Friday, February 27, 2015

Week 8 Food Storage Challenge

50 pounds wheat or flour / garden seeds

50 pounds of wheat or flour, If you store wheat be sure to have a grinder. Would really be bad to have to do it the really old fashion way with a rock lol.

Garden seeds, now is the tame to start getting seeds to plant, when you order or buy get a few extra you can keep them in storage. Keep in  a cool place, or in the freezer. Try to get some non hybrid then you can have seeds from now on, just be sure to save some each year.

Add some more to your water.

Put a little more in your money stash.

Have you be able to come up with some alternative heat sources? If you are in a smaller space you might try the tea candle and clay pot heater. I haven’t tried one yet so don’t know how well they work ,but some people are saying they work pretty good. You can find the instructions on the Internet.

How is that cooking from scratch? Remember the more you cook from scratch the more money you will be able to save.

And always remember anytime you find a good sale on something you use try to buy as much extra as you can. This way you are not paying full price for the things you need.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

300 a Month, Menu, Weeks goals

We got everyone new coats for Christmas. This is what we put on the back of them and put their names on the front. I think they turned out pretty good. What do you think? (That is our brand in the middle.)
 A little lot late getting this out.We actually got some snow this weekend. It has been in the upper 50's for what seems like forever. Defiantly not January February weather. It started snowing as we were leaving the Fireman's awards and banquet Saturday night and didn't stop until Monday late afternoon we got 18 inches in that time. (I know for you back east this is nothing lol) it was a wet heavy snow which we need way bad. Well being so wet and heavy it took down a few power lines. The power went off about 5:30 Monday morning and didn't come back on until that afternoon. I was pretty good with everything. I did notice a lot of people talking on F.B. about having no coffee since the power was out, I just took a pot  of water and added some coffee grounds and boiled then strained it so we had coffee( I do have a coffee pot for the stove but didn't want to go to the shed to get it in all the snow) I did realize I need to stock up on more batteries, I had enough but not very many extra so I have added that to my need to get list.  
I did good again this week and didn't go to town so I spent nothing. Amazing how much money I can save if I don't go to town.
So I am still at 60.27 for the month with 239.79 left for the month and 3414.64 left for the year.

This weeks menu,

Scrambled eggs & toast
yogurt and fruit
Cream of Wheat

Chicken Noodle
French Toast
Beef Noodles
Tuna Sandwiches

Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.

Beef Tips
Stuffed Peppers
Mexican Steak
Cheese Burger Pie
Cheddar Chicken Beef Pasta
Ranch Bean Casserole

Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

Well I got a couple of things done this week that were not on my to do list from last week. We are getting a pig in a few weeks so I needed to make room in the freezer. I have several things I need to take out and can, so last week I canned all the raspberry's. Still have a few things left to do.
I also got some kombucha, apple cider vinegar, and red wine vinegar started. I singed up for an herbal class. (more on that later)  As far as the things on my list. Didn't get any potatoes done. I sorted out some things for Joleens book . I didn't get any sewing done but I did get the sewing machine and the stuff out and ready if that counts. We can hope this week is a little more productive.

The goals for this week.
Once again work on potato's have got to get these done don't know why it is taking so long to get these done, it's like I have a mental block about doing them lol.  
Continue working on Joleens book. Get graduation announcements ordered . Start planning the graduation party.
Start working on Taxes we have been putting this off. Since we lost all the info on the other computer we don't have a copy of last year taxes, so this year is gong to be a pain to figure every thing out.  
Have a great week and what are your goals for the week?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Medicinal uses for Mormon tea

Mormon tea is a shrub that grows in the south western desert of the United States as well as Mexico. Some of the other names are Brigham tea, Squaw tea, Popotillo, and Joint Fir. There is always a lot by the old Indians ruins.

Mormon tea can be used for colds. Flu, headaches, lung problems, water retention, rheumatism.
It can be used safely for urinary tract problems as a diuretic and a a urinary tract astringent and a moderate anti-inflammatory.
As a externally dressing for wounds.
Mormon tea is on of the best tea sources for calcium if using for calcium make it fresh each time. It is helpful alone or with other plants for a women at risk for osteoporosis and in early menopause.
If drank on a regular basis it can help alleviate seasonal allergies.
Mormon tea does not cure asthma but it can help with the symptoms related to asthma.
It can help stem diarrhea.
Dried and powdered stems can be used externally as a dressing on wounds and sores.
It was used by frontiersmen to cure venereal or sexually transmitted diseases.

