How to Grow Your Own Food – 2013 Garden Tally

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organic vegetables{Late Spring 2012}

This year I’m on a mission to grow 4,000 pounds of fresh fruits and vegetables in my suburban backyard. In 2012 I was able to grow 2,028 pounds, and in 2013 I’m going double or nothing. I have absolutely no idea if I’ll be able to achieve my goal. But, as with any adventure, half the fun is getting there.   ~Mavis


oregano growing in a container

It’s time to break out the banjo because I feel a song coming on.

Although I didn’t harvest one stinkin’ thing from my backyard garden this past week, spring is EVERYWHERE! The oregano is starting to fill it’s giant container, all 4 rhubarb plants have poked through the soil,  flower buds on the trees are starting to appear like a flash mob, and bees… Lucy and I spotted 3 bees in the backyard yesterday. Weeeeee!

Now all we need is less rain, more sunshine and some heat, and we’ll be in business.

This week I’ll be planting more seeds, working in the greenhouse and planting the rest of our potatoes. Also on the agenda, a few super cool garden projects, so be on the look out for those as well.

If you still have snow, or your garden is to frozen or muddy to work in, hang in there, hopefully it’s only a matter of a few more weeks until you can get out there and grow baby grow!

~Mavis

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

how to can beets{Heirloom beets pictured from last summer}

Beets - 14 ounces

Parisian Carrots{Tonda di Parigi HEIRLOOM carrots pictured from last summer}

Carrots – 3 ounces

egg count 2013

Egg Count – 402 {5 eggs per day average}

This week we collected a whopping 73 eggs. Holy crack!

microgreens
Lettuce
– 6 ounces
Microgreens 5 ounces

potatoes

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

bean sprouts

Sprouts - 8 ounces

swiss chard

Swiss Chard 11 ounces

cut wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 7 ounces

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 5 pounds 15 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 402

Get out there and grow!

~Mavis

free shipping botanical interests

Need some seeds? Botanical Interests is offering FREE SHIPPING on orders over $50 right now.

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.



Mornings with Mavis – Kindle Books, Zuke’s Mini Naturals, Crocs, Living Social, Merrell Jackets, Coupons + More

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mornings with mavis

Hello Wednesday!

Yesterday my site went down sometime around 4pm and flickered back and forth all evening. If you can see this {Yay!} it’s back up.

~Mavis

zuke's mini naturals dog treats

Zuke’s Mini Naturals are only $7.59 shipped for the one pound bag when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout. This is a far better deal than the $18.99 the pet food store sold them to me for. Lucy the puggle dog loves these!

Need new cookware? Amazon currently has the Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Nonstick Hard-Anodized 14-Piece Cookware Set on sale for $174.99 shipped. The reviews are awesome!

kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

Learn to Make Yogurt $0.99
Simple Shortcut Recipes $3.99 {5 Star Reviews!}
12 Best Herbs For Flavor + How To Grow Them FREE
Straw Bale Gardens $9.99
How to Preserve and Enjoy Your Garden Herbs $0.99
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People $3.76
A Walk in the Woods $7.99
Raising Chickens FREE

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can.

crocs discount sale coupon

Zulily has Crocs on sale with savings over 50%. There are a ton of styles and colors to choose from.

New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

living social deals

Living Social has some great national deals, here are my favorites:

The Body Shop $10 for a $20 certificate {I LOVE this deal!}
Ranger Rick Magazine 1 year Subscription $10 {Great for kids!}
Gourmet Gift Baskets $30 for a $15 certificate
Vermont Teddy Bear Company 3 ft. Teddy Bear $40 

rei deal of the day

The REI Outlet Deal of the Day is the Men’s Merrell Differential Jacket for $54.93 shipped {retail $119}.

MIA boots

6pm has MIA boots on sale for up to 70% off. All of the boots above are only $29.99 shipped while supplies last!

chocolate fondue set

Amazon has the 3-Tier Chocolate Fondue Fountain on sale for $35 shipped. This would be great for parties, graduation, and just plain fun!

weight-watchers-magazine-

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Weight Watchers Magazinefor only $4.50 a year when you use code 8071 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 3/19/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.


Here’s a free downloadable booklet that will help you discover great new diabetic breakfast options. 20 delicious recipes will wake up your taste buds and cut carbs too!

$0.50 off ONE Scotch-Brite Scrub Sponge Multipack$1.50 off MAYBELLINE NEW YORK shadow or liner$0.75 off any one Colgate Optic White Toothpaste$1.00 off any TWO (2) Cleanser & Polish Product $1.00 off FRESH FRUIT with 1 Kelloggs Crunchy Nut

Great coupons for sponges, toothpaste, make up and cereal.

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.

