Saving Money and Weekly Update–October 1, 2017

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I picked a bouquet from the garden and yard.  Even though things are starting to wind down around here, with the advent of fall, there are still nice flowers to be had.  They seem to be perking up a bit since it started raining.

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I did a bit of late-night canning.  Thankfully, the covered porch has a really good light!  I am hoping to finish up what I want to can soon, so we can thoroughly clean this area up.  It’s on the “targeted” list!

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I had wanted to try plum sauce this year, and I love how pretty it looks in the jar.  It used the last of the Italian prunes, and has hot peppers in it, but they didn’t give much of a “kick” to it, so I added some red pepper flakes.  It still isn’t very spicy, but is good.  It’s more like a barbeque sauce than a jam, and Rob plans to use it for that.  If we like it, we will make more next year.

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I bought 2 chickens for 88c/lb.  I roasted them both, then Rob made a huge kettle of broth from the bones.  In the end, for around $10, we got several quart-sized bags of frozen chicken meat, 7 quarts of broth and 6 pints.  I canned the broth.  I do freeze broth as well, but sometimes, I like the convenience of canned broth and the fact that it is shelf-stable, so I always have some on hand.  I also have pretty full freezers at this point, with all the fruit, meat, and reduced-priced bread I have them stuffed with.

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I took the 1-2 cups of raspberries and strawberries (mixed) that I picked on Friday and thickened them up into a sauce, using sugar, white grape juice and cornstarch.  Then, I made a recipe for some cake-like bars I used to make, converting them to gluten-free.  They were perfect for my contribution to family Sunday dinner.

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I poured the thickened berry sauce on top of the cake-like batter and baked.  After it was done, I made some cinnamon-spiced buttercream frosting and thinned it out with milk until it was the right consistency to drizzle onto the cooled bars.  They turned out great!

Rob stopped by a cannery that is in our area.  He found slightly dented cans of various items, with no labels, for $2.50 per case.  For smaller cans, there were 24 in a case, and the large cans (pumpkin), were 12 to a case.  So, the cans were around 10c or 20c a can, according to size.  He got a few cases, some for us, and some to share.  I was especially happy to get the pumpkin since I grew neither pumpkin or squash successfully this year, and he bought himself pickled beets.  Even though I made a few jars, he can eat them every day, if they are available, and has downed 2 cans already.  I made a pumpkin pie, pumpkin custard, and pumpkin cookies–all from the one can I opened.  It held about 3 cups of pumpkin.

I picked purple beans, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, snow peas, raspberries, a few strawberries, and zucchini this week from the garden.

I cooked too much food:)  I had to freeze some of it.  This week, I will be working on using some of those frozen meals, and other items I have stuffed in every corner of the freezers, such as the 59c/loaf bread I got a while back.

 

24 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–October 1, 2017”

  1. You and your husband make a good team at food prep/buying. I love all your canning…you have to feel satisfied after a good night’s work! That chicken stock will be great for cold season! Andrea

  2. Lucky you having those lovely flowers in your yard! It is so, so dry here and has not rained in weeks other than the bit we got from the hurricane. I’m with you on canning broth rather than freezing it. My husband is always willing to help get the canner going. What a great buy on the canned goods! My grandfather was in a grocery store one day and saw a whole cart of cans without labels for 10 cents a can so he just rolled the entire thing to the checkout and bought the entire lot. Turned out it was mostly salmon!

    My big savings this week was Christmas gifts bought ahead on clearance. Every little bit gets me toward the goal.

    Our oldest daughter’s family leaves for the mission field on the 11th. We have just as many times to see them over the next ten days as we can pack into the schedule. They will be serving in Germany and planting a church in the city where they will be living right downtown in a lovely apartment building. No one can visit until they are through language school in July of 2019 and they will not be home to the states until July 2022. I covet everyone’s prayers for us all. Our hearts hurt and the grandchildren know they are leaving us. I finally said to my husband that this is how we raised our children. We raised them to obey God’s calling and to serve others and to trust our good, good Father. We trust that He will care for our hurting hearts, too.

    1. I know you will miss them. But, I think you have the right idea–you raised your daughter to be giving, love God, etc. The other thing you can take heart with is how small the world is getting these days. There is internet, Skype, texts, etc. Pictures can fly back and forth, along with emails and calls. Also, if there was a reason that they had to come home quickly or you needed to go, you could get there within a day. And, it sounds like you can plan a trip over there in August of 2019:) Still, it will be hard. There’s no getting around that one.

      It was great that your grandfather got all that salmon for so reasonable! I forgot to mention that he also got huge bags of frozen veggies (broc, cauliflower and carrot mix) for $1 each. My freezers are so full!!! I am going to work on using some of it this month. There is always a chance they will not shut correctly if I stuff them any more:)

  3. What beautiful flowers and your bars look delicious!

    I’ve filled our freezer and pantry back up, too. Now I am working again on eating things down. I’m hoping to avoid anything other than a few perishables for the rest of the month.

    1. Because things are so full in my cupboards and freezers right now, I, too, am going to focus on eating things down again, too. I always want a stockpile, and never want to empty things out, but do want to manage things and rotate the older things through.

  4. Your bouquet of garden flowers is beautiful!

    That’s a great deal on the canned items! Some of the grocery stores here have dented cans on sale on a clearance rack for 50% off their regular price. I’ve never seen anything selling for the prices you paid.

