Tuesday, July 31, 2012

A New Look and Same Old Chaos ...

So as I was avoiding my chores - one area I think I have perfected - and re-vamping the look of my blogs.  Yes, I have more than one.  I have one for each area of my life that is most important to me and focus pretty much on caring for my family, my faith and teaching children.  This blog is about my family and I how I care for them - food.  When you have 7 children, believe me - it seems your life revolves around food 24/7.  Mine is more the planning, buying and cooking aspect of it while theirs is the consuming part.

So now that my blog looks better ... I want to share a tip to saving costs in the area of groceries (and other areas).  Bartering.  Yup, bartering.  Last week I received a call from the butcher that our side of beef was ready (will last us about 9 months).  In that order was some liver.  My family won't - or claim they won't - eat it.  Is that a challenge?!?  Anyway, I have a friend whose family will.  This friend also makes some yum-a-licious bottled peppers.  I teased her that I would trade the liver for some of her bottled peppers.  Guess what?  She did get the liver, and I got some HUGE batches of tomatoes in return.  I have 5 quarts of tomatoes ready to can and a crock-pot full of tomatoes and spices simmering into a spaghetti sauce I will freeze from the first batch.  I would never have gotten that out of my garden as we went small, and the drought is bad.  I had something my friends could use but didn't need.  They were going on vacation and had tomatoes that would waste, but I could use.  That is how bartering works. 

I have bartered livestock - rabbits for ducks.  The duck became a part of this past Christmas Eve's dinner of plum roasted duck, wild rice, steamed broccoli, and salad.  It was so good.  Bartering does not have to be food for food.  We got out of raising rabbits a few months back.  We knew someone who did though.  We had a trailer needing repair and knew this individual could fix it.  Guess what we bartered?  There used to be a lot more bartering back when money was in short supply.  I think it a fabulous idea.  I paid a baby-sitter in rabbit meat once when I was short on cash. Free is good, but sometimes I like to feel I am able to be self-sufficient and independent and bartering allows me to do that. Now I doubt I could could go to my local Wal-Mart and trade some homemade bread for toilet paper, but finding things and areas in which I could barter and cut costs helps other areas of the budget like paper goods.