Clean green / V for vinegar

I became frugal once I understood that saving most of my income is the most effective way to accomplish early retirement and financial strength that will allow me to help my kids start their grown lives from a reasonable starting point.

But- my turning to green cleaning was motivated from a different angle: the environmentalist angle.

Once I fully understood the difference between green and non green products, I immediately began looking for powerful green substitutes for my regular arsenal of bleach- windex-all purpose cleaners.

The more I researched the more I  understood that green cleaning has a direct link to minimizing health hazards (and home accidents involving accidentally swallowing/inhaling harsh chemicals), it most definitely simplifies the whole cleaning process as you shall see in a moment, and- it is by far more frugal- so what’s not to like?

actually there is an answer to that- if we dare be honest.

Most people were brought up believing that a good clean ain’t done untill the house smells like the floor washing brand used at your house, and the sinks and bathrooms smell like a gallon of bleach just went there- which was actually the truth.

This is why many people find it hard to trust green products- let alone DIY green products that dont have that powerful scent that reminds them of their childhood.

Understanding the environmental , health , minimalist and frugal advantages of the green products might help give those products a fair chance.

I clean my whole house using 5 products:


#1: vinegar. I use the cheap synthetic one- not the fancy acv (with “mother”) -that is a staple in my cupboard for different reasons- (will reveal in a different post).

 #2: baking soda. I discovered that this product can be bought either in small 50 gram packets (I guess meant for baking), and in bulk- a large 1 kilo pack that costs a fraction of the first one per 100 grams. I buy the bulky version and store it in my own jars-labeled of course-to prevent some one accidentally mistaking this stuff for white sugar or any other powdery substance.

#3:dish soap.

#4: hot water . in my experience- 99% of dirt will disappear  once using hot water mixed with a few drops of  dish soap and some  vinegar, in my kitchen this is an all-purpose cleaner. to soften the vinegar’s strong smell I sometimes infuse leftover  lemon peels with vinegar in a mason jar for a few weeks.

#5: hydrogen peroxide 3%. a green substitute for bleach. it’s not cheap but it’s a very potent liquid that I use to finish cleaning  my bathroom and kitchen surfaces.please do not mix the hydrogen peroxide with any other product!!!

*of course you will need a good pair of gloves and dish sponges that can hold up to the tasks , good music and the will power to conquer all evil- and there you go.

#To clean the toilets– I pour 1/4 cup baking soda -then vinegar, let it bubble and scrub frantically with the toilet cleaning brush-which by the way- needs to be cleaned itself from time to time.please be carefull not to lean too close to the mixture-and wash your hands carefully after using the products-even though using gloves of course.

(*no cleaning without gloves! )

 *before I begin please check that the kitchen utensils needing cleaning  you have at home agree with the listed above products- some may not. 

#my all-purpose cleaner– after using the baking soda- vinegar method listed above- there is still the rest of the toilet to clean.  I  spray the toilet sides, walls (yes-walls) and the floor with my glass spray bottle filled  with my all-purpose cleaner: 1/2 water -1/2 vinegar and a few drops of dish soap- and wipe it with disposable  paper towels.

#to clean the floors: I have  hard wood floors- I use water mixed with  vinegar and a few drops of essential oils.

#before mopping the floors I always let my iRobot clean the surface thoroughly. this is not a cheap device- but for me- working full-time –  it was a game changer. (no-I am not sponsored by anyone). I  simply believe that a clean tidy home is  inviting and comfortable -no matter how small it is, and I also believe that especially for people with young kids-  having no time to spare is an is a link to a post where i explain why this indulgence is sensible if you can afford it.

Indulging yourself #2

#windows and mirrors– I spray with my all-purpose cleaner and wipe with disposable paper towels or old newspapers if I can get some.

#to clean the kitchen sink- (I have a regular porcelain sink- haven’t tried this with other types of sinks- please make sure these products are suitable for whatever sink you have.) I sprinkle the sink with  baking soda, scrub, then spray vinegar on the baking soda , let it bubble then pour 2 cups of boiling water.  not only is the sink clean now- this also helps to  unclog the sink if necessary.

no need to keep many cleaning supplies around. no more a using different cleaner for every chore . simple, minimalistic, efficient, frugal. and minimizes pollution too.

ciao- the cooliflower.

My frugal journey- and a pair of torn flip flops as a symbol

I already told you my goal is to retire early.  (just in case- here is a link ):Why I want to retire early and my plan to achieve it.

