organic living

Removing Bread From The Shopping List

August 7, 2009

Our new patio is the perfect spot for our solar oven.  At our old house, we had to move the oven from the back yard to the front yard as the day went by (sometimes in the middle of cooking something) because the yard was so small and the house next door was so close […]

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Gardens And Compost And Digging, Oh My!

July 26, 2009

I have potatoes cooking in our solar oven out back, and clothes drying on a drying rack on the back porch.  I love using passive, free energy.  I have been neglecting my blog a bit lately, but it’s because the chores list these days is a bit overwhelming.  Last night my arms felt like lumps […]

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Eating Our Dandelions

July 21, 2009

As I mentioned yesterday, our garden isn’t exactly anything to write home about yet.  We’ve been in our new house for three weeks, so our tallest seedlings are about three inches high.  We have lots of them, but they are quite small.  I find myself filled with chard envy when I visit Sheri’s blog.  And unfortunately […]

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The Before Shot Of Our Back Yard

July 10, 2009

Here is a picture of our new back yard, taken a couple days after we moved in: It’s one vast expanse of hard core weeds, which had been occasionally mowed in the middle, and pretty much left to do as they pleased around the edges.  It’s hard to tell from the picture, but the bank […]

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A Good Omen

June 20, 2009

We have been using the same garden trowel ever since we moved into our house in 2003.  Somewhere around 2007, the handle broke.  It’s a metal handle with a soft plastic grip around it, and the metal inside snapped in half.  All that was holding the handle to the trowel was the plastic sheathing on […]

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Tomatoes In January

January 20, 2009

Thought I’d share a picture of the fabulous tomatoes we ate this evening.  Fresh from our hydroponic garden in the crawlspace, they tasted like tomatoes you get in July.  There were many more ready to pick, but I stopped when the bowl started to overflow.  Local, fresh, and always in-season.  Our hydroponic garden is working […]

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Vegan Food And A Crackdown On Used Clothing For Kids

January 5, 2009

I hope you all had a good weekend, and that 2009 is off to a good start for everyone.  I made this amazingly good vegan mac n cheese for dinner tonight, and wanted to share it with my readers.  Even if you’re not vegan, potatoes and carrots are cheaper and milk and cheese.  And better […]

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Our Christmas Tree Is Now Lawn Fertilizer

January 3, 2009

We live in an area with very alkaline, clay soil.  It’s not exactly the fertile crescent around here.  We don’t use chemical fertilizers on our yard or garden – we rely on the compost we create both in our outdoor bins and our worm bins, and that works really well.  But anything we can do […]

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More Details About Our Worm Composting

December 22, 2008

When I wrote about our worms and ladybugs a few days ago, several people told me that they had been thinking of starting to compost with worms, but didn’t want to spend $100+ on the bin.  So I thought I’d take pictures of our $5 setup that my husband made.  He bought three big plastic […]

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Worms And Ladybugs

December 19, 2008

We have worms.  And ladybugs.  The worms live in my husband’s office, and the ladybugs live in our crawlspace.  We’ve been composting our scraps, leaves, and grass clippings for several years.  But during the winter, not much happens in our compost bins.  They freeze by about the end of November, and although we do get […]

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A Diaper Cover And A SleepSack

December 3, 2008

I’ve made two more diapers this week, and retired two that were getting a bit too snug.  This evening I made a diaper cover out of an old, wool sweater that had been felted.  It’s not the fanciest thing ever, but it will definitely get the job done.  I cut the cover out as one […]

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Thrift Store Toy Scores

November 12, 2008

Say that title five times fast.  We went to our favorite thrift store today, and I found some great wooden toys for our son.  He’s able to sit up now and play with things, and while the wooden spoon and saucepan work great, I thought adding a few new things into the mix would liven […]

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Frugal Organic Play Doh

November 8, 2008

This is so good that it has to be shared.  I’ve discovered a great new website featuring a family that I think would get along great with mine.  Green and Crunchy is the adventures of Sheri and her family as they lead an organic, vegan, frugal life.  And they have a great recipe for homemade […]

