7 Mobile Phone Awesomeness You Probably Do Not Know

My smartphone opened my eyes into many exciting capabilities and functions that you probably not even aware of. Recent events have come together to inadvertently transform myself from an old-school geek guy into a die-hard smartphone fanboy – a high-tech geek, I like to think.

Those smartphone features like email apps, the calendar app, games, chatting apps, the music player app or the selfie thingy are just too cool!

Well, cool enough to convert an old-school guy like me, right?

Wrong! To me, those don’t put the “smart” in the phone at all.

Let me share with you the real power your mobile phone offers based on my experiences.

Sell Photographs To Create A Monthly, Residual Income That Keeps On Paying Even When You Stop Working.

Working online for years has made me savvy enough to feel the pulse, so to speak, of the web. One of these fields included royalty free stock imagery.

Who would have thought that even a shot of a few blades of grass would serve as an excellent filler for a gardening website or as a cool background for yoga or spa website?

Even if you are not a professional photographer, you can do it. All you need is your imagination and a good smartphone camera.

Fortunately, such cellphone exists now.

You will know more about how I use my cellphone to sell photo in this article: How I Turn My Mobile Phone Camera into a 24/7 Money Making Machine

tiger at the zoo

Above is one of my practice shots at the zoo. The one below is one of the photos I am selling at 123rf.

hibiscus flower or gumamela

Manage Your Forex Trading

We all live under the stigma that Forex trading or foreign currency trading is for the elite.

I was one with this view.

Somehow, I too grew up believing that only rich bankers, successful economists and accountants and other rich and powerful people have the skills and know-how to delve into it.

Until I learned that this wasn’t true then and it surely isn’t now.

These days, the vast scope of the Internet and the rapid advancements in mass-produced electronic devices such as handhelds, tabs, and pads, the Forex market has never been more accessible than ever.

As long as I have my smartphone handy at any time and the capital to spare, I’m set.

managing forex account through my mobile phone
An android app I use to manage my Forex account.

Related: How Forex Works And Why You Should Start Trading Now

Buy And Sell Stocks

I do not subject myself to the daily organized chaos nor subject my nerves to the highly charged environment of trading.

I do keep on top of things through my mobile phone.

What’s more, I do not have to be controlled by anyone or by time for that matter.

I can effortlessly manage my stock investments while nursing a hot cup of java in my favorite couch.

I bought my first stock with the use of my cellphone, and I share my experience in this article: Bulk Of Your Money Should Be In The Stock Market – Not In The Bank. In it, you will be surprised to know that even house helpers are making it big as stock investors.

buy and sell stocks
I buy and sell stocks right from my mobile phone.

Send Money To Anyone

I installed my bank’s app on my smart phone that allows me to send money to another bank account in mere minutes.

There’s no more need for any of my relatives to go way out of his or her way, go to a bank or a money transfer establishments, manually fill up a form, and wait for a teller to process the transfer.

The best way to send money is by staying in the most comfortable seat in the house and letting my fingers do the job.

There are so many things you can do with online banking using your phone.

online banking using my mobile phone
The mobile apps I use to send money to my family.

Related: Online Banking + Smartphone = A Very Cool Life

Use Google Maps to Guide You Anywhere You Go

Practically every traveler knows about Google Maps. If you don’t, simply Google it up to be informed. This has saved many an individual time and money virtually. Take a recent event that happened to me for instance.

I was traveling in a major city looking for a particular address. The problem was that I was not familiar with the city and had to rely on a taxi driver to get me to where I wanted to go.

Due to traffic congestion, my driver decided to forego the main routes and turned into the smaller streets. At this point, I took out my Samsung K zoom and tapped into Google Maps (this was something I should have done beforehand, I know). To make the story short, I ended up directing him where to go to reach my destination. I gave him all the street names and the various turns that had to be made. My driver thought I was a local as he asked me how long I’ve lived in this city. I was non-committal until we reached my target address and, as I was handing him my fare, I silently showed him my smart phone displaying the map. He was duly impressed and laughed at his wrong assumption.

