Day 22: Tips That Are Guaranteed To Save You Money!

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                              “You cannot bring about prosperity

                                         by discouraging thrift.

                                 You cannot establish sound security

                                       on borrowed money.

                                 You cannot keep out of trouble

                           by spending more than you earn.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Love that quote! So sad, second to last day of our 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge. I know many of you want to keep the facebook group going and that is totally fine with me. I may change the name but there are now so many resources on it for us to keep and share and pin and print out and HOPEFULLY do!

I thought I would compile a list of money saving tips that I have gotten from various blogs and from YOU, the readers!

1. DIY – because that is what we are all striving for. Do what you can for yourself and your family. Many things can be handmade, homemade or created by you. If not find a friend that has a hobby that you don’t and barter. Win,win for all!

2. Don’t Shop – stay home as much as possible, you will enjoy your life better and keep money in your pocket. If you can’t go out, you can’t really spend or I should say impulse spend. If you still are addicted to shopping stay off Amazon – :)

3. LIST – Keep a list going of things you are about to run out of on the refrigerator – this way when you do go to the store, you can get it instead of waiting until the last minute and hopefully you will have a coupon for it. While we are on that subject, if you don’t already – train the whole family to write on the list anything that is finished and in need like using the last of the toothpaste or the last of the mayo.

4. The 30 Day List – remember that one? Did any of you put something on it this month? Do you still NEED or WANT it?

5. Buy Used whenever possible or if you must buy new, appliances or computers, definitely put it on the 30 Day List and shop around until you have the absolute best price you can get. Sometimes waiting just a few weeks results in a super deal.

6. Put the debit card and credit cards away! Use cash or if you must – get a reloadable card and put small amounts on them. When you are done, you are done. You will be less likely to spend $100 when all you have is $50 in cash.

7. Stay Healthy! This will definitely save you the big bucks in the long run. Eat good, healthy, local, organic if possible, exercise and lead a stress free life. OK so no one is going to be completely stress-free but realistically you can alleviate some of the stress in your life and enjoy it more.

8. Eat those leftovers! Many of you have posted that one.

9. Barter and Share 

10. Visit flylady for some helpful time saving household tips – saving time saves you money!

11. Have a budget and try your best to stick to it. Slip ups are normal, no one is perfect.

12. Clean out the closets! Clean, give away and sell – make some cash!

13. Make Gifts – and that kind of fits in with #1 but making gifts is more personal and saves bucks. Have a party or a class and make gifts together – way more fun! I actually have a class here once a year before Christmas and I get all the supplies to make Herbal Gifts. Last year was incredibly fun.

14. Rent instead of buying. I have done this for textbooks and for electronic. I don’t always need a camcorder but when I do, I go rent one for about $15 for the week.

15. Cook from Scratch

16. Take care of all of your possessions. Maintain cars, house filters, ac units, fences etc… The more you take care of stuff, the longer it lasts. The longer it lasts, the less you have to replace.

17. Save on utilities. We talked a bit about this one. Did anyone lower one of their bills this month? I was more observant with lights, ac, stove, dryer usage. We will see when the bill comes in!!!

18. Read from the library or online instead of buying books or magazines. Oh I forgot to tell you, the other day I had an impulse buy and bought a magazine for $5.99 – yikes!!!!

19. Stay Home – Using the car less means using less gas. If you absolutely need something from the store ask someone else to bring it to you on the way home or do without until you go out the next day.

20. Go for a walk. Now why would that save you money? Well because sometimes I get my best ideas when I go for a walk and I may create a new herbal product or bread recipe or think about some other way to make or save money.

21. Find a buddy to be frugal with. Or better yet, find a bunch of buddies!! ;) With frugal friends you will never find yourself ordering a Starbuck’s coffee, go shopping at the mall AND eat lunch at PF Changs. (Shuddering)

22. Find a better bank – one that actually pays interest on your money. If not then invest in something with a better return.

