Saving Money and Weekly Update–The Greenhouse Project Continues–January 21, 2108


Work on the greenhouse continues!  Rob and Patsy worked for several hours yesterday, and whenever they needed an extra hand, Ja’Ana or I ran out and helped.  He is still not done.  This has turned out to be quite a project!  I’m SO excited to see it coming along so well.


Late in the day yesterday, Rob got it to the point where he wanted to put a plastic roof on.  He was not satisfied with the plastic he had because he felt it was too thin.  Also, the wind really kicked up and a rainstorm was coming in, so he cleaned up and stopped for the day.  Today, he is getting thicker plastic and will tackle that roof again this evening.


He is taking this opportunity to show Patsy how to build with tools.  She has been really enjoying her woodworking class at school this term, and is sorry it’s almost over.  So, he hopes to continue teaching her more skills in that area, since she is showing an interest.  He was talking about maybe moving on to some planter boxes or flower pots next with her.  Building things is a very rewarding hobby for him, and has saved us many, many dollars over the years.


In the meanwhile, the seeds have started to arrive.  2 out of the 3 orders I placed have arrived!  You may notice the “Mater Magic” fertilizer in the middle.  Who could resist something that promised that it would grow great tomatoes, take care of blossom end rot, and was organic to boot, all in a tomato-shaped container? Certainly not me:). So, I will try it this year and see how it does.  I’m also trying those biodegradable, stretchable twist ties for the first time.  I’m going to see how they do.


Rob and I both went scrap wood gathering this week.  There are a few places in town that put out tote bins full of scraps.  They are free, but it’s very rare to find them full of good-sized chunks, since people usually empty them as fast as they are filled.  So, we generally just check the boxes if we are passing by anyway to see if they are full.  Earlier in the week, he hit the jackpot at one of the places and got firewood scraps, and even a bit of scrap lumber he can use to make part of the plant table inside the greenhouse.  I put a bin in the back of my car “just in case” since he had such good luck.  When I went by, taking J to her house-cleaning job, I got a few scraps from the place he had such luck at.  But, when I went over to the other place about 2 block away–WOW!  So, I filled the bin the rest of the way up, filled up a shopping bag and a basket I had in there and piled extra wood around.  I took it home, unloaded it, got Patsy since she had come home from school, and went back and we did it again!

In the tote, Patsy found a broken dowel, like you would put in a closet to hang clothes on, and grabbed it for plant stakes.  It was split down the middle, so it will hold up 2 plants.  I found some pieces that will be perfect for garden row-marker stakes.  I don’t care if they are different lengths. Neither will the green beans:)

And, in the end, I got over 6 boxes of wood chunks.  Rob got an old garbage can full, several buckets full, and I think a couple of boxes besides.  He also got some larger pieces he will cut up a little more and then we can burn it.  These are great to use when starting fires and we’ve been burning through what we got before:), so it was nice to find some more.


I decided to get out my yogurt cooker, some starter that had been in the fridge for a long time, and some powdered milk and try yogurt-making.   No one wants plain yogurt to just eat, but Patsy is loving smoothies right now, so that’s what I’ll do with it when it’s finished.

Is your week going well?

17 thoughts on “Saving Money and Weekly Update–The Greenhouse Project Continues–January 21, 2108”

  1. Great find on all that wood! I have greenhouse envy for sure!

    We checked out a new grocery scratch and dent store. We found some treasures like 2 pound bags of whole bean coffee for $3.50 and Ghiradelli baking cocoa for $2.79 and many more items like vinegars for .69. They carry a ton of restaurant frozen foods that are great prices but I am not sure how we would deal with the quantity. 10 pound boxes of center cut pork chops are $12, 10 pound bags of sweet potato fries were 2.99. huge NY cheesecakes were 6.99 and on and on. Some things were eye opening like the chicken parmesean served Olive Garden which was crazy cheap but again a huge amount. Kind of thought that was more than a heat and serve product that they charge so much for. We need to have 50 people over for a Super Bowl party and we could buy the 5 pound bags of chicken wings that are ready to heat and eat for 5.99. We did buy some gorgeous frozen veggies at $2 for 2 pounds. They were in clear bags and the most beautiful frozen veggies I have ever seen, So we are considering how we could use these things or who would split with us. We sure did have fun looking everything over.

