How Much Is Your Time Worth?

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mavis butterfield one hundred dollars a month

Even though I have five years of blogging under my belt, there is one type of comment I get from time to time that I still have no idea how to answer:

I really enjoy your site– you have a lot of great tips to share. One thing I’ve thought about though: how much is your time worth? Of course we all have finite life spans so everything we do is a tradeoff– a portion of our precious life in exchange for something. But on the less philosophical side, how many hours do you spend in gardening, canning, freezing, coupon clipping, etc. , as well as how much money spent on gas/electricity to run a larger freezer, heat canning stuff, etc?

If you subtract the extra money you spend on energy from what you save per month, then divide the result by how many hours you spend in money-saving activities how much per hour you are earning/saving?

Which is more beneficial in terms of dollars per hour– working extra hours at a job or working those hours at home and in your garden to save money? (Not that everything comes down to money— sometimes the satisfaction that comes with accomplishing or creating something is more of a reward than money).

~Beth

canning beets

When I get a comment like that, it is really one of the most difficult for me to answer. Because the answer is complex and personal and unique to just me. Let’s face it, I march to the beat of my own drum. Who else do you know crazy enough to grow 2,000lbs of food in their backyard and try to live on $100 a month and actually find a TON of joy in that. I know that sentiment is not shared by many.

It’s possible I have a few screws loose! So for that reason, I want to scream from the rooftop every time someone asks me a similar question {and it’s more often than you’d imagine}: it’s TOTALLY worth it to me.

My gut instinct is to say I’d spend twice as much time doing just what I do because I love it. I love this lifestyle and I love gardening and I love feeling the dirt between my fingers and knowing I’m doing right by my family.

I SERIOUSLY ENJOY IT. And you really can’t put a price tag on that.

Don’t get me wrong, I do get where people are coming from. I had a friend once who bought a fixer-upper house with her husband a few years back. They decided to do all the work themselves to save money on the renovations. They put so much sweat, tears and hours into that house that when they were done, both would tell you that is wasn’t worth it at all and if they had to do it again, they’d hire almost all of it out. The reason? They didn’t love what they were doing. At all. I do!

A great example of the opposite of that would be my friend Jennifer’s cousin Zoë. She cooks from scratch, cans her extra garden produce, makes oodles of handmade quilts for her home and her shop on Etsy, She’s amazing. And I bet if we were to add up the hours she spends doing those “chores,” it might seem like a waste of time on paper.

But it’s not to her. And it certainly isn’t to me. I know that might seem crazy to some, but if you’re doing something that gives you joy, it becomes less about how much it’s saving you. The fact that I do save a ton of money doing what I do is a big fat bonus. The icing on the cake really.

primitive hooked star rug

We all do all things because we like to do them, not because it’s necessarily cheaper, faster or easier. But because our time is worth something to us. The time, heart and energy I put into something is worth more than the money I can swap out of my bank account for something cheaper off the shelf at Walmart.

Pretty much these days about 75% of what I do is accomplishing or creating something that means more to me than money. Sometimes price tags just don’t matter!

Life is short.

Be happy.

DO WHAT YOU LOVE.

~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.



Organization Tip – Storing Hair Elastics

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Organization Tip - Storing Hair Elastics

I don’t know about you, but if I let it get out of control, I can find hair elastics in every drawer, table, bag, etc. in my house.  Even when I try to throw them into a container in the drawer, I swear, they grow legs and walk all over the house.  Well, no more, my friends.  No more.  I am taking a stand.

To keep your hair elastics in one easy to reach place, try buying a carabiner and feeding the elastics onto it.

How easy and tidy is that?  I got one for me and The Girl {it’s perfect for The Girl in her dorm where organization will be key to keeping track of everything in such a small space}.  Organization rules.

~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.

Should I Remove the Rings From My Canning Jars?

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Should I Remove the Rings From My Canning Jars

Now that canning is in full swing, I thought I would address whether or not you should remove the rings from canning jars after the jars have been processed.  I know that a lot of people don’t remove them–and they have been totally fine after years and years of canning.  BUT, the short answer to the question is still yes, you really should remove the rings.

