Friday, October 10, 2014

Three simple ideas: Save money on groceries

Last week I wrote three simple ideas for growing your own food, because I wanted to start a discussion about ways to start living a simple life.  There are lots of options and the path you choose will depend on your priorities and abilities.  I've been thinking about some good (easy and cheap) places to start, based on my own experiences.  This week I'm thinking about saving money on groceries (apart from growing your own veges, see previous post!)

Simple: Make your own yoghurt from powdered milk
A 1kg bag of milk powder costs about $7, and will make about 10 L of yoghurt, so it is a very cheap way of making yoghurt! I use an easiyo thermos, which costs around $20, but if you have a small eski or drink cooler that can fit a jar, you can use that to make yoghurt too. I see easiyo thermoses at markets and op shops all the time, I bought a second one from the dump shop for $2.  Look out for one, buy it and make cheap yoghurt!  See my posts about yoghurt here.




Simpler: Use natural cleaners
I usually don't clean with anything much more than hot water and a cloth, but if I need something stronger I use vinegar.  If you using expensive chemicals at the moment, you can try making cheap and natural cleaning mixtures instead, see here and here.



Simplest: Soap nuts
Soap nuts have worked out to be so easy to use and better for our greywater than using laundry powder, and about the same cost as laundry powder, read more here.

What do you think? What are some other ideas to get started with a simple life? I will have more next week....


5 comments:

  1. Hi Liz, Sorry to be negative but we are not big fans of powdered milk. We used it to help thicken raw milk for making yogurt. This avoided the need to drain the yogurt to get a better texture i.e. less runny. But there is some research out there that puts a question mark over powdered milk because it is suspected of being a source of oxidised cholesterol. Using Google Scholar will lead you to some research material. The reason we grow our own food is to ensure its purity and its freshness to maximise nutritional value. This applies to milk based products and we always use raw milk. Most people don't have access to raw milk and therefore their challenge is to find affordable but healthy substitutes. For us food is measured by nutritional value and quality not just cost. When the question of price is raised we remind ourselves that food is medicine and long term health should be taken into account.

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    1. Thanks John and Jean, I know the research you mean and I agree its important to eat the best quality food you can afford. However, I also know that not everyone has access to raw milk, and the benefits of yoghurt as a fermented food outweigh the problems with oxidised cholesterol. I do not advocate using powdered milk to replace fresh milk though. Most bought yoghurt contains powdered milk (labelled as milk solids), so if this is something that you would normally buy, making it yourself is cheaper and not any worst for your health.

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  2. Those lemons in the jar caught my eye, thankyou for the citrus cleaner recipe but when you strain it do you throw the lemons out or just top them up again with more vinegar? Will make the gloop when I find my eucalyptus oil! Great reminder to stop buying stuff when we can make it.

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    1. yes, you can just keep topping them up with vinegar, and then put the lemons in the compost when you're done.

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  3. I buy easyio out of date BT jn bulk. I think a kg or made yoghurt or smoothy works out at about 30p that way! The five of us eat loads of it!

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Thanks, I appreciate all your comments, suggestions and questions, but I don't always get time to reply right away. If you need me to reply personally to a question, please leave your email address in the comment or in your profile, or email me directly on eight.acres.liz at gmail.com

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