Anyone feeling the financial crunch, or have advice?

Discussion in 'Random Ramblings' started by Selena, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Selena

    Selena Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
    Ok, so, I'm out of work right now and my DH is in construction... and his job is finishing up soon and then HE'LL be out of work. We're battening down the financial hatches. I know more people out of work right now than I have ever known at one time. None of them are in construction, either! Not good.

    I went grocery shopping yesterday and spent $173. That's the first official trip I've made (except for misc items...) in about 2 months. Exempting items like milk and some lunch supplies (I only have 2 loaves of bread in the freezer), that'll be enough to keep us for 2-3 months I hope. Keep in mind, we have 2 deer and a bunch of crab in the freezer, and are planning to go crabbing some more before the end of the season in January. I also have a big bag of rice in my pantry and about 5# left of pinto beans.

    I even got cheap TP. I told my DH that I sacrificed the Charmin (I have NEVER given up the Charmin!) and he's like, "You mean I get to come home and use the same stuff as in the Sanican?!?!" I tell him, "I didn't go THAT cheap!" [​IMG] MD is a ok brand, right? [​IMG] They were the second cheapest at the store. (the cheapest was see though! [​IMG] )

    As much as I hate that a lot of companies like resumes faxed and applications done online... that does save me from having to drive anywhere. Isn't that a blessing? So, because of that, and all the other blessings of having the net, we're keeping that. DH and I use it daily for many things, not just communication (and one of my best friends is in China right now... how else would I talk to her? SNAIL mail?) but recipes, basic animal health, and most of my reptile supplies I can only get online as they are either too expensive in the stores or not even carried. (UV light in store: $48+tax. Online: $16+ship.)

    We're even keeping most of the lights off at all times and piling on blankets/layering clothes at night. We moved the freezer chest to the basement (I had figured that the cool basement would be a better place, so the freezer wouldn't need to use as much energy).

    I sorted and cataloged my seed collection this week. Exempting a few things I'm out of, I will hopefully be able to grow plenty of produce next year and cut a large portion of our veggie expenses nest year. I'm even planning on a way to grow food in our basement using the reptile's old UV lights.

    Anyone have any other ideas on saving money?

    I'm also looking for cheap and healthy feed alternatives for the chickens. Granted pellets are $11.25 for 50#, but they're going through 2 to 2 1/2 bags a month. I have also been giving them warm oatmeal on the colder days for a treat.

    Also, I'm not much of a crab [​IMG] or venison girl... and have never cooked a crab in my life. Any other folks previously dislike these foods who have AWESOME recipes that'll make a convert of me? [​IMG] [​IMG]

  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Its tough on everyone right now. My sil is out of work and we have been helping them keep their house payments going so we are going cheapper on everything. I use dish towels instead of paper and use White cloud tt from walmart. We eat a lot of stretching meals. I will buy meat and instead of 3 or 4 oz servings I will mix it with rice, dumplings,potatoes or noodles. No soft drinks, no snacks except fruit that is local. We bought a bushel of apples this fall. I had a large garden and canned like crazy. Also froze some stuff. I had some cherry trees and blackberries from my bushes that made jelly. I use the reduced sugar and reduced it some more. I'v learned to make loaf bread from a sour dough potato starter. It makes two loaves. but there again we have the elect. for cooking it. My hb said something about giving up the computer connection. I said no. I'd rather give up the tv. It cost more anyway. I have started some hens and yes they are expensive but in the end I think they could furnish us with much needed protein to go along with the veg. we have.
    Right now I am more worried about water. We were behind by 11 inches last year and already over 12 inches so far this year. Peoples springs around here are going dry that have been operational for over 40 years. Mine is a deep well. But next door his spring just dried up last week. Not good news.
    I keep telling my hb that our parents made it through the last depression and we will make it this time. It really does not take as much as we are use to eating.
    Still I want it better too. Jean
  3. Rosalind

    Rosalind Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Boy, I wish I had a freezer full of crab. I'll trade you, freezer full of ravioli for crab...

    Hard to give you recipe ideas without knowing what you don't like about crabs. The dis-assembly part? The eyes? The part where you can obviously tell which parts are which? The actual taste? Best thing to do is probably to steam them, shell them, and make a bunch of crab cakes. That way it's just sort of a generic fishcake taste and you don't see anything untoward while you're eating it. Plus, the breadcrumbs help stretch the meat. They're easy to steam, just put some water in the bottom of a big stockpot, pour in a bottle of cheap beer and throw the crabs in until they turn red/orange/pink. I'm assuming your crabs are blue/grey color, right? Otherwise, just bring the liquid to a boil, throw the crabs in, put the lid on and wait 10 minutes.

    For venison, a slow cooker is your friend. Slow cook a roast in any of the following:

    Beef bouillon
    1/4 apple cider, 1/4 water, 1/4 cider vinegar, 1/4 brown sugar
    red wine

    Seasoned with bay leaves, peppercorns, juniper berries, cumin, sliced onions, mushrooms, whatever is handy that you'd normally use on beef. Make gravy out of the juice, slice real thin, keep leftovers for sandwiches the next day.

    Ground venison, use just like ground chuck but add a bit of cooking oil or butter. Or bacon slices, something with fat.
  4. rubyv67

    rubyv67 Songster

    Oct 17, 2008
    Most my role models growing up either raised a family during the depression or were born in it. They taught me so much about not wasting anything and being super resourceful.You sound like you're doing a great job. Brainstorm about areas that are the highest expense, and then scale back as much as is comfortable. Hats off to your efforts.Admirable. [​IMG]
  5. hoosier

    hoosier Songster

    I think roos_mom has some great venison recipes and a way to get rid of the gamey taste.

  6. Selena

    Selena Songster

    Jun 24, 2008
    Port Orchard, WA
    Crazy Hen... you wouldn't mind sharing that bread recipe, eh? [​IMG] Yeah, I've been adding ground venison to everything... And DH even liked my Top O Ramen soup with Italian meatballs, peas and carrots. I normally just eat it with the veggies. We've cut way back on soda. Mostly drinking juice, tea, and milk.

    Rosalind: pretty name! I would be so willing to trade crabs for ravioli!!! LOL. I love ravioli. [​IMG] I have never liked much seafood. I didn't even start to like shrimp until a few years ago. The taste, for one. But I'm sure it would be a lot easier to eat if I didn't have to crack limbs to get to the meat. LOL. We caught a bunch of Red Rock Crab. DH is a big seafood lover. I'm just happy they're relatively cheap and easy to catch. Well... if you know the best bait. I did a roast the other day and used apple juice, some sherry, and seasonings. I didn't have any though, as I wasn't feeling well.

    Rubyv67: I think I'm going to have to research the histories that people have passed down.

    Hoosier: I'll have to get a hold of her!

    Thank you all!
  7. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I won't mind at all when I feel a bit better. I have a sinus infection giving me heck. I make reg loaf bread and cinnamon bread too. I have in the past made rye bread for a friend from it and also sunflower bread. My oat bread wasn't good though. Never figured that out.
    remind me later with a pm. I will never remember it with this infection going on. Jean
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    Oct 2, 2008
    I wish you lived closer. We could work something out! LOL

    (I love crab and venison)
  9. fivestring

    fivestring Songster

    Nov 15, 2008
    Nashville Georgia
    I noticed recently that has a 'barter' category where folks locally trade their excess goods or services for what they need. I think it is a great idea. Everyone has SOMETHING to offer.

    Hope this helps.

  10. Ellie_NY_chick

    Ellie_NY_chick Songster

    Jul 1, 2008
    Finger Lakes, NY

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