Month: February 2016

Kale Isn’t “Healthy”

It’s nutritious. Nutritious foods help make people healthy. I should hope that anything I eat was healthy – don’t want to eat lettuce with some kind of disease growing on it, or chicken with tumors.

The purpose of food is to provide our bodies with the nutrients they need to rebuild cells and operate organs at peak efficiency. We need micronutrients like vitamins and minerals for zillions of necessary functions in the body. We need protein to rebuild cells, and carbs for energy.

Foods can be beneficial, harmful, or neutral in the body. There is such a thing as too much kale, and not enough saturated fat, or vice-versa. Eating a wide variety of real, genuine, un-tampered-with foods is a path to good health.

An article on this subject




52 Weeks: Clothing – the Closeted 80%

Supposedly most people wear 20% of their clothes 80% of the time. That seems likely to me. There’s always an outfit that’s the most comfortable, or makes you feel like you look good. There will be garments that would be great if they were just a little bigger or smaller. If it didn’t itch around the neck. If it was the right length, made of a different material, or matched anything else.

A few years ago I made it my mission to stop wasting 80% of my clothing spending. When I find a garment that’s the right size, fit, and material, I buy one of every color. My current wardrobe seems diverse, but when you look closely, each of the ten tops are the same style and brand. Because they are different colors and patterns, the casual observer thinks they’re different. The three black slacks and three tan slacks will go with all the tops. And voila, I’m dressed and ready with no decisions to make. There’s also no nagging guilt over neglected clothes that I spent money on but never wear.

I put clothes away at the left side and wear them from the right. If a shirt or slacks lingers on the right side of the closet, I know there’s some reason I haven’t wanted to wear it. Maybe it’s time to alter it. Buy something that will go with it. Or donate it. Perhaps demote it to the cleaning cloth basket.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Wow, So Much Free Stuff!

Today I looked at the Free section of my local Craigslist. If I had a truck and a helper, I could furnish an apartment! Just today, a refrigerator, two couches, a bed, a dresser, a table, several TVs, a rug, books, and a cat. What more could I need?

Many of the free things are “curb alerts” – the item is outside at the curb, so go get it before it rains or before someone else takes it. Others require contacting the advertiser to arrange to pick the item up.

A post on the Penny Hoarder blog brought out another way to make use of the free section. The poster had some things she was willing to part with, but they weren’t really valuable enough to sell individually. At the time, she had a need for fresh produce. She put those two facts together. She offered each item in the free section, and added to the listing that though the item is free, she would be very glad to receive produce or canned vegetables in exchange for it.

She said that because people could decide how much to give her, she usually received a far greater value in food than the item she was giving away.

See the full details here:

To find your local Craigslist, Google ‘Craigslist’ and the name of your city.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.

Another Online Earning Opportunity

Previously, I had assumed that the uPromise program I saw advertised at Publix Supermarkets was strictly for saving for college. Not so! I can earn cash back for myself just by registering my cards I use for shopping. They also give you earnings when you buy certain items at Publix. For details, see this other blog:

Kitchen Fires – Baking Soda Really Does Work

I had read about putting out kitchen fires, grease fires, with baking soda. Recently I set a box of baking soda up on top of the refrigerator where I could find it quickly even if flustered by an emergency.

Well, this morning I put a pan of pepperoni slices in the oven to crisp them, wandered away and when I came back they were literally on fire. (This suggests that they might make good fire starters for the grill.) With a potholder, I pulled the oven rack out far enough to sprinkle baking soda on the burning grease.

By golly, the fire went out immediately with no difficulty. Sure beats exhausting the fire extinguisher and getting whatever the chemical is all over the oven. And talk about inexpensive. Maybe a cup of baking soda at most, a few cents’ worth. The other pan that was farther from the heat survived, and I could rinse the little bit of baking soda off them.

The pan will live to bake another day, and since it’s windy today the smoke alarms didn’t go off with both doors and windows open.

I should have just ordered a pizza.


Overwhelmed with Student Loans?

Lucky for me I’m so old my entire four year college education cost $6,000. On the other hand, at that time my loan payments were my second largest expense after rent.

Now, the cost of education is so high I have trouble comprehending it. If your student loans are killing you, here’s something that might help:

Common Bond seems like a sensible way to get loans under control.

Here’s a review:

As with anything, compare costs and consider all the possibilities.

Recreation – Cool Clips Online

YouTube is a recreational treasure trove. Humor, human interest, cute animal videos, meditation, exercise, you name it and you can find it on YouTube. They have clips from the old comedy shows I remember from the ‘50s and ‘60s. It’s a great way to try out new forms of exercise. They also have a wide range of instructional videos–how to draw, how to play guitar, nearly anything you can think of. See also

TED is a very, very interesting video site. The offerings are sometimes funny and sometimes very serious. They are always thought-provoking and new. I get their weekly email to remind me to go watch something.

Comedy has a wide variety of humor videos.



Marie Brack is the author of Frugal Living for the 21st Century: Adventures in Using Your Money Wisely. It’s available on in both Kindle and paperback versions.