Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The Only Diet You Need

What is a Fad Diet?

Over the years fad diets have been all the rage. These so called 'miracle' diets promise that a person will dramatically loose weight in a short amount of time. Fad diets never work and most are unhealthy alternatives to eating the proper diet.

Millions of dollars are spent on these fad diets each year making the person or company that invented such a diet very rich. Do you really think these entities care about you and your health? Think again. They are laughing all the way to the bank while you are wasting your money on a diet or diet pill that has no right to be on the market in the first place.

Portion Control

Look at the photograph at the top of this article. This shows the proper portions that you and your family should be eating on a daily basis.

Your dinner plate should only be comprised of 30% Meat for protein, 50% Vegetables for proper nutrition and vitamins, 20% carbohydrates plus 1 Fruit (not canned).No more.

No second or third helpings and use a 9" dinner plate instead of a 10" or 12" dinner plate.

Three Meals Per Day

Breakfast means just that, a break in your fasting. Since you are sleeping 8 hours per night your body needs to be refueled once you wake up. Eating breakfast provides your body with the nutrition it needs so you will start your day with more energy and less irritability as your stomach growls and you feel like you are starving.

A proper breakfast should be non-bleached oatmeal, a 4 ounce glass of milk and juice as well as a fresh fruit such as a sliced banana or your homemade dehydrated fruit. Grab a homemade egg sandwich which can be made up a week in advance and heated up. Again, nothing that comes from a can and especially not fast food breakfasts which are full of unwanted fats and little to no protein.

Lunch is the meal in the middle of the day. Now that you have not eaten anything for 5 hours your body is starting to get tired once again. Lunch should not be a huge meal. A simple homemade sandwich made from real meat (not packaged meat), a slice of tomato and some lettuce along with water and fruit is the perfect lunch. Even a lunch made of left-overs from the night before is perfect. Nothing heavy and again no fast food.

Dinner The last meal of the day which should not be eaten after 7:00 pm. This meal will have the protein and nutrition that your body needs while you are sleeping. Believe it or not as you sleep your body still needs fuel. Portion control, proper food choices and no restaurant take out food.


The best exercise for every human is walking and swimming. Walking and swimming are both low impact exercises that will not put stress on your body.

You can walk with a group of friends after lunch and dinner or walk along. Walk the dog; your dog will love you for it. Walk with the family and make it a family exercise. If a family takes a walk together they will find a better family unit and a healthier one as well. Teaching your children how important it is to exercise is frugal.

Get a pass for your local pool or YMCA. Swimming can also be done as an individual or as a family group. Not to mention it is always a good idea to learn how to swim. Swimming is low impact and you are working every muscle in your body, more so than walking.

Exercising doesn't mean you have to run marathons or join a fitness gym that serves up expensive 'protein pills and powders' or expensive juices. All you have to do is simply walk or swim. Of course you need to drink water to keep your body hydrated.

The Only Diet you Need

Simple and not expensive. Portion control and proper diet. Nothing canned, boxed, processed, fried or fast food. Walk or swim every single day. Don't eat after 7:00 pm because this is the time you are winding down from your work day. Your body is at rest and any foods eaten after this time of day will turn to unwanted sugars and fats.

Stay far away from fad diets. Keep the money in your pocket instead of giving it to someone who is not being honest with you.

Be determined to eat proper and exercise daily so you will loose unwanted weight and keep your body in shape. Exercising reduces stress levels by pumping needed oxygen through your entire body. Drink plenty of water to hydrate and help rid your body of free radicals. Stay away from protein drinks which do absolutely nothing but provide your body with unwanted sugars and drains your wallet.

It is all up to you. Don't like what you see in the mirror then do something simple to change your lifestyle and portion sizes. Be determined that you want to live a healthy lifestyle. Be determined to take care of your body and mind.

The money you save from eating properly and exercising can be used for better purposes than to make some stranger rich and you poorer.

Be Frugal - Eat Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Send me Your Frugal Ideas

Do you have a frugal tip that you would like to share with others?

Email me, Michelle Sargent, at

I will be happy to consider your frugal idea and write an article about it giving you full credit.

Don't be shy, there are many people who have great money saving tips that can help others. Besides, I can't think of all of them. The Frugal Bible is dedicated to the entire World so if you live outside of the United States tell me your story of how you live frugally and I will share your story.

The Frugal Bible is a one of a kind website that has as many frugal ideas all in one place. Why not share your idea with the world. Write me an email and I will get back to you on the same day.

Healthy Eating - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Need for Community Gardens

The First Grocery store was Piggly Wiggly built in 1916 in Memphis, Tennessee. This gave way to the grocery stores that we have today.

The food that adorns the shelves of our grocery stores come from all over the world as where it is winter in one place it is summer in another. Therefore, there is always a fresh crop of vegetables and fruits that can be sold. These food items are shipped by rail, truck and of course large cargo ships.

Population Growth and GMO's

The World's populations has grown since 1916 and in turn more food is warranted. Since most of our food is now produced in other countries and shipped all over the world the need for pesticides and other chemicals is an unfortunate must. If our fresh fruits and vegetables are not sprayed with chemicals prior to shipping most of this food would spoil by the time it reaches it's final destination; the grocery store.

Most have heard of GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) produced by a pharmaceutical company by the name of Monsanto. Monsanto produced genetically modified fruit and vegetable seeds in order to produce more yield on each plant as well as the chemicals in the seeds reduce the risk for plant diseases and reduces weeds at the same time.

It is these GMO's that are killing off the bee population as the genetics in the seeds is harming the auto immune system of the bees. It has also been noted that these GMO's are also harming human auto immune systems.

