Dorm Room Checklist – What to Bring to College

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Dorm Room Checklist – What to Bring to CollegeNow that The Girl is headed off to college, we have been faced with the reality of packing everything she will need into ½ of a 15×15 room.  I’m not one for clutter, and never really have been, and since that has rubbed off on The Girl big time, we want to have what she needs—neat and organized, without having her swallowed up by stuff like a bad Hoarders episode.

First off, I have to admit, we are kind of erring on the side of minimalism.  We signed her up for Amazon Student, so I figure she can always pop on and get whatever she needs, delivered to her door in two days.  It will also give her a chance to watch movies or shows during her downtime, right on her laptop.  I don’t want to say I am the best mom ever, but if a certified letter came, I certainly wouldn’t turn it away.  Ha!  {As a total sidenote, it occurred to me that Amazon Student would make an AWESOME birthday gift for pretty much anyone—if you need some gift ideas.}  It is FREE for the 1st 6 months {and has most of the perks of Amazon Prime} and then it’s 50% off the Prime membership after that.  Pretty sweet deal, I think.

Okay, now on to the checklist:

shower caddies for college studentsToiletries

Most dorms have a shared bathroom on each floor, so a shower caddy of some sort is essential for carting soap, shampoo, etc. back and forth from bathroom to dorm room.  Fill the caddy with soap/body wash, shampoo, conditioner, razors, washcloths, etc.  I think 2 towels are plenty.

In an ideal world, that means there is time to wash one while the other is in use.  That assumes that your student will hang up the towel to dry daily—could be a crap shoot depending on your student’s personality.  Since the showers in dorms are also communal, they suggested that my daughter bring a pair of cheap flip-flops to shower in.  That way, she can keep her feet from getting dirty while she gets clean–go figure.  They will also need any other grooming supplies:  brush, flat iron, deodorant, make-up, etc.

mini fridge for collegeKitchen Supplies

Most colleges have community kitchens {or your student will be on a meal plan}, so things like pots and pans are not necessary, but we are sending my daughter to school with her own can opener just so she has her own when she wants it.  We are also investing in a mini-fridge.

It will allow her to keep yogurts and other items that she may want to chance in the communal fridge at her immediate disposal.  We got a little basket for her to keep her own personal snacks in and she is bringing a refillable water bottle.  Depending on your student’s situation, you may want to consider a microwave.

1000 thread count sheetsFor the Bed

Obviously, your student will need bedding.  Again, along the same lines as the towels, I think two sets of sheets are plenty.  You may also want to send them with their own laundry detergent and a roll of quarters to encourage that they actually DO the laundry.  They will need a pillow and comforter as well.  We will also be bringing a mattress cover–I mean, it is a shared mattress after all.

Jawbone JAMBOX Wireless Bluetooth SpeakerIn the Room

How much your student wants to personalize their room is probably pretty individual.  The basics include a desk lamp, laptop, school supplies {pens, pencils, stapler, etc.}, alarm clock, surge protector, laundry bag or basket, garbage can {and bags if you want to line it}, an all-purpose cleaner and a couple of rags, kleenex, a roll or two of paper towels.  More individual items include posters, iPod docking station, t.v., dvd player, camera, bulletin board, white board, etc.

red metal first aid kitJust in Case Items

A tool kit {with batteries, duct tape, masking tape, hammer, screwdriver, etc.}, sewing kit, and first aid kit {band-aids, nail clippers, hydrogen peroxide, neosporin, Advil, Pepto, tweezers, cotton balls, cold medicine, etc.} will cover most just in case scenarios.

rei backpackFor Around Campus

A couple of other items to consider while your student makes their way around campus is an umbrella, backpack, bike and bike lock. Also, any clothing that is climate specific, if your student is headed to a warmer/colder climate than where you currently live.

How about any of YOU, have you sent kids off to college already and noticed something essential that we’ve missed?

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.



