Filed under: Frugality | Tags: bike bag, freezer, frugal, growing food, mints, peppers, reusing, seed saving, velcro
Just because I haven’t posted a ‘Frugal Friday’ in about a month of Sundays, doesn’t mean I don’t constantly strive to live well on less. I’ve just been busy with growing food and preserving it as fast as I can harvest it! Which leads me to last Monday…
Monday: We bought a brand new freezer so that I can freeze more home grown goodies, and stock up on bargains that come our way. Now this wasn’t a snap decision and you can bet I researched far and wide for the best appliance at the best price. With a 10% off sale plus another 10% off for showing Michael’s Veteran’s ID card, as well as free delivery, we got exactly what we wanted. I’d been considering this for two full years but felt it best to wait to really determine if it was a “need” vs a “want” and to make sure that Michael’s cancer was in remission. The answer to both questions turned out to be a big “YES”! Freezers are long term investments and I believe we’ll eventually recoup the money invested by being able to grow more things that don’t can or dry well-stuff like PEPPERS, broccoli, peas, PEPPERS, cauliflower, berries, corn on the cob and oh, did I mention PEPPERS?
Immediate Savings: $120. Long term savings: in addition to lowering our food costs, I decided to put the freezer in front of a completely unused door in my kitchen (after blocking the bottom of the doorway with a sand-filled draft dodger I’d made from old curtains, and by applying silicone caulking that I had leftover from another project around the door frame). Blocking the door like that should help to keep any drafts at bay too.
Tuesday: I harvested some more cuttings from the mint ‘garden’ I’d started earlier this summer. I dried it and will enjoy having spearmint, apple mint, chocolate mint and peppermint tea this winter. (I also plan to buy some tea bag ‘blanks’ and make up some to give as gifts at Christmas.) I’d planted mints before but after a few years they would spread all over the place and become a nusiance so this time I decided to follow the experts’ advice and plant them in pots to avoid that. I salvaged a bunch of recycled #10 cans, punched holes in the bottoms with a nail, spray painted them with leftover bits of paint I’d saved for just such a small project and used the can lids as drip trays. Then I filled the cans with a mixture of ‘reused’ potting soil and homemade compost, put out the word to my friends that I’d like some various mint cuttings and that’s all it took! I lined them up across the front porch railing and enjoy the wonderful scents during the summer and the teas in the winter. Cost: $0
Wednesday: I’m slowly learning to save seed reliably and am reaping the benefits now. The money I save is great but the feelings of self-sufficiency and resilience seed-saving gives me are priceless!
Thursday: Michael’s feeling well enough lately to want to ride his bike again but his strap-on bike bag wouldn’t stay attached to the seat post. Seems the Velcro had just worn out. No problem! I had some wide Velcro scraps in my sewing box so in about 5 minutes I had sewn the new, grippier pieces right on top of the old ones and it works great now. It works so well he could probably haul a trailer behind his bike but that’s another project for another day. Savings: $30. Yes, $30 because that’s what the bike shop wanted for a new bag!
Friday: With the shorter days of September already here, I’ve begun to think about fall gardening chores. The free tree seedlings that my city gives in the spring are tiny, bare root whips but I’ve kept them in pots in my ‘nursery’ area all summer and I believe they are ready to plant now. I hope my Japanese Maples and Serviceberries will provide us with beauty and berries for years to come! Cost: $0 and patience.
And now it’s time to think about fixing supper before we walk downtown for this evening’s First Friday celebration. We’re having Dilly Potato Salad (so I can use up the last of the red potatoes in the pantry before they sprout wings) and Black Bean Burgers using the leftover beans I had from making Mexican Beans and Rice earlier this week. I always scour my frig and cabinets for ingredients that might need to be used up quickly before I plan meals. It’s a good habit that really reduces food waste to almost zero percent. Savings? Priceless! Have a fabulous and frugal weekend!
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