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Carrot Apple Salad

October 23, 2008

Welcome Almost Frugal Food readers!  I’m excited to share a recipe, because I enjoy cooking and experimenting with food just as much as I enjoy frugal living.  I came up with this salad last week when I was looking for a new way to use bell peppers from our hydroponic garden.  If you have a […]

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What We Eat

October 20, 2008

I got the following question from a reader today, and wanted to provide my thoughts and see what other readers have to say as well: “I would love to know where you get your information and knowledge about green/organic products and produce. I live a relatively eco-friendly lifestyle in almost every department but grocery shopping. […]

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The New Store And A Belated Blog Action Day

October 17, 2008

We went to the new health food store today, which my husband and I both consider a great form of entertainment.  Who needs a trip to the movies when you can wander around aisles full of hemp protein powder and sprouted breads?  We had fun, but I was a bit disappointed in the store overall.  […]

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The Fruits Of Our Hydroponics

October 4, 2008

Earlier this week, my husband added a homemade molasses/seaweed supplement to our hydroponic garden, and we think that we’re already seeing a difference in how the plants look.  They were looking pretty great already, but they seem to be even better now.  We’ve been harvesting greens from the garden since the end of August, and […]

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The Jogging Stroller As A Grocery Getter

October 3, 2008

We live within a mile of two grocery stores, but the health food stores are a bit further away.  I always bike or walk to the grocery stores near our house, but we drive to the health food stores (we always try to include multiple errands in one trip to avoid extra driving).  There’s a […]

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A Frugal Supplement For The Hydroponic Garden

October 1, 2008

Our hydroponic garden is exceeding all of our expectations.  We’re harvesting greens on a daily basis (lettuce, spinach, swiss chard, mustard, basil, and bok choy).  We have lots of cherry tomatoes that are just about to turn red.  We have tons of pepper flowers, and a few tiny peppers starting to show up.  Our pea […]

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Being Frugal And Green

September 29, 2008

The Carnival of All Things Eco is up at Focus Organic.  As usual, there are tons of great ideas for green living that is also easy on the budget. Jim at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity writes about how his town earns money by recycling, versus spending money to haul away trash.  Think about that next […]

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A Greenhouse

September 11, 2008

My husband is building a greenhouse.  Our hydroponic garden is doing so well that he was inspired to increase our growing capacity by making our outdoor garden a year-round venture.  We got a book called Solar Gardening from the library, and he used it as a guide for the small greenhouse he’s building over our […]

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Tomato Watermelon Salad

September 6, 2008

A patron at our library gave me the idea to mix watermelon and tomatoes in a salad. Sounds odd, but tastes fantastic. I added a few other ingredients, and we loved how it turned out, so I thought I’d share. And if your garden has tomatoes, basil, and watermelon, this will be a very inexpensive […]

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Getting The Detergent Out Of Our Diapers

August 28, 2008

Our son is almost four months old.  He’s been in cloth diapers since he was three days old, and as I’ve mentioned before, it’s been much easier than I expected to use them.  One thing I had read about was how detergent can build up in diapers over time, creating a residue that makes them […]

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The Cheapest Health Food

August 25, 2008

I’ve written before about how much I love sprouts.  They’re about as close to a perfect food as you can get, as far as nutrition goes, and most of them are pretty tasty as well.  I eat small amounts of sprouts on sandwiches and salads, but by far the majority of the sprouts we grow […]

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Update On The Hydroponic Garden

August 19, 2008

My husband has been working every evening for the last couple weeks, getting the hydroponic garden up and running.  The goal is to automate as much as we can, so that the upkeep going forward is minimal.  Tonight he plumbed in a water line coming from our under-sink water filter, going into the crawl space.  […]

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Moving On And Letting Go

August 12, 2008

I’ve always struggled with tossing stuff and getting rid of things.  If I spent money on it, I somehow feel like I have to keep it, even if I’m not using it anymore.  I’m sure I’m not alone in this, but it’s something I’ve been working on, and lately I’ve been making a lot of […]

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Using Glass Instead Of Plastic

August 9, 2008

I’ve been environmentally conscious for years.  But ever since my husband and I started talking about having a baby (and especially since I got pregnant last year), I’ve been more and more concerned with avoiding toxins and chemical crud.  If money were no object, I’d love to build a super-green house with no chemicals in […]

