Saturday, September 13, 2008

Money is Tight, Groceries Are Expensive, and the Chinese are Poisoning You (Again): Relevant Useful Bits

A round-up of useful bits, interspersed with some news:
  • I'm sure I'm not the only one who is struggling with the ever increasing prices at the supermarket! It leads sometimes to some uncomfortable calculations in my head, such as "how much pesticide is really on the non-organic version of this product and can I save a few bucks without making my kid glow?" I try to manage things with better meal planning discipline, emphasis on try. One "I can not live without" site I use is, which is a recipe sharing community that has saved my bacon on more than one night when I couldn't get to the store, and was forced to figure out what to whip up with some chicken and odds and ends in the pantry. My favorite feature is the ingredient search--put in a few ingredients you have, and whala, a few recipes using those ingredients is generated for you. They also just recently featured a discussion topic that asked the community to give their strategies for spending $100 or less at the store which has some terrific tips. If you are lucky enough to have a grocery co-op nearby this is also an excellent option to get high quality goods, and control the costs.
  • In view of how much angst money management can cause, it's never too early to start educating your kids about how to do it effectively, even as pre-schoolers. The Tessy & Tab Reading Club website has some really nifty free printables to aid in these lessons, and others.
  • Did you know that at many libraries you can now check out things digitally? In most cases the digital check-out "checks itself back in," i.e. deletes itself within a set period of time. No more late fees, and struggling to get back to the library...not to mention the person who glared at you because your toddler dared to udder a peep while browsing in her general location!!!
  • More product updates. Simplicity, who has been forced to recall bassinets due to infant deaths, also apparently contracted to Graco to produce some products as well, and this article is worth a read. Also, if you have been using Mommy's Bliss Nipple Cream, stop immediately! The FDA has issued a strong warning about the product.
  • Finally, you may have heard that Chinese Formula has sickened over 400 children in China, due to melamine contamination, and although prohibited from sale in the U.S., may have slipped in illegally and may be found in ethnic grocers. Beware, and check the origin! Don't get me started about the fact that the Chinese company apparently knew about the tainted milk for weeks and did nothing! It's frustrating, but not surprising. Chinese authorities have only just recently started to acknowledge that the schools that collapsed and killed nearly 5,000 children during the huge earthquake earlier this year were possibly built in a substandard fashion, after cries from parents they tried to silence still managed to be heard; a topic I've written on before. The market has no morality, so in absence of a government and/or cultural ethic that values guarding the health, safety and dignity of it's citizens, we'll continue to see these alarming threats to our children.

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