To use Mormon tea you can use it fresh or dried to brew a tea and can be drank hot or cold.

I mix mine in my peppermint and spearmint tea and drink it cold I use about 1/3 cup of each and brew a strong tea then add to a gallon picture and fill with water I do add sweetener .

 In the winter I will brew a cup of Mormon tea to drink hot I can’t drink coffee anymore so it is nice to have something that I can replace it with, and since it grows wild here it is free.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Week 7 Food Storage Challenge

25 pound sugar / 10 pounds pasta

25 pounds of sugar, or you can get honey, a half gallon of honey. If it is possible you might think about getting bees, now is the time of year to get them. We got two hive last year, and just ordered another. I am hoping to not have to worry about having to much sugar on hand.

10 pounds of pasta, remember you can always make noodles so try to get pastas that are harder to make such as macaroni, and spaghetti.


Add some more to your water, you can never have to much water.

Put a little more in your money stash. Every little bit helps.
How is the cooking from scratch coming along ?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Dehydrating and Rehydrating Cottage Cheese

I use cottage cheese a lot when cooking in, lasagna, baked spaghetti, raviolis and other things like that. It makes it nice to have some dried cottage cheese on hand for when I don't have fresh.
I try to buy a bunch when it is on sale. I like to make it, but not having my own milk supply it is cheaper to buy it when on sale. 

As you can see there is a lot of whey in it. The more whey you can get out the faster it will dehydrate.
I like to use a salad spinner, it gets it out fast.  You don't have to wait for it to drain like you do if you use a strainer or cheese cloth.

Just spin it real good for a few minutes. Till it is good and dry.

Spread on your dryer trays.
This is the whey I got out of all the cottage cheese. Save this and use in your cooking. I always make pancakes on the day I do cottage cheese, I use the whey in place of the oil and some of the milk. It is real good in biscuits also. If you can't use it right away you can put in the freezer.
Dry at 120 for about 10 to 12 hours ( this will depend on the size of your dehydrator and how much you have in it.)

It will turn a yellow color when dry ( the sour cream will do the same thing). It will dry down to about half of what it was.

To rehydrate. You will need to plan ahead because it does take a while to rehydrate. Start with the amount you want to rehydrate I have one cup here.
Put in a bowl and add double the amount of warm water. I have two cups of warm water for the one cup of dried cottage cheese.
It looks like a lot of water but it is OK.
This is after about 3 hours The curds are still pretty hard but as you can see it is soaking up the water.

This is about 7 hours latter looks good, it isn't as soft as fresh but good. I drain off most of the water at this point. You can eat it now.  I just add a little salt to make it taste better, if I am going to just eat it. It will taste a little different then fresh and won't be as soft but still good
I go ahead and use a hand blender ( you can put in the blender or food processer) to blend it so it is smoother since I am cooking with it.

I have thought about rehydrating it with milk but I don't like milk (don't judge even as a kid I didn't like it lol) so haven't done that . I know I like cottage cheese but not milk I am weird like that . But if you are just going to eat it, the milk might give it a better flavor. If anyone try's it with the milk let me know how it is.  
After dry I put in quart jars,, then put in the freezer. It would probably be ok on the shelf in an airtight container. I just like to keep it in the freezer  to make sure it stays ok.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Plantain and its Medicinal Uses

Plantain is a lot like dandelions, it is considered a weed, and they grow almost everywhere, there are two types a broad leaf and a narrow leaf both are good. You can use the Roots, leaves, and Flower spikes. As with dandelions you need to be careful where you harvest it make sure it hasn’t been sprayed with anything and don’t collect from the roadside. Plantain can be harvested from spring to fall.

