Thriving In My Thrifty Week–January 10, 2021

My seeds have arrived! I ordered them all from Territorial this year for several reasons. It saved shipping fees. I got the varieties I wanted. (I look for certain traits in different vegetables, such as short-season growing and disease resistance in tomatoes, especially.). I love their seeds because they grow well for me.

Rob saved quite a few seeds this past summer and we will plant those. We will also look at the Dollar Store for seeds for things that I don’t care about variety on, such as green onions and dill. They are not there, yet. I’m not really worried, because if they never show up, those are the things that seem to self-seed quite easily and they may just pop up in the garden all on their own.

As I think I mentioned last week, I spent a morning with my niece, sorting out all the old seeds and saved seeds to make sure I ordered only what I needed. It was still over $100. Some years, I spend much more than that, and it was nice to not need so many this time. Regardless, it is always worth the money I spend to me as I get back so much from my investment. I do not want to do the amount of work I do for a small yield, or to have the plants not produce in time, or die of blight, which has happened to me before.

We need to organize the greenhouse and planting supplies very soon. Some things, such as peppers and onions need to be planted before long. Others can wait a little longer.

We only bought a few items at the regular grocery store this past week. For the most part, we cooked with preserved items or pantry items. I did an Azure Standard order for myself and my sister. For myself, I mainly got pantry items, such as gluten-free pasta and cleaning supplies. I also pulled several odds and ends from the freezer for meals, mainly things that had been frozen during the holidays when there was too much food around to eat before it went bad.

I used up odds and ends in the fridge, too. A small amount of pesto in a jar was thrown into a soup. Yum! We were given that jar a while back, and it was nice to finish it off. There were 6 corn tortillas that had been lingering, so I made a casserole with home-canned salsa verde, chicken and cheese to use those.

I made soup from home-canned carrots, beans, broth, tomatoes and 1/2 lb. hamburger. I made spaghetti, using our home-made pasta sauce from our garden tomatoes. Small bits of jams, relishes, and fruit were finished, too. I had to carry out 2 baskets of empty jars to the shop last week! That’s a success in my book. If I’m cooking with my own preserved foods, everyone is getting fed without me spending an excessive amount of money. At this point, I don’t plan to raise my grocery budget, even if food prices continue to rise. I seem to be able to still get some good deals, and have so much food on hand to use.

Rob returned all of our bottles and cans. He hadn’t done it for quite some time, as in months. It took him 2 days. We had cans the girls and others had given us, plus the ones we found while walking, and our empties. He put $70 on our Bottle Drop card, and I will use that for groceries one of these days! I will use the +20% feature at Safeway or Fred Meyers to stretch that money even further.

Patsy and Jake continue to do puzzles when they have spare time. I only have time to put in a few pieces now and then, but it’s fun when I do.

We spent a couple of days with the babies, as usual. Zai is starting to eat a little food, so that’s been fun. Mac continues to eat everything I put in front of him, except bananas, which I find odd, but…..We took walks, read endless books, played toys and, yes…watched the Wiggles.

We also had an entire day where we didn’t do anything. No babies, no kids, no big projects, just a nap. Frankly, I was ready for that! I did manage to clean the bathroom and cook something, but that was about it. Pretty easy day! I need that now and then.

14 thoughts on “Thriving In My Thrifty Week–January 10, 2021”

  1. A wonderful picture of you two – happy you were able to have a day off(ish) Thank you for sharing your life and blog- I get lots of inspiration from your canning and gardening!!

  2. I’m always so happy when you post – I always learn something. Thanks for Azure Standard idea – my child has IBS/Gluten issues. I’m going to place an order. All you preserve each year is amazing. Love the picture of you two. I found your blog through The Prudent Homemaker. I post under Amy S

    1. I’m glad you enjoy the blog! I’ve been really pleased at how Azure has continued to grow during the pandemic. Although there is an occasional glitch in their system, it used to be that when you ordered, you often didn’t get a lot of items in your order when it came. During that last couple of years, that problem has basically disappeared! I’m getting almost everything I order every time. A couple of things I’ve enjoyed lately: Bob’s Red Mill flatbread mix. Its not only gf, it is lower carb than other options, always a great idea for a diabetic. We always love the gf biscuit/baking mix. My sister has been frequently adding to my order and neither of us have to make a super big order. She’s been ordering frozen egg rolls. They are gluten-free. I’m going to try them one of these months. She sure likes them.

  3. Aw what a great picture!
    I always enjoy looking at the seed catalogs. Glad you have your seeds already. Are you trying any interesting or new veggies? I remember my Dad always trying some new veggie every year. Some were good and some not.
    Hope you have a great weekend.

    1. There is a new kind of onion I’m trying. You are supposed to plant it in August and it will overwinter, they say. I’m excited to find out.

  4. A picture of new packages of seeds – just what I need to get inspired. I haven’t sorted, organized, or even ordered any seeds yet this year. I haven’t blogged or even bothered to answer the phone! All of the calls are still for Dustin anyway, recruiters wanting to hire him. The job market sure is different now! He moved to Chattanooga and we collapsed from exhaustion. So far he is happy and that is what matters.

    I don’t know what to grow this year since he is the one who was eating all of the food. I haven’t figured out what to do next year. Joshua comes down every other week and takes a huge amount of greens with him for salads. Reese will be home next week and will load up on canned items. But I still haven’t planned my garden.

    1. I’m happy for Dustin. He’s been trying for a while to find the perfect fit.

      You are so good about trying new varieties, especially greens. This year, I’m actually scaling down a tiny bit–not in size really, but in the number of varieties of tomatoes, for instance. Last year, there were too many. I always try to plant closer and closer, since I can’t fit it all in. Last year, I went too far. I will get more of both beans and tomatoes per plant if I scale it down a bit. So, less plants than last year translates into fewer varieties, but still many, many plants. I never plan it out too much ahead of time. I just know I want tomatoes, lots of succession plantings of lettuce and snow peas, early things like boc choi (love your photo of boc choi on your blog!), and the basics of tomatoes of all kinds, beets, carrots, peppers of several kinds, and tons and tons of green beans. I am going to try watermelon again. Last summer got up to 117. If I plant watermelon, it’s sure to be a cooler summer because I generally have no success with watermelon:). I’ve given up on potatoes and corn for the most part, though I always try again now and then.I don’t have a big enough garden and they don’t usually produce much.

      Last year, the extended family gladly took any extras and we actually used up pretty much everything we grew. So, I’ll want the same amount again this year.

  5. I remember when my flower seeds used to arrive. It was like Christmas. I had gorgeous flower beds but no gardens to feed my family. Shame but I had not heard of planting food gardens in flower beds at that time.

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