Winter is Coming


Welp. Looks like this is what we’re heating the house with this winter. I haven’t named it yet. Does anyone else name inanimate-yet-productive things that are a daily part of your life? No judgement. I do it. If people think I’m squirrely because of it, that’s their problem.

So,yeah. She’ll need a name.

There’s a brand new propane furnace here but when we called to set up an account w/ the fuel company, they ran a credit check which went like you might expect for us. Since we got a big 0 on that credit check, the company requires a $600 deposit . That is absolutely not going to happen.

So, wood it is then!

It is such a scary,scary thought to be in this situation where we couldn’t set up an account with the fuel company and NOT have this wood stove as a backup.

I’m nervous. This house is wonky as hell. The main part was built in 1825. That corner you see in the pic up there is most definitely mostly original brick from where the fireplace and hearth would have been. It has been added to over the years. You can tell that parts of other buildings and houses were used to make the changes. It’s an upcycled house all the way. I call it The Frankenhouse.  The windows are kind of a nightmare and I am already planning on buying 80 rolls of plastic at Lowe’s to make them less nightmarish. Obviously, no insulation either. Except some spray foam insulation in weird cracks and places around windows.

As I said before, I LOVE this house and property but there are a lot of issues that explain why the rent is affordable for us. This really was the best option for us. Actually, it was the only option.

The good news is we qualify for HEAP and they will help us get a couple cords of wood delivered before it gets cold (usually mid-to-late October is when I absolutely have to turn the heat on) and the rest won’t be so hard to stockpile from local people who sell firewood.  I hope. I’m crossing my fingers this winter isn’t as awful as last winter.

Next thrift shop trip: Blankets and big,bulky sweaters!

ICYMI: Winter produce guide,vegan avocado recipes, more tips to reduce food waste, homemade scouring scrub..and more

Backgrounds_Bright_green_background_035524_ (1)


The Food Stuff


10 Tips for the Black Thumb – Like, if yu swear you can’t grow stuff because you have a Black Thumb, these tips might help you get past that.

Winter Produce Guide – The Sprouting Seed– Really helpful buying tips for each produce item.

 Vegan Avocado Round Up  -I know finding avocados cheap can be a crapshoot for a lot of ya’ll but these… zomg… Keep Your Refrigerator Organized with Four Simple Tricks – helps reduce food waste

Soup of the Day: Broccoli Cheddar- comfort soup

How to stop wasting food in 2014-This list excites me.
On a related note, if I had a video camera and a less chaotic household, I would SO love do a Dumpster Diving Cooking show.
For real.

10 Easy Ways to Stay Within Your Grocery Budget |- some tips might help, depending on your situation and resources already available. Reading all the lists around the blogosphere of how to save money makes me realize I need to write one that is specific to people living in technical poverty, since most are written with voluntary simplicity and frugality in mind.

Food Storage: Storing Herbs and Spices for Long Term Storage– this is handy if you’ve managed to buy in bulk or grow your own.


The DIY Stuff

Homemade All Purpose Scouring Scrub -3 ingredients (and two of them you can buy with food stamps.Well, actually…you can make super washing soda with baking soda, so technically all 3 ) …plus essential oil, but that’s optional.

Make Your Own Washing Soda (For Homemade Laundry Detergent) |  -turn baking soda into washing soda

Gardening small? Many fruits grow in containers -You lucky people who are able to be thinking about gardening this time of year. I have MONTHS.
Thought this could be helpful for urban & small space gardeners.


ICYMI: Lots of low income & food stamp budget friendly recipe links

A round up of the stuff you may have missed this past week.


Food & Recipes

How to get kids to eat vegetables | No Ordinary Homestead -I used to be a pre-school teacher. One of the things I found thru my own experience teaching as well as raising my own children is that if kids participate in cooking & growing the food, they are much more likely to eat it.
And not surprisingly, tons of research confirms

Social Supermarkets -“In a nutshell, Social Supermarkets are markets that take surplus from other stores {items that are about to expire, are dented, mislabeled, etc.} and sell them at significant discounts to patrons who need some sort of economic assistance, instead of tossing them into the trash.”

Real Food Recipes to Replace Your Favorite Junk Foods – how to transform your fave “junky” recipes to real food ones. My tip: Don’t be intimidated by recipes that call for ingredients you’ve never heard or can’t find in your area. I’m an experienced cook and I had to google what an ingredient was yesterday lol
Totally use goggle when you are trying to find a substitute for an ingredient that is too expensive or hard to find.
(For example: Peanut butter or Sun Butter is a pretty decent sub for tahini)

25 Easy Crock Pot Dessert Recipes – Mmmmm, desserts.

100+ 30 Minute (or less) Meal Ideas for the Busy Cook | Love Bakes Good Cakes -Quick,easy…and a lot of them look pretty frugal,too.

