift shops with good clothes. Or buy new, but only buy the stuff that’s 50% off. Look for the bargains, and you’ll save a ton.

42. Telecommute. Telecommuting doesn’t necessarily give you your dream job, but it’s definitely a step in the right direction. But in addition to allowing you to work in your underwear (and who doesn’t have that dream?), telecommuting saves money on gas, on eating out (if you eat lunch at a restaurant), and on buying expensive work clothes (all you need to buy is underwear, right? And no, don’t buy used underwear).

43. Plan ahead. Sure, easy to say, hard to implement. But if you make it a habit to think ahead to things that are coming up in your life, you can save a lot of money. For example, if you think about where you’re going to get your meals when you go out to do errands, you can pack a lunch or dinner instead of eating out. If you pack a big container of iced water, you don’t need to buy expensive bottled water. If you know that a birthday is coming up, you can buy a gift on sale instead of spending more at the last minute.

44. Cook ahead. If you have one free day a week (or even a month), cook food in big batches and freeze in dinner-sized portions. I don’t do this all the time, but I have done it and it saves money (buying big can often save) as well as time. You have to plan it out a bit, coming up with a menu and shopping, cooking enough meals for a week or a month. But once you’re done, your meals each night (and for lunch if you like) are quick and easy. This saves you from eating out or eating convenience food when you’re hungry but too tired to cook.

45. Wash clothes less. Some people wear clothes and then wash them, but I’ve gotten into the habit of wearing my clothes more than once if they’re not really dirty. I use my nose as a test — I don’t want to wear clothes that smell, but most times the clothes are still perfectly clean. This saves on washing.

46. Sun-dry clothes. When my parents were young, everyone used a clothesline to dry clothes. Now dryers are ubiquitous, because they’re fast. But if you don’t wash a ton of clothes, it’s not that hard to take a few minutes to hang them up. You’ll save a lot in electricity, plus your clothes last longer.

47. Eat less meat. I’m not saying you have to become a vegetarian (although you could always give it a try), but once in awhile, eat meatless dishes. Pasta, vegetarian chili (see my recipe halfway down this article), vegetarian Indian or Thai dishes, falafels with hummus and pitas and tomatoes and lettuce … there are plenty of tasty dishes without meat. And as meat is expensive (well, the fresh kind is … Spam is cheap), you’ll save money on meatless dishes. Again, I’m assuming you cook with fresh meat, not canned.

48. Save on groceries. For my family of eight, groceries is a major expense. With some simple habits, we’ve been able to save a lot of money. See more here.

49. Frugal Christmas. Christmas is expensive, especially in America (if you live in an area that doesn’t celebrate Christmas with a huge amount of buying, or doesn’t celebrate it at all, skip this tip). People go on crazy shopping gorges. It’s insane. While it makes the retailers and manufacturers happy, it doesn’t make our bank accounts happy. Break out of the cycle and find cheaper ways to celebrate Christmas. Here are some great ways to do that, and here are some more.

50. Eat a cheap breakfast. Here are some great ones.

Ok, now its on to more 60's trivia! Today I want to talk about movies! Lots of great movies came out paving the way for the future! The highest-grossing film of the decade was 20th Century Fox's The Sound of Music.

Some of Hollywood's most notable blockbuster films of the 1960s include:
Psycho, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Spartacus, Lawrence of Arabia, The Hustler, Carnival of Souls; The Birds, The Pink Panther, Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music; Doctor Zhivago, The Jungle Book, The Dirty Dozen, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; Bonnie and Clyde; Cool Hand Luke; The Graduate; Rosemary's Baby; Midnight Cowboy; Head; Medium Cool; 2001: A Space Odyssey; Faces; Night of the Living Dead; Easy Rider; Ice Station Zebra; Planet of the Apes; The Lion In Winter; The Wild Bunch.

The counterculture movement had a significant effect on cinema. Movies began to break social taboos such as sex and violence causing both controversy and fascination. They turned increasingly dramatic, unbalanced, and hectic as the cultural revolution was starting. This was the beginning of the New Hollywood era that dominated the next decade in theatres and revolutionized the movie industry. Films of this time also focused on the changes happening in the world. Dennis Hopper's Easy Rider (1969) focused on the drug culture of the time. The 1960s were also about experimentation. Movies also became more sexually explicit, such as Roger Vadim's Barbarella (1968) as the counterculture progressed.

