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An interesting concept

I spent my morning looking up articles about Thriftiness and spending habits and I came across a new-to-me  movement/concept....."Not buying anything new for a year"    I  found out about it from this article:

http://www.mnn.com/your-home/around-the-house/stories/a-year-without-spending-one-womans-anxieties-missteps-and-insight

And I am about to start reading her blog:
http://www.mnn.com/your-home/around-the-house/stories/a-year-without-spending-one-womans-anxieties-missteps-and-insight

I am not sure I want to go down this path but it is an interesting mental exercise: could I live a year without buying anything new?  Now obviously there has to be exceptions for this:  anything needed for work, and consumables, such as inks, canning lids, garbage bags, thread, linoleum blocks, etc.

If nothing else it has made me examine what I buy and think about ways of curbing consumerism.  What a through  way of combining frugality and green living.

A new way to store pumpkin

A friend and I went to Sturbridge Village  a couple of weeks ago, if you don't know what it is, it located in Mass and it is a preserved 1800's village where they do their best to preserve knowledge and skills of the period.    

http://www.osv.org/

While there, they were cooking dinner in one of the houses and  drying pumpkin.  They had two methods that they used:  The first was to prepare the pumpkin into chunks and hang it on a string in a warm dry place.  It is very important that the pieces not touch each other or they will rot.   The second method is to prepare and cook the pumpkin and then run it through a sieve and let it dry and sheets.  I actually had a pumpkin that was still in excellent shape in so I cut and prepared it and it is now drying in my kitchen.   When I want to use the pumpkin pieces all I will have to do is let them soak in water.   I am sure it will take some trial and error to cut them to the right size.   The pieces they had there were completely dry and I didn't think to ask how big the pieces were originally.    I am very excited about a method of preserving that does not require a freezer, because my freezers are still quite full. 
Hello. I'm new to the comm, but I've been doing some research for quite some time on how to be frugal to the best of my abilities.

I'm moving away from home (California up to Utah) on my own in the next few months, and I'd like some suggestions on way I can cut costs and save money.

Example: Family cloths (cloth tissue), and homemade laundry detergent (I already do this ^_^).

No suggestion is too strange. Even if it's just something you've heard of, let me know. I'd really like advice on ways to stay warm, too.

Please and thank you.

growing your own

Is there anyone out there experienced in raised bed gardening who can give us a reasonable estimate of the money involved in setting one up? We're thinking of two, each about 4'x8'.

Washing machines

Does anyone know if you can bucket water into top loading washing machines rather than having it connected to mains water? I know washing machines fill themselves automatically & so must be attached to at least a cold water tap, but we would like to avoid that as we don't have mains water or a water pump, just a tank. Also, is there a way to skip the rinse cycle? We don't use soap or detergents to wash our clothes, just laundry balls, so the rinse cycle is unnecessary & wasteful for us. Is there any particular type of washing machine we should look out for (we don't have one yet, but are hoping to find a good secondhand one).

Thank you in advance to anyone who can help me. :)

Pet Food

Does anyone here make their cat and/or dog food?

Fall habits

What are you habits for preparing for winter?  As in how do you winterize your house, deal with plants, store food etc?


-I usually leave the leaves on the ground in fall and rake them up in the spring this fall I am mowing them into itty bitty bits hoping they will fertilize the law a little better
- all summer I have been freezing veggies in the appropriate  amounts for backing...4 cups of pumpkin for pies, 2 cups for muffins,   4 cups of zucchini for a  double batch of bread, etc... ok so only the pumpkin part is a fal activity.
- re-weather strip the dog door and closing it up at  night.   The latter helps retain heat and save me from 4:30 am jaunts in the woods to coax the dog away from the porcupine or skunk..... again.

The Subtleties of Vanilla

My husband loves vanilla syrup in his coffee,  and buying it seems unreasonably expensive when it is so simple. Just recently he made his own and was very happy with the results.   We are looking at buying bulk vanilla beans except there are more options than I was expecting.  We may just try and get several small amounts and compare  some different ones, but I was curious if anyone has experience or opinions on vanilla beans (even social ones - such as don't buy Indonesian beans they use slave labor)  Here is where we are thinking of buying from and the options available.

http://www.amadeusvanillabeans.com/

I would also be interested in looking at other retailers with good recommendations.

Pillows for the sick.

So my husband and I have been trading back and forth this flu/cold for a couple of weeks now and I would like to wash everything down  now that I am feeling a little better before I get hit with round three.   I am washing the sheets and pillow cases but I would like to spritz down the pillows as well (they are too big for my washing machine)   We currently don't have lysol and I would like to avoid the 30 minute trip to the grocery store if I can make something here at home.  My question is....

Has any one ever tried to make their own anti germ spray for pillows and fabrics?  and if so what did you use?

Bulk Olive Oil Cans

 

I find the art work on many olive oil cans quite beautiful.   I usually buy my olive oil in bulk and decant for daily use.   Out of curiosity I used a can open to see if would remove the top off of one of the large cans and it will and it makes a lovely vase.