Sunday, September 29, 2019

Savory pumpkin dishes

Pumpkin is more versatile than we usually give credit for. It's fallen out of favor for some reason, but it shouldn't have. Not only is is healthy, it's tasty in a variety of ways and it's frugal. Fresh pumpkin is very seasonal, although you can buy canned pumpkin year 'round. Canned pumpkin is a poor substitute for fresh and it's more expensive, too.

If you can, get a pumpkin from the farmer's market or a pumpkin patch or grow them yourself. If you can't do any of those things, get one or two at the grocery store.

Try pumpkin cooked and seaasoned like mashed potatoes.

Slice raw pumpkin thinly, salt lightly and roast like you would pumpkin seeds.

Add cooked pumpkin to a meatloaf instead of tomato sauce.

Alternate sliced pumpkin, potatoes and ham in a casserole.

Cook pumpkin, onions and ham or sausage together for a warm and hearty soup.

Go back and get another pumpkin so you will have one for pies, bread and cookies!

Sunday, September 15, 2019

How to Save When You Don't Have Money to Save

If you're living paycheck to paycheck or it seems like there's more  month than there is  money, it can seem like an impossible task to ever save enough to get ahead.

You can do it, though, with some self discipline and a little creativity. The first thing you need is to have to want to. Once you can say you honestly want to, then you can do it.

You might have to start with a dollar or even less. Where to find it?

Do without that cup of coffee.
Use a coupon if you can find one for something you need
Walk instead of drive whenever you can.
Take $5 with you (cash) to a garage sale and only buy what you need if it's at a good price
Got a Kindle? Read free Kindle books instead of buying them. (Look up "free Kindle books" on Amazon, but double check the price before "buying.")
Change your seasonal looks by using different accessories instead of buying new clothes.
Do it yourself whenever you can. This includes yardwork, mending, painting, building or repairing.
Cook from scratch instead of buying convenience food, but check prices first.  A certain cornbread mix is actually cheaper than buying cornmeal. Of course, you might use cornmeal in other things, so take that into account.

Every time you do one of these thing to save money, take that money and put it aside, no matter if it's only a dime. It will add up and faster than you think.

Most banks won't allow you to open a savings account with only a few dollars so keep your cash in a place that's not easy to get to until you have enough to open an account. Online banks can pay the highest interest, so look around and find the best.

Put the money into the bank. At the end of the month or whatever time period that suits you, take your saved cash and put it into your regular bank, then go home and immediately transfer it to your online savings account.

You can do it.