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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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  • [January 15, 2016] - It's National Soup Month so this month's posts will focus on soups. Yum!
  • [February 1, 2016] - An interesting report on why you should always choose organic tea verses non-organic: Toxic Tea (pdf format)
  • Sticky Post - Warning: 4ever Recap reusable canning lids. The reports are growing daily of these lids losing their seal during storage. Some have lost their entire season's worth of canning to these seal failures!

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Monday, January 09, 2012

Frugal Kitchens 101 - Giving Back

Frugal Kitchens 101

Part of the reason for being frugal in the kitchen is to give back to others via food donations and the sharing of knowledge.  My husband and I did the annual pantry clean-out.  We are rather good at keeping the foods in our very well stocked pantry rotating but even the best organized pantries suffer from a bit of food being pushed to the back.  We set up two boxes - one toss and the other to donate.  Anything past it's expiry date or over the two year comfort level for home canned foods was tossed.  Thank goodness that was not much, not more than a few store bought cans of food and 1 case of 250 ml jars of home canned food that somehow had got pushed to the back of the old pantry before we moved.  We ended up about a grocery bag full of food to be discarded which is unfortunate but given the size of our pantry stores is to be expected but still any food wastage really bothers me.

Next up on our list of pantry organizing was to fill the donation box.  My husband and I are very, very fortunate to have a multitude of skills (eg. canning, freezing, foraging, gardening, fishing, hunting) that enable us to always have an abundance of food in our pantry.  We are also very fortunate to have the necessary equipment to preserve a wide variety of foods.  The reality is not everyone is as fortunate so we make it a point to donate to our local food banks.  Unfortunately they will not take home canned foods so I buy things like dried beans, rices, pastas, Jello/pudding mixes and tuna when on sale.  It doesn't take much, only $5 or $10 out of what I would spend on ourselves when I'm at the grocery store and believe me that is not often.  I very seldom use coupons myself but tuck whatever coupons I have into the donation box.  I even tuck recipes in with some of the items so whoever gets that item knows how to use it.  The donation box always sits in the pantry waiting for another item to be added, as a constant reminder of how very fortunate we are.  Each time the box is filled we take it to the local food bank.

I am giving back in another way in 2012.  I'm volunteering most mornings at one of our local schools helping with the breakfast club.  The breakfast club is open to any hungry child, no questions asked.  Hungry children cannot learn so I firmly believe that helping to feed the hungry is a worthwhile use of my time.  Finally, I am donating a bit of time towards the moms and tots program.  Many of the younger moms do not have the necessary skills needed for running a household and some of them do not have family support to help them learn those skill.

It should be a wonderful 2012.  Being frugal at home with our food dollars helps us to help others doing a bit of volunteering to give back to our community.  I am looking into all the details of trying to get a community kitchen up and running.  I'm not talking about a simple hand-out kitchen either.  The community kitchen I envision is all about self-help.   I have my proposal ready for the meeting a week from Wednesday.  Here's hoping! That's what it is all about, helping others to become a bit more self sufficient.


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