Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update

Man, one of these days I WILL be able to get these posts done on time.  I know this post is now two and a half weeks late, but this last weekend was a holiday, so we won't count that one and the week before the family was down with a cold, so I'm just going to give myself an "okay" on this one *laugh*.

As I already said the week before last we were all down with colds.  Luckily, we spaced it out, so my husband went down first, then the son, then the daughter, then me.  So, we were able to get through it without all of us feeling terrible at the same time.  Last week ended up being just a mad rush to get everything ready for the Fourth of July.  I invited some friends of my daughter over, but the parents ended up opting out to get ready for an out of state trip they were taking, so we ended up entertaining two teenage boys.  I also invited over my mother and father-in-law as they didn't have anyone else to celebrate with and it was a holiday, so I figured if nothing else my mother-in-law would appreciate a chance not to cook for once.  I think everyone had an okay time overall and we got through the day without any casualties, so I'm calling it a win. 

One of the biggest things to report when it comes to the Fourth of July is that I tried a new recipe for potato salad and this time it came out good!  I have had a fight my entire adult life trying to find a good coleslaw recipe (I'm still searching for a good one that tastes like KFC coleslaw), a good macaroni salad recipe (still searching) and a good potato salad recipe.  This one ended up being a keeper.  I used this recipe exactly as written and it tasted okay the first day, but not great.  The second day it tasted even better and tasted good.  Yesterday we had it with dinner and it was REALLY good!  I think it needs the extra time to sit and meld all the flavors together for it to be truly great, but I definitely don't regret making it :).

I have a ton of stuff to report on the monthly goals front and on the shopping goals front (I sort of combined June and July together on the shopping goals...I'll get more into that in a bit), so this post might be a bit short, but I still have stuff to report either way :).

1.  I have become addicted to the lemon honey pickles.  I've already gone through the 3 pints I made a bit ago, so I asked my husband to pick me up another bag of lemons.  I sliced them up and put them in the fridge to sit in the honey for 10 days and then have been using them in my tea.  I have to say, this last time my husband could only get Meyer lemons and I do NOT like them compared to regular lemons.  They are very, very sour and bitter tasting, even after sitting in honey for a while, but I've just been using one at a time (slices I mean) in my tea to give that nice lemon flavor instead of two or three that I'd do with regular lemons.  With the regular lemon pickles I would even eat the lemon slices once I was done drinking my tea as the honey made them just sweet enough that you could not taste the pith.  These new  So, I make sure to only eat the middle out of these pickles.

2.  I mended a couple of my son's blankets that had lost some seams.  My son's bedding takes a major pounding as it gets washed pretty much every day, so I really try to get mending done on those items quickly before the damage gets worse.

3.  I paid a medical bill through their online system, saving myself having to write a check and the cost of a stamp.

4.  We went and picked up our first CSA box yesterday.  I immediately got everything prepped and ready to go as soon as we got home, so I wouldn't put it off.  I then made a plan on things to have for dinner this week to use up things in the box (we didn't get a huge variety of stuff this time as it is still so early in the season).  One of the things we got is rhubarb, so my plan is to make a couple of trays of rhubarb crumble and freeze them for later desserts :).

5.  I needed a bucket to mix up the final sauerkraut for canning, but didn't want to spring for a new bucket.  So, instead, I went and grabbed my brining bucket that I use at Thanksgiving, sterilized it good and used it to mix up the sauerkraut.  Worked like a charm and it didn't even stain my bucket purple, which was a surprise :).

6.  I took advantage of some free support I got from taking a LAMP Words for Life class to bounce some ideas for speech therapy off of a professional.  She gave me some advice and we came up with a good plan to start to really hammer on LAMP with Alvah this coming school year.  I'm praying this is the year he starts to communicate.  I've sent up so many prayers I'm hopeful anyway.

7.  I read and studied tons of articles and sources to try and figure out where food prices and things are going and started to make lists of things I want to get/need to get to stock up to help to negate the effects of the still coming global situation we are experiencing.

8.  I chatted with a friend online that I hadn't talked to in quite a while.  It was fun reminiscing about the past and stuff and it didn't cost me anything more than my time as we typed back and forth :).

