Friday, October 31, 2014

My Holiday Schedule


 
I want to have  as stress free holiday season this year so I have made myself  list to try and follow every week, so I am not rushing around the last minute like a crazy person ha ha . 
So here is the weekly schedule I came up with. Counting this week their are 9 weeks until Christmas (can you believe it?)  


Oct ( starting the last week in October)

Week 1
Get the rest of my fall decorations put up in the house. I
 have the outside done.
 Start my Christmas card list. This will take a little longer since
 most of my addresses were my computer that died.
 Gift list made
 
Nov.
Week 1
Gift list finished,
Buy supplies for homemade gifts,
Start on making homemade gifts.
 
Week 2
 
Work on Homemade gifts
Start wrapping what I have.
Start buying the gifts we are buying.
 
Week 3
 
Plan Thanksgiving meal.
Clean house for holidays
Christmas letter written and start on Christmas cards.
Keep working on Homemade gifts.
Wrap what gifts I have.
Make cookie dough and freeze.
 
Week 4
 
Cook for Thanksgiving.
Cards ready to mail.
Work on Homemade gifts if time allows.
Wrap what gifts I have.
 
Dec.
Week 1
 
Fall put away.
Christmas decorations out.
Mail Christmas cards.
Wrap what gifts I have.
Finish buying store bought gifts. 
 
Week 2
 
Finish putting up decorations.
Finish up Homemade gifts.
Buy stocking stuffers.
Bake cookies and breads
 
Week 3 
Clean house
Finish wrapping
Enjoy the Season.
 
Week4
Just hang out and enjoy.
 
Week 5
Take down Christmas decorations.
Clean house and get ready for a new year.
 
 
I am hoping I haven't forgotten anything.
I will also be doing holiday stuff with the day care kids,
Crafts, stories  and I will be doing the Elf on a shelf with them for
the first time have to admit I am a little excited about this.
 
So what are your plans for a stress free holiday season? 
 
   
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

300 Dollars a Month Challenge and Very Stressful Month

Been a very stressful month so far. Right after my last post we found out that the farm land we lease to farm and run cows sold and we have until November 6th to have everything off. So a  month to get all the equipment, fuel tanks, cows, a barn full of hay, 8 stacks of hay, panels, and a ton of other stuff off. We are busy trying to find a place to go with all the cows. We went and talked to the new owner he said we could have until the first of the year to get all the hay off and some of the cows but everything else needs to be off by the 6th. We sold all our calves, didn't keep any replacement heifers and are going to sell several older cows. 
We have figured out what to do until spring then not so sure after that. Hopefully we can find a new place. 
One of my gardens are over there, will have to take down all the panels and post on it.  
Been working on all that and trying to get the yard ready for winter, some stuff planted and a  couple of other things done to the yard. Plus all the canning to finish up as well as hunting.

Then to top all that off have been having problems with my computer can't open any documents, quick books, pictures or anything called my computer guy he came and looked at it I have a encryption virus you know the one where they want you to pay hundreds of dollars to unlock and then you are not guaranteed  that you will be able to get into it. We have lost 6 years of taxes, QuickBooks (mine, Andy's, and my dads) a ton of documents, pdf files and pictures. I did do some back up about a year ago and have been working on getting hard copies of everything but always seem to be to busy to work on that much ( lesson learned the hard way, always backup to flash drive and hard copies). So do not open any e-mails you are not 101% sure of what they are. The way I got the virus I opened an e-mal I was pretty sure I knew what was, needless to say not what I thought it was. 

We did get a cow elk hunting that was all we even seen though, still to hot for them to be out of the high high country. More on the hunting trip later.

Katie is in Kentucky for the National FFA convention I know she is safe but I am still worrying about her every day.

Now for the 300 month challenge

For Oct. I had already spent 15.85

This is what else I have spent.
City Market had pineapple on sale for 99 cents I got 32 to can, cans of broth for 50 cents I got 20 cans at 10.dollars, and 25 pounds of sugar for 11.00
Wal-Mart had 5 packs of Kool-Aid for 44 cents I got 20 for 8.80 and some bath tissue for 9.98. for a total of 71.78
 Helps when we spend all our time hunting can't go to town haha.

Total for October 87.63
Total for the year had 528.60 add 87.63 for 615.63

583.77 left for the year.


The Garden is pretty much done we did get another 50 pounds of tomatoes.

My Canning total since my last post
14 quarts apple pie filling
22 quarts Mexican steak
3 quarts elk stew meat
7 quarts salsa
28 quarts chipotle tomatoes
20 quarts jalapenos
10 gallons frozen bell peppers
16 pints peach zucchini jam
12 1/2 pints peach zucchini jam
28 pints strawberry zucchini jam
11 1/2 pints strawberry jam

This next week I will try to finish up apples, tomatillos  and tomatoes. Get the pineapple canned then maybe I will be caught up on canning for a few days.

What was you able to get canned this past week? Did you find any good deals on groceries?

Have a great week. 
  




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.
  .