Story last updated at 6/17/2009 - 10:59 am
The best thing about a recession is that it reminds us how good beans taste. During better times, we might rely on roast or chicken or steak, but now is the time to remember that a pot of beans is inexpensive and lasts forever - in fact, seems to grow in the leftovers dish day after day after day.
That beans are packed with protein, fiber and other necessities is just icing on the cake - or something to that effect.
Indeed, if I were writing down ways to scrimp and save during this recession, I would put "eat more beans" at the top of my list.
I think I will. Here are my suggestions for economizing, scribbled as I sit in the doctor's waiting room (not for a bean-related illness, fortunately):
- Eat more beans. Especially fresh and dried beans, which don't have all the sodium and other chemicals found in canned and some frozen beans.
By the way, my bean-boosting is in no way meant to endorse the alternative lifestyle put forth by radicals who call themselves "vegetarians," "vegans" and "veterinarians." I'm of the firm belief that beans are even better when flavored with pork, sausage, chicken or some other ex-animal.
- Don't eat beans for breakfast, though. Lunch and supper are fine, but too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Sometimes you have to splurge, and Cheerios taste much better in milk than pintos do.
- Don't run hot water while brushing your teeth. It wastes energy.
What's that you say: Your teeth are sensitive to cold water? Then don't brush at all. You'll save money, and anyway, what's the worst that could happen?
- Collect your clothes dryer lint. After a load of towels, I usually pull enough lint from the filter to crochet a new towel. A fuzzy towel, to be sure, but these are hard times and we must make do any way we can.
Lint is also perfect for stuffing limp teddy bears and for making new pillows. I would stick to dryer lint instead of navel lint for pillows, but that's just me.
- Walk to work one day a week. I tried that recently. After the 14-mile trek, I was three hours late for work, soaked in sweat and sunburned.
There were benefits, though: My co-workers left me alone for the rest of the day, and the walk home that night was cool. Moreover, very few motorists tried to run over me.
- Cancel your cell phone service provider. You can still yak into your phone for long hours while driving, even if no one is on the line, and you can continue to annoy the people around you in stores and offices.
Isn't that the point of those endless conversations in the first place?
- Instead of mowing your lawn or paying someone else to do it, let the grass grow tall and wild. If your neighbors are decent people, they will pitch in and cut it for you. After they have finished, show them how much you appreciate their community pride: Take them all a nice big bowl of beans.
Reach Glynn Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org.