Easy Slow Cooker Recipes – Asian Chicken with Ginger

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Easy Crock Pot Recipes - Asian Chicken with Ginger

Yesterday I made another super delicious crock pot meal for dinner. The weather was really nice and I didn’t want to miss my chance to get some garden chores done with the sun shinning. Not only was this crock pot chicken dinner super easy to make, it was delicious too!

Here is the easy peasy recipe:

Ingredients

chicken breasts
2 large carrots, chopped
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup rice vingar
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons, candied ginger {or 1 tablespoon ground ginger}
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 teaspoons dried parsley

Easy Crock Pot Recipes  Asian Chicken with Ginger

Directions

Add all ingredients in to the crock pot, and cook on low for 5 hours or high for 3 hours. Serve over a bed of rice. Sweet diggety, I love it when I only have to spend 5 minutes making dinner!

Are you in love with your crock pot too? Then be sure and check out more of my favorite crock pot recipes.

slow cooker crock pot cookbook

My favorite Crock Pot – Crock-Pot Cook’ N Carry 6-Quart Portable Slow Cooker
My favorite Slow Cooker Cookbook – Fix-It and Forget-It Big Cookbook

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.

Growing Vegetables in a Greenhouse

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how to grow food in a greenhouse

What the heck happened to the rain yesterday? It was a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest. Lucy the puggle dog and I were able to get a boatload of things done and were able to stay nice and dry too.

I love spring days like that.
daffodils in a container

Now that the weather is starting to warm up a bit, I’ve been slowly moving vegetable starts out to the greenhouse. So far I only have out there, because my second table is still in the house with grow lights sitting on top of it. I hesitate to running a cord from the house out to the greenhouse to hook everything up because it’s still a wee bit cold for a lot of the seeds I am trying to germinate.

Well, that and the whole part about how the HH would totally flip out if he saw a giant bright orange extension cord across the backyard. What would the neighbors think {blah, blah, blah}. I’ve tried to point out the the neighbors don’t even come out of their house, so how the heck would they even see the cord… but then he just mutters something about how they have windows.

I can’t win.

grow food in gutters

Yesterday we installed gutters in the left side of the greenhouse. So far all I have planted is a length of spinach in the top gutter. I’m hoping to get the other 3 galvanized gutters planted today.

grow strawberries in gutters

The strawberries I planted in the gutters last week are doing great.

strawberries planted in gutters

Last year I made the mistake of planting the strawberry crowns to close together. This year I planted the crowns about 12 inches apart to allow plenty of room for their roots to grow. In the fall, after the plants have fruited, I’ll remove the strawberries from the gutters and overwinter them in the garden.

grow food year round in a greenhouse

Seedlings, transplants, Lemon the lemon tree and onion and leeks.

magnum glass greenhouse

It’s looking pretty bare right now, but we all have to start somewhere. Right?

Do YOU have a greenhouse? Where are you starting your seeds this year? Inside, outside, at your MIL’s?

Mavis wants to know.

Thinking about growing food in a greenhouse but don’t know how to get started? Check out Elliot Coleman’s book Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long. I think it’s pretty awesome.

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.

Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

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free produce food waste

I must admit I was a little excited when I saw all those bags of grapes and 1 pound boxes of strawberries when I picked up the reclaimed food boxes this week from Mr. Produce Guy.

Even though there were only 2 boxes of scraps saved for us, there were still plenty of treasures.

red grapes

Umm, especially grapes.

The Girl and I could not figure out why the grapes had been tossed because they were all in excellent condition.  There were so many in fact, I ended up giving a few bags of both red and green seedless grapes away to one of my neighbors.

red and green grapes

It was crazy!

free produce food waste in Amercia

Sadly a lot of the strawberries were not salvageable, but  it looks like I’ll be making banana bread again this week, and the kids will have grapes in their lunch every single day. Not to shabby if you ask me. I don’t know about you, but I love free  food.

How much do grapes sell for this time of year anyway? Does anyone know?

~Mavis

Would you like to see what else we have brought home over the past year?

Head on over HERE to read all the past stories and to see all the pictures.

If you have just stumbled upon this series and are wondering how I got all this food for free, you’ll want to read this story first.

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.

Mornings with Mavis – Weekend Homesteader Books, Amazon Deals, Coupons, 60 FREE Prints

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pink Camilla flower

Happy Tuesday and good morning everyone.

Poor Mrs. HB. A deer came along and ate the bottom half of both her potted Camilla flowers she has planted at in front of her porch.

There are a few flowers blooming at towards the top of the plant though, aren’t they pretty? Do you have any special tricks for keeping deer out of YOUR yard? If so, leave a comment below and I’ll pass them along to Mrs. HB.

In the mean time, here are a few deals I spotted this morning.

 ~Mavis

weekend homesteader series

Have you checked out the Weekend Homesteader series by Ann Hess yet? All kindle books are $0.99 and are broken down into monthly books. I LOVE these!