The rings are really only designed to keep the lid on during the processing and cooling part of canning.  After that, they only provide a false sense of food safety, by giving the illusion of a good seal.  Once jars are cooled, take the rings off and store the jars {don’t stack them–that can also affect the seal}.   When a canned good does not have a good seal, eventually the lid will start to lift off of the jar.  When the band is on, it can prevent the lifting–making you think the food is still sealed.

canning{photo credit MamasMinutia}

In addition to giving the illusion of a good seal, the rings can rust.  Rust leads to a nightmare of a time getting the rings off when it is actually time to eat whatever is in the jar.  It also really shortens the life of the rings, and why spend money replacing something if you don’t have to?

I know the jars won’t look as pretty on the shelf without the traditional canning ring band, but seriously, in the end, it is a safety issue for you and your family.  And, the good news is that in the end, it will save you time and money.  No more trying to pry off stuck on rings–and no more purchasing excess rings, just new lids.

Happy canning,

~Mavis

Hot-Water-Bath-Canning-Tutorial

Need help getting started on the canning process?  Go HERE to find out how to can with a water bath or go HERE to find out how to can with a pressure canner.

Know how to can but need some new recipes?  Check out my canning recipes HERE.

 

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 27 of 52

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ben and jerrys ice cream

Albertsons $12.45

When it’s 90 degrees outside it’s all about priorities, right? ;)

The HH was really craving Haagen Daz Ice Cream Bars but Albertsons was having a buy 5 get ice cream for $2.49 sale on the Ben and Jerry’s and Klondike Bars so that’s what we picked up instead.

tillamook yogurt

Albertsons $5.79

Yogurt for Monkey Boy and cheddar cheese for Homemade Macaroni and Cheese.

homegrown raspberries and vegetables

Backyard Garden

I don’t know about you but I LOVE the summer months. Even though I don’t have a huge garden this year, it’s still pretty amazing what we can harvest around here on a daily basis. I harvested all these lovely fruits and vegetables last night right before dinner. Multiply that by 7 and it’s pretty easy to see how we can shave some serious money off our grocery list in the summer and fall months.

Gardening is rad. There’s no doubt about it.

smith brothers milk

Smith Brothers Milk Delivery - Sponsored

I didn’t add anything fancy to our order this week, just the basics. ;) Did you know that Smith Brother’s Farm was voted the 2014 Plant of the Year by Dairy Foods? How cool is that? I think “ll order some chocolate milk for Monkey Boy and some cottage cheese for the HH for net week. We’ll see.

How did you do this week? Do you find yourself hanging out in the ice cream section at your local grocery store this time of year too? What’s your favorite way to cool down in the summer months?

Mavis wants to know.

Total Spent This Week $18.24
Total Spent This Year $984.86
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.

Free Kindle Books, Calvin Klein Cami Tops, Mozzarella Cheese, Sponges, Coupons and More

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coleus

Happy Monday!

We had a major thunderstorm last night and it drenched the yard. Sweet diggity! You know what this means right? I get to take a few days off from watering the garden. Weeee! What will I ever do with all my free time? ;)

Have a great day everyone,

Mavis

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - InSinkErator Evolution Excel 1-HP Garbage Disposer

free kindle books

Available Kindle Books I think are cool…

The prices on Kindle Books can change quickly, so grab them while you can. Don’t have a Kindle? Download the kindle app on your other devices. It’s easy.

cherry pitter

Looking for a cherry pitter? This OXO Good Grips Cherry and Olive Pitter is the #1 selling pitter on Amazon.

amazon dealsGet free shipping on all these items:

how-to-make-mozzarella-cheeseHave you ever made your own cheese before? If you have kids home for summer, I think this would be such a fun project to have them help you with!! Find out How to Make Your Own Mozzarella Cheese HERE or Pin it for later. Find more cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board.

mini spatulas

Get a Set of 6 Silicone Spatulas for just $7.29. {I think I might have to grab these!}

rei sale

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Thru July 18, save even more on already low-priced REI-OUTLET gear & clothing

calvin klein tank

6pm has some great Cami Tops on sale today – Perfect for summer!

