Every day last week I harvested something from the garden. I cut snow peas, Swiss chard, parsley, asparagus and green onions, and picked lettuce, radishes, spinach, a couple of strawberries, and beet greens. I cut flowers from the garden for our table.
We ate outside every night as the weather was beautiful each evening.
The children played outside. They blew bubbles, jumped on the trampoline, played on the swings, drew with chalk, and read outside.
I stocked up on food last week, including strawberries at the new low price of $1.28 a pound (last year’s -in-season-once-a-year-low-price was $.99 a pound). I buy strawberries once a year when they are in season here and the prices get as low as they are going to be. I purchased 32 pounds. My family found that if each person eats 2 strawberries, we had eaten an entire pound, and of course, everyone wants more than 2! I made strawberry shortcake, chocolate covered strawberries, and lots of jam: 7 twelve-ounce jars and 13 1/2 pints, or the equivalent of 48 half-pints (but using a lot fewer lids and a lot less cooking time). I made low-sugar jam with low-sugar pectin and sugar I already had on hand.
I purchased frozen sausage for $1.33 a pound. This is a huge treat for us, as sausage is usually much more expensive. The store who had this (Smith’s-a Kroger affiliate) said that this was a new brand for them. We ate one package (12 ounces) this week and it was delicious. I now have sausage in the freezer for future meals. I also stocked up on sour cream for $1 a pound, shredded Tillamook cheddar cheese in a 5 pound bag for $10.99, and cream cheese for $2 a pound.
I made biscuits, gravy, shortcake, chocolate covered strawberries, strawberry popsicles, museum pasta salad, rice and beans, and balsamic vinaigrette (for our homegrown salads). We ate several salads from garden lettuce last week.
Saturday I went with both of my parents (they drove) to a very close-by semi-annual community garage sale. My patience paid off, as I found several items that I have been looking for for several years. I found wood drawer organizers for my kitchen drawers for a total of $6. I am so excited to have these! After a good wash and dry I put them in my drawers. I smile each time I see them.
I found a bicycle that Winter, Cyrus, and I can all ride (I don’t know who will ride it most often). The previous owner rode it once, crashed it, and didn’t ride it again, according to her husband, who was selling it. It has a few dents in the fenders but is usable and comfortable. I have been looking for a bicycle for several years but the garage sale prices were always hundreds of dollars. I paid $60.
I found a linen/cotton dress for Ivory for 50 cents. It needed a couple of ribbon roses stitched on more tightly, which only took a minute for me to fix.. At the same sale, I bought three hardcover children’s books in like-new condition for 10 cents each. I gave the dress and two of the books to Ivory for her birthday.
I purchased a 3-ton car jack (this was a request from my husband) for $30. I didn’t expect to find this, but the price was good and he was happy to have it.
One of the sales we went to was listed as an estate sale. The kitchen drawers were open for going through, and the woman holding the sale said that kitchen drawer items were $1 a handful. For my dollar, I purchased 2 new packages of cheesecloth, a staple remover, 2 basting brushes, an offset metal spatula with a metal handle, a new-in the package thermometer that went down to 0º (I plan on using it as a soil thermometer), and a tea ball.
One sale we went to had antiques. That is a rare thing in a city that was built in the last 20-30 years (and this neighborhood was built in the last 15 years). We loved many of the beautiful things that she had for sale. I took home a tatted linen handkerchief for 50 cents and a copper saucepan with a brass handle for $3. I’m sure this pan will be making its way into future photos on my website.
I also purchased 4 hardcover books (50 cents each), some oil pastels, acrylics, and watercolors, 3 plastic drawer organizers (50 cents for all 3; one of these ended up in each of the bathroom drawers), 3 picture frames ($2 for 2 of them and 50 cents for the small matching one), a pair of winter pajamas for Liberty ($2) that look brand-new (I am keeping these for a birthday present as they are in the next size up and it’s now time for summer pajamas), a shirt and pants for Elsa ($1 each), a summer hat that any of the girls can wear in the garden for 25 cents, and a brand-new package of hand-embroidery needles for 25 cents.
We went to about 50 sales in 5 hours and drove about 3 miles total.
I received a free magazine in the mail.
I received a package that I ordered from One Kings’ Lane that had free shipping and was paid for with referral credit.
I used the water from rinsing strawberries and the water from my canning pot to water potted trees in the garden.
What did you do to save money last week?