Why Green Cleaning Is Frugal

homemade cleaners

Edna is our cleaning contributor to Pantry Paratus; she is back with a persuasive piece on making your own cleaners as a way to cut down on your budget!

If you are new at green cleaning, or have not even begun yet, there are a few very important things you need to know about it caring for your home in an ecological way.   You have likely read all about its benefits to the environment and how it is not dangerous to people’s health, those facts are all true. But what you might have missed or did not pay attention to is the fact that green cleaning is also economical and frugal.

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5 Foods You Can Easily Grow in your Backyard

5 Food You Can Easily Grow

This is an inspiring guest post with the effect of getting us all to start small and branch out from there.  There is so much we can do–even 10-15 minutes a day spent growing food will save you real cash and nourish your family.  Enjoy!

If you want fresh and organic options for your meals, fruits and vegetables from your home garden are a good choice. Not only does growing food save you money, but it also assures you that the foods you’re eating are not treated with pesticides and other chemicals. Start growing food today!

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DIY Tile & Grout Cleaner

DIY Tile & Grout Cleaner

Our guest post today is from Edna, who is a maintenance expert.  Be sure to read more about her at the end of this article; but in the meantime, let’s sparkle!  You know that my advice would always be to try the safest, most natural remedy first.  Edna gives us a few to choose from so that we can work up to the right solution. 

The trouble with grout is that it shows every speck of dirt, making your bathroom really unappealing. The same goes for your tiles. It’s really difficult to get stains off your bathroom surfaces, considering that they provide the perfect conditions for growth of bacteria and mold. Well, don’t panic. Here are a few homemade grout and tile cleaner recipes that may work wonders to keep your tiles free of dirt and stains. Check it out.

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Two Is One and One Is None: What is your Single Point of Failure?

Two is One and One is None: What is Your Single Point of Failure?

Some technical difficulties range from “Wow, that was annoying,” to the type of events that can make you want to lose your religion.  The constant prompts to “listen carefully as our voice menu options have changed” annoy me, because I am constantly caught up in the spin cycle of man’s evolution for automated phone answering systems.  Compare that to having your hard drive fail on your laptop; this can bring you to the point of finding out whether you are as emotionally well adjusted as you think you are.

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Kitchen Self-Sufficiency Skills: 11 Places to Start

kitchen self sufficiency

Some of us might jump into the middle of this list of kitchen self-sufficiency skills; some might have more to learn. I personally find I am overwhelmed with what I don’t know, but that once I have a plan to tackle something I can shake off the paralysis. If the light-bulb has come on over your head and you’re thinking “gak—I only have enough food in the fridge for 3 days,” start here.

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Why Food Matters: Ideology, food ethics, provision, & palette

Why Food Matters

Food is my business. Not just food—I am not a chef; I can’t make my tiramisu presentable or my own puff pastry dough from scratch—but our (Wilson & my own) passion is in teaching others the importance of knowing where food comes from and how to preserve it for future use.

Maybe you’ve thought some of these:

The problem is bigger than me. 
I don’t want to know.
But it tastes so good.
I don’t have time.
I don’t know how.

If you have (and I have), then I would like for you to consider four areas of food ethics.  These four things will totally change the way to see–and taste–what’s on your plate. 

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Fermenting: Large vs. Small Batches

pickled carrots

You can pickle nearly anything following the same basic steps in this article. Really. My family doesn’t really care for pickled carrots, but I absolutely adore pickled garlic, onion blooms, and radishes. And of course, there is always sauerkraut too! If you are interested in pickling eggs, please read this article.

pickled-carrots pickled-garlic

When I ferment anything, I no longer use the large “crock” method. Perhaps that is because I have never owned a real fermenting crock but have tried other hacks such as food grade buckets. I much prefer fermenting in very small batches and so I stick with mason jars.  This is purely experiential opinion, but you’re welcome to it:

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Kitchen Self-Sufficiency: Breaking Free

Kitchen Self-Sufficiency: Breaking Free

We talk a lot about kitchen “self-sufficiency” but I think we all know that there is no such thing, honestly, since I cannot produce and preserve 100% of my spices, produce, and meats. I want to make some clarifications as to our philosophy and what we are attempting to inspire in you.   Self-sufficiency is not referring to the mountainside prepper with 12 children and concertina wire.

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The Reluctant Naturalist: I paid HOW MUCH for groceries??!!??!!??

The Reluctant Naturalist: I spent how much on groceries?

Erin was told that her chronic pain was caused by a combination of things, to include sugar and an allergy to potatoes.  As it turns out, potatoes are in nearly everything in some form (even your table salt).   She had to dump nearly all of the spices and pantry staples she owned and find alternatives that were foreign to her cooking style and tastes.  There is a major learning curve to this, as anyone who’s gone through it would tell you if they got honest enough.  Be encouraged!  You–and she–will learn more tricks to the trade.  There are definitely ways to keep the budget lower, but you have to learn what you can eat and how to cook it.  Give yourself time.  In the meantime…let’s take a peek into Erin’s journal.



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The Reluctant Naturalist Grocery stores: The Housewives’ Casino

Grocery Stores: The Housewives' Casinos

So, I know the title sounds like a bit of a stretch (and potentially offensive to the occasional housewife), but as a housewife myself and after looking at the extensive evidence I am sure that this is true.

Grocery Stores: Housewives Casino

Grocery Stores are the Housewives’ Casino.

Let me explain. There is a grocery store being built down the street from my house. This is beyond exciting to me since the closest store that I shop at is currently 30 minutes away. But, the thing that struck me the most were the audacious amount of windows peering into the aisle-clad building.

The mere idea of windows struck me as odd.  What kind of grocery store has that many windows in it?  With my extensive amounts of time in these particular stores (especially as of late) I can say it is a rare thing to see a grocery store with windows. Continue reading The Reluctant Naturalist Grocery stores: The Housewives’ Casino