Free Webinar by GNOWFGLINS

Hi Everyone!

Life is good but busy right now. I’m in the thick of canning and I’ve almost found the entire garden through the weeds. Another day or two of hoeing weeds and it should be picture ready. It hasn’t been a great year for gardening because of weather but nevertheless I’ll share my experience with you. I’ll also update you soon about canning.

In the mean time, I wanted to let you  know about a free webinar on culturing dairy at home that’s coming up on September 9th.  This is a wonderful way to save money and is a great option for those of you who find it difficult to save money on whole foods through couponing.

Wardeh at GNOFGLINS has put on several of these free webinars lately and I’ve really enjoyed them. This is a great introduction to her blog and materials and a perfect way to see if you’d be interested in participating in her ecourses.

Hope you’re all enjoying your summer!

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Homemade Biscuit Recipe!

These biscuits are perfect for any meal of the day. Have them with sausage gravy for breakfast or serve them as your bread with dinner… the possibilities are endless. I tried them recently for the very first time while on our family trip to McCall. I was in charge of fixing them and I’ve only made biscuits a few other times before and that’s mostly because I’ve never found a recipe I’ve liked. However, this one takes the cake!

You can add any ‘extras’ in that you’d like, as well. Throw in a handful of cheese and some chopped bacon or paint them with garlic-herb butter when they’re fresh from the oven. However you eat them, I hope you truly enjoy them!

Biscuits

2 C Flour

1 T Sugar

1 t Salt

4 t Baking Powder

½ C Butter

2/3 C Milk

1 Egg

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Homemade Baking Powder Recipe

Baking Powder

1 t Baking Soda

1 t Corn Starch

2 t Cream of Tartar

Mix thoroughly and store in air tight container.

What’s the reason for making your own baking powder? Whether you’re in a pinch or wanting to control what’s in your food, having this recipe on hand in convenient and easy. Some commercial baking POWDERS contain aluminum which can be detrimental to your health, particularly your brain. You can buy aluminum free versions, but it’s not uncommon for them to cost more. Check out your local prices on aluminum free baking powder and cream of tartar. If you can’t find a good, cheap source for cream of tartar it may be best, financially speaking, to buy aluminum free baking powder.

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How to Make Organic Affordable Part 2

Earlier this week we discussed which fruits and vegetables matter most when it comes to spending money on organic. Today, we’ll continue by discussing other areas where spending money on organic foods matters and how to prioritize to make the best choices based on your family’s financial abilities and needs.

Eggs

Eggs are one of the BEST foods on God’s green earth in terms of nutritional value. They are nutrient dense, contain healthy and necessary fats, and are packed with protein. In other words, they’re a major bang for your buck! Your best option is eggs from local, pastured, humanely and organically raised chickens. This is another time when it’s imperative that you KNOW YOUR FARMER. Just because your local farm hasn’t been certified organic doesn’t mean your eggs aren’t being raised that way. Even if they aren’t certified, pastured eggs are still better than store-bought organic eggs because they are more nutrient dense. That’s because their mommas are exposed to sunshine, eat real, whole food, and have a chance to get the exercise they need. Happy, healthy chickens = good eggs! Since local, pastured eggs are such a super food this is one of the best places to spend for quality. If you can’t afford to use pastured eggs for all your cooking needs consider using them in their natural form (sunny side up, hard-boiled, etc.) or in raw applications like smoothies and salad dressings. For items like baking, use a flax egg replacer where the difference is less obvious.

Milk

Milk follows eggs in importance of organic, pastured, spend your money here, in my opinion. That’s because eggs are so versatile and can sub in when you can’t afford organic, pastured meats. However, milk is still important. I personally consume little to no milk. It’s a personal taste, preference, and opinion. In my opinion, anyone over approximately two years of age doesn’t need nor should have milk, particularly milk that isn’t from a human being. I realize, however, that most American families do consume milk on a regular basis in some form or another. Since milk is so widely consumed, and raw, pastured milk can be very nutrient dense, I believe this is a time that it’s worth spending the money. Of course, this includes all milk products from cream to yogurt to butter. Start small and build your way up if you can’t afford for all your dairy products to be raw and pastured, or at least local and pastured.  Begin with milk, then butter, add cream, and then try products like yogurt, sour cream, etc. Consider learning to culture different types of dairy at home, it will save you a significant amount of money. Start with yogurt, it takes a while, but doesn’t take more than about 10 minutes of your time and is WAY cheaper than buying it from the store if you use a lot of it. This also allows you to flavor and sweeten it anyway you like so you have healthier options available. Then try making your own butter and butter milk, sour cream, cheese, etc. as you gain skills, equipment and knowledge.  (Note: Spend the money to buy pastured, local milk if you wish for yogurt making. However, take into consideration that if you are culturing your yogurt with heat raw milk will no longer be raw. Check out Cultures for Health for cultures that allow you to make yogurt on your counter top and without a heat source if you’d like to use raw and keep it that way.)

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How to Make Organic Affordable Part 1

Organic this, organic that. Organic is everywhere these days. It seems like a fad, but the power behind organic is more than just monetary. There are some truly scary health problems for humans and the ecosystem linked to pesticides. For thousands of years humans managed to produce enough food to feed themselves and be prepared for famine all without the use of GM crops, pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and big agriculture. In the last 200 years, farming and agriculture have made leaps and bounds in technology, some good, and some really bad.

Unfortunately, organic food can be expensive and rather inaccessible in some areas. Of course, there is always the cheapest and best option of producing organic produce in your own backyard. Another great cost-effective option is to spend your dollars wisely by picking and choosing where you will and will not spend money on organic foods.

The following list is known as ‘The Dirty Dozen’. It was developed by the Environmental Working Group to help educate consumers about the foods they are buying and consuming so they can make informed choices about what they spend their money on. This is the most recent list available which was recently released in 2011.

The Dirty Dozen

1. Apples

2. Celery

3. Strawberries

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Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Sale!

Hi Everyone!

I’m taking an extra long weekend with the hubby but I’ll be back next week. However, I did want to let you know about a great deal on Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil! Pints are BOGO until May 12. This is a great price (at least compared to local prices) for top of the line coconut oil. Also, this size is a good starting point for those of you just starting to dip your toes into the world of coconut oil or if you have a small family.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Megan

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Of Baby Steps and Stepping Stones

Becoming frugal involves a lot of behavioral modification. The changes you’ll need to start implementing can quickly become overwhelming. Start with baby steps to create small changes that will last and then create more meaningful goals that will deeply impact the way you live.

We’ve been taking baby steps over the last several years and now we’re getting in deep. We’re not just talking about cutting down on paper products, harmful cleaning supplies, and trash. The changes we’ll be making over the next couple of years will require us to let go of the Standard American Diet and modern conveniences. We’ll also have to learn new skills and make a true commitment to our new lifestyle. I’m 100% committed but my husband needs some convincing.

To make our transitions easier we’ll be breaking these changes into manageable goals that will allow us adequate time to make behavioral changes that will sticks.  My plan is to set a new goal each month with an idea in mind of how we’ll implement it. Over the year I may find other things take priority and switch the goal out to better meet our needs. The important part is that I have a plan to help implement the changes we want to see over the long haul. I’ll be able to see that change is actually occurring and this will help me to assess what steps to take next.

April: Grow at least one new food this year

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