Wednesday, November 11, 2015

What's New In My Homestead Kitchen

Good afternoon!

I am a homemaker on a very limited budget that must feed 2 adults, 2 teenage boys and 2 kids under 9.  I've discussed my grocery budget in previous posts and those would still be relevant as our budget hasn't changed much in the last 10 years.

The quickest and easiest way to save money in the kitchen is to grow/raise your food yourself, preserve it and buy in bulk.  I do shop sales monthly for things that we use regularly but doing the above things will save you money in the kitchen.

With that said, in order to save money, you must be willing to spend time working.  I don't regularly buy bread, I make it.  I make laundry soap (in the kitchen so I count it as kitchen work).  I can and preserve things all year.  Even when there isn't a garden.

Today's example is chili beans.  We are given dried beans throughout the year by people who get them and don't use them (I'm not sure how this happens exactly, but it happens regularly....I try to use, in some way, all the food I manage to acquire...but we are grateful).  Dried beans take a while to cook, but I like to throw together chili in the winter so I used google and found a chili bean canning "recipe" (I really needed the seasoning recipe) and got to work.  These beans are amazing.  They soak for 48 hours, changing water after 24. Then you cook for 30 mins, pressure can for 75 mins and then you have chili beans.  My cost would be the canning flats and seasonings (which I buy in bulk at a considerable savings at the Amish store).  I'm guessing around 25 cents a pint.  If you can buy them for less than that at the store, then I applaud you.  I can't.  So I did 7 pints after shopping Saturday night.

I had about 3 pints of beans that wouldn't fit into the canner so I added some home canned rotel, home raised ground beef and home canned tomato puree to the pan Sunday morning and started cooking chili.  We were busy all day so I didn't notice that it didn't get done in the time I thought it would.  The beans were still hard.  I'm thinking the very hard water here at the new house is the problem.  So I put them back in the fridge.

Monday we had spaghetti for supper (home canned sauce, home raised pork sausage).
Tuesday I fixed fried pork chops, fried potatoes and corn for supper (home raised pork and home frozen corn - the corn was picked from a generous relatives field).
I also baked oatmeal cookies for a treat.

Today has been a big kitchen day.  Early this morning I set the chili back to simmer.  For lunch I made shepherd's pie.  I've got bread dough rising.  In case the chili doesn't get done I put a pork roast in the oven (home raised pork).

The thing about living on a homestead is, that you might not have a ton of money.  We sacrifice a lot for me to stay home....but we eat well.  Lots of meat and veggies.  I'm hoping to be able to locally source dairy products soon but for now I buy them.  It's a lot of work but the rewards are worth it.

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