Becky's Farm Life

The simple life, living off God's land, one day at a time.

Road Ahead – Recipes from Scratch – Part 6

 These are the recipes I use weekly.

 

Pie crust or pastry( chicken and pastry dinner)

3 cups sifted all purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking power

1 cup lard or shortening

1 eggs

1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

5 tablespoons ice water

Sift flour with salt, baking powder. Cut lard into flour mixture until crumbs form. Beat egg lightly and add to mixture. Add lemon juice, and water. Stir with a fork until blended. Roll out on a lightly floured space. makes 2 pie crust.

for pastry: roll out very thin, cut into squares or strips, drop into boiling broth and chicken. Cook about 10 more minutes. This is like a chicken and dumplings but the pastry’s taste almost like a noodle. I usually have to double the recipe as they eat it up fast here.

 

No bake Choc. Oatmeal Cookies

1 3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup butter

1/3 cup cocoa

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup peanut butter

2 1/2 cups quick oats

Mix sugar, butter, cocoa, milk in a pan over med. heat, boil 1 minute.

remove from heat, stir in peanut butter, then quickly stir in oatmeal.

then drop by spoon fulls on to wax paper.

 

Chocolate Cream Pie ( this will disappears very fast)

makes 2- 9″ pies

1 1/2 cups sugar

1/2 cup cocoa

1/2 cup all purpose flour

 

3 eggs, beaten

12 oz. can evaporated milk

1 1/2 cup water

 

3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 baked pie shells

 

Combine sugar, cocoa, flour in a heavy sauce pan, stir to remove lumps.

combine eggs, milk, water in a mixing bowl.

gradually add milk mixture to cocoa mixture, stirring until well blended.

Cook over med. heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens and comes to a boil. Boil 1 minute, stirring constantly.

remove from heat, add butter and vanilla, stir until butter is melted.

pour in to pie shells and chill. then top with whipped cream. ( you had better hide one)

 

Creamed Cheese Peas (the only way my kids will eat peas)

1/2 stick butter

2-3 tablespoons flour

6 slices of cheese ( or a jelly jar of the canned cheese sauce in the recipe tab)

1 can of peas

In a sauce pan add butter, melt butter over med. heat, stir in flour and add a pinch of salt, stir until it thickens. then add about 6 slices of cheese and stir until the cheese melts, then add a can of strained peas.

 

Quick Pizza Dough

2 cups flour

2 1/4 teaspoon yeast

1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup lukewarm water

Dissolve yeast in water, mix flour and salt together then mix with yeast mixture. let sit covered for 5 minutes. grease pan and sprinkle with flour. form crust and let it rest for about 10 minutes. (to prevent sogginess, coat lightly with oil or non-stick cooking spray).

add toppings. bake at 400* for about 20 minutes.

An even faster pizza: use English muffin halves, and add topping.

 

Coconut Dream Bars (a heavenly treat)

Bake at 350* , 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown, in a 13 X 9 pan

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

3 eggs

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups coconut

Combine flour, 1/2 cup brown sugar, butter until particles are fine, use low speed of mixer. press into the bottom of an ungreased 13 x 9 pan and bake at 350* for 15 minutes. beat 1 1/2 cups brown sugar with eggs , just until blended. mix in remaining ingredients, spread over partially baked crust. bake 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown. cool and cut.

 

 

I know this is mostly sweets. But in hard times this is what is cut first from the food bill. And having sweets around always makes hard times a little easier on old and young alike.  

 

What is your best sweets recipe? Would you share it here with us?

Have a great day,

Becky

 

 

Technorati Tags: ,,

 

 

 

 

October 22, 2008 Posted by | making do, recipes, Road Ahead, saving money | , , , | 8 Comments

Road Ahead – Canning Meats – part 5

Ok, you find a great sale on meat but don’t have room in your freezer; a friend is sharing their deer meat with you.

