Monday, May 29, 2023

Free Groceries and What I Did With Them

When I was putting these groceries on my counter to photograph them, my kid asked me why I was doing that, why I'm putting free things I'm given, because not everyone is able to get free things like this, and what am I teaching people by posting these things?

So I wanted to address that in this post.

First off, I do sometimes get free food from charity. I'm very thankful for that, but I would not post those things here. Getting something from charity isn't a "frugal strategy" even if it is helpful for low income families.

However, these items are from a charity. Just not one I'm a recipient of. And honestly, it's more akin to trash picking than anything else. 

Locally there are a few organizations that give food items to people in need. Often, though, it is food that is near its expiration date, or produce mixed in with yucky produce so you need to pick out the good ones. They set a time to get everyone to come get food. Many times, by the time the food is distributed to everyone that comes, there is a lot left over. It will end up in the trash if not taken.

Often my friend Eva, who lives near the location of one of these charity distribution points will post on our local giveaway group when all their recipients have gone and there are leftovers, open for anyone to take before the rest gets tossed. This usually happens at about 11 pm. In the past I sometimes walked over to get things if they seemed worth the trip late at night. But now with a car I can go much more easily, just hop in the car and get stuff, very low energy. When it's just produce I don't usually make the effort because I don't like picking through often yucky produce to find good stuff, especially since the intended recipients already picked through it and took out most of the better produce. But when things like dairy, they're usually just close to the expiration date so they don't need to be picked through.

Tofu is a thing I often find at these giveaways and it freezes wonderfully (changes texture then but it works even better for some recipes after freezing). This time it was a lot of containers of a yoghurt type soft cheese and many bottles of goat milk. 

I don't usually buy goat milk, but free is the best price. I didn't have so much freezer room this time (I usually put such finds in there) but I knew I could make it into yogurt and it would then last longer. I now have two pots of goat milk yogurt sitting in my fridge and I've been using them for so many things. Yogurt works wonderfully in pancakes, and also in mac and cheese (my daughter was upset that I made only a bit of that as an experiment since she loved it so much), but we've been having smoothies most of all.

I'm not the biggest grapefruit eater (I find it is too time consuming to eat them and removing the membranes) but I decided to make grapefruit juice with them and have been enjoying that.

There were amazing sweetie fruit that I've been snacking on (they are more enjoyable to eat than grapefruits!). Because they were surrounded by yucky fruit they had mold and other germs on their peel which would cause them to spoil more quickly. So I made sure to wash them (and the grapefruits) with soap and water and let them dry completely before putting them away.

There were packages of mint that at first looked good and I didn't understand why people didn't take them. Then I looked closer and saw there was lots of dark discolored mint within each package. I decided to take some anyhow and just take off the bad mint and save the rest. Once home I realized that the discolored mint wasn't spoiled at all, but was just accidentally frozen (probably in the back of a fridge) and totally fine. I used the mint in a bunch of recipes, including a few batches of this cucumber mint agua fresca  and also froze mint for future use in recipes.

Ooo and how could I forget the kohlrabi? I don't usually buy them because I can't eat them and my kids won't take them on their own to eat so I forget about them... But these I turned into crudites for the kids to eat and put them on the table and they were gone.

And I realized that I never actually answered the question about why I post about these freebies.

The reasons are many:
  • There are local people who read my blog that do see these announcements of free stuff, and I am encouraging them to go and take stuff and rescue these things from going to trash, even if it is at 11 pm. That a little bit of effort goes a long way.
  • I'm giving ideas to these people about what to do with this food to help it last longer that they might not have thought of.
  • There are other places where you can get similar foods, definitely all over my country, as leftovers after charity distributions.
  • This is similar to what you can do when you trash pick outside grocery stores and at open air markets.
But probably the biggest reason that keeps me post these things-
  • A friend told me that she loves reading my blog and posts like this, since even if she doesn't actually do what I'm writing about, it makes her more concious about adding more frugal strategies to her life.
Hope that answers the question if you, too, were wondering the same.

Have you gotten any free food or other things lately? What were they?
Do you appreciate this type of post? What do you gain from it?

