Seasonal food list links and How to Save Money (minor rant)

This blog has become actually two or three. One about de-hoarding and another about food, storage, saving money, etc. It occurred to me that I might want to split it into more than one blog. (Comments?)

I’ve been doing more work on the long-term food storage, seasonal cooking plan, etc. I found a USDA site that has a seasonal food list and updated mine yesterday. There’s also a links page to regional lists. The regional links page is below, the links haven’t been working and I’ve tried to fix it. Sorry, just copy/paste these in.

http://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide.php

These links are broken. In at least one case the thing I linked to has been removed. SORRY

The sort of generic seasonal lists are here.

http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/whats-in-season

I also went through my Yahoo groups, I belong to around 12 of them, mostly frugal oriented. People keep asking the same questions: how to save $ on coffee, how to use less disposable or single-use stuff, recipes that use less meat, etc. [This stuff isn’t new, Mrs. Child in the American Frugal Housewife (1833) talked about techniques for using less meat if I remember correctly!]

I find this frustrating because I rarely, if ever find something NEW. I’ve been reading housewifery books since the late 1960s, when I was a young mother-less gal trying to figure out what to do and how? Mostly, I see the same things recycled again and again. Irritating! So irritating that years ago I wrote an article and posted it on my website. A shortened version of it is below.

There is one way and only one way to save money on purchased goods, that is spend less.

This can be accomplished using any of three basic strategies: find a cheaper substitute, pay less for the product, or do without the product altogether.

The first strategy, finding a cheaper substitute, includes:

  • Buying used,rather than new goods, when appropriate
  • Back to basics, do it yourself (DIY), once a month cooking, etc.
  • Using whatever form of a product can be used that’s cheapest (using thighs instead of chicken breast meat, for example.)

The second strategy, paying less for the same product, includes:

  • Coupons, refunds, and sale shopping
  • Alternate sources, dumpster diving, free cycle, ethnic shops, etc.
  • Diluting/reusing more product

The last strategy, doing without, is usually presented as a form of the other two.

For example, many authors tell you to avoid buying a daily coffee at Starbucks. Usually, they point out that if you brew your own coffee, it’s significantly cheaper, which is both a cheaper substitute (#1) and paying less for the same product (#2). However, it also fits #3, as you are giving up something, that is, the trip to Starbucks.

If you brew your own coffee and use 1/2 the old grounds for the 2nd pot along with 1/2 new grounds, it’s a cheaper substitute (#1). So again the same three basic principles apply. There’s nothing wrong with these principles, it just irritates me to see them recycled again and again as something new, they aren’t.

I have been reading money-saving guides for over 30 years. I have books about saving money dating back to before the Civil War. The strategies are the same, whether you’re talking about lamp black (something not in high demand in modern households) or microwave pizza. It irritates me to see the same information recycled again and again, as if it were new, when indeed the specifics may be, but the fundamentals behind it, the strategies above, are not.

If you keep these strategies in mind, saving money becomes an attitude rather than specific practices. With the right attitude and knowing the principles, you’ll find your own ways to save.

J

[Reminder: All original written material here is (c) Jenny Little. Please list authorship if you reblog/repost this or anything that is my writing. Thanks! Obviously, material from other websites are not (c) by me!]

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6 responses to “Seasonal food list links and How to Save Money (minor rant)

  1. you are absolutely right. Saving money is simple and straightforward in many ways – the creativity comes in with the details – knowing you can reuse coffee grounds, etc. When I wanted to lose weight a few years ago, I read books, sites, was on forums… if you think the world of frugality is about trying to recreate the wheel, I’m here to tell you it’s got NOTHING on the world of weightloss. I remember writing on a forum once “the law of thermodynamics covers everything on this forum, all the books, and all the websites – so why are we still asking the same questions over and over?”

  2. Yep. I just find it really frustrating that people don’t SEE that it’s the same ideas, with new specifics over and over. I know about the weight loss thing too. A few years back I started swimming at least once daily. I lost about 20 lbs and then gained 10 of it back, as muscle. People kept asking what I did, well, it’s simple. I burned more calories than I took in, period. No diet, no fancy machines, nothing else, just more exercise.

    Thanks for the comment. I love reading your stuff btw!

    J

    • thanks! I realized I forgot to comment on your idea of having 2 blogs… I guess we were thinking similar thoughts as far as that goes – when I was thinking about having a few I realized I would probably end up overwhelmed with trying to update all of them – for example, my blog doesn’t have much about decorating, so if I had a whole blog for that, I’d only post once/month. I think it’s more pressure. I do understand wanting to keep things separate but also was thinking that posts on storage and saving money might be related to de-hoarding too? Kind of like on my blog, posts on frugal living are related to the Greek crisis. So I guess what I’m saying is I would stick with the one blog. But if you have another one, I’ll follow that one too 😀

  3. Thanks for the comment. Not sure yet what to do? But your point is well-taken.

    Right now, I’m going to stick with one. The push as spring comes is going to be to finish the seasonal plans, order seeds/plants, and get the garden going for the year. I’ll have LOTS to do with one blog or two! When the weather warms up entirely, then I’ll have the storage to empty….

    J

  4. Touche. I agree completely.

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