I have canned meat. Talk about a quick meal: open a jar of beef, potatoes, carrots, put in a pot and add some seasoning and you have beef stew. Open a jar of chicken and add noodles, a great soup.

Canning Meats

This is raw packing meat( which means you don’t cook the meat first), beef, pork, chicken, deer, veal, mutton, lamb. Cut meat off the bones.(save meaty bones for canning broth below).

Cut the meat into jar length chucks or slice into 1″ slices, cube it like for beef stew.

Pack into jars loosely.

if desired add 1/2 teaspoon salt to pints, and 1 teaspoon to quarts.

pour in hot broth or water over  the meat: leaving 1″ head space.

remove air bubbles, put lids on.

Pressure can at 10 pounds pressure:

Pints: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Quarts: 1 hour and 30 minutes

 

Canning Broths or Stock

Meaty beef bones or deer bones or chicken bones:

boil and simmer 2-3 hours, remove bones, skim off excess fat off the top, strain the liquid.

pour into jars, put lids on.

Pressure can at 10 pounds pressure:

pints: 20 minutes

quarts: 25 minutes

Or the broth can be frozen if you have the room.

 

Waste not,want not. I try to use everything. And after the meaty bones are done into a broth you can also can the meat off them, the bones go to the dogs and cats.

 

Happy canning,

Becky

 

October 20, 2008 Posted by | Canning, Road Ahead, saving money, self sufficiency, Stocking up | , , , , | 23 Comments

Road A head – Part 4 – Making more at home

Well I have made 2 batches of homemade ice cream. And for some reason it’s so much better than store bought. I have never worked out the price to make it, as we have milk and eggs here. We save up ice to make it.

A trip to town yesterday was an eye opener. Gas here was down to $2.78 a gallon.  I’m trying to restock some of the sugar I’ve used. (so as my stock does not get to low going into the winter). And do you know the 5 pounds bags are gone with the wind.  All I could find where 4 pound bags for the same price as the 5 pound. I was not a happy camper. Some lady in the store said, “They changed to 4 pounds two months ago. Why are you so mad,now?” And as nicely as I could told her about my stocking and that I was just refilling my stock. And then I got the funny look from her, and she asked why I was stocking up? I just rolled my eyes, sorry to say, and went on. Potatoes, these are now gold in this area. Early this year, 10 lbs. $1.49, 50 lbs.$7.00, now 10 lbs are $4.99 and the 50 lbs. jump to $18.99. I bought one 10 lbs bag, why not the 50 lbs? Well we wanted some french fries(it’s been a month and half since we have had any), and the frozen french fries were even higher. I have some canned potatoes and instant mashed potatoes . We use to eat potatoes about every night, now maybe 2-3 times a week. Which is killing my 11 year old daughter.

I am now only buying staples at the store. I was buying a off brand hamburger helper ( for a fast meal) but the last two boxes I bought had a flavor of nothing but salt. So no more prepackaged foods. If I can not make it from scratch, we don’t eat it. I have put my foot down on cereal too( the only prepackaged food I buy as I have not learned to make it), as the price is the same but the ounces keep going down. I’ll buy one box a week that is not more than $2.00. Which has my 11 yrs. old checking prices and ounces better than before. Yesterday at Save A Lot, she was almost in tears. She said, “Mom, my cereal is now $1.89 a box and two weeks ago it was $1. 69 and 2 ounces larger.” She knows I will not buy it when it goes over $2.00. I think this mess is hurting the children hard. Yes, I know there are other foods for breakfast but we also use cereal as snacks( because we have so much milk).

I need to keep an eye out for milk prices as our milk cow is slowly drying up. (We are praying the bull in the pen with her, has done his job.) We are now getting about 2 gallons and a quart a day. I am still freezing and canning.

But we are  using/drinking a gallon a day. So I’m not sure now long my stock will last. 

