Both Sides of the Fence

A Tosa resident since 1991, Christine walks the dog, cooks but avoids housework, writes and reads, and enjoys the company of friends and strangers. Her job takes her around the state, learning about people's health. A Quaker (no, they don't wear blue hats or sell oatmeal or motor oil), she has been known to stand on both sides of the political and philosophic fence at the same time, which is very uncomfortable when you think about it. She writes about pretty much whatever stops in to visit her busy mind at the moment. One reader described her as "incredibly opinionated but not judgmental." That sounds like a good thing to strive for!

Food frugality


Tosan Nancy Stohs, food editor at the Journal Sentinel, recently published food shopping tips from a financial counselor. And a good idea, now that food is going the way of gasoline, price-wise.

I can't match the financial counselor's $3 dinner/day/person . (And to tell you the truth, I don't believe she does it, either). But I'm getting better. I’m experimenting with my own approach, the $1.99 rule. Don’t buy anything that costs more than $1.99 a pound at the grocery store.

If you nudge it up to $2, you can have your strawberries and eat 'em, too. Shopping at Sendiks (the closest stores to my house) and applying the rule, we’ve been putting together meals with said strawberries plus green beans, tomatoes, mushrooms, brown rice, and the like.

I had to cheat on two items. Anchovies were almost a buck for 2 ozs. But a little goes a long way. The big surprise was bread. Four water rolls, lots of air, weighing in around half a pound, set me back $2.20. I’m having to regroup on bread: flour, water, yeast, and salt are bubbling away right now at home and will become a loaf for less than a dollar by nightfall.

The most successful $1.99 a pound or less meal was soup: beets, potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, red cabbage, onions, and a few assorted odds and ends from the crisper drawer. Add some honey and vinegar, a dollop of sour cream later. Heavenly color and good for you, too.

What are you doing for good eats on the cheap?

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