Updated on 10.13.09

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Red Beans, Rice, Okra, and Sausage Edition

Trent Hamm

Can a meal really get any easier than that? Cook up some rice, add some red beans, frozen okra, and cooked sausage (andouille, polska, whatever you like). Sprinkle in a lot of spices (sage, cayenne, garlic, thyme, paprika, even a bay leaf if you have one) as you’re cooking it all together. Yum – supper is prepared. Put a bottle of hot sauce on the table and you’re good to go. Make plenty and you can easily eat it for leftovers for a day or two.

Meals like this are common suppers at our house. Things that are easy to prepare and inexpensive yet quite tasty are always huge hits and wind up in our regular meal rotation. This meal is one of the common ones – we all like it.

The 5 Stages of Investing Enlightenment Investing is just like any other complex area that we study in life. We grow in our knowledge and understanding of it. Quite often, it seems, the more you know about something, the less it feels like you know about something because you’re aware of how deep the rabbit hole really goes. (@ free money finance)

Your Take: What Are Your Rules of Thumb? If I have a rule of thumb, it’s “there’s a better way of doing this.” I constantly try to figure out better and more cost-effective ways of doing the regular things in my life. (@ bargaineering)

Don’t Let the Children Dictate Your Finances! It’s very easy for people to allow children to dictate areas of your life. They’re demanding without understanding the ramifications and that often results in conflict – and sometimes, to avoid that conflict, parents try to find other ways to do things. That’s not a good idea when it comes to your money. (@ frugal dad)

No Costco Membership? Shopping At Costco Still Saves Money This is a calculation I’ve wanted to do for a long time: are warehouse clubs still cheaper even without the membership? Most warehouse clubs let you shop without a membership but you have to pay a 10% markup on what you buy. This article concludes that, for a lot of purchases, warehouse clubs are still cheaper per item. The question then becomes whether a membership is cost-effective. (@ the digerati life)

Apparent Risk and Actual Risk People’s perception of risk is often skewed and incorrect, but we generally behave according to the perceived risk, not the actual risk. It’s always beneficial to stop and figure out the actual risk of our situation. (@ seth godin)

Who Has the Time (or Money) for Deals? I agree – for the most part, sites that post tons of “deals” are usually a waste of time and money. My solution is simple – I filter them automatically using services like feedfilter.com. I just make up a list of the things I’m actually looking for, then use feedfilter.com to filter bargain sites for only those things. In the end, all I see are bargains for the specific items I care about. (@ wise bread)

Crush It! and The Best Books on Boosting Your Income Pretty good list, except for the Loral Langemeier book. I’ve read two books by her and they feel a lot like books by Robert Kiyosaki – cheerleading and anecdotes that lead to dangerous real-world conclusions. (@ get rich slowly)

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  1. I was under the impression that cooking with Okra required the addition of an acidic ingredient (such as tomatoes) in order to keep the okra from being slimy. Do you add such an ingredient to this dish, or is it ‘slimy’, or am I mistaken?

  2. Saagar says:

    feedfilter.com leads to a parking site. Did you mean some other site Trent.

  3. Kevin M says:

    Related Posts: David Ortiz…for some reason I found that funny.

  4. Christina says:

    It sounds like David Ortiz would LOVE this “tasty” recipe!

  5. Christina says:

    LOL Kevin…great minds think alike! :)

  6. Trent,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now, and since you are talking about simple food recipes… I guess this would be a good opportunity to share mine with you.

    I write a blog called Boy Meets Food where I provide recipes, talk about ingredients, and share my experiences with the dishes. Many of the recipes are quick, easy, and cheap to make.

    @Commenter #1, Okra is usually more slimy if it is cooked in a dish with lots of liquid (especially soup or stews). Trent didn’t specify the cooking method he used here, but I would assume he probably stir-fried or sauteed the ingredients (with the exception of the initial cooking of the rice). If that is the case, the sliminess would sort of be locked within the okra pieces, and would not spread throughout the rest of the dish.

  7. Aaron says:

    I think you mean feedsifter.com and not feedfilter.com (just a guess).

  8. Mister E says:

    I don’t think I’ll ever hear of red beans and rice again that I won’t be reminded of the David Ortiz debacle.

  9. Gina says:

    @ #1:

    Okra is pretty much going to be slimy no matter what you do to it. I’ve had the occasion to be made to eat deep fried okra (southern father) and it’s still slimy.

  10. todo es bien says:

    Best rule of thumb ever: You know you are doing well financially when you worry more about your taxes than your income.

  11. Aimee says:

    Red beans and rice does not include okra. Gumbo includes okra. You’ve combined two Louisiana dishes and I can imagine that the resulting mess is only edible to a midwestern palate such as yours.

  12. Louisiana Girl says:

    red beans and rice + okra is not a good combination. Are you trying to make a beaned gumbo?

  13. George says:

    “Apparent risk and actual risk”. Absolutely no meat in that link!

    There were no lessons on how to measure risk or make comparisons.

    Waste of time to read it.

  14. jim says:

    I agree with your rule of thumb, there is almost always a better way of doing something and part of the fun is trying to figure out what that is.

  15. Debtress says:

    Finally, some respect for okra! I was spoiled by fresh growing up, may have to step down off my high horse and try frozen okra.

    And meta money: Okra is naturally slimy when cut open when fresh. But cooking it in most ways will cut it out.

