Tag Archives: Frugality

Homestead Hack: Keeping Birds Off Railings

by Texas Homesteader ~

RancherMan & I love the wild birds.  We have a bird feeder out back that we keep filled so we can enjoy them all.  (be sure to check out my Bird-Feeding Homestead Hack where I share how we keep ’em fed on the CHEAP!)  There are always a wide variety of birds near our feeder and they nest nearby too, raising their young.  Oh how I love it all!

But as you know, recently RancherMan & I had a porch extension built.  We spend lots of time out there enjoying the birds and the scenery.  But ugh, the birds use the railings as their perch and there was always mounds of poop building up along the railings and on the built-in benches.  Until…

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Food Waste In America – What Do Those Food Dates Mean?

by Texas Homesteader ~

Did you know the U.S.D.A estimates 30% (I’ve even heard 40%) of the food in the United States is wasted?  Wow.  Shocking, right?  Now some of that waste happens right in the fields, problems with harvesting machinery & such.  Other waste may be a result of that produce being shaped or sized imperfectly.  Oftentimes a  store refuses to accept perfectly good but visually imperfect produce from farmers.  They want only perfection to sell to their customers.  (I absolutely hate this!)  And some waste can be attributed to such things as restaurants serving too much food, or even that apple being forgotten in the back of your fridge until it’s no longer appealing.

But often, food waste is a result of consumers being confused about product date labels. 

You may look at a box of mac-&-cheese and notice the date stamped on the box has passed.  But it can be confusing.  Use-by date, Sell-By Date, Best-By Date – what does it all mean???

Dates can be confusing, Use-by, Sell-By, Best-By - what does it all mean? Food waste in America is around 40%. Don't toss good food! #TexasHomesteader

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5 Frugal Things This Week To Save Money & The Environment

by Texas Homesteader ~

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As anyone who is self-employed can attest, being self employed requires a special money-management mindset.  Since leaving the corporate workplace, our work hours are longer and our pay is substantially smaller and not near as systematic. Make no mistake, money is tight at the Taylor Homestead!  But there’s no place I’d rather be and the benefits FAR outweigh any financial drawbacks.

Plus it’s easy to make adjustments.  We just look for tiny ways to save throughout our typical week.  Maybe you’re looking for easy, painless ways to save a few bucks too?  As an added bonus, many times those money-saving measures are good for the environment too.  Come see 5 frugal things we did this week to save money.

Come see the 5 Frugal Things we did this week to save money and the environment. It's easy to think outside the box & save some cash! #TexasHomesteader

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How To Make Cottage Cheese With Lightly-Soured Milk

by Texas Homesteader ~

I love milk so I always have some in my fridge.  But sometimes travel or just the busyness of our lives means that milk sits in the fridge long enough that it’s not flavorful to drink anymore.  It’s become lightly soured.

Now I’m not talking about SPOILED milk here. I’m just speaking of milk a little too close to (or even just past) the date on the carton. That’s when the flavor starts to change somewhat.  In the past although I hated to throw it away, I’d sigh and pour it down the drain.  What a waste!  Then I thought for a moment – you can use lightly soured milk for making biscuits, sandwich bread or pancakes. I wonder if there’s another way to use it.  I know, I’ll make cottage cheese!  Oh man, it’s so easy…

I often use lightly-soured milk to make my own delicious cottage cheese. This reduces our food waste and provides delicious food. #TexasHomesteader

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How To Get Cute Gingham Cloth Napkins for $1

by Texas Homesteader ~

I’ve always used cloth napkins.  I mean, why not?  They can even make a meager meal feel decadent!  It’s a smart financial as well as environmental move for me.  There’s no disposable plastic-wrapped paper napkins for me to buy over & over again & throw away! I’ve got cloth napkins that are over 20 years old.  They still look great & are serving their purpose quite nicely.

Recently I wanted some red/white gingham napkins.  But y’all know how much I hate to get rid of this whatsit to buy that whatsit.  It just seems like an environmental waste to me.  But I REALLY wanted those cheery red & white napkins!

I wanted cute red & white gingham cloth napkins. A small tablecloth and a few minutes at my sewing machine was all it took. #TexasHomesteader

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Landscaping An Outdoor Oasis On The Cheap

by Texas Homesteader ~
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RancherMan & I spend lots of time outside.  Not only for our work here on the homestead, but for pleasure too.  And we love the view from our back porch.  Recently I wrote about expanding that back porch to include an Outdoor Living room – be sure to check that out.

