Gap Essential Long Sleeve Shirts $4.20, Gorgeous Flowers, Cheese Coupons, Valentine’s and More

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oscillation

Word of the Day: Oscillation Definition: a swinging back and forth. Used in a sentence: The oscillation of the pendulum pleased the child.

Happy Tuesday! Anyone have any cool plans today? The HH has been home sick the last few days with the most horrible cough I’ve ever heard. :( Poor thing. I’m trying to convince him to go to the Doctor’s office but he’s doing the whole tough guy bit. What is it with men? Sheesh!

Well, have a great Tuesday everyone, and stay well.

Mavis

sling box

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - Sling Media Slingbox 350 $69.99 shipped. Today only, enjoy special savings on Slingbox, which lets you watch your TV anywhere. Watch your cable or satellite subscription at your vacation home or on that TV in your bedroom or basement–all without extra monthly fees.

Amazon Bonus Deal of the Day - Withings Pulse O2 Activity, Sleep, and Heart Rate + SPO2 Tracker for iOS and Android $79.99 shipped

gap essential tee

My favorite shirt, the GAP Essential long-sleeve crew tee is on sale for as low as $4.20 today!!!!! {These are going quick and sizes are starting to sell out}

spring hill nursery

Zulily is having a huge Spring Hill Nursery Sale with savings up to 50% off. Wowie! I think I’m going to have to snag a couple of those double raspberry hydranga bushes!!! Aren’t they gorgeous? If you are new to Zulily? Go HERE to Sign Up. And then HERE to get these deals.

the best gardening books

If you are looking for a new gardening book to add to your collection, here are a few of my favorites:

 

kraft-mild-shredded-cheddar-cheese-coupon

Print a coupon good for $1.00 off any two KRAFT Natural Cheese

Introducing-New-Chickens-into-Your-Existing-Flock

Looking to get new chickens? Check out info on How to Introduce New Chickens to an Existing Flock. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about chickens and more on my Chickens Pinterest Board

waffle heart maker

Waffle hearts on Valentine’s day? Yes Please! :) Amazon currently has the Euro Cuisine Heart Shaped Waffle Maker on sale for $26.99. We had one of these when the kids were younger and they LOVED it!!

Peaceable kingdom Valentine's CardsSuper Cute Valentine Cards:

Ukala Sydney Sydney Low Boot

6pm has the Ukala Sydney Sydney Low Boot on sale for $40 shipped. {retail $80} and there are 7 different colors to choose from.

bon appetit magazine

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Bon Appetit Magazine for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 1/20/14 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Blueberry-Banana-Oat-Bread2

Blueberry and Banana Oat Bread – The combination of blueberries and bananas and sweet bread is like a heavenly explosion in your mouth. As a bonus, this recipes makes for the perfect on the go breakfast.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin for Later. Find more recipes on my Muffins and Breads Pinterest Board.

rei sale

REI Outlet Deal of the Day –  SmartWool PhD SmartLoft Divide Jacket

Pop on over to the REI Buy More Save More Sale and save big! Plus REI Members earn an additional $20 bonus card when you spend $100 or more between Jan 16th-29th, 2015.

  • 25% off one pre-tax purchase totaling $100 or more of REI Outlet products or
  • 30% off one pre-tax purchase totaling $150 or more of REI Outlet products or
  • 35% off one pre-tax purchase totaling $200 or more of REI Outlet products.

hoover carpet cleaner

Amazon currently has the Hoover Power Scrub Deluxe Carpet Washer on sale for $143.99 shipped {reg $219}. Easy to use, easy to clean two-tank system, separate clean water/solution tank and spill-free dirty water tank which includes quick pour spout for easy emptying with no mess. 

Tips for Steam Cleaning Carpets My Favorite DIY Carpet Cleaner Recipe

Save yourself a little money and make your own Carpet Cleaner.

Campbells-Condensed-Soup-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.



