Monday, August 16, 2010

On the To-Do list for today...

Rain. That pretty much eliminates my painting for today. Can't open the windows to let the fumes out and with 2 asthmatics in the house...yeah, no. :)

Instead, I am going to do some cooking and canning. Oh, and henna my hair. Being frugal does not equal being frumpy, I had some left under the sink ;)

My plan for today is to make some pear muffins (for now and to freeze) and freeze the rest of the pears for future use. I am also going to make my first batch of tomato sauce, and possibly some blueberry jam. Oh, and start some yogurt cheese and make some nut butters. I have wanted to make yogurt cheese forever and I FINALLY found my cheesecloth. Also, I do not usually use nuts but I have some nuts left in the fridge that need a use so I figure I will make some pecan/almond/pumpkin seed butter. The kids can use it on crackers and such.

Also on the agenda is making dog food and laundry detergent. Want recipes? I started making dog food in an effortto save money and feed Becky better quality food. Making her food not only saves me about $20 a month (from the $45 I was spending on the really good quality food I was giving her) but now I *know* that she is getting really good food. Basically, I make a 4 day mix that includes: brown rice or barley, oatmeal, sweet potaotes and/or squash, greens, broccoli or green beans or some other veggies. I cook the grain, roast the veggies in the oven and mix everything all together in a big tupperware and add: nutritional yeast, salmon (in a can, bones and all) olive oil, and a few squirts of fish oil from some caps I pierce. She LOVES it. Once we are getting more eggs, I will give her some of those as well. She can also get a dollop of yogurt on occasion, as well as other goodies, plus we feed her table scraps (healthy stuff) so her diet is pretty varied and healthy! She gets fruit as a treat, according to what she likes, and once her store bought dog cookies are gone I will be making some cookies for her as well. I tried doing something similar for the cats, but they were NOT having it. I am going to try and add some stuff to their diet as they ONLY eat the cheap, crappy cat food. That is what they like and while its great for my wallet, I can't think it is good for them. I'll have to make them some sort of special treat or something. I have seen a few recipes that I may try in the future.

I am also making another batch of laundry detergent today. Here is the recipe I use:
2c grated hard soap(Fels Naptha-sp- or Ivory work, I use my own homemade soap)
1c washing soda
1c Borax
1c baking soda(optional)
Few drops essential oils(optional, I don't as I have kids with *smell* issues)
1/4c of OxyClean

I basically make a HUGE 3 gallon containers worth and that lasts me MONTHS. I am down to about 1/2 gal. worth so I am making more. For about $18 I make probably 4-5mo worth of laundry detergent. That is $3/mo! Pretty darn good. My laundry is clean, and since we divert our grey water for watering, I don't have to worry about 'chemicals' going into the yard. I use about 1/8 to 1/4 cup per large load. This cleans and de-stinks even my running clothes, which says alot! :)

I will make a separate recipe post later, so I can file it under Good Eats :)

For anyone who is in the market for becoming more frugal and self sufficient (and, I highly recommend you at least think about it...if you watch the news at all you know that things are going to get worse 'round here before they get better...*if* they get better...) I would HIGHLY recommend 2 books- The Backyard Homesteader and The Encyclopedia of Country Living. Book 1 tells you how to be self sufficient on a small plot of land which I think it fantastic. We used their plan to map out our orchard, and I will be using their 'map' for my next gardens (herb) next year. Book 2 is everything you want to know about being a farm gal, lol. The language in the book is humerous and it is a bit heavy on the religious mentionings for me but it will walk you through just about anything you need to know as far as doing things 'old school'. I am canning old school as I cannot afford a pressure canner and they walk you through everything you need to know. Awesome refrence books and well worth their cost. Don't know if they have them at the libraries, but worth checking out.

Also, check out some of the blogs I follow...these people are doing some pretty cool things a la living the simple life. :)

Recipes and pics to come!

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