9.  I ran out of laundry soap while waiting for a new order to come in.  Instead of going out and trying to find laundry soap around at the stores, I dug around and made a bit of home made laundry soap to get us through using washing soda, borax, and some grated bar soap.  I can't use it for very long as it doesn't agree with everyone's skin in the house, but for a few days it was okay.  It got us through a couple of days until we got more laundry soap :).

10.  I took advantage of Prime Day this year to check off some things from my shopping goals at a good discount.  Some things like Seventh Generation products only go on sale at a significant discount on Prime Day and Black Friday, so it was good to pick up the Seventh Generation products (and a few other things) a lot cheaper than how I would normally get them.

And now for a garden update!!!

The garden looks pretty impressive between this post and the last one since it's over two weeks of growth, so let's get to it!

I rearranged the plants for the Fourth of July, so ignore the new layout here.  Eventually I'll probably move the plants again, but so far this is working *laugh*.

Everything is really starting to take off growing in the container garden.  I still haven't found more planters for the seedlings that are in the little black flats, but so far the plants are all still alive and I've been harvesting off of them a bit, so I figure even if I don't plant them in bigger pots, we can still enjoy them for a bit.  We've been getting cooler weather with rain the last few days.  The chard and the cabbage have been loving it and I think they grew inches in the last few days.  

We had some downpours yesterday and the poor flowers are still protesting the rough treatment, but they are starting to perk up again.

The pole bean plant is still alive and it looks like it is going to produce flowers, which means I might actually get some beans off of the plant.  I'll be blown away if I do, so we'll see how that goes.  The sage plant and the mixed salad greens are going nuts, the buttercrunch lettuce is cramped, but doing okay.  The summer savory tries to continually go to flower, so I've been using it as much as I can to keep it growing and the parsley is doing good as well..  The mini-petunias (the purple flowers up front) definitely got beat up by the rain yesterday and lost a bunch of flowers, but it's definitely growing, so hopefully it'll stop looking so war torn here as it dries.

The catnip plant rests in a protected spot on top of the grill so the cats won't eat off all the leaves.  It has come back wonderfully from it's near decimation from when the cats first found it, which I am happy it did.  I'm hoping to get enough catnip off of the plant to dry and use in catnip toys for the cats this winter :).

The poor basil got put under the eaves of the house as it was getting WAY too much water and was literally sitting in mud.  It's starting to dry out and seems to be much happier, so I am hoping I got to it before I managed to kill it off by accident.

The tomato plant, though, is blowing my mind.  When the things I read online said that it was a prolific producer, I was skeptical (I have read those kind of things before).  But, this plant is proving itself.  I mean LOOK at how many tomatoes are growing on that plant!!!  And this is a plant that is barely a foot high!!!  I'm definitely going to look into getting more of these next year if the nursery has them!  I'm seriously amazed!

And, I'm going to call it good there so that I can go and figure out what to make for dinner.  

How about you?  Been up to anything the last few weeks?  Had a good Fourth of July (for those in the US)?  


  1. Your tomato plant is beautiful! We just got back from a road trip to sell our vacation house. I'm now back at home, unpacking & trying to get back into the swing of things. We moved all of our tomato plants to our front yard, so our neighbor kid could water them. We have a pool in the back, and thought this would be safer. All of our plants survived, so now we are trying to eat up all of the produce! We have: strawberries, so much basil, lots of tomatoes, kale, radishes, peppers & our chives look great. The blueberries aren't quite ripened yet. Soon, hopefully!

  2. I found a potato salad we liked, but like you slaw is a little harder. We had a nice 4th of July, plenty of great food!! I really enjoyed reading your happenings and seeing your pictures. Have a great weekend.

  3. How long do your lemons last in the honey if you keep them in the fridge?

    1. From what I've read they last about six months. Mine haven't lasted more than a month so far, though, just because we eat through them *laugh*.

  4. Have you tried the KFC recipe that is all over the Internet but leave out the lemon juice? I think it tastes better without it. I’m off to check out the one you posted. It sounds very good.

    1. I'll have to try it without the lemon juice. I tried it, but it just comes out too acidy.

  5. Your basil plant pot seems to have little seedlings in it. Is it baby basil? My herbs are mostly in pots on the front stoop and they are growing like mad.

    1. I think they might be as the basil plant has definitely taken off more the last bit and the seedlings are getting bigger and seem like they might be more basil. I'll be happy if it is, I have to admit :).