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Showing posts from August, 2012

Frugal Activities from the Past Few Weeks and Updates from the Chaos

We have been a busy, chaotic, crazy bunch these last few weeks. Judging by my bank account, the frugal activities have been slim too, but we have had some! Here is a round-up of what was done through last Sunday.

The first week I canned:
  - 10 quarts and 2 pints of chicken stock
  - 5 pints of pasta sauce
  - 7 quarts of dill pickles
  - 11 pints of sliced peaches

For those curious about how I got this done, I spent three consecutive nights after work canning. My body let me know I was out of shape after the third night so I took a little break from canning! I also decided I needed more exercise too!

I make a gallon of sweet tea almost every week. I drink this instead of coffee and pop at work and sometimes home. Making sweet tea is so simple and you can adjust the sweetness to your liking. I will share this recipe soon!

I did plant snap peas for a fall crop in my garden. This is the first time I have ever tried to plant a fall crop so this should be interesting. I had some leftover…

What Place Do Grains Have In Your Food Storage?

Grains are a difficult and somewhat controversial subject when discussing what should be in the pantry and food storage. Somewhat controversial because some food storage specialists believe that one should buy a hand-cranked grain mill, buy wheat by the load, and grind your own. They are very much correct in this thinking when one considers what you will need if a SHTF situation does occur, the fact that food grade grain is cheaper than processed, and much healthier for you if you do mill your own grain.

However...

I do not have that equipment or the finances to buy the equipment and grain to mill my own grain. Time to mill the grain is also not available most of the time. I have to choose other routes for adding grain to my pantry and food storage. What grains to add to a pantry and food storage depends completely on what you cook/bake and what you plan to cook/bake when times get bad. There is no right or wrong grains to store. Just be sure to store them correctly and take care to kee…

What Do You Plan To Put On Your Food?

Condiments and sauces are another overlooked item in the well-stocked pantry and food storage. From time to time, I like to take stock of what I have and I realized one day badly how I was lacking in this area. I did quickly remedy this area as well as continually add to it.

Condiments and sauces do so much and take so little effort. They can make a bland meal fantastic, liven up the overdone meat, mask a burnt meal, and give a little happiness for those tired of the same rice, potatoes, and pasta.

This is my list of the condiments and sauces that I keep on hand. You might keep different items and that is all good. To each their own.

1. Pasta sauce. Especially the tomato kind. We use this a lot, but I like to make sure I buy it in glass jars and it does not contain high fructose corn syrup or dyes.

2. Ketchup. I don't use this as much for dipping as I do for making other sauces. However, the kids like to have this on hand at all times.

3. Teriyaki sauce. An Asian meal in minutes. I lik…

Spicing Up Your Food Pantry and Storage

What do you have in your pantry? If you have followed this blog for awhile, you know I am a complete and total believer in a stocked pantry and well-planned food storage. We eat out of both, but the food from our pantry and food storage would become very bland if we didn't keep a well-rounded selections of seasonings and spices on hand.

Not having seasonings and spices on hand is one of the most overlooked items in food storage. Many people build up their food storage and plan on eating a lot of rice, potatoes, and pasta, but they do not think about what they are going to do to make it taste better. Eating rice is good; eating rice for days on end without seasoning becomes very, very boring and monotonous.

This is what I keep in my pantry for seasonings and spices. I have more than listed, but this is my necessary, have to have list. You may keep different things depending on your tastes and cooking preferences.

1. Salt. I don't believe you can have enough salt. Salt has an indet…

I Don't Know Who To Vote For

This year's elections have me a little lost, a whole lot confused, and completely frustrated. When I say I don't know who to vote for, it is a little like saying I don't know what color to paint the kitchen. Whatever I choose, I will have live with the consequences for years.

The current guy is not who I want there now. That I am certain about. I am not a fan of forced universal health care and abusing executive orders. I am not a fan of someone who wants to take away our means of protection and make us dependent on the very group who have proven over and over again that they only take care of themselves. He promised us change and he did not disappoint, but somehow what he has done was not what I had in mind or understood that he had in mind. But then, he didn't let us know much of his plans when he was running four years ago. Now we know his true colors.

The guy running against him doesn't do much for me either. He already has forced universal health care in his …

This Week's Frugal Activities

This week was a little slow for frugal activities. Not that I wasn't frugal, but that I did more time consuming things like weeding my garden. So onto the list!

- I made a big pan of chicken broth/stock. It is simmering while I type. I save the chicken carcasses from when I roast chickens so I can make this. I will let it cool and can the stock in a few days.

- I made my once a month grocery trip which saves me a bunch of money and time!

- Rob's neighbors took me to their garden and gave me some of their produce! I am one grateful gal! I will be busy getting that put up this week too.

- My mom sent a box of clothes that she found at her favorite thrift shop for half price! The clothes are wonderful and the girls were excited to see them.

- I spent most of my week weeding around the farm. The weeds grow quickly around here and it is a constant summer chore even with mulch down.

That is about it for this week. I wish it was more, but a little bit is better than nothing!

Thanks f…

Once A Month Grocery Shopping

Do you hate grocery shopping? (Um, yes I do. If you like it, that's ok!)

Do you want to save time and effort? Do you want to save money and be frugal? Would you like to look into your pantry and see all the food you have to make a meal without thinking about it?

Of course you would!

Something I have been doing the last three months is doing my major grocery shopping only once a month. This has been such a blessing to me in the way of freeing up my time, being more organized, and creating less stress. I have been saving money because I am not in the grocery store every week and making impulse purchases every time I am there. I feel good knowing that I have at least a month's worth of groceries at home in case of emergencies.

I usually end with more than a month's worth of groceries because I plan for thirty days of meals, grab and go breakfasts during the week, and breakfast and lunches on the weekends. And y'all? We never eat that much and that often at home. We end …

This Week's (And Last Week's) Frugal Activities

Well, last weekend was a bit crazy so I did not post these! Ack! So I will give you more of a two week update and hope my memory is that great. Hopefully, these will give you ideas or inspiration to be frugal in your household.

- I canned four jars of squash pickles, four jars of fresh pack dill pickles, and 11 half-pint jars of pizza sauce from produce that was given to me.

- I bought several items like books and a movie for Dane, one thing for Paige, and two things for Jordan to give for birthday gifts from the garage sale site on Facebook and one of the local thrift shops. Unbelievably, these things were all new! And I paid less than 10% of the retail price for all of it!

- I also purchased some items for Shali for college next year in anticipation of her needs. I got a set of extra long twin sheets and a bunk buddy for only $33. These things together normally retail almost $100. Also, buying a little bit now will save money later and hit the pocketbook less at one time.

- I cut my…

The Single Mama Gig

I have had this post cooking in my mind for awhile and not sure how to write it. You see, I never intended to be a single mother. I never wanted to be a single mother. I wanted to be married and have the support of a marriage while raising my children and thereafter.

Life threw me a curve ball. One I wasn't prepared for. One that sent me to my knees and still does. My then-husband did not want to be married anymore. He did not want what we had built together. Now, looking back, I see that we had not really built too much together and how much of our marriage was focused on him. 
But we had four incredible, wonderful blessings together. Blessings that to this day give me so much pleasure and hope for the future that I want to be better for them. Blessings that also keep me going from the time my feet hit the floor every morning until I go to bed every night. 
So I find it disturbing just to say the least when people comment to me that life must be easier as a single parent. 
That I am …