Money Saving Tip – Expiration Dates Are Just a Guideline

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

fred meyer milk sale

A couple of months, weeks, days, ahem, awhile ago, I was listening to an NPR article on food expiration dates.  Did you know there is a company {National Food Lab} entirely devoted to testing foods and its expiration?  They do all sorts of crazy things, like heat it up to 90 degrees, and test it {read:  eat it} loooong after the supposed expiration date.  Could you imagine having that job–tasting potentially rotten food?  Eeek!

The article went on to suggest that expiration dates on food are just a guideline on the life of given products.  In fact, companies include the expiration dates on their products just to preserve their integrity and reputation for quality.  It is not a hard and fast date.  Their suggestion?  Smell it.  If it smells “off”, toss it.  Taste it.  If it tastes “off”, toss it.  {I suppose next they’ll be suggesting that we check the weather by looking out the window? Ha!}

campbell's soup cans

The article mentioned that canned food in particular holds up to the test of time way longer than the date stamped on the bottom. {Researchers tasted a 40 year old bite of previously unopened canned corn, and found it tasted fine.  Though, after analysis it had lost some of its nutritional value.  Okay, now even I wouldn’t do that.

The real threat to food is salmonella, bacteria, and E. Coli.  They can be present in food that is improperly canned, stored, or washed from day one.

albertsons shopping trip mavis

As I listened to the article, I thought to myself, how much food have I wasted by tossing it just because of the date on the package?!   Worse, how much money have I wasted?

What do YOU think? Do you throw away food simply because the date stamped on the package says the food is expired? Or do you think it’s okay to eat food past it’s expiration date?

~ 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.



Mavis Garden Blog – Making Rock Borders in the Garden

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mavis garden blog

I spent most of yesterday afternoon in the garden. Moving rocks from one side of the garden to the other and beefing up my rock borders. I’m still not finished yet, but it’s totally more fun then suiting up and going to a gym that’s for sure.

mavis black australorp chicken

The idea is to have this project done by the end of the month. But with the chickens scratching close by every time I lift a rock, it’s taking a little longer than it should. Black Fatty and Baby Fat are pretty determined to gobble up every single worm as I grab rocks to fill my bucket.

large rock

Every once in awhile I came across a rock too big for the rock borders lining the garden path.

chicken flower bulbs

And I had  absolutely no idea what I was going to do with them until I noticed squireely trying to sample some of my flower bulbs.
rock garden

And then it hit me.

rock border around a tree

Add a rock border around the ceder tree.

Will this keep the chickens out? No way. But it does add a little definition to the landscape, and most importantly, I’m a few rocks closer to making room for a new garden bed.

Yee-Haw. Come on Spring, I’m ready for you!

~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 Grow Your Own Food – 2013 Garden Tally

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mavis butterfield garden blog{Pulling Carrots – August 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 plant herb

Sadly there was nothing to harvest in the garden this past week, but I did notice the oregano I transplanted last fall is coming back to life again. If you have never grown oregano before, you should really consider it. I’m not sure if it’s a perennial everywhere, but  I’ve had this same oregano plant for as long as I can remember. It seems like it’s another one of those herbs you just can’t kill, no matter how much you neglect it.

Here is what I have harvested so far this year:

beets

Beets - 14 ounces

I think this year I am going to try and grow at least 100 pounds of beets. Last year I was able to grow 58+ pounds with out even really trying. This time around though I’m going to show some restraint and let them get nice and fat before I harvest them

egg count 2013

Egg Count – 81 {2.7 per day average}

I’m patiently waiting for all of the baby chicks we brought home last October to start laying. There have been some tiny eggs in the nesting boxes, but from what I can tell only 2 of them are layers so far. Black Fatty only lays occasionally so it’s pretty much up to Martha, and Coo Koo to deliver the eggs until the wee ones start.

cool kitchen scale

Potatoes – 2 pounds 9 ounces

Does anyone know of a good place to order seed potatoes online? Every place I have looked is pretty darn expensive, so I may just have to wait until Wilco gets them in this spring and hope the selection is decent.

bean sprouts

Sprouts - 8 ounces – I’m trying a new sprout this week. I’ll let you know how it goes.

cut wheatgrass

Wheatgrass - 2 ounces

Not only is growing wheatgrass cool, it’s good for you too. I started a boat load of wheatgrass about 10 days ago and need to harvest it today and make some smoothies. I’m not exactly sure what else I’m suppose to do with it, but it sure is fun to grow.

