Farmers Market This Week’s Deals!

Filed under :Farmers Market, Food Prices, Saving Money

Well, just got back from the Farmers Market in Johnson City. Welcome to a new feature – what I am buying each week at Farmers Market and then I will be including how to use them!

Goal – to encourage you to shop local, get great deals and feed your family the best of what the Lord has put on this earth to eat! This is dedicated to my beloved best friend, Christa, back home, so she can begin to search out inexpensive produce and figure out what to do with it. She is back home in California, we are in Tennessee, so there will be huge differences in what we have available. Yet having visited farmers markets from coast to coast, they all have common items across the US! Join us for the adventure each week and learn some new recipes and exciting ways to use all that fresh, local produce!

We live in the Appalachian Mountains, so our FMs are slowly gearing up. Each week, a few more booths are open. They are not at full capacity yet. The veggies are slowly coming in and we are waiting on rain in the mountains! As always, I diligently search out the unsprayed, locally grown, essentially organic – although **NOT** certified organic produce.

  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 large box of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cabbage the size of basketball – seriously!
  • 1 bunch of snow peas (about 3-4 cups)
  • 1 bunch okra (about 2 1/2-3 cups)
  • 4 cucumbers
  • 10 fresh peaches from South Carolina
  • 2 gigantic RED bell peppers (larger than softballs – equal to 4 at HFS)

All this for LESS than $20!Again, our farmers market is not all the way up to speed yet, and some of these prices are a little higher than they will be July/Aug/Sept! Had I bought this organic at the store – it would have been closer to $45.00 at yesterday’s prices!

Visit often for recipes and ideas, and how to use YOUR Farmers Market to provide the best locally grown, seasonal produce for your family!


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Store Brands VS Generic

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money

Right after getting my driver’s license at 16, I remember PROUDLY going to the grocery store for the FIRST time for my mom. She had given me a list, and I went out and shopped it perfectly.

Except, I bought generic stuff, rather than name brands. This was over 25 years ago, when generics were new and just being introduced into our Alpha Beta (now that will date me!) When I got home, the familiar labels from Del Monte, Tide, and Best Foods Mayo were missing. To put it lightly, my mom had a fit. “THEY TASTE DIFFERENT,” she insisted, appreciating my young attempt to save money, yet wanting her normal selections. In the infancy of generics, we indeed suffered through a few cans of chewy green beans without the strings removed, and a few other things.

From that fateful lesson back in high school, I eschewed buying store brands for years.

Then, we went broke and buying store brands, mark downs, and food about to go out of date became the ONLY things I could buy.

This article explores the wonders of buying generic VS. name brand, and will help you save some money!


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Looking For Good Recipe Program

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money

This is straight off a list I am on where some folks are searching for a good recipe program. Two ideas!

There is this one out there that analyzes nutrition, plans shopping lists and allows you to print on 3×5 or 4×6 cards.  It can be downloaded or you can order the CD.  The URL is: http://www.dvo.com/cookn.html

Then there is this one called Living Cookbook.  It’s about half the price or less than the first one and allows you to download for 30-days at no cost to try it.  The URL is: http://www.livingcookbook.com/  You can either print to 4×6 cards on an Avery 8.5×11 perforated sheet or individual cards.  They have a forum for asking questions on how to do that.  That’s how I found that they did.


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Coupon Parties Big on Fun and Savings

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money

Got this from Heidi at FCHM.org. Great information – but not as much savings for organic items…YET!!!
http://tinyurl.com/buhtsy
Instead of Spending Money, Guests Learn How to Save
By ELISABETH LEAMY and VANESSA WEBER
Feb. 12, 2009

Just a year ago, Chrissy Pate and Kristin McKee were two Kansas City, Mo., moms struggling to reduce their grocery bills. The two friends collaborated and managed to cut those bills in half. And today, they’re sharing their new-found knowledge with others — hundreds of others.
Learn how to save big bucks on your groceries.

As they learned how to get groceries cheap — or even free — Pate and McKee started blogging about their biggest bargains.

Their families are similar — husband, two kids, two dogs each. They laughingly admit that they competed with each other to see who could spend the least.

“Yeah, a little bit,” Pate told “Good Morning America.”

“Our husbands were more competitive about it in the end than we were, I think,” McKee added.

They started telling other friends about the great deals they were getting and those friends told more friends. Soon, people were asking Pate and McKee to teach them how to save big on groceries and the coupon parties were born.

The women call them Be CentsAble Workshops. It costs $25 to attend, and they say their guests will make that money back in their first shopping trip.
Layering Savings

How do they do it? By layering several savings strategies together.