Heirloom Seeds

Heirloom seeds are open pollinated, meaning bees and other insects fly from flower to flower and transferring pollen. This was the 'good old days' of the family farmer. No pesticides and no GMO's. Nature taking care of crops instead of today's man made seeds.

At the end of each harvest season the family farmer would keep back seeds from their garden. The seed would be naturally dried and kept for planting the following season. Unfortunately, heirloom seeds are only available in very small communities and are rather expensive to purchase.

The Importance of Community Gardens

Over the past few years community gardens have been popping up in not only empty city lots but in urban communities as well. Some schools have adopted a farming program to teach children how to grow gardens and share their produce with their families and the community.

Gardening is important because you and your neighbors are able to grow your own fruits and vegetables. Reduce the cost of groceries which saves money and provides a way to not only share with each other but to be able to preserve your excess garden yield.

With the rising cost of fresh fruits and vegetables there is a large need to go back to the basics and grow a garden. Gardens can be in containers or a back yard and the best yet a community garden.

With community gardens everyone is responsible for their own planting, their choice of vegetables and fruits, watering and weeding. During harvest you keep what you have harvested and you can swap your harvest with another person's harvest. This way everyone gets to enjoy fruits and vegetables that they did not grow.

You can also save seeds for the next year's garden or you can change up your garden and grow something different.

Community Gardening Benefits

Building a community garden brings entire neighborhoods together. Everyone works along side each other and can get hints and tips about growing. Children learn the importance of growing and taking care of the garden as well as they are learning how to get involved in the community. There is nothing wrong with making new friends.

Gardening is relaxing therefore reduces everyday stress. Reducing stress reduces the risk of heart attacks, strokes and improves your immune system. Being in the out of doors is providing much needed sunshine which is Vitamin D, an important vitamin for your body.

Gardening provides exercise that most people in the city and urban areas would normally not get. We all know that exercise is very important for a healthy body and healthy sense of well being.

Gardening provides you with a sense of accomplishment. Who doesn't need this? Working for corporations certainly provides no sense of accomplishment. When you watch your seeds start to sprout and grow into fruitful beautiful plants your heart will sing.

Gardening provides you and your family with fresh fruits and vegetables which are much better to eat than those which are in a tin can on the grocery shelves.

Gardening provides you and your family with dehydrated or frozen fresh snacks plus homemade canned vegetables and fruits to last until the next year.

Gardening as a community can also provide extra income to improve not only the community garden but to help with school programs. Community gardens are a fantastic investment for everyone in your local community.

Getting back to Basics

As a world we can not loose the family garden. Our adults and children alike need to learn how to be self sufficient and stop relying on spending money on produce that is full of pesticides and chemicals. Everyone needs to learn the art of gardening once again to provide for themselves and their family.

How do you garden?
Can you get a community garden started in your area?
Can you help your local schools to adopt a gardening program?

Eating Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Get more Yield from Tomato Plants

There is nothing like a fresh Tomato

Being able to go to your garden and pick a fresh tomato for your salad is a wonderful thing. Seeing your tomato plants blooming and fruiting is a wonderful site in any garden whether you are container gardening or have a larger garden.

How to get More Yield

If you are not a regular gardener or are gardening for the first time here is a little secret to get more yield from your tomato plants. Remove the suckers. 

You will see the suckers noted in this photograph. They serve no purpose to your tomato plant other than "sucking" more energy out of your plant and you will end up with less blooms which mean less fruit.

Once you see a sucker growing between the main stems of your plant and the leaf simply pinch these off. Your tomato plant will become bushier, produce more flowers and will love you for it.

Check your plants every day as these suckers seemingly grow overnight. When pinching off the suckers to remove them make sure you do not hurt the main stem of your tomato plant.

The suckers grow directly in the notch of the stem and leaf so you can easily find the right part of the plant to pinch off. 

Check your tomato plants and remove the suckers throughout the growing season and watch your tomato plant become bushy and provide you with more blossoms.

More blossoms mean more fruit. Love your garden and it will love you back.

Eating Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Freeze Fresh Fruit for a Healthy Summer Snack

The best way to freeze fresh fruit is to first wash and let drain to remove as much water as possible.

Lay your fruit in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with either wax paper or freezer paper. Allow about 2 hours for your fruit to freeze completely.

Once frozen scoop the frozen fruit up and place in a freezer bag. This way your fruit will not stick together and you can grab a few pieces or slices of each individual fruit you have frozen. A healthy snack and a great way for your children to eat more fruit.

Freezing fresh fruit is a fantastic way to take advantage of fruit sales that will be coming to a farmers market or grocery store. Not to mention by freezing fresh fruit yourself you are eating healthy as there is no need to add any sugar and there are no preservatives.

Having a Summer party? These frozen fruit kabobs are fantastic for children's parties. No mess and healthier than ice cream.

These frozen fruit kabobs are great for adults as well. If you are hot from coming in from doing your outdoor summer chores grab one of these to help cool you off and eat fruit at the same time. Healthier than those squeeze pops that are full of sugar.

Take advantage of fruit sales all summer long. Don't worry there will be no waste.

Pop a mixture of your favorite fruit in a blender and add a little water. Once the fruit is all blended pour the mixture into ice cube trays. Once frozen you can pop out the cubes and store them in a freezer bag so you can make more.

You can also put tongue depressors in the ice cube trays to make all natural fruit pop-cycles. Kids will love this healthy snack.

Use the frozen fruit mixture cubes in a glass of water. As the cube melts you will be hydrating your body and eating fruit at the same time. You can add the frozen fruit cubes in punch bowls or a nice cocktail on a hot summer evening.

