Author Archives: Abi

How Packing Lunch Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

Lunch. You’ve got that hour in the day when some of you work and some of you are home. There’s not really time to cook it. It’s not ever really convenient. But, regardless, most of us get hungry for it. Plus, for some strange reason, even if you send your kids off to school, they still have to eat during the day. Here is the compelling financial reason why you should try packing lunch instead of buying it.

brown bag

Photo Credit

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Best of They’re Not Our Goats, 2017 Edition

Happy New Year, guys! It’s that time again: time to announce what readers have judged as the very best of They’re Not Our Goats for this year.

I say this without bragging or fanfare- I know very well that my blog is just a little speck somewhere in the dustbin of the internet world. However, it’s always interesting to me to see what readers liked best each year and helps me to determine what you would like to see more of in the following year.

So, without further ado:

10. Five Ways to Cook Without Power

9. How Can I Tell if My Rabbit is Pregnant?

8. 10 Reasons to Get Meat Rabbits

10 Reasons to Get Meat Rabbits

7. Water Bath Canning 101 

How to water bath can, plus a free printable checklist!

6. One Month of Frugal Meals

5. Distinguishing Elderberry from Silky and Redosier Dogwood

Elderberry or Dogwood

4. How I Afford Being a Stay at Home Mom

How to Afford Being a Stay at Home Parent

3. Apple-Honey Jelly (Made Using Only Peels and Cores) 


2. Tick Bite Prevention (Naturally!)

Tick Bite Prevention (Naturally!)

And, drumroll please……



  1. How to Make a Sourdough Starter

How to Make Sourdough Starter

That’s it! Thanks so much for reading along with me this year, sharing my posts, supporting me and my crazy family, and putting up with my on again off again blog regularity. They’re Not Our Goats would be nothing without its readers.

So, to you my friends, cheers! And here’s to a happy 2018!



How to Plan a No-Spend Month

Have you heard of a no-spend month? Participants may have varying opinions of the ideal length and degree of financial restraint required, but the idea is basically the same across the board. A no-spend month is essentially a month in which you spend no more than absolutely necessary.

“No-spend month” is, perhaps, a misnomer, because there is really spending taking place. After all, your mortgage or rent can’t go unpaid. You’ve still got to eat. And what about the regular expenses of gas, heat, electric, etc?

It is for these reasons that I say a no-spend month is one in which you spend no more than absolutely necessary. You kick into penny-pinching mode, and you know you can do it because it’s only for a short time period.

Join our No-Spend Together community on Facebook for accountability this month! 

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On Badly Behaved Adults & Doing Good to Others

Today, I was leaving the store with my three little kids. It had been particularly crowded with all the holiday shopping, but the kids had been miraculously well-behaved. We survived the trip, cashed out, and steered our cart toward the exit.

As we were leaving, we heard raised voices. An older man and middle aged woman were shouting at each other on the way out to the parking lot. When we walked outside, their voices became louder, and profanity after profanity started spewing from the man’s mouth.

My children gaped at this behavior. They silently stared as our cart approached.

I was feeling more and more offended that they weren’t thinking of my children as we walked past. My kids, who are seeing all the signs and cards that proclaim the season “Merry & Bright.” My beautiful children, to whom I am nearly always repeating myself about not screaming or hitting, being patient, using kind words.

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Simple Slow Cooker Pork and Cabbage

This simple slow cooker pork and cabbage recipe is quick to throw together and delicious to come back to after a day at work. It’s appealing to a broad range of tastes, and perfectly warming and comfortable on a chilly autumn or fall evening.

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When I was a kid, I wanted nothing to do with cabbage. Even in my college years, I turned my nose at the stuff. I remember one occasion when a family who didn’t have many worldly possessions invited us over for cabbage soup. They were so excited to share their favorite meal. I am ashamed to say that I gagged down a bowl and didn’t accept a second helping. I just couldn’t bring myself to get over the fact that it was cabbage.

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Frugal Gift Wrap Ideas

Brown paper packages tied up with strings- these are a few of my favorite things!  For real. I love frugal gift wrap that is both unpretentious and pretty.


I hate that wrapping a present can often cost just as much as (or sometimes more than!) the gift itself. I cringe every time I actually have to buy something to wrap up a gift. Beyond the cost, the amount of waste that gift wrap creates is incredible- anybody else have 2 or 3 kitchen garbage bags of wrapping paper to throw out after its short-lived purpose was fulfilled?

For the past few years, we started looking for other ways to wrap our gifts. We stared finding free gift wrap all over the place by using recycled and/or reusable material. Here are some ideas for you to try!

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Healthier Hot Chocolate

Hot chocolate is one of my favorite winter treats after chilly morning chores or an afternoon of snow-day play. However, the sugar-ridden packets of hot cocoa mix probably aren’t an ideal way to enjoy the drink. Hence, the need for a healthier hot chocolate!

Healthier Hot Chocolate

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You’ll find a gamut of hot chocolate mix recipes on the internet, usually full of sugar and powdered milk. It’s nice to have something pre-made on occasion, but to me, it’s not all that much more convenient than making it fresh. (Besides, fresh just tastes better!)

Here’s the guilt-free recipe that I make for our family.

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Why We Quit Raising Meat Rabbits

Anti-Overwhelm Strategy #1: Quit Raising Meat Rabbits.

There are SO many great reasons to raise meat rabbits. They are one of the least expensive sources of lean protein because they grow out to processing weight so quickly. They are prolific, producing litters of 6-10 or more kits with each breeding. They’re tasty, healthy, and don’t require a lot of space or pricey equipment.

However, we found that meat rabbits are just not a good fit for our family. Some of the very same things that are such great benefits to raising rabbits are also a detriment for families like ours. Let me explain what I mean.

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Jewelweed Plantain Soap (Homemade!)

Jewelweed and plantain are common weeds, both easily located, identified, and prized for their soothing, healing properties. They are a perfectly intuitive combination for calming homemade bath products. Today, I am so excited to share a jewelweed plantain soap recipe from Jan Berry of The Nerdy Farm Wife!

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Saying Goodbye to Homestead Overwhelm

Homestead overwhelm: it’s a real thing. In fact, being overwhelmed is such a common theme in my life that it hardly seems necessary to mention it anymore. I am a lady with too much going on.

Apparently, I like to revisit this problem repeatedly. I think I can take on the world, then I realize can’t keep up. So, I melt down and give up certain things. Then I am happy for a while– until I decide to try it all over again.

This summer, we planted a garden and built a new chicken coop. We had good intentions to try to improve the systems we have established to help our homestead become more efficient.

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