“This is really important,” Pate told about a dozen people at a coupon party in Lee’s Summit, Mo. “You don’t just take your coupon out of the Sunday paper and go use it because that’s what the manufacturer wants you to do.”

Instead, she said:
First you should look for sales.
Then check to see if there are coupons for those same sale items.
Better yet, go to a store that gives double coupon credit.
Best of all, combine the manufacturer’s coupon with a coupon offered by the store.

Trickier Tips

The tips get trickier — and more lucrative — from there. For example, if a coupon is good for an entire line of products, match up the bar code, not the picture.

“A lot of people take that coupon in and they match up the picture,” Pate said. “The manufacturers know that and they put the most expensive item on there.”

By matching up the bar codes, you will often find the coupon is good for less expensive items, and thus represents a larger percentage savings off the price.


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Bubbling Success in 1st Annual Crock Pot Slow Cooker Month on ThePrudentWife.com

Filed under :Food Prices, Homemaking, Saving Money, The Prudent Wife

We are bubbling with success in the 1st Annual Crock Pot Slow Cooker Month on ThePrudentWife.com! Are we going to have a wonderful month of crock pot recipes to share with our Prudent Wife subscribers or what!? WOW! Some of these recipes will knock your socks off – and definitely help you save money, time and effort, while feeding your family nourishing food! And yes, we have thrown a little comfort food in too!

So far:

  • Black Eyed Peas in the Crock Pot (part of our Traditional Southern New Year’s Day Dinner!)
  • Spicy Turmeric Chicken (brain building recipe that is PHENOMENAL!)
  • Bow Ties and Cheese (or Mac and Cheese)
  • Black Eyed Peas and Rice Soup (recipe revamp for a hot Sunday lunch!)
  • Maple Dijon Pork with Sweet Potatoes (bubbling in the crock pot tonight for less than $5)

The best thing about all of these recipes is a hot dinner is waiting for YOU with just a little prep and a whole day of cooking! Second best thing, I have literally not gone to the store since before Christmas, and this is all stuff we have on hand or in the pantry!

You are going to love getting your copy of the “1st Annual Crock Pot Slow Cooker Month on ThePrudentWife.com”


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What are the top things YOU did in 2008 to SAVE MONEY????

Filed under :Attitude, Food Prices, Recession - Sinking Economy, Saving Money, The Prudent Wife

As 2008 rolls to a close, I wanted to repost an earlier article I had posted and ask you what your top 10 ways to save money in 2008 were?

10 Radical Things We Did to Save Money!

1. The house – TOO MUCH MONEY – so unfortunately, it had to go! Too much mortgage, too much utilities, too much upkeep….dare I say too much to clean? We moved into a home about the size of our current basement! Woo hoo! Can’t wait to figure out if we are saving HALF or MORE THAN HALF each month.

2. Cut out our cell phones! Switched to Trak phones – savings $200 month

3. Cut cable (this was over a decade ago)

4. Completely stopped eating out!

5. Planning meals, then simply eating what we have planned.

6. Cooking ALL hubbies meals for lunch.

7. Cooking 21 meals a week.

8. Learning to feed the family on $50 a week.

9. Rearranging insurance policies to get the best price.

10. Dave went back to doing our oil changes, tune ups, and brakes.

11. Fixing things that are broken, rather than replacing! You would be amazed at what you can at least TRY to fix.

So these are our TOP TEN THINGS TO SAVE MONEY in 2008, please post yours!


Putting Food Up for the Holidays!

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money, The Prudent Wife

Well, today has been busy! To get a jump on everyday meals during the busy Christmas season, we have been doing some batch cooking in advance. We cooked up some wonderful meats in the crockpot, Savory Carnitas, Crockpot Taco Meat, and a delicious Santa Fe Style Shredded Turkey. We had also cooked up Black Beans and Pintos. Today, we made dozens of burritos, and popped them in the freezer for quick meals during the holidays! There is nothing better than a quickly baked burrito for lunch! I made a few quick casseroles with corn tortillas for hubby’s lunches. Same filling ingredients, slightly different dish.

I also processed a Cinderella pumpkin that I had bought for fall decorating and have pumpkin puree in the freezer for 4 pumpkin pies or desserts! Yummy!

All of these recipes will be on The Prudent Wife website!


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Less than $20 at Farmer’s Market and Grocery Store

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money, Uncategorized

For less than $20, this is the bounty the Lord provided yesterday!$17.42 to be exact!!!

