Tuesday, August 31, 2010

new freezer

Well, we did it. We bought a freezer. It's actually quite nice. It stands and looks like a tiny fridge! We miss so many opportunities to stock up on meat and veggies, simply because we have no where to store the haul! Also, now that I'm in full-on freeze fruit and veggies mode, this will really help.

Our fridge/freezer is a standard size, which means that the freezer space isn't as big as you might need it to be.

I just went on a frozen veggie shopping spree. The frozen veggie bags are normally $2.39 each, but the sale {ending today} has them for $1.00 each. {Hubby likes to use them in his lunches and they are still cheaper than buying fresh at $1 per bag!} I just went in there and filled my cart with 20 bags of frozen veggies. {yes, I emptied the shelves, sorry} This will really help the ole budget.

We actually applied for a store credit card to take advantage of the 10% off your first purchase deal, for the freezer. I really don't like credit cards, but I agreed that this was a great deal, as we also needed a screen door and love the discount for both! We will pay it off within the 90 days allowed, accrue no interest and enjoy our summer harvest long into the winter!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

busy, busy

Who has time to blog, when there's so much work to be done?

I have been harvesting, freezing, processing etc.

I have almost all of my herbs harvested and processed. I wash, dry, chop and then freeze them on a baking sheet. After they have frozen, I transfer them to a freezer safe Mason Jar. It is so wonderful to have fresh herbs in the middle of winter! I also use this process to freeze fruit for our smoothies.

The zucchini has become bread and a main course so far. I have grated and frozen 12- 2 cup portions for later use. We love zucchini bread and cheesy zucchini soup. I will have to share the recipe. It is the yummiest soup! My family loves it! I also like to add some zucchini to goulash or spaghetti sauce. We still have lots of zucchinis growing.

Since the dog food recall last month, I have been cooking our dogs food. {one of our dogs was very sick!} I boil chicken and save the broth. I have been freezing this as well. Lots of my soup recipes call for broth, so I'm super excited that I won't have to buy any for a while!

As you can imagine, we are now in need of a stand alone freezer. It feels so good to be able to stock up on foods for my family. Having it come from my garden is a bonus!

We have four fruit trees ready to start harvesting as well. I expect to be rather busy these next few weeks, but the payoff will be worth the work!

Friday, August 6, 2010

food waste

This used to be an 'orange" now, it's a cross between a "brown" and a 'black"! ~he he~
Also included in the food waste this week, but not pictured, are: 2 mini bagels, handful of stale chips and cabbage. Actually, the cabbage spoiled an entire dish, so the whole dish had to go. Everything went into the compost, with the exception of the meal, as it had meat in it.

I vow to do so much better this next week. I only have to pick up a few things for our camping trip. Otherwise, we will eat straight from the fridge and pantry and have no food waste!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

There's just too much!

When we first moved in, this house was in major disrepair! It had been in the family for many years. The most recent 8-10 years, no one had taken care of it. We had lots to replace inside, including walls, floors, ceilings etc. The yard consisted of 4 foot high grass and weeds and lots of debris. I spent the first year just cleaning it up!

I had a brown thumb at the time, but thought I'd take the yard on! After lots of research and trial and error, I managed to create a beautiful landscape. {or so I think!} We have just under an acre, and I was tired of mowing. I created 7 different gardens, with one being a veggie garden. Well, after 14+ years of pulling weeds to maintain each garden, I quit! It is so much more work to maintain gardens versus just simple mowing!

I have replanted and/or given away most of my plants from my perennial garden. It is now grass again. It's funny though. As I was replanting grass there, my neighbor stopped by to ask why I was doing that. He thought I should plant a nice Xeriscape garden. Hey! That's what I had, but YOUR tree{that you don't trim} is sending SO MANY seeds here and I'm tired of picking the plants from them. No, I didn't say that. I just thought it instead! he he

Instead of re mulching around my shrubs and hedges, I'm letting the grass grow back, it wants to anyway! I'll just mow around them. {a reel mower will be next on the list}

I removed a small Chinese Elm hedge. When I plated them, I didn't know they were classified as a weed! There is so much involved in keeping these alive! And lots of trimming! They grow very fast!

We are currently trimming trees WAY back! The fruit trees are over producing and I spend so much time picking up what falls off. Also, the trees are too big for the fruit to get big enough to use! The tree uses all of it's energy to grow each piece of fruit, so they all stay small and bitter.

I'm slowly deciding that simple is best. I want to have some relaxation time this summer! It seems that I spend all sunlight hours pulling weeds, trimming hedges or trees, cleaning fruit that fell off of trees and so on...

I will keep my veggie garden, as that is beneficial! I have a few more established gardens that will stay, but no more annual gardens. I will plant a few things in a large pot near the door.

I am looking forward to a day of rest! {and shorter to-do lists!}

Monday, August 2, 2010

great deal at Office Max!

Our printer is having serious issues, and it is time for a new one! We like our current one. It is an all-in-one printer, meaning it copies, prints and scans.

I found an ad in the Sunday coupon inserts, for printers at Office Max. If you brought in an empty ink cartridge, you can save $40 on a printer! I found this one, and is exactly what we need! It was $149.00, minus my $40 discount. {$109.00} I was so surprised when I got to the check out counter! The final price was $64.00!!!! Even on the Kodak website, it's sale price is $119.00! Talk about a lucky deal! We weren't budgeting for this, but hubby needs it to print for work.

grocery shopping

My shopping budget is $300, which is what I take out of the bank. This method helps to keep me on track. I do shop at different stores and have found myself, at times, at the last store re-doing the list. There are times that I forget to write a price on my list end up going over budget at a store. {I used to use a calculator, but it would sometimes shut off, leaving me in a bind! Now, I use a price book and I just add as I go} I just don't get a few things at the last store, and I'm good! {photo of health food store purchases}

This is my shopping for the next two weeks:
1. grocery store: spent- $103.44 coupons-$17.44
2.health food store: spent-$71.19 Coupons-$9.25

total spent $174.63, leaving $125.37.

I'm sure that I'll need more next week, as I always run out of something!