I spent a lot of time working in the garden last week. I was able to transplant both the grape vine and the pomegranate tree that I was needing to transplant this month. I won’t know until April if they’ve survived the transplant, when they should both start to leaf out. I don’t expect grapes this year, as the vine has a lot of other growing to do, and the one that I moved last year didn’t make any grapes for me last year (it should this year!). I did a pretty strong pruning on the pomegranate, but pomegranates, unlike most other fruit trees, produces fruit on the current year’s branches, so it remains to be seen whether or not it will fruit this year. At any rate, neither were fruiting as they were not getting enough sun in their previous locations.

I planted around 130 bulbs last week. I still have several hundred left to hopefully finish planting this week.

I made barley soup, pizza, spaghetti, and fettuccine alfredo. I cooked corned beef and made boiled potatoes with parsley from the garden.

I accepted a box of expired food from a friend whose son received it from a neighbor. (I don’t know the gleaning group that his neighbor belongs to, but her son didn’t want the food.) We had several meals from it. Gleaning groups usually pick up just expired or about to expire food, and it is still edible. There were enough bananas for me to make two loaves of banana bread. There was a pound of breakfast sausage and some buttermilk (both had dates of 12/27 and they were fine), so I made pancakes the next morning and we had sausage with it, along with some oranges from the box. There were some sausages and hotdogs that we used for lunch, and a bit of cheese that we had as part of our afternoon snack. Most gleaning groups that I know of don’t pick up meat very often, so this was unusual. There was also a loaf of bread and some peppers.

I picked a small amount of arugula from the garden.

I thinned and transplanted the thinned seedlings of lettuce, mache, parsley, and oregano in my front yard garden.

We took the children downtown at night on New Year’s Day to see the fountains at the Bellagio and to see the Christmas display inside the conservatory as well. This was their first time going downtown after dark. They really enjoyed the fountains, which they had never seen before (we have been to the conservatory in other seasons during the day).

I did not buy any food last week.

What did you do to save money last week?

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  1. Hi Cathi,Thanks so much for the information. I guess part of the problem is that I’m not all that technically savvy. May I ask how I would go about getting the free Kindle App for my Nook?Have not checked out the Nook blog either. Will do a search for it now. Thanks again.

  2. Here is a tip some might like. Instead of gift bags I have started buying the cloth bags that are pretty at the grocery (or making my own pretty ones) I have found that they make much nicer gift bags and can be reused.

  3. Maydijo, some can think it is better to have highs of 32 Celsius, as we are having here, but I would love to have them at 17 🙂 I live in a really big city (Sao Paulo), so the hot weather is even worst to bear. Greetings from Brazil to you all 🙂

  4. We might be in the minority here, but we buy a quarter of a cow from my parents-in-law, who raise steers (along with dairy and cash crops) on their farm. I have noticed a huge difference in the quality of the meat (the meat is much more tender than anything I could buy at the grocery store), and personally I like knowing where the animal came from. I can even go drive by and visit them if I want. They eat grass in spring/summer/fall and are free-range, but in the winter when it is cold they tend to stay in the barn. I don’t worry myself with organic, but knowing that the cows weren’t given hormones is reassuring. Also, I had a conversation with my husband about “grass-fed beef” and he thinks that the “100% grass-fed” labels are a marketing ploy. Having grown up on a farm, he says that for a cow to get to slaughter weight on only grass would take a lot longer than cows that are given supplemental grain (his parents’ cows get 10% of their diet from corn and other grains, even when they are out grazing in the summer) and he said that waiting that long for the cow to get big would mean tough meat. His opinion, take it or leave it :). All that said, we end up paying about $3/lb for all of our meat, from ground beef to tenderloins. So that’s beef. For chicken/eggs, we end up buying whatever is on sale, as I really don’t believe that the “organic” or “free-range” chickens are treated any better than the good old regular ones.

  5. Hmm, now you’re making me think Kim! I’m pretty sure I got the App through the Google Play Store. I can’t check right now because I’m at work and my Nook is at home. I”m 99% it was free because I also got it on my PC and I rarely buy apps (they really don’t seem worth the money most times). If you can’t figure out how to get to the app, email me at home (vixen1 at shaw.ca) and I will try and walk you through it after I get home from work.

  6. Ruthie, I don’t think that spending money to repair a tool is anti-frugal at all!Tossing it and buying a new one would have been but not fixing it. It might have been a bit hard on the budget because it wasn’t a planned expense but certainly not anti-frugal. If it helps, don’t think of it as money spent on just oil but rather as a sewing lesson. Now you know another area to oil and you know that you might want to budget repair/service money or maintenance lessons. I think you did good!