    1. That sounds like a great store! It’s a great idea to find someone that you could share with for some of those large items. I am guessing you need to thaw it all to get any off of the frozen lump of say, chicken. Hopefully, you can get the pieces apart if you decide to split between several people. At those prices, maybe you could take out what you can use and donate the rest somewhere.

      I guess you could serve cheesecake for your 50 people.

      Whatever you bought or did not buy, I’ll bet it was really fun to look at all the choices!

  2. That greenhouse is going to be amazing! I love how much care and work they are putting into it. This is going to be great to see all filled with your plants. 😀

    1. I’m so excited, too! I know Rob planned for it to be a quick, easy, small project. It’s turning out to be more complicated, but I’m loving how great it’s turning out. I also love that he designed it to come down again after the growing season–the plastic roof will come off, and the frame unscrews into the 4 walls. Then, if we decide to set it up over on the edge of the garden, we will be able to:)

  3. It is so wonderful that Patsy likes working with tools and making things. Girls were given the short shift on building in the past but now it is recognized as a good thing for girls to know, not just boys.

  4. Your greenhouse is going to be amazing!! Let us know if that mater magic works. It seems I can’t grow good tomatoes at our current home, but a lot of it has to do with squirrels!

    1. I will let everyone know how the tomatoes turn out! I figured it was worth a try. I like trying new things and varieties of veggies to see if they work for me:)

  5. I have always been too chicken to try yogurt making but I want to. I have looked at crockpot recipes and I am still thinking….

    1. I have some dried starter that I bought years ago, and the little portable yogurt maker that I also have had for years and years. I wasn’t sure it the starter was still good, as it has long expired, but it worked very well. I have some extra little glass jars for the yogurt maker, so ended up making 2 batches. For the second batch, I used a big spoonful of the first batch for starter, and it worked very well, also.

      I’ve seen lots of examples of people making it in the crock pot, or instant pot and they seem to have good results. I just like it in the little glass jars so I don’t have to put it in another container. I’ve noticed it sometimes separates, and also is very sour at times, so a little sugar helps that a lot!!

      We won’t eat more than that for a while, so I’ve stopped making it until some of these are gone.

      Good luck if you make it!

  6. I love seeing Rob and Patsy working together on the greenhouse. it is wonderful that she wants to learn more woodworking skills and that Rob has that kind of knowledge to share with her. 🙂 I’m just tickled that you were able to find so much free wood…HUGE blessing right there! I have yet to place an order for my seeds, but should do that soon. I also “planted” the idea of a greenhouse and where I would like to put it to my hubby…he is considering it. 😉

    1. Let me tell you, the greenhouse turned out to be bigger than I thought it was going to be! I am delighted, actually:). I can’t wait for it to be finished, but Rob is a slave to his job, and he caught an awful cold, so…..maybe this weekend:). My seeds are all here, so when it’s done–I’ll be ready. There is still plenty of time to get things grown. I hope you get one, too, when the time is right.

    1. Poor Rob caught the influenza flu, and so has not been able to finish, yet. He’s so frustrated, poor guy! But, I know he will finish soon, and I’m extremely excited. I am very curious to see if that Mater Magic works:). I just love to try a few new things each year!

  7. That is going to an awesome greenhouse! Love the fact that Patsy is helping with it and learning such great skills! What I need is a greenhouse to keep the cats out! Just the frame with chicken wire on all the sides; doesn’t really need a roof, except, maybe more chicken wire to keep the birds out! Need to draw up some plans and give some thought to it! 🙂

    So glad your seeds are coming in and you found such a bounty of scrap wood!

    I make yogurt by simply boiling the milk on the stove and, once cooled a bit, by adding the starter (usually a spoon or two of the previous batch or commercially made plain yogurt with active cultures). I pour the milk into a dish and keep it in a warm spot overnight and it forms yogurt.

    1. At our old house, Rob build one with just sticks and plastic and we used it for several years. Over time, he added fiberglass sides, but it always had a plastic roof. We had a lot of cats, and they figured out a way to scratch holes in the plastic, and climb in. They loved the warm greenhouse!

      So, we don’t have cats now, but there are a couple that wander through from the neighborhood. I don’t think they will be able to get in this one, since it does have fiberglass walls.

      Rob has caught the flu, so he hasn’t been able to finish yet. He will get better soon, I hope, because he doesn’t feel good at all!

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