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My Frugal Summer

September 22nd, 2008 at 05:26 pm

This summer has brought about the need to watch even closer every $1 becuase of the crazy gas prices, rising utility costs, and beating the grocery store prices.

I've been taking notes from my Amish and Mennonite neighbors. Hanging out laundry, gardening & processing the harvest, and taking a good look at how they run their households.

One lucky 'treasure' I've found is an Amish grocery about 5 miles from me. They get truckoads of 'salvage' foods that are fantastic bargains. Corners crushed on boxes, slightly dented cans, and some outdated dry goods. They have a wide selection of bulk foods also. Only place around where I can purchase yeast in a 'brick'.

Since my SO didn't see the need to put out a garden this year, I've been bartering for neighbors' excess. Dusted off my water-bath and pressure canners and have put up whatever I can et my hands on. I would have done the tilling of the garden myself, even put the word out I wanted to borrow a tiller. No luck. Physically unable to do that part of it due to back surgery years ago. All my canning jars I've picked up at yard sales throughout the years, even the half-gallon ones. Did notice that this year the jars were scarce - guess people are getting back into it.

I've also been more diligent on freezing leftovers. Even if it's just enough for one person, in the freezer it goes. I saved a couple of sausage patties from a breakfat one morning and used them a couple of weeks later to make gravy for chicken-fried steaks. One chicken breast, boneless, was frozen and then turned in to quesidillas (with lots of veggies)for another supper.

I helped one family by giving them the book ' Tightwad Gazette'. They have 5 kids, a 'yours, mine, and ours' mix. 4 of 5 in school this fall and it was the first year they had relied almost exclusively on getting the kids school clothes from yard sales. They claim they probably saved at least $800 and purchased name-brand perfectly good items. Both of them have called to thank me for the book. they have since finished reading the entire thing and have dog-eared pages, written in margins, and highlighted pertinent things. Makes me smile.

For entertainment, we've been going to alot of local festivals - doesn't cost a thing to go or to look. We see people we haven't seen for awhile, listen to great music, and get ideas for crafts to use as gifts that we can make ourselves. We even take our own lunch & drinks in a backpack.





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