Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Un-Shopping List

Years ago, in the Frugal Community, there was a concept floating around called the Un-Grocercy List. Basically the Un-Grocery List was a list of all the products that you would no longer buy because you were making it yourself or because you've decided to do without that product.

I've taken it a step further in including things besides groceries. For example, we've talked about how to make some homemade cleaners. So if you used to buy Lysol, Windex, 409, toilet bowl cleaner etc., but now you make your own, those would go on your Un-Shopping List. If you used to buy paper napkins but now use cloth, paper napkins would go on your Un-Shopping list. If you've decided to use The Keeper or make your own sanitary pads (many people do) then Kotex or whatever would go on your Un-Shopping list. Maybe you used to buy little pots to start your seeds in and now you've discovered how to make newspaper pots. Well, seed starting pots would go on your list!

Probably the biggest category would still be convenience grocery items. For example, I no longer buy Rice-A-Roni, I make my own seasoned rice or most times we just have plain brown rice cooked in a bit of chicken broth. Maybe you make a great salsa and stopped buying the store made ones. Perhaps you bake bread now, make your own noodles, your own popsicles, cakes, puddings, ketchup, you name it you can make it!

Now it does take more time to make things from scratch. Especially your first time around. But generally it's less expensive than buying convenice AND you know what's in it! Besides, I've got more time than money (especially if I use my time wisely)! But just like when you're trying to integrate anything new into your life, start slowly! Don't just decide that all of a sudden you're going to make everything from scratch. You'll just overwhelm and discourage yourself.

I keep my Un-Shopping List in my Household Journal. It's a great motivator to see your Un-Shopping List get longer and longer! To know that you can manage without running to the store for every little thing is great!

Here's a recipe to get you started with your Un-Shopping List:

Cream of ______ Soup
2 cups dry milk
3/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup chicken bouillon granules
2 tablespoons dried onion flakes, optional
1 teaspoon dried leaf thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf basil, optional
1/2 teaspoon dried leaf oregano, optional
1/2 teaspoon ground marjoram, optional
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 to 3 teaspoons butter

Mix all ingredients except together except the butter and store in airtight container. To use, mix 1/2 cup dry soup mix with 1 1/4 cups water and cook until thick; add butter. This is equal to one can cream soup. The mix makes enough to equal 9 to 10 cans. For cream of mushroom or celery soup, add chopped sauteƩ mushrooms or celery along with the butter while cooking.

Here are a few a great sites for more recipes

Hillbilly Housewife

Busy Cooks Convenience Food Mixes


Teresa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Teresa said...

Sorry about that last post...too many typos.

Niki said...

Great post Manuela, I'm going to make note of the Cream of Soup recipe.

GlorV1 said...

Manuela, that is so good. The "unlist." I really like that. Lets see, I make my own tortillas, my own salsa, cook my beans, soups, sometimes bread, so that is a good start. Your lists are always good and I commend you on your blog. Have a good Sunday.

Momto5 RachelJoy Photography said...

interesting!! i like this idea...

Salmagundi said...

I've never run across this mix recipe before. I'll add it to my other homemade mixes (taco seasoning, salad dressings, muffin mixes, etc. ) Thanks for posting it. Sally

Rhonda said...

I love the idea of your un-shopping list.

I made pancakes from scratch for breakfast and I have made them hundreds of times.
but today, I also made homemade pancake syrup - I am not sure if it is the cheapest syrup but it sure tasted better than that last few bottles of store bought syrup we have had. I don't think my hubby will ever want storebought syrup again.

Deb said...

Great idea Manuela, about the un-shopping list but please excuse me I have to ask "How do you make pads"? And out of what? Curiosity is killing this cat. Deb

Suzann said...

Well, I'm all about saving money and being smarter. Great idea! I'm going to give your cream of ??? soup a whirl.

Lady Katherine said...

These post you are doing are so great. People need to learn how to go back to a simple life. Back to the Basics. Now if we could teach my hubby to cook from scratch! I have talked him through a lot, the last few years. He has breakfast down to pat. But we still have prepared food on days, I can just use the mike. I tried some, but I keep burning up my favorite pans! Now you have to laugh. I do!! But I enjoy the post you do and I am looking forward to the days of homecooking from scratch!

Mimi Sue said...

Cooking from scratch is a great idea it's much healthier for us too. Love all your little tips. Mimi

Susie Homemaker said...

These are all great ideas...I wish we could have been doing this all along...then the current economic crisis, maybe wouldn't be so...critical.

Thanks for the info...


Lorie said...

Oh! I love the cream of ___ soup recipe!

Thanks for sharing it!

Vee said...

This is extremely interesting to me. I will have to evaluate and count the cost to see if I can make some switches.

Thank your for the Cream of _____ Recipe!

ROXY said...

Love that recipe Manuela! Great post!!

Cyndi said...

Great Post Manuela I sure wish I could get my sister to look at your blog ( she's not a blogger ) she is thinking of taking a part time job to supplement their income and I know if she would just change a few of her spending and house keeping habits she would be able to save more than she would be able to make. Love her dearly hate to see her struggle so. If you could pick any one book that would be a good go to resource for someone who is completely overwhelmed by the day to day house and home responsibilities and finances?
Thanks so much

Anonymous said...

OK...I have to try this! thanks!

Paula said...

Wonderful post Manuela! I make most everything from scratch too and it does save a lot of money and is so much healthier whether it be food or cleaners, homemade is best. You know exactly what is going into it. I love making and using cloth napkins as well.
You are always so encouraging! Thank you! Paula

Anonymous said...

It is good to find you. I love all your brown transferware. I have some too. I'm always looking for more. I'm not as organized with my food shopping but you've given me some motivation. Great article.

Anonymous said...

I've been thinking exactly about this topic too the last few days.

I'm pretty frugal already, but increasing costs has gotten me to the point of omitting many things now. I look at some of the costs and refuse to pay what they want.

If you make some of your own products you'll also know for sure what is in them. Great post, Manuela, thank you.

Constance said...

Thanks for stopping by on Friday for S&T! It's been another hectic weekend since we are now less than 3 weeks to our youngest daughter's wedding! I am hoping that I can once again, be more timely in visiting everyone's S&T offerings when the craziness is behind me!

I used to watch Little House with my girls when they were little! I should get me a set of those books so that I can read to the grand-daughters when they are over!
Happy Monday!

PS I pick up the trunk this morning!

Rhondi said...

Thank for the tips. Many of us are feeling the pinch these days.

Anonymous said...

Seriously making ones own Kotex ????

Storybook Woods said...

Oh I love this un-list. I have never thought of it that way. By the way another reason for making things from scratch, it taste SO much better xoxoxo Clarice