Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Being frugal,,,,,,,


The bible teaches us to be "good stewards" of the things given to us.  First we must realize that "everything" is given to us by God.  Were it not for Him we would have nothing!  Once you look at every aspect of your life as a precious gift from your Heavenly Father you can begin to appreciate it more and have the desire to take care of it better or to be a "good steward".

I believe that being "frugal" is a vital part of being a "good steward".  If I am frugal with my grocery budget for example, then I can share some of that budget with others in need.  We are also commanded to help others.  So this is one way I can do it.

Part of being frugal with my grocery budget is being a bargain shopper.  But if you are going to bargain shop you need to know what to do with those bargains to make the best use out of them.  After all, it isn't really a bargain if you don't use it or you let it go to waste.

Recently I made a trip to the local grocery store to buy some ground beef that was on sale.  I was lucky to find 3 packages that were coming close to the expiration date and had mark down coupons on them of $3 each.  Each package was on sale for $6 and change so with the coupons I paid $3 and change each.  That is a bargain in this day and age and I was not going to pass it up!!

Of course that was also a lot of meat so I had to do something with it and fast before the expiration date and the meat went bad.  Bringing it home and throwing it in the fridge was not an option.  It would have definitely spoiled before I used all that.  So, I made hamburgers, meatballs and divided some for use with hamburger helper or some other quick meal project and froze them all for use later.

Below is a picture slide show of what I did with the meat.  All total I got about 8 or 9 meals out of those 3 packages and paid about $10 for the meat.  That's a bargain and that is being frugal!!

I call this blog "The Frugal Homestead" because any home, any where is your homestead whether you live in the country or the city.  With a little planning you can have a "frugal homestead" too.  There are many ways you can cut corners, trim a little from your budget here and there and be frugal and a good steward.  I am a Christian so I try to base my life on biblical principles.  I am old fashioned by today's standards.  I believe in cooking from scratch, taking care of my home and family first.  Some say I am an oddity, I say I wish more people would get back to the old ways of doing things.  The world would be a much better place!!

I hope you enjoy the little presentation and it gives you some ideas about being frugal and a good steward.  This will open in a new window, be patient in takes a little time to load up.  You can click the pause button and advance one page at a time if you want.  You can also mouse over a picture and click on it to enlarge it, click one more time to bring it back to original size.

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Until next time,,,,,,,Blessings!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Making butter,,,,,,


I hope my picture book loads up OK and you can get a good idea about making butter.  The pictures are not the greatest, but they should give you a good view into the process.  If you have any questions please feel free to post them here in the comments section.  :-)

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Still making butter!!  I have a ton of it to do up.  Today I am going to go to one of the ladies from church's house to help her make butter for the first time.  It ought to be fun!!

Until next time,,,,,,,Blessings!!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Trying to get in gear, but the gear is stuck,,,,,,


I have been trying to get in gear but it seems the gear is stuck.  I have developed the worse sinus infection I think I have ever had in my life.  My entire face is swollen including the inside of my mouth.  I could not see for over a day because my eyes were actually swollen shut.  This has not been fun.  I am slowly improving however and am grateful for that.  At least I can see again!!  I still can not eat solid food but I could stand to lose some weight anyway, LOL.

Recently I was given two cases of heavy cream.  I have been keeping it very cold in a cooler on the porch but need to do something with it soon as I do not want it to go bad.  I am praying I feel well enough tomorrow to stand and make butter.  Yes, butter!!  Butter will freeze very well and last a long time.  With the price of butter in the store, that is a real good option for all this cream I have.  I should be able to make several pounds of butter.

I personally do not use margarine.  Have you ever watched margarine melt in a skillet?  Yuk!!  It looks like plastic.  No, I do not want that in my arteries!!  I do not agree with those who believe margarine is better for you.  In fact I am finding that most "processed" foods are not very good for you.  If you follow a diet of natural foods that were around in biblical times you find yourself feeling much healthier.  Unfortunately that is almost impossible to do today.  Everything you buy in the store today has been altered in some way.

