Sunday, September 12, 2021

Frugal Friday: Money Saving Weekly Recap and Harvest Time!

So, you might be asking yourself where I've been the last...however long it has been...nearly a month really (I know I blogged my grocery trip, but that was still a bit ago).  Honestly, it's been kind of rough around here and I didn't have much to blog about in the way of saving money.  Like many in the world right now, I'm treading water financially as well as we can and just taking it one day at a time.  So, I started to compile a list of money saving things and when it got up to a decent amount, I decided I finally had a blog post *laugh*.    I DO have a list of things I want to do this month, finally have my Amazon order in (well most of it...some I had to cancel as it got back ordered until the end of time it seemed), got a new list of things I want to buy at the end of the month and such, so hopefully in the next couple of days I DO finally have things to blog about that aren't just me ranting and raving about prices, not being able to save money and just letting out a long depressed sigh at the end.  Heck, I didn't want to type it.  I sincerely doubted people wanted to read it.

So, let's get to the list of stuff shall we?

1.  Well, this last Tuesday was the last day of our CSA for the summer and I have to say I was really impressed with the variety of things we got this summer.  I wasn't able to put up as much for winter with the CSA this year, but like just within the last few weeks I got corn, plums, pears, red currants, garlic, onions (I definitely have enough green onions to hopefully last till next year in the freezer now...woohoo!!!), broccoli, zucchini, was an impressive variety of items.  We really enjoyed the corn (it is HARD to grow corn up here unless you have a greenhouse) and the fruit and I'm really looking forward to using the currants in some baking later on (I froze them for use later). 

2.  Speaking of the CSA and by process of association the U-Pick farm (since the CSA is put on by Pyrah's Pioneer Peak Farm, which is our local U-Pick farm as well :), they announced the date of their annual fall festival and as such their Special Edition day (special needs get in free as do their families).  I have already booked the day in my calendar as the kids LOVE this event every year and it is just so wonderful that the farm puts it on like they do :).

3.  Carrs started their own app independent of the Safeway app and part of the Carrs app is actually more freebies.  It seems they come out with a freebie for one day (Wednesday as that is when their ad rolls over) .  I've only gotten in on one freebie so far, but we did take advantage of the Pick Up and Go for Carrs that week, so we were able to get a free frozen pizza that day with the app.  My daughter and I ended up having it for dinner one night when my husband was working late, so it worked out perfectly :).

4.  I had ordered a toner through the homeschool for our laser printer and proceeded to wait, and wait, and wait.  I ended up calling the homeschool office after I got a "closed ticket" notification from the technology department as I was worried that my toner order would fall through the cracks even though they had assured me they'd contact me as soon as the toners were in.  I am glad I called as the head of the technology department called me back.  He was super apologetic and couldn't figure out why the ticket for my order had gotten closed (he was supposed to approve things before they got closed) and it turned out they had toners for at least a month.  To make up for the whole fiasco he gave me a toner for free!  That was a 100.00 savings for me, so I was beyond thrilled and touched that they would eat the cost of something like that to make it up to us.

5.  My son and I are currently studying waves and life under the seas and oceans this quarter in school.  We have taken advantage of a bunch of resources including free with Prime documentaries on Amazon, free worksheet sites and things.  It has really helped to add some more interest to his science lessons.

Speaking of school, we have managed to stay on time with our lessons (that can be a real challenge with Alvah's eczema and horrible sleep schedule) and it turned out that he really actively enjoyed reading the Jungle Book.  Since Kipling is one of my favorite authors (and has been since I was a kid), I was really thrilled that he enjoyed it so much :).

6.  We decorated the house for Halloween this week as the weather has definitely gotten colder and leaves are starting to turn and fall from the trees.  All the decorations we used were from previous years that we pulled out of storage, so not only does it change up the house a bit, but it didn't cost us anything to do :).

7.  When the weather started getting colder, I pulled the tomato plant inside to give it as much time as I could to ripen the many tomatoes it had before the plant died off.  It worked great and it finally started to actively die this week.  I harvested what was left along with the rest of the "outside garden" this week.  

I have to say I am REALLY impressed and thrilled with how many tomatoes I got off of one tiny plant.  I am definitely going saving the "Red Robin Patio Tomato" to my gardening necessities for next year (hopefully I can find them again).

