Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Where I get most of my food

I received this e-mail fro a reader

I'm a widow and  I take care of my dad and live on a smell budget I was wondering if you could please tell me where is the best place I can get bulk supplies. With all that is going on in the world I wish to be as papered as possible. Thank you for all your help. I'm looking for herbs me flour, cornmeal, pure essential oils. Any thing I can make to help out my budget and take care of my family. I do not have raw milk so can I buy store bought milk to can.
Thanks for all your help'

I thought I would share my answer with all of you.

It kind of depends on where you live as to what you can do. We have wheat, beans potatoes, green chilies, corn, and onions all grown locally. I buy my wheat from the mill [which is packed as seed wheat, if you do that you need to make sure it isn’t treated] My flour from the mill. One of my babysitting kids dad farms pinto beans so I trade beans for daycare, the potatoes and onions from the packing places I but 1000 pounds of potatoes and dehydrate, can and freeze to last all year. Same with the onions and corn. The green chili I but straight from the farmer. I also get produce from bountiful baskets if you don’t already do this you might want to look into this just go to bountifulbaskets.org to see if you have it in your state.

I get my baking soda and salt from the feed store they sale 25 pound bags of sodium bicarbonate [baking soda] for about 10 dollars I also get 25 pound bags of stock salt for about 10 dollars [ it is cleaned it is a little larger grains but it is all we use I have iodine supplements that we take for iodine].

I do buy herbs and spices that I don’t grow myself or are able to pick from the area, from bulkfoods .com

Some of my vitamins and oils I get from puritans pride.com

I make some of my EO they are not as strong but work for some of the things that I need them for.

We grow a lot of our produce. I plant enough to can and freeze.

I have chickens for eggs and feed them sprouted wheat.  

I also go to the feed store and get cracked corn to grind for corn meal and buy whole corn to make masa for tortillas and tamales.

I buy milk when on sale and can it to use for cooking [not very good to just drink].

When butter and margarine are on sale I get a lot then freeze and can it.

I also buy sour cream and cottage cheese on sale then freeze and dehydrate them.  

We raise our own cows and hunt elk and deer for meat. If you have to buy meat look in the marked down bin. When I had to buy meat I would cut a pound of hamburger into quarters and just use a quarter pound in most everything, you can also add grated carrots to your hamburger to add a little bulk to it.

I watch for sales and try to only buy on sale and get enough to last all year. We don’t live close to a Costco or sams club.

I try to cook everything from scratch.

I sew and mend a lot of our clothes.  

If you haven’t read my frugal tips you can read it to get a few more ideas on how I save. http://frugallivingonthewatkinsranch.blogspot.com/2012/10/frugal-tips.html

I hope this helps some you might look at what is produced in your area. If I didn’t cover something just let me know and I will try to answer.  

So what are some of the things all of you do to stretch your budget? 

Monday, October 6, 2014

300 Dollars a Month

Well I am not doing to great on this, I think I picked the wrong time of the year to start this. This is the time of year that I buy most of the stuff to last all year so it will be interesting to see how it will be in the winter and spring.

Here is the totals for September
I was at 341.57 then I spent 73.18 at City Market on raspberry's that were on sale for 88 cents I bought 46 so I could freeze them for my Raspberry plum jam and then they still had sure-jell still on sale so I got 15 more of them and 4 gallons of milk. 98.00 on bountiful baskets, I got 3 baskets and 2 cases of apples to can. So all total 171.16 then add 341.57 for a September total of 512.75 so I am over by 212.75 for September.
This past weekend I spent 5.85 on Chipotle peppers and 10.00 on tomato powder for a total of 15.85 to start October.
Sept 512.75
Oct. 15.85
Year total 528.60
671.40 left for the year.

The nights are starting to get colder and there is snow on the mountains so we had to pick all the garden we did cover several tomato plants but picked the rest. We picked 253 pounds tomatoes 35 pounds bell peppers 25 pounds  jalapenos  15 pounds tomatillos I haven't weighed the cucumbers, or cayenne peppers yet.

