Friday, September 12, 2008

Book Review - Ditch the Diet and the Budget

ditch_dietDitch the Diet and the Budget and Find a Better Way to Live is one of the best personal finance/life management books I've read in a LONG time.

I really appreciate how Cynthia Yates doesn't lay down advice as cannon - she takes time to explain why something should be done. Take this practical piece:

Do not store potatoes in the fridge (same with avocados). Store them in a dark, dry place. Cold converts potato starch to sugar, which makes black blotches inside your spuds.

Chances are I won't remember the starch to sugar bit in a week (although now I can google it on here) but I'll remember there is a scientific reason for why potatoes should be kept out of the crisper (where my mom always stored hers).

Here are a few other things I'd like to remember:

  • Don't keep meat in the freezer too long. Meat begins to lose nutritional value after six months - hamburger after three months.
  • Keep your refridgerator adjusted to 36-38 degrees and keep your freezer 0-5 degrees. As little as ten degrees below what is recommended can increase energy use by 25 percent.
  • Do not put uncovered liquids in fridge. They emit vapors that cause condensers to work harder.
  • Your clothes will last longer if you keep them out of the dryer.
  • Ring around the collar? Shampoo dissolves body oils.

Yates also gives keen advice and recipes for common "left over" items, shopping for electronics, weather proofing, buying and maintaining clothing, etc. Its all done is a super relaxed, almost blogging tone and left me feeling as if a cool great-aunt had dropped by for much needed mentoring.