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Below are the 14 most recent journal entries recorded in Frugal Mamas' LiveJournal:

Thursday, March 22nd, 2007
8:37 pm
[josette]
shaking things up
I know it's been quiet, so I thought I'd start a thread for the improving weather.
What do you do for spring/summer entertainment?
Are you in any seed swapping groups? (Ask me about Monsanto's evil plot sometime)
What do you like to grow in your gardens?
I have a very small container garden and I'm growing blueberries if the weird weather hasn't killed them.
Friday, October 13th, 2006
6:22 pm
[asthought]
Pasta Making
I bought myself a pasta maker today and started experimenting, but it was frustration from the word go. The vise bit was stuck open and the handle on the turning lever kept comming off. I worked around these two problems (am taking it back to the store tommorow for an exchange) but also had problems getting an even feed of pasta through.

Does anyone out there have any tips on using a pasta maker? Do you have a fav recipe for the dough?

-Renee
Wednesday, October 11th, 2006
2:30 pm
[smartchick76]
bread
in an effort to save a penny or two I've tried making my own bread several times and while it is cheaper than store bought it is time intensive and not quite so 'fluffy'.
anyway, I found here or somewhere a recipe for Pullman bread(reported to be like Wonderbread) and while it is the shape of wonderbread it isn't nearly as fluffy...
can anyone suggest how to get my bread soft and fluffy or is that a result of preservatives and all the stuff we can't pronounce that 'they' put in food?

thanks
Marisa

Current Mood: curious
Monday, September 18th, 2006
10:42 am
[smartchick76]
Sunday morning they had a blood donation drive at church...I went and made my deposit...
fortunately, our sunday school class usually has a decent spread for breakfast and fruit juice but inspite of that I truly and metaphorically felt ... drained... for the rest of the day.

so today its a battle of wills between me and the dreaded horde of dishes...my evil nemesis...

oh i'll win, mostly, but the evil beast always comes back...if I only had a lackey to do the dishes for me...aha! DD is at an age I started doing dishes!!! will have to ponder this.


In the meantime have you all been introduced to www.flylady.net or the book Frozen Assets?
and of course they can link you up to a bunch of other frugal stuff..

my current favorite is www.hillbillyhousewife.com -

I've use their bread recipe but it is a tad to 'dense' for my dh, and kids...I need a fluffier bread recipe if anyone can suggest one.
thanks
Thursday, March 30th, 2006
3:43 pm
[mamaskin]
Easy lunches
Instead of buying canned pastas I buy one box of small shells .89 (or which ever, I prefer Barilla but only because I lived in Italy across the street from the factory)

I get reusable mini plastic containers and make some with a tomato sauce ( I make my own) some with peas and chicken broth (Em's favorite!) and a butter with cheese. All in all it costs me around 2.00 to make over 2 weeks worth of lunches for her.

We also will freeze a container or two when the kids make mac & cheese for themselves. Its a great way for them to not over eat and Em to have a different lunch!

I get all my veggies from leftovers from dinner. If there is none I will buy frozen peas and carrots and use what I need. The rest goes into dinner.

I lovelovelove the diaper pail smellies! Any more tips?
Tuesday, February 21st, 2006
11:14 pm
[georgelicious]
One way we stay frugal is to keep a decent household inventory. To me nothing is more frugal than NOT over buying things. The pantry, cleaning supplies and bathroom supplies are all kept neat and orderly so I can tell at a glance what we are low on.

Not an Earth shattering tip, but it's something, right?
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
10:47 pm
[tofumama]
So, my frugal list for the past week or so...
-made a double batch of muffins/mini muffins for the kids/dh to snack on
-soaked chick peas and made a boat load of hummus
-dh made a ton of pancakes when we had them over the weekend so we froze a bunch to take out and toast for breakfast
Plans for the next few days...
-make bread
-soak and cook beans for homemade veggie burgers
-soak and make up a ginormous vat of Dal for me :)

I am also looking into getting some memberships for a few places the kids and I can go frequently, as those usually pay for themselves after a couple visits.

What's everyone been up to?

