Snacks On a Budget: Everything You Need to Know About Popcorn

Popcorn’s role in the American snack food pantheon is both straightforward and mysterious. Its appeal in the salty snack department is easy to understand—made at home, popcorn is extremely cheap, healthful and delicious. Yet all over America, we insist on consuming it in ways that are less cheap, less healthful and (this is the true tragedy) less delicious.

10 Reasons Why I’d Rather Have You Over for Dinner Than Go Out to a Restaurant

Long time, no see. Of course, I’d love to have dinner with you and catch up, but to be honest, I’m not feeling inspired to go out to eat tonight. Why don’t you come over to my place instead?

How Did Frugal February Go?

Elise, how did your seventh Frugal February go?

Frugal February

February is the best month for not spending money.

The Agonies, the Ecstasies and the Efficiencies of Menu Planning

Once you’ve decided to cook more of your meals at home, or at least determined to start thinking about it, you realize that the project is far from a no-brainer. It’s tempting to discount the role that mental energy, creativity and familiarity with the kitchen play in cooking, framing it instead as a simple question of time. However, an hour or two per week, scheduled at your convenience, can make a world of difference when you ask that age-old question that never stays answered very long: What’s for dinner?

Books I Acquired Last Year for Little or No Money

I read 59 books in 2011, mostly on my commute. I didn’t buy any of them at a bookstore. I also didn’t borrow any of them from the local library, which I could have—and probably should have—done in some cases (and is obviously a very thing you can do). Below, I list the many ways I acquired new reading material in 2011.

I Love Quicken

Quicken is perfect for people like me; I like to keep some record of my life, but journaling is time-consuming, labor-intensive and, frankly, embarrassing. I don’t necessarily need to filter and examine every aspect of my life, but I do want to look back and have some idea of what I’ve been up to. The way it works isn’t terribly complicated: You enter your income and expenses into the program, slotting the latter under various preset categories (groceries, clothing, gifts given).