How I Feed My Family for $100 a Month – Week 29 of 52

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albertsons shopping trip

Albertsons $9.74 for the groceries

I stocked up on a few items from Albertsons last week: Tillamook yogurt $0.60 each, cornbread muffin mix {for Monkey Boy to use when I am traveling} day old garlic bread $0.99 and a few bags of goldfish crackers for $1.00 each. Not incredible deals, but not bad either.

chopped pecans

Barter with Mrs. Hillbilly  

Mrs. Hillbilly came by last week to see if I had any extra tomato cages and fencing so her son could expand his garden. In exchange she gave me 2 pounds of pecans and a jar of plum jelly from her mother’s farm in Mississippi. Not to shabby if you ask me.

produce

Local Fruit Stand $7.29

$1.00 pineapples, $1.99 for a head of cauliflower and a few other odds and ends were the deals I found at our local fruit stand this week.

leftover food

Church Dinner Leftovers- Free

The Guy from Guam dropped off a whole pile of leftovers from his church picnic on Saturday. He’s in charge of the cooking there and always makes the most delicious homemade food. I didn’t even know what the heck was in the rice or the sack of mystery rolls but Holy smokes it was good.

The HH has been friends with him for over 20 years now and he just shows up at our house once or twice a year and brings us leftovers.  I typically give him some of our homemade jam as a thank you… this time around it was raspberry jam. Pretty awesome if you ask me.

smith brothers farms

Smith Brothers Milk - Sponsored

And last but not least, our milk order from Smith Brother’s Farm for this week. Milk, it does a body good. :)

How did you do this week?

Any mystery men show up at your door with food?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $17.03
Total Spent This Year $1028.25
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $38.98

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

Smith Brothers Farms Logo

One Hundred Dollars a Month is proudly sponsored by Smith Brother’s Farms, my family’s favorite milk. Check out their website HERE and learn about the over 100 top quality products Smith Brothers Farms can deliver to your porch box.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Amazon Deals, D.C. Shoes, Recipes, Coupons and More

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mornings with mavis

Happy Monday everyone!

Wowie zowie it was a beautiful weekend around here. In fact it was so nice yesterday that I spent my entire day outside. Holy smokes I can’t remember the last time I did that. It felt great!

Here’s hoping the rest of the week is beautiful as well. :)

Have a great day.

Mavis

garmin

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day – “The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy” on Blu-ray or Garmin nüvi 2557LMT 5-Inch Portable Vehicle GPS with Lifetime Maps and Traffic

Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

Get a 24 Pack of Zwipes Microfiber Cleaning Cloths for just $10.88 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

gogo squeez

GoGo SqueeZ are great for the lunch box or to keep in the car for a snack!

How-to-Get-a-Price-Adjustment-from-Amazon

Getting a price adjustment from Amazon is easier than you think. Find out how HERE. Find more cool tips and money savings ideas on my Pinterest Boards.

dc shoes on sale

6pm is having a great sale on D.C. Shoes for Boys and Girls and there are tons of styles to choose from.

smart stick blender

Amazon currently has the Cuisinart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender on sale for $29.99. I use mine to help make my families favorite Heirloom tomato sauce.

Heirloom Tomato Sauce Recipe

Get the recipe for my Heirloom Tomato Sauce HERE or Pin it for Later.

canning supplies

Here are a few canning deals:

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - ASICS GEL-Noosa Tri 8 Road-Running Shoes

front door mat

Need a new mat for the front door? Amazon has the Apache Mills 18X30 Iron Lattice Entrance Mat on sale for $8.88 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. Don’t have Prime? Find out more HERE.

300x250_Nerd

Tell me you’ve heard of Fiverr? It is the coolest site ever. If you ever need anything graphic design related at all, they’ve got you covered for $5 a project. If you have a personal blog and you want a cute new header with fun pics of your family: $5. A flyer logo for a PTA carnival: $5. A new logo for your small business: $5. It is seriously the most amazing site for frugally minded folks like us!

Check out Fiverr HERE and see what you can get for only FIVE DOLLARS!!

good housekeeping magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Good Housekeeping Magazine for only $.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 7/28/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Freezer-Meal-Recipe-Chicken-Cacciatore

It’s simple, it’s healthy and it’s a crowd-pleaser! Get the recipe for this Freezer Meal Chicken Cacciatore HERE  or Pin it for later.

irobot floor cleaner

Groupon has the iRobot Mint 4200 Hard Floor Robotic Cleaner on sale for $139.99 shipped. My friend Jen has one of these and loves it to bits. They really do work!

