5 Frugal Things – Food Preserving, Dog Grooming, Decluttering & MORE!

by Texas Homesteader~ 
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Living and working here on the Homestead means we have to be mindful of our expenses. But here’s the great thing – I have a hearty eco-friendly bend. I’m always watching out for ways to be gentle with Mother Nature.

And I find oftentimes frugality goes hand in hand with eco-friendly living. It’s a two-fer win for me! This week there were many opportunities to save some money (and give Mother Nature a big kiss on the cheek too!)

Come see the 5 Frugal Things we did this week to save money and the environment.

(Note: Some links in this post are for further information from earlier posts I’ve written. But links preceded with * are affiliate links. If you click them and buy something (almost anything, not just the item noted) I could receive a tiny commission. But the price you pay will NOT change. It’s an easy way to support this blog without anything coming out of your pocket. So click often! Thank you!)

1. Room in the Freezer & Canning Broth

RancherMan has harvested a large wild sow. Sometimes we process the smaller ones ourselves. But this one was large enough to take to the processor so we could get all the cuts we love.

But the call has come in that the meat is ready for us to pick up. I must make room in our freezer. And quickly!

Among other measures such as pulling out flour, rice, etc typically stored in the freezer, that means pulling out that big bag of reserved poultry bones that I’ve been saving in a freezer bag. It’s time to make Homemade Broth with them.

Luckily it’s made super-simple using my *Instant Pot. (where has this thing BEEN all my life??)

Not only does that free up the freezer space by removing that big bag of reserved poultry bones, but it gives us dang-near FREE healthy broth. And I’m constantly using homemade broth, especially this time of year for Homemade Soups.

And since none of that broth can go into the freezer (see above statement about needing space) I Pressure-Canned The Broth in quart jars.

That means the broth will be shelf-stable. So those gleaming jars can be stored in the pantry. No advance notice needed to bring out & thaw broth from the freezer. Just fetch a jar and use it in my recipes right then, right there.

Have I mentioned lately that I’m an impatient cook?? 

And my homemade, home-canned broth gives me no trash to deal with either. The jars are obviously reusable. And I even have *Reusable Canning Lids. So no trash at all!

Aaaaahhhhh… Nothing like that homemade goodness.

2. Saving Money On Laundry

Our laundry routine is about as simple as it gets. I make my own Homemade Laundry Detergent and it never ceases to amaze me how clean it gets our laundry.

Working around animals (and occasionally having knuckles nicked on barbed wire, etc) you can just imagine the Laundry Woes we deal with!

Anyway, even in the winter months, our clean laundry is air dried. If the sun is shining – or sometimes even when it’s not – that laundry is hung on the line to dry in all seasons.

Oh sure, we’ll pull out the portable *Clothes-Drying Racks and set them up in the guest bedroom to air dry our clothes if it’s raining outside. That way if unexpected company comes we can close the guest bedroom door.

But if at all possible, that clean laundry is hung outside. There’s nothing like the fresh aroma of sunshine on clean clothes! And this week was no exception.

Hanging clothes to air dry instead of using a dryer has many financial benefits. Obvs it’s gonna be cheaper since you’re not running an energy-hog appliance to dry your clothes.

And that dryer is tough on your fabrics too, wearing them out much more quickly. Most of the lint you remove from the lint filter? That’s your clothing being torn apart. Air drying is much more gentle on your clothing.

Plus, an undetected stain is usually set in the fabric for life if it goes through the heat of a drier.

All of this is eliminated by hanging laundry on the line. Oh, and you can’t beat that fresh air & sunshine aroma you get for FREE. The commercial-detergent guys try but can never duplicate that delightful smell.

3. Decluttering Through Ebay

RancherMan has been busy going through the house and finding things we no longer need and selling them on ebay.

It’s a win/win for us. Our home is decluttered of things we no longer need, and someone else benefits by buying those items for cheap. Plus we get a few dollars to tuck back into our savings account too.

This week he sold some books, décor & hunting items among other things. Cha-CHING!

