Thursday, January 3, 2008

Save Money, Save Your Health, Save the Earth

I know, I usually do these on Monday, and it's now Thursday, but these holidays totally mess with my sense of time . . . I spent last week totally confused about what day it was since Monday felt like Friday (getting the house all cleaned up, prep work for a meal, dh home early, etc) and Tuesday felt like Sabbath (since that's generally the only day dh is home, plus it's normally the day we have all the family over for meals & such) and so then the rest of the week I was just totally confused. Then THIS week, Sunday felt like Monday (dh worked ALL day, normally he works a shorter day on Sunday), Monday felt like Sunday (dh worked, but met us at the party later, which was more similar to a Sunday work schedule and . . . I don't know . . .) so then Tuesday felt like Monday . . . so again, I've been confused all week, and that's my long drawn out excuse as to why my weekly "Save" post didn't happen until now . . .

And it's going to be a short one after all that too. . .

When you're going to be using beans in a recipe, cook dry beans instead of using canned beans. Cheaper is obvious (compare the price of dry beans to canned beans . . . incidentally, shop around for the dry beans, I've found they vary significantly in price from store to store. In our town Bottom Dollar (a year or two ago all of the Food Lions in our town turned into either Bottom Dollar or Bloom, I've never been in a Bloom (and only recently went into Bottom Dollar because they had something on sale that I wanted) but Bottom Dollar carries Food Lion generics so apparently they're still affiliated) has the cheapest price for dried beans.). Better for the environment in that there's alot less to throw away. And healthier, I suspect less nutrients are lost, but I don't know that for sure. And there has been reports recently about the lining of some cans leaching carcinogens into the foods they are in. Based on what I read (& I'm horrible at keeping links for such things, so I can't point you to them) I decided that for us, since we don't use much canned stuff anyway (we use mostly frozen fruits & veggies, I was already making beans from scratch, etc) it wasn't something that I was going to stress about, but it IS a health argument for cooking beans from scratch.

And while we're talking about beans, I'll also add that beans are a great source of protein that is certainly cheaper than meat, we're vegetarian, but I've seen many frugal tips suggest using beans to extend the meat in soups, spaghetti sauce, mexican food etc. And, since raising animals for meat takes up more natural resources than growing crops AND the methane from animal waste is a major player in the damage to the ozone layer, eating vegetarian, or reducing your meat consumption is better for the earth as well. (And IMO healthier, but there are many different theories about that so you'll have to draw your own conclusions there . . . LOL).

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