What’s For Dinner? 10/6/2013

Every week I will share our meal plan for the coming week.  Making your own food is a great way to save money, explore new cuisine, and eat healthy (if you choose to make healthy foods).  A good meal helps bring people together and as you improve your cooking skills you will impress more and more people!   I generally use recipes as a starting off point and then experiment with different proportions or ingredients.  Leftovers make great lunches for the 9-5 crowd who might otherwise have to decide between a sandwich or a pricey cafeteria.

This Week For Dinner…

This week we will be eating out a lot.  I know that isn’t very frugal, but sometimes you just have to travel.  Today we got back from celebrating a birthday and ate at a restaurant for lunch.  Since it was a heavier more filling lunch, dinner tonight was more of a snack.  Don’t worry, I still have a great casserole recipe to share that I learned from my mother.

Sausage, Potatoes, Carrots, & Cheese Casserole

This recipe really hits the spot for me.  Get out a 13×9 pan, 4-5 big potatoes, a handful of carrots, a pound of your favorite sausage, and about 6 oz of block cheese.  Using a crinkle cutter, slice up your potatoes and carrots.  Straight cut the sausage into small cylinders and proceed to layer your casserole between the 3 main ingredients.  When you’ve filled up the pan, top it all off with cheese and bake until the potatoes are tender.

Chili & Bratwurst

We are going to the last employee picnic dinners of the summer  :-(.  This month one of the local restaurants will be catering chili and bratwurst.  Yum!  We are starting to get into prime chili season now that some of the fall colors are showing through.  My in-laws swear by chili with noodles in it.  I grew up with the more mainstream chili without noodles.  Both are good though!  What is your favorite type of chili?  Do you like it spicy or mild, loaded with onions or without, are saltines a necessity or do they detract from the flavor?

Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo

If this sounds familiar, it is because we had it less than two weeks ago.  I still have some sauce and chicken and just need to make up some more noodles and vegetables to go along with it.

Snack Food…

Apples!

Apples are in season and there are sooo many varieties to choose from.  We both agree that the Honey Crisp variety is pretty darn tasty.  They are also really big apples that you can almost make an entire meal out of.  You can spruce up your average snack apple into a breakfast or lunch just by adding some peanut butter and raisins.  An apple a day keeps the doctor away!  What is your favorite type of apple?

Avoiding The Poor Man’s Tax

What is the poor man’s tax you ask?  Why, it is the lottery, powerball, or really any form of gambling whether that be at the casino or race track.  Okay, so the title might be a bit misleading.  Maybe it should read, “Avoiding The Mathematically Challenged Person’s Tax”.  At least that appears to be the conclusion that this writer over at BadMoneyAdvice.com came to in his article.

The simple answer to the question, why am I calling it a tax, is that a “player” is going to lose money.  Period.

How bad are your odds against you?  Let’s consider Power Ball for a second.  Each $2 ticket that you buy has a 96.9% of winning you jack.  nada. zippo.  Do you want a guaruantee of winning $4?  Then you’d have to buy 35 tickets. +$4-$70=-$66.  You can see a more detailed analysis over at Business Insider.  “But that is just PowerBall”, you say.  “I am a master at playing _______!”.  While I could look up the odds of each form of gambling, let me make a blanket statement.  If the odds were in your favor, the establishment wouldn’t be profitable and wouldn’t exist.  It’s doors would shut and you’d no longer be able to use your prowess to make easy money.  The fact is that the doors are open because they make money.

The best way to save money is to not play at all.

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So you’re feeling bored and want something to do.  How about a nice game of chess.