Friday, August 4, 2017

Frugal Friday

I find myself in full out frugal mode lately since summers are always tight and I had to laugh when I sat down to write this post.  I was trying to think of ways that I saved money over the past week and I couldn't think of anything other than my normal activities because other than food, I just don't spend money in the stores.

So this will be more of a cooking/baking/canning post than anything else.  It's become such a habit and lifestyle for us that I can't even imagine living any other way.  

Here are some things I've done over the past week:

$ We generally go to the Regional Farmer's Market on Saturday when the majority of vendors are there.  There are 5 buildings, plus the in between spaces filled with produce vendors as well as other types of goods.  The reason I like that one as opposed to the smaller, local ones is that given the sheer volume of produce and vendors, I'm more apt to get the best price.  I've found that most of the vendors at the local markets purchase their produce at the regional market and then just hike the prices.  There are a couple that grow their own, but most do the above.  So I'm going straight to the source/farmer and buying it directly.  At the regional market, I make it a point to go to the smaller vendors that I know are growing their own produce and are knowledgeable about it.  

$ Last Saturday at the market, I brought $60 and spent it all.  With that money I purchased the following: 

1 peck peaches
2 quarts green beans
5 lbs. salt potatoes...
1 quart yellow plums
1 bunch radishes
3 eggplant
3 large onion
3 green peppers
4 bulbs organic garlic
1 bag organic baby kale
1 bag organic green leaf lettuce
1 cabbage
1 quart blueberries
3 lemons
7 tomatoes

$ I set a price I want to spend ahead of time, take out the cash and stop when I've used it up or spent less than that amount.  This way I don't overspend.

$ I'm going to be cutting Dan and Nathan's hair today.

$ This week I've taken that peck of peaches and made 9 jars of jam, a peach pie, and froze 10 cups of peaches for future use.  I made sure I took care of them before they could go bad because they were ripe when I bought them.  There is nothing worse than having to toss veggies and fruit after purchasing them because you didn't use them fast enough.

$ I did the same with the plums I bought.  I had 5 jars of spiced plum jam.  

$ We had roast chicken the other night and I saved the carcass.  Today, I will be turning that into chicken broth and then also using the leftover chicken for chicken and gravy over biscuits for lunch today.

$ Rather than spend money on marinara sauce in a jar, I make my own.  I use the food processer to chop up tomatoes, onion, garlic, celery and carrots, as well as fresh herbs and put it all in the crockpot and let it simmer all day.  That will be used in eggplant parmesan tonight.

$ I baked a lot this week - pies, muffins and a chocolate cake.  They are cheaper to make homemade, taste better and don't have the preservatives in them.

$ Every day I go out and pick blackberries off our bushes.  Today, I got 3 cups off them and am freezing them in 4 cup batches so I can use them for pies, etc.

So that's my frugal offering for the week.  I told you it was just going to be kitchen talk! :-)