Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh deer ...

It's nice to have friends who give away deer meat; now we have the bottom of the freezer filled with free deer :)

We bagged it up ... but know nothing about the different cuts. We figure it will all cook about the same in the crock pot anyway. We put some aside to make jerky with, and a few aside that looked like steaks and roasts.

If you have a good recipe for deer, please share!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


As part of my new idea, we are trying to figure out the approximate cost of each thing we make. It will take a while to 'fine tune' it, but some things start off easier to find the cost than others.

This morning I made a large batch of waffles. I ended up with 38 ~4" square waffles (that look like the kind you buy frozen at the store) for about $2.40 TOTAL. I used quality ingredients, no preservatives or scary stuff, and very low sugar.

The recipe I came up with used 8 eggs, but we get eggs for free from a family at church that has a few chicken houses. I had some left-over buttermilk, so I put that in there. I estimate the cost of that to be about .50, however that can be eliminated if you just use water (yes, water can be substituted for milk in recipes; we do it all the time). I only use whole wheat flour when baking (my ONE exception is french bread - for that I used unbleached white); we found a discount store close to us that sells 50lb bags of good whole wheat flour for $19. [update, we now have a nicer grinder so we purchase 50lb sacks of organic wheat berries for $20 and grind it fresh] I used about .60 of flour in the recipe ... that's on the high end and assuming that one cup of flour weighs about 4.25oz.

Think of how much you'd pay at the grocery store. It's been a long time since I've bought frozen waffles, so I'm not the best person to be comparing prices; I'm sure you can do the math for yourself. The last waffles I bought were at a health food store. I got them for $2 (6 in a box) - and that's a real good price considering they were on sale AND I had a coupon. That would be a little more than $12 for 38 of those waffles (on sale!). Making them at home is a huge savings. But, let's say you don't buy the healthy waffles ... let's say you like the cheap, yucky stuff at the regular stores with a whole lot of sugar and some artificial flavors added in ... that taste so good! (Apple Cinnamon was my favorite!) The last I remember, there were about 10 waffles in a box of cheap, yucky stuff. You will still be saving quite a bit of money and not compromising your health by making high quality waffles at home. Also, the cheap waffles (and the more expensive ones) are not that dense. My waffles had a lot of substance to them and would take a lot less to fill you up. Don't get me wrong, they were not hard or heavy ... just filling and yummy.

Maybe you think you do not have time to make these waffles? It took me about 2 hours total, but I was not just standing around the waffle iron for the whole two hours! I listened to two sermons (one was short), ate lunch (waffles of course, and an orange), and cleaned the kitchen. I even helped 2 children with school questions. Once you get the batter mixed up, you'll have time between batches to do whatever you need to do - just stay close enough to the kitchen to peak in on the waffle iron.

Normally we'll eat 2 waffles each with one meal (we freeze them and heat them up in the toaster). 38 waffles at $2.40 total makes each waffle cost about .06316. There's 4 of us, so that's 8 waffles x .06316 = ~.51 total. Add an apple each and some free scrambled eggs ... that comes out to be about a quarter per person for one meal.

Now that's my idea of a 'dollar menu'.

EDITED on 2-20-13
Some have asked for the recipe. I apologize this is so late in coming. I thought I had lost the recipe forever, however thanks to my new relationship with the Flylady, I found the recipe the other day!! (See my newest blog post). Without further ado, here is the long anticipated (or long forgotten about!) recipe:
Pumpkin Waffles

6c whole wheat flour
3T baking powder
2t baking soda
1t salt
2T cinnamon
1 1/2t ginger
1t nutmeg
1/2t cloves
(may sub 1T pumpkin pie spice for the cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves)

8 eggs
1/2c sweetener
1t stevia
4c pumpkin
6 2/3c liquid (water, milk, juice, etc.)
1c butter
(may use 5c pumpkin and 6c liquid)

Mix dry & wet separately and then combine. Bake in a waffle maker. Cool completely and freeze (may add a square of wax or parchment paper between each waffle to prevent from sticking). Heat in the toaster as needed.

Substitute apple or pear sauce or butter or mashed bananas for the pumpkin. You may need to adjust the liquid amount.
Add finely chopped nuts or dried fruit. Adjust spices accordingly.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Changes coming soon!

Food prices are really going up!! Even so, I still believe a family can eat healthy while saving money. I have a few ideas brewing in my mind and a large homeschool project in the making; we are all so excited about it!

Be sure to check back soon ... the experimenting will begin as soon as humanly possible.