Frugal Librarian #12: Joe is thicker than water

2207162644_bf88558cb2Those two cups nobody wanted from this morning have lost their aroma and flavor as a straight beverage. They’re not good for anything except tomorrow’s 6AM supercharge, with the characteristic post-slurp wince.

This neat tip from the May 2009 Consumer Reports’ Shop Smart magazine: “Coffee is a great flavoring, says chef Steve Petusevsky, of Roundy’s Supermarkets.”

-Freeze leftovers in ice-cube trays and add to iced coffee. This trick keeps your iced coffee from getting watery as the cubes melt.

-Substitute coffee for the water in brownie or chocolate cake mixes. It imbues a richer flavor.

-Replace part of the liquid in stews or barbecue sauce with strong coffee. Again, the coffee adds to the flavor, and you can save your wine for drinking!

-Substitute coffee for water in your favorite baked-beans recipe or add a litle when heating canned baked beans.

-Use coffee as a meat marinade. it imparts a subtle flavor, its acidity helps break down tougher cuts of beef or pork, and it adds a nice earthy flavor to poultry.

The Frugal Armchair Traveler

dollarsFive Ways for the Traveler to Save Money

1. Buy magazines (10 cents) and paperbacks (10-25 cents) at the library sales. You can read them on the plane, in the airport, at the hotel. (This has the added advantage of reducing your travel imprint as you go  – tear out the pages and discard them as you go). It’s really cool if you buy travel magazines about your destination!

2. Reserve a copy of the most recent Fodor’s/Lonely Planet/Frommer’s guide and make notes about sites you want to see. You will be more focused and proactive (instead of waking up each morning and deciding what in the heck you want to do today).

3. Go to the travel and tourism website  for your destination to find  free museums, parks, festivals,  author visits to bookstores,  and, of course, libraries.

4. Staycations/Be-a-Tourist-in-Your-Own-Backyard/Whatever You Want to Call It (Sit  in your  backyard, sipping your favorite beverage and read the latest John Grisham or Dan Brown. In the evening, invite your best buddy over for  the latest James Bond or Judd Apatow dvd that you’ve gotten from the Davenport Public Library).

5. Save bucket loads of cash on audiobooks by checking out books-on-cd, playways or downloading our ebooks the next time you head out on the highway.

Frugal Librarian #11: Nothing dandy about ’em.

frugallibrarianOn a non-librarian note, why do children’s book romanticize the innocence of the ilde days of youth spent blowing apart the tops of dandelions? They don’t need any help!  These sinister cold-blooded pests are designed in a sadistic laboratory as the most pure mechanism of mass-dispersal and reproduction since Captain Kirk played a Barry White record for the Tribbles.   Let us all hope a James Bond supervillain does not harness any of the design specs of the dandelion for biowarfare.

That being said, we have weapons to combat the “yellow menace.” Rather than put 12 bucks on my Menards card again, next time I’ll tap into a very pervasive organic weedkiller recipe I’ve discovered on the Internet.  Vinegar, sometimes salt, and a little bit of dishsoap seem to be the common elements…that comes to about three dollars by my estimation.  Just don’t get it on any plants you care about.

Frugal Librarian #9: 8 Bits in Your Belly

dollardayYou say you want to make your money go further, but how much conviction do you have to go through with it?  Doubtfully not as much as these people.

In case you hadn’t heard, these two dietary extremists decided a few months ago to get by for thirty days on $1 worth of food per day. They used the power of bulk buying and have the math and recipes to prove it. The fellow lost a bunch of weight, they were weak and tired all the time, and they had to blow what little surplus they had on Tang to avoid scurvy.

All of this to illuminate the fact millions of people subsist on this food budget around the world.

There are some ingredient ideas, however, that you could work into your own routine to relax your waistline and wallet.

For their hardship the two are semi-famous world travelers and have a book deal in the works.  A nice trade off don’t you think?