23. Join Walmart’s Saving Catcher – I am not a fan of Walmart either but this is a good one according to one of the readers. If you join and purchase something from Walmart then find a less expensive price, you scan the receipt and the ad for the other store and they put money in your account for later. Sounds wonderful, especially for sale shoppers!!

So there you go, 23 savings tips for our 23 Day Challenge!

Don’t forget if you are on our facebook group you must comment in the thread from yesterday about converting your husband. It can be any comment even one word just so you are entered in the drawing for the prize box at the end of the week. Sorry no new folks please, just the 87 that are on the challenge page. :)

Now it is Your Turn – What is your favorite money saving tip, even if you have said it before AND which tip would you like to implement now?

Have a fabulous day people!

Anne-Marie

 

 

Day 21: Converting The Spouse

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“Patience gives your spouse permission to be human. It understands that everyone fails. When a mistake is made, it chooses to give them more time that they deserve to correct it. It gives you the ability to hold on during the rough times in your relationship rather than bailing out under the pressure.” ~ Stephen Kendrick

As I am writing this, I think about the 1st day or a day prior to starting when I wrote about the guy that MADE his wife only use two squares of toilet paper and it just made me laugh again!!! That was cheap, cheap, cheap! We are not going to talk about converting the spouse to be like that nor will WE be like that.

I am the frugal one in the family. I rinse, reuse, recycle practically everything. The hubby recycles because he knows how I feel about it and since we have to drive our trash to the dump off place anyway, it really is not a big deal to separate all the trash and put each in its respective bin. My child on the other hand tells me that when he moves into his own place, he will use paper plates as much as he wants and NOT recycle – sigh…..he says that now because he has to help dear hubby on trash days. We all say things as teenagers that don’t agree with the parents sooooo maybe he will change his mind later on in life. :)

Back to the hubby, he is fabulous at using whatever materials we have laying around to fix or create something rather than go to Home Depot. He made an entire chicken house out of leftover stuff that we save in a pile on the side of the house. Although repairing my wood board fence as many times as we have, I kinda think we need to go buy some boards soon. Some have been patched, nailed together, extra pieces of wood on the fence posts so the boards will reach – hee, hee, hee well it works! If I ever move, my next house will have a fence that cannot be messed with by the horses!

Now when it comes to food, my family are definitely foodies. They LOVE good food, expect dessert every night and don’t like repeats of meals too often which creates a budget and menu higher than I care to spend. While I do get my food budget lower than in the past and make just about everything from scratch – we still buy candy, soda(only for hubby), beer, wine, ice cream, steaks, seafood – well you get the picture. My family will absolutely NOT eat beans other than green beans and the closest I can get to vegetarian meals once or twice a week is pasta with marinara sauce. Pretty sad huh? No biggie, it actually works. What steps have you taken to convert your family into a more frugal lifestyle?

Electric is another waster that the guys need to cut back on. They keep the tv, computer and radio on ALL THE TIME!!!! UUggggghhh. On a positive note, the guys do know I only buy clothes and shoes on sale or anything else we need. No full price. If it is not on sale, we don’t get it. Period.

Read these words of encouragement from Andrea B. at Frugally Sustainable. I know this post is longer than most but hang in there folks!

“[T]hroughout the course of our Challenge I have heard from so many of you who are claiming dramatic changes in thinking and behavior. You are learning to live and love frugality — yet many of you have expressed concern regarding your spouse. Today, the 21st day of our 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge, I’d like to speak a word of encouragement to those of you struggling to covert your spouse from wasteful spenders to frugal champions.

Many of us understand the societal pressures that comes when attempting to live frugally — but the ultimate discouragement comes into play when we struggle to covert a spouse that is resistant to any change in thinking. When I asked on Facebook for you to list your biggest obstacles to frugal living — whether or not you were joking or serious — most of you commented and said your biggest obstacle was…”my spouse”

The problem.

Here’s the hard cold truth: You cannot change your spouse (And if you’ve been in a relationship for any length of time you know this! But it’s still worth repeating.).

Any lasting change can only come from within and the individual must be willing to make the change on their own terms.