Tips for Starting a Catering Business At Home

I long dreamed of opening a restaurant, but life is complicated. I decided to start small, to try to make food and sell it from home, a small time catering business, during COVID. It was great and I had a good time, but my body ended up hurting me too much to be able to continue it. If you love cooking and are thinking of starting a catering business at home, here are some stuff to consider.

Embarking on a home-based catering business can be a thrilling and fulfilling endeavor. The increasing demand for catering services presents entrepreneurs with abundant opportunities in this field. It is also a great low-investment business idea for aspiring entrepreneurs with limited capital.

However, it is essential to build a robust foundation for the successful launch and running of your catering business. If you require quick funds to kick-start your new venture, applying for an online title loan is one viable option. However, you may be wondering how much can you borrow with a title loan? While many factors can affect your title loan amount, ensure you determine this value before applying. If you are looking to start a home-based catering business, here are three essential tips to help you get started on the right track:

How to Sell Your San Diego Home With Pets

If you're planning on moving and want to sell your home, having a pet can make things more challenging, especially if you're selling to people who aren't animal people. Here are some ways to make it easier to sell your home, even if you have animals living with you.

Even in a hot market like the San Diego real estate market, selling a home with a pet can be a little harder than it seems. Even if you just assume that a person who loves cats or dogs will be the one who walks through and makes an offer, you never want to cut potential buyers out of the running, especially since a high-demand house can fetch more than asking if you have multiple offers. Better to prepare your home to appeal just as much to non-pet-owners as to those who share your love of dogs. Here’s how!

Friday, May 26, 2023

Going Back to the Super Cheap Grocery Store

2 months ago I wrote about being in an area that I usually am not, and going to a branch of the cheaper grocery store that I usually shop in, and being shocked about how cheaper everything was there, especially produce, despite it being the same company. If you haven't seen that post, it would have cost me $57 more than my $65 dollar shop. I was astounded, to the extent that I debated whether it was worth the gas and time to drive down to that store to do a produce shop.

Well, as luck would have it, I missed a physical therapy appointment that I needed, so I ended up making the journey to that area again, since that is where my physical therapist's other clinic is, and of course, I did a grocery shop, with a focus on produce, since that is where the biggest price difference is. Not everything there was significantly cheaper than my local store, some things were the same price, but that's cool with me.

So, what did I get?

Thursday, May 25, 2023

Cohabitation 101 - What To Consider Before Moving In With Your Children

As a divorced mom, one of the biggest reasons I never want to get married again is kids. When you have kids, or when someone you are dating has kids, they add a lot of extra layers of complexity to the relationship, and in many cases can even be the cause of a relationship ending. Second time around is so much better. I know remarried people that decided to stay in separate houses since that was better for their kids. However, many people feel differently than I do about remarriage and wanting to live with their partner, so if you do, here are some important things to keep in mind to make this as smooth as possible.

Moving in together with your new partner is a huge step in life. It may be more challenging, especially if you have children, since you must introduce them to your partner to make them comfortable around them. They may have difficulty accepting the idea and adapting to the new change that impacts their life.

Involving your children may complicate cohabitation and affect more than just you and your partner. Therefore, there are some factors you should consider before cohabiting with your partner and children. Read further into the article to learn how to make cohabitation successful and your children happy and optimistic about moving in:

Sunday, May 7, 2023

Ideas for Side Hustles to Get Passive Income

Money doesn't grow on trees, we're told. Of course, you can't get something from nothing. However, there are some things you can do to earn money that don't take as much active effort; this is what is referred to as passive income. Generally they aren't enough to be your full income, but as a side hustle they can help infuse your budget with some extra cash. Here are some ideas on how you can do that.

Hi there, fellow moms! If you're looking for a way to make money while you sleep, you've come to the right place. In this blog post, I'm going to share with you some of the best ways to generate passive income online for mothers.

Passive income is money that you earn without having to work actively for it. It's like having a money machine that keeps producing cash even when you're not using it. Sounds awesome, right?

Monday, May 1, 2023

Recent Frugal Accomplishments

My recent frugal accomplishments are now back to our regularly scheduled programming! I tried to post this a week after my last one so you could see how much I got done in a week, but time flew by, so instead of I have three (or is it 4?) weeks' worth of frugal stuff. It's fun to see just how many frugal things I did during that time.

Here are the frugal things I did, broken down by category.