I think it’s time I share the tips I am using-and are proving themselves as powerful tools- to reach this goal by saving more than 75% of my salary . 

*I live in a small house (but we have a large garden!)-so no need to downsize. I admit my partner has been complaining about the size of our house but I love its cozy feeling, and I strongly believe that keeping the house clutter free and tidy makes for a perfect home- no matter how small it is.

*I decluttered following the konmari method  which I thought was beautiful because of her instructions to treat your item with total respect- while owning them- and when parting from them .

*Since going through my house using the konmari method–  including all my closets, pantry,  kitchen cupboards etc- I cut down my expenses drastically.

*since september 2016, I paid 0 $$$ for clothes or shoes: I went into a store twice throughout those almost  22 months-and paid for the few items I picked  with a gift card I got.

*I in-source almost all house chores– I clean the house, cook, bake,tend the garden,  never order take out or coffee, I go out to restaurants only when I cannot persuade the participants to come over to our home and enjoy my cooking (and I usually am very persuasive).

*my partner and I cut our own hair , and he does a great job at cutting our son’s hair.

*we exercise outside/inside the house using apps– no gym membership -but I have a 10 entrance ticket to the pool where I enjoy a weekly power 2 k swim listening to my music under water : How Metallica stepped up my game at the pool this morning

*I do everything I can to save waterHow I Implied a zero water waste policy and how it (almost) works: 12 basic and useful tips.

*I made calls to my cell company-internet supplier-and my healthcare – and managed to take the price down significantly.

*I buy my groceries online only once a month -but have a weekly order of organic vegetables delivered to my house-including fresh (and organic) local farmers produce. check my post on go salads.

*I buy in bulk- and preserve-freeze- keep in pantry .check my post on a vegan staple-  beans.

*I always take a cooler bag to work– carrying my meals and snacks for the day. so I never buy anything from vending machines or order lunch. they’re as cold as ice

*I learned to do my own nailsBeing frugal : Learning to do my own nails

(I have some more tips but I can’t reveal all my secrets at once.)

So the other day I had an AHA moment.

One of my “hanging in the garden” flip-flops tore down.

I know- it’s a master piece.


My partner asked me what I was going to do- since it’s summer and I wear flip-flops outside when I’m around the house all the time, and I told him I was going to check again around the house and the outside garden shed to see maybe I’ll find a pair long forgotten.

At this point my partner stared at me and said: “you know a new pair only costs a few $, right?”

I said I knew that, but I believe it is a matter of principle and of environmentalism. I told him that buying is for sure the easiest and quickest way to solve any problem, but using this method will make our world suffer  from more pollution-not to mention-and I didn’t mention- the “small numbers add to huge numbers” rule. The reason I didn’t mention that rule is my partner is -to say the least -not on the same page as I am on the frugal subject, and this would only seem to him as me  being a grade A miser.

Then he just went to the garden shed and came back 3 minutes later with 3 (yes three) pairs of flip-flops we forgot we transferred there a long time ago- and since I only decluttered inside the house- I totally forgot they were there.

Sure-they were not new and shiny (come on, I  know flip-flops don’t shine) but they saved time, energy, earth junk and-of course- how can we forget some $.

This incident made me think of the previous me.

A few years ago I wouldn’t have hesitated to go and buy a new pair and wouldn’t even think about looking again .

I think being frugal and (for me-sort of) a minimalist is quite different when you earn good money and can definitely afford many things .

Many people believe that working hard and earning a good salary gives them permission to spend it whenever -and on whatever they wish.

Many times I’ve heard those phrases: “this is my hard-earned money, no use of taking it with me to the grave” (or another interesting way of putting it).

While I totally agree that money has no business lying in graves, I believe this way of thinking does not take into account our true independent wishes and desires-but only the instant – “brain washed by commercials” desires.

A bigger car, a newer phone, a bigger house, designer clothes- I believe many people tend to think this is what they want or need- just because they are following  trends or the desire “to have what everybody has”.

Well people- these are great times to be unique, to stand out, be different. not like every body else. the more you find out what you really are- and what you really want or need- the more special and whole you become. 

ciao- the cooliflower.

How I Implied a zero water waste policy and how it (almost) works: 12 basic and useful tips.

Water is a powerful resource. we cannot survive without clean water, and yet so many abuse this resource..