I know this sounds like such a downer, but I’m here to encourage you and say, never give up hope! If you are to have any success in converting your spouse over to the frugality side of the fence, you must first understand a few things about wasteful spenders:

  1. They were never taught the concepts of money management. Unfortunately, the ability to manage our money is not innate…we have to be taught these things…and if we’re never taught we, by default, start to pick up bad habits.
  2. Therefore, wasteful spenders do not fully understand the concept of money.
  3. They aren’t able to make the distinction between happiness and money.
  4. They don’t understand the freedom that comes from proper money management and enjoying what they have.
  5. Any confrontation of, or challenge to, their spending habits is seen as punishment and only pushes them toward more wasteful spending.

What are we to do?

In love, we persist. Never give up! Here are a few suggestions to guide you along the process of converting your spouse:

Spearhead the conversation.
There never seems to be a good time to talk about money, but right in the middle of an argument is probably not the best time to bring it up (just sayin’). Always try to spearhead the frugal living conversation when your spouse is stress-free, or at least in a good mood. You may even want to set up a specific time to sit down and talk about it.

Gather the Stats.
Come to the conversation with your numbers clearly listed. Use whatever visual tools (charts, graphs, spreadsheets, etc.) necessary to communicate the flow of money in and out of the bank account. In order for this to be effective you have to take the lead role and begin now tracking your spending habits. There are several really excellent tools out thereready to help keep you organized.

Never name call, accuse, or blame.
In the heat of the moment I know it’s difficult to stay calm, but it’s vital that you find a way to stick to the facts. Name calling, accusations, and blaming will shut down your conversation and render any future discussions on the topic useless. Resist the temptation to inject your “feelings” about the matter and simply relay the facts. It’s hard to argue with the facts.

Set goals.
Together come to an agreement on financial goals. Sometimes when we talk about money – especially this day and age of plastic — it seems like some theoretical concept. We generally have a hard time visualizing it. This is why goal setting is vital to our financial victory and vital in converting a wasteful spender. Be specific! Agree on the time frame in which the goal will be reached. And find a way to keep the goal at the forefront of you thoughts.

Baby-steps.
Zero to sixty is just not a realistic financial strategy. Establish a list of small changes that you can recommend to your spouse and begin slowly implementing them one at a time. For example, suggest using the 30-day list for large purchases. Commit to it for a 2-3 months and see how it goes. If he/she embraces it, move on to something else. Here’s another one…does your spouse hate to take leftovers to work? Why don’t you suggest he/she choose only one day a week to brown bag it. Baby-steps!

Allow for an allowance
Okay…I know it sounds silly to allow an adult to have “an allowance” but here me out on this:) Just this one tip makes all the difference for me and my husband. This type of discretionary spending is a pre-set amount of money – whatever amount fits into your budget — that can be spent without criticism from either party. It’s great! No questions asked, just a little fun money:)

Direct them to the Challenge.
Gently recommend that your spouse read through the posts of the 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge:) And conveniently leave other books on the topic laying around the house (i.e.The Complete Tightwad Gazette and Your Money or Your Life)

Learn the prayer of serenity.
“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” Memorize it!

Be patient.
Neither my husband nor I were raised to live frugally — we have learned are learning to live it slowly over time. Sometimes he does better than me and vice versa. Try not to push your spouse too hard, it only leads to resentment and bitterness. Respect their attempts at frugal living and understand that changes in behavior come as a result of changes in thinking and desire.”

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal: Talk with your spouse and set a date to discuss your financial concerns, goals, and changes you’d like to implement.

Have a super fabulous day today!

Anne-Marie

 

Day 20: Time Management and Time Wasters

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Today I want to discuss with you – TIME. We all have it, we all waste it, what do you do with it? It is productive most of the time or can you do better with your time management?

