Special Needs on One Income: What’s in your Dehydrator?

I am a HUGE fan of dehydrating all the lovely goodness my garden produces each season.  When I run out of that, you’ll find my beloved dehydrator chugging away with in season fruits and veggies picked up on sale.  Bananas.  Pineapples. Mangos. Kale chips. You get the idea.  Every other week I also put in a big batch of goat’s milk yogurt to ferment.  I save a lot of money compliments of my dehydrator, which helps when you are trying to manage special needs on one income.

When Reed was putting the garden to bed this weekend, he discovered a few extra pumpkins that had been overlooked.  Because they had been in the garden during our last cold snap, there were places that had been frozen on the pumpkins.  This doesn’t hurt the pumpkins, but it does mean that they won’t last as long in storage, so into the oven they went.

After they were cooked to fork tenderness, I dug out the insides and placed them on one of my dehydrator shelves, set it at 125 degrees, and let the magic happen.

dehydrated pumpkins

I’ll use this dehydrated pumpkin as baby food for my grand babies, and in Parker’s blenderized diet.  Parker’s guinea pig, Alfred,  loves the stuff too.

I  finished up the two big boxes of free organic apples that a friend gave to me.  I made a ton of applesauce.  I’m also the proud owner of 35 quarts of dehydrated apples.  I may cuss a bit while I’m in the midst of it all, but I am sure thankful when I look at them sitting on my pantry shelves.

peeling apples

I found a small pork roast I forgot I had in my freezer.  We had this for dinner tonight and I’ll resurrect the left overs in fried rice tomorrow night.

I collected seeds to plant next year from my favorite summer Zinnas.   I’ll share more on how to do that later.

special needs on one income

I made bread.

We transplanted the raspberries from a spot they were struggling in, to a spot we hope they will go wild in.  We reaped a huge harvest of blackberries this summer.  I’m hoping to do the same with raspberries next summer.

I saved the branches Reed cut from one of the trees in our backyard to use to make Christmas ornaments with.  I’m pretty excited.  Besides a little bit of felt and glue sticks, these ornaments will ring in at the grand old price of free.

I found a few gorgeous name brand ties for Reed on Amazon for less than $3.00 each.  They were an add on item and because we have Amazon Prime, the shipping was free.  I added them onto an order of things Parker was in need of.  I’ll set them aside for Christmas when the come in.

I’m starting to think Christmas.  We have 3 married kids now and each married family will receive the same gift.  The grand babies will each get one small gift.  Rigel is still serving in the Seattle, Washington Mission, so that leaves the Blue Eyed Girl and Parker.  The older I get the less desire I have to buy into the hype of the season.  Simple.  Modest.  Lots of handmadeChrist centered.  Debt free.  Focus on our blessings, rather than the stuff.

So, tell me, what did you do to save money this week?  What did you do to make a life with special needs on one income a bit easier?


  1. redheadsarah Nov 11, 15
    • Tammy and Parker Nov 12, 15
  2. Shobha Nov 12, 15
    • Tammy and Parker Nov 12, 15
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