Friday, July 30, 2021

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Garden Update

 I was originally going to name this "Frugal Friday:  Money Saving Weekly Recap (The "I'm Drowning in Produce Edition and I'm Thrilled!"), but I thought that might be a BIT long *laugh*.

But, yeah, I am so happy right now.  Seen above is my garden haul this week along with what I received in my CSA (minus the peas that I completely forgot to get out of the fridge to put in the photo).  Seriously, the garden haul alone is just awesome and then you add in the CSA and I'm really loving life right now.

Especially when we went out running errands yesterday and I saw the telltale moose prints through the old garden bed and the chomped branches on the trees.  I had a moment of relief and then a moment of "ha ha!" at Bob and Ted as my garden was safe a story above the ground where they could not tread this year.  

So, anyway, I'm going to do a reverse on the normal post this week and do a garden update before the usual Frugal update, so let's get to that!

As stated above, I harvested some stuff from the garden today.   The first big thing I did was I harvested two Swiss Chard plants that were shortening to bolt with the weird weather we've had of late.  I also harvested a ginormous head of buttercrisp lettuce.  See the lettuce on the right in the very back in the basket there?  That is ONE head of lettuce for the most part.  For scale, here's the same basket in previous years holding different items...

So, yeah, that's one big head of lettuce right there!  I cleaned and processed it after taking the photos and it filled a big container with lettuce plus gave me enough left over to give my mother-in-law a bag of lettuce for salads next week.  Seriously, awesome!

I did manage to shove some other lettuce greens under and to the side of the head of lettuce (the herb-like things on the left side of the basket), which will give us a nice variety of salad greens to mix in with the butter crisp next week.  I keep having to give the mixed salad greens a haircut or they quickly blossom and try to go bitter, so it's been fun having those readily available for salads.

The Swiss Chard I harvested is on the left in the other basket along with some parsley, summer savory and sage in the front of the basket.  I already cut down and had the Swiss Chard ready to go into bags, so it took up less room on the table.  I was happy with the haul I got off the two plants :).

The green head up front is a cabbage I got with the CSA this week, which it and the potatoes went into a corned beef dinner tonight for the most part (I'm also missing some potatoes because I made mashed potatoes last night :).

The green/purple things on either side of the cabbage are kale that came with the CSA box this week.  I also got local eggs with the CSA box the last couple of weeks.  I think they are so pretty as they are from Easter Egger chickens, so they are a variety of colors.  I wish the photo was better able to show the light greens and blues that some of the eggs are, but rest assured they are very pretty :).  

We also got a baggy of culinary lavender in the box this week (in with the eggs) and a jar of honey (in the jar that is in the same basket as the chard).  

Here's the fun part, though.

The seedlings that I had left over when I planted the original garden have survived just fine as root bound as they are, so when I harvested the chard and lettuce I was able to immediately plant another round of plants!  

I don't know how big they'll get, but no matter what I'll be able to harvest something from them :).

I'm thinking I'll probably be harvesting the other two chard plants this week as they are getting to that point and I'll plant a few more seedlings in their place.  And no extra money spent!  Booyah!!!

We are supposed to be up near 80 next week, so I am going to be really happy to have the lettuce in the fridge for salads, I'm betting.  And it will give the tomatoes another chance to start going crazy.  I am LOVING this little plant!!!

Everything else in the garden is growing well.  

The cabbages are kind of small so far, but they are forming cabbages, so yay!

I even have some small beans that are getting bigger every day!  Woot!!!

Please ignore the bug on the underside of the leaf.  Rest assured it got knocked off as soon as I realized it was there.

So long as I keep the lettuce heads and the lettuce greens mix harvested regularly, the rosemary continues to grow and isn't hidden if I keep on top of it.  The parsley and the sage are MAJORLY happy in the box and are trying to take over their little world.  The savory seems to be growing well, I just have never grown it before so the straggly runners it sends out all the time with their thyme like leaves are different than I'm used to :).  I have been using the savory pretty much as soon as I harvest it in cooking (I've gotten more into German cooking and they favor savory as a herb).