Plantain is rich in magnesium, vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads and sandwiches. The older leaves are tough and stringy so need to be cooked. The seeds can be dried and ground to make a flour, although it takes a lot of seeds. Plantain can be used both internally and externally.
For external application, it can be made into a salve, lotion, oil or compress. Plantain's anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties make it one of the most effective herbal remedies for topical treatment of skin conditions such as rashes, wounds, ulcerations, cuts, swelling, sprains, bruises, burns, eczema, cracked lips, poison ivy, mosquito bites, diaper rash, boils, hemorrhoids, and blisters. You can make a poultice to draw out splinters or thorns . It can also reduce some of the scarring with more severe cuts and scrapes.

It is also draws out the poison of bee stings, snake bites, and spider bites, If stung immediately rub some crushed or slightly chewed leaf on the area and around the sting to prevent swelling and itching.Internally you can use in tea ,tinctures, or syrup. Plantain has demulcent properties, making it soothing to mucus membranes. It is used to treat conditions of the respiratory tract including sore throat, cough, bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. It also has expectorant properties which help to expel mucus from the lungs when the respiratory tract is congested due to colds or hay fever.

The demulcent properties of plantain are also beneficial in treating urinary tract infections including cystitis with blood in the urine, gastritis, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. The seeds of plantain contain mucilage and can be used as a laxative to relieve constipation. They can also be dried and infused in water for a soothing eye lotion.

So next time you see this in your yard you may want to just harvest it instead of trying to get rid of it.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

300 a Month, Menu, Weeks goals

The pretty tulips I got for valentines. I love that I will be able to plant these in the yard. Already have a spot picked out for them.

Hope everyone had a great week end. Ours was good, not quite as busy as last weekend but busy. Saturday morning Andy and Joleen had to go help tear down the old fire station (we got a new station built right next to the old one.).  The Cattleman's Association had they annual meeting and banquet Saturday so Andy had to leave early to go to the afternoon meetings. I meet him in town and went to the lunch that they put on. Then he stayed and I came back home to get a few things done before having to get ready for the banquet. We hadn't planned on staying very long at the dance afterwards, but we ended up staying till the very end. I was so nice to see and visit people I haven't seen in a while. I have to admit that is one of the bad things about working from home is you don't get to see and visit many people.

Anyway another good week of not spending anything. So I am still at 60.27 for the month with 239.79 left for the month and 3414.64 left for the year.

I have done something different in my menu planning. I usually fill out a monthly menu at the first of every month but it is a little time consuming. So I decided to just write down all the meals I usually cook and put them in a good order(not to Mexican foods together ect.) now I will just start at the top and rotate down.  I did this with dinners, lunches,  breakfast and snacks so we will see how this works out.

This weeks menu,

Cream of Wheat
French Toast
Cheese omelets

Mac & Cheese
Mini pizzas
Grilled Cheese
Chicken soup

Will have what ever kind of fruit I have and crackers with the soup.
For Andy's lunch he will have leftovers from the night before.

Salisbury Steak
Baked Raviolis
Rotel Hamburger Helper
Crock Pot Chicken Fried Steak
don't have to cook Friday and Saturday nights.
Friday night is the community chili supper to raise money for the community center.
Saturday night is the fireman's awards and banquet.

Will have a veggie of some sort and bread with each meal.
Saturday or Sunday we will have leftovers.

Well last week I finally got all the oranges, grapefruit's, and tangerines done up. As well as the radishes and cauliflower. Got the daycare lessons done and some of the stuff out for Joleens book.

The goals for this week are.
Work on potatoes, I keep putting this off and I have got to get them done and finished before they start going bad.
Work on Joleens book I think this is going to be a bigger job then I anticipated but it will be so cool when done.
Need to get some sewing done. That is all I am going to try and get done this week since they are all big projects.

What are your goals for the week? Hope you have a great one.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Week 6 Food Storage Challenge


Here is this weeks food storage challenge.

10 cans of soup / Detergents

10 Cans of soup store bought or home canned, pick what your family likes to eat no point in having something they wont eat.

Detergents, if you
MAKE YOUR OWN then get the things you need to make it with borax, bar soap, washing soda ( you can MAKE YOUR OWN WASHING SODA out of baking soda, much cheaper) and if you make your own bar soap just make some plain soap and throw a small piece in your washer. My Mother in law talks about when they were young they made all their soap and would just throw  small pieces in when they were washing.