 

Collodial Silver Water – Natural Antibiotic

I first tried this, a few weeks ago. And I love it. I had a super bad ear infection, which meant I needed an super antibiotic( I used pill antibiotics for 20 days). I could not hear out of my ear for almost 3 weeks. A friend said to try this Collodial silver water. And I did, with in 3 days, I could hear again. Then I goggled it and found more uses. Here is one: Usages. And another friend has the machine to make it at home and is going to make me some( thank you Angela). The last few days, I have been checking out herbs and their usages. Finding out which I can grow at home, which grow in the woods and fields around me. Please check into this.

My son got me an “Natural Remedies Encyclopedia” with  908 pages. He had gotten it earlier this year so that I could find things that might help Tommy with his cancer. I know this is an other must have book.

Here at Amazon 

This book is not cheap, runs from $50.00 and up. (Maybe you can ask your son too, as we could not have bought it our selves).If you are like me and know very little about herbs, it’s great. And if you already know about using herbs, it has everything in one book. This book tells you everything, from photos of the herbs to making them, and what herbs to use for what.  My son blessed us in more than one way with this book. This book covers a lot of every day things too. And think of all the money you will be saving, no more waiting in the doctors office for two hours.  You say your not a doctor and will not know what your treating. Well the book also list symptoms, causes, natural remedies and is written by MD’s. I am not saying never go to the doctors, just not as much. With money tight you want to do all you can to save it. Some of the herbs are growing in your back yard for free. You moms with kids, I know you get tired of going in for ear infections, the Collodial silver water works and the book will give you more herbs and ways.

There are a very few books I put on my must have list. But the ones that are on this list are the best out there. And most cover everything in a subject. I have a most have gardening book, I’ll  tell you about next time.

The more thing I can make/ or do at home, the less money I’ll have to spend. Everything I am doing takes more time than money. Time I have, money very little of.  A few years ago, I would of never dream of using herbs, as I only knew a very few people who used them, so I did not know much about them myself. I had nothing against them or using them. I guess you could say I didn’t need them. Then Tommy got sick and  this opened my eyes to herbs. I don’t know a lot about them YET, but I’m learning daily. And I’m thankful the Lord supply’s all our needs, even in the back yard. 

 

Happy herb hunting,

Becky

 

October 18, 2008 Posted by | economic situation, Food prices, great book, herbs, ideas, making do, recession, Road Ahead, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Getting Ready for the Road Ahead – Part 1

Economic Situation – Recession – Life Ahead : this post was the first, and you all asked for links and more of what I was printing off.

In these posts, I will list links to things I’m printing off. ( I started out just taking notes as we did not have a printer). Now most of these sites have a lot of other great information on them and ideas, some of which I know will not work in our family or will be to costly, but might work in yours.

When I look up something, I make sure it’s the cheapest and works the best. And I try and make sure it’s with things I have easy access to, or have a lot of uses for.

 

Most of you have seen this one, but to me it’s my best find so far.

I found  this recipe and like it the best for a few reasons: I can get Ivory soap bars for 3 for a dollar and baking soda is cheap, both Ivory and baking soda store just about forever, not a lot of work to make, can be used to clean other things.  I have bought Ivory and as have baking soda, for when it’s need. I really don’t want to work with lye.

Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipe this recipe is in the Home Tips tab at the top of the page here. I got this at:  10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes   ( Recipe #8) There are other recipes here, too.

 

Homemade Sanitary Pads , I have made these and used them too.

 

End Times Reports Site Index : this is a great site. I have gotten a lot here. Stop in and see if it has something else for you. Below are posts I like: Building a solar oven

Making candles

An inexpensive water filter ,

Emergency Food and Water Supplies – from FEMA ,

WATER TANK STERILIZATION ,

STORING WATER IN 2 LITER POP BOTTLES ,

WATER DISINFECTION ,

Home Remedies ,

Survival and Austere Medicine  (long .pdf download)  Very good! (it’s 213 pages long, just print off what you need and save to your computer)

 

Powdered Milk Recipes

Making and using a solar cooker with photos ( I like this one the best)

Using herbs 

Homemade Convenience Foods : a lot of good recipes here.  

