The Road to FISE: So Easy. Homemade Peanut Butter!!!
August 31, 2020
FISE stands for Financial Independence Save the Earth. I coined this phrase on New Year’s Eve 2019 https://drplasticpicker.com/fise-financial-indepedence-and-save-the-earth/. Since then I’ve written almost twenty blogs with this term. Maybe if I blog about it enough, it will become mainstream. Did you know that I am technically a Physician Personal Finance Blogger? I am included on Crispy Doc’s blogroll and the requirement is to have at least one new blog regarding personal finance every 3 months https://drplasticpicker.com/the-road-to-fise-financial-independence-to-save-the-earth/. This is an easy requirement for me. Since I am the daughter of an accountant and Financially Independent myself, I think of the world in terms of fiscal responsibility and dollars and cents. It’s just how I am wired.
Since I have been committed to saving the earth in a personally fiscally responsible way, I had FOUR FISE thoughts yesterday.
(1) I’m still working and that is good! I had suffered professional burn-out about a year ago. And honestly for the last 12 years at work, I would professionally perform well but always mention off-hand “when I retire.” I haven’t even uttered those words with any convinction in the last year. I have come to realize I can help the earth more by working as a healthcare middle-manager. There are enough activist marching on the streets and showing up en-masse at government meetings. But there are fewer environmental activist like me pushing for reusable PPE, and voting against laminated/plastic coated placards. Instead our department is using heavy cardstock that can be recycled or the reusable sign holders where you can change up the flyers in the patient rooms. I have calculated out that every year I work, I add at least 150K to our networth just in terms of increased pension and forced retirement savings. 150K is a lot of money. Still working but being essentially FISE, I feel free to donate to environmental causes in a fiscally responsible way.
(2) Sell Our 2006 Honda Odyssey Touring Edition Black Minivan: We have a second-hand Minivan which is in excellent condition. Eventhough it is 14-years-old, it doesn’t even have 100K miles on it. We have three drivers in our household, and four cars. We’ve kept the minivan around for those rare times we needed a large car, like Girl Scout cookie season pick up and taking large groups of kids (again Girl Scouts) camping. Mostly the car is helpful because we have had many friends borrow it when they needed a minivan. But it really doesn’t make much sense. Our son is 15 and we may end up buying a new car for him, and I am certainly not having him drive that huge minivan. It makes sense to sell it right now to free up space in our backyard concrete parking area. I want to start doing a container gardening project there. I think selling a high quality used car during a pandemic is probably a smart thing to do because most people aren’t looking to buy new cars.
(3) Maybe It’s Time to Buy that San Francisco Condo: I know this sounds crazy but I love San Francisco. Everyone loves San Francisco. But San Francisco is very expensive. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, there is news story after news story about the death of the city. New York Times just posted a story about New Yorkers fleeing to the suburbs. There are also stories of all the tech workers fleeing San Francisco. I have a family member that bought right after 9/11 in New York City, and it was the smartest financial move they ever made. They bought in Tribecca before it became cool, and made millions in equity in property appreciation. Fundamentally I believe in density and I believe in cities and I believe in California. I love San Francisco. I already have plenty of properties in my own city, and indeed have several rentals next to our downtown ball park here. They are talks of further improvements in the East Village here, which will again increase our two rental property values. As someone who learned to play monopoly very young, I buy and hold. I think it may be a good idea to buy that dream San Francisco downtown condo that Mr. Plastic Picker and I always wanted to buy. It’s a dream but that’s how things start. I’m going to start dreaming. I usually like to buy rental properties around Thanksgiving to Christmas, as I can score good deals at that point.
(4) So Easy. Homemade Peanut Butter!!! In celebration of Dr. Plastic Picker’s Birthday, I made homemade peanut butter. It is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, and finally did it. It was so fun and so easy and so FISE. The FISE part is what will keep me doing it. I had been trying to figure out the answer to peanut butter for years. The problem with regular normal peanut butter is that it usually comes in plastic, filled with sugar and almost always made with palm oil. Therefore poor orangatangs are injured in the process.
I have purchased organic peanut butter before, and honestly it wasn’t that good and spoiled before we finished it. Then I finally bought a brand of palm-oil free peanut butter. This is a comparable brand. It’s usually pricier but more importantly harder to find. It still comes in new packaging either plastic or glass.
But yesterday I made my own peanut butter from organic roasted shelled peanuts purchased from Sprout’s bulk bins!
There are tons of recipes online. But all you do is get roasted peanuts. We bought a pound and split it between a reusable container to just eat and to make into peanut butter. You put the peanuts in some kind of blender, I used our small food processor. You then blend it (I used the grind function). It takes about 5 minutes or so. About every minute or so, you take a spatula and just dislodge the peanut mixture from the impacted sides or bottom so it can continue to evenly mix. And then do what you want! Most recipes call for
- 2 cups unsalted dry roasted peanuts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon honey
I used some brown sugar I had left over instead of honey. My instagram friend PaddleOutPlastic suggested “use 2/3 peanuts and 1/3 cashews. Makes it smoother. Another possibility is to melt some chocolate and add it to the blended peanuts. Or add it to blended hazelbuts and you get something akin to Nutella without all the additives.” She is really wise and collects plastic from LA Habour during her kayaking trips.
And that is it – homemade peanut butter! I didn’t do a cost analysis but it was certainly cheaper than $7.58 and more importantly I reused two glass containers. One for the whole peanuts for the kids to snack on and one for the homemade peanut butter. Everyone had some yesterday. Our son actually preferentially grabbed my peanut butter and skipped the Skippy to spread over his toast. Hopefully that will be the last can of Skippy we ever buy. We are just going to make a habit of buying roasted unsalted peanut butter in bulk when we go to Sprouts now.
And that is how Dr. Plastic Picker’s mind works. I saved money by making my own peanut butter. I also will sell our minivan soon to decompress space in our backyard area for a new gardening project. I am still going to go to work, so I can have enough extra fun money to continue to help save the earth with targeted donations. And I am going to dream about buying Downtown San Francisco condo that maybe I’ll buy around Christmas. Investing in downtown areas of density in my home state is an act of faith. Plus buying when everyone thinks the economy is tanking is usually a good thing. When the crowd goes right, Dr. Plastic Picker goes left. Now I just have to make sure we get highspeed rail so I can get from Southern California to Downtown San Francisco without driving!