I use Google map to guide me when I travel
Google Map helps you find your destination. The red one is your destination; the blue one is where you are. The blue mark is moving as you move closer or farther from your destination.

Use Your Camera As A Better Alternative To Pen And Paper

If you think this is too simple to ignore, think twice. This is a lifesaver. Promise!

If you don’t have a pen and a note taking ability, I have a very practical solution that I am using and so loving it. I use my camera as an instant photocopying machine.

For example, I saw one classified ads page, and I realized that I like the content. Seeing that it was a broadsheet, it would take me a whole day just to copy its content. Furthermore, I was not in my home to do that either. There was simply not enough time. My solution – take a snapshot of its content. I did not worry about the resolution since my K zoom camera has 20 megapixels and, as such, even the fine print was as clear as day.

On that day, I found the real power of my camera. I use it each time I find myself in a situation where I need to copy content from something and taking notes is impossible.

classified ads screenshot using mobile phone camera
I can check the classified ads page later in my smartphone.

Here are more ways I use my K zoom camera:

I was in some place and saw a broadsheet newspaper with fascinating content. It isn’t mine for the taking nor could I buy it then and there. It would also take me an enormous amount of time to copy everything on it, which is a time I cannot afford to waste. So, I just pulled out my Samsung K zoom and took a snapshot of the” broadsheet. Yes, “whole” broadsheet, that’s no joke. My K zoom can take an image of the whole broadsheet newspaper, and I can still see the tiniest letters in the newspaper.

I live in Roosevelt Park Village where there is management of some sort for the whole community. We have a central bulletin board for all the homeowners to see. Whenever I pass by the guard-house, I stop and take a snapshot of the bulletin board right from the driver’s seat so I can check the board at my convenient time. Incidentally, since each shot has the date stamped on it, I now have a history of what’s being posted on board, which is cool.

bulletin board - screenshot using my mobile phone camera
I take a snapshot of our community’s bulletin board for later review.

When having my car in for repairs in the auto shop, I take a ‘before’ and ‘after’ shot of it. If I am going to leave it for days or weeks, I need to do this from all possible angles. I can inspect if some new scratches or dents should not be there and hold the shop owner responsible.

car - screenshot using my mobile phone

If you are a student, you can take a snapshot of your school’s bulletin board. Now I am not saying you throw away your pen and paper, but you don’t need them in this particular case. Also if you’re not up to writing pages upon pages of classroom notes, take a snapshot of your blackboard and review your teacher’s lesson later. Do this in a way that will not turn your teacher’s face into a frown, though. Always ask for permission.

There are still so many uses that will reduce your dependency on the pen and paper. You may not be up for saving the environment but, welcome to the club nevertheless!

Remember that my K zoom got a 20-megapixel camera. I haven’t tried this on a 13 megapixel or 10 or 6 or 5 megapixels. I suggest you try with your existing camera and if the results are not to your satisfaction, consider investing in another one with a higher pixel capacity.

Do Voice Recording For Later Review

Here is something not everyone puts into use. Anyone from lawyers to students alike would greatly benefit from this. What surprises me is that reporters have caught on to it quite early on, but the rest of the public didn’t think much about this feature.

Well, I am in the publishing industry and interviewing key people is important to me. My smartphone has helped me improve my performance at work, and the advantages do not end there at all.

Imagine the following examples:

  • With voice or audio recording, you can check what’s agreed upon in a meeting.
  • If you are a student, you can record your teacher during lectures. Some teachers find it offensive to see any cell phones out in the open, so I suggest you try using a small microphone instead. It would be a lot easier though if you’d tell your teacher about your plan to record the lecture beforehand.
  • If you are in a seminar, you can record the resource speaker/s.
  • How about sending your loved one a special message?

