Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Living on a disability income is not an easy thing to do. Especially when you are now bringing in less than half of what you brought home when you were working yet the bills remain the same. You have to cut costs where you can. Buying fresh produce and meat in bulk when I find a good sale is one of the easiest and best ways for me to trim our budget. Plus since I do not use all the chemicals that are in processed foods and convenience foods that you get from the store our health is doing better.

An added bonus for me is that canning is a hobby that I have always enjoyed. It relaxes me and takes my mind off all the little things that worry me from time to time. And I get the added benefit of knowing when I look at all my jars of food that I am able to feed my family good wholesome meals and not have to worry about running out of food before the next once a month check comes.

The week of St. Patrick's Day cabbage was on sale at one store for 19 cents a pound. For my area that is dirt cheap as cabbage is usually 69 cents a pound around here. I got 6 nice size heads. Below is just two of them.

After cleaning off the outer leaves I cut the heads in quarters and cut out the core.

Then I cut each quarter into pieces.

I blanched the cabbage for 3 minutes in boiling water then using a slotted spoon I filled the jars with the cabbage and packed it down a little. Then I added 1 teaspoon of canning salt and enough of the hot blanching water to come up 1 inch head space. I wiped the rims of the jars to make sure there was nothing on them then applied the 2 piece caps. Placed the jars in a pressure canner and processed for 55 minutes at 10 pounds pressure which is required for my area's sea level.

Canned cabbage does not look at green and pretty as fresh boiled cabbage looks but it tastes just the same and its yummy!

Though you can not see them all I got 15 quarts of cabbage put a couple of fresh meals out of those 6 heads of cabbage. Not a bad deal for about $3 worth of cabbage. I will be using some of this cabbage to make corn beef and cabbage. some for cabbage soup and some just heated up and served.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Canning Corned Beef

Last week corned beef was on sale pretty cheap for my area. I had been to can some for quite a while now and the price finally came down enough to do it. I bought 5 of them. The most time consuming part was trimming all the fat, after that the process went pretty quick. Last night I opened a jar and made corned beef and cabbage with some of it and corned beef hash with the rest. All I can say is that it tasted so much better than the canned corned beef that you buy at the store. YUM!

Here is what the corned beef looked like before I trimmed the fat off.

After trimming. :)

Some of the cuts had fat between layers of meat. So I cut out that fat to. I used a very sharp knife which made it easy to do.

After the fat was removed from the middle of the cuts. I then cut the strips into 1 inch x 1 inch pieces and packed in jars.

Then I packed the meat down nice and tight in the jar to remove as many air pockets as I could. Divided the
pickling seasoning packets between the jars. Wipe the rims really good. Applied the two pieces lids and process them for one hour and 15 minutes at ten pounds pressure which is what is called for in my area. I did not add any water to the jar as the meat had enough of its own juices.

The finished product. Each one of these jars has just over a pound of meat in them. One jar will feed my family of 3 very easily.

For anyone who has never canned corned beef before I would encourage you to try it. Just please make sure to follow the recommend instructions for canning meats in your area of the country. It's better to take time to learn how to can safely then to be sorry later.

Happy canning everyone!

Monday, March 18, 2013

March Stock Up Shopping

As most of you know we live on a limited income and only get our checks once a month. I watch all the ads for the week we get our checks and plan my shopping and menus for the month around what I can find on sale for super good prices. I also watch for good sales on meats, produce and fruit and buy big amounts to can and use for later dates.

This month included a trip to Lowery's Meat Market where I got just under 100 pounds of meat for $188.37. I love their meats. Everything tastes so good and the prices compared to Walmart, Meijers and Harding's are so much cheaper. Plus the meat is better at Lowery's if you want my honest opinion.

Here is a few pictures of the meat I got this month.

In the packages are ground sirloin, spareribs, fresh Italian brats, Cheddar brats, Jim Dean Italian sausage, breakfast sausage, honey loaf  and pepper loaf lunch meats, Colby cheese, cheddar cheese and pepper jack cheese. Of course hubby had to have his hot links and Mississippi smoked sausage. LOL Oh and plus I got two-50 pound bags of red potatoes.

We made a day of going out to eat at Golden Corral for lunch which was great! I have never been there before and then we spent the rest of the day shopping. We went to Lowery's, Walmart and Meijers. I stocked up on two months worth of meat, one month of other items plus some cabbage and corned beef briskets that I canned.

Here are some pictures of some of the other stuff I stocked up on.

All total I spent a little over $375 dollars to buy all that I got. Of course not all of it is pictured here because I didn't have time to take pictures of all of it. I had to get the meat taken care of. Other than buying milk, fresh produce and eggs I won't need to go shopping for another two months. Well that is unless I come across some really good buys in the next two months. LOL

Happy shopping everyone. Hope you are all getting some really good deals. :) Now I am off to split a double decker chocolate moon pie with hubby. I love those darn things but they are not good for my bg levels so we split them.