Frugal savings 2016 -week 2

Normally I go to the grocery store on saturday evening so I can pick up some vegetables on sale. We don’t eat meat often so I mostly focus on vegetables. Last Saturday I didn’t go to the store: I have so much food on the shelves so I thought I can skip this week. Then I thought: this is quite a good idea because I want to buy some more handy kitchen supplies. I ordered an universal vacuum sealer to go with my solis vacuum sealer.

I also want to get better organised: I made a start with the shed. I need a better place to place my canning jars, canning supplies, cheese making supplies, candle making supplies.

This weekend I started with the candle making supplies: I collected all the bits and ends of old candles I had. I melted them down for later use in a large tin can. I have white, pink, red and some brown wax. These are the red-ish candles I melted:candle wax I also saved some of the wicks from the old candles. I got all the wax bits and pieces from others so the candles I will make are for free.

I am quite happy I started with this huge task of organising the shed. I have still some shelvings in storage which I will use to get the shed more organised. Again no money spend. I need to find a good source for some plastic bins to put my canning jars in.

The other savings will come from:

  • cooking from scratch from food storage
  • no grocery shopping
  • having soup for lunch which I already canned
  • bake bread from scratch




New year, new chances

New year, new changes. I have been absent for some time because I have been very busy last year: finishing 2 university courses, trying to get the youngest on track in her first year in highschool, food preservation and of course trying to be as independent as I can. Not all the area’s work out very well (had a big fiasco in my rented allotment) and I am still behind with heaps of laundry. But a new year with a new beginning just started. I have done well the last couple of weeks: fixed my vintage wooden bed, that fell apart, did a lot of decluttering and started a lot of other projects.

This week I hope to do this:


1. Organise desk drawer for laptop and such

2. Organise legumes under the bed storage (under the bed I just repaired)


  1. Youngest daughter’s bed


1. Clean the path way

2. Plant lettuce and other greens


1. Repair some clothes in the clothes-need-repair-basket


1. Make food mostly from the pantry

2. Can apples

3. Dehydrate apples

4. What to do with savoy and red cabbages?

5. Remember to make a soup for lunch from canned goods (today I had tomato soup with crudites to work)



Frugal savings this week -2015

Not a lot of weekly frugal savings blog posts lately. Unfortunately, because I really like writing about savings, some obvious savings, some more out of the box savings. Weeks just fly by and making a lot yourself just takes a lot of time. I also go weekly to flea markets because it is that time of the year now. I noticed that a lot of less ‘good’ stuff gets to the flea markets, it looks like the older stuff is already been bought and is now getting more rare. I did find some good stuff still:

This week I did my share of pantry cooking:

* I made green lentil/cracked wheat curry with jasmine rice and a salad.
* Some leftover ricotta I turned into an Italian lemon-ricotta cake.
* We had rosemary roasted potatoes in olive oil with canned tomato/bell pepper sauce and some vegetarian ‘meat’.
* Our weekly home made pizza with tomato sauce made from canned tomatoes and all kind of canned toppings like canned peppers and roasted bell pepper. I always make double portion because we can take an extra slice to work or school for lunch.
* I made sour dough bread, our favorite and made another bread with herbs in the Römertopf. All over the world people use clay pot for cooking food. This particular one is a German clay pot used to make all kind of dishes in the oven. You can make all kind of dishes in the Römertopf but it is also wonderful to bake bread. It gives a wonderful crunchy bread.

bread in the Römertopf

Frugal Savings until now -2015

Life has been extremely busy at the moment. I work 4 days  and go to school every friday. Even though I work more hours I don’t have more money to spend. So still continuing with trying to make as much as I can myself: bread, cookies, cakes, meals from scratch, home brought lunches etc.

That is quite a challenge: I had to refind my daily routines which was not an easy task but I am getting there. I get up at 5 in the morning and start my day and chores. Here is a list of the things I did do myself the last weeks and saved some money along the way:

* Made marinated dried tomatoes from home dehydrated tomatoes

* Dehydrated breadcrumbs from leftover bread, lovely over any cheesy bake or casserole in the oven. It gives nice crunch.

* Not really a saving but I made an extra shelf next to my fridge where I keep my 20 kilo of wheat. There was some empty space that I didn’t use so I created a space to put some of my big cast iron pans. I have this extremely small kitchen for someone with a lot of kitchen utensils.

