Midnight Musings...: FRUGALITY in Every Day living.

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Non-Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic

every day frugality & its meanings survival in chancy times (written before covid but still relevant today)

Midnight Musings...: FRUGALITY in Every Day living.
musings on needful things...
On the subject of frugality and how to survive well in whatever situation we might end up in, the thing i see the most, is that we tend to worry and plan in the short term. --- i am thinking tho, that this is our mistake..-----
i know we dont want hard times to last so we dont want to think "long term".
it has such a negative feel to it..

i believe it shouldn't.. with a Moderate amount of long term planning even the roughest time can be made better or at least more bearable.. in that vein of thought here is one step in that direction.. its where i started:

BOOKS.. the books i believe to be vital to our needs.. surprisingly there arent that many but these are Specifically useful. & i believe they or a variation of them should be on everyone's bookshelf..

Make-A-Mix by Karine Eliason - there are several versions. pick at least one that has the most of your favorite mixes.. your budget will thank you.
Simply Scratch: 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy byLaurie McNamara and her blog http://www.simplyscratch.com/


The Greater American Cookbook  1940 edition
{or The Lily-Wallace New American Cook Book 1943 Edition (first published 1941)
or America's Cookbook New & Revised Edition 1944)} 
and yes i do have a weakness for the 40s cookbooks.. 
the reasons are many - they have how to's from scratch for such classics as Tomato Aspic and Buttermilk pie,  cakes of all sorts, maple syrup gingerbread.. and the lists go on..
they are very successful and knowledgeable on how to feed a family on smaller amounts of meat or fish and still be tasty and nutritious. 
Ball Blue Book of Canning- more on this later
Kitchen /household Necessities. - these will be varied and dictated by each family's needs but these are the ones I consider absolute necessities: and worth the $ investment over time:
Kitchen Aide Mixerand no, i am not a spokesperson. my mixer is nearly 40yrs old and STILL working perfectly. with it I can make almost ANYTHING. . especially bread (i have failed with bread for years until i found a recipe that utilized my KA. now i can make it any time..!!
(recipe here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FEehss63VDg   ) as your situation improves you can add 'gadgets' to the mixer, my fave is the noodle maker and sausage grinder. 
. to me the skillet is a must do. the dutch oven is a choice. (we do outdoor cooking so its a choice but a good one)
a LARGE steel pot.. mine was a handless large pot from a thrift store over 30 yrs ago and its STILL my Favorite pot. i make everything from spaggetti sauce to peanut brittle in that puppy. i will NEVER give it up.. 
a small saucepan. over the years have had a number of these, usually from a thrift store. always useful..   we lived for over 6 months with only with these 3 pans/pots and didnt actually need any others. granted at the time i also had a crock pot.
 do not list a Crockpot in my Necessary list any longer. when Space/money is an issue i keep looking to maximize those items with more versatility. 
after my last crockpot died, rather than replace it i Upgraded to an electric Pressure cooker.. - the reasons were several, but most because the one i bought (instapot as it has a stainless steel insert) can do several types of cooking in One pot including slow cooking and as a rice cooker. that just eliminated multiple appliances. 
Neither of these items NEED a specialty pot of any kind,  but this is when you factor in time management and cooking skills into the mix.. . for us, cooking all day when temps are over 110F daily is a major factor, besides my rice cooking skills suck lol..
Canning and gardening.. this is a mixed bag - I WANT a Major garden. but i have had to face reality here. i have TEN BLACK thumbs in the growing dept. sigh.. 
i kill silk plants. ;(.
but i AM lucky in that we are an area there are Many local farm stands and places i can get veggies/fruits at good prices.. which leads me to CANNING. and yes i can IN the summer despite the heat. ITS WORTH it.
the investment of a PRESSURE CANNER pays for itself over and over and over.. a larger canner can be used for BOTH Pressure Canning and Water bath canning. AND can be used as a large cooking pot.. have also used my big mama (the larger of the 2 i have) to pressure cook a 17pound turkey.. wasnt norman rockwell pretty but OH MY Goodness was it good! if you dont know HOW to can then the Ball book and the internet are your BEST FRIENDS.. 
i will make one caveat tho. and i am absolutely fanatic on this. DONT fall for the "my granny did it this way for 40 whatever years and She didnt kill anybody" nonsense that sadly is out there on the net. IT IS NOT worth the lives of your family to take those kind of chances.
you can can ALMOST everything Safely if you take the time to Learn it. and its only ALMOST. some things Cannot be home canned ever and MUCH MUST be pressure canned. 
that said you can make the most amazing foods for your family. the last time i made homemade Chili con Carne with beans (at the heat level even i can eat) i canned 26 pints on that day alone. thats about 5/6 month of food (eaten once a week). its well worth time & $ and Quality investment..
my last (for now) is a SEWING MACHINE. now i am not talking about some over the top fancy schmancy dohickey sewing machine (tho they can be fun) but a BASIC quality Workhorse sewing machine. the kind you can mend the husbands shirt with, make the daughters sundress, sew your kitchen curtains, make your own pillowcases with, quilt or ... the list is endless and the usefulness is endless as well.
if you dont sew but are reading this you have RESOURCES. you tube has become my best friend.. and should be yours as well
the next Question for the reader tho, is this. what are YOUR necessities do you know if you could make it more than a week? if all came undone?
have these necessities changed in this time of covid issues?? were you caugth in the great toilet paper debacle?? how has this changed your opinions on your family's survival & well being.. 
Frugality is never out of fashion its just seems to be ignored in the good times..

Submitted: October 06, 2021

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