Sunday, August 16, 2015

A New Steamer and Frugal Accomplishments

Hello, friends.  I am joining in with The Prudent Homemaker's Frugal Accomplishments today.  When going to a nearby town to run a couple of errands, I used my gas rewards, making it $2.03/gal with a fill up.  A thrift store there was having a 50% off sale on just about everything.  I got quite a few pieces of clothing for $1 each.  I wear some pretty rough looking clothes around the homestead, with lots of wear, stained, etc.  due to our water staining so many things, and the belief to use it up and wear it out, This past year, J's business has gotten busier, and they've been doing more work in their shop here, which has meant their clients may drive up while I'm working outdoors.  Quite a few of the pieces of clothing are to help me "clean up my act" here on the homestead.  There were also some nice pairs of pants, a skirt, and even a cashmere cardigan.  I do love cashmere!  I also found a nice piece of flannel fabric for 50 cents.

I harvested cucumbers, tomatoes, elderberries, concord grapes, zucchini and tromboncino squash, corn and okra.  I continue dehydrating squash.  I canned tomatoes.   Made egg salads with our eggs, a salad of our tomatoes & cucumbers with some olives, and corn on the cob for dinner.  Used our onion in an asian slaw.  Made kefir.  Did laundry using homemade laundry soap and soap gel, and hung it on the line.  We have native ground cherries that have volunteered.  I have been harvesting them, and plan to use them to make salsa.  Only one of the tomatillos I started from seed made it long enough to be planted into the garden, and though it is covered in blooms, there have been no fruits thus far.  So, I will use the ground cherries in their place.

concord grapes
I purchased a Mehu Liisa steamer/juicer last week, making the decision to purchase one after I'd spent 2 hours removing elderberries from stems, knowing there were many more elderberries to come, and the concord grapes were just about ready.  Several bloggers I follow have had wonderful things to say about the steamer, which is how I knew of it.  It has already saved me several hours of work, as there is no need to remove stems from fruits before steaming.  I now have canned jars of both juices, ready for jelly making when I have more time.  The steamer is definitely not inexpensive, but well made and comes with a 10 year warranty.  Another blessing I realized today is the grapes won't make my hands red & itchy for days after I stem lots of them.  I believe it's the malic acid that causes that.  When I remember, wearing gloves helps a lot, but not stemming them helps the most.  Yay!

We have been opening up the windows most nights, and were able to keep them open through one full day, with some lovely cooler temperatures.  I listed several things on ebay.  Used homemade soap and deodorant.  Brought water and a banana for my morning to work in town.  Noticed the organic salad beans at Aldi's had been marked down to .59/can.  I pondered it, and went back to get some for us & M, and also got more of a red wine I had tried last time and we liked.  Got discounts for bringing my own bags to another grocery store.  Brought water and lunch for us both on Saturday, when I helped J with a job.  I canned beets, and grated and froze 2 more bags of zucchini for bread.  I saved canning water, and watered plants with it.  What have you done to save money or resources recently?


Mrs. Mac said...

You found some much needed treasures, clothing, etc. Oh .. not to mention a juicer! Hope you are well.

Laurie said...

Thanks, Mrs. Mac. It's good to see you posting again.

April said...

Do you harvest and use the comfrey in any way? I know it has a long history in the herbal world.

Laurie said...

April, I've made comfrey salve for healing skin issues, and also have put the leaves around plants as mulch and made compost (fertilizer) tea to use on plants. They say it's good animal food, but the chickens won't touch it. I think it's too fuzzy.

Jane said...

You sound busy! We have one of those steamers. They work wonderfully. I still like to make grape juice the old fashioned "Amish" way, though. Less clean up. I use the raspberry and sage tea mainly for a gargle (although you can drink it) It is quite astringent. Just inhaling the steam helps the sinuses.

Laurie said...

Thanks, Jane. I can definitely use some sinus help today, so will head out to pick some sage.