I feel like I haven’t been writing much lately, I guess I just need to shoot out a post! So how about a 5 Frugal Things post?

1. We bought school supplies and some clothes during our tax-free weekend! It was a super easy way to save some money.


2. You know how I’m trying to get practice canning? Now I’ve done pickles by myself twice and the other night I canned 7 jars (1/2 pint) of jalapenos. I have broken 2 jars in the 3 canning sessions I’ve done. :( I’m thinking I need to invest in some tongs, instead of my make-shift ladle/noodle spoon  I use to get the jars out, maybe that’s why my cans are breaking.

3. While I’m learning that canning is awesome, I know freezing can be a little quicker, so I froze some jalapenos and banana peppers. I’ve never frozen raw peppers, but I’m assuming they’ll taste best cooked in something. Any great recipes for cooked banana peppers?

4. I made a double batch of chocolate zucchini bread with a ginormous zucchini, and it didn’t even use up the whole thing! I ended up with 2 large loaves of luscious bread and 1 dozen muffins, which are now in the freezer waiting for school to start so they can go in lunch boxes.
5. I’m trying to grocery shop less often, so lately I’ve been having to use “leftover wizardry” as Amy Dacyczyn would say. For example, tonight we had chili made from:

  • Some chili Cameron made a long time ago that was SUPER SPICY! I put it in bags in the freezer so I could combine it with bigger pots of chili to make it a little more mild.
  • A bag of frozen pinto beans.
  • 1 lb. of hamburger meat
  • and my last (sniff, sniff) can of tomatoes. I gave them a whirl in the blender before adding them to the chili.

It actually turned out tasting like chili!!!

What are some things you’ve done recently to spend less money?






You know how I recently learned how to can? Well I knew the next step would be to can something by myself, but I hadn’t decided what. I was looking at food that had been donated to the training center and noticed cucumbers and these handy-dandy packets of pickling mix! The only other ingredients were water and vinegar which I already had.

So one night I put the kids to bed and started canning. I only did 4 cans of 1/2 pints because I don’t have a very big pot, and most of my 1/2 pint jars were being used. I mostly wanted to do it for the practice. I did get worried though when I saw the big quantity of the recipe on the pickling mix. How in the world was I going to figure out how much to do for just 2 pints?? Thankfully I found this useful site that calculates size conversions for you!

The pickles turned out fine and all 4 of the lids sealed. I just love opening my cupboard to this!

Why did I wait so long to start canning? If you can, when and how did you learn?


Canning is one of those things that’s always seemed daunting to me, and on top of that I usually prefer to learn by someone showing me hands on how to do it, not just reading about it. All that to say I’ve been saying I want to learn to can for years now.

While we were in New York my amazing cousin gave me a canning lesson! And not sitting me down and telling me how to do it, we actually canned! Using the water bath method, we made canned tomatoes and raspberry jam (with raspberries from her garden no less).





That was the tomatoes, here’s the jam:



Do you can? What are your favorite things to can? I’m trying to decide what to  can next (on my own this time! Gulp!), so I’m open to tips, recipes and advice!


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