App Happy

With the thousands of apps available it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Which ones are helpful? Which ones are a waste of money? You can look at the ratings and read the comments, but that doesn’t help you if you’re not sure which apps to search for in the first place. With that thought in mind, here are three random but wonderful apps I’d hate to be without.

Our Groceries
For years, Pete and I had a system for grocery shopping. I’d keep a running list of what we needed at the market, stuck onto the fridge with a magnet. Then whoever was going shopping would simply grab the list and take it with them. Low tech, simple, no problem, right? It all worked perfectly until we began losing the lists. Maybe it’s impending senility, or maybe we just have a lot on our minds, but we’d go off without the list, or we’d leave it somewhere en route. Then we’d buy the wrong things, of forget essentials. Since Pete does most of our shopping (he works in town, while I’d have to make a special trip), I was getting aggravated and he was feeling frustrated.

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What to get the Person who has everything

Are you a last minute shopper? Judging from the crowds in the stores and the never-ending ads on TV and radio, you have plenty of company. Usually, I’ve almost finished my Christmas shopping by now—at least for the “easy” people on my list. But it’s the proverbial problem—what do you get for the person who has everything?

It’s astounding that we can even ask that question, really. After all, how many people in the history of the world literally have everything they need and most of what they want? And how can I, with my strictly budgeted gift fund, possibly get them whatever they might lack?

The real eye-opener came earlier this year when, at my family’s request, I tried to make my own wish list for Christmas and my December birthday. It was hard. Aside from a few minor wants (certainly not needs!), I couldn’t think of anything. I finally wrote down a couple of CDs I would enjoy, some books I’d like to read, and a list of ways I’d like to spend time with each person. Then, at the top of my list, I wrote “chickens.”

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Cheap Eats: Marketing tips

You want to eat like a king, but your budget is more on the peon level. What to do? Don’t despair. Help is on the way.

How you do your marketing can impact how much you spend on food, as well as how healthy your meals are. Now that you are learning to cook, you can skip those frozen dinners, boxes of mixes, and the tasty-but-expensive pre-made meals in the deli. Instead, look for staples that can be used in a number of different ways.

I have a number of ingredients that I keep on hand at all times. Granted, I live quite a distance from the nearest market, plus I have plenty of storage, which makes it more convenient for me to store stables, compared to someone with a closet-sized kitchen and ready access to groceries. But there are some basic foods that most cooks use often enough to stock. You can see my list on my Mom’s Pantry page. Yours will be different, of course. This is just a starting place.

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