Over the course of the last 8 months or so, I have been doing a lot of reading online about frugality and simplicity, and how to change my life. I have made some minor changes, but haven't taken the leap yet, due to still living with family.
Growing up, all my parents bought at the store was paper products and baking things (flour, sugar, salt, etc). We raised our own animals for the freezer (beef, pork, lamb), and we grew tons of veggies in 3 large gardens. But they no longer want that life, and haven't for a long time. They are getting older, and both have back issues. They do a small garden each year, which gives them a few veggies for weekly use.
My hope is that when the kids and I move, I will be able to at least have a place where we can have a substantial garden. I am also going to be taking advantage of such things as farmer's markets and local growers. For example, we have a gentleman who has been selling corn out of the back of a truck for 18yrs. His corn is delicious, and inexpensive. I will buy corn from him to freeze, rather than grow my own.
I wanted to share a few items online that I have found, that I thought you might be interested in:
Over on Down To Earth a while back, she shared her experiments with making homemade oil lamps. There was an article in Mother Earth News (she shares this in the blog post). I never would have thought to use olive oil! And you can buy it in large quantities at such stores as Costco, BJ's, etc. I absolutely HATE the smell of the oil you buy for lamps, that is made for that purpose, and they give off too much smoke. This is a perfect solution. Especially here in the northeast, where electrical outages are common place in the winter.
In the crafty department, despite my lack of use of my right arm, I still enjoy crocheting, and take it with me everywhere. Craftzine.com shares a frugal and recycleable use for those bags that sheets sets come in. Love It!
And more recycleable, crafty goodness....Polka Dot Pineapple shares a tutorial for tshirt yarn. How cool to take old tshirts and turn them into something useable besides rags!
And in the garden.... I am no fan of Martha Stewart, but on her blog there is a gorgeous idea for a hanging garden using gutters. They say copper, but I could see buying either galvanized or plastic (less costly) and painting them. Also could be a great project if you know someone who is getting rid of old gutters (thinking freecycle, Craigslist, etc.)
Ok, that's it for now. I will post more about the food side of things tomorrow.