Cooking From Your Pantry | Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 3 of 52

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Cooking From Your Pantry  Menu Plan Ideas, Freezer Meals and Simple Recipes Week 3 of 52

Another week, another list of menu ideas. :) I don’t know about you, but all this cold and rainy weather we’ve been having has me craving soup lately. And warm cookies. Let’s not forget about those…

Here are my menu plan picks for this week:

The Best Banana Walnut Bread3 Breakfast Ideas

Broccoli, Bacon and Cheddar Quiche – I love quiche because you can make them ahead of time, and then reheat them.  We eat them a lot for dinner, but it’s also pretty awesome to wake up to a slice in the morning.  {Pin it for Later}

The Best Banana Walnut Quick Bread – Quick breads are the perfect cooking from your pantry breakfast, especially banana.  I mean, who doesn’t have bananas browning on their counter pretty much constantly?  {Pin it for Later}

Raisin Bran Muffins – This time of year puts me in a baking mood.  I get all warm and cozy in my kitchen by whipping up breakfast for the week one batch of muffins at a time.  {Pin it for Later}

tuna cassarole

4 Lunch Ideas and Dinner Ideas

Cranberry Chicken Salad – This is my favorite way to use up leftover chicken.  If you are in a rush for a weeknight meal, you can always pick up a rotisserie chicken and use that, though.{Pin it for Later}

Broccoli Cheddar Soup – Winter screams soup to me.  Plus, I like this meatless option because it’s easy on the budget.  {Pin it for Later}

The Best Tuna Casserole - This is one of those recipes that can come almost entirely from your pantry/freezer.  It’s delicious comfort food at its best.  {Pin it for Later}

Slow Cooker Savory Chicken with Tomatoes – No week is complete without a crock pot recipe.  This chicken is perfect for days where you don’t have time to gather special ingredients.  Between your freezer and your pantry, you’re probably all set.  {Pin it for Later}

German Chocolate Brownie Bars

3 Sweet Treats 

German Chocolate Brownie Bars – I am a sucker for anything coconut, and these brownie bars are to die for.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Creme Brule – My favorite thing about these scrumptious desserts is that you get to use single serve ramekins.  There is something about knowing that you get to eat the “entire dish” yourself.  {Pin it for Later}

Homemade Magic Shell - If you have ice cream in the freezer, you should totally consider making some chocolate shell to top it with.  It’s ridiculously simple to make and delightful to eat. What more could you possibly ask for in life?  {Pin it for Later}

Freezer-Meal-Taco-Casserole

Featured Freezer Meal Recipe

Taco Casserole – This is one of those meals the whole family can get behind.  {Pin it for Later}

Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam

Featured Canning Recipe 

Fast and Easy Strawberry Freezer Jam – The first round of California strawberries are starting to hit the stores, if you are low on jam, you can make a quick batch now to get you through to strawberry season.  {Pin it for Later}

What are YOU planning on making this week?

~Mavis

Find more recipes on One Hundred Dollars a Month as well as on my Pinterest Recipe Boards.

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.

20 of My Favorite Date Night Ideas for Under $20

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20 of My Favorite Date Night Ideas for Under $20

If the holidays have left you broke and in desperate need to reconnect as a couple {giving so much to “family time,” sometimes leaves very little time for  you as a couple}, there are still tons of things you can do to ignite excitement for date night without putting further strain on the budget.