In Japan, a color version remake of director Kenji Mizoguchi's The 47 Ronin, entitled Chushingura: Hana no Maki, Yuki no Maki directed by Hiroshi Inagaki was released in 1962, the legendary story was also remade as a television series in Japan. Academy Award winning Japanese director Akira Kurosawa produced Yojimbo (1961), and Sanjuro (1962), which both starred Toshirō Mifune as a mysterious Samurai swordsman for hire. Like his previous films both had a profound influence around the world. The Spaghetti Western genre was a direct outgrowth of the Kurosawa films. The influence of these films is most apparent in Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars (1964) starring Clint Eastwood and Walter Hill's Last Man Standing (1996). Yojimbo was also the origin of the "Man with No Name" trend which included Sergio Leone's For a Few Dollars More, and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly both also starring Clint Eastwood, and arguably continued through his 1968 opus Once Upon a Time in the West, starring Henry Fonda, Charles Bronson, Claudia Cardinale, and Jason Robards. The Magnificent Seven a 1960 American western film directed by John Sturges was a remake of Akira Kurosawa's 1954 film, Seven Samurai.

Significant events in the film industry in the 1960s:

Removal of the Motion Picture Association of America's Production Code in 1967.

The decline and end of the Studio System.

The rise of 'art house' films and theaters.

The end of the classical hollywood cinema era.

The beginning of the New Hollywood Era due to the counterculture.

The rise of independent producers that worked outside of the Studio System.

Move to all-color production in Hollywood movies.

The invention of the Nagra 1/4", sync-sound, portable open-reel tape deck.

Expo 67 where new film formats like Imax were invented and new ways of displaying film were tested.

Flat-bed film editing tables appear, like the Steenbeck, they eventually replace the Moviola editing platform.

The French New Wave.

Direct Cinema and Cinéma vérité documentaries.

The 60's was also a big time for television. The most prominent American TV series of the 1960s include: Star Trek: The Original Series, I Dream of Jeannie, The Twilight Zone The Outer Limits, The Beverly Hillbillies, The Pink Panther Show, The Time Tunnel, Mission: Impossible, The Flintstones and Bewitched. The flinstones was a favoured show that it received 40 million views an episode with an average of 3 views a day. In the UK, Doctor Who appeared on TV for the first time on 23 November, 1963. The series has entered the Guinness book of world records as the longest running television show to date.



Now, speaking of TV shows, my Dad is a big trekkie! LOL... so here's some trivia just for you in honor of Dad! Star Trek ranks as one of the most culturally influential television shows of all time and clearly the most influential science fiction TV show of all time. The original series, which aired on the NBC network from 1966 to 1969, has spawned four successor shows starting in the 1980s and ten movies. Countless toys, books, and other products have been marketed by Paramount, the company that owns the Star Trek "franchise." But the show's cultural influence goes far beyond its ability to replicate itself and make money for its owners.Measuring the cultural and social impact of a TV show or event is never easy. But there are numerous indications that Star Trek has had an influence on many peoples' lives. This can be seen in a variety of ways, from the inclusion in mass-market dictionaries of words and phrases originally invented for the show, to the testimonials of people who claim that their career and life choices were influenced by Star Trek. Many people atest how they were influenced by the show as a child to become engineers, scientists, etc.

Star Trek also featured the first multi-racial kiss on television, when Captain Kirk kissed his communications officer, Lieutenant Uhura. The multi-ethnic nature of the bridge crew as well as its positive message that humanity would survive and thrive among the stars is often credited by writers, fans, and historians for the show's broad appeal. As many fans later explained, Star Trek presented a positive image of the future at a time when the news was filled with stories of racism, social strife, and war. When many people wondered if the world would emerge intact from the Cold War, Star Trek depicted many different races working peacefully together several hundred years into the future. At its most basic level, Star Trek had a simple humanistic message: humanity will be okay. Despite all the people walking around at Trekkie conventions looking like aliens off all types, Star Trek is a good thing kids LMAO!

Time to make some memories peeps... are you watching that countdown? Just a few more days (17 roughly) until the Countdown to Christmas Challenge begins! Keep watching! Now for today, let's make something so unimaginably cute, its ridiculous! I found this on a website and I feel in love with the idea! I know that nowadays you can decorate a child's room in crayons. They make furniture to look like crayons and I think I have even seen fabric with crayons on it! Even if not, solid colors would work too! I think I could make a super cute room with crayons as a theme... and I would SO include this craft for the wall!



Craft Idea of the Day: Framed Crayon Initial

Supplies:

a large box of new crayons ( I guess you could use old crayons too - might give it more character)
tacky glue
white card stock
sand paper or sand block
a shadow box picture frame.

Directions:

Make a document on the computer that is the same size as the frame. Put a light border around the image so you can use it as a cutting guide. Center the initial and color it light gray. You can also add the teacher's name on the computer or do it later by hand. Print the sheet out twice - once on regular white paper and once on white card stock. Trim the card stock sheet - the other one is just for the "practice"layout and doesn't need to be trimmed.

On your practice sheet (regular white paper), use the gray initial as a guide and start breaking and laying out the crayons.

I would lay the crayon down and then mark it with a pencil as to where I should break it. Then I would make a slit in the crayon with an exacto knife which would allow it to break it easily at the desired point. I used random colors but you could definitely choose a certain color palette and stick with that. I alternated tips and ends as well to add interest.

