Shani has decided to move to California to seek treatment down there, so instead of renting her house up here like she had been planning on, suddenly everything is getting sold including her house and she's leaving at the end of the month. I'm not sure what news she's gotten from doctors, but it sounds like all they can really do is cut out the tumors and then treat the cancer with chemo and things, which she doesn't want to do, so she's talking about going to Mexico for alternative treatment. She texted me earlier in the week out of the blue and asked me to give back her dog crate that was being used as the chicken hauler so she could sell it. I have NO IDEA how I'm going to transport the chickens when it comes to slaughtering time now, but I guess I'll figure it out when we get there, but yeah that ended up being a side job the last couple of days. I cleaned the cage, drug it up by the back door to our garage for my husband and he took it over to Shani's today.
Anyway despite it being REALLY busy around here this week, let's get to the money saving aspects of the week shall we?
1. I visited one of the local food pantries this week to see about getting some help with the food budget by hopefully padding out what was in the fridge and things. I got a decent variety of stuff, which was great, including a couple of gallons of milk (which I'm hurriedly trying to use as they are over a week past their expiration date, so I'm not trying to use up a gallon or more of sour milk), a nice loaf of artisan type bread (which stuff like that I haven't bought in years), some potatoes (yay potatoes!) some biscuits and even some lettuce seedlings (yes, lettuce seedlings!). I was thrilled with the seedlings and found room in the garden for them today. I also got some cat food. I will probably go back until my husband's pay starts getting better as at this point, every little bit helps. My husband felt weird about it when I told him, but when I told him I was not going to turn away free food right now, he got it, even if he wasn't thrilled with the idea.
So, yeah, other than the food pantry, I spent 20.00 on groceries this week just buying "boy food" and some milk and that was it. My husband picked up a few hours on the side on his off time which gave us a small check, so we went and put that into the bank today and I'll use part of that to go and get a couple more gallons of milk and some wet wipes (need them for my son).
2. The menu plan this week so far has been...well really slapped together. Wednesday I cleaned all day and was just plain not wanting to cook anything the least bit hard, so we ended up having hot dogs for dinner with left over coleslaw (which I made from a kit that my mother-in-law had given us with the box of food last weekend). Monday, I took out a gigantic value pack of chicken drumsticks that I'd gotten for like 3.00 on reduced over a year ago and knew I needed to use up, split the package in half and made one half up as BBQ chicken and the other half up as baked chicken legs with just some seasoning on them. The BBQ chicken turned out to work out well for my husband for work lunches during the week and the baked chicken we had for dinner Thursday night and my husband had Erbswurst instead since he's got either allergies or a cold going on right now and wasn't feeling good.
Last night, I took some of the milk I was trying to use up, a package of sausage I had in the freezer that I'd gotten on reduced cheap over a year ago (by the "use by" date anyway) and some of the biscuits I got at the food pantry and I made sausage biscuits and gravy for dinner (one of my husband's favorite "comfort" type of meals). It made enough to last probably three meals for us, which definitely makes it a frugal choice to make for dinner.
3. My husband used up the last of the A-1 Sauce one night, so I snuck the "empty" bottle back into the fridge and when I went to pack a leftover burger for my husband's lunch the next day I added a bit of water and shook the bottle really well and voila! Enough sauce for my husband's burger with lunch.
4. I found, while digging in my pantry, a Pillsbury quick bread mix that I'd gotten on clearance (you know, I should probably start stating the opposite of that, like saying, "Hey, I paid full price for this" as it'd be way less redundant since I buy stuff on reduced all the time. Har) and pulled it out to make for breakfast fodder for my husband for work. He and I have both been enjoying it (anything cinnamon involved and I tend to be all in and eat too much of it *laugh*).
