1. Cut some redbud branches from the tree in our yard. Redbud is a spring flowering ornamental tree. The buds only last a little while, but they are sure pretty! And guess what... redbud blossoms are edible!!! So you will probably see another frugal accomplishment next week, to the tune of eating redbud blossoms.
2. Sold five dozen eggs.
3. Sold one book on Amazon.
4. Line-dried several loads of laundry.
4. Went to some garage sales!!! The garage sales my mom and I went to last week were in a nicer community. They had a lot of home decorating stuff and other higher-quality home goods (like candles... won't you look at my beautiful candles!). Of course the prices were higher, as well. I didn't see anything priced at $0.10 or $0.05, like you do in some neighborhoods.
Garage sales are wonderful for stocking up on craft supplies. I found a bag of miscellaneous yarn for $0.50! The balls of yarn were small, but enough to make baby hats or other small items with. I like to use home-knitted items to give away as gifts. If you do the math, each usable ball of yarn cost about $0.10, which would mean that hat costs only a dime, plus a couple of hours knitting. Knitting is good to do when you are sitting in front of the TV or on a long car ride. Oftentimes I knit during the winter, or on cold rainy days.
Lastly, I hit up all of the free boxes I could find. From depths of these boxes, I found quite a few items to put in my piano lesson "prize box", and the toy basket I keep for when little kids come over. Half-used coloring books, sticker sheets, markers, and those little punch-out valentines. Oh yes, and some fake grapes.
5. Planted my broccoli starts in a lasagna raised bed. Broccoli, green beans, sweet corn and bell peppers are going to be my main freezer vegetables this year. I used to not like broccoli, but it isn't too bad in casseroles. Plus, you know... FREE always tastes better. These starts were planted from seeds I saved two years ago.
6. Planted onion sets. I finally got around to putting my onions in next to the garlic.
7. Other miscellaneous garden work: Hubs tilled up the area I'll be using for my market/fodder garden. We cleaned out the goat pen and put all of the manure in piles up by the garden to compost. I also planted another square of strawberries, mulched them with straw and also mulched the raspberries and garlic with straw. The "straw" was actually the refuse hay that my goats had scattered all over their pen instead of eating. I'm not worried about anything seeding itself in the garden, because what they didn't eat was essentially straw, with no leafy parts or seed stalks.
My New Adventure
This week we stopped by some friends of ours, and she was telling me about how she had used an email incentive and birthday freebie to get a free sandwich AND appetizer at the same restaurant for her husband's birthday (she is much better at coupons than I am). Later that day, I got to wondering if any of our local restaurants have deals like that.
I made a spreadsheet listing every single restaurant in the surrounding communities. I had no clue that there were so many! Right now I'm in the process of scouting out any possible email incentives, coupons or birthday freebies. Most of the fast food restaurants have phone apps, but only some of these apps have coupons (the others are only for ordering food). The nicer restaurants (one so far in our local area) offered a free appetizer for being on their email list. Another restaurant had appetizers and drinks 50% off after 9:00 pm. One of my favorite Italian places has a "sub of the month", and you can get $1.00 off of that sub on a certain day of the week. All of this is impossible to remember, which is why I made a spreadsheet.
As you can imagine, there are dozens of restaurants that Hubs and I could go to on our date night. It will take at least a year to get through all of them. Instead of paying full price for the same meal at the same restaurant every week (yes, we've gotten into a rut!), with a little detective work I can strategically plan where and when to go, and what to order, based on coupons, specials and "deals of the month". Not only will it help us save a few dollars, but we'll get to try a different restaurant every week and using coupons will force us to try new foods.
I still have some work to do, looking up websites and probably making a few phone calls. When I'm done with all of the research, I will probably share my spreadsheet in the monthly email newsletter. So don't forget to sign up!
Goals This Week:
1. Make granola for farmers market.
2. Transplant some lilac bushes.
3. Transplant spearmint and peppermint.