Food, Food Storage and Food Tips :  a lot here, you can pick and choose.  

Cloth Toilet Paper,towels, napkins  (still sewing these)

 

How To’s –Knitted Socks with photos , When I first started knitting, I started with this. She gives step by step with photos. Here is the pattern it’s self: An very easy knitted sock pattern step by step great –  started

 

Today, I added bleach ( 1 cup)to my water storage tank (425 gallons). Then I stirred it up and will let it sit for a day.  Then I will drain it and refill with fresh water. Why do I drain it after I put the bleach in? Well it helps to keep the inside of the tank clean. And when I drain it out, there is still water (about 25 gallons) in the bottom.  Adding fresh water to that little bit of water with some bleach still in it, has no different taste to it than out of the sink. But still has enough bleach to keep water good and clean all winter. The power goes out here a lot in the winter, so we have a water storage tank. Before we got the tank, I had 2 liter bottles and milk jugs filled with water in every hiding place I could find. Do you know how many milk jugs of water it takes to keep a milk cow in water? Too, too many.

Do you have any water stored up?

 This should keep you all busy for a day or two, while I get the next post ready.  Here I need your help too. So if you have found something you want to share with everyone, please put it in the comment part and I’ll add it to the next post too. ( to make it easier for all to get to.) 

What are you looking up and printing off?

 

Happy printing,

Becky

Becky’s Farm Life 

All the these posts will be tagged as “Road Ahead” and other tags, but to see just these, click on the tag “Road Ahead” in the categories drop down box.  I thought about giving these posts their own tab, but I think this will work better. And make it easier for you all to get too.

 

October 12, 2008 Posted by | economic situation, ideas, making do, recession, Road Ahead, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Economic Situation – Recession- Life ahead

It’s time to take this serious. This is not going away any time soon. Those of you who thought this would blow over, well it hasn’t, it’s blown up. And now it’s effecting the whole world.  I’m not telling you to start worrying but if you have not started preparing, you had better start now. This will take years, yes years, to get worked out. Take a really good look around you, this is touching everyone you know.  Some of you might think that I’m just over reacting and that I’m trying to start a panic, well I’m not. I just want people to open their eyes before it’s to late for them to do anything.  And I’m sorry to say, I don’t think our government can fix it now, only the good Lord can. This is effecting more and more people, day by day, and around the world.  We should start helping each other, bring bartering back from the old days, start growing more of our food in the USA and in our yards, trade things, learn from each other, stop living outside our means, stop waiting for the government to help us as they can’t help themselves. Am I downing the USA and our government, no, I’m saying we all are human and even they make mistakes. And some mistakes are not made right over night.

 

What can you do now?

  1. pray
  2. get knowledge on every thing you can
  3. stock a little of something every time you can
  4. start reading up on growing a garden next year, look into a few chickens
  5. find ways to make do with what you have
  6. read , talk to people, learn something new

 

I am searching the Internet as often as I can, and I am saving the  information to my computer and printing it off. There will come a time when we will no longer be able to pay the Internet bill, which will mean I will really need the information I looked up. Yes, ink and paper cost money, but if you change the font to small, you can it a lot on one page and print on both sides. I have a new folder called “Making do in hard times”, when I print it off, it goes right into this folder.

Here are a few of the things I looking up: healing herbs, how to cook over a camp fire and in the ground with coals, homemade reusable pads and napkins and bath paper,other uses for things you already have, what wild plants are eatable, ways to store water and ways to make it safe to drink, homemade solar ovens from things around your home, washing clothes by hand, making clothes soap,  storing meat without a canner/freezer/cooking it,  make candles from candle ends and leftovers, what wild plants can my farm animals eat safely or what can I grow for them: if I can no longer buy feed for them,ways to keep food good without canning/freezing/ ice boxes, homemade tooth paste, the list goes on and on.