This isn't even half of it.

My Canning total since my last post
33 pints Green Chili
20 pints zucchini jam
28 quarts rotel
28 quarts tomato basil
20 pints raspberry plum jam
half gallon celery dehydrated
3 heads of romaine lettuce dehydrated
sage, yarrow, comfrey, oregano, cilantro, lemon verbena, lemon balm, and basil hung to dry.

We went to set up hunting camp this week end we go hunting next week so I have to have all the produce put up by Thursday a very busy week ahead haha. Not to mention get stuff cooked and ready for hunting.

I got Joleens dress finished for homecoming [at the last miniute I might add.]
Katie barrowed a dress so I didn't have to make hers thank goodness since I was so behind.

So I guess we kind of know what the goals for this week will be. Tomatoes , peppers, zucchini, apples and getting ready for hunting.

Have a great week.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Zucchini Jam

What to do with all that zucchini you have froze, canned, dehydrated, made breads, pies and all kinds of stuff well make some jam.

Start by cutting and deseeding your zucchini. Then grate your zucchini. I grate a lot so I can do several batches at a time.
Put 6 cups grated zucchini in a pan and add 1/4 cup lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is clear. 

Add 5 1/2 cups sugar and 1 can of crushed pineapple.[ If you want a real firm jam you can add a package of sure-jell. It will set up with out but not as firm]
 At first it will look like it isn't enough liquid but it will be. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes. .  

I do strawberry, peach, berry blue, grape, and orange, they are all good but my favorite is the peach and strawberry. 
Zucchini Jam
6 cups grated zucchini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 package sure jell [ optional]
5 1/2 cups sugar
1 can crushed pineapple
2 3oz or 1 6oz box of any flavor jello
Put grated zucchini in a pan and add lemon juice. Cook for about 10 minutes until the zucchini is clear. 
Add  sugar and crushed pineapple.[ If you want a real firm jam you can add a package of sure-jell. It will set up with out but not as firm]
 At first it will look like it isn't enough liquid but it will be. Bring to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
Turn heat off and add Jell-o.
Stir then bring back to boil for 1 minute pour into hot sterilized pint or half pint jars and put hot lids and rings on.  Process in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.


Monday, September 15, 2014

300 Dollars A Month Challenge, Goals, and Menu

I have to admit this is a little harder then I though it was going to be. I have always tried watch how much I spend, but never really realized just how much extra I spend with out even thinking about it. Although part of it is I do spend extra on sales so I don't have to pay full price later on. So how did I do this week?

I spent 87.72 at City Market  They had Sure Jell [Store Brand] for 1.39 so I bought 20, They also had cereal on sale for 1.49 if you bought 10. I use these for snacks for the kids sometimes. They also had cheese on sale 3 16 oz. packs for 10.00 so I got 6 will put these in the freezer.
At Wal-Mart I spent 45.48 I needed a couple new pitchers. 2 coffees and I bought a couple boxes of Fruit and Grain bars for the girls to eat in the mornings And some frozen Burritos for after school [I know bad bad] I just haven' t had time to get some stuff made hopefully this week.
Bountiful Baskets I spent 58.00 on 3 baskets and a jar of Apple Cider Vinegar.
As you can see I got a lot out of my baskets this time.
Tomatoes, Bell pepper, broccoli, plums, lemons, corn, onions , chilies, lettuce, banana's, Japanese plums, and apples,
I also got a bottle of Vodka for 11.89 to use in tinctures.
2 more boxes of Green Chili for 40.00

So That is what I spent this week
87.20 City Market
45.48 Wal-Mart
58.00 Bountiful Baskets
11.89 Vodka
40.00 for Green Chilis
For a total of 242.57 for the week.
so with last weeks total of 99 dollars that puts me at 341.57 for the month so I have 858.43 left for the year. Already over my limit for the month As I said this is a lot harder then I thought it would be. Going to have to make a few more changes in the way I do things I guess.