I know I cannot save the world. I wish I could . But I fiercely believe that If every one of us would do all in his or her power to save as much water as he or she can It may have an exponential effect and things might look different. at least one can have hope.

So here are some tips I implemented at our home. Bear in mind that I cannot persuade all family members to participate because there are still the two that insist that “we were not born to suffer,   we will shower as long as we want and will definitely not shower with a bucket standing at the side of the shower “. but me and my other kid- the mindful no-waste environmentalist kid- are doing a good job keeping the water taps closed as much as we can, and we hope to someday- change the minds of the other two home living family members.

these tips are simple-take little time and almost no cost to implement-and result in saving both water- and $$ on the water bill.

#1: be mindful . all the other tips are derived from this basic simple one.

#2: we have quite a large garden that needs watering everyday. we have a water drip irrigation system that minimizes the water waste drastically. other than that U water the plants in the early  morning hours  -to avoid as much water evaporation as need to mention no green lawn anymore- just beautiful plants and flowers.

#3: quick and efficient showerswith our friend the infamous bucket. all the pre-worm water goes to the bucket -and are used to water the plants the next morning.showers do not exceed the minimum needed to be a very clean person but showers are not therapy. no need to do all your wondering /crying while the water is running.

#4: AC water– a bucket is standing under every ac unit and collects the water drip from it.

#5: Cooking water-pasta water, bean cooking water, vegetable washing water- i have a designated bowl in the kitchen next to my kitchen composter, and all the cooking water goes there- and used to water the garden the next day.

#6: collect rain water: the same buckets used in tip #4 to collect ac water in summer- are used to collect water from drain pipes in the winter.

#7: an obvious one- when brushing your teeth and getting soaped or shampoo your hair –turn the water faucet off.

#8: I never leave the house without a water bottle filled with ice-cold water. sometimes when i get back home- the bottle is half full. it is a habit of mine to empty the bottles on one of my plants.

#9: be aware of dripping faucets– both in -and out of the house.

#10: ok- ever seen “meet the fockers”? barbara sreisand and dustin hoffman playing a cool hippie couple practicing yoga and eating clean? remember their toilet flushing rule? if you don’t remember- go check it out. this movie makes me laugh. out. loud.

#11: have an outside water hose? put a water-loving plant under it to collect all dripping water from it. for example- mint loves water- the more the better .


#12: before washing your floors- broom it /use the IRobot -so the majority of dirt will be cleared and you will not need to use that much water to get the floors clean.

remember- we only have one planet (currently )- the cooliflower.

related posts:

frugal kitchen hacks

Why I want to retire early-and my plan to achieve it

Being frugal : Learning to do my own nailsWhy veganism and frugality are like 2 peas in a pod

5 reasons to use a compost bin











Why I want to retire early-and my plan to achieve it

I know many people like their jobs (so I’ve heard),  and that  many feel they cannot afford to retire , and some –like me-were brought up to believe that the only way to justify your existence on this planet is by being a productive human being=going to work every day rain or sun and “being like everybody else”.

I used to like my job too. But now I am tired . I have seen everything there is to see in my field, and I’ve climbed up the ladder, I’ve dealt with the most difficult situations, I’m now a boss of people, and I’m tired.

I drive to work every day in the early hours (check my post on why I get up at 4 am) , put my beloved pink floyd-led zeppelin-deep purple and hope the day at the office goes fast so I can go back home.

My days are -from my point of view- a waste of time and energy,  which both I believe I can put to better use.

So I sat down and asked myself some difficult questions:

*Is working for 10 /more years a valid option?

*can I manage cutting down a big slice of my expenses?

*is there another way to save real money quickly?

I knew the answer to the first question, I wasn’t really sure about the other 2.

So I started researching online and reading books on the subject of early retirement, and the more I read the more I understood there was no magic involved , as always, only hard work will get me to where I want to be.

for some good reading online  I recommend mr money mustache, and early retirement extreme.

 I understood that if I wish to retire early and give my children the head start I want to give them, then I need to cut down my expenses drastically and invest the money in a “non risky but profitable enough to see some results way”.

But there was a caveat-a  basic rule of thumb I’ve found : with all due respect to my savings ratio –if I feel deprived in any way then this is not only not worth the whole deal but it will not hold on for a long time anyway so what’s the point?