Current Mood: chipper
Wednesday, February 1st, 2006
10:47 am
[tofumama]
Update on the Bread
The Mother Earth News bread is GREAT!
I doubled the recipe and was able to make 2 braided loaves, 3 french loaves and a small baguette. I* found that I was only able to get abour 3/4 of the flour into the mixture, though. The dough seemed fine. I loved the part of throwing water into the oven. Yes, I am a dork.

Here's another quick and easy recipe...
Hard Pretzles
1pkg or 2 tsp. of dry yeast dissolved into 1 1/4c. warm water.
1/4c. melted butter
1 tbsp. honey(or whatever sweetener you choose)
1 tsp. salt
4c. flour

In large bowl, combine all ingredients. Knead dough until smooth. Cut dough into small pieces and form into shapes. The thinner, the better. Brush with egg wash (one beaten egg and 2tbsp water) and sprinkle with coarse salt. Bake immediately in a 425 degree oven. You have to watch them, you want them to be almost burnt. 20 mins or so depending on your oven.
Tuesday, January 31st, 2006
12:37 pm
[tofumama]
Mother Earth News Bread Recipe
Here you go!

BASIC FRENCH OVERNIGHT BREAD
6 1/2c. unbleached white flour (or flours of your choice, but I reccomend at least 50% white)
1 1/2 tsp. dry yeast dissolved in 2c plus 2tbsp warm water
3 1/2 tsp. sea salt

combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix with your hands. Knead dough for 5-10 mins. until smooth and elastic. Cover bowl with a plastic sheet or bag and let rise overnight in a warm and still environment. Dough will be tough, don't add water. It will be more maliable after the first rise. After the 12 hr rise, dough should have craters and sinkholes, with a shiney surface. Punch dough down, and divide into 2 loaves shaped however you like. Place loaves on 2 baking sheets either oiled *OR* sprinkled with cornmeal (pizza stones work great if you have them) Cover with plastic again and let rise for another 3 hrs. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees, and place several slits diagonally in the tops of the loaves of bread. WHen you place the loaves in the oven, throw a few tablespoons of water on a hot surface in the oven to create steam. This is to improve the texture of the bread and crust. It should take betw 15 and 30 mins to cook the bread, depending on how dense your loaves are. You know they are done if they make a hollow thud when flicked, and appear golden brown. Rotate bread after about 10 mins to ensure even baking.

I'm going to double this recipe and make it tonite!

Current Mood: hungry
Monday, January 30th, 2006
9:54 am
[tofumama]
OK, mamas! This week we have to try to do one new thing of the frugal nature! Make something you would have bought. Eat n instead of out. Use coupons, whatever. Then come post here!
Also, the Pantry Challenge...create a meal, snack, etc from things found in your pantry! No shopping allowed.
Saturday, January 28th, 2006
12:25 am
[josette]
Frugal Mamas Reading List
I have a few books that helped me along the way.

Any of the Tightwad Gazette books by Amy Dacyczyn - She shows you technique as much as tips.

Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy - she actually accomplished this in a high-cost area (San Francisco) similar to where I currently live outside NYC, much more impressive.

The Motley Fool is a great financial advice site, I used the Debt Workbook to set up a plan to get on the other side on interest payments. Just seeing it on paper is very helpful to convince a math-deficient financial partner what the situation is.
Wednesday, January 25th, 2006
9:15 am
[tofumama]
Totally stealing this...
On MDC, they do a couple cool things. 1-they do a pantry challenge, which, if I understand, is creating a meal, etc based only on what you currently have in your 'pantry'.(I would requst recipes be posted!)
2-they do a frugal thing-of-the-week, which basically is a goal to do at least 1 frugal thing each week. I am up for both, and can start them up on Sunday, if anyone wants to join in.
I also fond a could GREAT bread recipes, SOOO easy, I will post later b/c I hear my boy squeaking!
Saturday, January 21st, 2006
12:11 am
[tofumama]
More frugal goodness...
OK, I thought of more thins we do:
-make our own baby food (actually, with Max we just nursed though that stage, lol)
-make our own yogurt and Kefir(I have grains if anyone wants any its AWESOME in baked goods!)
-make our own soap