 

schick quattro

Check out these New Printable Coupons:

Find More Printable Coupons

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Weekly Meal Plan – Menu Plan Ideas Week 29 of 52

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weekly menu plan ideas

Even though I don’t make a weekly menu plan, I still love the idea of having a bunch of recipes right in front of me to choose from. Here are a few recipes from my recipe collection I thought you might like:

spinach power smoothie recipe

Breakfast Ideas 

Raspberry Buttermilk Muffins – We are still picking raspberries around here, and these muffins are a super yummy way to use some of them.  {Pin for Later}
Spinach Power Smoothie – This smoothie is a perfect way to sneak veggies into you diet.  {Pin for Later}
Granola with Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds and Mango - This stuff is awesome.  I recommend pouring milk over it and eating out on the patio with your feet up.  {Pin for Later}
Mini Quiche with Bacon – These little gems go down waaay too easily.  They are perfect for a lazy Sunday morning.  Best of all, they microwave awesomely, so you can have the leftovers all week long.  {Pin for Later}

Freezer Meal Chicken Broccoli AlfredoSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Potato Soup – This hearty meal is perfect for those nights when everyone is coming and going at different times.  They can scoop up a bowl whenever they want.  {Pin for Later}
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup – What can I say?  I must be in a soup mood.  It happens.  {Pin for Later}
Chicken Broccoli Alfredo - Time to gear up for school starting and whip up some freezer meals.  You’ll be so glad you did.  {Pin for Later}
Black Bean Taco Soup - This yummy soup will assure that you’ll have instant dinner or lunches on hand for those days where you feel like not participating in life. {Pin for Later}

Roasted Corn Salad with Tomatoes and FetaSoups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

Spanish Chicken with Beans and Rice - This is one of those one plate meals that is super satisfying.  {Pin for Later}
Curry Chicken & Rice - This is Monkey Boy’s all time favorite.  Lucky for me, it’s a snap to whip up.  {Pin for Later}
Roasted Corn Salad with Tomatoes and Feta - Nothing says summer like this delicious salad.  Serve it up with some nice and salty tortilla chips.  {Pin for Later}
Watermelon, Feta, and Red Onion Salad – I know this sounds like a weird combo, but trust me, it is delightful.  Like summer in  your mouth, my friends.  {Pin for Later}

White Chocolate Cranberry CookiesCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies – These are delicious–and they have cranberries, which totally makes them healthy, right? :) {Pin for Later}
Savory Sun Dried Tomato Biscotti - Serve these little babies with a side of marinara.  You’ll be in snack heaven.  {Pin for Later}
White Bean Dip with Sun Dried Tomatoes – Trust me when I say, if you put a plate of veggies out with this hummus, your kids will totally eat all of their veggies.  It’s sooo good.  {Pin for Later}
Popcorn in a Bag – Why buy expensive chemical laden microwave popcorn when you can just make  your own in a brown paper bag?  It’s the perfect afternoon snack.  {Pin for Later}

blueberry jam with mintCanning Recipe of the Week

Blueberry Jam with Mint - Blueberries are in the stores in full force now, and if you have mint in your garden, you are probably wishing you never would have planted it by now, because it’s taking over.  So why not use some of it up?  {Pin for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Looking for more recipes? Check out my recipes boards on Pinterest

Also, be sure to check out:

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Get Ready for Fall with a Seattle Tilth Class

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Seattle tilth fall classes

If you are an expert gardener, a novice gardener or even a non-gardener, the Seattle Tilth has some perfect classes for you. I’m a super fan of the Seattle Tilth because they truly help gardeners and homesteaders at any and every level. Whether you want to raise goats, learn about companion planting, or learn about food preservation, you’ll find a class that matches your interests on their extensive class list. They’ve added a whole slew of cool new classes this fall, and here are just a few that caught my eye:

gourds2Veggie Gardening
Learn to design a four-season organic veggie garden.
Start Your Fall and Winter Garden Sat., Aug. 16; 10 a.m.-noon
Organic Pest Management Sat., Aug. 2; 2-4 p.m.
Build Unique Raised Beds Sat., Aug. 16; 2-5 p.m.
Save Seeds Wed., Aug. 20; 6-8 p.m.
Save Seeds Thu., Sept. 4; 6-8 p.m.
Grow Edible Perennials Thu., Aug. 28; 6-8 p.m.
Comprehensive Organic Gardener Sept.10-Oct. 1
Wednesdays 7-9 p.m. & Saturdays 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Kitchen
Pickles and Fermentation 2Get the basics of canning, pickling and foraging.
Basic Canning Sat., Aug. 23; 10 a.m.-noon
Basic Canning Thu., Sept. 11; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Pickles and Fermentation Sat., Aug. 23; 2-4 p.m.
Pickles and Fermentation Thu., Sept. 18; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Make Herbal Infusions Thu., Aug. 21; 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Permaculture & Sustainable Landscapes
Go beyond basic veggie gardening.
Intro to Permaculture Sat., Aug. 9; 2-5 p.m.
Secrets of Companion Planting Sat., Aug. 2; 10 a.m.-noon
Grow Fruit in Small Spaces Wed., Aug. 6; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Planting for Wildlife Thu., Sept. 4; 6-8 p.m.

