Tag Archives: Coffee

Frugalista

Children grow so quickly that there was always a market for their "gently worn" clothing.  Now more and more women are buying "vintage" clothing for themselves.  Photo by Cathy Sherman.

Children grow so quickly that there was always a market for their "gently worn" clothing. Now more and more women are buying "vintage" clothing for themselves. This is a Kansas City consignment store, which recently underwent a major renovation and expansion. Business is brisk!

Being frugal is cool these days.  I like the new name — frugalistas, people who are experts at finding frugal ways to enjoy life.  Becoming or remaining debt-free is one of their top goals. (See link below.)

I was born a coupon clipper and a recycler.  There’s a photo of me as an infant with a pair of scissors (blunt, of course) with the caption “Cathy’s first tool”.  OK, I’m just kidding about the photo….. (I did recycle the photo above from my post on consignment stores.)

Couponing and shopping at sales are two obvious ways to save, but only if you buy items or meals you need. (Yes, need is a vague term, which is why our houses are full of stuff we thought we “needed”. )   These days, the half-life of a coupon seems to be about ten days, so some of the joy is gone.  What happened to “No expiration date”?  Of course, companies don’t last that long any more, either.  Being a frugalista is much more than coupon clipping, though.  It’s an attitude. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to enjoy life. You don’t need as much as you think.  Sometimes, it’s a decision not to buy something or to find a different, cheaper way to do something you enjoy. 

  • Check out books and movies from the library.  Yes, it means you won’t have a clue about this year’s Academy Awards nominees, since you’ll still be catching up on last year’s.  But so what?  We haven’t rented dvds in years, but I have bought a few dvds that I want to keep. (More on those dvds in a later post, probably entitled “Shameless Promotion”.)
  • Walk in the park.  Kansas City has more than a two hundred miles of walking trails in stream-side parks with lots of access, so that’s easy for us.  You can be a bird-watcher, cheap entertainment.
  • I save the newspaper plastic sleeve and use it to clean out the cat box.  (There’s no way you can make this fun, sorry.)   Plastic grocery bags, if you’re still getting those, can line trash cans, but everyone knows that!
  • Consignment stores.  I’ve bought some great stuff there and sold some stuff, too.

    I'd be lost without my scissors. I have ten pairs, so a pair will always be near.

    I'd be lost without my scissors. I have ten pairs, so a pair will always be near.

  • Garage sales. Yeah, I know, it’s pain in posterior, if you conduct one yourself.  However, sometimes it’s the only way to clear out your house.  You can donate your stuff to charities, which is good, too, but a lot of that stuff gets dumped, unfortunately, because charities don’t have the resources to sort, display, store and distribute the zillions of tons of donated stuff.  When someone invests a dollar for an item in your garage sale, they might actually use it.   There’s also www.freecycle.org  Conversely, you can get some great stuff at garage sales. We’re working on putting together a garage sale right now, because our neighborhood and several others around us are having one May 1-2.  I’m going to try to enjoy it.
  • Eat at home, including making your own espresso and lattes.  I tried giving up coffee, mostly to avoid caffeine withdrawal in the morning, but I just couldn’t do it. I have a cheap machine, but I’m not picky about my foam, which is a good thing because the foamer is clogged. I order my coffee  in bricks by the case from www.cafebustelo.com  with free shipping in the U.S. on orders over $50. I order six months’ worth of ground coffee.  I’m not hung up on grinding it myself. I’m happy if it’s strong and full of caffeine.
  • Since recycling is the theme this week of Earth Day, I’m recycling another blog of a young frugalista from Kansas City who explains how she does it.  She also has other great frugalistas on her blogroll.  Carrie on the Cheap, a young frugalista.

I’m recycling this blog post of mine because I forgot to put tags on it the first time around, Coffee, the Miracle Drink. I’m sure it’s still steaming hot, ha, ha.

 “Austere Times? Perfect” — Article from the New York Times on Frugalistas.

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Filed under Bird-watching, Books, Conservation, Drink, Entertainment, Environment, Food, Howto, Humor, Kansas, Kansas City, Life, Money, Personal, Random, Shopping

Coffee, the Miracle Drink

Coffee is good for you! At least that jolt you feel won’t harm you too much, if you don’t overdo it. So don’t feel guilty sharing a cup with your friends.

Maybe I’m exaggerating a bit by saying coffee is a miracle drink, but it sure feels that way in the morning when I brew my first batch.  I have a cheap cappuccino maker, which barely sputters the milk into foam. But who cares about foam?  The important thing is that the coffee elixir is saturated with caffeine.  All of my muscles come alive as I sip.  I feel the energy flowing through my veins.

One of the best things about making coffee is the empty can.  lthough. I order my coffee in bags now, I've saved plenty of cans to use to store my brushes.

One of the best things about making coffee is the empty can. I order my coffee in bags now, but I’ve saved plenty of cans to use to store my brushes.

We’ve had a lot of scares about coffee and caffeine throughout the years.  Doctors have warned me to stop drinking coffee because the caffeine worsened fibrocystic disease, for example.   Sometimes I’ve sworn it off, because I get caffeine withdrawal headaches.  But I always come right back to my old lover, warts and all.

I didn’t drink coffee until I was out of college (back in the 1970s, if you must know.)  I also rarely drank tea or colas.  Diet colas in those days were awful.  I rarely even ate chocolate, if you can believe that. So I wasn’t getting much, if any, caffeine.  I didn’t know what I was missing.

Some friends recognized the value of caffeine much earlier than I did.  Jan stayed up late into the night, fueled on Coke and sugar cookie dough, to finish art and sewing projects.  Some people took their caffeine in pill form.  No-Doze was popular right before finals.

Finally, coffee just clicked with me.  People had tried to get me interested before.  “Hey, little girl, want some coffee?”  But I always resisted.  We all have our breaking point. On a nonstop drive from Lawrence, Kansas, to visit Jan in Berkeley, California, my friend Kathy and I (click here to jump to a previous adventure with Kathy) made a pit stop in Salt Lake City. That city is NOT a mecca of caffeine consumption, but I needed some artificial energy to keep driving. I grabbed a cup of coffee at a diner.  Even I, the coffee virgin, knew it was swill, but I was hooked.   Perhaps, it was inevitable.  Most Americans drink coffee. My father used to joke that his father liked his coffee so thick you could float a spoon in it, and my father had a pot brewing all day long.  My son Matt mastered the fine art of brewing espresso.  Still, there are coffee abstainers even in my own family.

Jane E. Brody of the The New York Times discusses the health issues of coffee and caffeine in a recent article in a link here:  Sorting Out Coffee’s Contradictions

If you want to read all about coffee, go to www.answers.com and ask the right questions.  And don’t leave this post until you check out my photograph below of a chicken under a coffee tree.

This chicken scratches for dinner under coffee and banana trees near Le Tigre National Park in Honduras.  The red cherry covering the coffee bean is edible.  I tried one.  It was slightly sweet.  Tropical highlands are ideal for growing coffee. Perhaps, the land would find a better use if we all weren't so addicted to coffee.

This chicken scratches for dinner under coffee and banana trees near Le Tigre National Park in Honduras. The red cherry covering the coffee bean is edible. I tried one. It was slightly sweet. Tropical highlands are ideal for growing coffee. Perhaps, the land would find a better use if we all weren’t so addicted to coffee.

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Filed under Coffee, Drink, Health, Humor, Life, Personal, Random