Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Fresh, Canned, Grown, Frozen?????

Yesterday while reading comments on Sunday's post - Norma gave me an idea.  She mentioned that she now buys canned mushrooms, because when she buys fresh - they go bad before she can use them.  I have never had a problem with 'shrooms, but there are several things I think we all feel that way about!
There are some things that I just prefer to buy as well.
I know that not everyone can or does garden, so there are many who always buy what they get.
I am curious as to whether you buy fresh, or prefer frozen, or get canned.  OR maybe you do garden for many things.

I have never had great success with root crops (other than green onions).  It just isn't worth my time (according to me) to try to grow potatoes, or carrots, or beets, big onions, etc.  I will purchase what is needed, when it is needed.  I can keep those items for quite a while with reasonable freshness.

I will NOT buy water - but that is just one of those crazy 'me' things.  I do have a couple cases of bottled water that were practically free - but other than that I store my own and filter drinking water.  (I do have the components to make a filter for rain/creek water to safe measures for SHTF).

Now that I have canned my own kraut - I sure never want to buy it again.  There is no comparison.

I like to keep frozen berries on hand for various things.  I also keep canned fruit - in case I don't have fresh.

I make my own iced tea - don't like bottled.

I prefer homemade bread - but most often (unless bored) I buy it.  It is just easier.  I admire those of you who make theirs every week!!!!!!!

I prefer to use natural items for cleaning - so don't buy much in that department.  I keep pounds of baking soda on hand and lots of vinegar.

I have tons of dried beans on hand as well as rice.  I prefer to make myself.  BUT I do keep a couple cases of canned beans on hand when I don't feel like making them. (I need to learn to can them myself)!!

What about you?  I am curious to see what others do.  I am glad this subject was brought up.  It is fun to learn from others.

Do you have certain items that you WILL ALWAYS  buy - either for cost or convenience?
Do you have items that you WILL NEVER  buy?

Convenience has become a big part of our lives today.  In the old days - you grew it, raised it, made it, or bartered it - or you did without!  Today is not like that in any way.
It isn't a major trip (for most) to get to a store.  They are about on every corner. 
Years ago the old general store carried what you COULD get.  If it wasn't there, odds are you did without.  It was a major excursion into the little towns just to get to the general store.

I remember when I was little - Mom and Daddy went to the store on Saturday.  Yes, it was as chain store after a certain point.  We did have a family owned neighborhood store as well.  If it wasn't purchased on Saturday or grown or made at home - you did without or improvised!  No daily trips to the store - one trip and that was it and ONLY a certain amount of money to be spent!  We made do.
It didn't hurt us one little bit!!!

So, what say you?????  I can't wait to hear everyone's answers.
Hope everyone plays along.


  1. I'm like you with beans. I buy dried, but I usually keep a few cans around in case I'm pressed for time.

    The only time I usually ever buy cleaning products is when I have a heavy duty job that homemade stuff won't handle, or if I need a new spray bottle (if I'm buying a bottle, I might as well get something else out of it, rather than purchasing an empty bottle, since they're both the same price at the Dollar Store).

    I almost never buy frozen fruit; I wait until they go on sale and then freeze my own.

    I keep some water around in case of emergency, but I don't buy bottled water to drink. We have a filter on our faucet, and everyone in the family has reusable metal bottles.

    I used to make our bread, but it doesn't work well for us these days- either we eat it up too quickly, or we don't eat it quickly enough, and there's no in between! It works out better to buy it, although I prefer the taste of homemade much more.

    I have no need to buy scarves, hats, or mittens, as I can knit my own! Same for dishcloths; I knit 18 this summer, and I just went through my yarn yesterday and found a ton more cotton yarn, so I'll be making more at some point! I also highly prefer to make my kids' Halloween costumes.

    I pack my son's lunches the night before, and I'll do the same for my daughter. School lunches are far too expensive to do otherwise.

    That's about all I can think of for now...

    1. Great list! Same here with bread - either we eat a lot quickly or it turns green!!
      So cool that you knit. That is also great for gifts.
      LOVE that you pack lunches.

      I forgot I NEVER buy Kleenex. I use homemade hankies (from old t-shirts) or TP. Very few paper towels, use rags.

      You are doing great!!!!

  2. I always buy canned spaghetti sauce and spiff it up myself. I made some from tomatoes one year and never again! Spaghetti is one of our emergency meals so the easier, the better. I'm 50/50 with the beans. I wait to buy canned when the price is way down.

    I freeze my fruit. I don't make pasta either. I buy it. Bread is about 50/50.

    I'll think about some more.

    1. Debbie I am sorry you had a bad experience on making pasta sauce. I love homemade.
      It can be purchased quite cheaply now.

      Pasta is another stock-up here as well. fresh would be nice - just not worth the time to me either.

      Love hearing everyones items

  3. My daughter reminded me the other day that I would never buy her Lunchables. LOL They were just too much money for too little food.