Total Food Harvested in 2013: 4 pounds 1 ounces

Total Eggs Collected in 2013: 81

Have YOU been able to harvest anything yet this year? If so, what?

~Mavis

The Week-by-Week Vegetable Gardener’s Handbook - Amazon

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 – Free Kindle Books, India Tree, Valentine’s Day, Toilet Paper, Cascade, Jamba Juice, Coupons

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mavis butterfield

Well Hello Wednesday! Is the week really half over already? Temps up here in the Pacific Northwest are finally creeping their way back up and it looks like we will have highs around 50 all week. Yes there will be rain. But hay, at least it’s not freezing cold anymore.

Here are a few deals, as always, I’ll update this list as I find more deals throughout the morning so be sure and check back.

free kindle booksFree Kindle Books

Organize The Nancy Way
How To Produce 15-25 Pounds Of Tomatoes PER PLANT
Stop Feeling Lazy: How To Break The Procrastination Cycle Once And For All And Excel
The Unofficial Guide to Nutella
How To Make Amazing Lunches – Top 30 Fast, Easy & Delicious Meal Recipes Volume 2
25 of the Most Poisonous Animals in the World!

The prices on Free Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while they are free!

Wilton From The Heart Nesting Cookie Cutter Set

If you plan on baking some Valentine cookies this year, Amazon has the Wilton Heart Nesting Cookie Cutter Set in stock and ready to ship. We have these cookie cutters and use them all the time.

india tree sugar sprinkles

If you bake a lot of cookies {and I do mean a lot} you may want to invest in some tubs of India Tree Sprinkles and Sugars. The quality is top of the line and if you are a perfectionist, the Fondant & Icing Sugar is perfect if you are trying to get those Martha Stewart quality cookies.

sur la table sale

Sur La Table is having an awesome sale with savings up to 60% off. Plus you can score free shipping on purchases over $59 when you use code 245531 at check out.

Amazon also has Angel Soft, Double Rolls, for as low as $21.63/ $.21 per single roll shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at check out along with the $1.00 off ecoupon you see below.

Go HERE to get this Angel Soft Toilet Paper Deal

Cascade Complete All-in-1 ActionPacs Dishwasher Detergent, Fresh Scent, 30.5 Oz, 48-Count $9.42 shipped when you clip the cascade coupon HERE and use the subscribe and save option at check out.

 Find More Detergent Deals

amazon local

Amazon Local is offering a FREE Voucher to purchase a one select eBook from the Amazon kindle store for $1. Enjoy a good page turner from the Amazon Kindle Store. Go HERE to get this deal.

new balance runnign shoe woman's

Joe’s New Balance Outlet has these pink and white Woman’s New Balance 580 trainers on sale for $29.99. Cute!

New York Photo Customers can purchase customized Valentine Mugs for just $1.00 each, plus shipping costs. You will also get 40 free York Photo Prints when you register.

Create your customized mug and use Coupon Code 1MUG at checkout. Go HERE for this deal.

Jamba Juice Sweepstakes

How would you like to win a years supply of Jamba Juice Smoothies for you and your family. Yep, we are talking about a $2,000 Jamba Juice Gift Card! Wow! Head on over HERE to enter.

