Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Frugal living

Part of this Blog is meant to be about the road towards simpler living and frugal ways so here goes:

Firstly I have to say that before I found the web site Simplesavings.com I was a wannabe frugalist. I could neither hold the motivation nor could I find inspiration to do anything with what I felt should be a simpler way of living. The minute I joined the web site it was like "Aha!!" and I can recommnend this place to anyone who seriously wants to save money. I have learnt so much that I thought I should start off simply and note the biggest things I have learnt and what has worked for me.

1. Be prepared. I am a Stay at home Mum and I really dont want to "work" again so I have the time and the inclination to cook things from scratch, sew clothes and mend and repair.

2. Dont go out to the shops for food. Use what is in the pantry, freezer, fridge, fruit bowl, etc. Again all inspiration and help with this is on Simple savings.

3. Take a leaf out of our forefathers (mothers!) books. They survived on much less than we ever did and made it all work. Following this I have made my own :soaps (about a years worth), dishwash (as required) washing powder for the dishwasher and clothes wash , made my own dog food, cat food, haved found "old" recipes with simple everyday ingrediants but are big on old fashioned taste and also make my own bread. I do fall over a lot though and all it takes it a unnecessary browse around the quilt shop, or a few hours at the library or just quilting for too long for the time to be lost and all the needed preparation to go under.

and 4; Use baking soda and white vinegar to clean everything. (and I do mean everything!!)

I have for years preserved - I LOVE preserving and now my aim is too increase what is in my cupboard fourfold as I get so much satisfaction. Last season I made Plum jam (free off the neighbours trees), apricot jam, Louquat jam (Free from our tree before we chopped it down). Quince Chutney (Free off a friends tree), stewed feijoas, apples, apricots. Preserved in syrup Peaches, nectarines , apricots and pears and made ton of Tomato Sauce from a recipe that dates back generations in our family. One of the great joys we have is PYO strawberries for eating, stewing and jam, and finding wild blackberries on the side of the road and spending hours picking them with the girls. They also love picking the strawberries and fruit and helping out with the preserving. I love to think of them knowing all these old values from our "past" and just doing them without it being seen as old fashioned or hard work. Above are some photos from all that is left of my pantry goodies. But it is another season in the staring and the whole process will be starting again. If any one is interested in the recipes they can leave a comment.
I love the idea of making everything especially at Christmas. However this year I got greedy and have made too much for myself and not enough for anyone else other than a couple of things. I do believe in think global buy local and so I am going to buy as many gifts as I can from a local coop that makes all the things inside. Other than that it will be Buy Kiwi made. Unfortunaely Bratz and barbies arnt made in NZ!!!!


lightening said...

Wow - your pantry looks awesome. One thing I'm yet to get "into" is preserving fruits and making jam. I don't have access to a lot of free or cheap fruit so haven't done much. I do stew some fruit and make rollups with it but that's about it on that side of things. One day we'll have fruit trees of our own...I hope. :-)

Jodi (from SS)

Jade said...

That looks fantastic!! Very inspiring blog.

Jade H (from ss)

Tracy said...

Your crafting and preserving look wonderful. Off to do some sewing after your inspiration.

Christine said...

Just stopped by from Rhonda's blog over at Down to Earth. I am a month away from 41,I have a 5 and 7 year old, and I live on a small farm. Without making a huge announcement to my family about frugality and simplicity, I have been simplifying our lives over the last year, and no one has made any complaints.

I will add your blog to the list of places I visit. Would love to see more of your patchwork and stitching.

From a fellow quilter who often falls off the wagon to purchase a wee bit of fabric now and then.

Angie said...

Just found your blog, and I LOVE it! I do have a question about the dishwasher soap that you make...what do you use to make it up? I'm also a quilter (well, more like professional stash builder and dreamer LOL), and am trying to live a bit 'greener' each day. :) Happy Holidays

Miss Smith said...

I've been reading back thru the archives enjoying your blog!
I am just embarking on making our own laundry liquid and I am quite excited about it...I really like looking through old recipe books and finding out the old (read "free") ways of doing things.