    1. I explained it to S.J., as Rob explained it to me. They are trying to get rid of these quickly as the cannery is about to close for the season. It feels like they are pretty much giving them away at those prices:)

  5. Skype is awesome! We see our out of town grandkids that way and even share home improvement projects that way. When our same daughter was in China years ago she walked the computer around and showed us their apartment. I think it will actually be easier once they are gone. This leading up to it is really hard for everyone.

    1. Yes. Once they are gone, you can read all about it on their Facebook, if they do that, and everyone can start living their lives regularly again. Time passes so quickly, and you will miss them so much, but it will be time to see them again soon.

  6. So please explain about the cannery if you have time. Is it it’s own store or warehouse? And you already know what’s in the cans? How does that work? Were the cans in a box that had a label?
    I’m asking all these questions because I’d love to find something similar here OR if I ever drive down to Oregon, I’d love to go shopping there.
    Love your flowers. And also all that canning you’ve been able to do. Your new home certainly has some great space for that!! Also really love that you can keep the heat out of your house and still get your canning done.

    Just in from one grocery store that gives 10% off on the first Monday of the month. This one also price matches in addition to the 10% off. Got some good deals. Although, their price match policy is a bit limiting – they’ll only price match for two items per ad. But every little bit helps. Tomorrow I’ll go to the other store that does 10% off on the first Tuesday of the month. They don’t price match though.

    1. So, it’s a Norpac cannery in South Salem. It is closing at the end of October, so the cases are super cheap right now, since they want to get rid of them. They are usually double that price, so 20c/can. Rob says its a pile of boxes in the back of the warehouse by the break room. It says “Country Store”on a piece of paper by the door but is not really a store, just a pile of boxes with cans in them. The boxes are labeled, but the individual cans are not. There were some loose labels there that he presumes could be taken to glue on if wanted. Clearly, for that price, they don’t want to put any labor into it:) Anyway, you take what you want, and pay at a window by the door when you come out. (So that tells me there is a person to question behind that window)

      When I asked him what possessed him to even stop there (because I never would have thought of such a thing–it never would have crossed my mind!) he said he had gone in there once years ago, and wondered if they still sold things. So, he stopped. Lucky me he has such a good memory:)

      I’m glad you got some discounts. 10% off of any grocery item you choose is great!

      1. Thanks for more information. And, way to go Rob on his memory!!!

        Your post also jogged **my** memory, LOL. When I lived near Olympia WA, there was a warehouse store along I-5 south of Tacoma and north of the military base that would sell dented cans and cans w/o labels. But I don’t remember the name of the store but you could see it from I5.So far, I haven’t found anything like that here. The closest I come to it is the non-profit grocery store. But even there, I have to watch their prices on canned goods and such because I can usually find a better price with sales. But that place excels for their baked goods at $0.10 each.
        And, yes, the 10% off days really help out. Especially the one on the Mondays that will price match.

        Funny, too- my freezers are stuffed right now with all of my excess garden produce. I got very little canning done this year so most all of the excess was put in the freezer or given away to my neighbors.
        Take good care…

  7. I am curious about the raspberry/strawberry sauce. Does it require a huge amount of sugar? Do you think it could be made without it?
    Jeannie @ GetMeToTheCountry.Blogspot.com

    1. My raspberries were pretty tart. The strawberries mellowed them out a bit. I never use much sugar in things, so I’m guessing it was between 1/4 cup and 1/3 cup. I did use white grape juice for sweetening, too. So, I would experiment with a tiny bit of agave or honey along with the white grape juice since they are sweeter than sugar and would take less. If I didn’t want any at all, I would mash up some very sweet fruit like canned pears and add it in and see what happens. Raspberries are pretty strongly flavored–I’ll bet you could get that raspberry flavor with a small amount of berries, since they are the tart ones. Let me know if you experiment!

  8. Amazing deal on the canned goods! I wish I saw those kind of deals here. It is always interesting to see how folks economize in different parts of the country/world. Houses here, I would guess, are much cheaper than most places, mine cost $37,000 U.S. Dollars this past May, when I refinanced. That is the total amount. I would guess that houses, even for a two bedroom, one bath home, would be far more in Oregon, California, and Washington. However, y’all seem to get much better deals on canned goods, milk, and of course, salmon.

    1. Good grief!!! You can buy a lot of milk, canned goods and salmon for the difference in the prices of houses from there to here!!! That is an unheard of price for a house. $100,000 would be an incredible steal and $200,000 will buy you a small, modest house on a small lot.

  9. Lol. It was built in 1950, and has a nice sized lot and it is a two bedroom one bath house. But, if you put the same house in Tuscaloosa (which is a college town and very expensive) it would cost about 100,000, if you are centrally located near the University. My house is located in a very rural, very poor small town, and located about an hour and a half south of Tuscaloosa. We do have a Dollar General. So, even here, the prices vary widely. It really depends on jobs. Tuscaloosa has the Mercedes Plant and all of the subsidiary plants that support Mercedes. We have a small catfish processing plant and that is it. Food and gas are higher here in the sticks, but houses are cheap.

    1. This house was built in 1948. I would choose tiny, rural town any day, but the problem is finding work there. Right now, we are where we need to be. At least it’s not a huge city. It’s plenty of city for me, though:)

  10. $200,00 will get you a nice house in Tuscaloosa, or one of the suburbs. I have noticed that the lots, though, for houses have gotten increasingly smaller.

    1. I am used to living in the country, having done so for most of my life. So, I am so happy to have the 1/3 acre we do have–it’s a large lot and IT feels small to me. You are right, most of the newer houses had .21, etc.

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