Urban LivestockIMG_1765
Produce your own eggs, honey and fertilizer! Find out what it takes to raise chickens, goats, rabbits, ducks and bees.
Beekeeping 301: Harvest Honey & Winterize Your Hive
Thu., Aug. 14; 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Native Bees: Introduction and Field Study
Sat., Sept. 13; 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
_1140639Raise City Goats Sat., Sept., 13; 10 a.m.-noon
City Chickens 101 Sat., Sept. 20; 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Backyard Beekeeping 101 Sat., Sept 27; 10 a.m.-noon

Apartment Dwellers – FREE Classes!
Learn how to compost and grow salads, herbs and vegetables in containers year-round in FREE container gardening classes. Find our more on the website and register.
IMG_2543

Register the Kids for Summer Camp
There’s still time to give your kids an experience they can brag about when they go back to school. At our summer garden and farm camps, children learn about edible plants, soil, critters and taking care of the earth. Find them in the Wallingford and Rainier Beach neighborhoods.

Community Events & More
Mark your calendars for our Harvest Fair on Saturday, September 6! Come celebrate harvest season with the community and enjoy music, food, education and one of the largest farmers markets in the region. Visit their website for information about volunteer opportunities, events and programs.

I not only love Seattle Tilth’s classes, but their whole organization. I’ve been to their Urban Farm and Chicken Coop tour and I never miss their plant sale every year. They’re awesome! So if you’ve never taken a class like this, trust me when I say they’re totally worth it.

Peace out,

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

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How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Need a new pin cushion?  This strawberry pin cushion is super easy to make and turned out soooo cute. I think it would be the perfect addition to a DIY sewing kit.  If you have a wedding gift, birthday gift, etc. you could totally throw together a sewing kit with this cute little nugget in it.  Custom is all the rage.

You’ll need:

6-8″ square of strawberry looking fabric {I used velvet}
Small piece of green felt or wool
Thread
Needle
Scissors
Stuffing {I used wool scraps}

two circles cut in half

Directions:

Draw a 6-8″ circle on a piece of paper.  This will serve as your pattern.  Cut it out and pin it to your fabric.  Using your pattern as a guide, cut a circle from the pattern.

Cut the fabric circle in half.  {Each half will make one pin cushion.}

Take one half of the circle and fold it in half, right sides together {it should look like a triangle with a rounded top now.  Pin it down.

make a berry pin cushion

Sew along the straight side of the fabric, curving your stitch around the point of the triangle to create a more strawberry like bottom.

making a strawberry pin cushion

Flip the fabric right side out.  Now, sew the top with a gathering stitch about 1/4″ from the top, leaving a hole on top to stuff the strawberry.  Fill the strawberry with stuffing and then pull the gathering stitch shut.

how to make felt berry leaves

Draw a little three or four leaf pattern on paper and then use it to cut out the leaves on the felt or wool {or if you are brave, just go rogue with your scissors}.  Sew the felt down on top of the strawberry.

How to Make a Strawberry Pin Cushion

Repeat the process with the second piece of fabric, if you want two. {I personally think the strawberries look better with two “leaves”}. If you want to add a stem simply roll a 1 inch by 3 inch piece of felt or wool stitch up the sides and sew it on top of the leaves.

Way cute, way simple.

~Mavis

How to Make a velvet Strawberry Pin Cushion

* I just posted two sets of strawberries on my Etsy page if anyone is interested. :)

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Blackberry Whole Grain Crumble Bars

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Blackberry Whole Grain Crumble Bars

Sometimes when I’m searching for recipes to use blackberries, I tend to lean towards the dessert route. So when I saw this crumble bar recipe contained whole grains, I knew I had to give it a try. Trust me when I say you won’t even know these have whole grain in them because it’s buried so deep beneath the delicious taste! I think these are a perfect alternative to a Nutri-grain bar!

whole wheat crust

Ingredients

Crust:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/3 cups brown sugar
1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

blackberriesBlackberry Filling:
3 cups blackberries
1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons lemon juice

crumb topping recipesCrumble Topping:
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cups brown sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons butter, melted

whole wheat crustDirections

Crust:
Grease a 9-inch square pan or line your pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, stir together flours, brown sugar and salt until mixture is smooth and lumps are gone. Add melted butter and vanilla and stir until combined.