Unfortunately even the cream purchased in a store today has been processed first and altered a bit.  But it is still closer to natural than margarine is.  I would love to be able to purchase raw milk and cream in my area but have not found anyone willing to sell it to me because of all the crazy laws the government has imposed on us over the years.  In their supposed quest to "make food safer" for us, they have stripped the good nutrients and benefits out of most foods.  We might technically live longer but that is only due to all the medicine we use to pickle ourselves to keep us alive and counter the negative impact of the now contaminated and imperfect food we consume.

Isn't it interesting how old people lived in early biblical times before "processing" and "altering" or "genetically modifying" our foods?

Well, I have gotten a little bit off track, LOL.  I will try to remember to take pictures of my butter making to post on here next week.  I count this as free butter and therefore very frugal, LOL.  Hopefully, my gear will be moving in forward by tomorrow so I can at least get a start on it.  I also plan to teach another lady from church how to make butter as she has a lot of the cream as well.

Being frugal is so important especially in today's economy.  But it is also being a good steward of the gifts God gives you.  And nothing you have did you receive any where else but by God!!

Food pantry day at the church is coming up this Saturday.  I have many items stored in my freezer for the food pantry as we ran out of freezer room at the church.  Once that is moved out, then I need to get into the freezer and do some canning.  I still have the tomatoes to make sauce from last years garden.  And I have a lot of meat I want to cook and can up as well.  So there will be some upcoming posts about canning spaghetti sauce and meats and why I prefer to can.

Until next time,,,,,,,,Blessings!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Its been too long,,,,,,


It has been way too long!!  The last couple of months have been crazy to say the least but I am hoping to get back into some sort of a normal routine now, whatever that is.

As some of you know I left in a hurry for NY state when my brother John went into the VA hospital at Castle Point.  I stayed in his apartment during the month I was there and traveled back and forth to the VA Hospital nearly an hour away.  John had battled cancer for a number of years.  He passed on January 17th at the tender age of 64.  I am sad he is gone and yet grateful he is not suffering any more.  He is in a much better place now and is at peace.

Upon my return I was asked to go live in the house of my neighbor who passed back in October by her daughter.  In exchange for rent and utilities I would take care of the house, sort through the tons of stuff and have yard sales to sell off items the family does not want or need.  So, I had started to move in and get to work.  I first concentrated on the kitchen and was getting that in order.  I sold their mother's car for them, which helped pay on the funeral bill.

Then out of left field the daughter no longer wanted me there, for reasons I will never understand.  I guess things like this happen when you are bipolar and swing from one extreme to the other.  So, I packed my stuff and made the move back to where I am now and have been on and off for the last several months.  Unfortunately, I still have a lot of unpacking to do.  But again, I am grateful for not having moved all my stuff over there!!  Something was holding me back.  I lived out of suit-cases for a couple of weeks to be on the safe side.  I am glad I did!!

So now, it is time for me to try to get back to some sort of normal routine, whatever that may be!!  It will take some time.  I still mourn for my brother.  I am still scratching my head over the weirdness of next door.  And I am still unsure of what my future holds for me.  One thing I am sure of though is God holds it all in His hand and whatever happens He is working it out for my betterment.

My first thoughts are to dig into my ceramics again full blast, but I have a lot of unpacking, sorting and organizing to do here too.  So, I have decided to start out by doing my morning coffee and online routine, spend a couple of hours on ceramics and then a couple of hours on the rest of it.  Little by little I will get it all done, I hope!!

I have missed blogging and participating in the blogs I like to read.  So that will be included in my early morning routine.  I enjoy doing various jobs for my church and am looking forward to getting back into that full swing as well.

"Blessed are those who mourn for they shall be comforted".  I hold onto those words from scripture and see they are true, God sends comfort in many forms when you are mourning the loss of a loved one.  He is so good to His children.  Life goes on, the mourning and grieving gets a little easier and you learn to cope.  Keeping busy helps.  Knowing that I will once again see my brother in the eternal life is a huge comfort.  God is good, all the time!!

I will try to get back to posting on a more regular schedule again.  Just please give me a little time to figure out what that schedule should be.

Blessings, Alice