Gardening and scratch cooking.

I spend most of my days in the kitchen. I love premade food in all it’s colorful packaging and time saving gifts, however, to make your own foods from the bottom up is by far healthier and a big money saver. Except macaroni and cheese, that in the box at .49 cents can’t be beat.

We are mostly plant based and I’m trying new recipes and ideas. Some are flops and that means a strange meal. Some dishes are huge successes which mean no left overs. I am never pleased with the bad meals but I learn so much from these fails. I learned that when making pizza dough and trying to make it healthy with wheat flours and brans, you do need a fairly large portion of white flour to make it palatable. I’ve also learned that making fresh sauce from tomatoes, garlic, and fresh basil is far superior to canned. Honestly, canned anything never beats the fresh stuff.

I’ve recently gifted myself with a new, red cooking set by Pioneer Woman and love it! I’ll be ordering a pasta maker soon to make homemade pastas. That is a real treat.

Fresh foods made from scratch are far healthier and a big money saver. I went over our bank accounts last night to see what we are spending on groceries lately. I was on a budget and the budget was forgotten around March when Sam’s birthday occurred and their godmother came to visit. We cooked and shopped and cooked and ate for days and it just went on from there. We probably spent a good $1000 that month and then who knows what after that. This month we have spent $650. However, that included $370 for restocking the pantry. So, we are getting better.

Once I start making everything from our pantry we only buy fresh produce and my plant creamer every 10 days. This means that I make bread, crackers, pizza dough, cereal, granola bars, tortillas, and so much more. The way to make it easy is to have a day or two that you spend all day in the kitchen making and storing batches of foods. Maybe one day to make dishes and casseroles for the freezer and another day for baking and prepping doughs and breads.

You need to enjoy cooking. I brew a pot of coffee, turn on the radio or put on Pandora. I put on the apron and get out the ingredients and recipes. I have to settle into the day of work.

The other money saver is using up all you have and not wasting anything. I made this juice from produce that was on its last leg. It was delicious and refreshing. I made it from a lot of celery (I don’t know how we wound up with so much celery), carrots, an apple and two pears that were not looking that tasty and a few old lemons. I’ve also been making fresh, organic soy milk almost daily since I cook with it and we use it for smoothies and cereal.

Our garden and fruit trees are thriving this year. A lot of compost, horse manure, and ground cover has changed the soil greatly. The garden is thriving, the fruit trees that we planted last year are already producing a lot of fruit. We nurture our soil and trees like our children. In the years to come, as we master gardening and the trees grow big and strong, we will harvest bounties of organic food that will be minutes fresh from garden to table.

In time, with lots of scratch cooking and eating from the garden, our grocery bill will become very small.

10 thoughts on “Gardening and scratch cooking.

  1. We just got a countertop pasta machine and we love it. Pretty inexpensive too. I think I paid $35 on Amazon. Well worth the money!

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  2. I wish there was a way to share pictures. I have been recycling items. I used light fixtures from ceiling fans, put one in a hanging basket from Dollar Tree and then placed a round solar light from Dollar Tree. I hung them all around my pool area on my fence. The design it makes on the fence is very pretty. It is also very pretty during the day. Very cheap lighting making it look fancy. I have been so frustrated with Marketplace. Every time I comment on free outdoor items it seems I am a second late. People really get rid of nice things for free. I don’t give up though. Something will come. I am amazed to look around my home and yard and point out all the things I have either found on the side of the road or someone has given for free. You could literally find everything you need if you are just patient enough.

    Growing up I lived in a home similar to the one you currently live in. Forgive me for redesigning your home haha, but when you mentioned in your video about the bathroom in the kitchen I thought I would close it off and make a door way and hallway in the now boys room. That way there would be a hallway to the bathroom on the other side of the living room and kitchen wall. Of course it would make the boys room a little smaller but it would also give you more room in the kitchen which is where I know my family spends most of our time besides outside. My childhood home had the bathroom in between the two bedrooms. We only had two bedrooms.

    If I haven’t said it I’m glad your back. You might not recognize my name as I have changed it because I am an administrator of a Free Blessings site in my area and people can get a little crazy. I do not want them knowing anything about me, including my name. You may recall Lisa DiSalvo. That is me. Ha ha. The one who sent the pinto bean seeds, lol

    Have a great rest of your week.

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  3. Wow, you really have a green thumb! Can’t believe how good your trees look. I plant my trees as bare roots, basically a stick in the ground, and they are now still sticks in the ground with a few leaves 😞

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  4. Yes, I remember you! I should have done a fake name and such when I started but didn’t know how bizarre media can get. I still have the pintos and will be planting them at some point. I’m happy to hear from you!!

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  5. You have cracked the code for a happy frugal life. What most people don’t realize is the secret is to sacrifice at first while you get out of debt and build up your storehouse. Then it becomes a way of life and of little waste so there is money left over for other things and adventures. I wish others could see the happiness that can be found in living this way. ~Sally

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