Homemade beans and tortillas! Oh my! And other money saving ideas.

DSCF3188

 

 

 

I made homemade tortillas today because I’m too cheap to buy them.  I figure that when I make a stack like this one up above it is costing a dollar instead of $3 or $4.  If I bought organic, handmade tortillas in the health food store it would be at least $5.

I got the recipe online from Taste of Home (I’ve shared this in another blog, yes, I repeat myself):

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS

In a large bowl, combine flour and salt. Stir in water and oil. Turn onto a floured surface; knead 10-12 times, adding a little flour or water if needed to achieve a smooth dough. Let rest for 10 minutes.Divide dough into eight portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each portion into a 7-in. circle.In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook tortillas over medium heat for 1 minute on each side or until lightly browned. Keep warm.Yield: 8 tortillas.

This was so easy and quickly became a family affair.  They went great with our huge pot of black eyed peas that I simmered most of the day with a ton of garlic, salt, and bacon.  Yes, we had a “meat Monday”.  Most meat eaters have “meatless Mondays” but we do it all backward here.  We are still not eating meat 99% the time but what the heck do you do with black eyed peas?

I have many mouths to feed lately so I’ve taken to having a big pot of beans on the stove at all times and we do tortillas or cornbread.  In addition, we do simple green salads, steamed veggies, or buttered green beans.

I’ve been making smoothies with kale and spinach, frozen bananas, and other fruit in season, along with a soy or almond milk.  We all have this in the mornings along with melon and maybe eggs or homemade bread toasted with vegan butter and jam.

For snacks, I’ve taken to making a plate of veggies and apples along with homemade ranch dressing.  Sometimes I add nuts and olives.

Dinner is sometimes a potato dish (and there are many) or the beans.  I love having a big pot of something simmering on the stove and a bread or muffin available to snack on whenever anyone gets hungry.  It’s not always so boring.  We had veggie pot pie the other night and fried spaghetti squash another night.  I feel like we have new things all the time but they are incredibly easy and plant based.  Being that there is so much great produce right now, we are saving plenty of money.

We are feeding 3 adults and 2 children for less than $500 a month and we have a little pantry building in the cupboards and freezer because I take advantage of sales and we shop at Grocery Outlet and Winco only.  I prefer Grocery Outlet for my organics believe it or not.

I great way to wash produce is half a cup of vinegar in a sink full of water.  A gallon of vinegar is less than $2 compared to $6 for a small bottle of fancy veggie wash you find in the produce section of nicer stores.  It will last for many, many washes.

I scored a couple lovely rugs for free at the end of a garage sale on Sunday.  They were indoor but have been outdoors for so long.  I am using them for our patio since it’s all cement and this gives it some color and I see outdoor rugs all the time now.

Another money saver is investing in your own rug shampooer.  We bought one 6 years ago and it’s still working great.  When you have little ones and pets it’s a good idea to give the area rugs a good wash at least once a year if not twice.  I only have area rugs and we don’t wear shoes inside the house.  But then the dogs and cat always make up for that by having accidents and coughing up fur balls.

Money saving ideas for cleaning would be to have mops with washable rags.  I also use cut up wash clothes or small thin rags for dishwashing.  I can wash these and haven’t purchased a sponge in years.  Sponges are filthy and expensive.  Vinegar and dish soap can make all your cleaners for floor, counters and more.  My fancy vacuum broke so I’m back to the old-fashioned broom.  I like it, nothing cumbersome to drag out of the closet and sweeping is therapeutic.  Sweeping is a methodic rhythm and you become one with the floor.  Because my house is so old, I have no dishwasher.  I enjoy washing dishes by hand as well for that “pondering time”.    I have a grandmother now so I have help with dishes, cooking, and the children.  I feel a new surge of en

Vinegar and dish soap can make all your cleaners for floor, counters, windows, and more.  My fancy vacuum broke so I’m back to the old-fashioned broom.  I like it, nothing cumbersome to drag out of the closet and sweeping is therapeutic.  Sweeping is a methodic rhythm and you become one with the floor.  Because my house is so old, I have no dishwasher.  I enjoy washing dishes by hand as well for that “pondering time”.

