Thriving In My Thrifty Week–March 15, 2021

Several years ago, we got extra daffodil bulbs when my sister divider hers. Patsy planted them in front near the street and they get prettier every year. The first year there was one bloom on some of the plants. Now they are starting to multiply and will continue to do so until I will have to divide them in the future.Sometimes, we add in a few bulbs from Winco or other places, but mostly these are absolutely free flowers that just keep growing and growing. I weeded a tiny bit in that flower bed, but there’s lot more to do.

We spent the week cleaning up the tree Rob cut down last Monday. There’s still a bit left to pick up, but the majority of branches are gone. Rob borrowed a trailer to haul them away to my sister’s farm. The cardboard box was over some daffodils to keep them safe, and another one was covering the faucet. The chunks of wood will join the rest in the side yard, drying for next year. Then, I’m going to enrich the soil and plant a few things. I have not decided exactly what I’m planting, yet.

Rob’s been transplanting like crazy. He built some shelves up high in the greenhouse and is putting in an automatic sprinkler system to water things when we go camping. He’s doing some experimentation. It seems like the next thing he is going to try is 1 minute per day and see how it goes, after drenching them so badly he feared he had drowned them during the last trial run! (Do you notice a theme here lately….we are planning to make it to our camping trips this summer, unlike last summer when they got cancelled almost every time–nothing will stand in our way if we can help it, says the girl who already had to postpone one trip due to an ice storm! But, we will prevail, or if we have to cancel, it won’t be from lack of trying to go!)

The tomatoes are really starting to look good. They are not all for me, in case you were wondering if I was going on a “tomato only diet” in the summer:).

I made 3 kinds of soup this week. One was vegetable, one was chili and the other was a cream of broccoli, carrot and cauliflower with cheese, made from the little baggies of veggies in the school lunches and milk from the same place.

Rob had to stop off at Costco and grabbed a cooked chicken while he was there, so we’ve been eating that. He pulled steak from the freezer one day and then found that our niece, Alissa, accepted my invitation to eat lunch here on Sunday after church, so he saved it, cut it into smaller pieces and cooked it when she came over. She loves, loves, loves steak! Her brother and sister were already here, and they were so glad to see her. She works at a camp these days and isn’t home as much as they would like. We all were delighted to see her! As the day progressed, the party grew unexpectedly. 2 daughters and grandson came over, too, so I baked a lot of potatoes and cooked carrots, green beans and corn to stretch out the one package of meat he had thawed. It’s the garden that just keeps giving! I also used some of my home-canned apple pie filling to make an apple crisp. There was more than enough, and there were lots of leftovers for people to take home if they wished. Funny thing. There are still carrots and beans in the fridge…hmmmm….no one took those….hmmm.

I did some cleaning and yard work. It makes me feel calm when I get things tidied up. Of course, the clean house didn’t last long, since Jake and Michaela spent the weekend here, and we had the kids over on Sunday, but at least we started out clean:). It still felt good to know I had done it! I noticed that the kids all spread out nicely without being asked, so I felt happy that they were social distancing on their own.

I finally went to JoAnn’s and used some gift cards I received for Christmas. I got some cotton fabric, elastic, thread, and a few patterns. I plan to make some summer dresses for Patsy and maybe a top or two. I may even make myself a cool, flowing, oversized summer dress while I’m at it. Last summer, I wished I had one to throw on after working in the garden, since I often get quite hot out there.

I’ve been working on a dress for Patsy that was started some time ago, so need to finish that before I start anything else. I also made several masks. Some of ours are wearing out, and we lost a couple. Now that we’ve been going back to church, I am wearing masks more often.

6 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–March 15, 2021”

  1. Rob has his own full blown plant nursery going!!! That’s so exciting! This may end up being your best garden ever! The watering system is the reason we are waiting until after our spring break to plant some things. We have no way to water while we will be gone. I hope he gets it to work perfectly! I understand the need to go camping!!!! I pray you get to go on many, many trips this year!!!

    1. It sounds like you want to go camping, too. I hope you can:)

      I jokingly told Rob he should put the extra plants out by the side of the street with a tin can for money and sell them, but he informed me he has homes for them. I don’t think he’s selling his “babies” anytime soon:). I do hope the garden is very productive. I canned so much last summer, with the hope of having some overstock as I like to have. It was very unusual for me to be out of anything, much less so low on so many different things. I think my plan worked out partway. There will be a few jars of most items leftover. There are a few items I’m low on already, such as Giadaniera. I think we’ve eaten more than I thought we would of some other things, too, which makes me happy because I’ve been able to stay within my grocery budget for the past 3 months without trouble, even with extras to feed. I love to can, so will fill it back up again with joy when summer comes.

  2. Patsy’s daffodils are so pretty! I planted them, one year, and left them in the ground over winter hoping they’d multiply like yours, but, I found out that daffodils are annuals in my area! Same with the tulips I planted! I should have dug them up and kept them in the fridge to cool before replanting them in the spring! Only the paperwhites keep coming back, year after year.

    You had a very productive week! Love how you are making all the plans to make sure you get to go camping this summer! Hope you get to go as often as you’d like!

    1. Thank you! The nice thing about daffodils here is that they grow so well they are in fields, alongside the road, and just about everywhere you look this time of year, so they thrive on their own in our area. Every area has things that work well there, and daffodils work here! I’m sure that there are things that grow in your area that I could not dream of growing as well here, but I can see why you tried to grow them. They are so cheerful in the spring.

  3. A cool, flowing oversized dress–we used to call those mumus! Ha ha, maybe that was just a Southern California thing! Patsy’s daffodils and Rob’s seedlings look awesome–I love these signs of spring. Our daffodils greens are just poking up. But we’ve had a lot of snow here in CO this month.
    Becky, do you mind sharing your grocery budget sometime? I’m curious how much you figure you save with all that gardening!

    1. I love spring flowers, too.

      My grocery budget is very strange, I’ll admit. I start the month out with $300 in cash. I usually put $100 of that aside for bulk purchases, whether it be meat (beef) or Azure (things like beans, gf flour, etc)

      I put $50 in 4 envelopes, one for each week.

      BUT, then….I may not shop every week. For example, I spent $75 once and $85 another time and just had Rob grab one head of lettuce another time during the month.

      If I have a banner month, I stay under budget. Once in a while, I go over. That is usually when I find an amazing bargain at the end of the month and buy lots, such as when I found ham for a very low price after a holiday.

      One month, when the garden was in full swing, I only spent $100 in the entire month. But, since the total of $300 covers all shampoo, laundry products, foil, baggies, garbage bags, and often vitamins and things, if I’m doing great during a month I usually send Rob down to Costco for some of those things. If we get a windfall, such as a tax return or stimulus check, I often spend a little of that to buy some extra of those kinds of things.

      I feed 3 people every day. We often have extras—as in several times a week, and take meals to others/or to gatherings frequently. We don’t keep wheat flour in the house because I get so sick. I do buy purchased bread/rolls/etc for the others. The gluten-free piece of my life keeps my budget higher than others’.

      Almost every day, I open a jar or package I canned or froze and some days I use several. During gardening season I use produce every day.

      So, as convoluted as that explanation is, I hope it gives you a little idea of how it works around here. I believe the garden, and preserving it, saves me quite a bit because I tend to always look at what food I have when I plan a meal, and use that before buying more, and I have a lot of preserved food. I know I often spend over $50 in produce (in a month) more when I have no garden going,then when I don’t, so I often buy more bulk things in the summer when there is extra to spend.

      Ask other questions if I haven’t been clear—my system is confusing to most, except me?

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