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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Building Our Homes Together ~ July 27th (and a little soapboxing)

 “Homemaking is one of the sacred tasks of life, for the home is the family Temple, consecrated to the service of parents and offspring. As the strength of the State is founded upon family life, so is the strength of society based upon the home. The building up of the home should be an event of profound importance.”

Written by Charles Keeler, 1906

Here we are, week # 9!  Wow!
Be sure and visit Prairie Flower Farm for more
Building Our Homes Together

 With Jesus!

I am wondering, what are those jobs that drive you crazy,
when they are left undone?

These are the three things I tend to be OCD about:

The bathroom, the bathrooms have to be clean.
(Usually, the last thing I do before I go to bed is clean the main bathroom and put a clean hand towel out.  Then after the boys do their morning “grooming”, I go back over it.)

Dishes….my table may be piled high, but my dishes are done!  I do not like a sink full of dirty dishes.  So, I wash dishes as I cook.  Then after the meal, I only have a few things left to wash up.
No, we do not have a dish washer…..except for me or if I assign one the boys to kitchen detail.

And the trash has to be carried out….sometimes, I send the boys out with trash two or three times a day!

So, how is your week going?

I am knee deep in jelly making this week.  The blackberries didn’t make due to lack of rain and the extreme heat.  (They were like tiny hard marbles, which was so unusual.)  However, one of our neighbors has an abundance of grapes!!!
He has now brought nearly 5 gallons of grapes and says he hasn’t begun to make a dent in them!  I’ll be making jelly for his family, also, as his wife passed away a few months ago. 
(What am I saying?  I will be making enough jelly for an army!)

Here in the hottest part of summer (at least I hope it doesn’t get any hotter), our yellow straight neck squash has jumped into overdrive!  I think I’ve cooked squash every other night….and we have been sharing with neighbors, whose squash failed to make.
I am calling this a blessing, because we have never had squash make once the weather turned HOT!

I feel this is the way I look. LOL
(Notice, I wrote Genesis instead of Galatians.  I was having a conversation with one of the boys while I was writing.)

No extra grands this week, so I am tackling the WASH….before it tackles me.  I hope by the end of the week this mountain will be conquered.

I guess, I need to get to the “meat” of this post….something that could help someone else.
Last Wednesday, I listed some money saving tips.  I thought that was a good topic (especially considering all that is going on in Washington).  Since then, I’ve spent several hours reading ways to save money, looking for something valuable to pass along.  My conclusion is …… a lot of the people who write to tell you how to save, do not live in the same world I do!
So…..I am going to list some of my ideas….again:

When making a milk-based gravy, if you are also cooking mashed potatoes, you can use the water you drain off the potatoes for up to half the liquid in the gravy.

Baking your own bread can save lots of money.  The most expensive ingredients in bread are flour, oil and yeast.  For the cost of one loaf of bread, you can make four loaves.  (Of course, once your family begins eating fresh bread warm from the oven, they will think you should make bread everyday.)

I cook certain foods on certain days.  I don’t really make a menu, but I cook beans on Tuesdays.  Tuesdays are usually meatless for myself and dh.  We normally cookout over the weekend, so on Tuesdays (hopefully) I have some type of meat leftover for the boys.  On Thursday, we have Mexican food and I have beans leftover to go with.  Besides, I like not having to guess how long something has been in the fridge.

Living in a rural area, we have to have wireless internet and we needed our cell phones, so we gave up our land line.  This has saved us about $50 a month.

If your freezer is not full, fill empty containers (milk jugs work) with water and place in the freezer.  I cost less to run a full freezer than an empty one.  (And if it is 110 at your place, you can throw a few of those frozen milk jugs in the pool and let them float around, cooling the water down.)

Use Wal-Mart’s policy of price matching.  Wal-Mart will honor all competitors’ sale items.  (Our WW even honors the big discount store’s ad….and the store is 40 miles away!).  Angela at Free Spirit Haven works for Wal-Mart and she is serious about saving money.  Checkout Angela’s website for posts on how to make the most out of price matching.