After reading a blog from The Simple Dollar, I found a couple of things that peaked my interest for this morning. Time Management stood out to me because I find myself constantly looking for something in the house, for that piece of paper I wrote on, for a book that was misplaced, for a recipe – I can’t remember which book it was in…you get the picture. Yeah as I get older, I can no longer keep every little tidbit of information in the back of my brain! :D So I use notebooks for many thoughts, ideas, tasks and notes in general. Notebooks this time of year cost like 10 cents – go get a dozen!!!

I have one labeled for each group I may belong to – Bella Vista Farm,  Herbal Class, Ladies Homestead Gathering, the 23 Day group and then one for Mountain Rose Herbs – orders and such, Recipes, Ideas and now I will keep one in my purse – a tiny one. So when I leave to go to the store I can write a list inside it instead of forgetting the list on the table – uuggghhh. It is not often I do that but it inevitably results in a forgotten item which in turn results in a return trip to the store and wasted gas.

The best time management tip I can give is to make lists – make list of EVERYTHING that needs to get done for the week and then prioritize what needs to be done first and cross off as each task gets done. This makes me feel wonderful!!

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Here’s another blog with time management tips.

Of course purging stuff in the house and reorganizing should help with the said lost items I am looking for. How many of you put a piece of paper in a book or somewhere – “for safe keeping” that you swear you will remember where you put it – hahaha! So in the challenge if you have not yet done the purging of unwanted and un-needed items, NOW is the time to do it! Go get a couple boxes worth of stuff to either sell or donate asap. You will feel incredibly lighter and more organized. I started to do it and have two bags/boxes in the garage – that is as far as I got. MUST finish- there is still the basement and the attic.

I really am organized for the most part – I keep a schedule of what I am doing for the week and most things get crossed off the list. Dinner is always on the table by 6:15pm, I am always up by 5:45-6am.

What is your schedule like for the day and where do you find you waste your time? What can you do better? What tips can you give others?

Earlier I mentioned The Simple Dollar – head on over there and read the following- it fits right into our challenge.

Little Steps:100 Great Tips For Saving Money

Now It Is Your Turn:

What is your schedule like for the day and where do you find you waste your time? What can you do better? What tips can you give others?

Enjoy!

Anne-Marie

Day 19: Living The Good Life, No Matter What The Checkbook Says

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                        “If you have a garden and a library,
you have everything you need.” – Cicero

We are in the last few days of our 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge so by now I’ll bet you all can breathe a little easier after what you have been learning and hopefully practicing. Remember it is not about doing without, it is about enjoying and accepting what you DO have. :) Enjoy the following post on “Living The Good Life, No Matter What The Checkbook Says”.

“There are so many families that are currently struggling daily to keep their heads above water…they have lost their jobs, they have lost their homes, and they’re earning much less than they are acustom to. Yet some of these same people are raising their children with deeply-rooted values, enjoying an intimate relationship with their spouse, and finding joy in all things – despite the difficulties they’re experiencing.

It proves that you can live on a tight tight budget, find happiness, and experience the good life all at the same time!

How to live the good life no matter what the checkbook says.

Living the good life has everything to do with quality over quantity and people over possessions. It has very little to do with how much money you have.

Given that assumption, here are a few suggestions to help us prioritize those things that truly matter – no matter what the checkbook says.

1. Develop your passions. Money and consumerism dampens our creativity and puts the fire out on our passions. When we learn to appreciate who we are, and what we have, our passions have the ability to reignite. You already possess everything you need to live the good life – it’s time you embrace who you are and what you love.

The whole world is at your fingertips! :)

The whole world is at your fingertips! :)

2. Learn a new skill. Developing our passions may mean we have to learn a new skill — or refine old ones. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we need a formal higher education! That’s right…contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to spend thousands and thousands of dollars obtaining a degree in order to live the good life. Read! Read everything you can get your hands on that talks about the things you are interested in. On top of reading, there are several excellent ways to learn a new skill that won’t cost you a penny: ***On this subject from AM – I have apprenticed or bartered for almost all of my skills including nail technician, riding instructor, herbalist, seed saver, chef, etc… Network with the Ladies Homestead Gathering for many opportunities to learn***

3. Invest in people. For most of my adult life, this has been my motto. If ever in doubt…invest in people. The people that matter don’t care about your money, they care about you and want you. Living the good life involves sharing it with others and when we prioritize and invest in people we always get a return on our investment.

