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Showing posts from August, 2009

A Little Something About Frugal Traveling

The two most important things to consider while traveling are food and sleep. With these two things sufficiently taken care of you will always be happy and full of energy. Without them you will become a useless fool in a living hell. So Let me give you a few of the easiest ways to accomplish one of the two. . . Sleeping.

The hands down easiest way to travel and sleep well is to have a vehicle you can sleep comfortably in. I.e station wagon, truck with cab, car with folding back seat, limo with cloaking device. With a vehicle to sleep in all you have to do is park at any hotel or street with a few cars on it and count the proverbial sheep.


One concern however is the possibility of being awakened at 5 in the morning (or whenever) by the police. Technically it’s illegal to sleep in your car or anywhere in public (another money making rule). The only time I've had trouble with this is when I slept in the front seat (which is a royal pain anyway). Even when the cops do come all they do…

Strange looking candle holder, or grill?

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So I said I would get back to you about a great/grill top thing for the hobo stove. Well here it is. I was in a thrift store in Colorado, saw these candle holders and thought why not. Like usual I was right and it fit. So all in all this hobo stove cost me $1 dollar to make and has already saved me over $20 in food cost. This is Just another example of how to think frugally. Ben

Lip Sumacin Good

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The other day we were meandering along checking out the wild edible situation right under everyone else’s noses. We came up with about 4 different varieties of apples, currants gone wild, raspberries, hops (didn’t eat those) and staghorn sumac. John picked off 5 bunches of the sumac for us to take home. The lemony tang was finger lickin good.

I knew that sumac was used for a drink likened to lemonade so I whipped out “Stalking the Wild Asparagus” by Euell Gibbons to see what he had to say.

I put the 5 clumps in a bowl and covered them with water. Then I mashed and pounded for 10 minutes with my potato masher. I strained it through several layers of cheese cloth as the man instructed and added about 1/3 cup of sugar and a little more to the juice. Oh no not another one of those talked up wild treats. It was very refreshing. So I can talk it up. Definitely lemony. It’s a keeper.

This is the time of year to be using it. If there is a heavy rain then wait a day to pick it as the rain was…

How Does This "Relate"?

The following is an entry from a guest blogger. As you will see, if you ever get our books, good relationships are extremely valuable to the frugal prosumer.

One night Joe, a farmer, was kicked by a cow while he was putting the milking machine on her. Joe fell over backwards. The injury was a nasty one! Extremely painful. Joe was sure he had dislocated his shoulder. He was faced with a couple of choices. Should he call 911 or should he call Russ, a friend, to take him to the ER? He decided to call Russ who said he would come right away and take him.
“But I’m only half done with the milking!” Joe exclaimed!
“I can call Owen,” Russ said.
Russ called Owen, a retired farmer he and Joe knew. (Russ had called Owen once before to ask if he would milk the cows because Joe had to be away at milking time. Owen and his son, Harry, had milked the cows at that time. That’s how it happened that Joe and Owen knew each other.)
Back to our story—
When Russ dialed Owen, the phone rang, but no one…

Driving Miss Dilly

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How many miles do you get out of your dehydrator? This is not a trick question. I think I have come up with a top of the line frugal prosumer dehydrator. At least for some things. I haven’t tried everything . . . yet.

First you take one car. Put a bunch of dill in a brown paper bag. Put the bag in the car and close the windows. Move car to a sunny place on your property.

I’d say the dill was crispy and ready for me to crumble the weed part of it in maybe less than a week. The seeds were ready too. This is not an exact science yet. All I know is it didn’t take long at all.

Leave it in the car when you go places. It smells wonderful. And as you can see I have some rose petals started. I just picked them and threw them in the shallow basket. The fragrances didn't mingle, so my rose is still a rose.

I have my doubts about doing tomatoes or anything that would need consistent heat till it was done. So unless you live in the land of eternal sun you may need to keep the electric dehydrator…

How to Make Money Riding Your Bike

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Not only does bike riding make me money it gives me time to think up great articles like this.

As I was riding to my editor’s today, I was wondering if it really was worth my time to bike instead of drive. So I did the math. Here are some of my thoughts from the half hour bike ride.

First of all, by car I only save 20 minutes on the 14 mile round trip. If you use the standard mileage rate of $0.55 per mile that means it would cost me $7.70 to drive that distance if I were a “normal person.” $7.70 for 20 minutes means $23.10 per hour. As a Frugal Prosumer my rate is more like $0.30 per mile so that means I would only be earning $12.60 an hour.

Now don’t use this as an excuse to go and buy a new expensive bike. Use it as an excuse to go buy a used expensive bike selling for cheap! Better yet get an old junky bike that is less likely to be stolen, takes less maintenance, and is harder to ride. Harder to ride means you’re getting more exercise.

Speaking of exercise! If we factor in the hour o…

"Can" you cook? More on the Hobo stove

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I think Ben did a great job on explaining the hobo stove concept. And while we were up north Wisconsin for a week we had a bunch of interested campers. John was Nature Center man for the week. He had a great assistant who helped keep his absent minded mind on track.

Pictured is the best little prosumer stove you ever want to light. It contains the fire as well as concentrates it for faster cooking or boiling.

Since we have started making and using the thing we can say there are as many variations on it as there are people that try their hand at making them. And there are sights you can get info on them too.

We had the camp cook saving the cans for us during the week. If you have one of those can triangle hole punchers they make tidy little holes all around the can. We punched a couple of holes at the top on opposite sides and make a coat hanger handle for moving it around. I even made a cattail reed handle. One camper took the part that was can opened off , put a coat hanger handle o…

So you want to make a hobo stove

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I have spent many days cooking over the hobo stove. So I know it works. And its so simple to make its ridiculous. Now one thing I want everybody to remember is that you can do what I do and it works, but every situation is different. So if you see something else that would work use it. The idea is to take these principals and mold them to your situation.


One thing I forgot to mention in the video is where to find these tin cans. Well I found mine in a ally. But they are most commonly found in dumpsters/piles behind restaurants. If unsure you can always go in and ask someone. They usually don't care.

Just a Travelin Man

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Just a little explanation on “why the videos?”. Well Benjamin (the curly leprechaun to the left here) is on an adventure along with his friend Luke and wanted to frugal prosumer it along the way. So we will be waiting on his video blogging and up to the minute reports. Um, well whatever minute he manages to remember to do.

The hammocks in that first video are ones we got when he and his father were into tree climbing. I mean really high in the tree climbing. They are designed to be stable enough that you don’t flip out of them at nose bleed altitudes that make any mother dizzy with fear.

The first day they got them they went way up in a tree in our back yard to camp out (up) for the night. It started to rain and they didn’t have tarps so I did what any cool calm mother would do.I chewed my nails till they landed safely on the ground. And of course it was all fun for them.
So stay tuned. I know I am. And hey Luke, couch surfing would be a great frugal prosumer topic.

You don't need a tree to hang a hammock

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I'm always looking for excuses to sleep outside in my hammock. But when all the trees are on the side of the fence you don't want to be on(mountain lion country) you have to come up with something else. So here's a simple way to think outside the box and not get eaten. Something else you might want to consider is a big knife and a friend that doesn't snore like a mountain lion.