If you need to fit homesteading into a few hours each weekend and would like to have fun while doing it, these projects will be right up your alley, whether you live on a forty-acre farm, a postage-stamp lawn in suburbia, or a high rise.

See all Weekend Homesteader Kindle Books

Norpro Cut-N-Slice Flexible Cutting Boards, Set of 3 $5.64

Have you tried these flexible cutting boards yet?  My husband LOVES them, and he doesn’t even cook. Ha!  They are super handy and easy to clean, my kids even like them too.

cute swim cover ups

Zulily has some really cute summer dresses and swimsuit cover ups in their Salt & Sea sale.

New to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up

Already a Zulily Member? Go HERE to Get This Deal

living social deals Living Social has some great deals today. Here are my favorite National Deals:

The Body Shop $20 of Bath and Body Products for $10
ProFlowers $30 worth of flowers for $15
American Meadows $25 Start your own vegetable garden

ASUS S56CA-WH31 15.6-Inch Ultrabook

Today’s Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day is the ASUS S56CA-WH31 15.6-Inch Ultrabook for $399 {was $699}.

VTech MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System - Pink

Amazon currently has the VTech MobiGo 2 Touch Learning System for only $29.99 shipped! Walmart is selling this right now for $49.99.

keen shoes messenger bag

6pm has some sweet deals on Keen shoes, sandals and bags with savings up to 60% off. Free Shipping too!

York Photo York Photo is offering 60 free 4X6 photo prints for new customers.

  • Go HERE to create a York Photo Account.
  • Upload your photos and add {60} 4X6 photo prints to your cart.
  • Use coupon code 60PRINTS at checkout to bring your total to $0.00.
  • Shipping charges do apply {starting at $3.74}

Offer valid for new customers only.

discover magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Discover Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code 1293 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 3/19/13 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

the hobbit sweepstakes Enter The Hobbit Sweepstakes for your chance to win a 32″ Flat Screen TV, a Blu-ray player, and The Hobbit Blu-Ray + DVD + Digital Copy Combo Pack.  Want the Hobbit RIGHT NOW? Head on over to Amazon and get the disc and the digital copy and watch it right away.

udis-gluten-free-bread

Take a survey and get a $3.00 off coupon for udi’s Gluten free bread.

$0.55 off any two (2) Hunt's Canned TomatoesBOGO SNICKERS Bar and Peanut Butter Squared Bar
$1.00 off SNICKERS Peanut Butter Square Miniatures
$10.00 off (1) BREEZE Litter System

New coupons this mornings for Hunt’s canned tomatoes, Snickers and BREEZE Litter Systems.

There is a new coupon available for

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.

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies

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Peanut Butter and  Nutella Cookies

Ding Ding Ding… We have a winner! This afternoon I made the monkeys a batch of peanut butter and Nutella cookies and boy were they delicious.

Milk and cookies, does it get any better than that?

Here is the recipe:

Ingredients

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter {I used Jif}
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-pourpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda {15 Cool Uses for Baking Soda}
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup Nutella

Peanut Butter & Nutella Cookies

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a mixing bowl combine the butter, peanut butter, sugars, egg, and vanilla and blend until smooth. Slowly add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix until all the ingredients all combined.

Drop spoonfuls of  Nutella on top of the dough and then swirl it through the dough with the back of a spoon.

Use a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop to get the perfect sized dough balls, then roll the ball in coarse or granulated sugar. Place on a lined baking sheet {I use silpats} and press the tops of the cookies down the a fork. Bake at 350 degrees for 8- 10 minutes.

Makes 4 dozen

milk and cookies

Looking or more cookie recipes? Check out the book Milk & Cookies it’s pretty freakin’ delicious.

Looking to get your cookie fix? Check out more Cookie 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.

Mavis Garden Blog – Daffodils, Peas, Potatoes, Lawn Moving and Planting Containers. Yee-Haw!

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red rain boots

This past weekend was pretty awesome. On Sunday afternoon the Girl Who Thinks She’s a Bird and I walked around the garden and cut bouquets of daffodil flowers. We ended up filling 3 vases and placed them around the house.

daffodil flowers

I love, love, love this time of year! There is so much hope and promise in the air that it can take your breath away sometimes. Well either that or I’ve been inhaling too much bark dust and it’s making me light headed.

recycled planting containers

Do you save your plastic containers? I hope you do. Because between the ones I save, the ones my neighbors drop off on my front porch, and the freebies from the Home DepotI never have to buy any containers to start my plants. It’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

planting peas

The peas have been planted {we are growing 3 varieties this year}. We planted a bed of green arrow peas in the backyard, sugar snap peas at the base of the teepees, and I just totally forgot where we planted the snow peas. Yikes! I better figure that out soon.

planting potatoes

I was also able to plant all our blue potatoes, but I still have about 30 more pounds to go.

blue seed potatoes

Holy cow! I cannot believe I bought 90 pounds of seed potatoes. What was I thinking?

lawn mower

Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. What a nut. The Handsome Husband started mowing the lawn in the front yard and Lucy went to investigate. As soon as he saw her, he stopped the mower and let her run around in circles for about 10 minutes before finally giving up.