* I made some extra shelves for my books. At the moment a lot of people get rid of their books and I can buy new ones for 50 eurocent or 1 euro per book. Lot’s of very good and informative books. I found one yesterday on Tuscany cooking.

* I have dealt with the pumpkins from last years harvest, dehydrated the flesh and grind them in the kitchen machine. Now I can add the powder in breads and cakes.

pompoenpumpkins before dehydration

* Last weekend I got some extra spare time so I went to the local farmer and got 30 liters of milk. I made fresh cheese, yogurt and ricotta.

* I have sorted through all the seeds I have and made a planning for this year’s garden. I hope to be able to sow some seeds this week.

* We made date-coconut balls for snacks.

* Some one gave me 8 Leifheit canning jars which are difficult to find here. I am almost done with organizing my canning jars in the shed.

* We redid the pantry so we could see what kind of products need to be used up soon. I put them on a shelf so I can plan my meals with those products. I don’t like throwing away things. On an average every Dutch person throws out 50 kilo of food per year. I am sure we don’t throw out that much food per person.

Leftover Bean Pâté

Mixed beans

Mixed beans

Yesterday we had “captain’s dinner” a somewhat famous Dutch dish. It is a dish with marrow-fat beans and small side dishes like pickles, caramelized apples, bacon, raw diced onions, (Indonesian) peanut butter sauce and small meat balls. We had some beans left so tonight I will be making left-over bean pâté.

1 2/3 cups cooked leftover beans
30 ml oil (olive or sunflower)
½ cup diced onions
½ cup diced carrots
2 cloves of garlic
2 eggs
2 tbsp lemon juice
handful of parsley
1 teaspoon fresh sage
3/4 teaspoon salt
black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven at 350 Fahrenheit. Dice the onions, carrots and garlic (I use a kitchen machine but be careful it will not mush).   Put some oil in the pan and fry the onions, carrots and garlic until glazed.

In the meantime mince your leftover beans with the eggs in your kitchen machine. Add the parsley, sage, salt and pepper, lemon juice and a splash of oil.

Mix in a separate bowl the bean mixture with the onions, carrots and garlic. Pour in baking pan which you lined up with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown on top.

You can eat it warm with a nice salad or put it in the fridge and eat it on home baked bread for lunch.

You can use all kind of leftover beans for this recipes and also try to experiment with different herbs.

Another month just passed.. reasons why I still can

More then a month ago I posted my last post. I work 4.5 days per week and I have been canning a LOT! I leave home at 7 and come back at 5.30. Making dinner, doing the dishes, some other house chores and then checking if the children were still on (school) track: helping with packing their books and other stuff for the day after. Then back to canning and dehydrating. I have to say I am glad most part is just done. When you do much food preservation at one point you really think ‘why am I doing this to myself?’. When that point hit you, you know that it is almost finished as well. The last jars are the ‘most difficult’ jars. The last jars I canned were stewed pears in elderberry syrup and pickled cauliflower.

In between I did three crates full of beans my friend gives me every year for free, I bought 25 kilo of hard pears (to make the stewed pears), 10 celery roots, 4 bunches I pressure canned, 5 I dehydrated, 10 cauliflowers I put up in a mild pickled water.

Last week my parents came over to help me out with organizing the jars, cleaning them. We anchored the open shelving closet to the wall so the heavy jars will not fall on the ground. We will be good, very good this winter.

Also I can add another year to my age. I will write more about the presents I got but this is such a nice one: Beetroots! I still have to do something with them, but will make a start this weekend.


Canning beetroots.

I worked hard the last weeks, didn’t sleep much, but we have lots of beautiful meals during the winter.

Frugal Savings week 35 -2014

It was a busy week, I did a lot of canning (tomatoes and wild peaches) and dehydrating 10 kilo’s of carrots and a couple of kilo of bell peppers.

I was able to buy blueberries on sale (1 kilo for 3 euro) and i bought the remaining 5 kilos. I dehydrated them.

There was one big surprise when I opened the door I found a present from one of my neigbors:

Pumpkin surprise

I will make some nice meals from this pumpkin, perhaps can some as well.