FK_FBK_Sweetie_BOGO_15RO_300x250_mn_020414Get two COMPLETE outfits for kids for only $29.95 shipped right to your door from FabKids. Love it – stay in the FabKids club to get playfully styled outfits, year-round. Don’t love it – cancel anytime for any reason with absolutely no strings attached. No penalties. No problem. Get your FabKids offer HERE.

tennis magazine cover

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Runner’s World Magazine for $5.99 or Tennis Magazine for only $4.50 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 7/14/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Low-Sugar-Strawberry-Jam-Recipe-Pomonas-PectinIf you’re in jam making mode, check out this recipe for Low Sugar Strawberry Jam or Pin it for later.

Scotch Brite Anti Bacterial Heavy Duty Sponge

Get a 21 pack of Scotch-Brite Heavy Duty Scrub Sponges for just $12.53 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout on Amazon. This price beats Costco!

arm-and-hammer-laundry-detergent coupon

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 27 of 52

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menu plan ideasEven 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:

Homemade-Poppy-Seed-MuffinsBreakfast Ideas 

Traditional Raisin Scones – Nothing says a summer morning like some tea and scones.  {Pin for Later}
Rustic Apple Galette – This makes an awesome Saturday morning breakfast.  The whole family will love you for it.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Poppy Seed Muffins – Make ‘em now, and then sleep in while the kids “get their own breakfast.”  {Pin for Later}
Blueberry Banana Smoothie - Blueberries have officially hit the stores in my neck of the woods.  It’s the perfect time to whip up these smoothies.  {Pin for Later}

Egg and Cheese English MuffinsSlow Cooker  and Freezer Meal Ideas

Taco Soup – If taco night needs a twist, try making this soup.  All the goodness of tacos packed into a delicious soup.  {Pin for Later}
Slow Cooker Mushroom Chicken – This is the perfect recipe for nights when you just need everything to be easy.  {Pin for Later}
Roadside Sliders - Handmade hamburger patties, ready to grill when you are.  {Pin for Later}
Egg and Cheese Muffins – This is another perfect option for quick and easy make head camping breakfasts.  {Pin for Later}

baked tomatoes

Soups , Salads and Main Dish Ideas

BBQ Salmon With Brown Sugar and Soy Sauce – This is my favorite way to eat salmon.  It’s perfect for grilling season.  {Pin for Later}
Baked Tomatoes with Pine Nuts and Basil - These are awesome along side some BBQ’d chicken.  {Pin for Later}
Chicken and Kale Enchilada Recipe – This is a great way to hide kale.  You still get the nutritional punch without the bitter taste.  {Pin for Later}
Maple Soy Chicken Thighs – For a summer variation, throw these on the BBQ instead of in the oven.  {Pin for Later}

Vegan Recipe - Chocolate Coconut Ice CreamCookies,  Snacks and Desserts

Vegan Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream – This ice cream not only tastes awesome, it’s also super rich and creamy.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Peanut Butter - Slather it on crackers, save it for lunches, dip apples in it, or just eat it with a spoon.  {Pin for Later}
Homemade Marshmallows – Perfect for s’mores season.  {Pin for Later}
Dehydrated Kiwi Fruit - These are a tasty on-the-go snack.  {Pin for Later}

easy peach freezer jam recipeCanning Recipe of the Week

Easy Peach Freezer Jam - I love freezer jams, no standing over a hot pot of boiling water!  {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.

Mavis Butterfield | Backyard Garden Pictures 7/13/14

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old watering cans red wheelbarrow

Did I tell you my 50 foot hose has gone missing?

Seriously, how does a hose disappear? I’m sure it will resurface at some point but with the weather in the 80′s and 90′s around here lately, watering the garden has turned into a major chore. I have to make at least 5 trips with the wheelbarrow loaded up with watering cans just to water my garden beds properly.

