Wednesday, July 30, 2014


          I did a double-take when I saw the grocery ads last week.   One of the supermarkets had sugar on sale:  4 pounds for 99 cents!    This was two weeks after another brand was on sale for $1.25.

      I wondered what was up, and did a bit of research.  Seems Domino, one of the biggest sugar refiners in the U.S., cut prices by 5% earlier this month, due to a large supply of raw sugar on the market.

    Well, the timing is certainly good, especially for those folks who make jellies and preserves.  And let's face it, the holiday baking season is fast approaching ...

   I bought 3 bags, to go with the 2 I got in the previous sale.  So I should be in good shape for a while.    

    How about you?  Are sugar prices any lower in your area?


Monday, July 28, 2014

Inglorious vegetables!

 Here's a neat little video about a French supermarket's campaign against food waste.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

How's that again?

   Got the homeowners' insurance bill, which carried a notice:  instead of a flat rate, the deductible would now be a half-percent of the "dwelling" coverage.   If I wanted to go back to the flat rate, it would be an extra $15.
    A bit worried, I take a look at the deductible ... it's a whole $4 higher.

    I think I'll keep the $15, thanks ...

    However, the real price hike hasn't escaped me ... every time the cost of replacing my house (God forbid) goes up, my deductible will go up, too ...  which means more out of pocket should a hailstorm take out the siding and roof ... again.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This and that

  Sorry, have been AWOL the past week ... here's what's going on.

  • Those rolls of fabric in the photo are the strips I've been putting together for my locker hooking project ... a rug.    When I have a bit of time, I've been sewing the strips, as well as cutting more as I find material.   It's been a good way to use up scraps of both fabric and thread. 
  • Still harvesting lots of beans, and the tomatoes are coming in.  Not sure what kind of tomato harvest I'll have this year ... couple of the plants are slow in setting fruit, which may be due to the unseasonably cool weather we've had.  
  • Also been thinking about next year's garden ... have decided that because of this year's critter attack on my marigolds,  I'm going to save time and money and plant mums in that spot. Critters apparently don't find mums to be tasty ;)   And if the bell/sweet peppers don't produce well this year ... and things aren't looking good ... I'll take the hint and try something else.
  • And finally, job insecurity worries are ratcheting up again. Several corporate moves are signaling that another round of layoffs may be on the way.     I've been taking another look at the financial picture and researching insurance options.  Unfortunately, it's time to schedule   annual physicals, etc. (couldn't get them done earlier because of insurance rules.)  I'm  hesitant to schedule anything until I know it will be covered.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sometimes you have to work at saving money

  Coupons and I haven't been getting on well, lately.   Actually, I think they're hiding from me :

   I had a prescription to fill (a pricey one, unfortunately).  I also  have a high-deductible health-insurance plan through my employer. So I have to eat the cost (minus the insurance discount, which isn't much).

    The drug maker offers a coupon worth $60 for a new prescription.  But the link on the company website wasn't working properly.

  I gave up  ... tried again an hour later ... still no luck.  So I called the company's help line.   The CS rep put me on hold to talk to another department. Came back to tell me that they were still working on it, and put me on hold again.

  He returned with a suggestion:  Do a right click and hit 'save target as.'   Er, I don't get that with my right click. He repeated the instructions twice more (which began to annoy me).   And then it hit me:

     Are you on Internet Explorer?  I ask.
     Yes ma'am.
     There's the problem:  I'm not.  

    I've stopped using IE due to the security issues, but I decided to take a chance this time.   Bingo!  Got my coupon, and nicely suggested to the young man that the next time, he ask about browsers ...

     Anyway, took me about a half hour to get this straightened out.  But considering I saved $60 on the deal, that's a pretty good payback.   (And the supermarket pharmacy was offering $20 in free groceries for a new prescription, so the payback was even better.)




Thursday, July 10, 2014

Garden report: Beans!

 The harvest is starting here at the casa ....  

Did the first pick of green beans ... nice representation of all four varieties that I planted. 

Got my first cherry tomato with more to come ... my Romas are starting to ripen .. a bit earlier than usual, but that's fine with me.

Note that I have no idea just where I'm going to put these veggies ... I still have a gallon of mulberries that are waiting to go into the freezer!

Also did a bit of frugal fencing for my cantaloupe plants, which I bought to replace the eggplant and cabbage that some critter tore out.
     Took some previously-used edging and fenced off a portion of the garden ... sort of a fence within a fence.  We then found some unused chicken wire fencing, and created a "tent" of sorts, tucking the wire inside the edging.  A few twist ties hold the wire together.  The package isn't terribly noticeable from the street.  So hopefully, the cantaloupe has plenty of room to stretch out. 
 Best of all, it used materials on hand, so no $$ out!

Oh, and my bumper crop of basil made a very nice batch of pesto ... served over pasta!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Refurbishing ....

  Been doing a bit of sewing here at the casa de chaos ... mostly aimed at mending, and finding a new life for some clothing.

   So far:

   I've patched the blown-out knees on a couple of pairs of DH's jeans ... they'll get another life as yard work and around the house pants. ( I use another couple of raggy jeans for "parts."

   Cut off  a pair of my jeans. This pair had  a blown-out knee that's too far gone to patch.  They're either short capris or longish shorts .. not sure which, LOL

    Took in a too-big pair of sleep pants.  They're still a bit too big .. maybe next time I'll try putting some elastic in.

     I took apart my locker hooking project.  It looked too sloppy for my taste .. especially where the strips of cloth had been put together. 
      I'm trying a new tactic ... sewing strips of the same color together.  It's taking extra time, but I think it will look at lot more finished, and the "bands" of color might be a bit more interesting. 
   If nothing else, the first project was a good learning experience ..  and it all can be reused.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Happy Independence Day!

   Wishing everyone here in the U.S. a safe, fun and frugal July 4th!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014


   Back in April, I posted a link to a story on growing food from scraps.   I recently finished up some celery, and thought I'd pop the  root into some water and see what happens.

   I got this ... isn't is cute?    Actually, I took this a few days ago, so it's bigger, with  tiny stalks coming up.

 (BTW, it's in that dish so I could take a decent photo ... it usually sits in a deeper container.)

Figure it's about ready to plant. I'm curious as to whether I get a full-size bunch, or some mini-celery.  Stay tuned!