I believe the main thing to remember is that wishing to retire early demands you not only get used to living on a moderate budget for a while– sort of clenching teeth for a year or two before you arrive at the gates of financial paradise. this way of thinking will leave you hanging dry 2-3 years after you’ve retired early and might even result in you having to go back to work after having retired.  I’m thinking this can take a  quite a tole on you both mentally (assuming you do not wish to work again) and monetarily speaking (the tax imposed on you will be significantly higher).

So the key here in my opinion -just like many other important and positive life changes you make -is to embrace the change acknowledging that this is a permanent change.

Just like a dietary change, fitness decisions, and other behavioural changes concerning you or your loved ones, a successful change is a gradual, mindful and consistent one.

please remember I am speaking here from my own experience only- I am not a specialist on physical/ mental/monetary issues .please look at my disclaimer post.

What I can share with you is my personal experience . I have now reached a level where I save most of my salary , and feel very happy –and even indulgent doing so.

more details next time- the cooliflower.







5 reasons why being an introvert is actually beneficial -and a useful tip

First of all-what is an introvert?

my definition: a person who prefers spending time at home, quietly doing what he/she likes to do-than going out and meeting people.

I can tell you i never get bored being by myself, but i get bored easily around people, I avoid parties,  eating out, going to office meetings, sport groups, or any kind group for that matter.

I read this article :23 signs you are an intovert  

and checked all 23 signs.

There were times I thought something was wrong with me- how come everybody loves going out and partying and I will -under peerpressure- go out, but feel exhausted and drained afterwards?

Now I understand there are different kinds of people and different kinds of personalities, and while some people enjoy chit-chatting with new people , having lunch with everyone and water-cooler conversations at the office-(extroverts)-some would much rather have their lunch alone, and while at my job I give speeches and lectures all the time- and never find it intimidating, the thought of making  small talk with anyone is a task i need to prepare fo.

So why is being an introvert such a good thing?

#1: you always get enough sleep– you don’t have to run around from place to place in fear of missing something (infamous FOMO) . you know that the best place for you is always being at home. preferably- alone.

#2: when you get enough sleep you  are more energized, your skin looks better, you can exercise easily and your overall performance- including at work- is better.

#3: It’s so much easier for you to maintain your frugal manner. when you prefer eating at home, entertaining friends at your place instead of going out, exercising alone instead of in a team , reading or listening to music at home instead of wandering around the mall or going to the movies-well then-your costs are much cheaper .

#4: you have only a few friends-but these are true and loyal friends that go way back with you. I have 3 friends. 2 of them have been my good friends for over 23 years and the third one for over a decade.

#5:You have more time to explore and find out what you really want -you- not anyone else around you or society or the internet . you. you can learn how to cook, read books, watch documentaries, learn new skills, find new exercises online -anything.

Ok but how do you manage to not insult people who invite you to their events?

Since I have always worked in an office, I found over the years that people don’t get offended if you avoid going to all events equally:  meaning the important thing is to be very consistent and not attend any event concerning anyone at the office- including boss related events.

Now the key is not to make any exceptions to the rule. never ever. you cannot attend your boss’s daughter’s wedding and then a few weeks later apologise to someone else (who is less able to affect your career) by saying that you don’t attend events as a principle. this is insulting and unfair and will do you much more damage socially.

There are other solutions- such as arriving at the event and disappearing after a short while- no good in my opinion since the hassle of getting dressed up and doing your makeup and driving to the event -and mainly the mental preparation that is needed for me to go out- is too big a task .

there is always the other option- like most people- go to some events- preferably of people they like and people they need in order to promote their own career- and make up excuses for all the others.

I believe strongly in the old and true saying :”you can fool some of the people some of the time-but not all people all the time”.

If you think people at your workplace don’t notice your lame excuses and don’t get offended by both your not attending their event and your belief that they can take your lame excuse than you are wrong.

Here is where my trick is so tricky- not only you don’t have to go to any event- assuming that you desperately don’t like events like me, but people dont get offended because they know that you are an equal non-arriver to everyone’s events. at some point they stop inviting you altogether which is great because it saves you the explaining part.

try it- the cooliflower.

Why I believe in seperate accounts

Having enough Money =having  freedom.

Having enough Money =having power.

Having enough Money means having the freedom  to decide what your life is going to look like and the power to make a change when you no longer enjoy the way you are leading your life.

This is true not only for changing careers , but also for staying with a partner that not only do you no longer have anything in common with , but you feel that staying with is causing you actual harm-be it emotional or physical.

