Tag Archives: citrus vinegar

Budget, Week 3

February 23, 2013

Sooo, Week 3. (Week 1 & 2 are here and here). Husband is still on the juice fast, meaning more spent on veggies than normal.

I spent $110 this week at the grocery store and only went one time (though when hubby was in town, I did ask him to get some bananas). That would be great if I hadn’t gone over budget last week. With what I spent on groceries and medicine last week, I was only supposed to spend $15 on groceries this week. Ha! so, we’re still $95 over budget for the month. We’ll see how week 4 goes and at the end of the month, I will factor in gas and see where we are and see how I need to adjust the budget.

We used to spend $150/week on groceries and I was able to reduce our spending to $125/week in January. Maybe reducing it to $112/week in February was too much of a jump. idk. We’ll see at the end of the month.

My husband is LOVING the juice fast – he is continuing on into week 4 and will probably continue on into March – he says it gives him so much energy and clarity! Once the juice fast is over though, I think I will really be able to gauge how much we can/need to spend on groceries each week.

Some things I have done this week to keep from buying at the store are:

1. Made my own jelly.It is perfect! It made enough that we could not eat it all in a week (and we eat PB&Js almost every day) so I stuck one jar in the freezer & took it out at the end of the week. Perfect. Thick and only a Tbsp of honey. When we pick strawberries in the spring, I likely won’t be using any sweetener but this time I used blackberries we had in the freezer that someone gave us this summer and they were a bit tart so they needed something.

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2. I ran out of toilet bowl cleaner this week and dishwashing detergent. So, I used a scrub brush, baking soda, and my lemon vinegar to clean the toilets. It worked! I saved orange peels from a previous week so they are steeping right now for whenever the lemon vinegar is used up. I am going to look for borax the next time I go to the grocery store to look into making dishwashing detergent.

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3. With my husband juicing, we have A LOT of leftover pulp. At first I was throwing it away (ouch!).

I then saw a blog post about making your own chips by laying out the pulp on parchment paper and dehydrating it until crisp. no go. I may try again later but I did not like the taste (he drinks the mean green juice so that’s a bit too ‘earthy’ for chips).

I then realized when we make smoothies, we use kale so why not just use his pulp for our smoothies? We use it in various ways. We drink it, make it thick like yogurt (with granola on top), and use it as you would milk (not as thick as yogurt, not as thin as when you drink it – with cereal on top).

By doing this, I have had to buy more bananas but am not buying kale for our smoothies, not buying milk or yogurt (which we don’t eat anyway), and we are not wasting all of that great, fibrous pulp! Yay for getting more vitamins in the children, even in the winter!

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Our Go-to smoothie recipe:
Kale (however much you can stand – a handful, 2 cups full, test it out)
Water, juice, almond milk, whatever you prefer (we do a mix of some juice and mostly water)
bananas (we do two)
blueberries (two handfuls)
strawberries (one handful)
flaxseed (2 Tbsp milled)

This makes anywhere from 48-62oz of smoothie (depending on how thick you make it). As your tastebuds change and get used to the kale taste, add more! The more the better! Here is why we use kale over any other green.

We are using frozen blueberries from the store only because we already used up all of our frozen blueberries from our garden. We are still using frozen strawberries we picked last April so we’re not buying much more than bananas to make extra smoothies.

4. I looked into buying roasted peanuts to make our own peanut butter but it does not save $$ so we’ll stick to buying peanut butter, which contains only peanuts and less than 1% salt.

We’ll see how Week 4 goes. I am interested to see what the final numbers are. What are you doing to cut costs? What are you doing to add nutrition to your family’s diet? Do those two ever seem to be in conflict?


New Year, New Things (to try)

February 16, 2013

I’ve never been a ‘jump in with both feet’ kinda girl. I need to KNOW I can succeed before doing something. I need to watch things being done, do them with help a few times, do them with someone looking on, then maybe I will feel comfortable enough tackling said ‘things’ on my own. Fear of failure, anyone?

I’m also not one for New Years Resolutions. That being said, I have been doing A LOT of new things this year! Things I had to just DO, without watching someone do it first – I am very proud 😉

Brand new things I have done this year:

Made 30 cups of vegetable broth. I got the idea to keep a ziplock baggie in the freezer and whenever you cut veggies, put the scraps in there. Then, when it is full, make veggie stock. We put a hold on composting because of all of the rain this summer, our compost pile was turning into more of a mosquito-housing barrel…SO, I had extra veggie scraps lying around – worked out well! Easy peasy and FREE!!! Oh, and I am freezing these (learned about freezing in jars over at Chiot’s Run) so no extra time/energy spent on canning & I can use the lids again and again 🙂

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I am currently steeping lemon rinds in vinegar to use for cleaning in a couple of weeks. We used the lemons to juice (we are dabbling) and I do not allow myself to bake (no self control when it comes to sweets in the house) so we had no need for zest. I am so glad I found use for the whole lemon so as not to waste! Less chemicals is always good but again, practically FREE 🙂


I finally cleaned my oven! No, this is not new or exciting but it is the way I cleaned my oven…I have done the self-cleaning setting but it didn’t do a great job and I hear it is really hard on the life of the oven. I have tried the oven-cleaning spray, which could kill a horse! – No Thank You!

I saw on Pinterest that baking soda (sprinkled) and vinegar sprayed on it could work but not only was I skeptical, seeing how my oven has not been cleaned in…your guess is as good as mine…but the smell 😛 However, I had some time on my hands and (unusual) courage so I tried it…just plain ole’ vinegar too (not even w/lemons). I did mix the vinegar w/water. Just sprinkle baking soda, spritz vinegar/water, let soak, wipe – x2 for me (did I not mention exploding baked potatoes and what happens when you cook pumpkins straight on the rack/no pan underneath?). I truly do not remember the last time it looked like this! And I used the oven the next day for supper and NO vinegar smell (or burning potato/pumpkin smell, as before)! AWESOME!

(btw, I took pics of this but even though the oven is crazy clean compared to what it was before, I only have so much time to clean (5 kids and all) so it is not spotless – the pics do not do it justice…if i had before & after pics it would but…anywho…)

I am liking this – the trying of the new things! I realize not all of my ventures will likely be as successful but I am planning on continuing to ‘jump in’!

What new things have you tried this year?