Place sliced fresh fruit in ice cube trays and add a little water. Put in a pop cycle stick if you wish for healthy pop cycles.

There are endless ways to use fresh frozen fruit. These healthy frozen fresh fruits are great for teething babies too. Freeze your own fresh fruit. It only takes a moment to cut up a pineapple, melons, kiwi and strawberries and place the pieces on a lines cookie sheet in your freezer then transfer to a freezer bag.

June is strawberry picking time in the United States. Take your children to a local strawberry pick-yourself farm. This is a fantastic way to stock up on fresh strawberries and put them in the freezer either whole or sliced.

Free Blackberries, Blueberries and Raspberries will be coming in season in the next month or two as well. Scope out where these wild fruits are growing wild and they usually are close to the road. Wild Blueberries are generally found in the woods. This is a great way to take a walk in the woods with your children, get outside in nature and pick the best untouched fruit.

Wear long sleeve shirts so the bugs do not bite and to protect your arms from any prickers. Take a couple of baskets with you or ice cream buckets and pick all the free fruits you wish. Just make sure you are not trespassing on someone's property plus you can always ask the landowner if you can come on their property to pick the fruit.

Enjoy these healthy choices for a sweet and cool treat on a hot summer day.

Eat Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Friday, May 19, 2017

Meals for a Week #2

Just 2 Hours of your Time One Day a Week

Preparing meals for a week is so easy. It only takes 2 hours or less to get all of your weeks meals done for the entire family. Here are some suggestions on how you can prepare your family's meals for a week. Get the kids involved in helping you and they will learn how to make healthy food choices. Children love a sense of accomplishment especially when they help in the kitchen. Plus they are less likely to be begging you for fish sticks or other unhealthy foods.

Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

By planning your meals for the week and writing down the ingredients you will need you are less likely to shop willy nilly by purchasing groceries you will not be using. Plus you will be saving money by shopping with a grocery list. Remember, never go to the grocery store when you are hungry as you will end up with a larger grocery bill. Think healthy choices.

  • Grill onions, peppers and other veggies along with chicken or a cheap steak to make pocket sandwiches. Use whole wheat pocket bread and not white for a healthier choice.
  • Use your grilled vegetables in lunch meat rollups
  • Boil Eggs: great for a snack or add to your lunch or to a salad
  • Prepare chef salads for the week with cut up cheese, sandwich meat, boiled eggs
  • Make egg salad or deviled eggs to take to lunch or for a snack
  • Cut up carrots and celery. Place these in a bowl of water and set in your refrigerator so they will keep all week. Great for snacks and healthy lunch choices.
  • Pre-cut a block of cheese and use this to add to your lunches, salads or for a healthy snack
  • Make Lettuce Wraps - Use any lettuce other than ice berg lettuce as ice berg lettuce does not contain the healthy nutrients you need. Choose the darker lettuce instead. 
  • Pre-scramble a family pack of hamburger. Mix some hamburger with brown rice and vegetables to add to your lettuce wraps. 
  • Pre-scrambled hamburger can be used to make spaghetti. You will have leftovers that can be taken to work or heated for another night of a meal.
*The leftover hamburger can be frozen in pint size freezer bags to be used for a meal down the road.
  • Grapes can be frozen for a healthy snack and as a fruit source to your meals.
  • Make Egg Muffins for the week. These can be used for any meal and for a healthy snack. Besides, who doesn't like breakfast for dinner. 
  • Don't forget your homemade pre-made meatballs. These can either be added along with your grilled vegetables or to make spaghetti. 
By making up a batch of meatballs and freezing them you can pick out the amount of meatballs you will need for a meal or two.

Saving time and money as well as eating healthy choices for your week's meals. Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with leftovers as leftovers can always be frozen for a meal at a later date. 

By precooking your scrambled hamburger or meatballs you will end up with individual meal sizes. Saving time and being creative with your meal planning is a frugal thing. 

Eat Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved 

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Life Flys like a Dash - Live Your Dreams

Nothing is Impossible

Each person has control over their own destiny so if you have a dream reach for it. I bet you didn't realize that your dreams are actually reachable. If you do not like where you live, how you live or can't stand your job make changes.

Life goes by very fast, faster than you can imagine. Live your life the best that you can. Have you ever asked yourself what you really want to do with your life but feel like you are so far in a rut you can't make changes? You can make any life change you wish to make.

  • Change jobs or take classes to obtain a better income. 
  • Do you have a special talent wherein you can make extra money to save?
  • Downsize where you are living and sell off what you do not need. This is a great way to save money to make your dreams come true.
  • Do you want to live in the country and have a small farm? Trust me there are plenty that you can either rent or purchase.
One little secret in changing your stars is to always be happy and grateful for what you do have. If you wake up in the morning happy knowing you are working toward your dreams your stars will change. This may sound hokey but it's true. 

Being grumpy and unhappy all of the time affects your attitude and your all over health. A negative attitude will always draw to you a negative lifestyle. Think about it. If you are negative about how you are living only you have the power to change. If you are negative everyone around you will be negative as well.

Never allow others to trample your dreams. Your dreams of how you want to live your life are yours to make come true. Keep positive no matter what because there are ups and downs in life that we never expect. Get over the hurdle that is in your way like a track star. 

Your life is your life and not for others to live for you. Only you have the power to change your stars the way you want them to align. Write your dreams on paper and make them attainable. Take baby steps toward the life you want. Make small changes at a time and cross off each hurdle after you have leaped over it. 

