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It's been kind of quiet in here, hasn't it?

Ramen noodles: they're cheap and easy, but the sodium is a killer. I've learned how to do a lot of different things with ramen noodles to make fairly nutritious meals, so throw away that salty seasoning packet and get to making something healthy but affordable! Most of these can be single-serve meals as well--which is how I came to figure this stuff out--but they can be expanded upon to serve many if you'd like.

Also, feel free to add your own recipes--we need a simplicity/poor skills cookbook that doesn't involve cooking for eight!

1) Poor Man's Spaghetti. Boil the noodles until soft. Drain. Add a small can of heated tomato soup (they cost about 60c at gas stations--they're about 4oz) on top and stir. Add spices to your liking, or perhaps even a bit of crushed garlic.

2) Ramen Fiesta. Boil the noodles until soft, then drain. Add shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and about a quarter-cup of cottage cheese. Add meat as well, if you'd like. Whip it up. It's a bit like taco salad with noodles, and it's quite tasty. If you can get some sauce from Taco Bell, it's especially delicious (I prefer mild).

3) Stir Fry of a Sort. Boil noodles until soft, drain. Add steamed vegetables and stir. Add soy sauce, but be moderate--soy sauce can have loads of sodium, too.

4) Halfsies. To reduce the sodium in regular ramen, just use about half of the packet.

5) Cheesy. Make ramen, drain most of the water, then put a slice of cheese on it. Wait for it to melt and then stir it up. You can also add in little pieces of lunch meat if you'd like. This can also be made into a pretty neat casserole--that's what my grandma makes for potlucks at her church, using ramen noodles, low-fat cheese, ham, and a little big of hard-boiled egg. But it's just as good when it's just cheesy noodles.

The Walden Effect

I thought you all might enjoy a new blog I've started at http://www.waldeneffect.org. My boyfriend and I have spent the last two years on a farm and are learning to garden, make do with less, and become self-sufficient. The blog is documenting our journey, and hopefully will have some useful tips!

One thing we want to encourage on our blog is helping other people become more self-sufficient, so we plan to answer questions every week. I'd really appreciate it if you'd like to start us off by going to our site and clicking on the "Ask a Question" link. We're not experts but we'll make a stab at answering anything!
DDingI thought it would be a propos to the community to share my end of the year diving tally. It takes about two hours for each time I troll the campus. The campus may be small, but I take the stairs to every floor of every dorm to look in all the trash cans and bins. I usually go twice a week, but I went about five times in the last week. It's a good walk, lots of stairs, good exercise, very zen. Here are my best finds, most of which were in the trash area rather than the donation bins!

Read more...Collapse )
10 Things You Can Do Today To Simplify Your Life
Zen Habits
By Leo Babauta
Read more...Collapse )


Also at the newsletter is "Finding Real Wealth In A Sustainable Lifestyle" and "The Answer to Closet Clutter." Read more here.



I just wanted to share a couple books and a documentary that I recently came across regarding the shift in the mentality of Americans to consumerism. All three are called "Affluenza".

The documentary was aired on PBS in the mid-nineties (I want to say '97 but I am not sure) and it talked about how the US has become a country of consumption and though we have a lot more than ever, most people are a lot less happy. It touches on AdBusters, Buy Nothing Day, and surprisingly Ted Haggert and Focus On The Families stances on the "more is more" ideology. (I think that's the first time I've ever agreed with them!) The first book takes the documentary and expands on it going into more detail. The second book (which I haven't started yet) seems to focus more on the Australian economy. Anyway, I highly recommend the books and the documentary. I think you should watch the documentary first to get a feel for it, and if you want more info read the books. Here are the links to everything:

Affluenza: The All Consuming Epidemic
Affluenza: When Too Much Is Never Enough

Affluenza You Tube VideosCollapse )


PhotobucketLeery of that tax rebate last resort that Bush sent out? And right you should be. The Simple Living Network gives us suggestions on how to use that rebate for the good of the world and the country rather than to its detriment.

Wake Up and Smell the Rebate

The United States Government is planning to send out rebate checks in the hope that American citizens will immediately spend the money to stimulate the economy, thus avoiding a recession.

Thanks for the gift Federal Government, but you are missing the point! We do not need to take out a big loan from a foreign lender so that we can go shopping willy-nilly to purchase products we probably do not need that were probably produced in a foreign country. (Whose economy will that stimulate?)

The United States cannot spend its way out of its financial difficulties. We do not need a short-term solution for long-term problems. We need fundamental, far-reaching change to a broken and corrupt system. The following are no longer sustainable:

* consumption as an economic solution,
* deficit spending,
* predatory lending,
* unaffordable health care,
* tax cuts for the wealthy, and
* war over oil and religious ideology.

It is difficult to imagine why anyone would help reinforce the behavior of a broken government or stimulate an out of control economy by purchasing more stuff and junk. It is time for us to do what our government cannot!

Join The NonViolent Protest...
Don't Buy It, Change The Economy, Put Your Rebate To Work!

Below is a list of ways you can participate for linkaphobes.Collapse )

More ideas and direct stuff from the site. Check the link.


I was wonderinf if anyone on here had heard of or tried the WWOOF thing. 
WWOOF is World-Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms, and it's a thing that basically allows people to trade volunteer hours for three hots and a cot. It seems like a good way to go if you like the outdoors and don't want to pay rent and/or want to try a kind of nomadic life for a while. My husband and I are thinking about trying it when our lease is up, to roam the country and find a place we really like. It sounds like a great idea. I was just wondering if anyone had tried it. Any feedback?
This inventive piece of holiday cheer seemed... appropriate for this comm. :)

Happy and merryCollapse )

Simple and Childfree

I was surprised to find a community that combined childfree with voluntary simplicity.  Much of the voluntary simplicity and homesteading movements are focused on children and families, and often large families.  I have no problem with this, but as someone who does not want to have children, I am really interested in connecting and discussing with others who share the ideal of childfree simplicity.  While I have nothing against children and people who choose to have them, can there be any other choice in life that can simplify our lives more than deciding not to reproduce?  The cost of raising a child is enormous, and the responsibility incredible.  Without children, we are free to pursue other activities more fully and can have more time and energy to better our world through activities that the demands of child rearing would prevent us from participating in.  Of course there is nothing wrong with raising children, and it is a noble endeavor.  But childfree people have much to offer the world, and our lifestyle is just as noble.