Freezer Friendly | Well Rounded NY -budget friendly.

Frugality Gal: $1 Dinner: Super Cheap Meal to Make for a Lazy Night – It’s a group turkey-macaroni dish. Total cost $1.15 (her onions & peps were free,though)

90 Meals For $1.25 Per Serving (or Less!) – Daily Deals Blog – I was so confused because I scrolled down to the bottom and only saw 30. There’s 30 recipes for each meal.

1 Organic Chicken, 22 Healthy Meals, $49 Bucks  – There were skeptics when I posted this on my social media. I’ll have to experiment with it myself, maybe after the hollerdaze.

Secret Freegan scored all this food to donate to a teen shelter. Otherwise, it would be slated for trash.



Thrifty Living & DIY

A Thrifted and Thrifty Gifts Discussion: You Giving Thrifted Gifts? + Gift Wrap Ideas -I’m a big fan of thrifted giving. It’s about the only kind I do. Well, besides handmade.

5 Ways to Give Back This Holiday Season –           I like this list for several reasons. Mindful donations, caring for people and the planet, and practical things nearly everyone can do.
I was happy to see Treecycling. I collect them from the neighborhood & drag them into the woods. #goofypaganlady

 Literacy Launchpad: 20 Places to Find Free Children’s Books Online – A good resource for families w/ Internet connection at home but can’t make it to the library when they’re open to take out actual books.

25 Ways to Naturally Clean with Salt ~ * THE COUNTRY CHIC COTTAGE  – Non-toxic. Cheap. And you can use food stamps to buy it. It works,too. I had coffee stains on my counter and salt totally worked.

Articles & Thoughts

Iowa wants its poor to give up smoking and drinking to qualify for Medicaid – “A single person at 50 percent of the poverty line makes less than $500 per month. That’s obviously not someone who can afford even a nickel in extra expenses. But that was the income level in Iowa’s initial application, which means that for all practical purposes the original goal of this program was to (a) deny government benefits to poor people who are smokers, drinkers, drug users, or overweight, but (b) provide the benefits if these poor people agree to fairly intrusive government monitoring that ensures they improve these behaviors.”

Study: Over 21 Million U.S. Households Can’t Afford Their Rent – yeah.


Activism & Awareness

Campaign Aims to Get Cell Phones to Survivors: Donations Wanted – If you have an old cell phone laying around, consider donating it to this program. They help domestic violence victims have a lifeline to help when they need it.


Transgender workers are nearly four times more likely than the population as a whole to have a household income of less than $10,000. It’s absolutely important to address how poverty and trans issues intersect. Check out for more info.

When Drones Guard the Pipeline – Militarizing Fossil Fuels in the East By Winona LaDuke with Frank Molley.

Staff from the Chicago Bulls are spending the afternoon volunteering at the Food Depository! Thank you! They’re also fighting hunger with the Social Donation Plate. Check it out at


Songs for Social Justice: Bullets for breakfast and mass murder meals. Enemy of the state, and your plate is the battlefield

On my regular ol’ blog, I post often about music. I apply music to life and think of it as making up a soundtrack to my own life and the world’s consciousness. It would seem strange if I didn’t carry the music over to this blog, so once in a while, I’ll share some songs that apply to social justice.

This starts off with Vandana Shiva talking…

Once they have established the norm —

that seed can be owned as their property —

royalties can be collected.

We will depend on them

for every seed we grow

of every crop we grow.

If they control seed, they control food, they know it; it’s strategic.

It’s more powerful than bombs.

It’s more powerful than guns.

This is the best way to control the populations of the world.”

“Food Fight” by Earth Amplified is a lyrical commentary on life in an urban food desert  and the role the corporations and the government have in it.  But more than that, it’s about how food is used to further oppressed those who are already economically oppressed.
In the video for “Food Fight”, we follow  a kid on a journey through his homicidal food reality. The local corner store is killing his neighborhood — literally. From a Morpheus-like guide, he learns the reality behind the food he’s buying, and must decide to take the Orange Carrot Pill or the Red Bull Pill..

That’s what the streets them say.

That’s what police them say.

That’s what the Babylon say.

Put cola upon lips

and get popped the same way now.

That’s what The Pentagon say.

That’s what the generals say.

That’s what the empire say.

Put death down your throat,

you get dropped the same way.


There’s a war going on inside,

no man is safe from:


every corner in the hood got a KFC

or McD’s. It’s crack speed like RED

Bull-ish they pulpit — so caffeine,

Kit Kat like a click-clack holes in your genes

Cuz everything at market ain’t all what it seems.

Little Debbie bussing biscuits at sugar-high fiends.

Ain’t nothing but a G thing —

GMO, MSG, genocide of street gangs.

Aspartame or street cane.

Monsanto is Rambo.

Round Up with ammo.