"There isn't anything you can't do because there isn't anything you can't learn" - MSargent

What are your dreams? Make them happen because if you don't you'll soon be too old to change your stars. Fill the dash between your birth and death dates. Live a happy life.

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Homemade Lunchables - Healthy Eating - Saving Money

Stop Feeding your Children Junk Food

Children just love those Lunchables that you purchase for them in the grocery store. However, they are not only expensive they are not a healthy food choice for your children.

Anything that is prepackaged is full of preservatives that prevent them from spoiling, they are made in unclean manufacturing plants, they are full of salt and extra sugars that your children do not need.

It Only Takes a Moment

It only takes a moment to put together your own homemade healthy lunchable for your child to take to school, school outing or to eat as a snack. Plus those prepackaged Lunchables are expensive. With the money you are saving by not purchasing these you can not only afford to purchase healthy lunch choices you will be able to purchase more healthy choices.

Let your children help you put their lunch together. This is not only teaching them about healthy food choices it is teaching them responsibility by having them prepare their own lunch. This can be one less chore you need to do.

With the ability of purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables along with cheese and assorted nuts you will have more than enough healthy food choices for the week. This will also allow for your children to have a healthy snack when they come home from school.

  • Make healthy meat and cheese roll-ups without the bread
  • No more than your child's hand size of pretzels, crackers or nuts
  • No more than your child's hand size of fruit
  • Roll meat and cheese in lettuce
  • Pre-cut celery and carrots and place them in a container of water in the refrigerator to keep them fresh
All of this can be done for the entire week in just a few moments. 

In the new world we live in parents and children alike need to eat healthier. Stop eating out of a can or package as these foods are not healthy due to the preservatives and even the can linings. 

Obesity in children has become an epidemic with the fast food chains targeting children with their child's menu. Children learn from their parents. If you are eating unhealthy foods your children will do the same. Of course the opposite is true; if the parent is eating healthy the children will eat healthy.

Teach your children they do not need that candy bar to soothe their sweet tooth as a hand full of grapes is just as sweet. If you only purchase healthy choices then that is all your children will have to eat. 

Saving Money  - Eat Healthy - Healthy Living

(c) MSargent All Rights Reserved

Sustainable is Attainable

Eat your Backyard don't Mow It

If you have time to mow your backyard you have time to turn it into a sustainable garden.

Once you have started your garden all you have to do it water it, pull some weeds and watch the fruits of your labor grow into fruits and vegetables that you can store in your cupboard or freezer.

Note: NEVER grow a vegetable or fruit garden in your front yard as the exhaust from vehicles and road salt will enter your garden and you do not want to eat these poisons.

Save Money - Eat Healthy - Healthy Living

Plant berries around your fence line or train them to grow on a trellis. Berries are Perennials which mean they come back every year. This will provide you with fruit for cereal and snacks. Strawberries come back each year as well. Dehydrate them or freeze them. Plant a peach tree or apple tree these grow in any temperate area. Again, these can be frozen, sliced up to put over ice cream and dehydrated for healthy snacks. Eating fruit does stop the sweet tooth and is healthier than grabbing a chocolate bar.

Providing vertical planting areas will provide you with easier picking of the fruits and vegetables that vine and will also provide you with more room to plant plants such as potatoes, cabbage, lettuce and root vegetables, etc.

Vegetables are a must. There is nothing like eating fresh beans, peas, tomatoes and of course fresh lettuce for salads. Do you flock to the fresh vegetables in the grocery store? Instead of spending money why not save money and grow your vegetables yourself.

Each vegetable generally has it's own growing season. Carrots, onions, radishes love the cooler temperatures so these are planted first. Carrots will grow until the fall so all you have to do is tend to them. Radishes grow in the spring and are picked early. Once you pick you can plant them again for another crop. Onions are planted early like carrots so they will not be ready until summer to fall.

Squash will grow all summer long as they love the heat. Pick your squash in the fall. Peas are planted early in the spring and produce through the summer. Potatoes are planted in the spring and grow until the fall. You can dig them up early for the small potatoes or let them grow for baking ones.

Herbs are a must for any garden. Why purchase herbs in the grocery store? They are expensive aren't they? Plant herbs that you cook with and save yourself some money. Herbs can be dehydrated or frozen. In the fall bring your herb garden indoors for fresh herbs all year long.

The time and money spent from mowing your backyard, purchasing gas for the mower and spending money on mower breakdowns put that time and money into a sustainable vegetable garden.

Start small and grow your garden as you go. You will not have a large backyard garden in one year so start with planting the berries and get them started. Then build a couple of raised beds and these can be built from scrap wood.

Ecosystem in your Backyard

The butterflies and bees that your garden will attract will create a little ecosystem in your backyard. Plus, these insects will help to pollinate your plants. You will find toads will take up housing in your garden and in turn the toads will eat other insects that may eat your vegetable plants.

It's a win win for the environment.

Here is an idea. For the next month keep track of the prices of the vegetables and herbs you are purchasing from the grocery store. That's basically your entire grocery list. Now multiply this amount by 12 for 12 months of the year. What is your total grocery bill for the year? You just might be amazed at how much extra you are spending.

Now, think of what you could do with the money you are spending out of your pocket on your groceries. Could you put that money in a savings account?

Gardening is Relaxing

Spending time tending to your garden on a daily basis is very relaxing. Yes, relaxing. You are spending time outdoors getting fresh air, you are watching your plants grow and prosper which is gratifying. It's a sense of accomplishment.

In turn, you are de-stressing your body and stress is a huge killer of anyone. If you work in a corporate office you just might enjoy unwinding at the end of the day by spending time in your garden. Gardening is great exercise as well.