Keep adding to your water. A small town not to far from us had the water pumps go out at the water plant they have been with out water couple days. It just shows that it can happen anywhere.

Put a little more money back if you can. I know that part is hard but if you have an emergency you will be so glad that you did.

How is the cooking from scratch coming? I am going to try and start posting a few dinner recipes that I am using in my menus, that are quick and easy but from scratch.

Hope you have a great week

Thursday, February 12, 2015

110 Ways to Save Money on a Tight Budget part 1


With everything getting more and more expensive every day, from food to utilities and everything in between we have to make our dollars stretch more and more.  Trying to  save as much as we can where ever we can.  Here is a list of some of the things we do to save money. I will do another post in a few days with more money saving tips that I didn't have room to add here.

  1.    We grow as much of our own food as we can.

2.    Things that I do have to buy from the store I buy in bulk or on sale and try to get at least a years’ worth. You can go here to see where I get most of my food.

3.    We barter for beans from one of my day care kids dad in exchange for day care.

4.    We raise our own cows for beef.

5.    We  raise chickens for the eggs

6.    We trade hay for fresh milk. (We have a milk cow, just haven’t got a place fixed so we can start milking her.) when we can.

7.    Cook most everything from scratch.

8.    Make my own butter, cottage cheese, yogurt, and cream cheese (wanting to make hard cheese soon) I do buy a few of these when they come on sale since I don’t have a limitless supply of milk.

9.    Make our own snacks, eg. Granola bars, Fruit Bars, fruit snacks, yogurt, Crackers, cookies, and cakes to name a few.

10. We use leftovers from the night before for lunches.

11. When we go on trips we take most of our own food. When we first started doing this the girls were so embarrassed they would hunch down in the back seat as to not be seen lol. They are used to it now and don’t try to hide ( not to much anyways).

12. I render my own tallow and lard when I can get it. I have a friend who works for a meat packing place and she can get me beef fat, the pig fat is a little harder to come by though.

13. Make a menu. It saves time and you are not scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to have for dinner. Plus with a plan you can take meat out of the freezer in the morning so it is ready.

14. If we have extra leftovers I put them in the freezer in individual containers for another lunch when we may not have something left over from the night before.

15. Make our own breads.

16. Grind our own wheat. I do use half wheat flour and half white I buy the white flour from the mill and get the unbleached.

17. I buy candy after Halloween when it is marked down. We use this in our hunting packs and I dry pack the rest of it. This is the only candy we eat during the year.

18. After Valentines and Easter I will buy the marked down chocolate. I use this to cook with chocolate chips, chocolate coating or anywhere I need melted chocolate or chips.

19. We drink a lot of tea in the winter. We keep a pot of water with tea bags on the stove at all times then all we have to do is mix it with water for tea. In the summer I make several containers of tea concentrate and put in the freezer then as we use one we pull another out of the freezer. This keeps us from having to heat the water every time.

20. When I use the oven I try to cook multiple things so I don’t have to heat the oven so often.

21. If I have extra produce and not enough to can, I will freeze or dehydrate it.

22. I Can things for meals. It is so nice to be able to open a jar of beans, soup, Mexican steak or several other things  on a hectic and busy night.


23.  We heat our house with just the wood stove.

24. I keep a large covered pot of water on the wood stove to heat water. We use it to cook with, wash-up with, and wash dishes with, almost anything we need hot water for. (Except showers ).

25. I use a few of the new energy saving bulbs. I have a love hate relationship with these. They do save on your energy bill, but I don’t like the light it puts out or the fact they are full of lead.

26. In the winter we have to keep lights on the animal’s waters and in the chicken coop to keep everything from freezing up so I have timers on these. And on the stock tank heater when we have to use it.

27.  We have most everything plugged into strips so we can just turn off the power on everything.

28. I wash dishes by hand. Instead of using the dishwasher.

29. Hang clothes on the line in the summer and on drying racks in the winter, instead of using the dryer.

30. Turn the T.V. off during the day.  In the summer all we watch is the local news at night, In the winter we do watch a little more since it gets dark and cold so early.

