2009 Goals

Seasonal Binder

by GettingFreedom on October 16, 2009

Binders are a great way to contain large amounts of information in one place, while keeping it easy to navigate. I use one for my recipes, my coupons, and to also contain my “brain” in my Home Management Binder.

Every year when it came time to plan a holiday, any of them, I found myself stressed out and forgetting where I placed an idea that I came across months before. I always had good intentions to be more organized, to start earlier, and to make this, and decorate with that. I even made little notes to myself, only to lose them before it came time to use them. Ever had that happen?

If binders work for everything else, why not for seasonal stuff?

Separate into 4 basic sections using dividers: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter. I’ve found that I prefer attaching the divider labels to clear page protectors.

In each basic section I like to include a list of things that I need to do to prepare for that season. For instance, to prepare for fall, I had to take our bins out of the storage shed to do our clothing swap, and get our sweaters, coats/gloves/hats. I do the same thing to prepare for Spring/Summer–I take the bins out to get all of our river/lake/swimming gear, as well as shorts and tanks. Also in this list, I might include some special cleaning that I would like to include. For instance, to prepare for Winter, I will need to make sure that all the yard tools are put up and all of my seed starting containers are ready to start seeds. Another great thing to write here, are things that always come around that time of year, that may normally sneak up on you ie; sports, school starting, your favorite festivals/fairs/events, etc.

Then the fun part begins! Organizing all of your ideas.

  • When you come across a decorating idea you particularly enjoy and want to try, print it out, or pull it out of the magazine. Then you can hole punch it and include it in the correct section.
  • I include Seasonal Specific foods/recipes. There are some that just fit with certain seasons. Generally speaking, you wouldn’t serve up pumpkin pie, Reindeer Cookies, and comfort foods in the summer months.
  • Craft Ideas. Crafts are a great way to engage with your children, and oftentimes they are great learning opportunities.
  • Gift Ideas. This mostly comes into play in the Winter Section, but it is also handy for other parts of the year for teacher gifts. **If you are really organized you could include a list of birthdays for each Season, and along the way gift ideas you’ve came across.**
  • Activities/Games. There are a lot of different seasonal activities that we enjoy, but may forget through the years. Keeping everything all in one spot will help us to remember and be able to choose and enjoy our favorites. Also great for planning parties and family gatherings.
  • Include a folder in each section for the small papers, or as a place to store things before you can file them.
  • Try to organize your sections by what comes first. For instance, the Winter Section. Put Christmas before New Year’s and Valentine’s Day.
How do you keep track of seasonal things?

This post is linked to Your Life, Your Blog and Works For Me Wednesday.

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Making Crockpot Apple Butter

by GettingFreedom on October 9, 2009

I remember eating homemade apple butter as a kid and thinking that it was the best thing. Ever. Let me tell you, it is!

I’ve always assumed that making applesauce and apple butter would be a laborous task, that wasn’t really worth the final effort. Part of my 2009 Goals, we wanted to get atleast 3 months of food stored up. This includes everything from jam/jellies, to vegetables, to meat, to grains and everything in between. Over the past few weeks I’ve bought 3 bushels of apples and jumped right in!

To make apple butter all you need is:

  • Apples
  • Cinnamon
  • Nutmeg
  • Sugar

You need to peel and core your apples before placing them in the crockpot. To make this easier and faster, I used an apple peeler, corer and slicer thing. Similiar to this one. I filled my crockpot all the way to the top. The amount of apples will vary by the size of crockpot. This is so vague, but I used about a Wal-Mart bag full, or a ¼ bushel.

Once my crocpot was loaded, I added 2 cups sugar, roughly 2 Tbsp Cinnamon, and 1 tsp nutmeg.

Put the lid on and cook on low for about 7-8 hours, or on high for 4-5 hours. You can stir it around if you want to (I couldn’t resist), but you do not have to. When it is done, the apples will cooked through and will look somewhat like applesauce.

If your mixture is a little runny still, remove the lid and let cook for roughly another hour.

Put mixture in a food processor and blend until smooth.


Yum! This will keep in your refrigerator for up to 2 months. If you want to can it for long term food storage follow the water bath canning method and can pints for 10 minutes, quarts for 15.

Homemade apple butter is better tasting, lower in sugar and more frugal than the store bought version. In addition, when you are cooking it, it serves as a whole house air freshener!

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Home Management Binder: Menu Planning/Master Grocery List

September 18, 2009

What would be a Home Management Binder without a Menu Planning section? Check out this post for some Menu Planning tips and tricks if you are still new to the game. This section is still a work in progress. My goal when it is finished is to have a complete Master Grocery List, and a […]

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Making Your Own Butter

September 16, 2009

I will be the first person to admit that I was very intimidated by the very thought of making butter. The only image I had running through my mind was me churning butter with a an old crock and butter churn. Let me tell you…gone are those days! Making butter definitely goes on the easy […]

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Benefits of Raw Milk

September 9, 2009

If you would have told me a year or so ago that my family would be relying on a local farmer for our milk, I would have called you crazy. My naive mind thought that store bought was the way to go. Obviously not with just milk, either. But boy has my mind been changed! […]

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Finding Freedom Friday: 2009 Goal Update

September 4, 2009

It is time to take a look back over the goals that we set for ourselves and our homes for 2009. I cannot say how glad I am that I actually set specific goals for myself this year. It truly has helped me! You can see my complete list of goals for this year here. […]

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A Full Pantry

September 3, 2009

A full pantry is a huge blessing and a big relief in those times when the grocery budget is feeling a little squeeze. This year we have been blessed with bountiful garden harvests. I am so amazed! Everytime I am harvesting our crops or putting them up so we can enjoy them in the cool […]

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Buying in Bulk

August 26, 2009

While I’ve always had a pretty good stash of food, there was never really a reason behind. Most of the time it was the result of my obsession with numbers, and not being able to buy less than 3 of anything. I’m getting better. Maybe. Since I have been consistently making our food from scratch, […]

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Grinding Wheat

August 19, 2009

I’ve been toying with the idea of getting a wheat grinder for many months now. The price of one had really turned me off from buying one, although the benefits are many. My birthday was in early July, and my husband kept hinting at buying me one. While I really, really wanted it–I didn’t think […]

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2009 Goal Update: July Edition

July 31, 2009

It is hard to believe that the last Goal Update I did was the beginning of June–for the month of May. I thought it was going to work out great to have more time between the updates, but it isn’t. I’ve had a hard time staying on track and remembering where I’m at. June and […]

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