  • 5 KA-ME Bean Sprouts (for Thai or Chinese cooking) $.59 each
  • 1 bunch of broccoli $.99
  • 2 jars Maranatha Organic Peanut Butter 16 oz $1.25 each
  • 1 Qt Organic Mushroom Broth $1.00
  • 3 bags of collard greens, marked to $.99
  • 10 lb bag of potatoes for $.99

Add the earlier haul at our Farmer’s Markets

  • 1/2 peck Organic Winesap apples (the paper bag full used to get for $10 at the orchard back home in CA) $2.00
  • 2 lbs fresh organic black eyed peas plus a handful $2.00
  • 8  organic Roma tomatoes $2.00
  • 6 organic yellow squash $1.00
  • 7 long thai chilies – organic $.50
  • 9 jalapenos organic $.50

Not a bad haul for $17.42 on a hot, early fall day! See, you can feed your family GREAT food, and attack your debt with a vengeance with what the Lord provides!


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$8 at the Farmer’s Market

Filed under :Food Prices, Saving Money

Yesterday was a great day! We went and “visited” the house we are moving in to in the morning, to see where the sun lands to plan our garden and flower beds. Then we went down the road for a quick jaunt, into Jonesborough, the oldest town in TN, and went to the Farmer’s Market held in the library parking lot Saturdays from 8-12. We absolutely loved it! We have tried many of the Farmer’s Markets in the are and are thrilled to be 7 miles from this one! Not planning to shop, we had $8.00 cash between us. This is our haul

  • 1/2 peck Organic Winesap apples (the paper bag full used to get for $10 at the orchard back home in CA) $2.00
  • 2 lbs fresh organic black eyed peas plus a handful $2.00
  • 8  organic Roma tomatoes $2.00
  • 6 organic yellow squash $1.00
  • 7 long thai chilies – organic $.50
  • 9 jalapenos organic $.50

Not a bad haul for $8.00 on a hot, early fall day!


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Homemade Laundry Detergent ~ Prudent Wife Style

Filed under :Food Prices, Homemaking, Saving Money, Simplicity, The Prudent Wife

THREE INGREDIENT LAUNDRY DETERGENT

For almost a year now, we have making our own laundry detergent at home. I was thrilled, as I have used Melaleuca detergent for years, but realized it was very expensive. We compared the homemade laundry detergent and it is every bit as good. We also purposefully bought an expensive organic brand sold at the HFS, to compare to our homemade. I am content with the homemade and we like the results.  After a year of use, we are not going to give up this fabulous Prudent Recipe! It is easy to make and very inexpensive, just pennies per load! 

Enjoy the Prudent Wife video – it will show you how to make this super saver in minutes! 

 1/3 bar soap – Ivory Soap, Fels Naptha (in laundry aisle – but has a fake fragrance smell that we avoid like the plague) Dr. Bronner’s soaps or homemade goat milk soap

1/2 cup NATURAL dish washing  detergent (this is giving me my best results and really pulling dirt out)I bought one on clearance at the store -I am not talking about Dawn, but one of the ecologically safe DISH detergents.

½ cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda – Find this in the laundry aisle for about 2.33 for a 52 ounce box. This is not A&H baking soda, nor is it A&H laundry detergent. Watch your labels! Once you buy it, it makes total sense.

½ cup 20 MULE TEAM Borax Powder – look for the horses on the box in the laundry section. 

You will also need a small bucket, about 2 gallon size, an old Costco or Sam’s bucket or a Tupperware Thatsa Bowl (and it cleans the stains out of that beautifully!

Save your old detergent bottles, buckets or tubs as this makes a lot.

Grate the soap and put it in a sauce pan.  Add 6 cups water and heat it until the soap melts. 

Add the washing soda and the borax and stir until it is dissolved.  Remove from heat. 

Pour 4 cups hot water into the bucket.   Now add your soap mixture and stir. 

Now add 1 gallon plus 6 cups of water and stir. 

Optional Natural Scents Add a few drops of essential oil and whisk into the egg drop soup mixture if you would like, for a nice clean smell. Try lavender for calming, tea tree oil, fresh citrus essential oil, or sniff bottles at the HFS for whatever your family would like for a smell. Remember that husbands aren’t as crazy about lavender as wives are. Oh for the Civil War gentleman, he would like the lavender!

Let the soap sit for about 24 hours and it will gel into an egg drop soup texture. It is a little wild. We take our wire whisk and whisk the mixture several times a day, to get a more even texture. It is not pristine like you get from the grocery store, but you will quickly get used to it. Use a funnel to pour into your bottles, or leave in the bucket. I pour into my old Melaleuca bottles and give a brisk shake of the bottle before each load.

Use ½ cup of homemade laundry detergent per load.

To be responsible, there is some controversy on borax. Read the Material Safety Data Sheet on 20 MULE TEAM Borax and decide for yourselves. We are happy using the homemade detergent and will continue, despite our desire for more children! http://www.borax.com/pdfs/dist/MSDS_Borax_Decahydrate.pdf