Monday, March 15, 2010

A Celebration- and a Giveaway

I've got cause to celebrate. After having reached 10,000 visits to my blog a few days ago, yesterday I got my 100th follower. This is also post number 101 on my blog, and by the time I'm writing this, I've already gotten 101 followers.
Because you've given much to me and have helped me on my blogging journey, I decided that I wanted to pick one reader to help on his/her frugal journey.
Whether you're just starting off on this thrifty venture, or you've been at this game for years, I've got a great present for one lucky reader, something that will hopefully assist you in being even more frugal. (No, this giveaway is not sponsored by any company or otherwise. This giveaway is being paid for by me, is being done out of the goodness of my heart, and is being bought with revenue from this blog.)

My first thoughts were to give away a set of glass mason jars, as these jars are very useful. I feel you can never have enough glass jars. These help save money by allowing you to preserve foods, either that you grew yourself or bought cheaply. Canning and pickling can be done in mason jars, as can sprouting/soaking beans, grains, and seeds. You can also use jars to store bulk bought grains, infuse oils, and store a sourdough starter.
I love mason jars, and was set on buying a set of them for a loyal reader, but was informed that you can get them easily and cheaply in the US, so I had to scratch that idea.

Instead, I decided to give the winner the choice of three books. Because I value frugality, the books I am giving away may be gently used, but all are still in excellent, readable condition.

The Books
All New Square Foot Gardening: Grow More in Less Space! The All New Square Foot Gardening- by Mel Bartholomew. One of the best ways of saving money is by becoming more self sufficient. Because one of the essentials in life is food, growing your own vegetables is a great way to curb your monthly food bill.
I am going to assume that most of the people reading this blog are living on a tight budget. Usually, this will go hand in hand with having limited space, although I could be wrong and many of my readers can be living on sprawling acres. However, going with my assumption, this book may be very useful to you as it gives you tips on growing the most food in minimal space. Mel Bartholomew even shares ideas about growing your own square foot garden--- while living in an apartment building.
I've read this book a few times (I currently have it borrowed from a friend, and need to give it back) and can definitely recommend it. Simple enough for the novitiate, yet ingenious enough that even a pro gardener can benefit, the All New Square Foot Gardening book is a great find, and one of you lucky readers can get this book, delivered to your door.

Preserving Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, and Preserving, and Drying What You GrowPreserving the Summer's Bounty: A Quick and Easy Guide to Freezing, Canning, Preserving and Drying What You Grow- by Rodale Food Center.
Once you've already grown your own food, you want to ensure that your vegetables don't spoil before you can use them. Alternatively, if you are unable to grow your own crops but have access to a cheap source of produce, it is wise to preserve your food so that you have these foods available even during dry spells.
In all honesty, I have not read this book, but have checked it out and it has received rave reviews, which is why this is the book on preservation that I've chosen for a reader.

Vegetarian Cooking for EveryoneVegetarian Cooking For Everyone- by Deborah Madison. No, I am not a vegetarian, nor do I recommend a vegetarian lifestyle for most people. However, the fact of the matter is that most of the people in the modern world would benefit by incorporating some vegetarian and vegan dishes into their diet.
Animal products are one of the most expensive proteins out there; anyone seriously looking into cutting back their grocery bill should try making some vegan dinners, some bean and seitan based meals. Even if you want to include animal products in every meal, you can take a bean dish and spice it up with some meat, like adding ground meat to a bean chili, or adding chicken chunks to some succotash. This stretches the animal product a lot further, yet ensures you and your family are still eating adequate protein.
Ideally I wanted to include a vegan book like Vegan with a Vengeance, but was told that it may be a little too far out for my readers, and was told that Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone had the most amazing, delicious recipes, many of which were vegan, so decided to go with that cookbook. (However, if you win and would like Vegan with a Vengeance, I have no problem sending that in place of this book.)

Which of these books would you like to win?
The way giveaways like this work is that each comment below gets numbered and entered into random.org, which will randomly pick a winner. Each comment is one entry. You can earn entries by:

- Commenting below and sharing which book interests you most, should you win this giveaway. (1 entry)
- Become a follower of my blog and let me know in an additional comment. (1 entry)
- Subscribe to my blog and let me know in the comments section. (1 entry)
- Follow PennilessParent on twitter and tell me in the comments section what your twitter name is. (1 entry)
- Tweet about the giveaway and let me know in the comments section. (1 entry)
- Become a fan of Penniless Parenting on Facebook and let me know in the comments section. (1 entry)
- Blog about this giveaway and link to the blog post in the comments section. (1 entry)
- Let friends know about this giveaway. If Sarah posts in the comments that Ann referred her to this giveaway, both Ann and Sarah receive an extra entry into this giveaway. (Unlimited entries.)
If you've already become a follower (Google or Twitter), subscriber, or Facebook friend, you can still have that entry- just comment and let me know that you've already become a follower to get your entry.
P.S.--- Make sure to make an additional comment for each entry!

Sorry to my international readers- this giveaway is limited to readers living in Continental USA.
Entries to this giveaway will be accepted until Sunday, March 21st, at 11:59 PM, EST.
Winners will be notified via email.

Good luck!

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