Friday, July 17, 2020

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap (and a Garden Update)

Yippee!  I'm finally doing this post on a Friday! 


Yes, things like this make me happy.


What?  Stop giving me that weird look.

It's the small things in life.  What can I say?

For once I purposefully decided to put off blogging so I could do this post on an actual Friday and hopefully get back onto a more even blogging schedule.  Honestly, it's been busy enough that it was probably best that I waited.

So, what has happened the last bit?

Well, home school stuff was a big portion of what I've been up to.  This year I am determined to have more of a REAL curriculum planned for Alvah instead of winging it from quarter to quarter.  So, the last weeks has seen me planning, planning and planning some more.  Bright side, some materials have come in so I can get my first round of reimbursements submitted to the home school today and then supplemental learning materials I ordered SHOULD be in by early next week, so yay for that!  The last few days I've just been putting together the learning plans for the kids (with the daughter it is just two classes that I'm doing myself; art and home economics, but the son is everything).  I got the daughter's art class plan done and submitted to our contact teacher to see what she thinks of it (she's on vacation till Tuesday, so we'll see what she thinks when she gets in) and the supplemental materials for the class ordered.  Yesterday I spent the entire day, pretty much, doing a list of books, publishing information and the other nitty gritty types of things for the son's learning plan.  I got through general education materials (books, work books and the like) that goes on all school year and encompasses all semesters.  Today I hope to start on the semester specific lists.  I hope our contact teacher likes to read as the learning plan for the son will be thorough, but it is going to be long *laugh*.

I also broke down and out and out forced my husband to go and get a new mattress last weekend.  I didn't want to pay for it any more than he did, but it got to the point that our old bed was, quite literally, crippling me.  It got to a point where I was having to sleep on multiple pillows just so I could get my leg aches down to a point that I could ignore it enough to get some crappy quality of sleep and my arms were in such bad shape I'd wake up every twenty minutes to roll over because the arm I was sleeping on had gone numb.  I used some of the dividends to pay for the mattress and I was depressed to find that since we'd been to the mattress store, what, a month or so ago, that the prices had doubled and/or tripled in some cases due to Covid.  I paid the price and flinched, a lot, but I am so glad we got a new mattress.  I've been able to sleep again and wake up without being in complete agony.  That, to me, is worth its weight in gold.

For some reason, when it comes to painting, my neck and shoulder going out one me really took the wind out of my sails and I've had a really hard time getting motivated to start on my master bedroom.  Since this is last "official" room in the house that I have to repair and paint you'd think I'd be gung ho to get it done, but it's been hard to get my bottom motivated to start on it.  I'm hoping next week will be the week that I'm able to finally get that room done.  After that it's just the stairways/landing, which is going to be the hardest spots in the house, so at least I'm getting there.

So, let's get to some other things that have been going on around here...

1.  I have been absolutely loving our CSA box through Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm (just a shameless plug for the farm as it is awesome).  Last week we got a loaf of artisan bread (which didn't last through dinner), strawberries (which didn't last through the night because we ate them for dessert), collard greens (got blanched and frozen as soon as we got home as they were wilted from driving in the hot car), lettuce (we've been eating lots of salads around here :), three ginormous potatoes and some basil. 

I was really excited about the basil as I had a great plan for some of it.  I took the tomato from the previous week's box that I had left, sliced the tomato up and made myself some tomato slices with basil and mozzarella cheese.  I ended up eating the entire tomato in this format for lunch and it was delicious (a couple of slices seen above).

2.  One of the add on things you can buy with the CSA boxes is culinary lavender that is grown locally.  I was talking to the gal who was running the CSA pick up table and she told me that lavender lemonade was to die for.  Well, I had lemons in the fridge and some sweetened condensed milk to use up from making Brazilian Lemonade.  So, I took one cup of lavender syrup, one cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice, six cups of water and a half of a can of sweetened condensed milk and mixed it all in a pitcher and made my own creamy lavender lemonade!  I ended up having to add some extra sugar (believe it or not), but the lemonade was super awesome yummy!  I pretty much ended up drinking the whole pitcher myself *laugh* (pic seen up top and above).

In other news the weather has been so cold, rainy and odd this summer that I'm so, SO glad I shelled out the money for the CSA box.  It has really taken the stress off of me about the garden HAVING to do well no matter what.  With the supplemental stuff from the CSA it has really been a great to not panic if a bug has eaten off the seedlings, again, from the broccoli I planted and stuff like that. 

3.  Carrs/Safeway started their own, kind of odd, version of "Freebie Friday" like Kroger used to do.  Except Carrs/Safeway does it on Saturday.  You load a coupon for a free item onto your card (you have to be signed up for their e-mails to get in on this I think) and then you only have till Monday to redeem said coupon.  I always load the coupon for the freebie item, but had never gotten to the store on a Monday to redeem one.  This week, however, we ended up running low on milk and a few other things before our usual Wednesday shopping trip, so I was able to add a container of shredded Parmesan cheese to my order and I get it for free.  Cesar salad is definitely on the menu plan for next week :).

4.  I signed up for a freebie Charmin toilet paper extension for the bathroom so that we could use the "mega" rolls of toilet paper in the bathrooms in the future if we need to (I made the mistake of buying some mega rolls from Amazon last year and the paper would not fit in our master bathroom and just ended up being a nightmare).  The freebie actually came really fast and I was happy to get that in the mail this week.

5.  I ended up going into Carrs (like into the store) last night to pick up a rotisserie chicken for dinner (I had a personalized price of 4.49 for a chicken this week and we didn't want to pass that up).  While there I found that they had pork chops on sale for 1.79 lb if you bought the entire loin cut into chops.  I have been wanting to go to the butcher shop to purchase more pork as we are starting to run low, so I was thrilled to find the sale.  I picked up two huge packages of pork chops for 15.00 or less each and got them in the freezer when I got home.  I am so paranoid about keeping everything stocked as stocked can be anymore as the price on things keeps going up, availability is still questionable (like I had to order an 8 pack of toilet bowl cleaner and a big container of dishwasher rinse aid from Amazon as I couldn't find it at my local stores) and I'm worried about what the fall and winter will bring.  So, I'm just rolling with my paranoia at this point and stocking up on things. If I don't have to buy much at the store this winter I'm not going to cry, let's put it that way :).

While in Carrs I hoped to score some pita bread as the daughter wants to have gyros for dinner since we were able to get a cucumber in our CSA box this week (I am going to take a picture of our haul from this week and share it later as it is pretty spectacular), but they were, once again, out.  So, I am going to try my hand at making them from scratch this weekend.  Wish me luck as I've never done it before.

6.  The weather was going to get hot again this week and when I saw the weather report I knew that I wasn't going to want to bake anything once the temps got hot at around dinner time.  So, I did my baking the day before the weather heated up.  I even made a cake with lemon custard filling (which went into the fridge and I forgot to take a picture of) so we'd have a nice cool dessert to eat throughout the week.  It worked out great and I am SO glad that I did a baking day when I did.

I even baked some cookies for my husband to take into work.  They were a thank you present for a co-worker who had given my husband some really nice tools and things that he didn't want anymore and had refused to take any money in repayment for the tools.  He likes cookies, so we gave him cookies instead *laugh*.

7.  I found "Tasting History" on YouTube and have been having a great time watching all of his videos as they are a lot of fun and really engaging.  He's one of my top three channels I watch now.  I watch Party Kitchen (their closed caption/subtitled videos anyway), Townsends (always a favorite) and Tasting History regularly and it has been really relaxing for me to watch their videos :).

8.  I harvested some chives and some green onions/scallions from the garden.  Not much, but it's something :).

9.  I got my new cell phone in the mail and spent a lot of time texting people my new number (it's amazing how many people you have to get in contact with to change over cell numbers when you have a special needs child) and getting my contacts switched over to my new phone.  Not quite done, but I'm getting there.

10.  I used credit card rewards to help toward buying my husband some birthday gifts.  It was nice being able to save a few pennies doing it that way.

Right, so let's get to a garden update!

Well, things are growing.  The chard has not done much, no matter what I do with it, which is sad as I love chard and it is supposed to take cooler weather well.  Oddly enough I have to date not had much luck growing chard from seed, but if I pick up seedlings and plant them it does fine.  Go figure. 

The lettuce is starting to finally grow a bit taller.  I'm hoping to get it a point where I can thin it this week without worrying about ripping all of the little seedlings out of the ground.

The peas are enjoying the weather this summer and are growing taller every day.  Since this is one crop I was really hoping would do well this year I'm hopeful that I might get a decent amount of peas out of the plants. 

I was able to save some water this last week as we got so much rain (some downpours were so hard I was worried my garden would just wash away by the end of it) that I was able to skip watering it, which was nice.

One crop that is LOVING the weather this year is the potatoes.  The plants are growing by leaps and bounds and if they keep up this way I'm really hoping I'll have a nice crop by the end of it.  They have actually grown in the last couple of days since I took these pictures.  They are impressing me.   At this point I'm mainly worried about blight getting them since it has been so wet, but so far they are looking good.  Same with the peas.  No powdery mildew has attacked them yet,  So, here's hoping!

And there you go folks.  Some of the things I've been up to the last bit.  How about you?  Been up to anything lately?

1 comment:

  1. I'm amazed how well you do in your garden considering your climate and short growing season. I don't grow much now but we did grow loads when the kids were young. Now my son and DIL have a garden I am pleased they have started growing veg and fruit and teaching their little girl. You sound like you have a good plan for the home ed. We don't have CSA boxes here although we can buy fruit and veg boxes but they are so expensive and too much for one or two people. Yours look really good. Well done on all your hard work.