  7. Google Artisan bread in 5 Minutes a Day — that’s what I use and it’s great. You basically mix up a dough of flour, water, salt, yeast and let it rise in the fridge. You can leave it there for up to two weeks! Then whenever you need a loaf of bread you pull out a blob and form it into a loaf — let it rest for 30 to 90 minutes — then bake. I make the dough on Sundays and we have fresh bread for at least 3 meals a week. You can also make it into longer loaves and slice thinner to make sandwiches (they end up like sub rolls).

  8. If we wanted or needed a half a cow, we could get it. Between my husband and my side of the family we have relatives that grow and raise just about everything imaginable. We can order what we want for the year, usually, and then just pick up. It’s not organic, but is all small farms, animals are raised well, treated well and when the time comes slaughtered humanely. I pay the asking price, which sometimes may be higher than the store, but may be lower, too. I am not always aware of the store prices as I buy so little at the store. We in general try to be as self sufficient and independent of the mainstream as possible. Eliane, my oldest girl Eliana (similar!) has bought into an egg farm with some of her cousins. Those are happy chickens for most of their life and they are as close to free range as you can get while still being protected from predators ( we have raccoons, foxes and hawks). Now they are looking to acquire bees…on the road over from us but abutting our fields from the back is an older couple with a small honey business and no one in theirfamily interested in taking over. (That is how they got the egg farm, also). We would rather do that than see the farmland/property sold to developers for ANOTHER housing tract.

  9. Brandy, when will these bulbs you are planting now bloom? Will they start growing right away as they are now out of your refrigerator? I know we plant ours in early Oct and then they start coming up in April,often through the snow (crocus for example) and most in early May.

  10. You buy what your budget allows. No sense in eating organic meat for a few days then not having money for groceries. If you are trying to cut expenses but still eat organic for health reasons you could use the meat as seasoning rather than the main course

  11. Tara – One thing you might want to look at is the cost per pound versus the type of meat you get if you buy meat in bulk from a local farmer. We can get 1/4 cow for right around $3/lb – but that includes ground, steak, roast, and a few other things. Around here the cheapest for ground is usually around $2 and for steak it’s about $5-$7 (but that’s not the very good stuff). Roast is somewhere in between. For everything but the ground the price is extremely good and we wouldn’t be able to find beef that price anywhere else. I guess I’ll just second the comments that say “spend what you can afford” and don’t worry about the rest.Lea

  12. Theresa, my mom will use nothing that is expiring THAT day. I am shocked at how much she buys (twice as much as I do for myself and my husband) and how much she throws away (roughly 3/4 of what she buys). I’ve accepted some of her ‘expired’ foods to bring home now and then but lately she doesn’t offer them. I think she began to get embarrassed and rather than change just tosses when she’s alone.

  13. Brandy,It tired the bread today no luck. I will try again. I only had all purpose flour so I will get bread flour and try again. I will let you know if I succeed.

  14. I am so excited that you went to Win-Co grand opening and everything made a little more sense. The first time I shopped their I was a little overwhelmed by everything, and I was new to town so it was hard for me to really notice the deals. Now I am an eagle eye that can spot the awesomeness from a mile off. I don’t know if it is corporate policy or if only my Winco does it, but mine price matched onions for me when I bought them in bulk. Doesn’t hurt to ask about price matching produce.

  15. It will work with all-purpose flour.I don’t know what trouble you are having, but I still cannot make a decent loaf of bread in a bread pan, no matter how many recipes, so I do understand that sometimes there is just something that you need to be shown, rather than having a recipe before you.

  16. I have a brand new machine that I used once and the bobbin is off. I have to take it to a repair place that is an hour away and the basic look see is $95. My husband only paid $125 for it. It was a Christmas gift…Silly me I waited to open the package until Christmas Day when the machine was bought in October and didn’t play with it until mid-January so no warranty on the thing after the three months. Now that is foolish! Your repair for a good machine is NOT. However, for future reference check online for youtube vids. I used one to determine what is wrong with my machine after doing the basic checklist of standard repair shops.

  17. When we were feeding five kids and ourselves we bought the cheapest meats we could. Now that we’re on our own, just the two of us, we go to a good meat market and buy three-four months worth of beef at a time. I stretch the dickens out of that meat. Buy what fits your budget best. I raised my kids on it and they all grew up healthy hale and hearty!

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