Will I ever need to use all these things? I hope not, but I can if I need too. ( and with them in the folder, my great grand kids might need the information). I don’t do all this now, but I do have the how to’s when I need them. Some of these, I have already started doing just to save money. 

Get the knowledge now, for when it’s needed later. Prepare for the very worse and pray hard for the best.

 

 In God We Trust,

Becky

 

 

October 10, 2008 Posted by | economic situation, ideas, making do, recession, Road Ahead, saving money, self sufficiency, Stocking up | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Low Cost Gifts Giving Ideas

That time of year again, but these ideas will work for any gift giving time.

At thrift stores, dollar stores, etc. get baskets, big bowl, plastic boxes with lids, etc. and fill them with little things the person would like.

You can make family baskets( put things in for everyone in family), kids baskets, guest baskets(you didn’t know they were coming), etc.

Fill with:

  1. homemade clothes, dish cloths, hats, mittens, pot holders, placemats,etc. (what ever you can make)
  2. little bags of baked goods, candies, drink mixes (packets of hot cocoa, or tea bags)etc. You don’t bake, buy a bag of cookies, bag of candy, box of hot choc. mix packets and put in those fold top sandwich bags and tie with a ribbon.
  3. candles
  4. for kids: a small toy, book, puzzle, colored pencils, markers, etc.
  5. adult: small book, pens ( we can never find one when we need it)
  6. buy a pack of socks and split it up, one pair per basket
  7. the bath cubes that come in packs of 4-6, put one in each basket
  8. get a bar of homemade soap from someone and cut it in 4ths and put in 4 baskets
  9. for the men: socks, small tool set or tools, crossword books, small books, a quart of oil
  10. a box of tissues or the travel tissues (always needed)
  11. for those of you who have had gardens: add a few potatoes, carrots, apples, jar of canned food, etc
  12. for those who didn’t garden, get a bag of potatoes, carrots, etc and split between baskets
  13. a pack of those garden tools, usually 3 tools per bag, and out one tool per basket, and usually at the dollar stores for a dollar
  14. those little debbie cakes boxes, and out one in each basket
  15. If you know someone is really having a hard time, add things like: a roll of bath paper, bar of soap, small bottle of dish soap, small box/bottle of clothes soap, to the baskets.
  16. a can of beef stew, soups, etc.
  17. box of crackers, with one of the 4 packs in each basket
  18. for someone who sews: a pack of needles, thread
  19. box of band-aids: put a few in each basket. for kids get a box of the cute kid band-aids.
  20. cake mixes, muffin mixes
  21. roll of duct tape ( always needed a round a house)
  22. get new looking coffee cups at thrift store ( usually only cost .10-.25)
  23. get a 12 pack of dishcloths or wash rags and put 1-2 in each basket, same with hand towels
  24. books are great, even when lightly used.
  25. for those of you who used yarn, put your small balls of left over yarn in kid baskets for them to do crafts with, or to another person who uses yarn. same with your leftover materials from your sewing .

There are so many different things to put in the baskets. And this year is going to be hard on every one. Think about the little things you’d want. I would rather give things I know will be used, than give something that will just sit on a table. Most kids would like a lot of different things they can use and play with than one really costly toy. Think of the long hard winter ahead, what would your person used/ need to make it a little easier.

The kids baskets/plastic boxes with lids, you could wrap all the small things, as kids really like to open this.

For the person that is in the kitchen a lot use a big bowl instead of a basket.

Other adults and teenagers use the plastic boxes with lids as they can be reused later.

Instead of buying boxes to wrap things in, save your boxes food comes in( cereal boxes, cake boxes, etc). We do this and it’s fun. The kids will say,”I got cereal,cake mix etc.”And we all laugh.

And I don’t wrap the baskets/bowls/plastic boxes, I just tie a ribbon around them. This save on wrapping paper and tape.