*Please remember i am not an expert on these subject and consult someone who is- before doing anything rash. this is my disclaimer.

I believe anyone-man or woman – should have the option to decide whether  his or her  life is good for them and changing that requires money.

Not a lot of money, but access to money nonetheless.

This is only possible if you have separate accounts -no hard feelings dear spouse of every one of you- even once married or living with a partner.

now this is how we do it in our household:and i know it is much easier when you and your partner earn or bring home the same amount of money.I shall try to suggest a variation for when this is not the situation.

How does this work?

when you and your partner bring home more or less the same amount of money-you divide the house keeping bills so that each of you pay -in total- the same amount of money. for example if you pay for electricity -water-and wifi a sum of 400$ a month than your partner should pay the same amount for other bills concerning both of you- such as house bills -groceries etc.

this division method does not include paying for things that are a matter of personal choice – such as toiletries, apparel, sport related stuff, education related payments and restaurants or ordering in( if you do this kind of  thing).

all of the latter mentioned expenses are a matter of “to each his own”.

I am a frugal person whereas my partner is not. this means he buys all kinds of stuff – mainly jeans (he has about 30 pairs of Levi’s) and electronic gadgets . If our accounts were joint there would be endless fighting about this- and none now. he can do whatever he pleases with his money and so can i. this means i save around 70-75% of my income and I have a feeling that he- on the other hand  doesn’t even know how much money he has.

Some couples are on the same page monetary speaking. that’s great, i truly envy them- but we are not, and this doesn’t make me love and respect my partner any less. I wish he was more mindful to money, I wish he were frugal like me, vegan like me and an environmentalist like me.

But he isn’t , so no use to try to “convert” him.

I am a big believer in personal choice – even when the choices made are not similar to mine.

what about the 2 other options to consider- If you bring home more money -significantly- than your partner/ he brings more than you?

I believe the answer is complicated and depends on many variables-such as- is it a short-term situation- such as -you just had a baby and decided to take a long maternity leave , or one of you is between jobs or studying towards a degree or other educational step  that will increase his/her earning ability? or maybe this is going to be a permanent difference- you or your partner have a specific skill that allows you/him to earn a significant amount of money.

If this is a short-term situation I  believe this is something you and your partner should discuss -and try to reach an understanding. maybe the partner that earns more will cover the other sides house related bills for that short period of time, or any other arrangement you reach in mutual consent.

But what if this difference in salaries is not going to change in the foreseeable future?

I think that this-again- is a matter of a mutual decision made by the two of you- but please bear in mind that if you are the side that earns less, than you need to find a source of income that at least allows you to have minimal financial independence, and try to adapt  a state of mind that doesn’t take your partner’s larger income for granted.

Relying on your partner to supply all your needs might be real treat for the short-term, but hazardous for the long-term.

hazardous for your wellbeing-as an independent person it is imperative that you don’t find yourself asking your partner for permission to take out money -and in the worst case situation you need to be in a constant place of freedom to decide whether or not you wish to stay with this partner.

this could also be hazardous for your relationship- differences in views about money and consumerism may lead to unnecessary quarrels when one side has the power over money.

I believe a key component in a good partnership is both sides understanding that it is not duty / lack of financial strength that keeps you together. you are choosing each other every morning all over again. every day. and although you have the power and the ability to leave- you decide not to– because you love and respect your partner.

the cooliflower.



Why bother?

look at this. 20180601_083445.jpg

this is how one of my oven trays looked like this morning.

I admit I looked at it with actual contempt, and decided to quickly go online shopping for a new tray.

Than i remembered just yesterday i took my car to the shop for its checkup and besides the checkup itself which cost me 200$, i was told to S.O.S go get new front tires, and i did , because you know safety above all- and there went another 400$.

Now I did expect the checkup cost-after all i did make the appointment at the car shop and as much as they like me- they do tend to charge me for the checkups -so I included the cost in my monthly planned expenses  (and btw in my yearly expected  expense report as well) .

But the tire changing is a totally different story.

My car is almost 3 years old, and to be honest, in the past decade, every time the 3 year guaranty expired, I was at the dealers buying a new car.

looking back I can’t say im very proud of myself, but instead of looking back in anger- I am looking forward in anticipation to see how things will look .

So you understand that 1. I had to change the tires, and 2. i wasnt expecting that.

Now you may wonder what the big deal is, well I am working really hard on my savings rate, and attempting to reach 75% savings rate per month.

