Friday, January 30, 2009

Frugal Friday: Food

Last year around Earth Day I made a commitment to waste less food. I have been trying really hard to see different ways to use up the fresh produce in our fridge that for one reason or another isn't eaten right away.

So when we bought a HUGE box of blueberries at Costco 2 weeks and got home only discover that most of the berries were mushy instead of firm, I let them sit in the fridge for a week. And just when I thought I would give up and throw them out, I got the idea to make jam with them.

Now we have 5 jars of blueberry freezer jam in the freezer (which is a good thing, I was down to the last jar of raspberry jam from this summer), and Jack declared "Mom! This jam is even better than the other one."

We also buy those huge boxes of organic spinach at Costco. We use a lot of it in salads, but as we get down to the bottom 1/3 of the box it is starting to get wilty. Rather than tossing it I have taken to blanching it and then popping it in the freezer to use in cooked recipes later.

It's a small change, but it does all add up.

On a slightly different note (this certainly does affect my wallet), there was an anon comment this week asking me about the CPSIA .

If you haven't educated yourself about this yet, you should.

As soon as I heard about it I started contacting my local government rep (who happens to be completely useless, I am starting to think he is thick) to let them know that this was going to be a killer not only for handmade artisans but for parent's pocketbooks.

As I am sure you know, we buy almost all of Jack's toys and clothing exclusively from the secondhand market. I also sell his outgrown clothing at a big consignment sale twice a year to make enough money to rebuy him new clothes twice a year. If I were truly unable to buy from secondhand sources I am not sure what I would do about buying things for him, it would definitely hurt.

And while I don't sell handmade toys anymore, I used to.

So I absolutely can get behind the outrage of this foolishness.

Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't argue with the "spirit" of the law, but the reality of it is just a big mess if you ask me. (And on so many levels: from the amount of garbage created to putting small business out of business and so on.)

It's too late the write letters, D-day is Feb 10th, but you can still work your telephone and let Washington know that this absurd.

And I highly encourage you to do so. There is big talk in the world right now about making a difference, and your voice certainly will add to the chorus.

(EDITED: I had to take Jack to school, but I do want to mention that yes, they have said thrifts and resellers will be exempt, HOWEVER, the wording is such that if a thrift/reseller is caught selling something that does not meet the new standards, they are still subject to hefty fines and penalities. The same is true for chain stores with existing stock. Clearly the problem is not solved.)


  1. Sarah-thought you might be interested in this

  2. I'm with you - this law is REDICULOUS. And I love the jam. :) Do you have a recipe?


  3. Good for you for making jam and freezing spinch xoxox Clarice

  4. the jam looks delish!

    I hadn't even thought about the way it will hit my pocketbook - of course the producers will have to pass the costs on to us and demand will be greater for fewer items on the market.

  5. Anonymous2:08 PM

    So they're exempt...unless they get caught? Thats not exempt. This law is one of the most ill thought out things ever. For many people the only option it will leave is to buy Made in China junk and thats where the whole problem started, not with made inthe US, handmade by mama's type stuff.
    And as a law it will affect the worlds crafty types. We won't be able to sell to people in the US which is a big chunk of some peoples sales.

  6. Making blueberry freezer jam is a great idea! We always buy the larger containers when they're on sale and wash and freeze the individual berries, but I've never made jam. I think I'll try that. :)

    And I'm so with you on the CPSIA...I'm sure the intent was good, but the law was not well thought out, at all.
    As it stands, it will only serve the interests of the large toy companies by wiping out their competition. :(


  7. can i get your blueberry freezer jam recipe? i made regular blueberry jam last year and it was just so so. i might try the freezer kind this time around.


Hi there. What say you?