Yarn Along

~ Two of my favorite things are knitting and reading (though not at the same time!), and the evidence of this often shows up in my photographs. I love seeing what other people are knitting and reading as well. So, what are you knitting or crocheting right now? What are you reading? Take a photo and share it either on your blog or on Flickr. Leave a link below to share your photo with the rest of us! ~

small things blog-6112

I’m knitting the first sleeve on Larkspur’s Leksak, though last night I had to rip it back and start over.  I had gone up a needle size for the sleeve because last time I knit a Leksak, using this same yarn, my sleeve stitches looked too tight.  I do tend to knit more tightly on double points.  The jump from sevens to eights was too much though and the stitches looked loose and ugly.

We are under pressure to cut our grocery budget and I picked up a copy of Frugavore to see if there are any good ideas there.  I’m enjoying the book so far, although I haven’t yet reached the chapters that ought to contain practical advice.  This week I am cooking from a new (to me) Moosewood cookbook, Moosewood Restaurant Favorites.  I learned to cook in college using The Moosewood Cookbook and I am really liking Restaurant Favorites so far.  Last night I made a potato and cabbage soup that was easy, basic, and liked by everyone!


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  1. Check out the “More with Less” Cookbook by the Menonite Community. After 27 years of marriage, we still make a big pot of pinto beans once a week. It’s actually one of my kids favorite meals and it’s cheap. The first night we eat it like soup with corn tortillas and cheese, then with the leftovers (which I can freeze) I can make enchiladas or tostadas or burritos. When we have chicken, I always boil the carcass afterwards and save it for chicken-spinach-noodle (or rice) soup. I also really pick off the bones and save the chicken leftovers for chicken enchiladas or chicken pot pie. I make pulled pork (with a cheap shoulder cut) once a week and serve it on rice (or you could make sandwiches. The Pioneer Woman has a corn chowder recipe that is one of my kids’ favorite soups. One of my husband’s favorite met dishes is her pot roast (cooked with carrots, onions and rosemary) and served over mashed potatoes. We had our vegetarian years, but for us, it wasn’t providing enough protein for our growing boys and it got to be very expensive as the kids got bigger. One of the keys, I think, to saving money on food is to always know what you are going to cook for dinner the evening before (you don’t need to follow a monthly food schedule – it doesn’t take advantage of sales) and to shop carefully, as in thinking ahead. Also read “The Tightwad Gazette” books. The author has a lot of very useful suggestions on saving money and raising a family.

  2. the original Moosewood cookbook has a peanut sauce that is to die for!
    good luck with the food budget…when my hubby and I were just married we ended up eating a lot of tuna casserole!

  3. My oldest daughter found a Moosewood cookbook at my in-laws this year in the basement and brought it home. I need to look it over! I swear, when I look at the price of meat, I’m fairly certain we will be vegetarians soon!
    Our dishcloths arrived today and my mom has declared them, ‘The BEST DISHCLOTHS IN THE WORLD!”
    So I’m a wonderful daughter and you are super star for finding these! We should both take a bow!

  4. As a graduate student, I am on a super tight budget as well. I recently came across a woman who made her book with cheap healthy recipes available online. She started it as part of her MA thesis project (a MA in nutrition, I believe), but it garnered so much attention that she decided to publish AND make it available online for everybody.
    Maybe you’re not into these kinds of recipes, but I figured I should at least let you know. I think some of them are really great :).

    –> Here’s a link to the book, called “Good and Cheap”: https://41aac1a9acbe9b97bcebc10e0dd7cb61ef11502c.googledrive.com/host/0B9c5aT4eSlRfMzVpbC0xemtkSlE/good-and-cheap.pdf

  5. Yes… those dastardly food budgets. I have the same problem and I’m entirely unwilling to buy the very cheapest food as its so full of manufactured junk. Looks like from the comments there are a lot of us under the same knife!
    We love to gather wild food. K. (my eldest) made it a hobby of hers for about 8 years to know all the wild edibles! Right now we are gathering mushrooms, California bay nuts and rearing our own meat chickens. Chickens are a great way to expend very little and get lots back if you have enough space to let them forage.
    And I use the cookbook that followed a British tv series called Economy Gastronomy: Eat better and Spend Less. All my best and cheapest dinners come from there. Its uses the premise of cooking a really big meal followed by tumble down meals and they are delicious.

  6. Argh! I was so close to commenting that an entire needle size would be too much but I wrote only “going up a bit” or something like that because I don’t trust myself as a knitter. How frustrating!

    I didn’t comment yesterday but wanted to say that Gabe in that polo shirt carrying Job was so darn handsome! I think I would melt if I had big strong teenage boys carrying my baby around! They just look so mature and helpful and wonderful! (I’m sure he’s a normal teenager…it just “looks” so cool!)