Sure I’m getting a great workout… but c’mon. What a pain!

onions and beans

I feel like it’s the year of the slacker. And let me tell you Bob, I’m embracing it. My garden might be small this year, but I keep telling myself  that it’s okay. Next year I’ll have more time {and energy} to spend on it. Right? I’m trying not to beat myself up about it too much but for someone with major OCD, it’s hard. ;)

cascadia raspberriesThe raspberries.

Oh my. There are tons of them this year. Tons I tell you. Tons. And the strange this is, the HH keeps asking me about them. “Did you pick the raspberries today? What are you going to do with the raspberries? Did you put raspberries in my lunch? Maybe you should freeze the extra raspberries.”

It doesn’t freaking stop.

When did he become a gentleman farmer? Is this what I have to look forward to in my old age? Am I going to have to give him a little plot of his own to take care of? I take a year off from gardening and he suddenly becomes an expert.

head of cabbage

I even caught him harvesting a cabbage the other day.

magnum glass greenhouse

I just hope he doesn’t wander into the greenhouse anytime soon because it’s a real mess in there. Seriously. I’m going to stop typing right now and get out there and clean it up a bit before I get busted by the HH.

Peace Out Girl Scouts. Have a great Sunday.

~Mavis

This years garden is being sponsored by the folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2014 Garden Seed Catalog HERE.

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.

Chocolate Zucchini Waffles

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zucchini waffles

Zucchini waffles? Where have I been? Have you guys heard of these? Have you been making them for years while I live under a rock? I’ve made all sorts of zucchini baked goods: cakes, muffins, breads, etc. But never waffles. My family couldn’t get enough of them and have requested breakfast for dinner so I make them again. Tonight.

zucchini plant

Ingredients

6 tablespoons {3/4 stick} butter, melted
3 cups buttermilk {How to Make Buttermilk}
5 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
4 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda {15 Cool Uses for Baking Soda}
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini, juices pressed out

zucchini waffles recipe

Directions

Combine butter, buttermilk, eggs, and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, mix all dry ingredients together before mixing wet and dry ingredients just until combined. Stir in the zucchini, and mix just until incorporated. Let mixture sit and rest for at least 15 minutes. Preheat waffle iron {medium heat if you have an adjustable waffle iron} and grease with butter if necessary.

Pour 1/2 cup of mix onto each square, close and let cook until no longer doughy in the middle & nice & golden brown. Serve with butter or syrup or powdered sugar or butter and syrup and powdered sugar. You decide the level of sugar high you want. ;)

zucchini waffles

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.

Monthly Garden Chores for July – East Coast Edition

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This is a guest post written by my buddy Heather from Massachusetts. I thought it would be fun this year to post Monthly Garden Chores from both the West Coast and East Coast. You can see my garden plans for my Seattle, Washington garden HERE.

Heather1

Geeez, June just FLEW by!  And it was a little bizarre here in New England. The weather seemed to be up, down, sideways and all around! Hurricane Arthur just a few days ago made it swing from 90 degrees down to 65 degrees in a 24 hour time period. Needless to say, the eggplants and hot peppers are having a bit of a hard time.  Others, like my tomatoes, raspberry bushes, and peas are having a grand ol’ time – the temperature swings don’t seem to bother them at all.

Seeds I’m Starting Indoors this Month

Instead of starting a winter garden this fall, I’ll continue on my quest for awesome soil. Last year I amended my garden soil with copious amounts of manure and leaves to each garden box, and this year I’ll do a cover crop.

heather2

Can you BELIEVE the stores are stocking up on back-to-school supplies?!!  It’s true; I just saw it today {my plan is to ignore this intrusion on my summer until September}. But it got me thinking, if the retail season is shifting, that means it’s time for me to clean up on gardening sales, especially potting soil, vermiculite, and peat moss for early spring/grow light seed starting {check out how to make your own potting soil HERE}. I learned last year that if you are looking for potting soil supplies in February it’ll be tough going to find any.

