How We Increased Our Home’s Energy Efficiency By 48%

Nearly two years ago, I scheduled an energy audit with my utility company, Ameren Illinois. I was actually inspired to do so because I was preparing for an interview with the Citizens Utility Board.  Since I was disseminating advice on reducing utility bills, I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to schedule an energy audit of … Read more

How to Pay Cash for Christmas This Year

Christmas – especially in 2020 – is uncertain.  Many have lost jobs or find themselves second-guessing if (or when) their state will lock down again, possibly leading to shortages at the stores and skyrocketing prices. Not to mention the fact that the sense of isolation is leaving many of us discouraged and downright depressed.  That’s … Read more

Why Black Friday May Forever Be Changed

Black Friday is no more!  Well, at least in the form that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing it.  Last year, on Black Friday, shoppers spent a whopping $12,000,000,000. (I think I got the right number of zeros in there. Math people, double check me!) It’s supposed to be 12 billion dollars!  That leads us to … Read more

A Fun Way to Help A Needy Child This Christmas

Pleas for money come fast and furious, especially during the holidays.  It is really hard when you live on a shoestring budget to figure out how to give to others when you are struggling to get gifts for your own friends and family. Even while raising our sons on an income which averaged 30% below … Read more

How to Make Christmas Meaningful and Memorable Without Spending Money

Celebrating Christmas should be about more than spending money. Intuitively, we know this to be true. There is a trend, even among those with bountiful funds to spend on holiday merry-making, to disconnect from the blatantly commercial and ,instead, seek soul-felt simplicity. For our family, thrift has always been a necessary way of life, not … Read more

Easy, No-Oil, Radish Leaf Pesto

I was inspired to create this recipe by a fellow CSA member. Jane posted that she made pesto from radish leaves. I loved the idea, but wanted a no cheese version. So, I tweaked it, removing the cheese and the oil from the original recipe and adding a little date syrup for a hint of … Read more