Filed under: Frugality | Tags: curry powder recipe, egg bloom, seed innoculant, seed starting rack
I put the wrong date on last Friday’s post and confused some folks, so I’m being perfectly clear this time. That confusion caused me to reread my own posts from January of 2014 and helped me remember that EVERY January is a struggle to simply stay warm, put good meals on the table, and remain optimistic that spring will be back soon. This January of 2015 has been no different. I spent the week staying warm by keeping the heat pump on 64 degrees and moving my energy efficient space heaters to whatever room I am in, cooking lots of good food from scratch, all while watering and thinning new seedlings, knowing that spring isn’t far away. And I saved a fair bit of money, while barely leaving the house, proving that frugality comes in all shapes and forms, not just dollars and cents. Read on…
Monday: I finally took the time to figure out why I couldn’t directly download books to my Kindle Fire without first saving them on my computer. It took several hours, but honestly, it’s January… what else is there? Once I figured out the problem, I downloaded 3 books for a total of $1.99! All 3 were written by the same author, whose blog I follow. They were all about gardening and homesteading topics and I certainly feel like I got my moneys’ worth and more!
Tuesday: We had given a friend our old seed-starting light rack when we moved to this urban house from our country home, mistakenly thinking we wouldn’t be gardening as much as we used to at our country place. That friend is no longer in good enough health to garden and offered it back to us just as we were leaving to go purchase the PVC pipe and light fixtures to put together another one. The wooden shelves that support the plant trays were all that was missing from the returned setup. So, we went to a nearby thrift store to see if they had anything suitable for the job. Score! It was the right thickness and just the right size for ripping lengthwise to make two shelves. Price: $2 for the plywood.
Had we purchased the PVC, the shop lights, bulbs and new wood, I feel certain we would’ve had at least $65 tied up in this. Now we’ve got onions, parsley, ‘cat grass’, broccoli and cabbages started. Savings? for tasty organic food and good health? priceless!
Wednesday: Made a veggie curry for supper but ran out of curry powder mid-recipe. No problem. I’ve been blending my own and using this recipe for years now and we love it’s flavor of ‘just the right heat for us’. It takes less than a minute to mix up and saves about $3 over the price of store-bought brands.
4 tsp. ground cumin
3 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. ground turmeric
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
Mix well. Store in airtight container.
Thursday: Used my Gardens Alive $25 off a $25 purchase coupon to order bean and pea innoculant for this summer’s garden. The stuff’s pricey and it’s awesome to get it free. Because it’s only 10 ozs there was no shipping to pay either! Savings: $15
Friday: My friend Sandy keeps a beautiful flock of chickens and works next door, so she dropped off a dozen just-gathered eggs. What a fabulous way to end the week! Sandy and all the other chicken eggsperts know that it’s best not to wash the eggs, because they are covered with a film, called ‘bloom’, when laid. This invisible barrier serves as a protection between the egg and the world, protecting them from external contaminants. Nature is perfect that way. But sometimes, in the middle of winter, the chicken yard can get a bit muddy. I like the visual reminder of ‘where my food comes from’ and don’t mind it one bit. Washing them just before cracking keeps that bloom intact. As usual, our industrial ag system in this country does it wrong. Eggs aren’t washed in Europe and most other countries. Then again, those factory farmed eggs we buy that are clean and perfect looking are a testament to the unnatural conditions that hens are exposed to in those setups. OK, I digress. Savings? About $4.50 for a dozen, cage free, organic eggs. Aren’t they beautiful, mud and all?
Can you spot the factory farmed egg?
Have a great weekend friends! Make soup on this cold weekend ahead, and dream of spring!
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