Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Frugal Foody

As a household administrator (doesn't that sound snotty?), I've always found rising to challenges exhilarating. Yeah it can suck, too, when you see something you want or *need*, but there's something about not letting things get you down, not being beaten, that feels good.

This month's challenges include finding a way to go Organic and Non-GMO in a frugal way, and doing my best to handcraft as many gifts as I can for the holidays.

I was concerned about the expense of Organics, but I think there's a way to do it frugally. It will just take more work. MuNKi called this morning to say there was a rumour floating around at work that there is a possibility they won't be paid for the Christmas break. Which would be sucky. He thinks it may not affect the salaried employees, though (like himself.) Either way, if I plan ahead, we'll get through. I'm going to buy some bulk stuff from the co-op: oatmeal, beans, etc. We just ordered a bunch of flour from King Arthur when they had a free shipping deal, and I still have a ton of bulghur wheat, too. And I'm looking for a source for rice in even greater bulk than we already buy. So this week and the next will be devoted to finding some great recipes that stretch the food budget and maximize low cost ingredients. Feel free to share recipes and resources. I'll try to post some as I discover them. :)

I've decided to take my kitties off their conventional meds (one has a thyroid condition and another has athsma) and go homeopathic. Hey, if it's good enough for me, why not them? And bypassing the side-effects of the meds is a bonus, not to mention the cost difference. I should have thought of this ages ago, as homeopathics are what finally cured Emmett's UTI after 2 failed courses of traditional meds a year or 2 ago.

It's important, too, at this time to count my blessings. MuNKi still has a job, which is BIG! Today I'm making another batch of soap, and know that there are people at the co-op waiting to buy it. And the weather has been warm, so that keeping the thermostat at 61 just hasn't been a big deal. Yay! :)

But back to the food. Here's a yummy looking recipe for starters. My sis and I both had a thing about lentils leftover from our childhood, but we're challenging each other to make the yummiest and cheapest daal. This is going to be fun. :)


lacemase said...

If you are going to continue on the soap making route, I recommend getting your soaping oils from here:

They are very high quality, at a good price. The shipping isn't bad AND in my experience have received my order within two days! Good luck. I am trying Oatmeal, Milk and Honey Soap this weekend! Let me know if you ever want to swap.

tshsmom said...

I've been working on some recipe and cost-saving posts too. We all gotta work through this sucky economy together!

Organic foods in our small town are way overpriced and rather pathetic looking. I'm stll able to afford organic milk @ $4.08/half gal, but I don't know if I'll be able to do this all winter.

I never thought of food shopping on the internet. Thanks for the idea! We don't have a co-op here. Brown rice is only sold in 1 lb bags at the grocery store. So I guess I'll have to check out my online options.

Anonymous said...

What's non-GMO?

Our grocery store has begun selling store-brand organics, which is nice because they're usually cheaper than the name brand non-organic stuff. I saw on GMA a segment on (I can't remember the name for it) people in neighborhoods getting together and buying in bulk and dividing it up amongst the families. I guess a van or truck comes by every so often and it's a surprise as to what comes--whatever's in season, etc. It's cheap because they're buying in bulk and direct from the farmer. It seemed cool, but not for someone like me who moves around all the time.

SM said...

What exactly did you use to cure Emmett's UTI? My cat has chronic UTI/bladder issues and is constantly taking meds for them. Also, she's developed a case of allergies and her eyes get all goopy and we have to give her eye drops all the time. Know of any good homeopathic stuff for that?

Trundling Grunt said...

into soup? I found a carrot, pasta and squash (IIRC) soup that costs very little and is quite yummy.

Hang on in there.

Candace said...

Lacey - THANKS! Cool site! :) I'm definitely up for swapping. I'm making another batch this weekend, so I should have plenty. :)

Tshsmom - I've seen some really inspiring frugal moms online. I know I can at the very least do better than I am now. :) We've done organic milk when there's a Manager Special, but otherwise we've been buying Kroger's store brand, which is at least non rBST. And the kids will ask "is milk for drinking?" which it usually isn't, LOL. It's usually for cereal, which is just as well since Fishy (and the rest to some extent) gets eczema from too much winter milk. I think it's the feed. Online can be a great source sometimes. Especially when there are free shipping deals!

Kitkat - Non Genetically Modified Organisms. I didn't have much of an issue with GMOs when I thought it was gene altering for things like more stable shelf life, etc, but most of the soy (like 90%) and corn in this country is Roundup Ready soy - altered so it can be sprayed with roundup several times during the growing cycle. Sugar beets are the new thing - Kellog's is switching to GMO beet sugar for their products now. :-P You can find out lots about GMOs on the net. I was blissfully unaware of the pesticides I was consuming (and feeding my kids) every day before I found out WHY most plants are GMO.

SM - Rhus Tox was what cured Emmett's bladder infection. I wish I had tried it a lot sooner! I had a book on loan from my cat-herder friend that was about natural remedies for pets and I found it in there. It wasn't this one, but something like it. And there's good info online, too.

TG - that sounds AWESOME! In my Miserly Moms book, the author talks about instituting a Soup and Bread night once a week. MMm. I'm going to look for soup recipes today, starting with a google for carrot pasta and squash. :)

Heh. When I make daal my kids will be able to call it "Hippie food!" (They're Young Ones fans, too.)

tshsmom said...

LOL, most of our milk is used for cooking/cereal too.
I'd be happy to find milk that is simply hormone free, but our only choice is organic. Z was developing weird breast lumps that cleared up when we switched to hormone-free milk.

Rupert said...

Hi Candace, I'm so sorry I haven't been around lately! Check out my new blog posts. I am a bad kitty trying to reform, by posting more often.

I am very interested to know how the homeopathic stuff works on your Kitties.

Logophile said...

I am teaching a class, starting in Feb. probably about Greek and Roman mythology and I am thinking of having the kids do lapbooks. I should pick your brain about that.
Also, I posted a vid about homeschool families on my blog that you will probably get a kick from.
I should probably check into some frugal food options, sigh

Diesel said...

If I were you, I'd look into being genetically modified yourself to increase your pesticide tolerance. Problem solved!

SM said...

Donde Estas, senorita?

Candace said...

Rupert - Hi Kitty! It's good to see you again. You're not the only one who hasn't been blogging much. So far, the homeopathic asthma stuff seems to be as good or better than the prednisone. Yay!

Logo - Oooh, that sounds like fun! OK, I have to check that vid. :)

Diesel - Why didn't I think of that? Cool!

SM - Gone! ;-)