This is what I picked from the garden this week. In a couple weeks I think I am going to have a bunch so I need to be very caught up on things.

21 pounds of bell peppers
50 pounds of tomatoes
13 pounds cucumbers
Was able to get a couple bags of dill and a small mess of green beans from some friend.
This weeks menu
Macaroni and tomatoes
French Toast
Chicken Soup
Grilled Cheese
Tuna Sandwich's
Will have Fruit, veggies or what ever I have on hand.
Crock Pot Chicken Fried Steaks
Beef Noodles
Smothered Burritos
Cheese Burger Pie
Swiss Steak.
As with lunch sides for dinner will be what ever I have and want to fix.
For breakfast I have homemade pancakes, French toast, and waffles in the freezer. Also have oatmeal, cream of wheat and eggs to choose from.

My canning total this week
14 qts Rotel
18 pints Plum Raspberry Jam
40 pounds of Green Chilies roasted and in the freezer.
4 pints pickled radishes
5 quarts pickled cauliflower
3 gallons bell peppers in the freezer [ I put these in 1 cup bags]

I made 3 gallons of powdered laundry soap, and a couple gallons of washing soda.
Hopefully this will last a while.

This Weeks goals

I got all the tomatoes, peppers, plums, green chilies, radishes, and cauliflower all put up. 
I haven't got to the zucchini yet is at the top of my list for this week.
It rained a little on the one day this week I could of worked in the yard so that and the herbs are still on the list.
I still haven't got the camper cleaned out have got to get that done.
The mending has also been put off I will try to work on it this week but very doubtful it will get done.
With  all the tomato's I will make  salsa, the peppers into the freezer, pickles made from the cucumbers, all my zucchini mad into jam, pie filling and shredded for breads, the plums into jam, the broccoli and lettuce [what we don't eat]  dried for green powder, corn in the freezer, apples into a pie, lemons juiced and canned then the peels dried.
I need to get the yard done before I can put out fall stuff so hopefully this week.

I have also got to start on Joleens homecoming dress. I have told the girls that if I make their dresses I will buy all the fabric and stuff to make them but if they want a store bought they have to buy then themselves. So Katie wants to buy one and I will make Joleens
Well another busy week planned maybe I can get the biggest portion done.

Have a Great Week.


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Navajo Fry Bread and Navajo Tacos

We love Fry Bread although I don't make it as often as my family would like. Mine is ok not as good as my Step Moms or my sister's but passable and I use a mixer and a roller instead of by hand and then patting it out by hand, never could get the hang of it. [ My Step Mom says my hands are the wrong color haha]. Any how here is how I make it.
Navajo Fry Bread 
4 cups flour
2 Tbs. baking powder
1 1/2 tea. salt
3/4 cup powder milk
1 1/2 Tbs. shortening
2 to 21/2 cups very warm water
You can mix this by hand or in the mixer.
First add all you dry ingredients.

Mix together
Then add your shortening [you can use lard if you want] and mix.
After the shortening is mixed in slowly add your water it needs to be very warm not so hot it burns your hands but almost hot.

Mix or knead until  a soft dough is formed then knead or mix for a few more minutes.

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a flat ball.

Grease your bowl and put the dough back in.

Cover with a warm damp towel and place in a warn place to rest for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Pinch off medium apple sized balls.
Pat out with hand or use a rolling pin to about 1/8 to 1/16 of an inch you don't want it to thin or it will be crunchy. 

Put about 1/2 inch of shortening in you pan and heat to almost  smoking [needs to be very hot]. cook until golden brown then turn. 

and cook until golden brown on the other side.

 Let sit a few minutes before serving so they can soften a little.

For Navajo Tacos put a piece of bread on a plate and cover with Chile then top with lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and cheese. Yummy Yummy.
Sometime when I fix mine or smaller kids I will tear the bread before I cover with chili, then you don't have to try and cut it when all put together.