What are your ideas? What would you put in your baskets/ bowls/boxes?

Have fun filling your baskets.

Becky

 

October 1, 2008 Posted by | creativity, gift giving, ideas, making do, saving money | , , , , | 2 Comments

Chickens Tips & Saving Money

Hint on Chickens:

If you want them to lay in the (all) winter, put a 40-60 watt light bulb in their house, and it needs to be on 14 hrs a day, or the chicken will stop laying as daylight lessen. I know this works because I have done it for years, and I’m one of the few in my area that has eggs in the winter. We put our chicken light on a timer, the ones you can hook to lamps in your house, and it works great. With the amount of power the light uses is still cheaper than buying yucky store eggs.

 

Saving Money:

Hot water heaters: we flip the braker off at bed time, so as it does not heat water all night, when no one is using it. And at times I flip it off during the day. In the morning, the water is still warm just not hot. They make a heavy duty timer (like above for the hot water heater), which we hope to some day get. But flipping the braker did make a difference in our power bill.

Have a great day.
Becky

Technorati Tags: ,,,

 

September 25, 2008 Posted by | eggs, ideas, saving money, winter | , , , | 3 Comments

This and That on the Farm – 9/24

This comment was left on ” I have a Friend” and it’s great and I wanted everyone to see it. Thank you Linda J.

“…if all things are in His hand, if the very hairs of our head are numbered; if every event, great and small, is under the direction of His Providence and purpose; and if He has a wise, holy and gracious end in view, to which everything that happens is subordinate and subservient;–then we have nothing to do, but with patience and humility to follow as He leads, and cheerfully to expect a happy issue….How happy are they who can resign all to Him, see His hand in every dispensation, and believe that He chooses better for them than they possibly could for themselves!” ~John Newton, who wrote the hymn, “Amazing Grace”

A friend of ours let us borrow his living weed eater, goat. We are trying to clear out an area, so the cows can have a little more room. This area used to be the goat pen,  then was a pig pen. Well, at about dusk the goat was running around the yard.  Our friend had always keep him on a chain and just moved him around as needed. So the goat does not really like people, he runs from them. Yet, all my animals run to me, which makes catching them so easy, except it gets a little hairy when you have a 900 lb.+ cow coming at you. OK, back to this goat on the run. He had broke his collar, no fixing it. We got him , and used a rope to hold him. While
I tried to find another collar. Ok, I live on a farm and have animal bottles of all sizes and shapes, and I thought every thing needed to run a farm.

But there was no collar on the farm. I had think of something as the goat would go through the fence with the cows in it, and it’s getting dark. Here is what I did, and goat was not to happy. I found a calf halter and put in on him. And yes it was big on him, Tommy had to cut another hole in it to get it as tight as we could. And let me tell you that goats can dance. He tried for over an hour to get it off.

 

Now for gas here. A friend called yesterday and said that our area was very low, or out of gas. One gas tanker was splitting the gas between 4 stations. For about 40 miles around us there is no gas. They are not sure when it’ll come in. When Tommy came home Monday, he said the gas station , less than a mile from home was out of gas, and the next station 6 miles up the road had a 10 gallon limit. So he filled up the truck. Which now I am thankful he did. With the new little truck, we can go to town 3 1/2 times in gas for what we only got 1 trip with the other truck. Thank you Lord. And thank you Lord the worry and fear bug had no hold this time, I had Your peace! And last nights News was not much better, but I got my peace.

