Monday, August 17, 2015

Mid-August Frugality, Gardening and Fun!

It has been a busy week, and I did a poor job of taking photos.  I just have a few to share.

I picked green beans every 2-3 days, and I was able to pressure-can my first batch this week!  I put up two quarts and five 24oz. jars.  The 24oz. jars are new to me, but I really like the size for our family - it's the perfect amount of green beans for us.  So, on that note, I posted on Facebook (locally) that I was looking for more jars of this size, and a friend of mine had 14 of them for me!  I brought her wide mouth quarts, which she prefers - win-win!

I also harvested kale, zucchini (lots of zucchini!) and peaches!  I shared some zucchini with a friend who did not garden this year.  We ate some of the kale (and will have more this coming week) and we enjoyed some fresh peaches.  I also put up a batch of peach jam and another batch of peach-almond jam.  I used the remaining peaches to make some fruit leather.  We will be harvesting more peaches and green beans this week.

Our fruit leather was difficult to remove from the trays.
I will try a thin coat of oil next time.

I planted some seeds for fall - mostly beets, radishes and lettuces.  I am patiently watching our cucumbers grow, and less-patiently watching my tomatoes stay green.  C'mon, yall!  It's time to ripen, pretty please?

I was able to get fresh pineapples for 77 cents each this week!  Husband found coupons for Nature Valley Granola bars, and after the coupons doubled at the store, the granola bars were money-makers.  I purchased four boxes, and self-check rewarded with me four pennies and a Catalina coupon for $2 off my next purchase at Safeway.  Woo hoo!

I joined the local gardening club a few weeks ago, and this past weekend they had a brunch.  It was a pot luck affair, with the club providing beverages and meat.  I took some deviled eggs that I made with eggs from our hens.  I garnished them with chives and borage flowers - they were quite pretty.  I filled the center of the plate with dilled green beans and carrots.  I also took some fruit-oat bars.  For fruit I used apricots and peaches from our trees.  I wanted to take things I had grown, at least in part!  The brunch was really nice, and the people were very welcoming and friendly.  There were lots of door prizes - more door prizes than there were attendees, so many of us went home with more than one item.  I'm now the proud owner of a cute turtle planter and a new (to me) variety of sedum.  One of the members of the club told me that this type of sedum spreads well, which is good news to me!

Before many of the spectators had arrived.  The stadium was about 60% full for the
game - plenty of fans, but it did not feel crowded.

We went to a professional baseball game.  It was a lot of fun!  Husband found a great price on tickets, and each ticket included some credit for food at the park.  We also took water and snacks from home.  It was fun, we were in the shade, and best, the Rockies won!  Rain was a possibility, so I picked up three rain ponchos at Dollar Tree.  It did not rain, so I exchanged them for 200 ct. boxes of facial tissue, since that will be more useful for us in everyday situations.

How was your week?  What did you do to spend less, save more and make do?


  1. I like those 24 ounce jars , too. Yay on having fresh peaches but Boo tomatoes! Mine are all huge grape and cherry tomatoes and I am getting 5-6 ripe ones daily which is the perfect amount for salads every day. They have been SO good!

    A few savings included a one day deal online at Home Depot for light fixtures. Regular price was $45 and they were on special for $8. I ordered 3 for places that need new fixtures in hallways here and also got free shipping. I found that my favorite bras that I pay $29 each for locally are hugely cheaper on Amazon and was able to purchase 3 for $38! I won a free Dominos medium 2 top pizza on Thursday and we packed drinks and veggies and dip and had a picnic at our favorite park with our freebie. It was a welcome break and a beautiful evening.

    Ever since hubby's last unemployment he has worked 31 miles from home and through horrible traffic. We have prayed for him to be moved to a closer facility ever since, He has a possibility of that happening with a position that the company wants to fill internally. It would mean only 16 miles each way and avoiding the heavy traffic area. He would have to have a new work wardrobe but we are willing to do that to get him closer to home. It would be a huge stress lifter here. Even our kids hate him driving that dangerous, congested route everyday.

    For about six months we have been looking for a general type handyman for jobs we cannot do ourselves and we believe we have found one. It will be so much help to us to be able to get all the work done that needs doing around here and have someone to call. We have an estimate scheduled for Thursday too replace a large area of siding on our house.

    I have had an old car accident knee i jury flare up and have been hobbling around for about 10 days now. This has been saving us money since driving is crazy painful for me so I have not been anywhere to spend money. Hubby did the grocery shopping and did a great job with my list and coupons.

    Fall seems to be coming early here. Somehow I am ready for it but not the end of the growing season. Evenings have been cooler so we have been outside many evenings and that is always good! Most meals have been eaten in the screen porch. I recently found a large wood tray with high sides at a thrift store for 3.50 and it has been great for loading up and carrying everything to the porch. It saves many trips and has been worth every penny. We love our outdoor space so much that we would rather eat in our own porch than a nice restaurant.

    Have a good week!

  2. Dear Laura (I hope I found the right Laura!),
    By way of reminder/reintroduction, I'm Monica, the Filipino woman who came to Rockrimmon storytime with first one boy, then two, then three! I wrote an article that I really wanted to share with you. Thank you again for your fabulous work at the library. :)
    Here's the article:
    and here's a photo to help you remember who I am. The oldest boy is now a high school senior!
    P.S. Your peach leather looks fabulous. We have relatives who live not too far from Palisade. :)

    1. Monica, I absolutely remember! I want to say that it's not possible for those toddlers to be in high school, much less seniors, but there is a little girl from that same bunch who is now a young woman/teen volunteer at the library out here close to me. I don't process this well, somehow. Does anyone? Off to read your article!


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