Who would have known you can die from a diet

Diabetes and the -itis from the dairy and the dose

of the high fructose

cuz your ribs too close

so you might start a riot.

Might be a FOOD FIGHTER!



They shootin’!

Made you look

at the labels on the food that you cook.

Just say no to cocoa box

cuz when you Google the ingredients, you might get got.

Is your milk on drugs? Cuz your brain on Fox.

Factory farming spawning the Meatrix plot,

Globally warming us all, enough cows and NOx

driving the climate, driving a hummer or not.

Drive-in like a drive-by.

E.coli served super sized with a side of super lies.

so tell me what’s more gangsta than that?

Bullets or burgers both blaze burners to black.

Breakfast is a little like Texas,

Petro is everything that you’re eating on

My pesto is backyard like choppin’ chard.

My school lunch pack a punch.




What’s Beef?

Beef is when you’re 12 years old and obese

clogged arteries, can’t see your own feet

until you’re up in ICU, guaranteed to be an ‘I see you”

From that processed food.

Suicide. It’s a suicide.

Don’t want no microwaves, no pesticides.

Fast food’s a slow death in disguise.

It’s the wild wild westernized world of deception and lies.

What’s Beef?

Beef is when you starve in a famine.

Nothing won’t grow and the land stays barren.

Pollution in the river, mercury in the salmon.

What sense do it make, being at war with the planet?

We’re at war for the mind so impressionable.

Instead of vegetables,

we reach for Red Bulls.

Poor diets kill more brothers than pistols.

We’re fighting for our lives like Michael Vic’s pit bulls.

Dog eat dog, America eats the young,

We die from beef, but more from meat than the gun.

Bullets for breakfast and mass murder meals.

Enemy of the state, and your plate is the battlefield

in this FOOD FIGHT!

SoS Juice

Frugal Foodie Digest #2

A wrap-up of everything foodie and frugal posted the past week on the Cheap Eats Pinterest board and the Poor as Folk facebook page.

Recipes & Food How-Tos
Cheesy Sweet Potato sweet potato hashbrowns

Cheesy Sweet Potato Crisps

Red Lentils & Spinach in Masala Sauce

Red Lentil & Spinach Masala

Roasted Spaghetti Squash | Real Food Real Deals #healthy #recipe #vegan

How to Roast Spaghetti Squash

Cider Apple Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Cider Apple Chicken with Mushroom Sauce

Chicken Veggie Pie topped with Golden Potatoes |

Butternut Squash & Chorizo Shells

25 Sizzlin' Low Carb Pizza Recipes

Stir Fried Green Beans with Ginger and Onions on Simply Recipes

Stir Fry Green Beans with Ginger & Onion

Baked Eggs in Stuffed Peppers

Baked Eggs In Stuffed Peppers

White Chicken Chili with Poblano Peppers

Pawpaw Flesh and Seeds Foraging for Wild Pawpaw Fruits in Pennsylvania

Foraging for Wild Paw Paws

Cinnamon Bun Minis (low sugar and vegan)

Frugal Shopping & Budgeting

25 Healthy Foods for Under a Dollar | Premeditated Leftovers

25 Healthy Foods for Under $1.00

Leftover Swap– an app that hooks up people who have leftovers with who needs them

Managers Specials

Buying Grocery Store Manager Specials

My Upcycled Cucumber Trellis


I have a very small space to garden in , so I need to grow up as much as possible.
I had a terrible gardening season this year. I dealt with a stubborn , jerky woodchuck and masses of greedy slugs. We live on a creek bank, perfect breeding ground for tons of slugs. There was no method of slug control that was 100% effective, my guess is because there were just so many of them ,but everything that I grew vertically or in containers was spared somewhat. They at least had a fighting chance.

I have been saving the crib we used for the last 3 kidlets , NOT for another baby (SO done with that) ,but to upcycle into a bench . It’s hard to get rid of cribs, even on Freecycle or Craigslist. Because so many have been recalled, a lot of people don’t want to take a chance on secondhand cribs, even if they’re free. This makes them great for upcycling projects. Since I didn’t need the metal springs for my bench project (which I have not made yet. I will, I will….) , I decided to use them as a trellis.

Here’s how it looked when I first “planted” it in the ground:

All I did to set it up was to dig a little trench, set one end in to it, and fill with dirt. Then , I planted my cukes at the base.

The plants have since overgrown the top but it’s nearing the end of our gardening season and the trellis has held up marvelously.

cuketrellis2 cuketrellis3

I foresee a day of pickle making in our near future.

I just discovered a great Pinterest board this morning of other vertical gardening ideas, mostly things that can be easily build with upcycled things one might find easily in curbside free piles, Freecycle,craigslist, or salvage shops.

Grow Up!

Vertical gardening and other ways to save space in the veggie garden.



Small Footprint Fridays - A sustainable living link-up