Celeste Longacre has been growing her family's vegetables for 35 years . She and her husband live sustain-ably in their handmade octagonal home in New Hampshire. She shares her tips on saving money and green living below:
• Buying spices in bulk can result in substantial savings. Save your jars to re-use and collect the spices in the baggies provided. Organic can be purchased at reasonable prices this way.•Organic Gardening is a wonderful hobby and it's healthy. Veggies can be grown on the smallest plot of land or on your window sill, if you live in an apartment. Focus on vegetables that are easy to grow and produce abundant fruit, like tomatoes, and learn how to can and store the excess. Opening up a jar of tomatoes in the winter that you grew yourself in the summer and canned in the fall is a wonderful experience – and it can really help with trimming the food bill.• Shopping at Garage Sales and Flea markets are a great way to find tools and utensils for the garden and home - at a fraction of the cost.• Put an insulation blanket over your water heater. This prevents heat from escaping and you'll save on the electric bill.• When buying beets at the farmer’s market, make sure to keep the tops on. Wash and tear into smallish pieces discarding the stems. Steam for about 8 minutes, turning with tongs several times. Toss with butter, grated cheddar cheese and salt. Your family will love the deliciousness and you will be able to feel their exceptional vitamins and minerals on your teeth. The greens are actually better for you than the beets itself.• Leftovers are a great way to save money. Whether it's chicken or hot dogs or fish that you have leftover, finish cooking them and use them then next day in salads or soups.• Snacks like popcorn, purchased at the market can add up. Popcorn, can easily be made at home. Cover the bottom of a pan with 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 coconut oil. Heat until it swirls a bit. Add a layer of popcorn and put the lid on tight. As it pops, shake the pan so that the uncooked kernels will fall to the bottom. When the popping slows down considerably, dump the popcorn into a large bowl. Add brewer’s yeast—nutritional yeast (not baker’s yeast) and a seasoning salt such as Herbamare. Yum!
and More tips here :
Throwaway wipes can be tremendously expensive. But sponges can be bleached on a regular basis to maintain their germ-free status. A ten percent bleach/ninety percent water solution is ideal. Once bright again, rinse with dish soap. Don’t leave them in the solution for too long; they will deteriorate.
When buying chicken, always buy it on the bone. The cost per pound is less so the bones are, in effect, free. They can be stored in the freezer until it is time to make soup. Put them in a large pot and fill with water. Bring the water to a low boil and slow simmer for several hours or a day or two. Vegetable ends can be kept in the freezer for a week or two and added to the stock. You won’t believe how delicious and nutritious this “free” soup can be.
Farmer’s markets are a great way to save money. Farmers will give you deals when a vegetable or fruit is in season. They have lots of them and often the cost goes down the more you buy. Get together with friends for even better deals. Then you can freeze the extra to eat in the winter. Berries can be frozen right on a cookie sheet then tossed into a bag. Most vegetables need to be blanched or steamed for about three minutes to kill organisms that would bother them in the freezer. Stop the cooking by placing them in ice water before filling the bags.
Summertime herbs can be dried for winter use. Pick and tie in small bundles on a windy porch. Keep them out of the Sun. After a few weeks, most can be removed from their stems and saved in tight-closing glass jars.
In the summer, if you have the space - rather than using the dryer, hang clothes on a rack or clothesline outside where they blow in the breeze and absorb the sweetest of smells.
Celeste has been the astrologer for The Old Farmers Almanac for twenty years. She's the author of CELESTE'S GARDEN DELIGHTS where you can learn practical ways to garden, live sustainably and save money. Visit her website at: celestlongacre.com