The mini petunias are happy as can be and the bees seem to like them, so I'm happy to see local honey bees touching down on them and the other petunias during the day.

The petunias have definitely filled out their container and are happily growing.

And even the basil has filled out and is growing nicely!

This would be the time in the garden where I would wait for slugs or moose to kill everything, so I am thrilled to see where the garden is going to go away from those things!

So, yeah, I am happy with the garden this week  =D.

And now, onto the frugal update for the week (minus the money saved from the garden, of course).

1.  I was ordering my son's curriculum materials off of Amazon and was looking at canned fruit and happened to find a 12 pack of canned mangoes for 12.00 on sale.  I jumped on it as I can't even GET canned mangoes locally (I love mangoes and barely ever buy them fresh as they aren't cheap and canned aren't available around here) and was thrilled when I saw that the mangoes went up to 35.00 the next day and have pretty much stayed at that price point since.  The cans came in great shape too, which was a nice find.  With Amazon it is always a gamble.

2.  Amazon managed to damage a printer cartridge I had ordered (can't find our particular colored printer cartridges around here, so I have to order them from Amazon) in transit and it was supposedly getting returned to Amazon and I would get a refund when they got it back.  I got confused when I saw the tracking information as the box was still in the Amazon system, the USPS hadn't even gotten the box before it got sent back to Amazon, so I was really confused why the refund would have to wait when technically Amazon already HAD the damaged item.  The site told me to track the box for more information, but the tracking information on the mail's end died pretty much immediately since they didn't even HAVE the box yet.  Determined that I was never going to get a refund this way as the tracking information on Amazon's end literally ended at "Box damaged, returning to Amazon" and that was it, I called Amazon and pretty much demanded an immediate refund since I had already ordered and received another ink cartridge and I wanted to recover the money that was currently in limbo.  Amazon customer service managed to process a refund so I got my money back for the item that Amazon will eventually get back from itself.

3.  I spent most of the week working on sourcing Alvah's many books and resources for his curriculum for this coming school year so I could send it off to his contact teachers.  I got done earlier in the week and sent off the many pages to his contact teacher, who was happy with the results, so that was a load off of my mind.  I got the last books for the daughter's and son's curriculums in today, so other than art supplies and things, I should be good to go to start school next week.  Which is great as that is what I was hoping to be able to do.

4.  My husband's birthday was this month and we still hadn't gone out for our anniversary yet, so we decided to kind of combine the two events into one dinner out without the kids.  It was a nice dinner, the kids seemed to have a good time with grandma and I have to say, since that night Alvah has slept very little, so I am glad we had that night where I could recharge my batteries before the lack of sleep kicked in.

5.  When doing my son's curriculum I utilized a lot of free resources to pad out his lessons, including museum sites for additional fun lessons and things to do, a free handwriting sheet generator and I went and dug up a bunch of recipes online.  I thought about getting Radish boxes again this year, but I decided to save the money and decided we would incorporate cooking activities into the history lessons we would be studying instead.  So, I looked up ancient Egyptian,  Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Roman, Greek  and Viking/Norse dishes to make throughout the school year.  It will be a LOT of fun, I think and I didn't have to worry about shoe horning a Radish box into what we were learning at the time.  I'm looking forward to the activities.  I think they will be a lot of fun!

6.  I bought the minimum of groceries this week due to money being really tight until pay day.  Groceries hurt more and more every day (I noticed that even all the produce had gone up the last time I went to the store), so I'm TRYING to be careful with how much I'm spending on them if I can.  

I am having a really hard time budgeting right now as the prices on things are fluctuating so quickly, but I'm doing the best I can to stay above it all.

