A sleep-over, and the $500 challenge.

My sister and her family went to Florida for two weeks after Christmas, and Mom and Dad have been puppy-sitting their little Shih-tzu.  Since they were having company for supper, cards and a sleep-over last night (staying over is a GREAT idea on New Year's Eve, IMO), I offered to take little Silly Lily for her own sleep-over last night, releasing everyone there from the 3 am potty call :)
MOM!  Lily's in our spot!!!!!
 She's touching me!
 Get her away!!

My dogs have met her numerous times, and they are all learning how to get along.  However, I think they were less than impressed with the sleep-over idea :)

Lily is back with her "Grandparents" now, and it's time to discuss the $500 challenge.  It came about from two occurrences:

1. For the last few months, I've been thinking about changing a lot of equipment I use in the kitchen, for more useful, long-lasting and less harmful alternatives.

2. Just before Christmas, I received a $500 year-end bonus from work this year, and have been trying to figure out how to spend it.  I could just deposit it in the bank, where it will get absorbed by mortgage payments, reno costs and everything else, but I wanted to spend it in a more thoughtful manner.

How perfect :)

So, this is my challenge:

Every month, I will buy something to replace an article in my kitchen that is made of a material I no longer want to use.  I will strive to buy items made in North America, and will only buy items made from stainless steel, wood, glass or any other long-lasting and inert material.  The budget for the year is $500.00. 

Plastic and Teflon are my main items of concern, especially plastic that is used with hot food.  I had, in a small way, started this a while back, having recently bought stainless steel measuring cups and spoons, and colander to replace my old plastic versions.  And I have a list of things I want to change - things like plastic cooking utensils, disposable aluminum pie plates, my old plastic electric kettle and plastic food storage containers.

What to start with?  Well, I've been wanting this for a LONG time, and it seemed like a good item to start the challenge with!

 My new Lodge 12" cast iron skillet!

Why a cast iron skillet?

1. Health concerns over using Teflon vs. health benefits of cast iron
2. The fact that, in 20+ years of being on my own, I have gone through at least 3 sets of "non-stick" frying pans
3. Cast iron lasts almost forever, when treated properly
4. According to my Texas friends (who still haven't blogged about their trip up here, AHEM), this is the ONLY way to correctly make cornbread :)
5. I already have two enamelled cast iron dutch ovens, and LOVE them.

As Lodge makes all of their non-enamelled cast iron in the USA, and is highly recommended by many, many, many people, it was the obvious choice. 

Cost: $34.99 plus tax = $39.54
Balance: $500.00 - $39.54 = $460. 46

I suddenly can't wait for February!

I've created a summary page for the $500 Challenge, which can be found way up there to the right!


  1. Good idea! I have weeded most of the nasty stuff out of my house too. Trouble is the more you get rid of it the more it tries to come back in. I am not kidding! They put plastic in just about everything these days. I only use cast iron pans myself, and they are the way to go. I love them. I will be reading your blog from now on since this is a topic I really like. Happy New Year!

  2. Thanks Katlupe, and welcome! I am constantly amazed myself about how much "stuff" finds it's way into my house! Plastic, paper - it seems endless!

    I'll check out your blogs as well :)

  3. I was sent a link to your blog and felt it fit well into the fundamental idea of our website so I wanted to bring your blog to the attention of our members. I like the idea that instead of allowing something to overwhelm you, you set a goal with rules to accomplish what you can with what you have to work with. I look forward to following your posts on your challenge.

  4. Homestead Hearth - Thanks! Is your forum open to anyone? I'd be pleased to be included!!

  5. I can vouch for the fact that cast iron lasts forever even when *not* treated properly :) Good choice.

  6. Great idea! N. American made stuff is out there but it can be hard to find. Looking forward to this.

    And happy new year.

  7. @StuccoHouse - LOL! That may be, but I'll still try to treat mine right :)

    @Liz - you're telling me! And trying to find a Canadian distributor for some things, without spending more in shipping that the item is worth!! And a happy New Year to you and yours - stay warm!

  8. I LOVE it! We've been slowly and steadily replacing plastic and non-stick things in our house - although I have to admit that I didn't think of specifying North American made. Like Katlupe says, though, it just keeps trying to creep in.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...