4. Volunteer you time. Voluteering your time to help those who are less fortunate than you is a big piece to the ‘good life’ puzzle. I don’t care who you are, or how little you have, there’s always someone who has less. There’s always someone worse off. I use to think to myself, “I can’t wait until I’m out of debt ’cause then I can give more.” Then I realized I can give more now — I can give my time at the shelter, I can give my time to homeschooling my children, and I can give my time teaching my neighbor how to start a garden — and when I give my time, I feel fulfilled.

5. Enjoy nature. I think that a lot of people think that traveling, leisure, and vacationing have to be some big thing, like going to Europe or the Caribbean, but it really doesn’t have to be. You know what we do? We go out into nature — camp, hike, take a walk on the beach — you don’t have to go far in order to experience a different a different way of life. Growing up we hardly ever spent the night in a hotel, and I never even traveled internationally until high school (and that was only to Mexico). Nonetheless, I still feel like a well-traveled individual, primarily because of the love for nature that my Dad and Mom instilled into me.

6. Health is wealth. And prevention is key! Take care of your body, mind, and soul. Eat a healthy diet, reduce stress, and nurture your spirit. Nothing has the ability to destroy the good life — and our financial stability – like a chronic illness. And who’s to say, illness may come in spite of all the “right” things that we do. Yet, all things point to a better quality of life when we take care of ourselves. And as we’ve discussed before, eating simple, healthy, in-season foods doesn’t have to expensive and living frugally often leads to less stress.

7. Stay home. Stop shopping, stop running from hear to there, stop thinking that you have to take some extravagant vacation, all to experience the good life. Why don’t you stay home for a change. Enjoy the home that you work so hard to pay for. Cook from scratch at home…instead of eating out. Workout at home…instead of going to the gym. Relax at home…instead of going to some fancy hotel.

Our happiness and contentment in this life is dependent only on our ability to enjoy what we have. The good life is waiting…” Andrea B. – Frugally Sustainable

From AM – Also here are some helpful links for sites and books that are free or inexpensive for learning a new skill:

Free Courses – learn just about anything at Coursera!

Open Courseware FREE at MIT

Botany Everyday free class

Greenhorns Book

Greenhorn Video – a film about a young farmers’ entrepreneurial spirit! Cheap to rent.
The Greenhorns

Free Kindle Book for junior entreprenuers

Learn How to Farm book free

How To Raise Alpacas – 99 cents

Breadmaking how to videos

 

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal: What small step can you take today that will lead you closer toward the good life?

 

Have a great day today!

Anne-Marie

*Affiliate links – I do post affiliate links on my page for your convenience and do receive a small commission if a purchase is made from the link at no cost to you. Thank you for visiting our affiliates. :)

Day 18: How To Stick To A Budget

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Budgets. Jody Allen said it well with ” Think of budgets as a diet for your money. Just like diets, budgets can be tough to stick to. ” That hits the nail on the head!

How many of you stick to your weekly or monthly budget? Do you allot so much for food, so much for entertainment, gas, etc? Do you keep it all in the checkbook or do you use the envelope system? Hmm… lots of questions for you to ponder. Budgets keep you on track for the month and while I do not do it whole-heartedly, the envelope system works the best. I have not taking Dave Ramsey’s course – Financial Peace but have had friends explain it to me. Basically for the envelope system alone, you label envelopes with different categories that pertain to your lifestyle and each week or month, depending on how you get paid, you withdraw your cash from your bank and allot different amounts into each category. When you have spent the money in that particular envelope, it is gone you cannot take from another envelope to use it for a different reason.