Press dough evenly into prepared pan and place in freezer for 30 minutes.

Blackberry Whole Grain Crumble bars fillingFilling:
Preheat oven to 300 F.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine blackberries, sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and continue to stir while simmering until fruit thickens slightly. Remove from heat.

Blackberry Whole Grain Crumble BarsTopping:
Place oats, flours, sugars and salt in a food processor {or blender} and process until oats are partially ground. Move mixture to a large mixing bowl and add melted butter, stirring until small clumps form.

Bake frozen crust 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and increase oven temp to 350 F. Spread blackberry filling over crust and sprinkle evenly with crumb topping.

Bake 45-50 minutes or until golden brown, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Cool completely before cutting into bars. Enjoy.

Blackberry Whole Grain Crumble Bars

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

How to Make Sure Jam or Jelly Sets

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How to Make Sure Jam or Jelly Sets

It is always such a bummer when you go to all of the trouble of making jam or jelly only to have it not set.  Even with best laid plans, sometimes, jam just doesn’t set.  Still, there are a couple of ways that you can improve the odds.

How to Make Sure Jam or Jelly Sets

First, the better the pot, the better the boil.  The better the boil, the better the jam.  {Say that 10 times fast.}  A large pot with an extra wide bottom allows the jam to boil faster and stronger.  It’s the whole more surface area touching the hot stove thing—it’s all very scientific and I won’t bore you with the details.  Just remember:  large, wide pot.

Get out a thermometer.  The ideal temperature for jam to set is 220 degrees.  You only need 212 degrees to boil.  There’s a bit of a gap there that could make all the difference between jam and a yummy sauce for ice cream.

How to Make Sure Jam or Jelly Sets

Always test the jam before you remove it from the heat.   Put a little dollop onto a plate and throw it in the fridge or freezer for 5 minutes, if it has started to become solid and goopish, it’s done.  If it is still runny and liquidy {I’m sure that’s a word} then cook it for another 5 minutes or so.

pamonas pectin

Follow the recipe exactly.  I know it is super tempting to do the impossible and make a lower sugared jam/jelly than the recipe calls for, but RESIST changing the ratios.  The pectin needs the exact amount of sugar to do its job—and the pectin wants so badly to do its job.  You don’t want to rob the pectin of its only purpose in life, do you?  I didn’t think so.

For low pectin recipes check out Pomona’s Pectin. I’ve used it a few times and it works great.

What do you think, are there any other tips and tricks you’ve learned to make sure your jam and jelly sets?

~Mavis

See my Canning Recipes

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

One Hundred Dollars a Month – Mavis’ Weekly Highlights 7/26/2014

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mavis butterfield instagram

Mavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share a picture a day in 2014.

What Causes Blossom Drop in Tomatoes

Garden Updates

Strawberry Basil Salsa

Recipes

lucy the puggle dog

Mornings with Mavis 

How to Use Weck Canning Jars

Tips and Tricks

Remember When Your First Car Meant Freedom

Weekly Shopping Trips and Stories

Videos

Peace Out Girl Scouts, have a great weekend!

Mavis

Don’t forget, you can stay up to date with the latest news by following One Hundred Dollars a Month on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Google+ as well.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Planting Thanksgiving Plants in July {Yes, I’m Serious!}

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digging-up-potatoes

While I love me some turkey and pumpkin pie, seems odd to be thinking about Thanksgiving in July. But in my latest eHow article, Time to Plant Your Thanksgiving Veggies, I’m talking all about getting a head start on planting the veggies you’ll need for your fall garden, just not where you’d think.

I know, it’s the middle of summer, so who wants to think about Thanksgiving? We’re only supposed to be worried about harvesting our tomatoes, potatoes and beans right about now, right? Wrong.

Late July is actually the perfect time to get a jump start on planting your fall vegetable garden. Yep, you heard me. If you plan on serving some homegrown vegetables this Thanksgiving, now is the time to get those seeds planted.

Go HERE to read the full article…

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel