Saturday, August 5, 2017

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update

Geez it's hot!  It's not bad outside, I think it's like in the mid-seventies, but the way our upstairs bakes in the house due to the exposure to the full sun, the last time I checked it was 80 down in our stairway, which is about five degrees cooler than my upstairs is.  I nearly ate ice cream for dinner.  Bright side, at least the kids rooms with their two fans running each (ceiling fan and window fan) their rooms aren't terrible.  The living room and kitchen, though, is, especially after I did some baking earlier this evening.

Anyway, money saving went so very very well this week.  I'm still overwhelmed by the kindness of others that was bestowed upon my family this week and then other stuff happened too!

1.  First up there was grocery shopping.  I had hoped to get meat this month, but wasn't sure how it was all going to work with the sales and things, but then I saw that Carrs had value packs of chicken on sale for 5.00 each as part of 5.00 Friday this week, so I knew I wanted to stop by yesterday and get chicken.   I finally saw that the Care Credit payments had cleared the bank, so I went online to see how much I was going to have to shell out to pay off the one chunk we had to pay by the 23rd of this month.  When I went online and checked Care Credit had actually applied our regular monthly payment onto that amount FIRST so it was already paid off!!!  I was thrilled as I had 75.00 budgeted out of the insurance check to pay that bill off, so I now had money in our regular budget for meat!

We ended up getting to Carrs kind of late last night due to a full day and I ran in to grab what I thought was just going to be chicken, but I found some great stuff!  For one, I had planned on having to run to Eagle River to get hamburger because it's the cheapest place to buy hamburger around here normally, but as I was perusing the hamburger seeing if there was any marked down packages, I found they had hamburger on markdown for 3.49 lb just on regular sale!  That beat the price I would have paid going to Eagle River, so I grabbed two value packs of hamburger.  Then I stumbled on some mismarked  packages of steaks that had been marked bone-in thin cut pork chops and they were cheap.  I flagged down a meat guy, my conscious nagging me, and showed him the packages, but the guy told me to keep them and said it was their fault for not marking them correctly.  I had grabbed the last three that were there, so I really wondered how many people had taken advantage of the not properly marked packages during the day.   I also got a couple of packages of pork steaks on reduced and even got my daughter Ball Park hot dogs on 50% off (I even had coupons for those!).  Overall, I spent 80.00 on meat and managed to pretty much fill the freezer up again.  It feels GOOD to have meat staring back at me when I open the freezer instead of lots of empty holes :).

I do find it pretty funny that one of the few lamb roasts I have left that I got for like 1.49 stares back at me when I open the door with the original price tag showing *laugh*.
2.  When I was digging in the recesses of the pantry to see what I had and what I needed to use up, I ran across a bunch of evaporated milk that I had.  I had thought I was out a couple of times and would go and buy another flat and yeah...I wasn't out.  So, I moved one flat upstairs onto the counter to remind myself to use it (since it has a use by date for this year and I like to keep close to those when I can).  I had some baking and things to do today so I made up some dehydrated milk and then added evaporated milk to the jar as well so help the taste of the dehydrated milk along (in the jar up above there).  It worked out really well and I honestly think it made everything just taste a little bit richer.  Neat trick!

3.  My husband went over to help my brother-in-law get the last of his stuff together to move tomorrow.  He came away with a bunch of different items, including more canned food stuffs and (honestly I'm kind of excited about this one) a small freezer!  I'm so looking forward to having the extra storage room in the freezer especially when it comes to vegetables and things :).  Thank you Clinton and Nicole!!!

4.  I have been harvesting raspberries from the yard obsessively to save them from the hornets, birds and slugs and so far I'm getting small harvests, but they are adding up slowly but surely.  I'm hoping to have about a freezer bag full by the end of the month as they are finally starting to ripen in decent numbers.  Here's hoping!  I also harvested what I could out of the rhubarb plants as the slugs were just decimating the one that sits down in the underbrush.  Out of two plants, one of which has been bolted since pretty much the beginning of summer, I got a big freezer bag full of rhubarb to use later on.  I'm happy as I think with what I still have in the pantry and now what I have in the freezer, rhubarb harvesting should be good for the year :).

I also got a few rose hips harvested, but I'm going to wait to harvest those in earnest until the kids are back in school because that way I won't be hurried about it.

5.  The daughter managed to outgrow all of her jackets, so I went onto Land's End to see what I could find for clearance sales for last year's jackets.  I also found a code for back to school for 30% off your order.  I managed to get a winter jacket for less than 30.00 after shipping.  Not too shabby!

6.   I ran into a good deal on cabbage during the week, so I picked up two heads of green cabbage and two heads of red cabbage to shred and start on the journey to sauerkraut (did it as part of my normal shopping this week).  We eat it enough that if my cabbages get to a good size I might still process the cabbages from the garden into sauerkraut as well, but we'll see how it goes later on.  For now, I can at least get sauerkraut going in the pantry to can up in a couple of months!

7.  My mom is sending me some sulfate free goat's milk soap to try on Alvah.  My younger sister is VERY allergic to sulfates (sulfa) so she can't do the sulfates in regular soap, but she found this stuff really helps her out, so they want me to try it with Alvah.  Here's hoping it works well on him.  I've found that switching to more and more sulfate free products does seem to help him a bunch, so I'm hopeful this will help him as well.

