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Old 10-23-2008, 11:53 PM
 
Location: The mountians of Northern California.
1,354 posts, read 5,627,670 times
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There are some great ideas in this thread!

We are in a rural area where food prices are higher then many areas. We eat out a few times a month. We spend about $150 a week for a family of four. I make alot from scratch: bread, muffins, cookies, granola bars, sauce, etc. We had a huge garden this summer. I canned tomato sauce, salsa, pears, etc. I froze bell peppers, carrots, etc. Next year I will have a dehydrator so I can make soup mixes, apple chips, etc.

I also make a monthly meal menu. It really makes planning ahead easy and I spend less on what I need to run out and get each week. I can prepare things like meatloaf ahead of time and freeze it for later in the month. I spend a few afternoons a month preparing food and freezing it.

If you have a crock pot, use it! Cooking everything from scratch can be a huge undertaking. Its nice to toss something in the crock pot and not think about it until dinner time. There are some great crock pot cook books out there. I like the little cookbooks at the check out aisles by Taste of Home, Betty Crocker, etc.
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Old 10-24-2008, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
16,851 posts, read 51,316,975 times
Reputation: 27721
Quote:
Originally Posted by Woof Woof Woof! View Post
I'm going to start with tomatoes next year. I'm going to start producing my own food.

I wonder if it's possible to grow tennis balls?
Since you are growing food, you want TABLE tennis balls.

Besides, if you grow tennis balls, your garden will attract pests. All the neighborhood dogs will come around, and you'll be cleaning dog slobber off all your new tennis balls. However, you could grow a tennis shoe tree, and throw the shoes at the dogs. Unfortunately, I think they may only grow in Tennissee?
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Old 10-24-2008, 12:33 PM
 
Location: In My Own Little World. . .
3,238 posts, read 7,818,553 times
Reputation: 1596
I kept the dogs away from my tennis ball plants by spraying perfume around it. But then I attracted the bees. . . . . .
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:13 AM
 
Location: Central NJ
517 posts, read 1,631,280 times
Reputation: 172
You guys are too funny with the 'tennis balls'!
You crack me up- ahhah
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:42 PM
 
Location: East Bay area of California
11 posts, read 29,130 times
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I got a good laugh at the responses here.

About raising chickens--we tried it. It was okay while they were chicks. and not bad when they grew up. We had mostly bantys. they stay small, gave us plenty of eggs, and there is a variety to choose from. The bad thing is we couldn't tell which ones would be roosters. Most were hens luckily, but even banty roosters can be noisy as all get out. It didn't bother me but the neighbors didn't appreciate it.
The other chickens were cornish rock cross, and we had bought those few thinking they'd be meat later. Even though I didn't spend much time with them, except when rescuing one from the chicken yard during a storm, when it came time to do them in, I kept putting it off. A farmer freind of mine said they'd die anyway if I didnt, because the weight of them would cause them to not be able to walk around.
As it is, I told him if he could do it for us, he could have some of the meat. The bad thing is my boy wanted to go. He went over there while he did it, and came back crying as if someone committed murder. Todl me the whole process. While the method seemed more humane, it still was pretty stressful for him.

I placed the meat in the freezer. A sense of gloom settled inside our home, and after that chicken was never on the menu--none at all for several weeks. AND I started having second thoughts about eating anything with a face. But it didn't last. It didn't seem so bad if you bought the meat at the grocery store.

Finally I decided it was time, and maybe they'd not realise it was those chcikens. I failed to mention it and nobody said anything. Strangely enough they tasted pretty good ..better than the store brand.

Still and all we decided to not raise animals to eat. It was okay to eat eggs they laid.

Last edited by Dreamin1; 10-26-2008 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:02 PM
 
Location: East Bay area of California
11 posts, read 29,130 times
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Buy yourself gift cards from the supermarkets. You'll be more aware of how much your spending each month.

About once a month, I also pick up items at the 99 cents only store. They have quite a variety of things. Paper goods and cleaning products can be quite expensive almost anywhere. You'd be amazed at how much you can save in just one visit.

We are being charged to death for everything lately, whehter it be gasoline, utilities or whatnot. Television service alone often cost more than the tv is worth. Just think about it. If you pay just 50 dollars a month for a year, how much have you spent on that alone?

50 x 12= ? That's over 500 dollars gone.

And some people spend even more. That's okay if you can afford it but there's some people that are just average folks working five days a week and sometimes overtime just to get by.

Phone service is often ridiculous too even for local long distance--meaning from my city to an adjoining one.
I had my long distance turned off on my home phone, then bought phone cards that have a low rate on them and used them instead. I use the home phone only for local/non toll calls. This one you can buy several and load the amounts on at one time, for ease of use. It also keeps other people in the house from calling long distance and you get a huge bill from it.
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Old 10-26-2008, 06:17 PM
 
Location: East Bay area of California
11 posts, read 29,130 times
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If you like pizza, try making your own homemade and quite tasty pizza dough. You can freeze it, and if you do--be sure to let it come to room temperature before rolling it out. The basic recipe calls for flour, salt, yeast, olive oil, and very little (warm not hot) water. You could add a tiny bit of sugar or honey to it also.

Preparation time is about 45 minutes from letting the yeast sit, mixing and letting the dough rise. You can let it rise and punch it down several more times. but I'm not sure it makes a difference if you do it more. I also sprinkle cornmeal on the pizza pan.

When you're ready to cook, top your crust with tomatoe sauce and your toppings and you're ready to bake. My son loves pepperoni, so I keep that on hand as well as the mozzarelli cheese, and add onions and some basil to it too. It's an instant meal basically.

Last edited by Dreamin1; 10-26-2008 at 06:33 PM..
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Old 10-27-2008, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
My Dw was once a budget counselor, she had a very strict written monthly budget. She fed our family of 7 on $200 each month. [mid 1980s until 2005]

Right now we are down to only 3 living at home, and our food and consumables budget has loosened. We spend right around $150 each month. But in our defense we also have a dog and a bunch of cats.
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Old 10-28-2008, 04:38 AM
 
1,311 posts, read 3,056,502 times
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"Right now we are down to only 3 living at home, and our food and consumables budget has loosened. We spend right around $150 each month. But in our defense we also have a dog and a bunch of cats."

Forest- this is impressive. I am single and spend that in a month, and am somewhat careful what I buy- Can you share the whats/and hows? Thanks!
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Old 10-28-2008, 07:46 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,723 posts, read 47,495,927 times
Reputation: 17577
We live rural in a very low cost-of-living area.

Our property taxes are very low [under $50 / year], for a large forested property.

We have chickens and we market eggs. We also have a frig stocked with eggs.

We have goats, and sheep, and hogs. We sometimes butcher our livestock and fill the freezer with our meats. Right now our freezer has none of our own meats, but it is full from our garden. In the past we have given a large portion of our meats to friends in need.

I am a military retiree, so I get a small pension. and I have the time to care for these things.

We have been faithful followers of 'The Millionaire Nextdoor" methods. You can not always control your income. but you can control your out-go.

We learned to itemize our taxes long ago, and we soon became tax-exempt from having so many tax write-offs. Many people have 18%, 25%, 33% of their income going straight to the government. This is because they can not be bothered to file tax forms.

If you first learn to control all the money that pours out from your pockets; then you can focus on what money is left.
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