Ahhh, spring! It’s only 2 days away. Can you believe it?

~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.

10 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

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10 Ways to Save Money at the Grocery Store

Feeding my family for $100 a month means coming up with some pretty creative ways to save money at the grocery store.  There are a ton of little ways to save a buck at the grocery store that can add up to BIG savings.

Even if you’re just looking to shave a little off of your monthly grocery budget, check out some of these cool money saving tips:

  1. Convenience costs.  Convenience foods, on average, costs way more than foods you have to prepare yourself.  Even whole food convenience costs extra.  A package of pre-cut carrots will cost you a lot more pound for pound than carrots you take home to peel and cut yourself.   The same applies for pre-cut fruit and pre-bagged salad.
  2. Make your own spice mixes.  If you keep your spice cupboard stocked with the basics {check out ways to save by purchasing these in bulk}, you can make pretty much any spice mix and save tons.
  3. Shop top and bottom shelves.  Grocery stores put all of there most expensive items at eye level.  Next time you’re shopping, compare prices on the top and bottom with those on the middle shelves.
  4. Shop weekly and look for discounts and markdowns on expensive items such as meat.  If you can menu plan on the fly, this can be a really great option.  Stores will mark down perfectly good food in order to ensure they get rid of it in a timely manner.
  5. Shop alone.  I know this is easier said than done, but if at all possible, leave the kiddos at home.  It’s easier to stick to a list and avoid junk and flashy packaging when their cute little faces aren’t staring up at you.
  6. I’m sure you’ve heard this, but don’t shop when you’re hungry or tired.  You’re more likely load up on dense carbohydrates you wouldn’t have if  you had been well-rested and full.
  7. While it is awesome to score a deal on an in-store markdown, make sure to have a list too.  It will keep you from throwing items in the cart “just in case” you were out at home, only to find you had plenty.
  8. Look at unit price {price per ounce, etc.}.  Sometimes the “family size” isn’t a better bargain.
  9. Don’t be afraid of generic or store brands.  Brand names come at a cost–someone has to pay the bill for advertising and packaging, and that someone is usually you.
  10. Shop produce in-season.  Out of season produce is typically much more expensive.  Plus, when you shop seasonally, each season change will bring the possibilities of new flavors.

How about YOU, how do you save at the grocery store?  What monthly budget do you aim for?

~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.

Mondays with Mavis – How to Feed Your Family for $100 a Month

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mondays with mavis

Last week I was pretty busy working in the garden and ended up doing all my grocery shopping in one day while I was out running errands. I LOVE it when that happens.

Here is what I purchased last week:

fresh fruit and vegetables

Harbor Greens Market – $5.28

Hopefully this is the last bag of potatoes I will have to buy for a long, long time. 10 pounds of potatoes $1.99, Green peppers 3 for $1, avocados 2 for $1, and our favorite Fuji apples $0.69 a pound! I love Harbor Greens Market for the weekly produce deals.

fred meyer shopping trip

Fred Meyer – $13.67

I had this great idea that I would make apple turn overs with some of the free granny smith apples I scored last week from Mr. Produce Guy, but they totally bombed. Although they tasted good, they looked awful. Luckily I only used 1 of the 2 packages so I have to attempt making turnovers again. Oh well.

We are also totally out of chicken. I placed my Zaycon order so we will have more in a few weeks, but this bag will have to last us until then.

QFC shopping trip

QFC – $8.95

I scored some spinach wraps on clearance, fresh asparagus for $1.69 a pound, local milk and a gallon of the regular stuff for Monkey Boy.

costco kirkland butter

Barter with Mrs. Hillbilly – FREE

I traded eggs for butter last night at Mrs. HB’s house. I think the best kind of deals are when you both walk away with what you need. Since we are swimming in eggs {and will be for the rest of the year} I think it will be fun to see what I can trade the neighbors for with my extras.

feed your family for free mavis

Mr. Produce Guy – FREE

It was another stellar week in the reclaimed food department. It’s amazing how many meals and snacks you can make from a little bit for fresh fruits and veggies and some staple items. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s kind of cool.

How did you do this week? Did you buy anything exciting? Did you order any meat from Zaycon?

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $27.90
Total Spent This Year $516.03
Total Spent This Year on Garden Seeds/Supplies $744.79 {I bought a Meyer Lemon Tree, Rhubarb crowns, 6 Fruit Trees , 15 yards of soil} and 90 pounds of seed potatoes.

Go HERE to read more Shopping Trip Stories.

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