Stonyfield Organic Oikos Yogurt

Save 55¢ off Stonyfield Organic Oikos Yogurt when you buy any TWO (2) 5.3oz cups OR ONE (1) 16oz

$1.00 off any ONE Garnier Fructis Shampoo$1.00 off TWO (2) COUNTRY-TIME or TANG Drink Mixes$1.00 off 14-oz. Spot Shot carpet stain remover
There are a new coupons available for Garnier Fructis, Country Time, Tang and Spot Shot carpet stain remover.

Alright, I’m off to go make some tea.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, see you back in a bit.

♥ Mavis

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.

Mavis Mail | Gardening in Alaska – Ted Sends in His Photographs

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

garden growing food in straw bales

Ted from Alaska writes:

My wife and I live in Interior Alaska. Attached are some pictures of winter squash and leeks on top of greens that we produced, only a small part of the average of approximately $850 worth of produce (after expenses) that we grow in the back yard of our suburban plot.

straw bale garden

We compensate for our cold ground by using raised beds. We have moved several times and the soil has always been less than perfect so I now have a system. The first year, we use bales of hay to make raised beds, filling the bales with commercial soil. We plant in the soil as well as in holes gouged into the bales.

winter squash picture

As you can see, we get a good harvest. After a few years, the straw rots down and we have some great soil. The fall before I am ready to knock down the straw beds, I build permanent wood raised beds (3 feet high, 8 or 10 feet long and 3 feet wide).

garden boxes

All fall and winter we throw compostable materials into the empty permanent boxes. In the spring, we throw the rotted straw and the dirt they enclosed into the permanent beds, right on top of the compost materials.

Over the years the materials under the dirt compost down slightly, but this is compensated for by the new compost I spread around all of my growing plants—which builds up the soil levels at the same time.

Way to go Ted! I had no idea you could grow so many awesome vegetables in ALASKA. You rock!

~Mavis

fresh leeks

If you would like to have your garden, or chicken coop featured on One Hundred Dollars a Month, here’s what I’m looking for:

  • Your Garden Pictures and Tips – I’d especially like to see your garden set ups, growing areas, and know if you are starting seeds indoors this year. If so,  show me some picture of how you are going about it.
  • Your Chicken and Chicken Related Stories – Coops, Chicks, Hen’s, Roosters, Eggs, you name it. If it clucks, send us some pictures to share with the world.

If I feature your pictures and the stories behind them on One Hundred Dollars a Month, I will send you a $20.00 gift card to the greatest store in the world: Amazon.com.

Go  HERE for the official rules.

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.

Super Bowl Recipes: Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

Recipe Bacon Wrapped Jalapenos

These bacon wrapped jalapenos are just about the easiest appetizer on the planet to make. There are only 3 ingredients, and once you start popping these babies, good luck stopping.

Ingredients

12 jalapenos, halved and seeded
8 oz cream cheese, softened
12 slices bacon, sliced and cut in half

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cut the jalapenos in half, length-wise and remove the seeds and membrane. Stuff the inside of the halved jalapeno pepper with cream cheese and wrap with 1/2 a slice of bacon. Secure the bacon and jalapeno with a toothpick.

Bake in a grill pan {or a pan with a rack} for 20-25 minutes until the bacon is cooked but not too crispy.

Serve immediately!

cast iron grill panIf you are looking for a good, quality grill pan, Amazon currently has the Lodge Logic Pre-Seasoned Square Grill Pan in stock and ready to ship.

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 Do I Know What Variety of Tomato to Grow? Determinate Vs. Indeterminate Tomatoes

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

heirloom tomatoes tomato jam

It’s almost time to start those tomato seeds!

If you are new to gardening, choosing a variety of tomato you want to grow can be a wee bit overwhelming–but no worries, Mavis is here to help.  {I’m using the term “help” loosely.}

First, decide what you will mostly be using your tomatoes for {i.e. for canning or fresh in your salads, etc.}.  Second, knowing the difference between a determinate and indeterminate varieties helps you decide how much space you’ll need to grow the tomatoes and whether they’ll serve your purpose.