    • Well, I was knitting on 7s, and there isn’t an in between–And really, I knew it wasn’t going to be good and I did it anyway. I seem to do a lot of things like that-

      • I meant how frustrating for you, by the way, not for me! 🙂 I’m really hoping to get to a yarn store today to start Advent gifts. My littlest one got sick and I haven’t been outside the house in three days! I need wool!

  7. I am very fond of “The Moosewood Restaurant Cooks at Home”. It has a level of practicality that I appreciate, and the recipes work well.

  8. That Frugavore book looks terrific! Thanks for starting Yarn Along. I get the greatest book ideas here!

  9. I’ve gotten that Moosewood cookbook from our Library a few times and it does have some yummy recipes in it! We’ve been eating lots of beans and sweet potatoes. One of my favorites right now is black bean and sweet potato tacos. They’re cheap and super yums! http://www.pinterest.com/pin/244953667208119815/

  10. Ginny,
    Hope that book has some good tips. I wonder if our library has it.

    I sat down and wrote out things our family does to eat healthy food on a budget awhile ago, when Tricia of Farmish Momma asked me to contribute to her Real Food on a Real Budget series. Here’s a post that will link there in case you’re interested: http://woolymossroots.com/2014/03/real-food-on-real-budget/

    I know it’s very different because we are only a family of three, but maybe something there will be of interest? We eat a paleo-ish diet which makes eating on a budget even trickier than usual, but we’ve found some frugal ways. I figure we probably all have little things we’ve found that can help each other.


  11. the sweater is looking beautiful! I love the color. Moose wood cookbooks are terrific. Does your family like beans? I think they are awesome for cutting the grocery budget. They are much cheaper dried in bulk, and I will cook them in the crockpot (very easy), and they freeze just fine.

  12. I have nothing to share this week with our crazy house painting prep project going on… I love looking around and seeing what everyone else is doing though!

  13. We have been battling with our food budget for most of this year. I highly recommend this blog: http://www.dontwastethecrumbs.com and her newsletter (which contains valuable info in addition to what’s on the blog)–I’ve tried several of her ideas and they are helping. She has unique ideas that I haven’t seen elsewhere. Feeding growing kids on a strict budget is hard work!

    • Also wanted to recommend the cookbook The Family Cooks by Laurie David; I was skeptical of this one at first, but I’ve discovered several go to recipes in it that are frugal and tasty!

  14. Soup. I can never get all my kids to like the same soup. Sigh.

  15. Nice book ideas. We always look for ways to cut grocery bills around here. 🙂

  16. Cutting the grocery budget is never easy & is something we definitely struggle with here, too. It’s about the only place left we can cut anything. I grew a huge crop of butternut squash this year in hopes it would help out with at least one, maybe two, meals per week throughout the winter months…only two months in & I think everyone is sick of it. Too bad we still have over 20 remaining. I keep reminding myself that not every meal I prepare needs to be insanely tasty; filling & healthy is probably a better goal for me. Thank you for the book tip!

  17. I have managed to cut about 25% from my food budget by using coupons and following the couponing advice on couponmom.com (I have no monetary interest in this site). Since my husband has been out of work for 2 years and my part-time salary doesn’t cover our bills this has been very helpful.

  18. I used to get those cookbooks at our old library and loved them. Yum! Love the yarn for the Leksak!

  19. it’s so FUN to read about baking and cooking! FYI, when I was trying to reign in my food budget years ago, I roasted veggies – they smell great, taste great and are good for you! My naturopath in Ottawa suggested this to me and it was just lovely. Here’s how I did it if you want to peek but no worries either way 🙂 http://eroosje.blogspot.com/2010/12/this-thursdays-end.html Maybe others will have suggestions as well! God bless you! I am going to pray about this for you today! that some great new recipes come to you! 🙂

  20. I’d like to hear a full review on Frugavore when you finish it! It sounds really interesting!

  21. we are having similar issues… food budget cutting. having 6 kids at home and one who visits a few times a week… man it is a lot of dough! lol i think i will pick up that book, maybe the library has it. 😛

  22. Frugavore sounds really interesting! And definitely a book that I would love. Will have to check to see if the library carries it!

  23. My husband and I just finished cooking the last of our apples down into applesauce. I think we have about 15 quarts in the freezer now. Not bad for 2 little dwarf apple trees! He keeps telling me that he wants to expand the garden. I think if I can get him to keep helping me out, he might just get his wish!

  24. the moosewood cookbooks are my favorites!!! just made the caribbean shrimp soup from the original….gosh it was good!!!!

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