HOW TO LIVE BETTER WITH LESS

People taking personal responsibility for sustainable, simple, & frugal lifestyles are the wave of the future. Catch the leading edge of this epic transformation that will change the face of this nation forever. As it turns out, you are not your stuff.

Wisdom, daydreaming, and risk-taking can introduce you to
options that you never felt possible.

Here's what advertisers are saying to us: "You are your stuff. Your stuff is you. Our stuff is better than their stuff. Buy more of our stuff." The possibilities are allegedly endless, and somehow, the bill will never be presented for payment.

This is a dangerous illusion. They offer mindless consumerism rooted in greed, lust, and envy, as recommended by advertisers everywhere. And in spite of what people seem to think, the bills will always be paid, one way or another. Americans are famous for accumulating more & more dubious stuff of ever increasing varieties & categories, resulting in big piles of trash & horrendous debts that squeeze household budgets.

You can live better with less - less money, less stuff, less stress, less aggravation, less complication, less velocity. In a world where fast food is the norm, we praise the virtues of slow food - food like your grandmother served, cooked from fresh basic ingredients at least some of which originated in that area, perhaps in her own garden.

What the world needs is more people who are willing to take personal responsibility for creating a better future than the one that is coming at us because of our bad choices. The world is changed one person, one household at a time, as people decide to BE the change they want to SEE.

This transition seems complicated, but here's the secret clue: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are, one thing at a time.

Too many people spend money they haven't earned,
to buy things they don't want,
to impress people they don't like. - Will Rogers

The place to start is with the kitchen and the food you eat. We understand that most of us are very conservative in our food habits. And the sad truth of modern life is that many of us have formed bad habits with our food. Our over-processed, chemicalized, mechanized, just in time convenience food system isn't a free lunch. High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, all these are just the beginnings of sorrows. The way that supermarket food is grown and processed ravages the earth, destroys the fertility of the soil, and poisons the land with chemicals.

This agribidness system is also destroying the quality, variety, nutritional value, and TASTES of our foods. So we're paying more, doing more, and somehow getting less. A better idea is to do MORE with LESS. More joy, more beauty, more wisdom - less pollution, less chemicals, less noxious fumes, less destruction of the natural environment. We got into this situation one bad decision at a time and we will get out of it by one good decision at a time.

This is not just about money. It's about quality of life. Control over your life. Fun, convenience, healthy and tasty meals. We're not talking about feeling sorry for yourself, or going second class. We'd like to introduce you to many new tastes and food treasures, better ways to do food - ways that really are fun & once you get used to them they are convenient & easy..

This is NOT about a person being poor. Simple, sustainable, and frugal living is for everybody - rich and poor and everyone in between. The poor can show the rest of us the way to go.

Since you are in control of your kitchen, you can do what you want with your food..That's why we say, FOOD FIRST! People who let the food industry's tricks tell them what to do pay more money than is necessary and get a lot less than they should for their money. We say: spend your money differently, have more quality. Imagine that.

Better cooking isn't everything, but it is something that we all can understand. It is one step in the direction of family economic security. It provides instant rewards either -- good food and better health!

Where to start? Prepare your meals from basic ingredients, & where possible & practical, buy ingredients directly from local farmers & ranchers.

Doesn't this kind of cooking take a lot of time? It's not like putting a frozen dinner in the oven, but it doesn't taste like food industry moosh either. Many of these recipes only take a few minutes of the cook's time. As you practice this better cooking, the learning curve kicks in. You develop time saving convenience skills. Recipes that once seem complicated are now easy. The first time you bake a cake "from scratch" takes longer than the fifth time you do it. By the time you have made ten, you will be cranking them out like they were popcorn. "Slow food" can be amazingly easy & quick to prepare. It helps if you plan your meals carefully.

Your kids can help. Kids need to learn how to cook. There is no better way to do this than helping in the kitchen. As they get older, give them more to do. Kids need to learn that food doesn't just fall from the sky onto the table. Later in life, they (and their wives, husbands, and roommates) will thank you.

It's OK to make mistakes. That's how you learn. You will get better with practice. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. God is on your side. If you get stuck in the middle of a recipe, and aren't sure what to do next, start your problem solving process with a little prayer, as in, "God, I need help!"

Food is an adventure. You can do amazing things in your own kitchen. Better Times gives you a lot of information to help you find your way. Wisdom, day-dreaming, and risk taking can introduce you to options that you never thought possible. Life is complex. It's OK if you can't solve all of your problems at once. Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

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J.J.