Thursday, April 1, 2010

Do It Yourself

I have a hard time spending money. Especially on things that I feel I should be able to do myself. Pay someone to install our new floor? No way! Someone to landscape my yard? My kids can dig a hole, and I can stick a flower in it! It's easy to see how one could save money by doing the bigger projects yourself, but what about the small things? How much money are you paying someone to do some easy, but time consuming tasks? You may not think there any, but if you look at your grocery list, I bet you can find a couple! It's easy to make refried beans and chicken stock for pennies. It's a fun family project to make and can salsa and pesto.

The types of projects I'm thinking about are the ones that women used to do more frequently, things that used to be considered common knowledge. The first time I made refried beans, or canned a jar of pickles, I spent hours at the computer or leafing through library books. It's tough to take the knowledge of the written word and transfer it into a kitchen or garden setting, at least for me! My favorite cookbooks are the ones for children because they include a picture for each step. I'm going to do that for you! I'm not a crafty or handy person, so I figure if I can do these projects, anybody can! On my list of projects to share with you this summer will be the following items. Most of these are ones that I do on a fairly regular basis:

how to can salsa (and other food items)
making refried beans
making a good broth or stock (chicken, beef, ham)
what to do with that broth or stock (soups and gravies)
building a raised bed garden
what's up with square foot gardening?
frosting- why buy a can?
cornbread from scratch
pizza dough in your mixer
baby food in your blender
my husband brought home a deer, now what?
grinding sausage
drying jerky
turn a can of tomato sauce into something edible (marinara, soup, pizza sauce)
blanching vegetables
dividing plants

I have spent the last couple of years figuring out how to do these things. It's been a struggle, and I'd love to share what I've learned with you, and see if you have any tips for me. I'm always up for trying something new, though, and would love to add to my list of things we make ourselves. What kinds of things do you wish you knew more about? Let's learn together! Leave a comment and I'll add it to my list. I'm looking forward to a great summer of working in my garden and reaping the harvest. Are you?


  1. I want to make a pretty and good pie crust. I've finally gotten the good part down but I can't get it to roll out in a circle. (And I am very frugal too!)
    I'm a new follower from Friday Follow.

  2. I can't wait to learn how to make really good pizza dough that doesn't taste like flour. I'd also love to learn how to get started with container gardening and what sorts of things are easy to grow for those of us who tend to kill everything....

  3. You have an awesome blog.So glad I found ya through FF.Can't wait to read more.Have a great weekend!!