2. Line dried two loads of laundry.
3. Garden: harvested lettuce and asparagus this week! Planted onions, lettuce, carrots and mangel beets (thanks to the reader who suggested the mangels!). I also bought some liatris corms at Tractor Supply for $5.00 and planted them in the garden with some landscaping fabric. We tilled up the "market garden" half of last year's garden, but I will not be planting the entire thing. Instead, I might do a few rows of flowers or perennials using landscape fabric as weed control. The rest will be planted in a green manure or cover crop, just so the whole thing isn't covered in weeds next year. My plan is to gradually add a row or two of perennials each year until the whole thing is full and growing relatively maintenance-free every year.
In addition to planting, I also collected several wheelbarrows full of grass clippings to use as mulch. I used this to mulch the strawberries, delphiniums, kale, and some of my raised beds. The rest is in a pile, and I will use that to mulch other plants when they start to germinate. In addition to mulching, I also moved some chicken manure up to the garden compost pile to rot. About half the manure went into my still-being-developed raised beds for sheet composting.
Last year, we started just weed whacking between my raised beds instead of weeding or laying down plastic or mulch. It makes the beds look GREAT, and only takes five minutes every other week or so during the summer. Really no different than mowing the lawn. This year I am going to do the same thing with my row garden crops. Anything that isn't mulched is just going to be weed whacked (that is, between the rows). I just don't have time to weed walkway paths, and the mowed grass look is attractive, in my opinion.
4. Collected cans while walking. We also recycled my growing stash of cans this week and earned $11.10!
5. Redeemed $20.00 of Ibotta money for an Amazon gift certificate. I've been working on that $20.00 for about five months now! My average weekly rebate money was $1.00 per week, but in reality it was more like one $0.25 rebate per week plus one big rebate ($3.00-$5.00) per month. If you're looking for quick ways to get more Ibotta rebates, use the restaurant or department/craft store rebates. Like any coupon or rebate, make sure the purchase is one you would have made anyway. I used two craft store rebates on fabric to reupholster our RV cushions, and used a couple for restaurants on our weekly date nights.
6. Went to more garage sales! I spent about $20.00 and bought many needed items and also some cool stuff that I didn't really need. I also found some free tomato cages for the garden!! I am hoping to get up a garage sale haul/philosophy video on Youtube to talk a little more about what I bought and my approach to saving money at garage sales.
7. Made cheese, yogurt, and bone broth. Some of our meals this week were carrot/broccoli stir fry, ham & potato soup, quiche, tacos, chicken noodle soup, pizza, chili and leftovers. I've started a little meal series on Youtube explaining what we have for dinner on each night of the week. Last week I featured Monday's meal; explained how and where I got the ingredients, and how to make the meal. Those of you who watch my hauls might wonder how I came up with a variety of healthy meals if I spent all of my grocery money this week on cheese, a tomato, two boxes of mac 'n' cheese and a bag of candy.
I explain more about this shopping method in my book. It's a "feast or famine" type of grocery shopping. Instead of buying five items at retail price and one item on sale, I buy six things on sale. Then when I get home, my "item of the week" is put in the pantry or freezer and I use it up little by little, over the course of weeks or months, until it is gone. It's probably possible to eat for $10.00 per week (or your state's equivalent) buying everything full price, but it would be a SUPER boring menu with just rice and beans all the time. Hubs and I eat meat, cheese, and produce every day!
People seem to think that feeding two people for $20.00 per week is some sadistic type of deprivation. It's not. It's extremely systematic, and once you get the "system" down, sliding in under budget is an act of creativity and competition with yourself. For me, it's a game that is super, super fun.
Some other things I try to highlight in my hauls are using coupons, rebates and free stuff to buy high value items that would otherwise be unaffordable. You might also be interested in part two of my "Eat for $10.00 per Week" video series. It's about extracting even MORE value from your $10.00 worth of meat, grains, milk, and produce every week.
8. One last thing... the toilet is finally flushing again! Last week I was cleaning the bathroom, and accidentally knocked an eyeliner pencil into the toilet. Normally this wouldn't be an issue, but I had finished swishing the inside, and was in the process of flushing all the gunk down. The pencil went down the hole before I even had a chance to fish it out. Oh bummer. I thought for sure we would have to take the toilet apart in order to get it working properly. Hubs thought the pencil might "break down" in there. I had my doubts.
We spent the week plunging to assist every flush. Sometimes it took several flushes and plunges to get you-know-what down. I used a lot of homemade toilet spray. Oh dear! You never know what you have until it's gone. Or rather, you never know what you DON'T have until it sits there all day.
On Friday, Hubs had an idea. "Do you have any lye?" he asked.
"Of course I have lye! I'm a soap maker," I said. He dumped a bunch of it down the toilet, and we resumed our activities for the evening. The next morning we celebrated our first unassisted flush in a whole week. I can't tell you what a joy it is to watch all of the contents go down like they are supposed to. YAY FOR LYE DRAIN CLEANER!!!
Perhaps that was all a little TMI for some of you, but I share the story to help out fellow flushers who might be in need. It could have saved us a week of plunging.
Til next time,