 

I am having to get more creative. Here are some more of my new ways of saving money:

  1. I use freezer bags, but have not been washing them out and reusing them. ( don’t reuse the ones that have held meat in them. I use freezer paper for my meats.) But now I’m washing them out. I have seen those little bag drier stands, costing about $20+. I will not pay that. So at the thrift store I found a small set of Tinker toys for a $.25, and got them. And made my own bag drier and it sits on top of the drier. I’ll post a photo in a day or two.
  2. The AC was turned off in the food barn. And the windows were opened and a fan turned on. This will really drop the bill.
  3. I willing be making my own clothes soap this week.( will post photos later).
  4. Will start back making our own bread as a store loaf here is over $2.50.
  5. Even my 11 yr old daughter is getting creative, she has 3-4 new grilled cheese ways.
  6. Tommy is getting up some fire wood. Not knowing what this winter will bring, we are preparing for the worse and praying for the best. We do not have a wood heater but I will be able to cook. The cooking/heating gas has already gone way up and winter is not here yet.
  7. I am making everyone wool house socks. Our floors are so cold in the winter. And the heat this year will be keep on low. I guess I will not be able to wear shorts in the house this winter. And I’m looking into getting my daughter sweat suits to wear to bed this winter, as she does not like to cover up or likes to kick them off.
  8. Water- We have a 425 gallon tank in our back yard. ( I need to change the water below winter) You can save any bottles you have and fill with water. The bottles that had soaps of some kind in it, fill with water, they can be used to wash dishes, hands, etc. Other bottles for drinking/ cooking water. And the bottles can be stuck anywhere it does not freeze. Fill bottles almost full and let freeze, to put in coolers for when power out.

We were blessed this week, when a family up the road was moving out. Tommy trade a few ladders, transit, air compressor for a 12′ X 16′ building. They could not move it on the highway, but can be moved to our house. It is dried in, has a roof, a small loft in it, cedar siding almost done on the outside. It is so nice, looks like a little cabin. Well Tommy said I could have it. He had a  trailer frame  here in which to make me one, but this one is so close to done and the trade was good for both of us. The family could not take it, but needed the tools. The Lord is so good. It will be a sewing/ guest house. I can’t wait to get it here so as I can fix it up the way I want. You see, we rent so I can’t fix up much here. But the new little house is mine, oh what fun I am going to have. We’ll put the bunk bed set we just got ( twin on top and full on bottom, which slides up to make like a couch.) The loft will be great for all the kids to sleep. They are pulling it down here this coming Saturday.

 

I have to go to town today to get food and feed. Boy, I sure hate going to town. I don’t need much, but I really need the animal feed. So I’ll get the few other things I can’t make. Like bath paper, sugar, oil, goat collar. I have been reading others post about the prices of everything going up, so I’m glad my list is short. Anyone know how to make bath paper? I’m willing to try it.

 

Well I better get going and see what great deals can be found in town today.

May you all have a blessed day,

Becky

 

 

 

 

September 24, 2008 Posted by | blessings, creativity, farming, Food prices, gas prices, ideas, making do, recession, saving money, self sufficiency, winter | , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Is it worth it to have a milk cow? YES

863.5 gallons 

from 12-1-07 to 9-26-08, just milk in gallons, 10 months.
x    $3.00 price of the cheapest store bought milk- by the gallon
= $ 2,590.50 total of milk if bought in store
–  $1,600.00 10 months of feed for cow, $160 a month
=$990.50 we saved just on milk in 10 months

But this is just milk prices. From this milk I have made: all the butter, whip cream, cheeses, sour cream, fed the cats and dogs and more, that we use.

So really our savings is more than above. But I use the number as a guide to make sure I am not losing money by feeding the cow.

Some people have wanted to know this as they are thinking of getting a milk cow.

Hope this helps.

Becky

 

September 20, 2008 Posted by | Food prices, homemade cheese, milking cow, saving money, self sufficiency | , , , , | 2 Comments

Low Income – Disability Check – Recession

This year is hard on everyone with the recession : high gas prices – high food prices – job cut backs – no jobs – etc.  I wanted to share how we are making it on just a disability check of $996 a month for 3 people. This is our second month living off of it, and it was a little hairy last month but better this month.

