Saturday, June 11, 2016
Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update
This week was, I'm liking to call "Me vs. the Bugs" week here at the Make Do Homemaker homestead.
First there were the bugs in the garden. Ever sat there and flipped every single leaf of lettuce, spinach and cabbage over looking for aphids and other nasties so you could kill them before they did more damage to your plants (and I'm sure other gardeners are looking at the screen and saying, "Yup" right now)? Yeah, that was me. The insecticidal soap isn't working as well as I'd hoped, primarily due to us getting JUST enough rain to make the weather bug friendly, so it was down to manual killing of bugs this week.
Then I was in my kitchen and pulled out my mixer to find a meal worm under it. Now I KNOW that kitchen pests happen, especially in bad bug years (and I keep my food locked away in Tupperware and other containers to make sure I keep these things to a minimum), but you have NO IDEA how deep my bug-a-phobia goes. I lived in Florida for four months with five slobs for roommates (I must defend my roommate Kim, though, she was neat just like me so we were the two trying to fight incoming bugs constantly). After seeing walls move when you turn on the lights and having to kill that many roaches in one evening...you are scarred for life.
So, I freaked out when I found the meal worm, cleaned everything down to the deepest level I could (including going at my mixer with a Q-tip and some bleach water...yes...I'm that bug a phobic) and really worked on getting clutter reduced in the kitchen to give bugs less places to hide. I've then been on a quest to get the rest of the house cleaned down to the deepest levels as well to keep bugs down as with the way the summer is shaping up I'm imagining bugs are definitely going to be a problem this year.
At least deep cleaning doesn't really cost you anything except in elbow grease and time.
Things overall, though, went well this week on the money saving front. Let's get to that :).
Lots of lettuce, spinach and cabbage was harvested and turned into salads this week. I harvested all of my dwarf bok choy as it was starting to bolt, so I'm looking through my seeds to figure out what to plant in it's place :).
I thinned my Swiss chard, finally, and was able to add that to salad fixings as well. The bunching onions are finally starting to grow, the potatoes are trying to take over the universe no matter where they are, the chocolate mint is finally starting to come up in the front bed and I noticed we finally have some wave petunias starting to come out in bloom in the front bed, so yay!
I also harvested herbs this week and used them in different dishes, including chives, which was nice not having to rely on my dehydrated onions for onion flavor in dishes for a change (and I'm thrilled the chives have spread to at least three different locations in the front bed and are doing well this year).
I love this time of year. Being able to harvest salad fixings from the garden and herbs. Shot of my first "official" harvest from the garden is above :).
3. Got my electric bill in the mail and it's down 60.00 from last month and that's with four more days onto the calculations. Part of this I attribute to watching electric consumption, but a good portion of it, I'm sure, is because we've only had to run the air conditioner once so far this summer (although I am tracking it to see if the new meter had anything to do with this trend as well). Definitely a good thing.
4. I hit sales hard when grocery shopping this week and luckily things I really needed were on sale (more on that in a later post). I even had both kids shopping with me yesterday and managed to keep my list straight. I was proud of myself *laugh*.
5. I made meatloaf this week and used the free crackers that neither my husband and I were fond of in the meatloaf instead of bread crumbs. It worked really well, actually, and made a really tasty meatloaf. I'm kind of glad that I have about 1/2 of the box left to make another meatloaf with in the future.
6. I mended five items this week. I'm still trying to figure out this phenomena. No matter how many things you mend, it's like suddenly there are MORE things to mend then when you started the pile. I swear it grows as you watch.
7. I spread used coffee grounds on the garden before I fertilized it, so the garden was definitely happy (at least if the sudden jump in growth was any indication anyway).
8. I accidentally put some paper towels through the washer and dryer and once they came out of the dryer, instead of throwing them away, I stacked them in a pile and have been using them one at a time to do things like dust the shelves downstairs and things. It's a great way to reuse something that is nice and clean again before throwing it away.
9. I actually kept to my meal plan this week (booyah!) which helped to eliminate a lot of "what's for dinner" issues. I even made a double batch of pancakes for pancake night and if we don't eat through them this weekend I'll freeze the left overs for later use.
10. To save on freezer bags, I used empty bread bags to pack my meat in before putting it into freezer bags. This eliminated me having to use 7 freezer bags this week. That's definitely a savings!
I know I'm forgetting some things, but those are the ones I remember. So, how did you do this week?