31. I have the solar yard lights that I leave outside during the day then bring in at night to use. I use them in the rooms that don’t need a lot of light, the kitchen after dinner, the bathroom, the laundry room, and the living room when watching T.V. We could use candles bit I want to save them for emergency’s

32. In the winter I use the outside for a fridge and freezer. If I need extra fridge or freezer space in the winter I will just set the stuff outside in a vehicle (to keep animals out of it ) to keep it cool.

33. In our area there are a several people who have to haul water. We don’t,(thank goodness) but we try to live like we do. I have small buckets in each bathroom to collect the cold water while waiting for it to get hot. Then we pour it into a larger bucket to use for flushing or watering plants. We run the water in the sink into a bucket till it warms up when taking a shower that way the shower water is warm when we start it.

34.  We use the gray water from the washer to water outside plants. The washer drain hose is hooked up to a tank outside to collect it, then we water the plants outside with that water.

35. Then as the old motto goes  “if it’s yellow let it mellow if it’s brown flush it down”.

36.  We are in the process of replacing our old windows with new ones. The old ones wouldn’t open and leaked really bad. With the new ones we can open in the summer and in the winter they don’t let all the cold air in.

37. Planted trees in the front and the back of the house for shade in the summer. Some are not very big yet but in a few years they will work great. I try to only plant trees that produce something. No since in watering something that doesn’t produce something. I do have a few trees that were planted some time back that don’t produce anything but shade.

 38. I got a solar oven for Christmas, so this summer I plan on doing a majority of my cooking in it as to not use propane, and to not heat the house up.

39. Keep my freezers full. If I have empty space I will put bottles of water to freeze so I don’t have empty space. Then I can use these bottles of water in the coolers to keep things cold on trips. If the power goes off it helps keep the freezer cold. I can also put some in the fridge top help keep it cold.

40. In the summer I keep curtains closed during the heat of the day. Just the side the sun is shining in on. Keep the other side open for the light.

41.  I use a Bissell ( carpet sweeper) We only have carpet in our bedroom and bathroom so I lot of times instead of plugging in the vacuum I will just use the Bissell. The last two rooms to get rid of the carpet so we can put down wood floors.


42. I make all our cleaners. 409 , bleach cleaner. floor cleaner, furniture polish, oven cleaner, shower cleaner, soft scrub ect.

43. Make my own laundry detergent.

44. Make my own Fabric Softner.

45. Make my own stain remover.

46. I use old rags for dust rags.


     47. We use cloth napkins instead of paper.

48. We use dish towels and rags instead of paper towels. I do have a few rolls of paper towels on hand for the really nasty things

49. I do use a few Baggies especially for freezer things but I get the cheap twist tie bags then line the freezer bags with these to prolong the life of the freezer bags. I wash and reuse the zip lock freezer bags. And if I do have to use a plastic bag I use the cheap twist tie bags or the fold over sandwich bags.

50. I have some bags that I made from water proof fabric that I made. I like to use these for bread and things like that.

51. For feminine hygiene I use Home made feminine Pads cloth pads. (Haven’t got the girls on this bandwagon yet lol).

52. This may gross out a few of you but it is a real money saver. The family cloth I go to the thrift store and buy a bag of rags come home and wash them (they are mostly old Tee Shirts and only cost two dollars for a large bag.) then I cut them into 8x8 squares and use them instead of TP for # 1, do still use tp for # 2 not only does it save on buying TP but I don’t have all that paper going in to the septic. Just put them in a bucket and wash with bleach in hot water. ( I just wash with my white clothes.)

53. I also cut 6 x6 squares for Kleenex.

54.  I use dog food bags for kitchen trash liner.

55.  I use wal-mart bags for the bathroom trashes.

56. I have a can in the mud room for aluminum  to recycle.

57.  I have a can outside with a lid to put tin cans to recycle. The aluminum and tin we can cash in and make money.

58. I have containers with lids to store things in the fridge.

59. I save all the envelopes from bills and junk mail to use as note pad papers.

Kids and Daycare

I don’t have any little ones so some of the things here are things I did and some are things I would do now. Some of these things are things I do with the day care kids.


60. Use cloth diapers. Make your own or for a small investment you can buy them.

61. Make your own diaper wipes. I am torn on this I have made my own but I not sure you can save money over the store brand wipes the only thing about making them your self is you know what is in them.