With this check, we first pay the rent, power and phone bills. And we are left with $ 211. The $211 is used for: food, gas for the truck, truck ins., soaps and etc., and animal food. And this can be tricky and overwhelming, but so far we are doing it.

The rent bill, we can not lower.

The power bill: is high in the summer due to having to run a AC in the food barn (which holds a years supply of food) , in the winter: we use gas to heat with so power bill will drop but then we have to add back the gas bill. Everything is turned off when not in use.

The phone bill: is a little high but it includes- free long distant and a toll free number ( for family and friends to call), and our Internet which is used for school and to find new ways to save money.   

Some ways we are saving money, not spending money, doing without wants, new ways of doing things:

  1. We started last year storing and stocking up on food and other house hold goods. Which I am so thankful we did because we would be having a hard time now if I had not. And we put a beef cow in the freezer a few weeks ago. So our meat is good and will last 1  1/2 to 2 years.
  2. Our milk cow is giving us 21+ gallons of milk a week, chicken give us eggs ( 80+ a week) and meat, and vegs from the garden. You can do a lot with milk and eggs including feeding cats and dogs.
  3. We only go to town twice a month. I’d like to get it down to once a month but I’m not there yet.  A trip to town cost us $30 in gas round trip.
  4.  Bought power strips to plug in the TV, VCR,  etc., so as they can be turned off all the way when not in use.
  5. Lower watt light bulbs
  6. Home school books left over from older kids, another 4 years worth left before I need to buy more.
  7. We do not eat out, and our sweets are homemade. I do buy cereal as I have not learned yet to make it.  The good, low sugar kind- the good for you kind.
  8. I make a lot of my cleaners, clothes soap, monthly pads, dish clothes, cloth napkins, socks ( I buy wool sweaters from the thrift store, and take them apart for the wool.)
  9. I do use my dishwasher but I don’t use my clothes dryer. I chose to give up using the dryer so I could use the dish washer. And it is only ran once or twice a day.
  10. I chose to have Internet over dish/cable TV. We have air TV and get 3 channels (ABC, NBC, CBS),  we think that is enough for us.
  11. We fix things when they break not buy new. I love DUCT tape, but hubby does not. Oh, well I still sneak it in once in a while.
  12. We save for things that are needed. We don’t rent to own, where you end up paying twice. Now there is nothing wrong with people who choose this, as I know it’s their only way. But we chose not to.
  13. When I go to the store, I only buy things on sale. I plan my menu on what I have on hand.   And at times it’s been hard, as you ladies know sometimes you just want something you don’t have on hand.
  14.  You really have to learn to give some things up but not everything.  We have all of our needs meet and still have a few of our wants. It’s hardest on the kids. But I have been giving mine a choose of things. I just don’t say no. I ask her, “Would you like this or that? or Do you want to do this or have that?” Recently she wanted to go to the pool, well we did not have the gas money. Which I told her, she said ok and went out side to play. She came back in a while later and asked,” Mom, can I use that big roll of plastic to make a water slide?” I said sure. She found a way to have fun with out spending a penny. I am so proud of her.
  15.  Read a lot. There are so many ways to learn something new.
  16. Pray a lot. Count your every blessing both big and small.
  17. Remember this earth is not our home. I say, Earth and living here is our boot camp for heaven.

I know it’s going to be a long hard winter for everyone. And we might have to give up some things for a while. But the sun will come out again, this I know. I know some of you are working with a income lower than ours. Some of you may not be able to pay your rent or buy food. And I’m really sorry, I wish I could be of more help to you, but I’ll pray for you. Maybe some of my ideas will help you, at least I pray they do.

 

I will list more things as they come to mind on saving money, etc. And I’ll let you know when I find great web sites, too.

Well I better go for now, work to do. Hope you all have a blessed day.

Becky

August 27, 2008 Posted by | creativity, disability check, Food prices, food storage, ideas, low income, making do, recession, saving money, self sufficiency, Stocking up | , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments