On my journey to becoming more natural, green, and frugal I do alot of reading. There are many blogs out there dedicated to just this.
Like anything there are extreme's that I've found with each person's journey. I'm not ready for raw milk, , making fermented foods or making my own sanitary pads... yet.
Some, like me, have just begun to find out what it's like to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle; read We Are THAT Family post on The Difference Between Thrifty and Frugal and laugh out loud with me at all her Green Acres posts.
While other's have lived the natural way their whole lives like Gina over at Home Joys. Be sure to have a look at her recipes and "Reader's Share" sections. I've tried many of her recipes and blogged about them. Her gardening tips are especially inspiring to me as it's a great start for beginners because she explains everything in detail, by month and includes lots of photos.
I'm also enjoying reading the "Baby Steps" that Organic and Thrifty recommends to changing over to a more natural lifestyle. #1 Baby Steps for Transforming to a Real Foods Diet, #2 Make Peace with your Kitchen, #3 Saving Money by Meal Planning.
Over at Biblical Homemaking her Frugality section is so full of tips that it'll take me a month to read them all! Keeper of the Home has even published an ebook with all she's discovered "Healthy Homemaking: One Step At A Time".
One blog that I found today was a "Whoo-Hoo!" moment for me. The Prudent Homemaker amazes me. She's dedicated her site to living and eating frugally and has given step-by-step instructions and pictures for everything including canning, seasonal recipes, stocking your pantry, sewing, gardening, and more! I am in awe of what this woman has accomplished for her family. She is my inspiration and I dream of one day having a food supply like her.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping and wondered through the store not knowing anymore what to buy. I wanted to make healthful choices, buy food without too much preservatives or packaging, and hopefully buy something local. I was stuck and just walked around the store realizing I couldn't buy hardly anything there! On the bright side, I only spent $95.00 which is amazing to me. See photo of my purchases below.
I'm also beginning to turn away from coupons - gasp! - as I've found they are mostly for junk items that I don't want to buy anyway. I save the coupons for general merchandise but I can see this will change soon too.
Mostly all my produce, besides banannas and grapes which our family loves, comes from farmer's market's and road-side produce stands. I cooked eggplant for the first time in my life just this week!
I'm currently reading these books that I got from our local library. There's so many good guides, recipes and tips within these. I just scan the shelves and pick-out whatever catches my eye.
The Art of Pennsylvania Dutch Cooking by Edna Eby Heller
Back to Basics: How to Learn & Enjoy Traditional American Skills by Reader's Digest
Make Your Own Groceries by Daphne Metaxas Hartwig
This week I made my first successful bread in our breadmaker (purchased for $4.00 from our local thrift store), am making fruit leather's in our new food dedydrator (purchased for $20 from Craig's List), sent daughter to school with homemade waste-free lunches everyday, and have served up lots of fresh local produce for dinner. Whew!
Oh dear.. I fear this is going to be a very long journey but a worthwhile one. With blogs like The Prudent Homemaker, the oodles of books on the subject and more to guide me, what excuse do I have not to? I'm still trying to convince my hubby to buy half a (grain fed) cow and to sign-up for a pig butcher without much success.
In the end I know I'm doing the best I can, with the knowledge I have gained, in the hopes that my family's health and budget will have the best benefits of all. One step at a time, with a balanced approach.
How about you?