Better Times Basics

*Champagne Living on a Beer Budget !Better Times 
An Occasional Almanac of Useful Information about Simple, Sustainable, and Frugal Living

The World will be saved by Beauty.  Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.
5th Edition, Published by the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House in Oklahoma City

About Better Times 5th Edition

Better Times Basics

How to live better with less Front page article that introduces important themes of this edition of the Almanac – the expensive folly of pursuing material goods, the importance of priorities, where to start, why you should start in your kitchen. As it turns out, you are not your stuff.

Plan to succeed or plan to fail, these are your only choices. The importance of planning your meals.

Survival strategies for low and moderate income people, which are useful for everybody

Casino Shopping, You don’t have to go to Vegas to gamble, just walk into a supermarket! Common store merchandising tricks and how to avoid them.

18 Guaranteed ways to WIN at casino shopping More on the casino/supermarket connection, offers suggestions on how to “beat the house odds.”

Ten pathways of sustainable and just lifestyles, ten steps for your journey.

Eight Fundamentals of Frugal Living, frugality is the discipline associated with the virtues of simple and sustainable living

Babies are Beautiful!, Breast-feeding, cloth diapers, and making your own baby wipes

Eight steps to family food security, how to get there from here.

How to grow some of your own food, Composting, square foot gardening, easy perennial vegetables

Seven habits of personal, family, and community resilience, Resilience is the ability to successfully meet and surmount challenges, obstacles, & problems.

Energy Almanac Pages, family budgets are being threatened by rising energy prices. Ideas to help your family cope with even higher prices in the future.

Meeting the Food Stamp Challenge with Local Foods, “Slow Food for the Poor”, a report on our experience preparing and eating meals for a week within the food stamp budget for 2 people. This challenge integrated frugal supermarket shopping, preparing meals from basic ingredients, gardening, home preservation of foods, food storage, and purchasing foods from local farmers to produce a nutritious, satisfying, tasty, and practical week of great eating at our house.



Seven easy steps to kitchen frugality and tasty foods We are abandoning manufactured fast foods in favor of slow food, true food, good food, loving and healing food, nutritious food, tasty food. Kitchen measurements, how many teaspoons in ten pounds and other such important information
Eating with the season, frugal summer and winter weekly meal plans Staples for the home storage pantry, keep these items on hand to cook frugal meals.
Short-takes, small nuggets of useful advice and frugal ideas: Convenience store traps, Emergency supplies to keep on hand, Here’s a clue about loan payments, Make your own cream of whatever soup mix, Margarine/shortening/oil, Oral rehydration solution, Useful tools for food storage and efficient cooking, Weekly/monthly/seasonal food processing activities, What does a recipe mean by a “greased and floured pan”? Pesticided & Herbicided Supermarket Produce, Let the buyer beware of pesticide residues on supermarket produce
Useful food processing equipment, items that help you take frugal advantage of seasonal foods How to buy meat directly from a farmer, tips from family experiences.
How to understand a recipe  


Fun Foods – Make your own snacks. You save money and get much better food. Yes, there is a recipe for making your own beer nuts here, also donuts, onion rings, and corn dogs. Pies, Cakes, Desserts, comfort foods from grandma’s kitchen
How to make your own beef, chicken, and vegetable stocks. And why you should do so. Crockpot recipes, make your life easier.
Country Gravy, detailed instructions and Roux Rules, plus – When Gravy Goes Wrong. Soups, good soups to nourish the family
Ten tasty ways to fix grits, Garlic grits, cheese grits, tasty ways to fix this frugal food. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.
Hamburger is not just a fast food sandwich, great ways to cook ground meat. Roast beast, also chicken fried steak, beef stew, and meatloaf.
Pork, also sausage, and other good things to eat from the pig Bread, and cinnamon rolls and cornbread and biscuits, and many other great baked goods for your oven.
Vegetables, you never knew they could be this good. Peanuts, a great frugal food, roast your own, make your own peanut butter!
Potatoes – 17 ways to cook potatoes!- ixes, you can pay big bucks for an inferior store bought mix, or you can save money by making your own high quality convenience mixes. Hmmm, high cost and inferior taste versus low cost and superior taste.
Miscellaneous, good things to eat we couldn’t classify elsewhere Tuna Casserole, why the venerable tuna casserole page is no longer a Better Times feature


Wisdom Sayings, In the best tradition of the American almanac, the 5th edition of the Better Times Almanac of Useful Information is liberally seasoned with proverbs and wisdom sayings. Here they are, collected onto one page. A message from Native American Elders
Top Ten Lies of Television It takes a village to raise a child. Life is easier when you are part of a network of friends, family, a community.

A new book from the creator of the online Better Times resources!
iPermie! How to permaculture your urban lifestyle.
A good-life design guide for Millennials, Boomers, and Generation X.

Strategies, tools, and techniques to help you navigate the cardinal threats
of peak oil, climate instability, economic irrationality, and political criminality.
An Almanac of  Useful Information and Permaculture Self-Study Guide.

14 sections, 248 chapters, 399,000 words.— Only $1.99 as an ebook download. 
A variety of formats (PDF, Kindle, Android, Apple, Kobo, etc.) are linked for download at


Avoid negative sources, people, places, things and habits.
Believe in yourself.
Consider things from every angle.
Don’t give up, and don’t give in.
Enjoy life today; yesterday is gone, and tomorrow may never come.
Family and friends are hidden treasures. Enjoy their riches.
Give more than you planned to give.
Hang on to your dreams.-
Ignore those who try to dicourage you.
Just do it!
Keep on trying..
Love God, yourself, and your neighbor.
Make it happen.
Never lie, cheat or steal.
Open your eyes, see things as they really are.
Practice makes perfect.
Quitters never win, and winners never quit.
Read, study and learn about everything important in your life.
Stop procrastinating.
Understand yourself to better understand others.
Visualize it.
Want it more than anything.
Xccelerate your efforts.
You are unique in all of God’s creation.
Zero in on your target; go for it.

Found on the Internet.

Jesu Juva. This internet edition of the 5th edition of the Better Times Almanac was published to the internet by the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House on Thanksgiving Day, 2004 and is under the patronage of St. Martha of Bethany, sister of Lazarus. These materials, unless copyrighted by others, may be freely shared and reprinted as long as they are given away for free. (S) Shareright 2004, Robert Waldrop. For more information about the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker House, visit . For more information about the Catholic Worker movement, visit and Ad majorem Dei gloriam.