A reminder though that when it comes to legal issues, any audio cannot be considered evidence in court especially if the audio is recorded without prior permission. So for courtesy’s sake, always let other people know that you are recording the conversation.

Conclusion

Experiment and use the other features of your phone when possible. I assume most of you are already doing the cool things that mobile phones are offering, but it doesn’t hurt to mention the most obvious of these for the benefit of those who don’t know.

When I find myself in a place where WI-FI is not available, I use my smartphone to connect to the internet if I need to work on my laptop. There’s no need for a separate WI-FI hub or router for that matter. I find this thing so cool really because being a traveler and a web programmer, I need to connect my laptop to the Internet regularly. More often than not, I find myself in places where the Internet is not available.

Of course, don’t forget that your smartphone is equipped with a calendar, a planner, and an alarm system. Also, consider setting the quick dial feature, if available, which you can use for emergency situations to call the police, firefighters, or ambulance. Although heaven forbids these unfortunate events ever happen, it’s good that this quick dial call is set and ready when the time does come. You never know.

Wow! I just realized I’m still hyped about my phone (and there’s so much more to tell!!). I need some relaxing. I’ll just grab my smartphone and play some good old-school Tetris. It’s a nice feeling to know that amidst all the high-tech advancements, I can still escape to good old-fashioned games too with my K Zoom. You just got to love the smartphone, I do.

7 Signs that will Hint at your Steady Relationship

To marry or not to marry, that is a valid question these days. Marriage is not just a ceremony but a long-time companionship that requires maturity, patience and love. In the long run, one must be able to hold on to their partners, however difficult the situations may be. The point is, how can you be sure that you have found the right person? Or, that your dating affair has finally reached its zenith and is ready for a perfect culmination in marriage?

1. You don’t need to impress each other

After a certain point of time, you need not find any necessity to impress your partner. You can be just yourself without any kind of trouble taking like extra makeup or a perfect hairdo or behaving absolutely smart in public and so on. When you see that you can be who you are before your partner, know that half the struggle is won. You are on the right track.

2. You don’t need to keep a check on him

There must have been times when you had been a little suspicious about your boyfriend’s activities. You have checked his phone or at least his Whatsapp status to figure out things. When your relationship has reached a certain stable point, you won’t have this urge to go and keep a check on him. By now you are assured that he belongs to you and that he won’t cheat on you for anyone else. With the coming of this confidence on your partner, you realize that you have leveled up in your relationship.

3. You can gossip about others

Image Credit: Sarah_Ackerman

4. Family party

You can have lots of family moments together. By now you must have met each others’ family. Soon you will find yourself shopping out with your boyfriend’s mom or sister. You will feel totally at home when you are in their company. The same should happen when your boyfriend visits your place. This becomes an important step in every relationship.

5. Discuss important aspects of life

When it comes to serious talks, you will find that your partner is taking a genuine interest in listening to your problems and also providing you with solutions. A serious relationship is also about facing problems together and crossing obstacles with one another. When you see that you no longer have to explain each and everything to your partner to emphasize upon the seriousness of any issue, know that you have reached the state of a stable relationship. You need not worry about selecting a specific time or a particular occasion to talk to your partner.

6. Lesser quarrels

lovers quarrel

Image Credit: Tina Franklin

7. No show off

love ecards

When you start dating, there’s a lot of pomp and show at times. You frequently go out for movies and food and send each other regular gifts and flowers. However, with time such things won’t matter anymore. What will matter is how much you genuinely care for your partner without always expressing it. But you must also make sure that at times, you do show a few gesture to express your love. For example, you can send handmade cards or love e-cards to your partner on certain days to make him feel all the more loved.

Wish you all the best for your relationship. Have faith in yourself and in your partner. Things will start falling into places.

