Oct 6, 2008

Rice and beans, beans and rice.


I have been on a quest to live a better life, part of that was to bring Dave Ramsey's teachings into the family and the other part is to learn to be happy with what I have instead of wanting bigger and better. Living frugally is living smart, not living poor. Why live on steak and lobster and have debt when you can live on rice and beans and pay a few hundred more dollars on the credit card balance.

Today I had a light bulb moment when I realized that with small changes, I would appreciate my house a little bit more. When I was at the library I found two books that caught my eyes, one was by "The Queen of Clean", Linda Cobb, called The Queen of Clean Conquers Clutter and the other was Mary Ellen's Guide to Good Enough Housekeeping. I recognized that part of my problem was lack of organization making my house feel smaller than it is and seem difficult to clean because it is cluttered.

When Bobby came home today, he came upstairs and found me in the bathroom with 100% of its contents in baskets in the bedroom and I was washing the light bulbs, he looked at my boys and said "uh-oh, mama has gone off the deep end again!" and he rescued Sophie and went to another room to play with her so I could finish my task.

I think I got rid of 3 bags full of junk, from magazines to expired products to the makeup I rarely wear, but Matthew frequently uses to "paint" my bathroom door with. I also got all the products off my counters (like mouthwash and detangler) and they now have new homes in my clean medicine cabinet or under the sink. I also hung a couple tiles that I have had for years that I planned on hanging after I painted, but we never got around to painting. My bathroom feels SO BIG now, I love it!

I am so impressed with how well Bobby is doing on our new "cash diet", he decided he wanted a Coke, but we have been soda free for a few weeks now, so he got into his change jar and pulled out some silver to run to 7-11 to get a coke, I asked him if I chipped in some quarters if he would get me one too. He calls me from Safeway and says "wow, it is so expensive there, I decided to go to Safeway to get a better deal". This is something I have been nagging at him forever, but Dave is right, it is a LOT harder to spend a dollar than it is just to swipe your debit card. I cannot believe how on board he has been with all this.


Finally, a rice & bean recipe for you all.

Dad's Red Beans & Rice (this is a recipe I grew up, my dad made this a lot)

1 cup of long/medium grain rice
2 cans of red beans (undrained)
1 medium onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1 kielbasa (cut into 1/4 inch disks)
1 T minced garlic

Prepare rice according to package, either in a rice cooker (my way) or on the stove top (my dad's way). Saute together onion, bell pepper, kielbasa, and garlic over medium heat. Combine cooked rice, undrained red beans, and kielbasa & veggie mix in a 2 quart casserole dish and bake until heated through on 350 (about 30 minutes).

I like to serve this with cornbread since all of the ingredients for those are staples.

*Money saving tip... get your green peppers when they are on sale and freeze them, that way you always have green pepper on hand. I wait for them to go on sale at King Sooper (our local Kroger chain) and I buy red, yellow, orange and green peppers and then slice them lengthwise and freeze on wax paper on a cookie sheet for an hour, then I put them into sandwich baggies and put in the freezer (1 pepper per baggie). Then I dice about 2 or three green peppers and do the same, again one pepper per baggie. The pre-freezing keeps them from sticking together, so you can use half a baggie in this recipe without having to thaw.

1 comment:

Elisa said...

LOVE these ideas! Can't wait to hear more tips. I'm w/ ya on the living frugally and how it's smart. I agree 100%.