Fresh Air - Unwinding and de-stressing - Sense of Accomplishment

If you have the Will you will find the Way

I can't force anyone to turn their backyard into a vegetable and fruit oasis. Or force any one to save money. However, what I can do is plant the seed in your mind.

A person has to have the will before they find the way. Like I stated earlier in this article all you have to do is start small. Start with a herb garden and some container vegetables. If you like your rewards then add to your garden the next year. I guarantee you will end up with your backyard full of fresh and healthy vegetables and fruits. Use your garden as landscaping and you can still sit and enjoy your backyard.

Eating healthy will in turn keep you healthy. Gardening is relaxing and not a chore so your stress levels will drop. Again, less stress is a healthier body. You are gaining a sense of accomplishment with what your garden produces for you, you will never have accomplishment in your daily job.

Being sustainable is attainable, it's all up to you.

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Urban Farming

Eggs, Vegetables, Milk and Meat

Most urban areas do allow for up to three (3) chickens and even a goat to have in your backyard. Roosters are frowned upon as roosters make too much noise. Besides, you do not need a rooster for the hen to lay eggs.

There is nothing like the taste of a fresh egg. If you have three (3) chickens you'll get three (3) eggs every day. Ending up with an over abundance of eggs is no problem if you do not eat that many, all you have to do is sell your overabundance of fresh eggs to your neighbors or co-workers.

Building a chicken coop can be make from all recycled materials. If you have an old shed you no longer use why not turn that into a chicken coop. Add a goat for milk. The goat and chickens can be over-nighted in the same shed. Never had goat milk? It is the healthiest milk you can drink. In fact, there are many human babies that can only handle goat milk so now you have the option of selling fresh goat milk.
You can make feta cheese which is made from goat milk. So far you have chickens for eggs and a goat for milk and cheese. Plus through selling extra eggs, goat milk and goat cheese your goats and chickens will pay for themselves from the money you make.

Add some rabbits as they do not need a lot of space. If you have never eaten rabbit meat here's a tip. Rabbit meat is a healthy meat choice and has no flavor. The meat will take on the flavor of herbs and spices you cook with. White New Zealand rabbits are the best for meat. They grow quickly and in eight (8) to ten (10) weeks you will have rabbit meat.

I used to have a rabbit farm and sold the meat for $5.00 a rabbit. I dressed them out the day the meat was to be picked up so I always had fresh rabbit meat for sale and never frozen. I made a nice little profit on my rabbit farm. Besides, rabbit droppings promote earthworm growth so I was able to sell worms for fishing.

Now you can add a container garden or raised garden beds. The tops of your vegetables can be fed to the rabbits, chickens and of course the goat. The rabbit, chicken and goat droppings can be used to fertilize your garden.

Everything helps everything else. Being frugal is saving money, eating healthy, sharing with others and living a better lifestyle. We can not loose the sustainable farms we need to grow them. You will find that you will enjoy and relax while taking care of your animals and your garden. In fact, I bet you will even start thinking about moving to a country setting to make your urban farm a larger hobby farm.

Chicken for eggs and meat, goats for milk and cheese, rabbits for meat and earthworms. Earthworms for the garden and to sell for fishing. Garden for fresh vegetables and fruits. Manure for the garden. Garden tops to use as supplemental feed for your chickens, rabbits and goat. Make extra money selling eggs, worms, milk, rabbit meat. See how this all works together. The rewards of having an urban are endless!

Eating Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

Be Frugal!

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

What is Imitation Processed Cheese Food

"Little Miss Muffett sat on her tuffett eating her curds and whey..." - Dr. Thomas Muffett 1604 - 

What are Curds and Whey?

Simply put it's Cottage Cheese.

How Real Cheese is Made

Cheese is made from milk and vinegar and both milk and vinegar have been around since before the birth of Jesus. Milk is brought to almost a boil then vinegar is added and curds or lumps will form. This is then poured into a colander lined with cheese cloth so the whey (liquid) will drain away from the curds. The curds are then wrapped in the cheese cloth to form a ball and is hung to allow the rest of the whey to drain. What is left is your cheese. The flavor of cheese increases as it ages. Homemade cheese will last for a week in the refrigerator.

How Imitation Processed Cheese Food is Made

This food product was first made in 1949 by Kraft Foods. It was a way for Kraft Foods to produce mass quantities of "cheese" that would have a longer shelf life and provide more sales for the company.

Well, imitation processed cheese food is supposed to be made with no less than 51% milk at least that is what the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) says. Kraft has been cited over the years for false advertising.

The process of making this imitation processed cheese food is simple. The slices are made individually and are not from a block of cheese. It is simply a mixture of vegetable oil, enzyme modified cheese, emulsifying agents, acidifying agents, anti sticking agents, spices extra salt and extra sugar and food coloring. This is a liquid that is then processed into the individually wrapped slices.

I don't know about you but that is a lot of ingredients and most of them we don't really know what they are.

Have you ever noticed that this imitation processed cheese food not only feels like plastic but does not melt on your food? That's because it is not real cheese.

Yes, I know that purchasing this imitation cheese is cheaper on the family budget. However, more of this imitation cheese is purchased so you are really spending more than if you went to the deli section of your grocery store and purchased real cheese that is sliced from a block. You will actually eat less of the real cheese and spend less overall.

You can have your cheese sliced as thick or thin as you please. Not to mention that you can request the deli person to put a piece of paper between each slice so they do not stick together.

What is more important convenience or healthy food choices?

Let's discuss.

Heating Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(C) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Monday, May 8, 2017

Urban Container Gardening

Old Dresser Drawer with Leaf Lettuce
Any Container Anywhere

It doesn't matter if you live in a city apartment, own a home or live in the country there is always room and time to have a garden.

