Saturday, January 8, 2011

Makin stuff and savin money....

Is it just me or have grocery prices been outta control on some stuff?!  Even generic butter is $3.00.  I used to spend $30-$60 a week but lately it has been more like $70 or $80.  It is easier to lower bills in the summer when we have so much produce, but I still need to try and keep it around $50.  There are some things I want to try.  I spend too much during the week on things I don't need, so I started taking out $100 at the beginning of the week.  If I spend $50 on groceries, and maybe $20 or $30 on odds and ends (like the new mouse I needed for the computer today) that will give us a little extra spending money and a little left over for the savings.  I have been using a lot of dry beans lately.  We also started baking our own bread again.

I also made some carrot muffins from a recipe I found in Backwoods Home magazine, that contains 4 cups of carrots!  It is such a cheap and healthy recipe!  Some things at the store have been good, or even great priced so I have been trying to buy those.  I started this week by planning meals based on what we have, then read the ads so I could plan the rest by what was on sale.  Carrots were 3 lbs for $1!! (hence the carrot muffins ;) ).  I also found a great recipe for homemade ranch dressing on The Family Homestead.  It is soooo good and pretty cheap to make.  I figured a pint jar costs about .80.  I have heard that dressings are one of the worst things you can buy (due to preservatives, chemicals and what not), which I don't know much about it, but I figure if something has more then 20 ingredients (especially a condiment!), it is probably best to stay away from it!  If you haven't checked out The Family Homestead before I highly recommend it.  She is a mother of 8 and has amazing tips and recipes for the frugal homemaker. 

In other news, we ordered our seeds.  We got our first batch from the first company yesterday.  Eek!  I am always shocked to see all of those packets.  Did I order all of those?!  Lol!  We saved a lot of seeds but still needed to buy a lot to.  We just don't have the room to space plants out enough to save seeds.  I have been obsessed with reading all of the seed catalogs and can't wait to start planting again.  I am thinking about trying to grow some lettuce in unheated cold frames.  I am going to give it a shot when the ground thaws a bit.  I even started some basil, cilantro, and oregano on the shelves we have in the basement.  I also sprouted some seeds in this neat little sprouter my mom got me.  I would show you the picture I uploaded but blogger uploader isn't working again.  Pretty basic system, but there are a lot of ways to sprout with household stuff.  Here is a site about sprouting lentils.  I get mine from the store, which some people say you can't do because they are processed and won't sprout but i don't have a problem.  Plus I don't want to pay $4.00 for a 1/2 a pound like some places charge ;).  I am hoping that next year I will can enough stuff, and store enough veggies in the cellar, that our grocery bill will be even less.