The Mind of Bluesleepy

Frugal tips and tricks: 3 March 3 March 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — bluesleepy @ 10:48 pm

Happy Square Root Day!!  Our own lovely Beanie pointed that out to me.  If you get it, welcome to the World of the Nerd.  If you don’t, ah well.  We nerds will be partying over in the corner.

I have a question for some of you folks who might like to reheat food in the oven.  I would prefer to reheat my casseroles and whatnot in the oven because it also serves to warm the house on these frigid days (did I mention we got half a foot of snow yesterday and the base was closed down?), and plus I think it tastes better than being nuked in the microwave.  I made Arroz al horno (“baked rice” in English) last night, and reheated it tonight in the oven.  After 35 minutes in a 350º oven, it was still only lukewarm — and I had even taken it out of the container I had used last night to put it in the fridge and transferred it to a Pyrex baking dish, so I didn’t have to wait for the storage dish to warm up.  Am I not using a high enough temperature?  Or do I have to put it in for an hour to get it nice and toasty?

Any assistance you can give me will be highly appreciated.

Let’s move on now to see what hints Heloise can impart to us.  This time I got stuck in the Desk Work section, so that’s what we will focus on this week.  Some of the tips are a little outdated, like the section on computers.  Heloise suggestions wrinkling an incorrect computer statement before sending it back, as this forces a technician to look at it himself.  Thank goodness we don’t have punch cards anymore!  I don’t even get many paper bills anymore; I just get a notification in my email that I have another bill due, at which point I head over to my banking website and shoot off a payment to the company.  Ain’t technology grand?  The only two checks I write now are to Grace’s school and for her swim lessons.

Another outdated suggestion referred to flash cubes.  Amazingly enough, my first camera was a point-and-shoot that took 112 film.  I received it when I was ten years old and starting the 5th grade, since we had just moved to Illinois, which would make it the fall of 1989.  It had no flash, so I had to buy flash sticks if I wanted to take photos indoors.  So this is a technology I remember!  Fortunately by the time I was using them, it was clear which flashes had been already expended and which were still good.  I much prefer my flash system on my dSLR, however.  I have a large external flash and a mirrored device that fits in front of my camera’s flash.  Both of them result in a bounced flash, which give a much more natural look.  I seriously hate straight-on flash.

But on to Heloise’s tips!


From Wisconsin: “I have a suggestion for those are are a little forgetful.  Make a list of birthdays and anniversaries which you want to remember and color that particular date on the calendar with a crayon.  I use orange for anniversaries and blue for birthdays and write the name of the person on the date.  By just glancing at the calendar on the first of each month, I know what cards to buy.”

Date book

From Montana: “For her birthday, her grandchildren gave Nana a date book for her desk.  In it, each of us filled th date when we wanted to take her out to dinner or shopping or have her for a visit.  It gave her something to look forward to and will help keep her active all year round.”

The first suggestion is really great, at least for those of us not dependent on Outlook.  You could apply the same idea with Outlook, however, and color-code the dates you’d like to remember so you know exactly what you have coming up at a glance.  But I really love the second suggestion.  I couldn’t put it into practice myself, as my family lives far away from me, but if I ever live close to someone that I love, I could always implement this suggestion.  Or you could make up a date book for a shorter period of time, say a month or so, if you know someone who’s having a hard time of things right now or is sick and in need of cheering up.


From Alaska: I have a large family with many letters to write and I used to make carbons of my letters to send out, since I usually said about the same thing to everyone, anyway.  But then I began to wonder if those who got the carbons felt that the letter was a little impersonal, even though I added a few personal lines at the end.  So I came up with this idea…  We have four children all scattered in various states.  They have small children and time is precious, but we like to hear from each other.  As everyone got busier and busier, letters were becoming fewer and fewer.  So I started what we called a ’round robin’ letter.  I write a letter and mail to our oldest daugher.  She in turns adds her letter and mails it to the next in line and so on.  When it comes back to me, I take my original letter out, add a new one, and start the letter on its rounds again.  This really cuts down on the time involved in letter writing and, also, we are sure to hear from everyone once in a while.  And you have no idea the pleasure we get when all those letters arrive — it’s almost like having everyone here for a visit at the same time.”

Now that is a fantabulous idea.  I would love to see this put into practice using real letters sent through the postal service, but I know hardly anyone writes letters anymore.  It can be done with an email, though!  Explain to your family or friends that this is what you’re doing, and start off with a short missive explaining your recent doings.  Send off to the next in line, and have them add their news and forward it on.  We do this all the time with chain letters; let’s make it a bit more personal.  By the time you get it back, you’ll have something worth reading in your inbox!

Have you any tips regarding Desk Work that you’d like to share?


5 Responses to “Frugal tips and tricks: 3 March”

  1. sleepyjane Says:

    I also love that last tip. I wish we still all did write letters by hand!

  2. terri t. Says:

    I had a small group of friends and we did a round robin when our kids were just little. It was so much fun to get that letter…especially if you were the last one because it was big and full of news…Unfortunately, one of the group didn’t carry it on and we lost the incentive…..
    I do an e-mail with my two sisters but we just send it to both at the same time…then when either of us answers, we copy both sisters so we all get the news together.

    On the oven thing, I am wondering if the Pyrex dish just didn’t heat up enough. I usually put leftovers in foil in a metal pan and it seemed to heat up pretty well. I use 350 degrees for about the same amount of time. I guess with Pyrex you could put the dish into the microwave after 35 minutes in the oven to zap it -if it still isn’t hot – and still have the benefit of having the oven on for that time.

  3. Aimee Says:

    I love the idea of a round robin letter. That is so cool. I so want to use this at some point.

  4. cardiogirl Says:

    No tips, but OMG way to take me back with FLASH CUBES! Whoa, holy time travel Batman.

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