62. Nurse. The cost of formula is crazy and not that great for your baby. If you work you can pump and freeze. I have had a couple moms who have done this.

63. Make your own baby food this really is easy. Just put whatever you want to feed them in a baby bullet or a blender. I also had a couple kids who never had store bought baby food.

64. With minimal sewing skills you can make blankets, burp rags.

65. Look for baby furniture at yard sales, consignment shops ( be careful of consignment shops sometimes you can buy a lesser brand new then you can buy the used name brand.)and 2nd hand stores. You can also check around with friends a lot of times people have stuff they don’t need anymore and will be more then glad to let you use or buy it.

66. Make your own diaper rash ointment.

67. Use the library they have free story and craft hour.

68.  Use the library to barrow books and movies.

69. Make your own Playdough.

70.  Make your own paint.

71. Make your own glitter.

72.  Make your own folder games.

73.  Make your own bubbles.

74.  Make your own sensory boxes.

75.  Make your own Felt board and  stories.

76. Limit T.V. to 1 hour. I found that when the T.V. Is on ( which uses power) the kids will not get down and play.

77. Have 1 cup per child (that they know is theirs ) that they use through the day. Instead of dirtying several cups a day.

78. Sew their clothes and shop 2nd hand store for them. When my kids were little I made most of their clothes and what I didn’t make I got from 2nd hand stores , yard salesw and hand me downs.

79. Make their nap mats, when they go to preschool they need nap mats these are very easy to make. I have two different ones which I will do a tutorial on in the future.

80. Cut their hair yourself. There are some great tutorials on u- tube.

81. Home school they get such a better education. I know public school is free but there is a lot of cost associated with public school. Plus they don’t pick up bad habits from other students.

Hygiene Products.

82. We make our own Toothpaste

83. We make our own Deodorant.

84. We make our own Lotion.

85. We make our own soap.

86. We make our own Hair Spray .

87. We make our own Mousse.

88. We make our own shave cream.

89. I get my razor blades from the dollar store. They have razors that fit the old handles which, I have several of.

90. We make our own shampoo.


    91. Mend things that need mended. Small rips, buttons, ect.

92. Patch larger holes. Some of Andy’s pants are more patch then pant lol.

93. I make a lot of our own clothes. From Shirts, dresses, Prom and homecoming dresses, Skirts, even underwear and tee-Shirts.

94. Again shop 2nd hand stores and yard sales.

95. Darn your socks I can do this but sometimes it is more trouble than it is worth .But if money is super tight it is an option.

96. Crochet or knit your own slippers, sweaters, craves, ear warmers, blankets and whatever you can think of. I do a lot of crocheting but hate to knit I know how but do not like it.

97. I alter things if they don’t fit correctly.

98. I make my own Starch for ironing.

99. I make my own fabreeze.

Medical .


100. Stay in shape. We try to stay as physically active as we can. I do have a few extra pounds I am trying to get off.

101. I use plants and herbs that I am grow and forage for medicinal purposes.

102. I make a lot of my own capsules of herbs and some vitamins that I can buy in bulk.

103. I use a lot of essential oils. Store bought and some that I make.

104. I am taking a class on herbs so I can increase my knowledge if all we can rely on is herbs.

105. I make our own cough syrup, cough drops, salves, and ointments.


106.Get out of debt. We are working on this. When you have payment to make you are usually paying interest which is pretty much money thrown away.

107. We try to keep our vehicles serviced oil changes, tune ups, tires inflated, ect. To help get the best gas mileage possible.

108. We try to combine all our trips to town to get everything done in one trip.

109. Use antenna T.V. that is all we have ever used.  We did get netflit this winter.  We tend to watch more t.v. in the winter and was renting movies all the time, but always had to get them back in time or have a late fee. So I think we are saving a little by having the netflix. Will have to see how it is in the summer.

110. I sprout wheat for chicken feed. We buy wheat in bulk from the mill. When I sprout it it is more nutritious and doubles in size.



So there are some of the 110 things that we do to save money. I will do another post  in a few days on some more money saving things we do. So what are some of the things that you do to save money.