Friday, September 9, 2016

Frugal Friday - Putting By

M.F.K. Fisher, The Gastronomical Me ~

"There was a series, every summer, of short but violently active cannings. Crates and baskets and lug-boxes of fruits bought in their prime and at their cheapest would lie waiting with opulent fragrance on the screened porch and a whole battery of enameled pots and ladles and wide-mouthed funnels would would appear from some dark cupboard."

I remember spending time with my grandmother either shelling peas or snapping beans or watching as she canned tomatoes and peaches.  It was always a fascinating thing for me to see though I certainly had no idea of the amount of work involved.

This summer I decided not to plant a garden because I knew it was going to be a busy summer and to be honest, I am terrible at gardening and really don't enjoy it.  However, I do love the end result of gardening.  All of my efforts never really produce that much.  So this year I decided to take my money and visit a regional market.  Farmers from all over make their way there each Thursday and Saturday and I've been able to find quality produce for great prices.

Many days have been spent "putting by" so that we will have great food all winter long.  It is work but it's fun for me and there is a certain satisfaction I feel when I look at all the colorful jars lining my kitchen pantry.  My freezer is filling up too.  The work will be worth it as I save money.  I also am controlling the ingredients and salt level going into each jar.

This summer so far I have put by...

13 quarts of green beans
13 quarts of sweet corn
6 cups of diced green peppers for the freezer
8 pints of salsa
5 quarts of whole tomatoes
6 pints of roasted red peppers
14 pints of tomato sauce
13 pints of diced tomatoes
4 pints of sauerkraut
10 pints of bread and butter pickles
8 half pints of blueberry jam
13 half pints of blackberry jam
8 quarts of frozen blackberries

Apple, pear and peach season is upon us so those will be next.  I love putting by for my family.  It brings back warm memories from my childhood and helps us to be able to live on a shoestring budget.  I also think that canning is becoming a lost art and one I would love to see carried on to the next generation.

Ways I've saved this week:

$ Spent $60 at the regional market for 1/2 bushel of peppers, 1/2 bushel of green beans, 1/2 bushel of plum tomatoes, 1 seedless watermelon, 2 heads of lettuce, 6 onions, 1 lb. of mushrooms, 3 eggplant, 2 acorn squash, 5 lbs. of salt potatoes, and 3 sweet potatoes.

$ A friend gave me a couple of yellow squash and a couple of cucumbers.

$ Another friend dropped off a large bag full of fabric.  Fun, fun!  I can't wait to go through it and start creating.  There are a couple of craft fairs coming up that I'm going to participate in.  Terri needs some Christmas money! ;-)

$ Made a few meatless dishes - falafel, macaroni & cheese, veggie stir fry.

$ Cut Dan, Stephen and Nathan's hair.

$ Made my own laundry detergent

$ Made my own soap

Do you can or "put by"?