Month: March 2018


Many baby-boomers are now presiding over empty nests. What if you haven’t yet gotten the hang of cooking for one or two instead of a crowd?

Go ahead and buy that roast. Have it for dinner with the usual side dishes the first night.

Cut slices for sandwiches, and freeze them in one- or two-day quantities, and you’re ready to make lunches easily.

Chop some of it, add vegetables and gravy, and you’ve got stew.

Take the leftover stew and bake it in a pie shell for pot pie.

A little change, a little addition, and each new meal isn’t just plain leftovers, it’s a new dish.





Pawnshops have gone upscale since I was a kid. The ones near me are clean, well-lit, and well-run. When I needed cash a few years ago, that’s where I sold my rings. The price of gold was very high then. They trade in jewelry, musical instruments, electronics, and bicycles.

They are a good place to buy jewelry, costing far less than the jewelry store. Likewise computers, game systems, and lawn tools. Caution is required–these are used items that the store doesn’t know the history of. Test it out, research it beforehand, and compare prices to place like Walmart and eBay.


That Deposit with the Utility Company

When conditions are just right, you might be able to get your deposit back from the electric or water company. Some time back, I needed some extra cash. I called the electric company and asked about getting my deposit refunded. Because my account had been consistently paid in full and on time for however many years that company required, they sent me a check.



Temporary Fix

I forget now who it was, but someone I knew long ago had two TVs. One had no sound and one had no picture (this was in the olden days of CRT-style TVs.) They put one on top of the other, tuned them to the same channel, and had the full TV experience for a while instead of having to rush out and go into debt to buy a new TV.

To me, this is immensely smart. Certainly there comes a time when you need to buy a new (or new-to-you) whatever-it-is, but if there’s a temporary fix that prevents going into debt, why not?


Raw Bone

When I was a kid, people tossed the bones to the dogs after dinner and thought nothing of it. Now, we know that COOKED bones, poultry bones, and pork bones can splinter when eaten and cause damage, pain, and even death.

The safe bones are RAW beef bones, too big for the dog to swallow whole, which you can ask the local butcher for. Or, of course, the pet store rawhide bones.

Some Perspective

Americans live in a culture which constantly points out to us all the stuff we don’t have. TV commercials, other people’s cars going by, store windows, everywhere we look there’s something we could potentially want, and some of it we can’t afford.

It helps to step back and take a more global view. There are plenty of people in the world working as subsistence farmers who have so little that they can’t begin to approach what Westerners call doing without.

Put in your income, and see where you stand compared to the rest of the world:

Reinstall the Drivers

For a panicked moment I thought I would have to buy a new laptop. There was no audio, not on any page. I plugged in the headphones; still no audio.

I Googled “no audio on HP laptop.” Several sites told me to reinstall the audio drivers. One of them was detailed enough that I could easily do it. Voila! audio.

Something similar happened when the printer wouldn’t print. After quite a bit of research I read about reinstalling the printer drivers, and sure enough, it worked.