More Foraged Berries, More Foraged Jam

by Katy on August 5, 2023 · 9 comments

I know I just wrote about making jam last week, but I had to hit my secret free berry patch one last time before my husband and I went out of town, as I suspect they’ll be done for the season by the time we return.

Not only were the berries free, but I had a dozen thrifted jars at the ready.

$4.99, not too shabby.

And now I have a dozen jars of blackberry jam awaiting my return.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Ava August 5, 2023 at 6:19 am

That’s wonderful. I always think free food tastes best. The deer ate most of my blackberries this year but I am plotting how to outsmart them next year.


Sandra August 5, 2023 at 8:06 am

The satisfaction of making anything and saving money at the same time is a double win. Whether gifted or foraged free food is always appreciated. Knowing all of the ingredients and where they came from is another win. Preparing ahead for another day will bless you again and again. I also see sharing opportunities, another blessing.


Mary Ann August 5, 2023 at 8:16 am

Enjoy your vacation!

1. Frugal fail. I miscalculated getting a paycheck this month. The district has divided my salary into 11, not 12 months. As a result, I am forced into a “low buy” August. However, I am taking it as a fun challenge.

2. I had an existential people pleasing crisis last night. I have made a beautiful basket of brand new white lux towels, bath bombs, essence oil and soap (all foraged from my gift closet) for the wedding I am going to today. The couple has asked for cash. I feel “cheap” bringing them this gift. However, I hosted the bride bachelorette party at my cabin. I drove her to get her hair done about two hours away. Still, it is tough to not conform. However since it is a low buy month, I am sticking to my guns with my gift. In the end, I just need to get over myself.

3. Since I am on a non-UPF 100 day challenge, I did not eat the free breakfast provided buy my school district for our professional work day. I did load up on the fresh strawberries however the had for snack.

3. I continued to grind up the wheat berries Farmer DH brough me and made bread for the week.

4. I scored 4 pounds of blueberries for 5.00. Great tip: Put them all in a big bowl. Fill with cool water and 2 T. of white vinegar. Drain the water and put the bowl in the fridge. It will double the shelf life of any berry.

5. Instead of taking my mom out to dinner, I bought a rotisserie chicken, bagged salad and a quart of vanilla ice cream. We had a nice meal at her house.


Jessica August 5, 2023 at 12:54 pm

I will be making this jam next month when the berry’s ripen we call these brambles. At the moment I am making rhubarb and ginger jam and strawberry jelly.


Jennifer August 6, 2023 at 10:42 am

Great job on the jam! I make all our jam too but this year I bought my from Costco.


K D August 6, 2023 at 10:46 am

Kudos Katy!

I think that much of the time frugality involves being ready to act when the time is right. Not spending is not part of this but to get the blackberries/jam you had to react in a timely fashion.

This morning I went to the nearby grocery to stock up on sale items: cereal, yogurt, and tortilla chips. I spent just enough to use a $10 off $50 purchase coupon. The coupon expired today so I went even though I didn’t love the idea. It turned out to be a quick and easy trip. Future me will thank me.


Katy August 6, 2023 at 3:13 pm

Make hay while the sun shines/


Mati August 6, 2023 at 11:44 pm

1) I didn’t get much gardening done this year, but friends have been dropping off garden goodies. Tonight, fresh corn on the cob with dinner and the rest has been cut off the cob and frozen. The chicken bones and corn cobs are simmering with herbs and onions for stock to make a fresh corn and tomato soup later this week. We’ve been eating even more deliciously than usual lately, and almost everything has been free, loss leaders, clearance, “dented vegetables” from the 99 cent shelf with no discernible defects, etc. I’ll be breaking down and caramelizing 10 pounds of “dented” onions this week, using the induction burner outside, to freeze for extra flavor without heating up the kitchen.

2) Our college student was unable to work a new shift change around their class schedule and had to leave a job they liked. They can go back any time, but in the meantime they’re making the most of unemployment and visiting a lot, which works for me. We’re so proud of their determination to pay their own tuition and save up for a down payment; it’s been hard to watch their hard-won savings dwindling while they look for a sustainable position. We just learned that they can get a fee waiver for their first passport if they qualify for SNAP, so I’m looking into that. We had always planned to travel with them before now, but… Covid.

3) They also need jaw surgery, and it’s fortunate that we can schedule it after our family is deductible is met, so it will be nearly free, and while they’re already unemployed, so they won’t be burning precious PTO. Love the American healthcare system /s

4) This weekend is the Route 127 yard sale, 690 miles long. There were 50 yard sales in our neighborhood this weekend, and I didn’t plan to go, but friends texted me about a few things and I ended up spending a whopping dollar and ffity cents and picking up a few things from end of the day free piles, some for use and some for eBay. These are the only kinds of free things I’ll resell – I’m superstitious and not convinced of the ethics of reselling from community swaps and Buy Nothing.

5) Speaking of Buy Nothing, I picked up a boxed set of some favorite books to send to our niece, a fancy cookbook for a young friend, and some unworn bras in my size just as the underwire on my favorite snapped. I reinforced the binding to keep it from poking, but that only buys a couple of days before the bra is unwearable again. Bra shopping has never been my kind of fun, and I need quality well-fitted bras, so that’s a significant savings.

Frugal fail: I’ve been paying for the relaunched Moviepass for several months without realizing that my subscription had launched. It’s linked to a secondary account that needs a certain number of debit transactions per month to avoid a maintenance fee, and I just didn’t check it. I signed up because watching arthouse flicks together is the core of one of my close friendships, and $10/mo buys me three movies at our local independent cinema, but they’re paid full price. I’m going to use up my rollover credits and then take a breather.


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