Here’s my favorite ways to spend a little time with the HH for under $20:

  1. Amazon Prime or Netflix movie, a little popcorn, the couch and one blanket to share.  You don’t have to go to the movies–you can put the kids to bed and carve out time together right in your living room.
  2. Have a cook-off.  Both of you have to make something for the other person that will wow them.  I don’t know why they say food is the fastest way to a man’s heart, because this woman is pretty fond of it too.  Take the time to look up a recipe or copy-cat of their favorite restaurant.  Then, sit down and share what you’ve both created.
  3. Date night doesn’t have to be a night only thing.  Farm the kids out to friends mid-morning and do brunch.  It is usually cheaper than dinner, and you still get the chance to get out.  You can always just go grab a tea/coffee and scone if you really want to keep the cost down.
  4. Go for an evening walk together.  Put the kids to bed and take a 1/2 hour nightly stroll around the block.  It will give you both a chance to catch each other up on your days, and who knows, maybe you can even hold hands like you like each other.
  5. Hit the farmer’s market.  You can eat, stroll and talk…and eat.
  6. Game night.  It may seem lame at first, but a little competition actually fuels the fire–it reminds both of you that each of you can provide a mental challenge for the other.
  7. Have drinks on the patio.  No need to hit a bar and grill, mix up some margaritas or open a bottle of wine and chill out on your patio.  {Of course, it doesn’t have to be alcohol–mocktails, lemonade, hot chocolate…whatever floats your boat.}
  8. Become a tourist in your own town.  Chances are that you have totally free museums you’ve never even stepped foot in–go together and see what your city has to offer.
  9. Go to the bookstore.  You can each grab a stack of your personal favorites and then sink into those big arm chairs for a couple of hours.  You get a chance to spend time together and unwind at the same time.
  10. Make-out like your 16.  Yep, I said it.  If you have been married for any length of time, making-out probably doesn’t happen all that often…but seriously, have a revival.
  11. Workout together.  I know, I don’t really get this one either, but I have a friend who does P90X with her husband 3 times a week.  She says there is something about all of those endorphins and sweat.  I tell her to keep it to herself.
  12. Go to the drive-in.  When is the last time  you went to the drive-in?  Seriously, you pay by the car load, see a movie that has been out on DVD for roughly a decade, and it is awesome.
  13. Learn something new…together.  Look up free lectures.  Take a community ed class.  Sit and watch a documentary at home.  It sounds nerdy {and it is}, but you’ll be amazed at how much it gives you to talk about.
  14. Go for a drive.  Drive through neighborhoods that you’ve always dreamed about living in…or if you are lucky, drive up the coast, into the mountains.  Talk and drive.  Drive and talk.
  15. Go to a matinee.  They are cheaper, less crowded, and you still get the movie-going experience.
  16. Volunteer somewhere together.  Pick something near and dear to your hearts–the animal shelter, a food bank, etc. and volunteer together.  You’ll get all those self-righteous feel-good emotions AND get to spend time together…for free.
  17. Lay a blanket out under the stars and stargaze.  There is something laying under the stars that can start all sorts of…shenanigans.  ;)
  18. Have a chocolate tasting soiree, with just the two of you.  For $20 you can get a sampling of some pretty amazing chocolates.  Plus, they say chocolate is an aphrodisiac–which if that means it’s hard to keep your pants buttoned, I can attest to it.
  19. Watch the sunrise or sunset together.  Take time for indulgences that normal days don’t allow…together.  If it is a good date, you’ll think of each other a little bit every time you see the sunrise/sunset in the months to come.
  20. Take a bubble bath with a little bubbly.  Grab some champagne or sparkling cider and run a big over-flowing bubble bath.  It’s fun, decadent–and probably a bit out of the day to day ordinary.

How about you, do you have any favorite low-cost date night ideas to share with the class?

~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 Clear Moss for a Garden Space

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mapping out garden plot

Recently, One Hundred Dollar a Month reader, Randi, sent in a question about my plans for the mossy areas in my backyard:

“Hey Mavis.

I live north of Seattle and love your blog. I am adding to my garden space this year. That lawn/moss patch in the back is prime for a salad garden I think since it doesn”t get a ton of sun due to the green belt. I’ve been watching with interest your staking of your new garden space. What will you use for the sides of the bed and what type of soil mix will you fill it with? I’m not sure if I should rip out the grass/moss or put down weed barrier fabric or even newspaper. Thanks for your gardening wisdom!

~Randi in Mukilteo”

grass full of moss

For me, the moss is going to be kind of several step process.  First, I plan on digging it up by hand.  I want to use it in my spring baskets.  I’ve already started trimming branches back to give the area more light.  I plan to do a soil test.  I think that will help me decide how I will need to amend the soil to grow it {I’m guessing based on moss’s preference, that it will be acidic}.  Right now, I plan on planting my cold weather and root crops in my shaded areas and warmer crops, like tomatoes and beans on the back patio where I get more sun.  The beauty of planting on my back patio, is that in containers, I have total control over the soil.

The real key to moss is preventing it.  For now, you’ll probably have to dig it all up as a first line of defense, then you will have to work on prevention.  The key to stopping moss is to create a less hospitable environment for it.  Start, if possible by creating more light in the area {for example, trimming back branches, or removing trees that cause too much shade}.  If that’s not possible, test the soil.  Likely it is acidic and will need lime.  It the area is wet, moss is in heaven.  So, consider improving drainage.  I know in Seattle that can be an infuriating battle.

backyard full of moss

If digging it up is just too monumental a task {especially if you have a large area to clear}, you can try covering it with newspaper, and then covering the newspaper with a mixture of fertilizer and lime.  I have never tried this method, only heard of it, so I can’t really attest to it working or not.  Meanwhile, winter might be your nemesis every year, if the area is wet and shady.  That might just be a battle you’ll have to deal with, I am sorry to say.

lettuce growing in rows

I think you are spot on to create a lettuce garden in the spot.  Lettuce is pretty darn forgiving about its environment.

I hope this helps, at least a bit.  Do any of you have suggestions for Randi?

~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.

Can Shopping at Costco Save You Money? Week 3 of 52

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costco shopping trip

Other than walking out my front door to walk the dog, or doing a bit of gardening, I only left my house TWICE last week. And it was pretty RAD. I don’t know if it’s because I’m starting to become a recluse, I’m getting lazy, or it was because the HH was out of town for 5 of the 7 days last week on a business trip. But you know what, I really enjoyed staying put. I went to Costco, and Goodwill and the fabric store and that was it!

So, you’re probably wondering what the heck Monkey Boy and I ate last week while the HH was away…

lucy the puggle dog

Clearly that box of Hostess treats were for my son. ;) {Okay, so maybe I ate 3 of them!!}

I try my best not to buy too much cold cereal. Why? Because you need {extra} milk. But Cinnamon Toast Crunch was on sale for $4.59 and it just so happens to be one of Monkey Boy’s favorite cereals… so I caved.

costco cinnamon toast crunch

I bought the kid a ginormous box. Oh the horror. FYI, 1 giant box of Costco cereal fits in a 2 gallon Anchor Hocking jar in case you were wondering. ;)

turkey dinner

So what else did we eat besides cupcakes and cereal? 2 dinners with turkey, mashed potatoes, carrots and cornbread mini muffins for starters.

chocolate pudding

I also spotted a small box of chocolate pudding in the back of the cupboard and made pudding cups.crock pot chili

Chili, lot’s and lot’s of chili.
chili baked potato

Monkey Boy probably goes through a crock pot of chili a week by himself. Sometimes I get lazy and buy canned chili, but since purchasing the 25 pound bag of pinto beans last week, I really have no excuse to BUY chili when I can make it for so much less.

spaghetti

Is there a teenager alive that doesn’t like pasta?

oatmeal with blueberries

Oatmeal with frozen blueberries.

chicken soup with lentils and rice

Homemade chicken soup with lentils and rice. {I’ll post the recipe soon}oatmeal cookies

And last but not least, I whipped up a batch of the best oatmeal cookies ever. Cooking from your pantry instead of popping into the grocery store for one thing {which always leads to more things} can seriously save you BIG BUCKS by the time you tally all your receipts up at the end of the month. Then again, being a shut in and not leaving your house helps too.

