Shh… don't tell anyone I'm poor. They all think I'm living frugal and green just like everyone these days. This is a blog about a senior citizen living a frugal life, on a fixed income, in a low income food desert, and passing along knowledge from lessons learned. Some she learned from her Grandma Mama many years ago and some learned only a few days ago.
Halo brand oranges were on sale last week and it was also senior discount day. I bought 20 pounds for $14. I canned them over the weekend.
Didn’t lemons and limes sell 5 for a dollar only a couple of years ago? Or am I suffering a senior moment? I saw that lemons and limes were selling for $1.89 each which means those were way out of my price range. I’ll wait until I find them on the discount table. The high cost of fresh fruit and vegetables is getting rather scary.
Canning citrus is very easy. It requires only ten minutes of water bath canning.
It takes 4 mandarins to fill one pint jar. Mandarins are known by names like cuties or halos or clementines. I canned 25 pint jars. That should be enough to last me for a whole year. Unless a begging neighbor sees these before I can hide them. The trouble with letting people in a poverty neighborhood see what you have is that its hard to deny you have something when they come begging.
I wouldn’t mind sharing IF the begging neighbors wanted to learn how to DIY instead of expecting me to do it for them.
My daughter says I would have gotten a better bargain if I bought mandarins during the 10 for $10 sale. Umm, no I wouldn’t. Those cans contain one, maybe one and a half, oranges per can. The rest is water. For the sake of argument, let’s say the $1 cans hold two tiny oranges each. That makes the oranges cost fifty cents each. I bought 100 oranges (4 per jar) for $14. That makes them fourteen cents each. Ok, if the oranges had not been on sale and also discounted then the $1 can variety would have been cheaper. But mine are chemical and sugar free.
And I’m not done with those oranges yet. There is still some money saving benefits left in these wonderful peels. There is a whole bunch of things that can be done with them. Like, make candied peel. Make jam. Make a facial scrub. Make tea.
I’m planning to dehydrate these to be turned into orange peel powder. The powder is used as a flavoring just like any other flavoring. Think of it as orange zest in powder form. The white pithy part is supposed to be good for medicinal purposes too.
I simply can’t peel oranges without being tempted to make orange vinegar household cleaner. (think homemade orange glo) I saved the small stem part cut from each orange peel. The part I wouldn’t want in the orange powder.
These go into a jar with plain vinegar to set for a couple of weeks. I’ll put a lid on the jar and set it aside. I’ll shake it up a bit a couple of times each day.
The vinegar draws out the oils from the orange. After a couple of weeks it will be concentrated orange vinegar. To use it as a cleaner I’ll mix it 1 part vinegar to 2 parts water and just one drop or two of dish soap in a small spray bottle. The dish soap is really not necessary. I add it to make the cleaner foamy and fun for Ladybug to use it. She loves to help me clean house but the foamy cleaner makes it extra special for her.