How to Make Life Easier for Your Elderly Relatives

Eighty to ninety percent of elderly people would choose to reside in their own homes as long as possible, as opposed to a nursing home or independent care.This was the statement by Dr. GeetaNayar, a Florida-based healthcare information technology leader, in one of her online journals.

The fact of the matter is that, despite their advanced age and frail bodies, seniors would rather live in their own granny flats than in nursing homes away from their immediate family. It is physically, emotionally and financially taxing for them and for you to bring them to nursing homes or to give them a professional caregiver if they still have enough strength to do things independently.

Opting out of the nursing home option and getting into the residence annex bandwagon totally makes sense, especially now that there are tax breaks given for it. A news report on BBC official website last April 2016 says, “Any annex that is worth less than one-third of the total property value will no longer qualify for the extra charge.” In addition, BBC reported that those who paid residence annex tax in excess may opt to seek reimbursement.

The following tips will help your senior family members retire comfortably by her own in your house’s building annex.

Do A Regular Inventory

Your elderly family member will definitely need assistance with a lot of things as they start to move in their own granny flats. Make sure to check for the following on as they move out to your residence’s annex and continue doing so on a regular basis:

Check the refrigerator – Check if your elderly has enough healthy food and drinks in the fridge. Now, more than ever, they would need all the nutrition they could get. Fresh fruits and vegetables, fish, adult milk, whole grains and other healthy options should always be available for them.

Scan the mailbox – Look at the mailbox to see if he or she is paying the bills on time. Also, watch out for mails from scammers preying on old people and for pension updates.

Maintain the car – Despite their old age, your senior relative will still need their car to get around town, especially when they get lonely. Make sure the vehicle is in top condition to avoid mishaps on the road.

Replenish toiletries and other supplies – Your granny and gramps also need toiletries and other things, like adult diapers. Make sure there is enough stock for at least a month.

Provide for medical needs – Every elderly person has their own medical requirements. Make sure that all prescribed medicines are within their easy grasp. Also provide for their supplements, like multivitamins. Learn how to facilitate regular medical procedures like checking blood pressure and blood sugar levels so that you can personally do it for your elders.

Always look for broken things – Your grandparents don’t have enough strength to repair every broken item in their home. Do them a favor by scanning through each household machine and gadget and repairing these items for them.

Make their gadgets elderly-friendly – Most baby boomers now have internet access and many of them own a gadget, like a smartphone or a tablet. Make sure to turn on accessibility options for the elderly, like setting the font size to large or turning the silent feature off.

Clean and organize everything – Help them keep their house clean and organized on a regular basis. Relocate furniture, do necessary renovations and donate or give away extra things to help them get around the house easier.

Ensure Your Elderly’s Safety

Guaranteeing your grandparents’ safety should always be a priority due to their helpless state and high risk for accidents and medical emergencies like slips and falls. Ensuring that their flat is safe for them falls on our shoulders.

It doesn’t have to be costly to ensure your old relative’s safety. Simple solutions like installing touch or motion-activated lights, non-slip floor mats and, shower seats and toilet grab bars can help make the house safer for them. You can also try repainting stairs, countertops and walls for more visual contrast.

Adding safety device in their own residence annex will be very helpful, too. Automated fire prevention systems, medical alert devices and intrusion alert gadgets will give both you and your senior relative a much-needed sense of calmness and security, knowing that everything is accessible in a press of a button.

Constant Communication Is Key

Above everything else, ensuring the emotional well-being of your grandparents is crucial as they move on to the last phase of their life. In spite of their desire for independence, there is actually a heightened need for constant companionship among the elderly. Deprivation of this sense of companionship is detrimental to their health, with a study conducted by the University of California – San Francisco revealing that loneliness causes an increased risk of death by 45 percent among the elderly.

Constant warm gestures like hugs and kisses are very much welcome. Initiate level-headed conversations with them and let them open up to you. Always remember to listen to what they are saying for them to feel that they still belong. Do not hesitate to give them kind words of encouragement to boost their morale. Make a conscious effort to check on them every once in a while.

