Zechariah 13:9

And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The Lord is my God. Zechariah 13:9

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Frugality and Food Preservation

The definition of "frugality", according to Mr. Webster from 1828, is "a sparing use or appropriation of money or commodities; that careful management of money or goods which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; that use in which nothing is wasted."   Being frugal is wise and is certainly a necessary virtue when you have a large family with a stay-at-home mom.  Actually, now a days it is good to be frugal even in a 2 income family.   Everyone seems to be "tightening their belts" and trying to save money wherever they can.

It seems in the past, I have learned many ways of being frugal and I still have room to learn more.  Did you know that you can rinse off dental floss and reuse it?  Nothing wrong with that!  Can anyone beat that?  :)   Here are a few other ideas that we have learned and practice:
*have an extra freezer besides your fridge freezer
*buy in bulk as much as you can.  It is cheaper to buy a 50# bag of flour, sugar, oats, whatever and store the extras in freezer.   Find a bulk food store that would do that for you.  Hornings Mkt. will order big bags for you.  Also, look in the pet dept. of WalMart and you will find pet food containers that store large quantities of food.
*buy meat in bulk.  Do not buy already made hamburgers.  Buy loose burger and make your own patties or meatballs and put in freezer.  Find a butcher or local farmer who would be willing to sell you a whole, half or quarter of a beef.  If you only want burger and have to get meat at your local grocer, see if you can get a good discount if you buy a large amount. 

*buy by cases.  Sometimes they offer a discount if you buy by the case.  If you are fortunate to live close to a store who will sell by case (like Hornings and Bill's Produce), go this route, especially if you have an extra freezer.  We buy bananas by the case, peel them and put in freezer.  We put them in blender with milk and have a delicious milk shake and it is so much better for you than ice-cream.  We also do this with berries.  We buy frozen vegetables by the case.  Actually, your options are limitless.   It don't hurt to ask!
*dilute your laundry softener, liquid hand soap, fruit juices, and anything else you can think of
*bake your own desserts - they are healthier for you than packaged food, and cheaper.  Bake extra and put in freezer for another meal.  In fact, do this for main dishes also.
*shop Salvation Army stores and other second hand shops.  Who says your clothing has to be brand new?  And you can find a lot of other bargains besides clothing at these shops.  Mend (if possible) clothing instead of throwing them out.
*when you have to run errands, try to get all necessary stops in on the same day to save on gas and time
*staycations can be alot of fun and alot less stressful.  Stay at home for your vacation or just do local activities.  Put a campsite in your back yard - the children will love it! 

*make your own granola.  This can be done especially if you buy that 50# bag of oats! :)  There are other cereal recipes available as well.  Boughten cereal can be very expensive and they are usually loaded with additives
*use your local library instead of buying books.  If they do not have what you are looking for, they can try to get it from another library.  If you want your own copy - amazon is the way to go or other online sites.  Your library can also get materials you may need for homeschooling.
*try to fix stuff yourself instead of calling repair man first.  Don't be afraid of those hammers or screwdrivers.  Tackle home projects yourself.  Our children can learn alot of different skills by participating in projects.  Sometimes we can learn alot from our children, too, by having their participation! :)
*learn to cut your boys and husbands hair yourself.  We have saved a tremendous amount of money this way!
*buy a big clothes drying rack and use that in the winter instead of your dryer.  It will provide moisture in your home, too.  We have a woodstove in our basement and I hang ALL my laundry either on the rack or on hangers.

*can/freeze/preserve your own food, especially if you like to know where it is coming from, how it was grown, and don't care for additives.

ummmmmm........I am sure you can think of many more to add to this list, and I know that many of you are already practicing many of these suggestions.  This is from a mother's perspective.  There is probably a whole other list that a man could make.   I think contentment and not believing that we need to have the best of everything is a huge plus in being frugal.  Our frugality in the home blesses our husbands tremendously! 

Speaking of preserving food........
Today I had 2 bushels of broccoli to freeze.  The rebel that I am, I decided to go against what the cooperatives would tell you about blanching your veggies.  I simply washed the heads in a sink with cold water and Basic H (Shaklee), drained on towel, cut up, and put in freezer bags.  For the last few years I have froze green beans raw and wondered why I couldn't do broccoli and other vegetables that way.  I did some internet research and found that others were also being rebels, so I joined them. :) So much easier and alot less smelly and messy (cooking broc. does not make a home smell very welcoming ).  And I did not have to use propane to heat the kettles!  Frugal? 

A dear friend and her boys came down last week and brought apples (free for both of us - her father just wanted them used up) to make applesauce.  The boys were a huge help!

 You can see in this picture the "pet food" containers on the floor that I mentioned above.  They hold a 50# bag and I have one each for my grain, sugar, and an extra one for whatever I decide to put in it.  I love 'em!

I would love to hear frugal ideas from you.  Email them or post in comments.

Until next time. . . . . . . .


Mary said...

iI like your ideas and use as many as I can. Unfortunately we live in an area where there are no bulk food or "dent and bent" stores. The closest bulk food is more than an hour away so I have to factor in time and gas if I decide to go there.

Dave ~ Brenda said...

I know that I am spoiled living in an area where there are many different stores. I take it for granted too often. Have you considered organizing a co-op for your area? Would your friends, neighbors, church, be interested in helping put together an order? than extra expenses could be shared?