    1. Can't blame you!!! Those little packages are super expensive. You can make your own so cheaply and much healthier!

  4. nCheryl, my list is only my list, but while I do keep a few cans of beans on hand, I also cook a whole packet of beans at once, and freeze the excess. I do the same with brown rice (not supposed to have white rice). When cabbage is really cheap, I will buy a couple, make cole slaw or have some of it cooked, then shred the rest, sometimes with some carrots for color, and freeze it for use in soup or a skillet dinner sometime in the future. I always buy sweet potatoes in bulk (usually 5 lb boxes are cheap between Thanksgiving and Christmas), and cook them all at one time, put them through my ricer, and freeze in 2 coup portions - no strings, just enough for 2 servings or a sweet potato pie). If I know I can process them the same day I buy them, I will buy mushrooms, chop them in the ninja until they are the same size as ground beef crumbles, and freeze them to stretch meatloaf or add to home made hamburger patties. If I find a real good buy on bell peppers, I will buy them, chop or slice them, and freeze them also. I will make a huge batch of mashed potatoes too, and freeze what I am not eating immediately. All of these are ingredients, not put-together frozen meals which gives a greater variety to choices. Have a great day.

    1. Those are all great ideas. Those are all ingredients that can be used in many ways.
      You are always ready for a quick and easy yet healthy meal.
      Great job!
      You have a great day as well.

  5. I love homegrown tomatoes! If I could only grow one thing, it would be tomatoes. I don't have much luck with potatoes or onions either. I usually buy bread, but I have about 40 pounds of wheat berries on hand. I just made a batch of 5 min artisan bread, so we have been enjoying that this week.
    Some things seem more trouble than they are worth in this season of my life right now. Like my Daddy used to say, a lot of squeezin' for not much juice. ;) But I'm glad that I have the skills and knowhow if I need them.

    1. Kathy I love that saying!!! Aint it the truth. I too have the skill, thanks to my parents, but I prefer to keep things simple at times.
      I am with you on tomatoes. If only one crop - that would be it for sure!

      The bread sounds yummy.

  6. Very enjoyable and informational read. The comments are good too. I recently bought a new filter for my fridge and am drinking water from a glass now, instead of using so many plastic bottles. I'm right proud of myself. lol I prefer to make my own salsa; I don't like the store bought stuff.

    1. Yay - good for you!!!!! I think home filtered water is better any way. You are saving the earth a bottle at a time.

      LOVE homemade salsa. One of my favorites.

  7. I do all of the above. I buy canned veggies when I can find them in non-BPA cans. I buy mushrooms in glass jars. I generally buy lots of frozen veggies because with just two of us, we just don't eat them up as quickly as when we had kids here. I used to make my bread but quit because my husband ate too much of it and was getting tubby. I prefer to make cookies and quick breads to buying it but in an effort to not eat it, I buy ready made for the g-daughter. I don't like them so problem solved!

    1. I forgot about baked goods - nothing like homemade. Once in a great while I will buy something off the day old rack at grocery - but not often. Don't need it any way!
      I make all the goodies at holidays!

      I like frozen veggies too - you can use what you want and they just taste fresher to me.
      Thanks for your comments!
      You are doing good!

  8. I do both canned beans and dry. Canned for fast meals and I stock up on sale. I learned to eat cheap as groceries were the only place I could cut back on expenses for years. Or I had no grocery money at all.

    1. I totally hear that. Most things we have little control over - except groceries.
      We do what we have to do to get by.

  9. I always buy canned mushrooms for that reason too. I also buy spaghetti sauce because no one will eat mine. Oh yeah I buy some Lucky's pinto beans...sometimes I put them in the crockpot with some bacon grease. I use about 3 to 4 cans. No one seems to know that they are not cooked from scratch. Now you know all my secrets Cheryl!

    1. LOL Vickie - we won't tell!!!!
      Your secrets are safe with us!

  10. I buy mushrooms on sale, slice and flash freeze for when I want them. I buy both dried and canned beans depending on the time I have. Really don't buy canned veggies except potatoes that my mother-in-law use to make with her pork roast. A good memory for my dh so I try to repeat it for him.

    1. Good job on the mushrooms. I either use fresh or dehydrate mine.
      Good for you on not buying a lot of canned veggies. No added stuff that way.
      A happy hubby is a happy home!!!!!!

  11. I do all three- canned, fresh & frozen. I always had a small space to garden with. Since I make medicines I used my space for that. Growing items needed for medicine. That is my specialty.

    When I got my home, everyone and their relative thought I would have this big garden and share the bounty. They are still waiting, lol. I guess old habits die hard I am still making medicines. Plus, my yard floods so that is why I was so grateful to find your blog. Hopefully next year I will have some vegetables and fruit to try my hand at canning and preserving.

    I don't buy water either. I filter my own too. I always make ice tea.