Helping them lead a productive life will also give your senior family members with a feeling of being needed. Kick start their active lifestyle by helping them start a new or resume an old hobby – aerobics classes, basic computer learning sessions and gardening are just a few of the options they have.

Finally, always remember to know your limits. Provide for them without compromising their independence. Make them feel that they are trusted to still take care of themselves to an extent. Communicate openly with them to clearly set rules and limits on things.

It is hard to see your once-healthy and strong senior relatives experience a deterioration of their physical and mental capacities. Once in our lives, they were the ones looking out for our needs and wants. In the twilight of their lives, it is now our turn to give back and make them feel that they are still wanted – up to the last breath of their lives.

Photo credit: lighthunter / 123RF Stock Photo

How To Sleep Better And Faster

Anxiety remains the number one cause of sleeplessness, followed closely by certain medical conditions or medications. However, there are several ways of sleeping better and faster without losing much sleep over the matter.

How to sleep faster:

1. Force yourself to remain awake: This helps you get rid of sleep anxiety.

2. Get out of bed and do something for a few minutes: If sleep dodges you, get out of bed and do either a physical or a mental activity like completing a puzzle. However, keep away from the telly as its blue light suppresses the sleep inducing hormone, melatonin.

3. Don’t keep checking the time: By constantly looking at the time, your stress levels increase and you’ll find it harder to sleep. So, put that clock away.

4. Make your room cool, dark and comfortable: When you fall asleep, your body temperature falls a bit, so it helps to have a room temperature of 60 degrees to 67 degrees F in order to sleep well. A dark room helps the brain manufacture melatonin, which informs your body clock to sleep. Melatonin also cools your body temperature down, which reaches its nadir sometime between 2 am and 4 am.

5. Wear earplugs: If you are an insomniac, you know what it is to lie in bed for hours waiting for sleep. Instead, wear ear plugs and enjoy sleeping like anyone else.

You will get the following benefits from a good night’s sleep:

1. You’ll feel rested next morning and will be more productive at work.

2. Your concentration and memory will improve.

3. Your immune system improves and you can fight diseases better.

4. Lack of sleep leads to an overactive thyroid which causes diabetes. So, sleep well and regularly.

5. Insufficient sleep can increase your cortisone levels, forcing your heart to pump harder. If your body is not well-rested, it will tire easily, leading to anger, frustration, and anxiety. This will cause headaches and influence your moods.

6. Sleeping less than the required six hours will have an adverse effect on your libido.

7. You can keep your weight under control by sleeping sufficiently as this will not cause the production of ghrelin, the hormone that stimulates your appetite.

 

How to sleep better

Deep sleep is something elusive to insomniacs, hence their quality of life is deeply impacted. To inculcate healthy sleep habits, try the following practices regularly:

1. Have a warm shower just before bed: This helps bring down your body temperature and reduce your metabolism and therefore prepare you for sleep.

2. Wear socks in bed: If your hands and feet are kept warm, you can get sleep faster, say researchers. This helps widen the blood vessels on the skin surface, which increases heat loss. By shifting blood flow from your core to the extremities helps cool the body, thus working along with melatonin.

3. Dip your face in a bowl of cold water for a few seconds: You can also choose to splash your face in cold water as in this state your nervous system wants to calm you down. This action of dipping your face in cold water helps introduce an involuntary phenomenon known as the Mammalian Dive Reflex, which works to reduce your blood pressure and heart rate.

4. Spray lavender aroma all over your bedroom: This herb helps relax your nerves, reduce your blood pressure and make you sleep.

5. Maintain your natural sleep rhythm: By maintaining your body’s natural sleep rhythm or circadian rhythm, you can sleep better. Once you regularize your sleep-wake schedule, you will feel more refreshed and alert than if you sleep irregularly through the day. Try to sleep and wake at the same time each day so that your body clock is set for those timings.