That envelope system did help me to save for tires, a trip to see my Gram and Herbal classes. By keeping it in the bank, it gets lost among the fixed bills like electric, phone, mortgage, you get the picture. With your budget the way it is now, I hope this far into the challenge you do have some sort of budget, can you start to put a few dollars away, whatever is most comfortable – for something special or for a rainy day? Early in the challenge, actually a day or two prior to Day 1,  I asked you all to make a 23 Day Frugal Living money box - did you do it? If so you have been adding to it every time you saved on purchasing or NOT purchasing an item?

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Here is a guest post from FG with Jody Allen of Stay At Home Mum – enjoy!

“Write it Down!
To be accountable for your spending, first you need to know where it’s going – in plain black and white!  That means sitting down with pen and paper or using a spreadsheet to find our your financial position.  Think of it like a food diary – you write down what you eat to see where your going wrong – this is exactly the same thing.  Be brutally honest.  If your not sure – keep every receipt for a fortnight and log them into your budget – you will soon see where that money is going – and once you know where it is going – you can work on how to reduce it ie ‘cutting the fat’.

Set up the following categories:

  • Rent/Mortgage Repayments
  • Utilities (Electricity, gas, water)
  • Phone, Mobile and Internet Expenses
  • Insurance (House, Health, Life, Car etc)
  • Car, Transportation and Tickets
  • Food and Clothing
  • Medical
  • Entertainment
  • Other (debts, gym memberships etc)
  • SAVINGS!!!!

Savings are very important.  You would have heard of ‘Paying yourself first’ – so true.  But decide on the amount after you have completed your budget!  Put that money in a separate account that has a good interest rate!

Work Towards a Goal!
If you have never lived by a budget before – this is the easiest way for you to start – have something to work towards.  Now it can even be a frivolous thing such as a holiday – but what you will learn on the way will be invaluable. Work out how many weeks you have to pay for your holiday – and work it into your budget.  If not a holiday – make it something you really really want – it’s the disciplined saving that you will learn along the way!

Treat Yourself Every So Often!
So you’ve been sticking to your budget for say two whole weeks without a single slip up – schedule yourself a treat.  Now don’t let that treat spoil the entire point of saving – make it something small but something you like.  A night at the movies or a lovely take-out lunch. Something you can really enjoy that won’t break the bank.  By rewarding yourself every so often, it will be easier to stay on the ‘financial diet’.

 Make Your Budget Workable!
Be strict on yourself, but not so strict you can’t possibly live or really ‘resent’ the budget.  Make it work to fit your lifestyle.  Most financial institutions now have a free financial advice service – use it!  Or if you have a financially savvy friend that you trust with your financial situation – let them look over your budget and help you out.  In fact seek our friends or family that are great with money – and find out what makes them tick.  Most people love to talk finance and it’s great to learn from someone that has done it first hand!

Of course living frugally and simply will help your bank account grow faster!  “

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
Make a budget. Here some additional resources to assist you:

Let me know where you are it in this one and if I can help at all.

Have a beautiful day today!

Anne-Marie

Day 17: All About Sharing Recipes

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Sunday is a day of rest for most of us so I don’t want to give you a big challenge for the day. Day 17 is all about sharing recipes. So head on over to the facebook group – 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge and upload some of your favorite recipes and label in the following categories:

1. Best Disguised Leftover Recipe

2. Herbal Remedy

3. Frugal Dessert

4. Preserving Recipe

5. Tips for grocery shopping

6. Tips for gardening

7. Pet Treat Recipe

8. Beauty Care Recipe

9. Homemade Mixes/Dressings

10. Drink Recipe

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Cheesy Chicken and Mashed Cauliflower

Please participate in this one with at least one recipe. If each person would do this we would have an amazing resource to share at the end of the challenge. :)

Have a beautiful Sunday!

Anne-Marie

 

Day 16: How Wild Foraging Can Lower The Cost Of Groceries

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I changed topics last minute because we are far enough into this to know we are trying to be more frugal and know we need to cut back but how about some ideas you may never thought about?

Do any of you forage for fruits, nuts and mushrooms? Free food abounds! Seriously you can feed the state of Georgia alone with Kudzu – we got enough of it!!

