Tennesseetransitions


Frugal Friday- November 21, 2014

I’ve had a fairly busy, productive week, but have nothing scheduled for the next three days: time in which I intend to do some long awaited sewing repairs and try some new recipes. If I waited for ‘things to slow down’ or for ‘a better time’ to get serious about “using it up, wearing it out, making it do, or doing without” it would never happen. Using the resources I have available to me wisely is simply part-of-my-daily-life, and enables me to live more sustainably, more economically, and to be a better steward of the little piece of Earth that I’m responsible for. This week was no different from many, except that I am trying to keep my grocery bills down as much as possible this month since I’ve got a family birthday dinner to prepare next week, as well as the Thanksgiving feast to contribute to, neither of which I intend to scrimp on.

Monday: I had the city deliver a load of clean, dry shredded leaves to my backyard. We use them for layering with ‘greens’ in the compost bins, for mulch around everything and as a soil amendment in our heavy clay soil when preparing new beds. They’re delivered free, and this year I had the load dumped right on top of an old tree stump where the grassy slope makes it hard to cut around! I’m hoping by the time we get to the bottom of the pile next fall that the grass around the stump will be dead and we can then easily convert that area to something beautiful and food-producing. Savings: priceless

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 Tuesday:  In our efforts to keep food costs lower this month, and because we love soup in cold weather, we gladly used the small turkey carcass we were left with after a potluck meal we’d attended on Saturday night to make a pot of turkey/potato soup. Michael spent this cold day in the kitchen simmering it along with a couple of loaves of homemade bread, made using bread flour and yeast both bought in bulk. The only new expense was for fresh celery, which I bought on sale for 88 cents, since we already had the carrots, onions and herbs for seasoning growing in the garden. This pot o’ soup made six generous servings, and with the bread, we figure those meals cost us about 25 cents each It was delicious, healthy and warmed our bellies and the kitchen on a cold day. Savings: Panera Bread Company sells large bowls of chicken noodle soup w/celery and carrots for $3.99, with a slice of bread and a loud TV included in the price. Comparing that, six of their meals would’ve cost us $24.00. OUR soup meals include unlimited bread and free WiFi. Just sayin’…

Wednesday: I harvested four mature cabbages, a bushel of kale, and a ton of onions from my garden beds before the deep freeze hit. Then I covered the plots with hoops and plastic for the remainder of the winter. This is the third year I’ve used the same sheets of plastic and they’re in good shape because I wash, dry and store them away as soon as the weather warms, in order to get more use out their ‘made-from-oil’ life. (under that tunnel is broccoli, kale, chard, lettuces, spinach and more onions…all just waiting in cold storage to be harvested.)

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Thursday: I had some cooked rice, fresh snow peas, ginger, broccoli, carrots, peppers and more that needed to be used up. Stir fry to the rescue! I used up some left-from-summer Sesame-Ginger ‘grilling sauce’ that I’d bought at the discount grocery in this mix, and we loved it for supper and again for lunch on Friday.

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Friday: The bag I keep in the freezer for onion, celery and carrot tops was full and I was out of my homemade veggie broth, so…

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Quarts of organic vegetable broth at most any grocery store are $3.00 each. It’s a great way to use up something that would otherwise be thrown away, and after it’s simmered for a couple hours, the broth is strained and the softened, cooled veggies are given to the neighbor’s chickens as a treat. Savings: $21 since I use reusable canning lids on my jars, and add home grown herbs for flavor. I like saving that kind of money,  and I like knowing what’s in my food, don’t you?

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7 Comments so far
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I’m super excited to see that we can get loads of leaves. I will put this on my to-do list when me move. Glad you made the post!

Comment by Crystal

You can also get loads of wood mulch delivered for free from the JC Power Board. It can be kinda rough cut but it’s great for mulching paths and under trees, etc

Comment by simpleintn

I am so envious of you growing season and temps, and you can still have stuff growing in your hoops. Another great week for you!

Comment by sarasinart

Oh Nancy we had really cold weather for a while there! I lost some uncovered cauliflower 😦 But today is warm again and it’s supposed to be 66 degrees on Monday. And just so you know, nothing is really growing in the hoops, only in cold storage there. The only thing that may actually grow in late winter is the kale and spinach will make a big comeback before it gets too hot for them. Or so I’m hoping anyway. Stay warm!

Comment by simpleintn

Oh I see, but I still envy you your long time to grow! You can get started so much earlier. We’re supposed to have a warming trend now for a while too which is great after the cold we just had. But before long it will be back. 😦 You stay warm too and have a nice Thanksgiving!

Comment by sarasinart

Had to laugh at “the loud TV” comment……what IS that all about?? I went to the dentist and suffered in the waiting room for a 30″ wait last week with the same situation! And people seem to be fine with it, so frustrating (I start wondering if there is something wrong with me?) Completely stressed me out. I could rant for an hour about it but won’t:)

I got my first pile o’ leave last year and they were SO helpful to me this growing season! Now I’m hooked!!

Comment by Sara Huber

Sara I think people have become uncomfortable with quietness, hence the TV? I mean we’re all plugged in in every way possible so it’s not like we’re craving news…it’s to fill the quiet spaces in our lives. THAT scares folks more than the news haha

Comment by simpleintn




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