This is definitely not an easy task to accomplish, but next month some 500$ a month i have been putting into a savings account will finally cease to come off my monthly expenses and I hope I will be close to reaching my destination.

the goal is to be able to retire early next year , as I have understood that spending most of my waking hours sitting under neon lights is not beneficial for my skin.

Now let’s get back to the oven tray.

I ended up not even checking how much it will cost to buy a new one, instead checking if baking soda ans some dish soap with hot water will do the job without having to sacrifice my nails .

So I poured a generous amount of baking soda and added a few cups of boiling hot water and some dish soap to the tray- and let it sit for a few hours. then I put on my cleaning gloves and started scrubbing with a scouring pad.

Can’t say it was easy , it took time, and the result is not perfect- but as bon jovi said- “we’re half way there” (just love that song -livin’ on a prayer).


on sunday my monthly online groceries arrive, including my synthetic vinegar- and this time i will try soaking the tray with baking soda and vinegar and maybe the rest of the dirt will come off.

I must say i’m proud of myself for not giving up and not opting for the quick and easy solution -just buying a new tray.

the experience taught me a little about saving, a little about respecting the stuff I have already at my house, gave me a little arm exercise , and a chance to enjoy the green cleaning method as well.

I could have easily excused myself with saying “I work all week, no way i’m spending my free day cleaning this thing instead of spending just a few $. my free time is worth more than that”.

This is absolutely true- free time is much more important than money, but I actually saw this as a challenge , and ended up enjoying it- wondering if I could beat the scum and rescue the poor tray- and as you can see I won round 1 and everyone is waiting to see what will happen in round 2. ( maybe “everyone” is a bit of an exaggeration ).

cheers- the cooliflower.






joyful frugal apps and channels

here is a list of my favorite apps and u tube channels, actual life changers, and for free!

*yes i am aware that some of them have an option to upgrade for a few bucks, but these apps are great as they are.

working out:

sean vigue .

this man is not only a  professional but also hilarious.  his dog Addie is a guest star in his workouts and he makes funny references to movies and operas which makes you laugh throughout the workout.


spotify. wow the sounds of the music on this app . do yourself a favor and download it.

money managing app:

money manager

quick and easy to monitor your expenses. but you do have to remember to log in your expenses since the app does not have a 6th  sense . yet.

vegan cooking: check the 2 links here:

1.minimalist baker

2.a virtual vegan

easy to follow and non expensive ingredients.  

learning a new language:

duolingo. friendly and educational.


philosophy podcast  -philosophise this.

this is a great podcast that discusses serious philosophical questions in an interesting humoristic way, while addressing other subjects concerning well-being in the same matter.

u tube educational :

school of life

alain de  botton is a gifted writer and  philosopher , who understood that people are in desperate need of the kind of “practical” education that will help them better understand and cope with the art/task of living.  the subject dealt with are love, marriage, sex, expectations, success, envy, fear, anxiety, media, etc.

Badass frugality:

money mustache

pete adeney is mr money mustache, who retired at thirty something, and his blog explains how to save most of your income -and achieve early retirement in good shape.

these are my go to’s, they help me get my act together . enjoy – the cooliflower.





frugal kitchen hacks

I seem to have (or seem to think i have) many frugal hacks in general and specifically in the kitchen- which is one of my favorite places to be. yes i just wrote that. I find it to be a place of creativity and fun, and I find that time flies by when i cook and dice and mix and use my practical skills- along with my artistic aspirations. I listen to music and sometimes dance by myself, and when everything is ready i am so pleased with myself it’s not even that bad to do the cleaning up.

But- I am a strong believer in hacks- both from the frugal time-saving point, and the frugal money- and waste reducing point.

A good recipe that is a sure winner and allows for modifications as needed is by my standarts- a kitchen hack to be shared .

Tofu, as you fellow vegans know very well, is not a cheap ingredient, so finding the best way to use tofu -and not have it’s naturally bland taste take over your food, is crucial.

#1 hack- freeze your tofu block first. I usually buy a few blocks anyway (which ever brand is on sale) -and instead of letting them hide and  in the fridge, I stick them all in the freezer, and a day before intended use i move it to the fridge. (I batch cook on Fridays so there is  massive immigration going on from freezer to fridge early thursday mornings).

this hack serves a double purpose, and I particularly like double purposes.