6. Reduce your exposure to light: The naturally occurring hormone melatonin that controls our sleep cycle is controlled by exposure to light. In the dark, the brain secretes more melatonin, which increases a sleepy feeling. So, remain in reduced lighting.

7. Switch off all the late night TV shows: The light from the TV suppresses melatonin, which could put off your sleepy feeling. Secondly, programs on TV are stimulating, not relaxing. Yet again, you won’t feel sleepy while watching TV. However, music and reading books can lull you to sleep, so you could try these too. At bedtime, draw heavy curtains to block out light or wear a sleep mask.

8. Do vigorous exercise during the day: If you exercise regularly, you can get good sleep at night. Not only does it address the problems of insomnia and possible sleep apnea, but it also increases the amount of time you spend enjoying deep sleep. If you do vigorous exercise, you can enjoy the benefits of deep and quality sleep. However, even walking for a few minutes a day can improve sleep quality.

9. Don’t drink caffeine at night: Drinking caffeine, particularly at night, can put off your bedtime. Nicotine and alcohol also could have this effect on you, so be careful. These stimulants take hours to shake off and can destroy your quality of sleep.

Conclusion

For those who cannot sleep well and regularly, getting a good night’s sleep is a wonderful gift. But it needn’t be. You too can take your sleep each night for granted like everyone else by following some of the above-mentioned tips. Sleep well and sleep long.

5 Tips to Become a Professional Photographer

Photography is not just a hobby. It is passion. While not all passion can take the form of a profession, photography, if taken seriously can turn out to be a great profession!

It requires a little patience and practice to improve upon the art of photography. There are different types of photography. All forms might not interest you but you must be interested in at least one form which you can experiment with and try to explore various aspects of the same. Do you want to take up photography as your profession in future? Are you puzzled about how to begin with? Here are a few tips that might be of some help to you.

1. Experiment a lot

The best way to master the art of photography is to experiment a lot with your camera. Go out of your house and start clicking random pictures. To begin with, start with your garden and neighborhood. Select your subject. It can range from trees and plants to the birds or the rabbits or even the squirrels. Try out various subjects and find out your interest. Click both in broad daylight as well as during night hours. Creative inspiration waits for you at every corner of the world. Experimentation will only bring forth crucial details about the art as also of the photographer in you.

2. Join an institute

There are a number of photography institutes these days. They provide you with brilliant course studies. After you have found enough interest in the art form, join an institute where they train you for the better. There are also workshops and photography training programs where you can delve deeper into the technicalities with more confidence. Also, if you have doubts, you can clarify them from the experts. You will meet new people from the same field and get to learn new things about photography.

3. Examine yourself

In order to find out whether you are doing well, you have to start sharing your work with others. Start with showing the pictures that you have clicked to your near and dear ones, like family or friends. Next, create a page on the social media like Facebook. Invite your friends to like the page and start posting photos that you have clicked. Wait for their opinions. You will come across both positive and negative criticism initially. Try to rectify the error and move ahead. Also, start opting for photography competitions. Take active part in them. Do not lose heart if you do not win. Remember that the journey has just begun.

4. Go out on trips

street photography

You must move around a lot of places to explore a variety of subjects and ambiance. The best way is to go out on various trips. It can be a solitary trip or you may ask your close friends to accompany you. Click random photos. You must also have an eye for locating the object of art. Photography does not necessarily mean clicking something that is conventionally beautiful. It is to search for the drab and dreary and find beauty in it. Street photography is one such example where you come across the most obvious elements and yet if you can capture them in your frame, you will surely excel as an artist. Try to visit places where you have never been, the exotic ones or those which has organized some fair. You will meet more types of faces and never-ending stream of subjects.