7.  My son found the YouTube has the entire collection of "Silly Songs with Larry" from "Veggie Tales".  He's a happy camper right now (I am actually trying to type with those songs trying to distract me at the moment *laugh*).  It is a nice find as he wore out his old VHS tape of "Silly Songs" and this stops me from trying to figure out how to afford a DVD of the songs or something (if they are even available at all anymore).

8.  My husband was having a medical issue and used Teledoc instead of going to his regular in-person doctor as our insurance pays 100% of a Teledoc visit.  It worked out and going through Teledoc saved us at least 150.00, so I was grateful to the hubby for doing that.

And, sadly. that's about it.  All I've really been up to this last week was working on the kid's curriculums for homeschool, so I haven't done much else.  I had hoped to get some other stuff done around the house, but hopefully I can get some things done this weekend before schoolwork starts next week.  Here's hoping!

How about you all?  Been up to anything this week?

By the way, if you left a comment last week and it doesn't appear on the blog, I apologize.  Blogger had a wig out moment and ended up eating a couple of comments.  I couldn't even read them to approve them as they just appeared as broken code, so I had to delete a few comments that may or may not have been done by a person.  So, if your comment didn't appear (and you're not a spammer, which I DID block and delete some of those), I greatly apologize.  Thanks for the understanding!    


  1. Thank you so much for mentioning using summer savoury in German recipes. I have had a savoury plant in my garden for years and, although I use a lot of home grown herbs in my cooking, I have always been at a loss as to what to use it in as none of my recipe books seem to include it in anything. I am now off to research German recipes! X

  2. You did fantastic. Nothing sad about it :). I saw there was an earthquake and tsunami warning the other day for Alaska and immediately thought of you. So glad no damage occurred and no one was hurt. It was a big one but far enough out ton sea I guess.
    Groceries are skyrocketing here too so I cannot imagine what they cost for you. In parts of Northern Canada they are insane and completely unaffordable. Very thankful I live in Central Ontario.
    You always inspire me. Hope Alvah sleeps better soon. Take care.

  3. I am very impressed by your garden and all the other things you do.

  4. TOO MUCH PRODUCE - what a wonderful problem to have. It is wonderful during the season of gardening.
    Everything looks very nice. You have sure been industrious.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  5. It has been hot, hot, hot with too many days with temps in the 90's. Now we are under an air quality alert due to all of the wildfires. It's been pretty bad some days, where it even smelled smoky. And no rain, so it's been a bit nerve wracking. Have been purging a few things in the house and just went through so many books and rearranged the book shelves with what I kept, and need to box up the others for donation. As far as budgeting - it is very challenging, for sure. I do try to buy a few shelf stable items, when I can find them at a fairly decent price but sometimes you just have to cringe and pay because there's a good chance it's not going to go down. Your garden looks great and is really starting to deliver. I'm so glad you did this because I know the frustrations you had with the moose in your area. It sounds like gardening in containers is the best solution. Despite all the warm temps, I am seeing signs of Fall already. Some of our shrubs have leaves that are turning. It may be a reaction to hot temps and no rain, though. I don't know. I imagine it has been difficult for you too, with so many warmer days. Try to stay cool and good luck with more harvest. Ranee (MN)

  6. You had a great week! So happy for you with the garden produce and your CSA. Dont beat yourself up over not having much done in the house due to working on homeschooling. Homeschooling is a huge undertaking and needs time devoted to it. Take care.

  7. You get so much done! You can get the silly songs dvd from Veggietales. not that much on amazon here in Canada $11. I love them. like old looney tunes the older veggietales has a lot of adult humour in it. Maybe a grandparent can get it for a present for him. I know I got the cds from the library for the kids. Now I have the pirates that don't do anything song going though my head lol

  8. Here's a link to the complete collection of Silly Songs with Larry on Amazon. It's not on Prime but it still should be less than fifteen dollars unless they charge more to send it to Alaska.

  9. Thinking of you and hope you and your family are doing okay. Ranee (MN)