It prevents the tofu from going to waste on account of fridge forgetfulness, and It allows the tofu to drain most of its water as soon as it thaws. 

This means it only takes 15-20 min of pressing the tofu- to get it ready for use.

*To those who believe they can save the time and use tofu with just a little patting with paper towels- well-i got nothing to say to you.

Hack #2: the pressing of the above mentioned tofu.


yes you saw that kettlebell doubling as weights -and , well, as weights.

no need for a special tool -this or anything like it will work just fine but be careful to make sure it doesn’t lose its balance and fall over .

tofu hack #3: make riccota cheese with it! this is a link to a great and simple recipe, it does not involve frying or baking or whatever which is great for summer time, and the other hack is the different ways you can incorporate this riccota with so many things!

first -this is the link to the great recipe from allrecipes:   tofu ricotta

Tofu hack #4: I added my own basil-wallnuts pesto to it– turned great!

*wallnut-basil  pesto: in a food processor / hand blender mix lots of stemless basil leaves , nutritional yeast, walnuts , olive oil, lemon and salt-to taste. i put it in the freezer right away- it freezes very well and so can keep for a long time.


this is what it looked like on my lunch plate today.(at the right corner of the plate). pure indulgence!


(Not a) tofu hack #5: before using the hand blender, and since I knew this riccota is going to make a mess , I used the blender -and the blender bowl, to grind coriander seeds i preheated on a pan . i have been meaning to grind those seeds for some time, and waited for the double use affect i adore so much.

this is it for now- the cooliflower.

Being frugal : Learning to do my own nails

Being frugal, I try my best to minimize my outsourcing.

This means: I clean the house (IRobot-love u!), do my own facials, tend to my garden, cook and bake, and do my mani-pedi, and more.

For years I  only put clear nail polish, telling myself “I  look european” but actually trying to avoid the extra work around the manicure issue- and remember I do my own gardening and house cleaning.

But then I decided to change things a bit. since I don’t wear a lot of make up, and I like the look of old-fashioned red nails, I gave it a go- and here is the result.

  • I am definitely not recommending putting on nail polish . there is research that indicates health hazards connected to putting on nail polish- please do your resurch before any thing you do in life. and look at my disclaimer



I know it doesn’t look professional, and it’s not perfectly done, but I am here to tell you that I

 The frugal advantages trumped any strange thoughts of perfectionism. 

what are the frugal advantages?

#1: saving a huge amount of time: i don’t have a nail salon close to where i live + leaving work in the middle of the day to get pampered is not ok, this means that in order to get my nails professionally done I need to drive for 20 min to town, wait at least 10 min for my turn, do the manicure and wait for it to properly dry- at least 40 min- and drive back home. total of 90 minutes. sorry- not for moi.

*Yes I can do it after work but I shall miss the whole point of minimizing traffic by getting out of work early -as a result of getting to work early -see link to another post of mine-why i get up at 4.

#2: saving a nice amount of money:  the average price for a regular manicure is around 15$ where i live , and when adding  a pedicure it can get as high as 25$.to this you need to add the price of gas and parking -and there you go . a bottle of my non-cruelty nail polish is 3$ -I use 2 bottles -one for the clear base and upper coat and the other is the old fashioned red color you see in the picture. the bottles last for 2 months at least -so doing the math will get you to these results:

2 months*4 times a month * 15$+1$ gas and parking= 128$. if you add in diy pedicure like I do- then the math is 2*4*26=208$ and in a year- 1248 $.

and instead I spend 2*3=6$+1/2$ for nail polish remover. and for the whole year- 39 $.

1248:39 -that’s a big difference in my book.

A difference that justifies learning to do my own nails, and spending those extra 10 minutes a week to do them.

look online for instructions, it’s simple once you do it a few times, and you even get to practice ambidexterity. yes that’s a word. (for being able to use both hands in an equal manner).

*how long does it last? well from my experience- between 4-5 days, and sure- it’s not a whole week, I know, but when at home, doing house chores and gardening – I am perfectly content with only clear nail color .

I do have a habit of rubbing any residual  facial cream/body cream I put on -on my hands-that makes at least 3 times a day , but sadly this has only been a habit of mine in the last few years, which explains the wrinkles I have now. please remember to put sunscreen and moisturisers on your hands too. many people look at your hands even before they listen to what you have to say, which is definitely something that I hope will change someday, but sadly is currently the situation.

*please remember to use cruelty free products.

that’s it for now- the cooliflower.