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Saturday, December 14, 2013

Baking Sweet Potatoes and Peppers to Keep Warm

I am sure our hardwired frugal efforts will elicit either chuckles or exasperated eye rolls. After all, Mr FS and I are getting close to normal retirement age and we retained our jobs while witnessing the elimination of a few programs. We have not gotten raises in many years, but still, we are more than OK.

So tell me, why did I balk this morning when Mr FS--usually the more stoical member of our household--suggested we turn up the heat? It is warmer outside than inside. We could not simply open windows, because it is very humid out there.

Mr FS and I were wearing our normal chilly house garb: regular clothes topped off with--for me--a fleece jacket and--for Mr FS--a down vest. Isn't this what everyone wears indoors?

Finally, I hit upon a solution: baking the cheap sweet potatoes and reduced for quick sale bell peppers we had. I can't even figure out how many levels of frugality this is. We didn't turn on the heat. Turning on the oven heated the house, WHILE cooking--and thereby prolonging the lifespan of--cheap for Thanksgiving sweet potatoes and a lovely melange of orange and red bell peppers reduced to around 30 cents a piece.

Why do I even think about such things? I COULD be reading Proust. Actually, I AM reading Proust, having finally, after many failed efforts, made it to the middle of the third volume. However, I can only read a few pages a day, before mental fatigue sets in. But frugality--either hardwired or habitual--produces no such fatigue for me.

Also, I am reminded of Amy D. of Tightwad fame. She considered the question of whether one can be too frugal. As she considered her darned sock--even though she could darn well buy a new sock--she realized that the darned sock made her happy. She opined that asking whether one could be too frugal was akin to asking whether one could be too happy.

How's this for an incongruous duo?


Shelley said...

I think the key here is 'whatever makes you happy'. And why chuckles or scorn? To be 'more than OK' in uncertain times should earn more than a little respect... you have mine!

Dotty Brown said...

Remember me? I connected with you a couple years ago when my husband was at a meeting in New Orleans. I have the blog Unretiring -- and I've written about your blogpost today on sweet potatoes. We're getting snow here in Philly today and this warmed me up!

tess said...

A little heat and humidity sounds great now, haha. My poor feet got wet walking through muddy slush. I always like warming up and making the air fragrant with cooking.

Revanche said...

I would do the same, given the chance. I hate being cold but I'd rather pile on the clothes and cook something than turn on the heater if possible.

And I think the fine line lies where making the frugal choice makes you happy vs unhappy. If you're forcing the frugal choice (not turning on the heat) but staying miserable (without substituting an adequate substitute) then it sounds much more like "too much". Bonus: you got yummy food!

Frugal Scholar said...

@Shelley--Thanks! My frugality has been much mocked. Hence my blog.
@Dotty--Hello again! So glad you have been reading. I wrote a longer response of your blog. Will try to be a better reader/writer--I've had a very busy semester.
@tess--The humidity here would cure you of that sentiment. Come visit!
@Revanche--So true! Holiday greetings to you. Back reading yur blog, after much busy-ness.