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Thrifty Green Thursday

August 7, 2008

It’a Thrift Green Thursday time at Green Baby Guide.  They want to know what we’ve done to be thrifty and green, and I figure that fits my life just about perfectly.  So what have we done?  It’s been an evolving process for us over the years.  I was raised to be very thrifty, and pretty […]

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Trying To Find An ETF I Can Believe In

August 5, 2008

We’ve almost checked everything off our financial goals list for the year. Not bad, since we still have almost five months to go. We’ve maxxed out the HSA, and my husband’s IRA is on an automatic deposit schedule that will reach $5000 by December. We’ve paid off $5000 in our HELOC, which continues to be […]

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Carnival Of All Things Eco

August 4, 2008

The All Things Eco Carnival is up at Focus Organic.  Here’s a great post about making shipping mailers out of old paper bags.  Green and very frugal!  I can’t remember the last time I bought a padded mailer.  Whenever we get something in the mail in one of those things (the ones with all the […]

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A Hydroponic Garden

August 1, 2008

We’ve made another step towards becoming self-sufficient.  Yesterday we bought everything we need to set up a 4 foot square hydroponic garden in our crawl space.  This came after much discussion and research – we decided that the sizable upfront cost ($800+) will be a good investment that will pay for itself many times over.  […]

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Sprouts Are Sprouting!

July 6, 2008

I made a huge jar of sprouts yesterday. I’m not sure what kind they were, because we bought them in bulk and the bag of seeds doesn’t have a label. But whatever sprout seeds you buy, it’s one of the cheapest ways to get good veggies in your diet. We sprout about a quarter cup […]

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The Road To Solar Panels

July 2, 2008

We’ve added a new financial goal to our list. We want to install solar panels. We’ve been talking about it for years, but the price made the possibility unrealistic (at least $12,000 to put in enough panels to power our house, and even that would require that we cut back further on our electricity use). […]

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Turn Off Your Engine!!

June 30, 2008

I rode my bike around town today, running errands. I stopped at the post office, and noticed an H2 sitting in the parking lot, with the engine running and one person in the passenger seat. Obviously the driver had gone into the post office and the passenger wanted AC. When I came out ten minutes […]

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100 Things We Should Be Doing Anyway

June 25, 2008

I was cruising around my blogroll and found this post from Dawn at Frugal For Life.   Which led me to this post at Casaubon’s Book.   I think this is a great list.   I don’t claim to be an expert on world energy use, or timeframes for using up what we’ve got.   […]

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New Frugal Tips

June 20, 2008

We’ve all probably seen hundreds of lists of ways to save money; but most of the tips tend to be repeats.   But I came across this list today, and I liked the unique aspects of some of the tips.   ‘Stop smoking’ is one that we’ve heard before, but what about ‘stop tanning’?   […]

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Can’t Belive How Easy Cloth Diapers Are

June 19, 2008

Before our baby was born, I made a commitment to cloth diapers. I couldn’t bear the thought of several thousand disposable diapers sitting around in landfills for thousands of years; I didn’t want to spend $15/week on diapers; and I hated the thought of whatever chemicals are in ‘sposies that make them so absorbent (how […]

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Random Stuff

June 18, 2008

Just found this post from Mrs. Accountability about using baking soda and vinegar on her hair.  I’m excited to start doing this myself.  I’ve made a lot of changes in personal hygiene over the last few years.  I only wash my hair every third day, and I switched to chemical free shampoo a year or […]

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Free Veggies!

June 5, 2008

We’ve been spending about $15/week on dark green leafy veggies since January, when I started making green smoothies every day. We love how healthy we feel drinking the smoothies, but paying for the greens adds up fast. Happily, our garden is now producing, and we shouldn’t have to buy any greens until about November (our […]

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The Drive Smarter Challenge

June 4, 2008

Check out this site from the Alliance to Save Energy: the drive smarter challenge.   You enter the make, model, and year of your car, and then the site walks you through six steps that we can all take to stretch our gas mileage, and shows you how much gas each step will save you. […]

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