Some things I find to be common sense, like knowing prices of things, using coupons(course the stuff we eat NEVER has coupons, lol)buying in bulk...but its easy to get taken on bulk stuff too. We are in a co-op but don't buy that often b/c it seems like you are getting things in bulk, but not saving much money, if any. You are just getting the convenience of good stuff en masse. I would love to buy organic everything, for many reasons, but unfortunately we can't afford to spend that kind of $$$. So I pick and choose. I buy as much as I can, going by the 'Dirty Dozen' list for produce and I either buy organic for the 'bad' stuff or not at all. The other 'safer' stuff I will by un-organic and wash it well. Some things I just won't make an exception for. Eggs, milk, butter...I can't bring myself to buy regular b/c I know too much. So, that is factored into the budget. I go to the dairy or to Trader Joes. If we ate meat, the same would apply. I think Trader Joes is by far the cheapest for organic food, so we get as much as we can there, but they don't have everything.

Other nifty saving tips: If you have a Family Dollar, 5&10, etc near you, shop there! They often have name brand things at greatly reduced prices. We get the Kandoo foam soaps there, and when you use it up, save the foamer container and refil with some other soap half way, & h20 to the top and there you go! Same with the new dish soap thingy. Kids don't care and you use 50% less soap. We do this with cleaners too. We don't buy alot but I LOVE Method cleaning products. I immediately dilute them 50/50 with water. They clean just as well, still smell good, and last longer. Then there are things I just will not skimp on. I feel justified. I really believe you need to be an educated consumer and pick and choose wisely. I will not buy no-name, garbage vitamins. I also like good beer, but that's another community :)

Current Mood: bouncy
Friday, January 20th, 2006
7:41 pm
[tofumama]
Hi!
So, I am starting this off by just listing off what I am doing to try to be frugal,and conservative hoping to expand on this list:
-cloth diaper
-bf
-make most food from scratch
-make own bread/bagles/english muffins/pizza dough/waffles in bulk and freeze
-dilute cleaning products
-wash all but diapers in cold
-hang laundry ou to dry, weather permitting
-cloth 'wet wipes'
-have a basket of rags upstairs and down to reduce use of paper towels
-replacing lightbulbs that die with energy saver bulbs.
-keep thermostat set low (63-65 days, 60 nights)
-Goodwill, Salvation Army, and hand-me-downs for the kids and us
-remind kids (and dh) to turn off lights/tv/radio/etc when leaving a room
-hopefully having a successful compost pile this summer
-garden with veggies and herbs, and joining the org. veggie co-op
-cook enough for 2 meals and freeze one portion
-buy from the bulk bins and store at home
-buy eggs/milk/cheese form local dairy (don't have an org. title yet, but don't use hormones, antibiotics, pesticides)
-getting rid of cell phone and getting a pay-as-you-go plan (we NEVR use our phones)

There may be more I can't think of right now, but here are the things I want to start doing more of:
-live on a cash only basis
-save a set amount of $$ per week
-make more clothes (knit sweaters from recycled yarn, socks,dresses for dd and me)
-do more bartering
-get a Hybrid car
-collect grey water in the spring/summer for garden (we already have a rain barrel)
- switch to a more 'raw' oriented diet in the warmer months- less cooking, turning on the stove/microwave/etc
-switching to a 'Lingo'-type phone service

I know I will be updating this list frequently!
Here is 2 recipes for my cd-lovin' friends:
Pail Buddies-
1c. baking soda mixed with enough water to make a thick paste, add to that some TTO and lavender oil, then spoon into cupcake tins/sheet and put somewhere warm to 'harden'. (top of the fridge) Voila! Store the ones you don't use in a ziplock or tupeprware.

Diaper 'Potion'
Fill a spray bottle 2/3 full with witch hazel
add 3-5 drops tto, and 10-15 drops lavender oil (this is a spray bottle that you'd find in the hair isle...holds maybe 4-5oz?)then add 1oz (give or take) of sesame, grapeseed or some other mild oil. Shake before each use. Helps keep the little butts fresh, and rash free!

Current Mood: happy
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