Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Frugal things I did this week!

I haven't had a lot of new things to post. It's not that my days lack frugal saving ways. I continue to practice, practice, practice all that I've learned. The new ways are becoming familiar and tend to flow easily in the schedule of my days. I remember how awkward it was when I first started saving the beginning cold water that runs before the hot water comes through the pipes. But, now it's so engrained in the way that I do my dishes that I don't even give it another thought. I collect the cold water in a small bucket and then set it outside my back door while the warm water is running into my dishpan. After I finish the dishes I take the rinse water (that would have been wasted down the drain) and throw it on some flowers. I get 3-4 buckets of water a day. It's amazing how many plants I can water. 

I made another batch of homemade dog food tonight. I didn't have enough table scraps of meat to make a batch last month and had to spend $10 on canned dog food.  This month I can use that $10 towards another necessity. I boiled the scraps of meat, leftover vegetables and rice in a big pot on my single burner in the garage. I put an old puzzle board across the sink to use as a work table. I liked having the mess out in the garage. It was easier to clean up and it kept my kitchen from getting hot.

The garden is doing great. I'm picking zucchini, white and green small squash, yellow squash, radishes, raspberries, some blackberries but not many, spinach and lettuce. The tomatoes are starting to turn red. I got my water bill for this past month and I stayed within budget. I was shocked. I thought for sure we would go over because of all the watering in the garden.

I think my comfrey plant is just about ready to be made into liquid fertilizer. Comfrey fertilizer is supposed to be high in nitrogen which is good for peppers or tomatoes. I'll pick the leaves and place them in a bucket covered with water. It will take about 20 days to decompose. The leaves will be thrown in my compost bins and the liquid fertilizer will be poured on my tomatoes and green peppers. This is a cheap alternative to the store bought fertilizer and organic to boot!

So what's new in your neck of the woods?  How did you save money this week?




22 comments:

  1. How does homemade dog food compare with store bought? My pup might not eat it! He's spoiled!

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    1. Hmm... I'm not sure what you mean. I never tried feeding homemade dog food to a pup. I think I'd do some research first.

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  2. I have a compost pile started in the backyard. I have a coffee can for kitchen compost now. You are influencing me. Compost is ready from several years ago.

    I am still dealing with weeds, however. Weeds are not to go in the compost pile.

    My herb garden is great and I am thinking about using some of that old compost in it and giving it more space. So many projects here.

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    1. You're a busy lady Carol! Glad your compost pile is doing great. I have 3 going right now. I'm also saving egg shells to make another batch of liquid fertilizer for the tomatoes.

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  3. Let's see.. Hubby has made more impcact than me lately. He is re-building the rotten dock at our new home himself. This is going to save us about $4000 over what a contractor quoted. Its taking time though, he is only home weekends and not every weekend.

    His skills and tools are always our biggest asset I think.

    I save on smaller things-- I've been bringing plants here from our old house to use for a shade garden and a sun garden. Also got some from friends. So I have a nice perennial plant background to tuck herbs and annuals in with. I'm semi-disabled (might as well admit it as it is true) So I don't have a big veggie garden, although I am considering putting in some fruits/berries with Hubby's help. Gardening is my best exercise but I can only do a very little amount which I do a few days a week--need to rest up between big chores.
    I save on gym memberships by doing yard work and making fancy bath salts for my tub--which I am imagining is a fancy spa. ;)

    Hubby wants some water things for our kids/grandkids. he wanted a jetski for them to use so he bought one that was broken for $250, put another $200 into it and now it works. He told me knew ones can be 10 or 12 times that much money. He dragged our old fishing boat up to where he works all week and is working on it there in the evenings after work. He plans to bring it back down here weekend after next so we can use it when our kids come visit. Its a 1973? I think- he's put some work in it but its his project. :)

    I recently got some good deals on paint again at Lowes. They mark down 'mistints' to $5.00 per gallon. I found some deck sealer and stain marked down that I can match later, it is a good match for our house. Also they have a rebate going on--so these will be free! I'm going to start to repaint our deck rails a little at a time. I also got some paint that I am using on an old dresser & a wicker cabinet to make them look like new.

    Yesterday I re-potted my daughter's orchid using small pine chip mulch which I use in my garden. Her hubby gave it to her for valentines day but it is not flowering right now, so she gave it to me. I have a small collection of very cheap orchids & african violets I picked up and nursed to health.:) I hope to propagate the violets for a few more.

    So basically, I guess that's part of it. We're in a different situation here, Hubby is working an making enough for us at this time--and we're able to help our kids too. I still practice many of the old habits and expect to learn more for the future. No telling if we will have prosperity or want in the future, but I know we'll be fine either way. :)

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    1. I'm sorry your having problems with your health Mary. :( I sounds like you are busy in your neck of the woods. I'm so thankful that hubby is making good money. I remember how thrifty you were in years past and how you stretched your pennies.

