Frugal savings week 8 -2014

Another week passed and I am still trying to keep track of all my savings, some are small some are big, some are perhaps not mentionable, some are different. I like to save money the way that I do, I like to not spend. But that doesn’t mean that my life is more easy. In fact, the other day on a forum where I also posted my savings, some asked me how I got the time to do all the things I do, like I had more hours in the day then they. I think that I also save a lot of money by NOT doing what most people do with their time: watching the tele, gaming or whatever digital things people do. I just do little things, every day, which make a lot in the end of the week. That is why I like to write about it too, it gives a nice look on what I have accomplished, frugally.

* Made 5 liter of laundry detergent from home made soap and 3 liters of laundry softener from plain white vinegar and my own concoction of essential oils. For the detergent I reused an old laundry detergent container but when I put my vinegar in another one, the vinegar leaked. I put it now in my fancy vintage apothecary pots.

* I got 2x 5 kilo bags of Yasmin Rice, what a lovely fragrant that rice has! I put this in my food storage, I first have to finish my Basmati Rice. The Yasmin Rice is a bit more expensive then other rice, but I think when cooked it has such a lovely fragrant, it is just a little present. 1 bag was 7,50 euro (that is 1,50 euro per kilo).

* The roots from the green onions I dehydrated and ground to a powder, last week, are starting to grow little greens again. I am curious how that will work out.

* I got some raw milk from my farmer and made yogurt and hard cheese (Dutch/Gouda cheese).

* I finally perfected my grape pie, and I am very happy to be able to have a fun recipe for my home canned grapes in vanilla syrup. I also made a savory green onion pie, home made pizza and cinnamon buns.

I got some gardening going: planted some lamb’s lettuce and early spinach in an old drawer, covered with an old window. I bought bags small tunnel green houses and a small green house. I would love some tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers! In the newspaper it said that nature is one month ahead of time, so I am also speeding up the start of the garden.

This week we bought another chicken. Yes,we have only 2 chickens, but it is just fun to have chickens in my very small backyard. The first chicken we got, is from our neighbor, the chicken was picking other chickens. The new chicken was also picked but within a day they were drinking and eating together, so all is all right. They both are very funny: they love to walk with you in the garden and when I am weeding they are there, looking what I do: “hey, what is that big chicken doing? She does has all the good greens”.

first chicken and her first egg.

first chicken and her first egg.

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Frugal savings week 7 – 2014

It was quite a busy week and spent a lot of time outside the house. But I did manage to still do something selfsufficientish:

* I made another 3 pillow cases from fabric I already had.

* I started (but not finished yet) a small lunch bag from leftover fabric from the pillow covers I made last week. The fabric has such a lovely pattern, I didn’t want to throw it out.

* Some one gave me a LOT of spring onions, I dehydrated most of them and I made a spring onion savory pie.

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* I started with my small vegetable garden and planted broad beans, lavender and rocket lettuce indoors.

* I mended again a couple of clothes. I started with a small cardigan from my oldest but after I mended one small whole, I found another one and another one and so on. I decided to not go on and told my oldest. She said she didn’t want to throw out the cardigan, she will be making some barbie clothes out of it. An apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, I guess.

* I cut some fabrics from my stash for future quilts (just preparation before I start sewing the quilts).

* I baked all my bread, this week it was sunflower bread and a banana, honey and almond bread.

* I took warm soups in my thermos to work and also small canning jars with tutti frutti. We snacked on dehydrated fruits.

* I reorganized the kitchen cabinets because I want to make my mornings more easy to be able to bake and make breakfast.

* I refilled my working stock with the stock i have in plastic buckets. So I can keep on baking during the busy weeks I have.

* I started a new batch of alfalfa sprouts and mixed sprouts.

Frugal savings week 6 – 2014

It was a busy week, but I did manage to stick to not buying but make it yourself. I made all our breads and buns, I also made arame buns with sesame seeds, carrot muffins.
I have to admit that I do wake up at 5 a.m. to make all our preparations for the day: baking our bread, lunches (often with a soup) and prepare our meal in the slow cooker.  I love my slow cooker, I put it on when I go to work and have a warm meal when I come back.

Some one gave me 6 kilo of sliced potatoes which I dehydrated.

I also got 9 bunches of celery. I canned them in 10 pint jars for later use. I love celery in all kind of stews and soups. I cut the celery and put them in the jars and poured over hot boiling water then I pressure canned them for 40 min. I also made 5  x 3/4 liter jars of a celery soup base, so I can make it into a quick soup for lunch.

A lot of ready cut bags of Chinese stir fry vegetables, about 2 kilo, were also given to me. They were almost over the bbd, so I decided to make some chicken vegetable soup. I made some chicken broth from 2 chicken legs I had in the freezer. I put the vegetables and the stock. 5 liter jars of ready made soup.

2 jars didn’t seal, so we will be eating that today and tomorrow.

At the thrift store I got 15 drinking glasses which we always use but do break sometimes of course. I paid 10 euro cent each.

I cut my children’s hair and saved a trip to the hair dresser.

I made 2 throw pillow cushions from a piece of fabric I bought for 50 euro cents the other week. I got enough left to even make a small lunch bag.

Frugal savings week 5 – 2014

My child turned 13 so we had a small celebration party. I made crunchy apple pie on request with fresh whipped cream. I used whole wheat flour to make the pie and the apples I still have from fall apples I gathered last harvest. Dinner was home made pizza, also from home ground wheat, home made tomato sauce, some olives, pesto, Dutch cheese and mozzarella. That is the favorite pizza. I put on some pickled peppers to make it more interesting. I had some dough left so I used that to make garlic cheese bread.

I was given 2 boxes with frozen kale and potatoes. I made some white bean and kale soup and canned it. Love the way it turned out. 5 quarts to put into the pantry.  I love to take some soup with me to work. I found an American thermos bottle with a wide mouth opening which I use only for soup. With some home made bread, a very filling lunch.

I had some beef in the freezer and I added some potatoes, carrots, ginger, garlic and onions and some home made bouillon. Another 5 quarts of unknown-name-soup. I also canned some curried cauliflower soup (just the florets, potatoes and in curry fried onions) which I will puree when I open the jar. I have made a total of 15 quarts of convenient soups. I am quite happy with that. I get up at 5 every morning to bake bread, walk the dog and make soup for lunch to bring to work. These soups on the shelves will make my mornings a lot easier!

I bought some really nice fabric scraps for 2 euro’s. One of the scraps I will turn into new throw pillow cushions.

I have sorted out some bags of old clothes which I want to use in later (quilt) projects. I have one bag full of linen clothes which will make a lovely quilt.