Filed under: Frugality | Tags: community gardens, greenhouse, potlucks, yard sales
I was given a greenhouse. That’s it up there ↑. The couple that owned it just wanted to get rid of it, and said if I could figure out how to get it home, I could have it. Where there’s a will there’s a way… A friend with a pick up truck and a flat bed trailer came to the rescue, along with a bunch of guys from my church. Plans for outfitting it and planting some winter greens are brewing!
The greenhouse alone would’ve been the frugalist ? thing ever but life goes on as usual and each day is a new opportunity to ‘live well on less’.
Monday: Michael and I volunteered to deliver posters around town for the local college’s ‘School of the Arts’ fall series and earned tickets to a performance tomorrow night at our regional live theater for doing so. We’re going to see “Hollywood Confidential”. The tickets would’ve cost us $37 a piece, so this was a real bonus. In addition to the theater tickets, we were also given a gift card for 2 free ice cream cones at the local ice cream shoppe, Yum!
Tuesday: I tried a new recipe for zucchini, taken directly from a recent edition of Mother Earth News. Basically, slice and fry, turning to brown evenly on both sides, then drain on paper towels, sprinkle with salt and pepper. I also fried up some sage leaves for about 3 minutes to garnish the slices with. It’s a great way to use up that sage AND zucchini, and it filled out a meal of leftover casserole, garlic bread and corn on the cob. Oh yeah, it was really good. Now I only have 99 more zucchini to use up 😉
Wednesday: We worked in the gardens for quite a while today and were really hot and tired afterwards. Have you ever been grocery shopping and when you were through, felt too exhausted to cook? That’s where we were on this night. It happened to be the night for my church’s monthly Wednesday night supper and we were able to enjoy a glass of wine, a wonderful meal and dessert for $5 a piece!. By tracking our expenses, we’d become aware of a gradual increase in eating out over recent months so we’ve been trying to cut back. It’s really easy this time of year when there is so much fresh produce to put to good use in the kitchen, but on this particular day, we caved and enjoyed an evening of fun and relaxation with our church friends. An added bonus: We’ve realized that eating out more infrequently gives us a greater sense of satisfaction when we do indulge. What’s the old saying? “Familiarity breeds contempt”. Occasional meals out have become special once again.
Thursday: This was the night of the annual Harvest Potluck for the nearby community garden. Need I say more? The food was all fresh, all local, and home grown. I had a hit with my ‘Double Delight Chocolate Cake’ made with cooked, mashed sweet potatoes and grated zucchini added to the batter. It is so moist that no icing is needed, although I did dust it with powdered sugar before serving. Adding the veggies cuts down on the oil needed by 2/3’s AND now I only have 98 more zucchinis to use up. Piece of cake!
Friday: Yard sale finds today: two nice tee shirts for 50 cents each and two candles for the same price. One candle is a fancy, schmancy ‘hand poured’ one in a cool jar (which can be repurposed once it’s been burned) and the other is gift quality, still in the wrapper and with a bow. They both smell lovely. We love candles but new ones can be truly pricey. I’m always on the lookout for them at yard sales and have plenty in stock, rarely paying over $1.00 for them. Candles and home-made soaps are my two little luxuries that I hope to always be able to enjoy-and greenhouses too.
But you know what? Learning to live well on less has given me a deep feeling of abundance that’s not based on money or stuff, but on a sense of enough. It’s a mindset, more than anything I think. If this blog only gets that point across I’ll consider it successful. My hope is that the frugality aspects of my posts will lead you to a greater sense of resilience and community mindedness as well. Regardless of what the stock market says, we’re living in dangerous and uncertain times. Having skills to share and a community of folks to be a part of (whether that’s your neighbors, your church, your coworkers or your yoga class!) will enable us to not only survive, but to thrive as we transition to a leaner life.
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