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  4. Your garden with the bricks for walkways looks so nice, very cottage-y I think.
    We had company over the weekend and I cooked at home for everyone, then husband and I enjoyed the leftovers for supper Monday and Tuesday. That was thrifty and easy for this cook.
    We are still having frugal weather where we don't need to run the heat or ac much. That might change soon though.

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    1. I love to cook up a lot of food and then eat on it for a few days. Yesterday we barbecued some steaks and I fried up a lot of chicken. I froze some and we'll eat on it for a couple nights this weekend.

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  5. It's nice when frugality is second hand, that is, you do it routinely without having to think it through. I really need to follow your idea about preserving the water while I wait for the hot. Seems such a waste otherwise. Your garden looks so nice.

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    1. Thank you! I enjoy working in my yard so much. Now that it stays light longer I work until nearly 9 o'clock when it's dark and then I come inside. I'm so thankful!

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  6. Your garden area looks great!!!
    Your projects always inspire me and make me want to do better.... thank you!

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  7. You are living the way I once did and loved it.

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  8. Do you find that that the garden saves you money when you have to pay for water.
    We have some apple trees on the rental property and we got a water bill for $150.
    I love gardening and raising and putting up food, but we did not know if we would save any money with what it cost.
    Nina

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    1. Hi Nana! I can't answer that question yet since we've only received one water bill since the garden went in. I am not having to buy hardly any veggies so that is wonderful. I am thinking that if I ever stop working part time then we probably won't grow seeds during the winter in the garage because it did increase our electric bill. I'm interested to see what our water bill will be at the end of the month. How much do you spend on veggies when you shop? And how much did your bill go up? How many extra jars of food will you can to help you through the winter?

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    2. It depends on how much money we have left to spend on veggies. I have a friend that lives on a farm and sends over veggies, onions, garlic, eggs. They are extras for her, so they are free. I do not remember how much it went up when we had a garden, but we decided that if I had been able to put it all up that year, it might have saves us money. We canned tomatoes that went through the sieve. I did 23 quarts and my son did 24 I believe. He lives with us now. I canned pinto beans as it takes sometimes 2 days to get soft in 7,000 altitude. To can them is only 1 1/2 hours to can. Love having them easy to use. Hoping to can the apple trees. We have had so much rain, do not know if they will be good or not. I want pie filling and applesauce. We will get some potatoes too from the farm. It all helps.

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  9. I just found your blog and have a question about Comfrey Tea. How often is it okay to apply it? I only let mine sit for about a week so next time will let it steep longer. I put crushed egg shells in the holes to plant my tomatoes but didn't know about the liquid fertilizer for tomatoes that you can make with the egg shells. Thanks. come visit me at my blog to see my gardens. Yours is very lovely. Nancy

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    1. I'm really not sure how often you can apply it. We are almost ready to try it for the first time. The plant looks like it probably has enough leaves to fill a 5 gallon tub. Here is what I copied from a blog:

      Comfrey Fertilizer

      You can start making the fertilizer from May onwards once there is plenty of leaf growth on the plant. Here’s how I make it:
      •Fill half a bucket with comfrey leaves. Don’t take too many from the same plant then it can recover for use later on in the year.
      •Fill the bucket half full with water (tap or rain water).
      •Weight down the leaves in the bucket by taking a second, slightly smaller, bucket (with holes in the bottom) and pressing down the leaves so the water comes through the holes leaving the leaves trapped.
      •Secure the 2nd bucket with a brick or large stone.
      •Leave to stand for a fortnight (may need longer if the weather is cool).

      When ready, the fertilizer should be a dark green liquid and will smell absolutely disgusting – this is a good thing!

      Strain the water to remove any leaf parts and then bottle into plastic drinks bottles. Store the bottles away from direct sunlight.

      The comfrey fertilizer will need to be diluted before it can be used – approximately 1 part to 10 parts water.

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  10. Thank you for that information. Mine was brown and I just scooped out the comfrey and put in the compost after it set. I didn't weigh it down but poked it down now and then into the water. Sure is not a pleasant smell but hope it works! Guess I should get the rest out of the sun now until I need it. Where do you want me to put the dilly carrot recipe? Nancy

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  11. Here is the site that I got the dilly carrots recipe from. I hope it comes through okay for you.
    http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2012/03/dilly-pickled-carrots-recipe.html Let me know if it doesn't. Nancy

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  12. I know this post was a while back but I was wondering how you got your comfy plants? Can you order the plants from a seed catalog? I am in S. Calif. and no one I have talked to yet knows where you can buy them. I understand they are invasive once they get growing. I am very interested in buying some starts. Thank you for all the good information about so many things you write about. I will check back and see if you replied here or in a post in the future. Sarah

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    1. Hi Sarah,
      I purchased my comfrey root/plant off of Ebay. It arrived just fine. I think I paid $15. Yes, once you plant them you really can't move them because the root goes 2 ft. deep. I hope you find one. One of these days I hope to sell babies off my own but it's not ready yet.

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