I also need a few more large tomato cages. Why is it that you can never have enough tomato cages? Coming up in the next couple of months the garden boxes I like will drop in price also, by like $10-$15! Plus, this week I’ll be heading to the feed store for a chicken water heater, hopefully catching it at a sale price still.heather3

What I Harvested Last Month

Oooh, yes – the best part of the season! So far we’ve harvested cilantro (and frozen it in water cubes). heather4

Mint, chocolate mint, oregano, and thyme. We’ve gotten quite a bit of strawberries from our two pallets but they seem to systematically disappear, and by systematically I mean every time my daughter goes out to the garden ;)   heather5

I’ve pulled all the garlic and it’s drying on a rack in the garage. I use it primarily for spaghetti sauce so I really think this will be enough for the whole year! And peas, I almost forgot about the peas – so many peas.  heather6
What I Plan to Harvest This Month

This month I’ll be harvesting more herbs. I’m hoping to provide enough for the whole year and Christmas presents. Plus, a handful of blueberries, raspberries, carrots, and a few tomatoes hopefully.
heather7Canning
In June I took my daughter to one of the local farms and we picked 8lbs of strawberries to can. I’d never made strawberry jam before, let alone canned it, so I wanted to start small. Let.me.tell.you.bob it was DELICIOUS. And surprisingly easy. My daughter and I picked the berries, and my son and I canned the jam. All in all an awesome day.
heather8

Houseplants and Indoor Bulbs

Good news! Poor lemon, I thought he’d succumbed to a massive scale infestation, but in a brilliant moment {before I threw him out} I scraped the stem – it was green underneath! Which means, lemon was still alive and kickin’. So I trimmed the top two feet off leaving the main stem about a foot out of the pot, fertilized him and it started sprouting new stems and leaves. Lemon is back in the game folks!heather9

Trees and Shrubs

The “container” raspberries are growing like gangbusters in the over-sized container, and they look really lush and green. The blueberry bushes are growing fine but they fell victim to the caterpillars that ravage our greenery every year. I was able to catch it early and sprayed them with an organic oil compound {I like this one}, which saved some of them. I’ll probably only get a handful of blueberries this year. That’s gonna be one sweet handful though {assuming I get to them before the kids that is ;) }.heather10Weed and Pest Control

Sadly I just spied some critters on my tomatoes {spider mites maybe?} and something eating my potatoes {little worm-like things}. So its that time of year to get defensive and keep a keen eye out for any problems before they get out of control.  I think I’ll be able to nip them in the bud with an organic treatment like this one before they destroy my plants.

On the upside, my plan for total chipmunk domination is coming along nicely. Project marigold is working! First I planted marigolds in each corner of each box. Next I planted a barrier of marigolds between the rock wall {where they lived} and the garden.

The local coyotes are not around this year which means there TONS of rabbits. And my unfenced garden has not had one nibble…all because I picked up strangers hair in a bag {barf} and sprinkled around the perimeter of the garden! True story.

heather11Lawn Care

Earlier in the year, when I was putting together my winter sowing buckets I had a grand plan to dig up the front hedge and build a lavender hedge. So far so good, although it will probably be next summer before it gets very big and full like I’d like it.

Alls well in New England’s gardens. Speaking of New England, a Mavis reader suggested I check out this book The New England Gardener’s Year and it is REALLY helpful! If you live in MA, RI, ME, VT, NH, CT or NY, this book is worth looking into.
Happy July Everyone!! Whooo-hooo it’s summah!

**These garden chores are based on my Zone 5b Southeast/Boston MA location. Find your garden zone HERE.

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 7/12/14

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mavis butterfield instagramMavis Butterfield on InstagramFollow me as I share a picture a day in 2014.

Monthly Garden Chores - July

Garden Updates

Make Your Own Vitamin Water

Recipes

canadian mounted police

Mornings with Mavis 

How to Dye a Comforter Set Using Rit Liquid Dye

Tips and Tricks

ask mavis

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.

Recipes Garden Frugal Canning Chickens Travel