When I lived in the city I would turn my patio or balcony into a garden every year. Using any type of container from hanging baskets to five gallon buckets. I have used a discarded child's swimming pool and even old rain boots to plant my veggies in. Gardening does not have to be in expensive containers.

If you have never had a garden before start small and simple with a couple of tomato plants and some leaf lettuce. Or start with some fresh herbs to use in your cooking. Once you start gardening I guarantee you will get the gardening bug and your garden will end up growing larger each year.

There is nothing like the flavor of home grown herbs, vegetables and fruits. What you purchase in grocery stores have been grown in greenhouses under imitation light and heat. It is the actual sunlight and the fluctuation in temperatures that provide the natural delicious flavors. Not to mention that store bought vegetables and fruits have been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals to keep them from spoiling from greenhouse to the grocery store. Your container garden will not have any pesticides or chemicals.

The Benefits of a Garden

You will be saving money as you do not have to purchase any type of salad mix, tomatoes, onions, scallions, carrots, peas, green beans, potatoes, squash, fresh herbs and fresh berries.

Did you know that if you are a homeowner and turned your back yard into a garden you will be saving no less than $25,000.00 per year in vegetables and fruits.

Besides, what would you rather do, keep watering and mowing your lawn or water your vegetable garden and store the "fruits of your labor" to eat all winter long? I would think this is a "no brainer".

Another benefit of having a garden is your health. Gardening is relaxing therefore reduces stress levels. Stress can have a harmful effect on our entire bodies from heart attacks to auto-immune diseases and depression.

As your garden matures and you tend to it on a daily basis you will find that your stress level will drop. A sense of accomplishment in watching your own fruits and vegetables grow will engulf you. We all need to have a sense of personal accomplishment as this rarely happens in our modern busy world.

By eating your fresh produce you are providing your body with healthy choices. Vegetables and fruits purchased in cans are full of sugars, salts and preservatives that our bodies were never meant to eat. It is these canned products that have been the cause of the rise in cancers, diabetes and auto-immune diseases.

Just a Few Minutes a Day

Begin to take back your health and have a container garden. Gardening in containers is so easy as there is no weeding and no tilling. All you need to do is water and watch.

There is always time to have a container garden, watering only takes a few moments of your time. If you have children this is a great way to teach them about gardening and the importance of eating fresh fruits and vegetables. As you learn how to garden your children are learning as well. Becoming self sufficient is a frugal thing.

Once your plants start peaking their heads above the soil you will be mesmerized with their growing process. This action alone will reduce stress as you baby your plants to their maturity. Your mind has gone from your stressful day at work to watching your garden blossom in front of your eyes.

Companion Vegetables - Double Up

If you are planning on getting a couple of tomato plants you can also plant carrots in the same pot. Carrots and tomatoes love each other and help each other grow.

Carrots, radishes and bush beans can be planted together also. Radishes are planted early in the spring and therefore will mature fast. Carrots mature slowly so when you are picking your radishes your carrots will have more room to grow. Bush beans such as green beans will then become a companion plant for the carrots. Yes, you can plant three different vegetables in one pot at the same time because harvest times for these plants are all different.

Sweet peppers can be planted with Basil.

Plant Parsley with your carrots or with your tomatoes in one pot. The Parsley will help repel insects that like to eat the tops of the carrots and tomatoes.

Onions are part of the Cabbage family so they can be planted together. Onions can be planted with beets, tomatoes and believe it or not you can plant onions in your strawberry container.

Lettuce and green onions can also be planted together. Leaf lettuce grows fast so when you harvest a couple of green onions replant lettuce in the space where the green onions were taken from.

Marigolds are a gardeners must have as they repel many insects that like to eat tomato plants, carrot tops as well as bush beans. Marigolds also repel mosquitoes so when you are sitting on your patio or balcony you are less likely to be eaten alive by bugs. Besides, marigolds are pretty little flowers and do not need a lot of room to grow.

So there you have it. Gardening saves money, provides healthy food choices, reduces stress and takes a few moments of your time each day. Be frugal and have a container garden.

Eat Healthy - Healthy Living - Saving Money

It doesn't get any better than this.

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved


Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Buzz on Bees

Photo Credit MSargent
The Bumble Bee

Bees are a necessity in order to pollinate various flowers and most importantly they are needed to pollinate crops such as our vegetables and fruits. Without bees to pollinate there would be no crops or flowers. Can you imagine that?

Above is a photograph I took of a bumble bee that was hanging around my container garden. Unfortunately, this bumble bee had a broken wing so it was no longer able to fly. I placed him on the ground and as I watched, the robins that were eating ants around my containers ended up eating my bumble bee. Don't be upset because the baby robins are hatching like crazy and more than likely this bumble bee ended up as food for one of the baby robins.

Bumble Bee Facts

The most important thing about bumble bees is that they pollinate more crops and flowers than honey bees do. They are indigenous to the United States, meaning they were already here, whereas honey bees were imported to the United States during the 1600's. 

Bumble Bees live in colonies under the ground in holes left by various ground dwelling rodents like moles, ground squirrels and even badger holes. Their colonies can have up to 100 bees and even though they may produce some honey the king of honey producers is of course the honey bee.

In the Fall, the bumble bee workers (the pollinators) will die off leaving only the Queen Bumble Bee to hibernate all winter long. Just before Spring when the ground starts to warm up the Queen will start laying her eggs and a new colony will be born.