I want to add, I am not a big Wal-Mart fan, but last December, the big discount store I mentioned, ran 10 lbs of potatoes for $1.00.  I didn’t have time to drive the forty miles, so I went to Wal-Mart (12 miles away) and was going to get my potatoes there.  They were out of the 10 lb. bags (I wasn’t the only one with this bright idea.)  I talked to the produce manager and he told me I could buy the 5 lb. bags for fifty cents a bag.  I bought 40…..200 lbs. of potatoes for $20.  We stored them in the well-house in bins and they lasted us until mid June.  Not having to run to 3 or 4 different stores saves both time and gas, too!

(soapbox time, lol)
I normally buy from a locally owned store about 9 miles from our place.  I’ve watched WW put several locally owned stores out of business…..which I dislike tremendously.  The store I buy from has good, quality meats (I do not care for WW’s meats) and they have good sales.  Overall their regular prices are a little higher, but I understand that and try to limit what I buy if it isn’t on sale.

I am also an advocate of buying from the local farmer!  We need to support those in our communities whenever we can.  Before we started raising goats, I purchased our milk from an Amish dairy.  And we are fortunate to have a state-wide co-op, made up of Oklahoma producers.  The quality is unbelievable.

Just look and see what is available in your area and make your money count.  We need to work together.
~ Last ~
If you run out of something to blog about, why don’t you try
“Where I Come From”?
This was so much fun and I love reading the things people include in “their stories”.  Talk about memories!
You can read my, “Where I Come From” here.
   If you write one, be sure and let me know.  I want to read your story!


Don't forget.....Friday....we will be praying!  Leave your requests in the comments or email me.  Our information is in the side bar.


  1. Loved all your tips. I do have a menu but sometimes I don't follow it,lol. I LOVE learning new ways, efficient ways to help me make my house a home! I have a cleaning schedule for the week. I try to do two rooms a day. When I started this, I counted how many rooms I had in the house and than divided it up by 6..Sunday's are my day 'off'..(of course laundry is still added at that time,lol). Since we began recycling more (plus only limited to one bag of garbage a week)I find that I have more recycle going out than the garbage. I have about a half of garbage can each week but four huge containers of recycling one to two huge organics going out...I'll have to do a post on that one ya girl.

  2. Love your tips! You mentioned potatoes. I just had my first experience trying to grow them and failed miserably. I do not know how to store the potatoes long term or I'd take advantage of the holiday sales like you. I know dry, cool, and dark but in what?

    Blessings dear friend.

  3. I so enjoyed reading your 'Where I am From' poem! Thank you for sharing that with us. :-)

  4. I REALLY need to get out of this seat and RUN to the Ladies Room (I know ... TMI) but I wanted to say a quick hello before I'm drowning in work again! Love ya!

  5. Sounds like you are having a great summer with your beautiful family! I LOVE grapes!

  6. Thanks for praying and asking about hubs' job. God closed that door so we are thankful for His direction.

  7. Sounds like a very busy week for you! But lots of blessings too in God's provision of food for your family.

    The money saving tips are great, and I would like to add one more. Perhaps the grocery stores in your area won't do this, but our local Hannaford supermarket (a chain in the northeast and I believe they also have one in Florida called Sweet Bay) does and it is wonderful! They often have boneless roasts like chuck or round on sale for $1.99 a pound. What many people don't know is that their meat department will grind these roasts into ground beef for you, at no extra charge. You get to pick out the roast yourself and just ask them to grind it. The service is free and you end up with some of the best ground beef at a greatly reduced cost. It might be worth asking at your local supermarket.

  8. Hey Prairie Maid, again thank you for helping out on this last Wednes. Our plans sure can get messed up at times, made me stop and think how blessed we are with sweet friends! I love all you tips. Now to keep them in my brain. Can you believe we have been doing this for 9 months? What precious friends have been made. Hugs to you and all who have commented.
    Blessings, Linda

  9. Wow! Good post and great ideas. I'm with you, I love to buy local when I can.


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