5. I took a little cross stitch ornament kit I had kept for...man, it's gotta be seven or more years now as I kind of stopped doing those kind of little projects right about the time my son was born, and used it as a way to start to teach my daughter how to do cross stitch. I remember back when I was 13, I was with my grandma while she got her hair washed and set and ended up striking up a conversation with a woman named Janet who was sitting there getting her hair done as well, but was also working on a really intricate looking embroidery kit. I just kept asking questions here and there about what she was doing and she got all excited talking to me and realizing that I was really interested in the same things she was. Janet, even though she was my grandma's age, and I became quick friends and the next time I went with grandma to get her hair washed and set, Janet made sure she'd be there too and this time was loaded up with a bag of stuff for me. In the bag was some tools of the trade (aida fabric, embroidery needles, a magnifying bar) and some kits for me to work on, including a cross stitch kit with "Footprints" on it. I'd always loved "Footprints" so that was all I needed to work on the actually pretty detailed ocean scene in cross stitch that entire summer. Janet would be at the hair dressers to help me with any issues I had and she was a wonderful source of encouragement for me.
Janet and I remained friends for four more years until she passed away from a stroke. To this day I credit her with getting me started with hand sewing and embroidery and things. She was a very cool lady.
Side note is that my mom loves "Footprints" too and to this day my work hangs on her wall in all of it's "knots on top of knots and tangles in the back" glory ;).
I'm hoping Armina can find enjoyment in these types of projects too, so we'll see where she goes with the kit :).
6. I added a huge amount of things to my Amazon account in the way of food storage types of items (no joke, like 80 or more items of various types) and I was able to make my Associate fees for last month go further since it took Amazon so long to ship my stuff. I found that the breakfast kit I had bought bottomed out CHEAP in price one day, so I cancelled my order and reordered it for like 1/2 the price I had originally paid. Coming back on a few days later I found that the dinner kit the same company had was suddenly about the same price as the breakfast kit had been (the breakfast kit had since gone WAY up in price), so I ordered it too. So, I got 12 big cans of food storage for the same price I might have gotten six! Woohoo!
7. I mended four items this week (yay for getting something like that done with all the cleaning I did this week).
8. I saved my coffee grounds every morning and spread them on the garden today. I'm hoping that the ground will not only help fertilize the garden, but might also repel nasty garden pests of different types. Here's hoping.
And now onto a garden update!
The lettuce seedlings I planted from seeds and then transplanted had about a 50% failure rate this year, which since the 6 that died were looking really bad when I planted them in the garden, I shouldn't have been too surprised (although I was sad). I took the seedlings I got from the food pantry (eight of them total) and planted them in the garden today. I got a combo of red and green lettuce, which will definitely be welcome if and when they grow big enough to harvest (the seedlings are as big or bigger than the seedlings I planted in the garden, so they are least off to a good start).
The cabbages have so far all survived and seem to be really starting to take off (seen up top next to one of the new lettuce seedlings).
Now the corn...that one is vexing me. I have seen nothing in the way of sprouts from it, but did dig carefully around in the soil a few days ago and found a couple of seeds that had sprouted roots, but some that hadn't done anything, so I'm not sure how much of a failure rate I'm going to have with the corn. We'll see how it goes. The middle bed might end up being an interesting mis-match of things. I already planted spinach in the hole created by one of the lettuce seedlings dying in that bed, so yay...we'll see.
I also planted Barese chard today (a quick growing variety of chard that is meant to be picked when it's smaller, so it takes up less space and will hopefully allow me to get a couple of crops out of it this summer so I'll have plenty of chard for the freezer :), spinach in various places (a quick growing dwarf variety of Spinach I grew successfully last year) and bush beans at both ends of the garden. I heard from a couple of people that bush beans grow well up here and other gardeners had planted beans this week, so I figured "Well, here goes nothing" and planted them. The weather has turned sunny and warm this week, which the garden is loving, so here's hoping the sun keeps the soil above 65 and we see some progress there!
So, yeah, now I just need a few potatoes to sprout to stick into the ground and dig up a bit of yard for that and to plant my onions and some more beans and stuff. I'm should not be this excited, I really shouldn't, but I'm going to be excited anyway *laugh*. Here's hoping for a good, prosperous garden this year :).
So, yeah, there's some of my frugal adventures this week. How did you do.