The Bumble Bees wings can beat at 130 and even more per second. This allows their unique quality of pollinating crops through not just flitting from flower to flower and collecting pollen on their legs they also pollinate by the fast vibration of their wing speeds allowing the pollen to float in the air and land on another flowering vegetable or fruit.

Bumble Bees like the cooler part of the day and this is why they see mostly in the morning and afternoon hours. During the hotter part of the day the bumble bee will be inside of their underground colony making their hives and impregnating the queen.

There are 46 different species of bumble bees in the United States and there are over 250 different species spread around the world. Unfortunately, the bumble bee population has dropped by almost 50% in the United States and the Rusty Patch bumble bee has actually been put on the endangered species list. 

This is not a good thing since we need the bumble bee to be the primary pollinator of our crops. Believe it or not, the bumble bee is the primary pollinator of tomatoes and due to the decline of the bumble bee they have to be commercially raised and then are freed inside the large tomato greenhouses in order for pollination to take place. The commercial bumble bee trade is becoming big business making several million dollars each year. Yet, the bumble bees are still dying.

Why Bumble Bees are Dying

Our major pollinators of our fruit and vegetables, the bumble bees are dying at a rapid rate. Some of the reasons are due to higher populations of people therefore there are less places for the bumble bee to make their colonies.

They are dying from auto-immune diseases due to the GMO (genetically modified organism) plants such as corn and soybeans. The pesticides in these GMO food sources are, of course, ingested by the honey bee which is changing the chemical makeup of their bodies. Therefore, with an auto-immune disease they are simply dying off.

How You can help the Bumble Bee

With the rapidly decline in our bumble bee population and species there will be no major pollinator of our food sources. However, you can help the bumble bee in several ways to thrive in your area.

Since bumble bees like the cooler temperatures of Spring, plant spring flowering shrubs, trees and native flowers that are your area. You will be helping the bumble bee thrive and you will also be saving native flowering plants. When you do plant your flowers read the label as there are many flower seeds that will state "kills bees" on the package.

Plant a vegetable and/or fruit garden. Purchase organic seeds or heirloom seeds (higher priced and hard to find) that are not GMO modified. The bumble bee will not only love you for the chance to pollinate your garden, your garden will love the bumble bee right back by producing more fruits and vegetables.

Never use a pesticide on your garden. There are natural ways to rid your garden of pests that like to eat the leaves of your plants.

Provide the bumble bee with a home. You can bury an old tea pot, coffee pot or even a clay pot with the hole or spout above the ground. The bees will love to take up residence there. Start a pile of sticks in the corner of your yard. Remember bumble bees like cooler temperatures.

Why save Bumble Bees

If we as a group of people do not help our number one pollinator for our food sources within 100 years there may not be any more bumbles left in the United States. This means food sources will have to be pollinated by artificial means and this means by hand. I don't know about you but hand pollinating hundreds of thousands of acres of crops is not an option.

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Obesity Epidemic in America

Is This Your Lunch?

The world has certainly changed. Children no longer carry lunch boxes made by mom. Adults no longer carry lunch pails and sadly the days of eating healthy have gone by the wayside. I too worked for Corporate America and the stress level was to the point that it was easier to grab lunch at a fast food restaurant and run back to work. I was so damn tired at the end of my work day I just wanted to vegetate on the couch.

But you know what? All that stress and unhealthy eating put more stress on my body than I imagined. I gained 50 pounds (seemingly overnight), developed Type II Diabetes I had absolutely no energy and the last thing I wanted to do when I got home was to make dinner.


One in every six (6) children are Obese in America
38% of American Adults are Obese

Obesity in America is more of a issue than malnutrition.

Medical Conditions Caused By Obesity

Obesity causes Diabetes, some Cancers, Heart Attacks, Strokes, unhealthy Circulatory System, High Blood Pressure, Fatty Liver Disease, Thyroid Disease, Acid Reflux, Erectile Dysfunction, Hernias and Urinary Incontinence. Not to mention people are dying earlier. Obese people end up spending on average an additional $3,000 on medical bills each year. I don't know about you, but $3,000 is a lot of money that can be better spent elsewhere.

Changing Bad Habits

Obesity can be cured in America with changing your lifestyle which includes eating the right foods, making your own lunch and of course exercise.

You are probably thinking "Well sure this is easier said than done." I hear this all of the time. However, if I can change in order to be healthier and loose weight I know there are millions of people who can do the same thing.


Bad eating habits and the obesity epidemic is like alcoholism. The person who is obese has to want to make changes in their lifestyle. The obese person who has diabetes and other medical issues has to want to make the change themselves. No one can force someone to change their lifestyle as this change has to be personal for the obese person.

Determination is the key. The determination to feel better, be healthier, have more energy, and getting your overall health under control instead of your unhealthy lifestyle controlling you.

Baby Steps

Changing how you eat and live takes baby steps. Each week just change one bad eating habit. For each new baby step you make continue it every single day and do not deviate.

  • Eat fresh organic fruit instead of 2 or 3 candy bars each day
  • Eat fresh organic salads. Mixed salads are healthier than Ice Berg Lettuce
  • Drink 8 glasses of water each day instead of drinking soda. The water will help full you up and will flush out your system of free radicals
  • Fix a healthy dinner and the entire family sit together to talk about their day
  • Fix your own breakfast and lunch. This will save you calories and money
  • Start walking. The entire family can do this together and togetherness makes a happier family
These are just a few easy changes that you can make. Sit your family down and discuss making baby steps in order to be healthier. Discuss that instead of ice-cream for dessert there will be freshly cut fruits. 

My Story

Once I stopped eating foods that came in a can, box or were processed I had my Type II Diabetes under control. My doctor was amazed. It has been three (3) years now and I have not had to take any medication for my diabetes. This has saved me a lot of money and has helped my health.