Determinate tomatoes tend to ripen all at once, over a period of 1-2 weeks, bearing one large crop.  They are smaller, at about 3′-4′ {they are sometimes referred to as a bush tomato}.  If you are growing your tomatoes in a container, determinate tomatoes are probably your best bet. Romas, most paste tomatoes, Better Bush, Ace and Silvery Fir are all examples of determinate tomatoes.

Indeterminate tomatoes bear fruit throughout the season.  They typically have longer vines {they get 6′-12′ tall}, so they require a bit more space.  They also need quite a bit of support {plus staking them to keep the fruit off the ground will prevent all sorts of rot problems}.  Cherry tomatoes, Red & Yellow Pear, Brandywine, Beefstake, Sun Gold, and most Heirloom varieties are indeterminate.

When you are ordering your seeds, you can typically find DET or INDET on the packet somewhere, letting you know what variety you are dealing with.

These are the tomatoes I will be growing in my garden this year:

Hope this helps, and let me know what variety YOU will be choosing this year.

~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.

Reclaimed Food Show and Tell

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

how to find free food

I was going to sit here and tell you I didn’t keep the cantaloupe melon because all the bottoms were soft and mushy. And how the majority of the grapes had brown spots on them, and how after a long weekend I didn’t feel like picking through them for the potential keepers.

I was also going to mention that although there was an entire case of lettuce, I only kept a few heads for my family, and divided up the rest between our chickens and Girly Girls, and that the mangos looked a little iffy so I passed on salvaging them for smoothies.

I think I was going to complain.

But once the pictures were on my computer screen, my mind went immediately to the book I had finished on the plane ride home from Denver. The Glass Castle. Have you read it?

how to find free produce

It put a whole different perspective on the fruit and vegetables I had kept.

I bet if the Walls children had come across these same 3 boxes of discard produce, they would have sat there and ate every single piece of their bounty. And here I was, giving most of it away to our pet chickens.

~Mavis

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

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 – Free Kindle Books, Special K Cereal, Lipton Tea, Measuring Cups, Cool Signs, La Cucina Italiana

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

mornings with mavis

Happy Tuesday!

Here are a few deals I spotted for you. As always, I’ll update this list as I find more deals throughout the morning so be sure and check back.

free kindle booksFree Kindle Books

The Big Book of American Trivia
Tomato Container Gardening: The Easy Way To Grow Tomatoes In A Small Space
Appetizers – Easy Game Day Appetizers From Sweet Southern Mama
Vegan Pasta Cookbook
35 Easy Casserole Recipes- The Easy Casseroles Recipe Collection
How to Cook Delicious Vegetarian Super Snacks & Munchies

The prices on Free Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while they are free!

lipton tea box

Amazon currently has Lipton Iced Black Tea Mix Pitcher Packets, Tea and Honey, Peach Apricot, 6-Count {Pack of 12} – $7.73/ $.64 per box shipped when you clip the $1.00 Lipton Tea Coupon.

lipton tea coupon
Simply clip the coupon and the discount comes off at checkout!

special K cereal coupon kelloggs

Amazon currently has a bunch of Kellogg’s Special K Cereal on sale for just $2 a box shipped when buy a 4-pack and use the subscribe and save option at checkout. Go HERE to see the selection.

measuring cups and spoons

Amazon has the 8-Piece Deluxe Stainless Steel Measuring Cup and Measuring Spoon Set on sale right now for $7.55.

amazon local deals

Amazon Local is offering Personalized 8×8 Story Book Plus Free Shipping for $16 and also $40 to Spend on Tech Cases, Accessories, and More from Incase Designs for $20.

bathroom signs for kids

Zulily has some adorable signs available right now. I found these under their Vinyl Crafts Section. There are many more signs for the kitchen and home. Head on over HERE to see the whole collection

Patagonia Capilene1 SW Stretch T-Shirt

6pm has Patagonia – Capilene 1 SW Stretch T-Shirts on sale for $13.05 shipped. These are great for working out.