5. Attend social gatherings

branded photo booth

Another way to extract chance for photography would be social gatherings. You can consider parties or wedding ceremonies where you can click candid pictures of people all around. Posed pictures are also good enough! If you want to know more on this you might contact branded photo booth hire. They not only are experts in this field but also are of great help to amateurs.

Work on your dreams. Don’t give up, no matter what. All the best!

Eat Well Without Slaving Over A Hot Stove

The economy is a mere shadow of its pre-2008 glory. More people than ever are looking for ways to cut costs. After housing and transportation, food is one of our biggest costs.

This article will teach you how to eat tasty food for cheap—just by using your microwave and oven. Therefore, there's no slaving over a hot stove.

My methods are ideal for single people and people with small families. But, I believe that anyone can get something from this article. Let's get started.

Eggs are cheap and a good protein source. They are known for being easy to prepare as well. With my microwave technique, eggs can be made even easier! Simply crack two eggs into a microwave safe bowl. Add seasonings such as dried parsley, paprika and garlic salt. Stir the egg mixture. Microwave it for 30 seconds. Stir the eggs again. Then, microwave it again for 30 seconds. Stir the mixture one last time and microwave it for 30 seconds to finish the dish. These scrambled eggs can be eaten as is or you can make an egg sandwich. Just add a slice of cheese and you can have a cheaper and healthier version of a fast food breakfast sandwich. It is fast and no grease or oil is required.

If you prefer boiled eggs, then they can be made in the oven. There's no wrapping eggs in aluminum foil or waiting for water to boil with my method. Just get a muffin tin and place one whole egg in each muffin slot. Put the tin in the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Just soak the eggs in cold water for a few minutes before you attempt to peel them. The eggs can keep for days in the fridge and can be eaten as is or put into chef salads. You can also make a breakfast burrito out of the eggs. Just get a pack of tortillas from a local discount store. Fill the tortillas with chopped eggs, salsa and any leftover meat and cheese you have on hand.

Rice is another staple in frugal households. Of course, dry rice purchased in bulk is the cheapest. However, it can be more time consuming to prepare than "boil-in-bag" rice and instant rice. But, I found a method of preparing bulk rice in the microwave that works well for me. For white rice, simply mix 1/2 cup of dry rice with 1 cup of water and stir. Microwave it on high for 8 minutes. Then, let it sit for 5 minutes. During this 5 minute "resting time", the rice will absorb the excess water. You can then top the rice with butter, gravy or anything you desire. I will sometimes mix a little milk and sugar with white rice for an easy to digest breakfast. Some people prefer brown rice. I like brown rice for lunch and dinner mixed with butter and salt. Simply mix 1 cup of brown rice with 3 cups of water and microwave this for 10 minutes on high. Stir the mixture, then microwave it for 20 minutes at 50 percent power. Brown rice can be a fiber-rich side dish to almost anything.

French fries are a staple in the American diet. A far healthier (and cheaper) version can be made at home. Whole potatoes are always available for a low price at any grocery store. Start by washing your potatoes. I leave the skin on for more fiber, but you can peel your potatoes if you wish. Cut the potatoes into sticks. Make sure that they are all about the same size so that they will cook evenly. Soak the potato sticks in cold water for about 30 minutes. Then dry them. This "soaking" step makes crunchier fries. Preheat your oven at 400 degrees. Dry the taters and season them with salt, pepper or a special "french fry" seasoning blend available in stores. Grease a cookie sheet with an oil or cooking spray and arrange the fries on the sheet in a single layer. Cook for 20 minutes on one side. Flip the fries over using a spatula and cook for 10 more minutes. Then enjoy your healthier non-fried fries!

Eating frugally doesn't mean that you have to slave over a hot stove or that you cannot eat filling and tasty foods. With the money you save, you can prepare for retirement or use it to fulfill your dreams—such as self-publishing a book. I hope this article has been useful to you in some way. For more frugal tips and ideas, please subscribe to my blog "Freedom in Frugality" at https://krystalbrownblog.wordpress.com/.