But now that the porch addition has been installed I need to landscape it into the peaceful oasis I’ve got my heart set on.  But I need to landscape it on the cheap, y’all.  It was surprisingly easy to do.  Come see!

Terracotta plant watering spike. We needed to landscape our porch area. But soil and plants are expensive! Come see how I landscaped it beautifully on the cheap. #TexasHomesteader

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Do You Get What You Pay For, Or Pay Extra For Nothing?

by Texas Homesteader ~

RancherMan & I have been talking about the true costs of staying with a company or product – not because it’s the best fit or best financial decision, but solely because they’re in our comfort zone. Thankfully we are both in agreement.  Part of the reason we can both live & work right here in our NE Texas paradise is because we both make sure our money is always spent wisely.

We know just going the cheapest route is seldom a good idea.  Sure, you may initially save a few bucks. But if the product isn’t of high enough quality to give you satisfactory performance, it’s really not that good of a deal is it?  It’s true you oftentimes get what you pay for.

BUT, (and this is important) it’s also oftentimes true that by being complacent you could very well be paying much more for a brand name or just to stay in your comfort zone, but NOT for a product or service that is the virtually the same elsewhere for significantly less.

Money To Burn? Don't get stuck paying much more than you should! Don't go with the status quo because that's the way it's always been. A little research can pay off BIGTIME! #TexasHomesteader
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Healthy, Cold, Sweet Treat ‘Ice Cream’ Using Bananas & Fruit

by Texas Homesteader ~

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It’s hot, hot HOT out there, y’all! I mean hot as in temps at 100 degrees or HIGHER several times this week.  WHEW! Here in NE Texas it seems we went from winter to summer with nary a mild spring day between!  So I’m focusing these days on cooler foods and cold desserts.  But I wanna keep it healthy too.  RancherMan loves, loves, LOVES ice cream, especially when it’s this hot outside.  But it’s just not healthy to indulge in such a high-fat treat too often.

I’ve written before about making a mock fat-free ice cream using frozen bananas and pudding mix.  The pudding makes the ice cream more creamy and less icy.  But I was looking for something even a little healthier.  So I started making our ‘ice cream’ using the frozen bananas for the sweetness and frozen fruit for an extra punch of flavor.

Now that it's hot outside I whip up a frozen sweet treat. It's like healthier ice cream using frozen bananas and berries. Delicious, cheap and healthy. #TexasHomesteader

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Homestead Hack: Propping Tender Seedlings

by Texas Homesteader ~

It seems vegetable-gardening planting is finally going on all over the US now.  Aaaaaahhhhh the veggie garden – how I love it.  Here in NE Texas (zone 8) I typically plant heirloom seeds in my ‘Indoor Greenhouse’ in February and transplant those heirloom seedlings into my garden after the danger of frost is done.

But this year I had a naughty bull jump our garden fence & decimate all of the tender seedlings.  I had to start over.  I did replant many of my heirloom seeds but I ended up buying a jalapeno plant.  It was so small that the winds were pretty rough on it.  So I needed to find a way to protect it from the wind. (and free-range chickens) Use Whatcha Got, y’all!

I needed a way for propping tender seedlings to protect them from the wind. You know my battle cry: "Use Whatcha Got!" Come see this Homestead Hack #TexasHomesteader

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Solar Cooking: Hard-Boiled Eggs In The Solar Oven

by Texas Homesteader ~

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I love my solar oven.  I’ve said it time & time again, I hate to fire up my electric oven during the heat & humidity of our Texas summers.  Not only does it cost fuel for the stove to operate, but boiling eggs adds even more heat inside our home.  That requires our air conditioning to work overtime cooling it back down, therefore costing even more money.

Several years ago I bought a solar oven and I absolutely love it!  What a great item in your Emergency Preparedness toolbox! Then at a Mother Earth News Fair I attended a few years ago, a solar-cooking seminar presenter told us how easy it was to cook ‘hard-boiled’ whole eggs in the solar oven without even using water.  Color me intrigued!

Solar-Cooking Eggs. I'm hearing that you can BAKE your eggs instead of boiling them. I decided to give it a try in my solar oven. Check it out. #TexasHomesteader

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