The FREE TurboTax Offer is back for 2013. If you are looking for FREE Tax Software for 2013, this is it! File your 2013 federal taxes for FREE with Turbo Tax.

la-cucina-italiana-magazine-271x350

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to La Cucina Italiana Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code 3828 at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 1/29/2013 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

wholly guacamole sweepstakes

Want to win a $250 worth of free groceries from Wholly Guacamole? Head on over HERE to enter.

$1.00 off 2 BIC Stationery productsnaturally-rising-freschetta-pizza

There are new coupons available for $1/2 Bic Pens and $1.00 off Freschetta Pizza.

Alright, I’m off to go make some tea.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, see you back in a bit.

♥ Mavis

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.

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

  • Like on Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Print Friendly and PDF
  • Pin It

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree Container

On Friday, Gustav my handsome UPS driver delivered a Meyer Lemon Tree to our house. Sadly, I wasn’t home so I didn’t get a chance to thank him. I have mail ordered strawberry plants and blueberry bushes before, but never trees, so I was a little apprehensive even after I received a glowing recommendation about Fast Growing Trees from a friend.

meyer lemon tree in box fast growing trees

After drooling over the picture of Erin’s Lemon Tree she sent in, I knew I didn’t want to start with an itty bitty one. So I took the plunge and ordered a 5-6 foot tall tree and crossed my fingers. I placed my order on a Monday, and it arrived on a Friday. How’s that for fast shipping.

The tree arrived in perfect condition, and I was amazed.

meyer lemon tree flower buds

Not only did the tree arrive in perfect condition, there were tons of lemon buds.

meyer lemon tree root ball

The root ball was even perfect. Seriously. I don’t think I am going to be hauling fruit trees in the back of my car anymore. This online ordering stuff is totally the way to go.

green pot

I picked up this handsome pot at the Home Depot this afternoon.

DIY How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

Did I mention I named my tree Lemon {after Tina Fey’s character in 3rd Rock}?

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container

Once my tree was shipped, Pam over at Fast Growing Trees sent me an email with planting instructions.

Cool Container + Soil + Meyer Lemon Tree = Lemons.

Let the count down begin!

~Mavis

P.S. Do you name your plants too? Or is that just weird?

How to Plant a Meyer Lemon Tree in a Container Indoors

Planting in a container

Begin by selecting a container with drainage holes in the bottom.
Do not plant in containers that are too big for the tree because it makes the soil moisture levels harder to control with smaller trees.

Choose a sandy based potting medium that might contain perlite or vermiculite and is well drained.
Add water slowly to your container a make sure it is draining well.
During the warmer months when temperatures are above 40 degrees, place outside in an area with full sun. Citrus trees prefer at least 8-12 hours of direct sunlight.
Make sure to avoid shocking your tree by slowly transitioning it to less sun before you bring it inside. Place the tree in partial sun for a week or so; this helps it transition from the outdoors to indoors. Conversely place the tree in shade for a week before transitioning to outdoors in the spring.
When temperatures begin to drop below 40 degrees, bring your inside and place near a sunny window.
Citrus trees will drop their leaves if the humidity grows too low in an indoor environment – ideal humidity should be 45-50%. Use a humidifier if necessary.

Fertilizing, Mulching, and Watering
Do not fertilize until new growth appears. After, fertilize once per month between February and October.
Choose a fertilizer that is specifically suited for citrus trees. Use a fertilizer that is higher in Nitrogen, such as a 2-1-1 ratio. Follow instructions carefully on the packaging.
Do not mulch your citrus trees. This will cause mold to form on the trunk of the tree.
Give your tree frequent “deep” watering for at least the first year – 1/4 – 1/2 gallon every 5-7 days.
Water at ground level. Make sure you check the wetness of the soil at root level before watering.
Do not over-water. Allow the first two to three inches of topsoil to dry out between watering times. Check it with your finger. If it’s still wet, don’t water.

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