Catching up

March 29, 2014

It looks like this month’s big water bill payment is from when the water main was busted. My city sends out the water bill every two months so there is always some lag time between what I use and when a payment is made.  The timing sucks but these things happen when you are a home owner.  I can pay all the bills and stay “on target” buying the green house and the savings plan, though I will have to skip a few items on my stock up list for April.  One project for April is getting some chicken thighs canned up for storage.  Albertson’s has the thighs for 88 cents a pound so Mom and I will get about 15 pounds each and get it all canned for the pantry. Even with the cost of the jars and lids, it should be about $2.00 per pound of canned chicken and you can’t buy canned meat for that price.  We will do the canning at my house because Mom has a glass top stove that does not like canners.

Food costs are looking to go up a lot, so if you are less than happy with your pantry I would focus on stocking up if you are a bit weak in that area.  I’m in good shape overall but I don’t like how food prices are spiking this year.  Everything I have been reading and listening too seems to point to food prices getting even higher this summer. So getting your garden growing and buying/preserving  food while it is still low cost is a critical goal the next couple of months. It is a little early yet to plant most crops but I’m going to try a few party buckets growing potatoes in a couple of days. I have 3 types of potatoes, a purple viking, red pontiac and yukon gold to try out.

My Aunt is back from playing “snowbird” in AZ. and getting her green house going for plants. This year I get to pay her back for plants she gives us. She wants some DE and found out that used beer grains are great for her goats. I want my used beer grains to be of use and my aunt found a way to store them safely for feed. Once I get the info on using and storing the used grain for animal feed I’ll update the blog.  You got to be creative and willing to learn how to get the most use out of everything you do to to get self-reliant.  It is usually costs more in physical energy rather than money but I think it is worth it if you can do it.  Plus if I can get free or even cheap goat’s milk trading for used grains I just toss on the compost pile it will be a huge win for me!

I finally got a bit of sleep and suddenly I needed to clean and start getting stuff ready for Spring.  Did a bit rearranging of the furniture in the living room.  One thing nice about going to the Roku is my TV is no longer tethered by a cable of any sort so I can place it anywhere in the room. A bad thing is I have big furniture in a small living room, add in the Wood stove and it gets very full and the room is a bit odd with storage, doors and walkways are a challenge.  Anyway I washed down the blinds, changed from winter to summer curtains and even dusted/wiped down everything in the living room.  I am already a bit sore and the weather is damp so Sunday looks like it will have to be an easy/recovery day. Mentally I think I’m bouncing back and getting on top of things and hope to get a few little projects started or done.



Stocking up on meats for now…

February 18, 2014

Not a lot of good news for food prices lately. We have all seen prices creeping up and container shrinking the last few years.  With all of the stories in the news lately I think the expected cost jump is going to be huge and the Main Stream Media is frontrunning the story to try and maintain a little credibility. Now more than ever you need to take advantage of the “loss leaders” and any good prices you find on meat and dairy.  For fresh veggies, your garden and farmers markets in season will have to sufice though there is supposed to be a glut of rice on the world market.  I haven’t seen a drop in rice prices so far but at least they are stable at $20.00 for 50 pounds of long grain white rice.

Last week I was able to get some nice sirloin steaks for 2.99 a pound and got those frozen. This week I’m focusing on pork and chicken. Paul’s market had a 10 pound package of leg quarters for 79 cents a pound and some pork chops for $1.38 a pound. I grabbed 2 of the bags of chicken and 3 packages of the pork chops. Works out to almost 30 pounds of meat for about $30.00. Albertson’s has a sale on chicken and pork starting the 19th and I’m going to add about 20-30 pounds to the freezer until I get the canner out for the chicken.  My plan of attack on the meat storage is to freeze the better cuts of meat and can the tougher cuts of beef and pork. For the chicken I’ll can the thighs and freeze the leg quarters and whole chickens. I have meat to make sure I can BBQ this summer!

It’s not all meat this week as I am getting the ingredients for kymber’s Kimchee.  Kimchee is a Korean version of sauerkraut and very spicy. I want to do some fermented veggies this year to add some variety to my food storage. Many people say homemade sauerkraut beats the canned stuff by a country mile for taste and it should be a great way to use cabbages from the garden or farmer’s market. I don’t have the garden space to grow enough to be self reliant but I can buy and stock ahead of time and use the garden to extend my basic supplies. On this year’s garden I’m planning to go vertical with more plants. My hope is I will get more production and it will be easier to take care of with my disability. I have very high hopes that I can use the green house to extend my growing season.

Been avoiding my beer making and even refilling the barrels I used for the water test. The last thing I want to do is even think about moving or boiling water. It’s a bit silly as I bought extra hose for filling the barrels after I filled my big water barrels using 5 gallon camp jugs. I’m just seriously lacking in motivation on anything water related!