4. Saving Money On Dog Grooming

We like to allow our mini-Schnauzer’s coat to grow longer during the colder winter months. I feel it keeps her warmer as she trots alongside us in the pastures on chilly days.

But a professional grooming costs for this breed dog is understandably expensive. So the less I have to take her to be professionally groomed the better on our budget. 

But here’s the deal… her hair is not stiff or wiry like many Schnauzer’s fur is. Instead, Bailey’s fur is soft and very fine, almost like rabbit’s fur.

Unfortunately that means  traditional household pet grooming clippers don’t work with her. Even the higher end ones just lay that fluffy fur down and glide over instead of cutting no matter which direction I go. So I leave the actual grooming to the pros.

But with RancherMan’s help I can at least trim down the excess hair on her face with a pair of scissors. So I have RancherMan hold her steady & I carefully trim the longer hair from around her face and mouth. Cost? $0

And along with Bailey’s home trim is a much-needed bath. But I make my own homemade dog shampoo these days.

I have an oatmeal-based shampoo for times when her skin is dry & itchy. But this time I used the ole standby which is simply a mixture of filtered water, white vinegar and a couple of tablespoons of soap (I used baby shampoo).

You can see both of my simple homemade Dog Shampoo Recipes Here

5. Saving Money In The Garden

It’s almost time for me to start my garden-veggie seeds. I like to have heirloom plants in my garden, but I also like to be able to have actual seedlings to plant into the garden soil after the last frost.

Buying heirloom seeds isn’t really very expensive, but buying heirloom plants can be hit & miss. And a little pricey living out here in the boonies. What to do?

Well, I plant heirloom seeds in an Indoor Greenhouse Seed-Starting Setup. I have a large clear tub that I set in a south-facing window and plant my seeds. The clear tub holds the humidity and makes for a healthy environment for sprouting my little seeds. And my setup is cheap, y’all!

The plastic tub is reused every year, and I Repurpose Cardboard Tubes For Planting Pots.


And this year I received a *portable grow light for Christmas. So I’ll be able to plant healthier seedlings this year instead of the leggy ones I’ve struggled with in the past.

This year’s garden is gonna ROCK!

Everyday Frugality

Other frugal steps included cooking from scratch and utilizing all leftovers. I made a big pot of Cowboy Beef, Bean & Dark Beer Chili and we enjoyed it for supper as well as hot lunches for a couple of days.

And since I’d made homemade broth this week I also took some of it and made chicken noodle soup. What a cheap meal!

Gleaning the previously un-picked meat from the poultry bones provided the protein, then I added some of the broth, a handful of pasta, some dried herbs and a can of undrained peas & carrots (since I didn’t have any fresh). Lunch for a couple of days for us costing almost nothing!

I also used some Smoked Turkey from the freezer to make Chicken & Dumplings. It always makes a lot and provides plenty of leftovers. A night off from cooking for me? YES PLEASE!

And although it wasn’t specifically a frugal move for our personal budget, our son-in-law and grandson came to the Homestead to camp overnight by the pond and do a little wild-hog hunting.

We got to see them (which I loved) and they got to camp & hunt with nothing coming out of their pocket. So I’m still counting that as a frugal win for us as well!

What are your frugal wins this week??


*See The 5 Frugal Things Series HERE*

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2 thoughts on “5 Frugal Things – Food Preserving, Dog Grooming, Decluttering & MORE!

  1. MaryP

    It is really easy to make your own homemade bouillon out of that chicken stock. You just put it in a big pot and boil it until it reduces down greatly. A gallon reduces down to about 3 cups or so. You know it is done when it coats the back of a spoon. I pour it into a square casserole dish lined with parchment paper and let it cool completely in the refrigerator. It will set up like Jello. I then cut it into squares, spread them out and freeze, then put them all in a freezer safe container and keep them in the deep freeze. No need to thaw, just take out what you need and add hot water. They will keep safely in the refrigerator without freezing for at least a month. Takes up much less room!

    1. Texas Homesteader Post author

      I’ve never made bouillon before Mary, but you’ve given clear instructions that look very simple. Thanks for the tip, I may have to give that a try sometime. ~TxH~


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