23 February 2010

Eatting Out


"The economy may be thawing, but many families' budgets are still tight. Eating out still means McDonald's or coffee and a bagel at the corner store more than anything else.

That means a squeeze for casual dining chains, those in-between eateries that attract
lower- and middle-income families who don't have a table waiting for them at a fancy
white-tablecloth restaurant but like to occasionally treat themselves to more than fast food. When the economy is rolling, $8 to $20 entrées are enticing. When money is tight, not so much."

I read the above article about the decline of many chain restaurants. They are saying that it all has to do with the economy and that people do not have the money to be eating out like they once did. A lot of these restaurants are continuing to stay open even though they are experiencing huge profit losses because they say the economy will turn around.

I am sure that is partly true but I really am hoping that another reason for the decline is because people are demanding better quality food for their money when they do eat out.

I know for my husband and I it was equally both reasons. We would go out to eat once a week and spend $20-40 for bad quality, bad tasting food that ended up making us miserable after we ate. We consciously decided it was better to cook good food at home and splurge occasionally on the really good quality restaurants that offer better quality food.

What do you think? For most is it just the money or are people starting to also pay attention to quality?

16 February 2010

Cleaning Up My Act

I have spent a lot of time over the last few years learning all that I could about eating right, cleaning green, going natural and removing preservatives, chemicals, etc out of my food and home. But I have neglected one very important area...my personal hygiene/beauty products.

I am not what you would call a diva or high maintenance but I use a good number of products. I made a list of them all and then I went to www.cosmeticsdatabase.com and looked each one up. WOW...it was scary. You really should check it out. All of the products that I use are listed as moderate hazard with the exception of two that are high risk. The only low hazards that I had were for my Spry toothpaste and Aveeno body lotion.

One thing that surprised me was that two of the products that I use that are high priced and marketed as being 'natural', fair trade, recycle, upcycle options and all were the worst ones.

So now I am in search of products that are not full of harmful chemicals but still be able to keep me clean, my skin and hair soft and not be looking or smelling like I just crawled out from under a rock.

I'm not going to throw these products out because that is just pure waste. I've been exposed to them for this long it's not going to hurt any more to finish the bottles. But I am going to find alternatives so that when they do run out I know what I will be trying.

Anyone have any good advice or tips on this subject?

05 February 2010

When I'm tired and I need to eat NOW...

Ok, you know the deal. It's been a long, long, stressful day at work. You get home, you are starving and the last thing you want to do is cook. Even taking something out of the freezer and warming it up in the oven seems like the impossible. What do you do?

I grab the phone and call Jimmy John's. Their sandwiches are really good and no where near as bad for you as most "fast food". I know it's still not a great choice because of the calories and sodium but this is a once a month or two treat not a weekly thing. Plus they deliver in around 15 minutes.

I checked out their website. The company was established in Illinois so that's good, I'm supporting a local company and they use better quality ingredients than most other sandwich shops. I know I could make my own sandwich just as good or better but the price isn't bad and sometimes you just don't want to be in the kitchen even if it is just to make a sandwich.

What do you eat when you just don't have it in you to cook for yourself but you are starving? And do you try to find as many ways to justify it as I do?