If I eat any type of processed food which includes those handy dandy sausage links and even bacon I get absolutely sick. Cookies make me sick. I have changed my eating habits to the point that my body will not allow me to eat canned, boxed, processed, deep fried or restaurant foods. I can't even eat soup that comes in a can.

You Can Do It

I have faith in you, my readers, that you too can change your lifestyle to a healthier one. You don't have to change everything all at the same time like I did because for me being diagnosed with diabetes scared the crap out of me. Use baby steps and put it in your mind that you will change one bad eating habit each week; of course keeping all of your changes at the same time.

Become a Role Model

Be the role model that your family needs. Teaching yourself how to eat healthy is teaching your children to do the same thing. As a parent I can't imagine wanting to see my son obese and have health issues that will kill him earlier than needs to happen. 

Remember, all it takes is baby steps and your determination. We only get one body and one life. We all need to take care of ourselves better through making healthier choices in our food intake. I have faith that you can do this and live a long, healthy and happy life.

Healthy Eating - Healthy Living - Saving Money

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Edible Six Pack Rings; Seriously?

True but Harmful?

Believe it or not the USDA (US Department of Agriculture) has developed and approved an edible plastic that "will save the Earth". This is even supposed to be safe for humans to eat as well as wildlife.

These edible plastic six pack rings, plastic bags, plastic ware and plastic bottles are made from Casein a protein found in cows milk.

Casein, glycerin (a carbohydrate food alcohol that is used as a sweetener) and citrus pectin ( a complex carbohydrate derived from the skins of citrus) are manufactured together in order to form these edible plastics that also include the wrapping on your meat.

Note: Citrus is sprayed with chemicals to keep them from over ripening while in transit. It is not advisable in any way shape or form to even use citrus peels in drinks or food unless it is absolutely Organic. 

So how can this new "fad item" be healthy?
The Plastic Dilemma

Plastic is evil, it doesn't decompose and it kills wildlife. It pollutes our waterways and even causes cancer. Yes, something does need to be done about plastic. It is the giant manufacturing plants that are killing this Earth with their cheapest way to package items. Not to mention irresponsible people who do not know what a trash container is. It is all from the modernization and colonization of Earth. Supply and demand. Make something cheap and charge high prices.

Is milk protein and Sugars Healthy for Wildlife

Absolutely not. Natural sugars that are found in nature are fine for wildlife and milk is fine for mammals. However, I don't know of a fish or turtle that likes to eat sugar or ingest milk proteins do you?

Food Allergies for People

Many people are allergic to milk protein and of course sugar causes diabetes which is a wicked disease and an epidemic in America. I can just see a child picking up one of these "edible" six pack holders and having it for a snack. "Hey mom, can I eat your six pack holder for a snack, I'm hungry." Children will see the words "edible" and eat it.

Long Term Benefits?

Who knows as this is a new fad that is coming to light. Will more wildlife be killed off or will children get sick. There is absolutely no proof that these edible six pack holders are dangerous or healthy for either wildlife consumption and especially for human consumption.

I think of it this way. If it is manufactured it is fake; synthetic. Something a scientist made up in a laboratory. There is nothing natural whatsoever about these holders, water bottles and other items that are being made to be edible.

Besides, this certainly has not hit main stream media since it is a new concept and there is absolutely no data regarding health of people, wildlife or the planet.

What are your thoughts? Good or Bad

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved. 

Monday, May 1, 2017

How can Your Talent Help Others

Call to Action

"Now, more than at any time in our history, our species needs to work together. We face awesome environmental challenges: climate change, food production, overpopulation, the decimation of other species, epidemic disease, acidification of the oceans. Together, they are a reminder that we are at the most dangerous moment in the development of humanity. We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it." -Stephen Hawking - 

We All have a Talent

Whether you realize it or not you were born with a special talent, every person on Earth has one. Sometimes we just don't realize what our special talents are.

If you, my readers, haven't figured it out by now I am all about helping others, paying it forward, making the world a better place to live, eating healthy, saving money and living a better life.

Being raised on a farm wasn't the hard part of my life, in fact, it made me a better person as I appreciate things more than a lot of people. Our farm was self sufficient and we only went to the grocery store once a year to stock up on coffee, tea, flour and other items that we could not grow.

What was hard for me was leaving the farm to work at several jobs until I found my career in my 30's, becoming ill then homelessness and becoming even sicker. I have found that my special talent is helping others realize their special talent to help others, become healthier, saving money, living better and thus you, my readers, in turn can teach others the same things. 

Frugal Living

Being kind to those who are in need is living a humble and frugal lifestyle. It seems as though just the thought of helping others is a turn off. I don't understand this way of thinking.

How, today, can you help another person? Can you pay off a child's lunch ticket for school so the poor can have a full belly? Can you donate nice clothes to a woman's shelter so they can find a job? You can do the same for a man's shelter. Can you donate one hour of your day to help someone fix their vehicle (if you are a mechanic) or help with roofing (if you are a roofer) or help with plumbing problems (if you are a plumber). 

Can you bring an elderly person to the store or to the doctor's office? What about picking up trash in your neighborhood when you are out taking a walk or walking your dog.

Help teach others and your children about Humanity because this world needs more Humanity more now than ever. Let's live a simple and caring life by helping and sharing with others.

What are your thoughts?

(c) 2017 MSargent All Rights Reserved

Body and Organ Donation is Frugal

How can donating your organs and body be a frugal thing to do you ask? Well, the answer is simple; you are helping other people to live. ...