  16. Save some money, eat something different, that tastes good and is good for us.

  17. Rob says:

    Trent, as you always say. you would never put a ad on your site you dont endorse. I had to click on the steriod looking muscle bound person under this last blog. Very interesting endorsement. New “300” supplement? Here is the fine print, on the bottom:

    Force Max: Offer Details: When you order today you’ll be signed up as a member of our exclusive preferred customer club. Once you choose to continue losing weight with the AcaiBurn Extreme System, you will be billed the low member price of only $58.76 per month for every month. (Shipped as a fresh, 3 month supply every 90 days.) And remember, there’s never any obligation – you can cancel your membership at any time by calling 866-989-8945. You have also unlocked your fourteen-day and twenty-eight day trial to the celebrity-proven Insider Secrets Tips package and the Comprehensive Weight Loss eBook package for just $3.24 and $7.14 a month thereafter (shows as “Web Access” and “Membership”), should you choose not to cancel. Prior charges for bonuses are non-refundable but subscription can be cancelled and future charges stopped at any time. To cancel, call toll-free 866-989-2685 for Insider Secrets and 1-800-989-5907 for the eBook package. Orders outside of US pay an additional $9.95 for shipping. No obligation, CANCEL ANYTIME! All bonus offers come with a monthly newsletter.

    Sound like the usual buy something, dont read the fine print, and get suckered into an automatic membership.

    Interesting endorsement.

  18. Tim says:


    I’m fairly sure the ads that get pumped onto just about any website are automated by ad sellers. So, a website is categorized to have a a certain audience/topics, and ads are pushed down based on those criteria.

    I’m basically 100% sure that Trent doesn’t search out for each and every ad, and if you bring up something that seems unethical that ads from that company can be blocked from being shown on the site.

  19. Nice roundup, and that supper sounds tasty! These days, I’m fine with soup and salads (trying to drop the weight), but meals like you described whet the appetite. Spices do it for me!

  20. kristine says:

    Seth Godin’s musings are always geared toward the wannabe entrepeneur. He has demi-god status among CEOs. But he offers more motivational thought-bites than actionable content. This blog is better-a healthy mix of both.

  21. anne says:

    re: costco

    i already loved costco because they pay such a good wage and treat their employees well.

    when we bought our house 1 and 1/2 years ago, we used the costco real estate referral service- they referred us to a century 21 realtor, and a lending tree mortgage broker.

    about a month agter we closed we got a $400 costco gift card and an approx $1500 check from lending tree.

    what a deal!!

  22. Lenore says:

    My “general rule” is not to use the phrase “rule of thumb” because it derives from an old law that allowed a husband to strike his wife with any object not exceeding the diameter of his thumb.

    Financially when I think of thumbs, I think of hitchhiking to save gas, hiring someone else to do work when it’s something I’m truly “all thumbs” about and and not sitting on my thumbs when I should be getting things done.

  23. deRuiter says:

    Get access to Costco without buying a membership by shopping with someone who has a membership, and pay your friend for what you’ve bought after you leave the store. For another fast, cheap, good recipe: Grill split Italian sausages on the charcoal grill AFTER you’ve grilled your your actual dinner of burgers, chicken, whatever. When we do our burgers, the charcoal fire is still “just right”. In order not to waste the heat, I grill the sausages which give up loads of fat while being cooked, drain them on paper towels, and store in the fridge. Next day you saute sliced onions and peppers from the garden (or the freezer) in olive oil. When the onions are nice and golden (carmelized) you toss in the diced up sausage long enough to heat through, then serve all over cooked white rice. It’s good, the sausage is precooked the day before, the recipe uses ingredients from the garden, and isn’t greasy like most sausage and peppers. The sausage will be a bit drier than you’re used to, but it has a great grilled taste, and is much lower in fat. Our Shop Rite marks down fresh Italian sausage when it is close to the “sell by” date so if you bring it home and grill it that day, you’ve got a cheap, tasty meal which cooks in a hurry.

  24. Aaron says:

    A lot of my meals are like that since I cook a bunch of staples on the weekend and then put them together for daily meals. I’m doing a lot of simple mash-ups with winter squash now that it’s in season and fairly cheap right now.

  25. Aaron says:

    Egad, I should really re-read a comment before submitting it. This is better…

    A lot of my meals are like that, since I cook a bunch of staples on the weekend and then put them together during the week. I’m doing a lot of simple mash-ups with winter squash now that it’s in season and fairly cheap.

  26. Bill in Houston says:

    @ #16, that “origin” is an old urban legend (in other words, it predates urban legends). The claim was championed by 70s-era feminists because it was empowering, nothing more, nothing less.

    WRT the phrase, “no substantial evidence has been found that he ever expressed so ungallant an opinion.” (1870, The Judges of England)

    Look it up, but please avoid places like Wikipedia.

    Sorry, this has been a pet peeve of mine for years (improper language origins). I’m a writer by trade.

    With respect to red beans, it takes several hours to soak them. I usually soak mine overnight. As opposed to okra I would sauté some bell pepper and onion, add them to the rice and beans, and add some cooked sausage.

    As for Costco, they rule!

  27. Jerry says:

    Trent I love okra and sausage and red beans – never put them all together and you’ve got my mouth watering even at 10AM! Last weekend we made a stew that lasted a few days, and on day 2 with addition of beans and some shredded cheddar I turned it into chili! Very healthy stuff. Now I just need to buy some frozen okra.

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