Monday, July 21, 2008

The way I have always done it...

I started thinking about the things that I do every day without any conscious though. Cooking, canning, sewing, all of the things that my mom and grandma did everyday. It was always fun for me to help Mom sew a new dress or even a swim suit. I had a lot of home made swim suits.

I can do all of this stuff and do it without thought. But I guess most people really don't have a clue how to do alot of it. Most people can cook, at least enough to keep from starving, but it involves meal kits, boxes of prepared seasonings, and frozen meals. I find that those foods really just don't appeal to me. I like the taste of unpackaged gravy, home made biscuits, fresh jams and jellies, home made burritos, fresh from the oven bread, and freshly churned butter. I think that most people do. They just don't realize that it isn't hard to make a loaf of bread or a pan of biscuits.

Canning is another thing that just about anyone can do. It isn't difficult, but it is time consuming. If you have a garden, or access to one, canning is the perfect way to save summer goodness for winter. All it takes is a pressure canner, some jars, and the time to do it. My mother in law worked full time as a teacher for 30 years and still managed to put up a big garden every year. Jams and jellies can be done in less than an hour and don't even require a canner. If you don't have a freezer but do have a canner, you can even store meat in jars safely when it goes on sale. And the meat is already cooked when you get ready to use it for a fast meal. Spend the $4-$6 dollars for a "Ball Blue Book of Preserving". It is the canning Bible and will tell you processing times and recipes for preserving just about anything edible. Canning, Freezing and Drying are all in there. Great book for any one wanting to save grocery money.

Sewing does take a little bit of skill and a lot of patience. If you are new to sewing, study up on the terminology before you start cutting. It really does make a difference. But you can keep your entire family well dressed for a fraction of the cost of buying from the department stores. And if you shop at The Global Mass Marketer, they often sell fabric for $1-$2 dollars a yard. The average short sleeved mens button up shirt takes about 2 yards. So for $4 worth of fabric, some buttons, thread, and a pattern, you can make a shirt for your favorite man. Some children's clothes take less than a yard. A basic, knee length straight skirt for yourself can take as little as 1 yard, depending on the style and your size. A pair of shorts, or a pull over top are about a yard.

So I guess what it boils down to is that I do things to save money without even thinking about it. That was just how I was raised.

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