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Canning food, cutting grocery bills, cleaning house

September 23rd, 2013 at 03:13 pm

I might as well be chained to my stove in September. It's been a busy month of canning! And to think when my MIL gave me a canning pot for my wedding, I thought she was crazy and old fashioned. I guess she's having the last laugh now.

I've canned 56 applesauces, and about two dozen pizza, pasta, and diced tomato cans, and maybe 24 half pints of peach jam. I'm gearing up to preserve diced jalapeno peppers in vinegar, blackberry jam, and some chocolate-raspberry ice cream topping.

I might try canning fresh apple juice this weekend as well, as this is the last week of our seasonal farm share, and the farmer is gracious enough to give me a full bushel of No. 2 apples (the ones that are great, but not pretty enough for retail) rather than two small bags of pretty apples each week. I don't care if they're pretty if I can make a whole winter of juice or sauce out of them!

I was just reading a great article in Mother Earth News called "Cut your grocery bills in half". It was no gimmicks, straightforward, you have to cook from scratch, grow your own, and preserve your own to really really cut the bills.

It really hit home. Maybe we are on the right track. I do know we need to cut down on eating out, and a lot of that is a function of me being tired and not always planning the best way I can, or not feeling like cooking.

Ideally, I'd like to have my kitchen freezer full of quicky prepared foods that I can just reheat on those days, but that has yet to happen. I did get a good book to inspire me, though, called "Not your mother's make ahead and freeze cookbook." It's got a lot of good stuff in it!

Do you guys have any recommendations as far as cookbooks and foods along those lines?

On other news, we paid our friend's 13 year old $40 to play with our kids all day Sunday so we could clean out the garage. It was worth every penny. We went through eveyr box and every bin down there-- some from when we moved in 2 years ago-- and separated it all into garbage, recycling, and keeps. Things actually have a home now. The canned goods and the extra food pantry are better organized, and all of my kitchen gadgets like juicers and ice cream makers, all have a dedicated home. It's a relief to have a frustrating part of the house organized finally!

Here is the canned stuff. It's a different feeling of accomplishment when you look at it. Much more satisfying than meeting a work deadline on a computer!
I also picked my first titan sunflowers today. They are grown for their edible seeds, and produce pretty giant seedheads. The photo is below!


3 Responses to “Canning food, cutting grocery bills, cleaning house”

  1. LuckyRobin Says:

    Cookbooks to look for at your library:

    Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your Family

    Don't Panic: Dinner's in the Freezer--Great Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead

    Don't Panic: More Dinner's in the Freezer--A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead

    The Everything Freezer Meals Cookbook

    Taste of Home Freezer Pleasers Cookbook (uses a lot of processed foods like cream of something soups and other canned items)

    Cook & Freeze: 150 Delicious Dishes to Serve Now and Later

    Once-A-Month Cooking: A Proven System for Spending Less Time in the Kitchen and Enjoying Delicious, Homemade Meals Every Day

    Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites: More Great Recipes That Save You Time and Money from the Inventors of the Ultimate Do-Ahead Dinnertime Method

    Frozen Assets: How to Cook for a Day and Eat for a Month

    The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy


  2. ThriftoRama Says:

    Thanks!

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Not surprised LR would have a list of books for you! You have done great. I've never canned. I noticed my daughter's flute teacher was set up for a canning marathon last time I was at her home. A busy time, but savings later.

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