Friday, January 29, 2010

lest you think i haven't got anything under control with less and using what you've got.

so i have a lot i want to do, but there are some things i have been working on for years. At this point, we are trying hard to pay off all of our debt. It's been tough, a lot of ups and downs, but we are getting there. Ideally we want to buy a home with out a mortgage. But, that is a post for another time. Today I will talk about the raising kids on a ultra tight (that's an understatement) budget.

There are the more obvious things, cloth diapers, cloth napkins, everything homemade and from scratch. This is where you see how "green" and "frugal" go hand in hand. We also buy in bulk and are trying to buy more this way. The first thing for us was oats. we eat oatmeal every day for breakfast, all six of us. When I get too many complaints, I make granola, but they eat twice as much. So we buy 50lb bags of organic rolled oats. We bought food grade barrels with lids to store it in. We also buy 50lb bags of Maine grown organic whole wheat pastry flour. The pastry acts more like an all-purpose, we do still mix for some recipes. We also are lucky enough to have an awesome health food store that will order just about anything in bulk at a 10% discount. So we get cases of Silk yogurt, we eat about 4-6 quarts a week. A yogurt maker is in our future but the art of making soy yogurt has yet to be perfected. We also now buy our laundry detergent in bulk. A 3 gallon bucket of an all natural bio-degradable cedar smelling laundry detergent made by a local family of 7. it works out to I think about 15cents per load. It's called o-natur-l and it was designed by this mom for her baby with extreme exema, so you know it's gentle. I love it, does great with diapers too. this week I will be ordering Chick peas, lentils and black beans. The bonus, along with savings is not running out of food. The weather can be wacky here. Its like -12 right now and then there is the snow. You don't want to get caught with a storm coming and no food.

Now for entertainment, here are the boys bean pictures,

and here is indigo playing in the left over beans like a sand box. Use what ya got and get creative. Check this out....
ya we eat a lot of yogurt and our town won't recycle the containers, i can't bare to throw them out.
We are trying to cut way back on videos so we have been borrowing books on CD from the library. AAAHHH the library, the most frugal, green entertainment ever. We try to get to story time every other week. and books come home with us, lots of books. Ok so here is a list of simple easy things to get you going on the greenugal (ya, thats green and frugal, I know! I am quite clever) road to a better life.

cloth napkins and rags (seriously, how many paper towels do you think a family of 6 would go through!) we bought ours at thrift store over time, quite an ecletic collection! I have also made them as gifts pretty quick to sew up

cloth diapers, even buying a few and trying part time would make a huge difference

no plastic bags (like ziplock sandwich bags) we use containers for everything, trash free lunches for mike when ever possible.

high quality long johns or "base layer" if your young and hip, did this one throw ya? Well clearly this is only if you live in a climate like mine, cold! and about six months of it! but i really REALLY like to be warm so in order to cut down on the wood we burn, i wear long johns, I mean a silk or wool base layer every day. The boys wear high performance synthetic (it's cheaper and washes very well, someday I will step them up to wool but the budget does not allow it right now)

So there are a few things we do here that you can try. so many more and so little time My next post will be my February One small change post. Please, be prepared for some over sharing! If you don't want to talk Feminine hygiene or worse, steer clear. until then here is a pantry minestrone recipe. sooooo yummy!

2 onions chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic pressed or minced
3 tbls olive oil
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
3 carrots chopped
1 can kidney beans
1 1/2 cup small shell pasta
1 tbl oregeno
1 tbl basil
1 tbl thyme
fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste
1/2 of a 120z bag of frozen chopped spinach
64 oz of veg broth or water

saute carrots, onions and garlic in oil in large stock pot until soft, add spices saute for 3 more minutes add all ingredients except pasta, simmer for 30 minutes to 3 hours, add past and cook until pasta is tender, about 10-15 minutes serve with homemade bread. n

you could make this in the crock pot too, just wait on the pasta until about 30 minutes before serving

1 comment:

Stacey said...

I'm craving minestrone soup now. I'm going to see if I have enough of the ingredients to fake it. :) (Need to bake some bread too. :) )