I have a borrowed grandmother now so I have help with dishes, cooking, and the children.  I feel a new surge of energy to do all sorts of other endeavors.  One day I shampooed carpets and washed dogs, the next day I found a free chicken coop and we hauled it home (that was a hell I’d rather not have time for again), then the following day we painted it yellow.  I finished painting the little fence between the garage and house today.

Projects tend to be free if you are talking fences, furniture, and left over paint.  I feel like I’ve been painting everything lately; kitchens, doors, coops, fences.  Perhaps I should get back to crocheting.

The Homemade Housewife: The last book you will ever need on homemaking and frugal living by [Singh, Kate]

 

 

 

 

39 comments

  1. I like to make tortillas too, and I use masa to make corn tortillas. I didn’t buy a press, I simply place a cut open plastic bag between two sturdy plates, put the ball of masa between the plastic and press down firlmly and evenly. Voila! small, circles of deliciousness, ready to be cooked on a griddle or in a dry skillet. I then store them in the fridge till I am ready to fry them in a bit of oil to make them ready for eating. I have a confession to make–when I roll out my flour tortillas sometimes, the Redneck makes a guessing game at the table as he tries to figure out what state they are shaped like! Yeah, my flour tortillas don’t always turn out round…but they taste good and they are cheap!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to try this tortilla recipe soon! Every time I seem to be in the mood for a meal that requires tortillas I never have any in my house. This will make things so much easier lol. Also thanks for the other tips. I never thought about washing veggies and fruits with water and vinegar. I usually just wash with water. Sometimes just water that doesn’t feel like enough but I can’t bring myself to buy one of those sprays. Also, I found that a mixture of water, a drop of dish soap, and vinegar (sometimes even some peroxide if the stain is really bad) can help eliminate pet stains (though it’s still best to do a full-on carpet clean occasionally just as you suggest). It’s best used right after an accident before the stain has time to set. It has been saving me tons of money on solution that never quite work lol. I wish I had the exact measurements to give but I just eyeball it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoy your blog posts! I found your blog from If you do stuff… I find your blog very encouraging as I have been a stay at home Mom for the past 8 years. In the past 8 years I have definitely had to squeeze the life out of a penny. Lol. It seems though, in the past few years I have loosened the reigns a bit, so your blog has encouraged me to tighten back up a bit and get back on track! Thank you!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I go through phases where the purse strings get loosened often…and then I get back into hardcore mode. I turn it into a game and read other blogs like crazy to keep motivated and get inspired. I also remind myself that after you really save and get the finances in order you can start a “fun” fund on the side. I have had to go back to my no spending mode just today after a little spree the last couple weeks. 🙂

      Like

  4. Good morning Kate,
    We like black eyed peas a lot and cook ours with onions and diced ham. It’s not vegetarian but ham is lowcost, usually cheaper than bacon.
    I have never used kitchen sponges, have always used dishcloths and they get laundered often. I usually go through at least 2 a day but I’m kind of a fanatic about kitchen food safety. My current dish cloths are all recycled bath towels that I cut into squares and zigzagged around the edges.
    I’m so glad I found your blog and can share it on my blog. I have pretty much just Homemakers on blogs that benefit Homemakers watching their budgets and on my blog sidebar. I’ve concluded that quite a few readers use my blog sidebar like a blog reader and that makes me happy. I see comment from Lona above that she came here from blog.
    We Homemakers do money saving things that other people don’t understand and I’m glad we can all visit and learn from each other online.
    Thank you sharing what you do in your home. You never know who might me learning or being encouraged by you.

    I don’t keep up much with politics but I am hopeful the politicians might finally be doing something about immigration and I am hopeful it will benefit your sweet family as well as so many others living in limbo.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I don’t watch the news or politics either but I feel like all this drama with everything going on, not just immigration, is important for some great changes that need to happen. I am not worried. My faith is pretty deep. What ever happens we will be taken care of. Yes on all the homemakers, I love it! Inspiring.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Kate, I would love if shared your method for cooking beans. Do you buy dry beans? Soak them? I have always been a canned bean person out of convenience but I know there are health benefits to soaking the beans first.

    Like

  6. Any word on BeeHumble’s land situation? I checked her blog, but that post is no longer there. She’s got a lot of folks praying for them. Just wondering how it’s going, didn’t know where else to ask.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s