8.  I used up some free samples this week, including ones for toothpaste as I am waiting for a sale on toothpaste before I buy it (MAN toothpaste is expensive!!!).

9.  I realized that I had to make some clothes for the son and went and quickly found some nice fabric to make what I needed out of materials I had on hand.  This is going on my monthly goals this month, so I'll fill you in more about that one later.

And now onto a garden update!

This was "thin the garden" week it seemed.  I went out and tried to clip the larger leaves off of the bottom of the cabbages to one, use them to make freezer slaw before they got really tough, and for two to give slugs ONE less thing to crawl up into the cabbages with.  I have been having to weasel my small fingers down into the cabbages where they are forming heads and snatch slugs out with my fingers to then squish on the ground.  So far it seems to be helping (that and the hot weather we've had the last couple of days) and the mold and mushrooms the garden was growing are much less as well.

I took the rooster and tried to get him to hunt slugs, but instead he hunted my lettuce plants and tried his best to eat one whole before I went to grab him and he flew into a tree (NOT my happiest morning last week I have to say), but the one thing that came out of that was I really looked at the green lettuces I had planted in the root vegetable bed and found that since they were "head lettuce" (which I normally don't grow) that they had REALLY deep roots and the roots were actually pretty darned big!  So big that they were impeding the growth of other plants, like my beets.  So, I took my trowel and cut three of the out of the ground this week and we'll use them happily in salads for the next couple of weeks.  I left one which doesn't really have anything around it that it would hurt by being there for now, but once the other lettuces and spinach come up better here I'll cut that one too to give everything else more room to grow.

The turnips were seeming to be growing great, but as I was battling slugs this week I looked close at them.  One half of the bed are growing well, but the other half were just too densely packed together so the turnip roots were really small and not really growing well.  So, I thinned out a bunch of the turnips this week too to help them grow better.  By doing that, a side benefit, the rat tailed radishes seem happier and are producing more, so yay!

I also found, quite by accident, that by not adding onto the trellis for the peas that the peas just went "ah well" and bent over and just started wrapping back down over the trellis I have instead of bending and snapping (which was my fear).  Turned out to be quite the blessing in disguise as I found accessing the peas through all of the other things I have planted requires me to basically do the splits over the bed to get to the middle peas as there's really no where to stand, so another layer of trellis might have gotten pretty hairy for me to pick from.

The pole beans are FINALLY vining out in a few places.  The bush beans I'm worried might be developing a blight as a few of the plants aren't looking good, but we'll see how it goes.  This has NOT been a good year for a garden...well with the exception of carrots and cabbage...those seem decently happy, although they are still behind where they would normally be this time of year.  I'll fight it to the finish, but I'm thinking I might just have to resolve myself to the fact that I'm going to have to go to the U-Pick farms to get more produce in this year.  We shall see how it goes!

And there you go folks.  My week in a nutshell.  How about you?  Did you have a good week?


  1. what a great week for you. Great meat deals - got to love those mark downs!
    A new freezer - YAY! Now you can utilize those great markdowns more often.
    Blessings that you ended up with an extra $75 for the food budget.

    I am hoping the meds are still working great, as you didn't mention any problems.
    God bless you and your family.

  2. You had a great week.Glad you were able to stock up on meats.
    My week was stressful and depressing and best not remembered 😑.

  3. I've just ended a twelve day work week without a day off. I had to catch up on your posts. Great going with the cheese! What a nice gesture from Tillamook! And, such a nice money bonus, having an extra 75.00 to spend on meat!
    I'll be waiting to see if the soap works for your son. I make my own soap and also have a son with skin conditions. I'll have to send my son some of my soap and see if it helps. It's hard to get him away from his shower gel which is probably part of the problem. If it works for your son, give me a shout-out and I'd be happy to send you some. I make soap with minimal ingredients. It's functional not beautiful.
    Other than working like a crazy person, my week has been productive. I taught myself to pressure can, finally! Organic carrots were on sale at Wally world for 89c lb. I bought 10 pounds and pressure canned them. They look awesome! I also pressure canned two pints of green beans that came from our CSA. (I can't grow anything here..) I froze some onions and lots of vegetable trimmings for veggie broth later in the year. I'm becoming a squirrel! This morning I canned 10 jars of raspberry jam. I had to buy the raspberries but that's okay. Those are the one berry that I can't forage. My plants, in pots, are just setting fruit. Maybe they'll be ripe before the snow flies! That's it for my week. So happy for you that your son is able to sleep and less self destructive! That's monumental!

  4. I have never grown head lettuce and did not know they had big roots. I have bought the seeds and tried it but they never germinated (from the dollar store.) Your cabbages look perfect in spite of the the slugs, nasty old critters. I have never had much problems with them because it is too hot and dry here; however, there have been wet Springs when they were everywhere.

    Here is a crazy idea, very crazy. Do you think taking a long piece of duct/duck tape, lay it sticky side up with rocks on the ends to keep it from blowing away, then sprinkling salt on the tape. It is sticky so the salt won't get in the soil, and the snails will have to crawl over it and then die. The problem would be rain dissolving the salt. Maybe it wouldn't work after all.

    Another idea, do you have a very thin light sheet you could lay over the plants? The sun would get through but the snails could not. Just brainstorming.

    The garden really looks great.

    Jeannie @