Last year I was able to harvest lots of chanterelles due to the rain which saved on my mushroom budget at the store in addition to the shiitakes that I grow.

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Just on my property alone I have harvested:

mushrooms

blackberries

dew berries

muscadines – massive amount

morels(rare find)

wild cherries

wild garlic & onion

dandelions

lamb’s quarters

peppergrass/pepperweed

chickweed

sorrel

red sumac berries

violets

Kudzu leaves and flowers

This year I am going to tackle the acorns and hickory nuts.

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If you are saying, “yeah but I live in an apartment or a subdivision!”, you can find some local areas to forage. Old homesteads that are for sale in the area(ask the realtor if you can look around the property or find the owner). Many owners, especially the older generation, would love for you to come pick fruit off the trees rather than let them go to waste and rot on the ground, what the animals don’t eat at least. Offer a small gift of a jar of jelly or a baked goodie as a thank you although they may not take it, what it might do is allow you to come back again. ;)

State Parks don’t officially allow you to harvest anything but sometimes if you ask the ranger what fruit trees and bushes are in the park, they will let you pick a small basket.

Ask friends! There are some folks that need help with their farm and would be happy to share extras with you in exchange for a bit of work OR host a Pruning Work Day – all those that helped to come back and pick when the trees are busting with fruit.

Ask at the farmers markets – go to your favorite farmer and ask one if he needs a few hours help or if he allows gleaning at the end of the season. To glean is to go back through the crops after the farmer has picked all that he cares to. Farmer Brown gets tired out squash coming out his ears at some point and stops looks for those beauties.

Important – always ask permission if it is private land even if it has a house that is empty, the owners may enjoy going back to pick themselves and don’t like to find that people have already been there without asking.

Visit www.fallingfruit.org 

Visit Greene Dean’s site – Eat The Weeds, it is incredible resource with edible plant profiles and recipes. Yay!

For those that may not have the opportunity to go forage -

Go to your local fruit stands and ask if they have any bruised or damaged produce that you can feed your goats, chickens, cows etc… Save money on animal feed but you will find some of the produce is JUST FINE for you too!

Visit some of the smaller grocery stores, while in Georgia they can not give you free produce they can mark it down substantially. Quality Foods is one and I have found good discounted fruit and veggies but you need to look carefully at what they are offering. Don’t be afraid to ask if they would discount it more if you took the whole lot!

 

Foraging Checklist

Before you set out to gather, be mindful of these few points:

  • Learn your plants. Prior to harvesting, it’s vital that you learn the difference between healthy and harmful plants and herbs.
  • Location, location, location. You never want to eat things that are harvested along roadsides, waste lands, near polluted streams, or close to conventional farmlands. This is another reason why I love foraging on old homesteads – they are usually far off the beaten path.
  • Know when to go. A general knowledge of when seasonal foods are ready to harvest is good to have. But if you’re new to the whole thing…go outdoors often. Start to observe and journal your findings. Soon you’ll learn what, when, and where to gather.
  • Take only enough. Glean only what you know your family will use and leave those plants that are endangered.
  • Get permission. We have only ever foraged on public lands. So if you are looking elsewhere…be sure you have permission before you harvest from someone’s personal property.

Reading up on the topic will surely help to build your confidence. The more you know…the more you save! Here are some great books:

 

-Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
-The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants
A Field Guide to Edible Plants (Peterson Field Guides)

Begin now – and through the start of fall – looking for old homesteads, abandoned home sites, and safe urban areas in which to harvest.

By harvesting the wild produce in our local areas, we will surely add variety to our diets while freeing up money in our budgets. Not only will it help our budgets, if you sell jams and jelly – you will MAKE money! :)

Now it’s your turn -

I will give you the weekend to do this goal. What can you forage for over the next few days and what will you do with it? How did it help your budget?

Comment here for me and head on over to the facebook group – 23 Day Frugal Living Challenge and let me know what your goal is!

Have fun,

Anne-Marie

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