    DH & I use to make our own bread. We found we hardly eat bread. We know how to make it and that is a nice skill. We eat a lot of tortillas in our home. We have thought of trying to make them but I live in a lovely area with a lot of gorgeous Hispanic grocery items. Tortillas are very frugal.

    I use both natural and Dollar Tree for cleaning supplies. My home was steal but she needs TLC. Right now DT cleaning supplies give her that. My cleaning supplies fit in one tiny basket.

    I am a very simple eater so I probably don't buy what most do. My items at the grocery store do come from outer aisles. I do buy pasta's, Hispanic food and pasta sauce. The rest I make from scratch, not because it is frugal but because it actually easier for my home. Funny how easy always is frugal. :)

    1. Good job. Tortillas are super easy to make but they are also very cheap to buy. Sometimes we just make the choice!
      Good going on shopping the outer aisles. that is something we should all do more of.

      Home cooking and scratch are always the best.
      Keep on being frugal.

  12. I do most of the above. I slice and saute mushrooms and then freeze them. I buy 50/50 beans. I make english muffin bread -- haven't bought any in years. Homemade banana bread and zucchini bread. I buy lots of peeled garlic and freeze that also. It just changes the color slightly but no difference in taste. I also freeze leftover bread to make breadcrumbs. The list goes on.... :)

    1. Great job Mary. I have never made English muffin bread - want to do that some day.
      Love homemade sweet breads.
      It is amazing of the things we JUST do daily and don't even think about it. Good things become habits!
      Have a good one.

  13. I usually buy mushrooms fresh and use them, and also have some cans for when I don't have any on hand. We don't use many in any case, since I can't grow them or source them for free.

    I can or freeze everything I can source for free or cheap or grow--tomato products, corn, green beans, peaches, applesauce, etc. During the winter months, I use the canned products most of the time, and buy a small amount of things like bananas or oranges to supplement. I don't buy many fresh veggies in the summer, as the garden is producing well, but do buy salad ingredients all winter because I want people to eat salad! I buy salad dressing, although I know many people make it. I grow a few potatoes, but buy most of what we eat. I make all my pickles--dills, sweet, relish, etc. I buy olives. Lots of olives:). I love them. I buy taco sauce, but make chunky salsa. I just experimented with a recipe for enchilada sauce and hope it's good, as I canned several jars of it. I have a recipe for salsa verde that we like and make that from green tomatoes at the end of the summer. I will point out that canning is a bit of a hobby for me, and I do enjoy it, so I look for things I can can with my garden produce, and what I get from my sister.

    I have just begun dabbling in canning protein. I started with tuna we purchased on the docks and have been canning that the last few years. This year, I did some chicken breast for the first time. The tuna is expensive. It actually costs more to can your own than it does to buy it in cans, but the quality is amazing. The chicken was super cheap and so that is much less expensive to can and I also canned quite a few jars of broth I made from the bones. I only buy broth rarely. I prefer my own, and I keep both canned and frozen on hand most of the time.

    I buy all wheat bread these days for my husband and kids, as I am extremely gluten sensitive and I don't want the wheat flour flying around the kitchen. I make my own gluten-free baked products, except when I can find an exceptionally good deal, such as lately when I found gf bread for 99c/loaf at a local salvage store. I only use about 1 loaf every month, so the 5 I bought will last a long time.

    1. WOOHOO - you go girl!!! You are definitely doing it right!
      Oh my, I am an olive lover as well. I like any of them, but my favorites are the big ones. I get them at Sam's.

      I like using my pickle juice for marinating or as a salad dressing of sorts. No waste. I also drink dill juice.

      I love homemade enchilada sauce. I have thought about making and canning some this yea too.

      You are surely on the right and healthy path. Keep up the great work!

  14. I grow a nice size garden for where I live. Potatoes and corn take up lots of room and I can get them cheap in the fall from local farm stands so that is what I do. I try to buy fresh fruits and veggies due to diet restrictions. I can then process it myself so I know what is in it.

    We have a filter for our water but I occasionally buy bottled water. If a big storm is coming I usually buy some.

    I am lucky that I can barter for honey with a friend so I don't have to buy that.

    I just made sauce that I canned and pickles today with produce from the garden. I have been freezing lots of cucumbers and string beans from the garden. I dry my own herbs to use all year.

    I make my own spice mixes and salad dressings too because of dietary restrictions. Making things myself is much healthier.

    1. You are doing great. I agree potatoes and corn take a lot of room and they are so inexpensive this time of the year and in the fall.

      Good going on canning sauce and pickles. I have never heard of freezing cucumbers. I would think they would mush up - but that would be good for smoothies!

      Bartering honey - that is a huge money saver. REAL honey is so costly - even local.
      Keep up the great job!

    2. My youngest daughter uses cucumbers in her smoothies. I cut them up and freeze them. She puts what she wants in. She also puts them in glasses of water. Kind of like an ice cube cucumber.