8.  My food dehydrator didn't survive the earthquake well, it turned out.  I wasn't sure how it or my Food Saver would fare (Food Saver won't even power on after getting water in it from the 2" of standing water that was in my laundry room, it turns out *sigh*).  Instead of going out and getting a new dehydrator, I decided to hang up my herbs the old fashioned way and dry them.  It worked well as I put them right above our heating duct from the furnace.  The herbs that didn't do so great was the basil and the rosemary, but the sage and parsley more than made up for it.  I have a ton of parsley preserved in ice cubes in the freezer, have a ton more dehydrating and we ate a ton fresh.  Can't get better than that.  It was the same with the sage.  I am super super happy to have both of the herbs to put up in the cupboards to use over the winter :).

9.  You know, speaking of the garden, with the crazy weird growing season we had this year I am super duper happy how well the garden did.  I finally went and harvested the rest of the garden today as we have been getting pretty significant drops in temps at night and things.  The cabbages are smaller, by a bit, compared to what I would get out of a in-ground garden...if the moose didn't eat them...but they are nice and heavy for their size and I am so happy to have real cabbages come out of the garden this year instead of what was left of them after the moose and slugs got to them.  

I harvested my last head of lettuce, which the other ones I harvested lasted nearly a month (no joke) once I cleaned them and put them loosely in containers with paper towels in between, so I'm hoping the last head will last us at least a couple of weeks.

Now the chard, man the chard I'm BEYOND thrilled on how well it did in containers.  I was expecting it to be dwarfed and not grow well, but instead I got managed to get two harvests in this year by planting a new seedling every time I ripped out an old one, and both times the harvest was really good!!!  I am going to have a decent amount of greens put up for the winter, which, to me, is wonderful, as any extra nutrition, especially yummy tasting nutrition, we can get during the winter is a huge deal to me.

On the other side of things, raspberries and rose hips were a definite no-go this year, unfortunately.  They both succumbed to rot or mold before we could harvest many of them.  My mother-in-law's raspberries shared that fate, it seemed, so any raspberry jam I am getting this year is going to have to be bought in.

10.  I managed to find room in my freezer for my ice cream maker bowl and am going to start making ice cream, hopefully tomorrow.  With my son's peanut allergy, we have to be careful what brands of ice cream we get and unfortunately more and more it is the really expensive brands we have to go with.  With the cost of the ice cream combined with more and more product shrinkage, I decided it was time to just start making ice cream.  It's cheaper.  My ice cream maker is ancient, so I might have to invest in a new one soon as the ice cream bowl seems to not stay frozen solid for long enough to really make the ice cream...well soft serve ice cream consistency if that makes sense.  I always end up with ice crystals anymore as the bowl just doesn't seem to work as well as it used to, but for now it'll work okay I think.

11.  One of my goals of late is to get the den to a point where I can get things out of the way for home gym class in bad weather.  So, I managed to put a folding camp table in the den that I can break down easily and folding chairs and then I'm working on getting things better organized and out of the way of the "main drag" through the center of the den so we'll have it to do yoga and other exercises.  One of the things I wanted to get out of the way was a set of drawers I'd bought for homeschool materials.  I decided to put them upstairs over by the living room window.  I then put a tray I had on it (the top of the drawers has indents so you can stack more than one system on top of the other) and placed a small lamp on the new "table".  This will be wonderful this winter as the living room doesn't have an overhead light in it and it gets really hard to read or do sewing and things in the living room during the winter with the lack of daylight.  It will definitely help to light up the living room better.

And I am going to call it good there as I have a ton of housework and stuff yet to do today.  Hope you've all had some luck keeping above everything going on and are doing well!


  1. If your freezer bowl for ice cream isn't working as well, there are some no churn recipes out there. Ive not tried them myself, because our bowl okay still, but they look simple and are rated well.

  2. Hope you have a wonderful and healthy September!

  3. I end up drying my herbs in the oven because things mold if I do it the way you do---must be dryer at your house than ours. You did get a lot for your small deck garden. I'll have to try that brand of tomatoes.

    1. Yeah, around here it is REALLY wet right now. I have a mushroom forest growing in my front and back yard it is so wet. I honestly think if I just hung the herbs up from the ceiling they probably wouldn't have dehydrated right, but by putting them over the heating vent so the hot air blows on them...that seems to be working okay. I might still need to dehydrate them a bit in the microwave or in the oven before putting them in containers, though...we shall see :).

  4. I am growing chard in a trough this year for the first time and it has worked well. I just take the biggest leaves each time. Your garden did well.