I sanded the ends a little bit when they didn't break evenly.

Here is the rough layout I had when all the crayons were lined up the way I wanted.
Once you have everything roughly lined up, it's time to glue the crayons down on the trimmed card stock piece. Put some tacky glue on the initial and start transferring the crayons one at a time from the rough layout to the card stock.

This part goes pretty fast, just make sure they are straight and that you can't see the gray letter that is underneath the crayons. The tacky glue takes a little bit to dry so you have a few minutes to move things around if you need to.

Once you have the crayons all laid out on the card stock, let it dry overnight. Frame it up the next day and you have a very unique gift that everyone will love! This would be a great gift for an artist or art teacher - or anyone that is creative!

Ok, so what's on the menu for today? A meal for those who can't make up their mind LOL! Kidding... its actually a very popular dish almost everywhere you go! "Surf-n'turf. A dish of meat and seafood served on the same plate. The meat is usually beef, the seafood lobster. This combination has led to several colloquial variants, including "pier-n'-steer," lobsteer," "beef-n'-reef," and others, used as menu listings or restaurant names. The term originated along the Atlantic coast of North America. These began to appear in the 1960s and 1970s." So I am bringing you a delicious idea for those days you can't make up your mind on what you might want for dinner... but a little bit more frugally than using lobster LOL!!



Surf N Turf

Ingredients

2 teaspoons finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon butter, divided
2 tablespoons beef broth
8 medium shrimp - peeled and deveined
2 teaspoons minced fresh parsley
2 (6 ounce) beef tenderloin steaks, 1 1/2 to 2 inches thick

Directions

In a small skillet, saute the onion and garlic in 1-1/2 teaspoons oil and 1-1/2 teaspoons butter until tender. Add broth; cook and stir for 1 minute. Add the shrimp; cook and stir until shrimp turn pink, about 3-5 minutes. Stir in parsley.

Cut a pocket in each steak; place three shrimp in each pocket. Cover remaining shrimp and broth mixture; keep warm.

In a large skillet, heat remaining oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add steaks; cook until meat reaches desired doneness (about 10-13 minutes for medium), turning once. Top with reserved shrimp and broth mixture.

Well kids, that about does it for today's episode of The Frugal Mom! Its time for me to get motivated to get the day started. I have hungry animals and children calling for me to roll out of bed this morning and make an appearance. I hope I have given you that daily frugal fix you might need to get motivated to have a fulfilling day. Remember to do something nice today for someone... even if its just a smile and a friendly "Hello". And as always, Peace, Love, and lots of HUGS!

5 comments:

  1. Debbie "MOM"July 9, 2010 at 10:16 AM

    OK, this frugal guy's article has touched a nerve! Dont wash clothes a lot? Is he serious? There are dead skin cells on those clothes and what ever else you have come in contact with that day; some things and germs are invisible! The smell test? Seriously?!? Well, I guess that explains some of the stinky people I have had to be in line with at the store. THEY COULDN'T SMELL THEMSELVES SO THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE OKAY TO GO OUT IN PUBLIC AND OFFEND OTHERS! Not LMAO!!! And whats this about cut your own hair? Last time I looked people dont have eyes in the back of their heads! Sure you can get some help from someone else, but make sure you trust them enough to cut off your hair the way you want it to look, because it sure takes a while to grow back. Been there, done that. And I personally dont consider shaving one's own head is a hair cut! I dont like a bald head unless its come by natural progression. Shaved heads is one of my pet peeves. I think shaving heads should be outlawed! LOL
    Surf and Turf huh? Never tried it. But might because I like seafood, especially lobster....but in small quantities, because it is rather pricey. I like the recipe though, because its the frugal way of having surf and turf. My steak has to be done all the way though...I hate pink meat in my steak! But thats just me. To each his own.
    Have a groovy day and pass out a few smiles along the way! Til next time....

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  2. Some of those tips are kind of nasty. I have to launder my clothes like at least each day to feel clean. How many of the tips do you do Frugal Mom? I love that craft and if I had a little kid, I would do that for them. And I have never had surf & turf, so I guess I need to try it. Have a good one.

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  3. I'm with your mom ,my son shaved his own head 4 years ago I didn't like it at all ,in fact I made him wear a hat when he came to visit me LOL .There's a lot of good tips here ,Thanks

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  4. I think my problem lies with the fact that hes gone through quite a few women this year. I don't understand his need to shove this one in our faces and permanently tattoo her name on his body that she approved of. I'm also disgusted that she would be giving interviews and talking to people as if she is a celebrity herself. I respect only a small few of Jon's many GF's for not pimping his name out there while trying to score their 15 min. Once they broke up of course. It really is a disturbing message to give to the kids that Daddy is bringing so many of their "nannies" around only to lose them months later.

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  5. W, I think you posted on the wrong blog.

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