So far I am totally digging this shopping at one store, once a week thing. I honestly thought it was going to be harder than it has been {and I seriously thought I’d be over budget by now too}. But then again, it’s only been about 3 weeks

~Mavis

Total Spent This Week $33.24
Total Spent Year to Date $69.60

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.

Free Kindle Books, Giveaway Winners, Free Salmon, Kamik Garden Boots, Nutella Bread Recipe and More

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calummy

Word of the Day: Culumny  Definition: False accusation injurious to another.  Used in a sentence: My opponents resorted to a calumny but it got them nowhere.

Holy canolies! Did you watch the Seahawks game yesterday? What a win!!! I guess we’re headed to the Superbowl {again}. I worked on my latest primitive hooked rug while we watched the game and had a hard time concentrating. Ha! Oh well.

Have a great Monday everyone,

Mavis

swiss gear backpacks

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - 40% or More Off Select SwissGear Backpacks These are very well made! {My husband has had his SwissGear Backpack for over 5 years now and uses his for traveling}.

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! :)

How-to-Care-for-Baby-Chicks

This week I’m missing my chickens, so every day I think I’ll post a throw back post about chickens in their honor! First up: How to Care for Baby Chicks. Find out everything you ever wanted to know about chickens and more on my Chickens Pinterest Board.

Wahl 79300-400 Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit

Save Money on haircuts this year with the Wahl Color Pro 20 Piece Complete Haircutting Kit. On sale right now for just $16.99.

deals on flat screen tv

If you’re looking for a new television, today only you can get the Insignia 50″ LED 1080p HDTV for $349.99 shipped {was $499.99}.

free chicken of the sea coupon

Print a coupon good for a free package of Chicken of the Sea Salmon. Thanks Walmart!

Kinivo ZX100 Mini Portable Speaker with Rechargeable Battery

Amazon has my favorite Mini Portable Speaker on sale today for just $15.49. There are 9 colors to choose from! Get the Kinivo ZX100 Mini Portable Speaker with Rechargeable Battery and Enhanced Bass Resonator before the price goes up!

immersion blender

Amazon also has the Smart Stick 2-Speed Immersion Hand Blender on sale for $27.99. I used mine to puree sauces, mash potatoes and in my jam making sometimes too!

rachel ray everyday

Discount Mags is offering a 1 year subscription to Everyday with Rachel Ray for only $4.99 a year when you use code MAVIS at checkout. This deal will expire tonight 1/19/15 at midnight EST so be sure and grab your subscription before then.

Nutella-Banana-Nut-Bread2

Nutella Banana Nut Bread – I’m on a baking kick lately and I’m on a Nutella kick always. So this recipe just made sense today.  Get the recipe HERE or Pin for Later. Find more recipes on my Muffins and Breads Pinterest Board.

Exaco Trading ECO-2000 2.4 Gallon Kitchen Compost Waste Collector

Get the Exaco Trading 2.4 Gallon Kitchen Compost Waste Collector for just $16.65 on Amazon right now and turn your kitchen scraps into rich compost for your garden.

garden bench

Amazon has the Merry Garden Potting Bench with Recessed Storage on sale for $132.98 shipped and it comes highly rated by fellow Amazon shoppers.

seed starting tray

If you need seed starting trays, Amazon also has the Planters Pride 72 Cell Grower Starter Kit With Dome on sale for $6.47 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime. Just add potting soil and seeds and you are ready to go!

car organizer

REI Outlet Deal of the Day - Mountainsmith Modular Hauler 4 Storage System $49.73 {was $99.95} All orders ship FREE to store and FREE to any location with an order of $50 or more.

kamik rain boots

6pm has Kamik Boots on sale starting at just $22.50 shipped!

fast growing trees

A big thank you to everyone who entered our FastGrowingTrees.com giveaway. The lucky winners are:

Diana who shared “I would spend my $100 on berries, berries and more berries. The Jostaberry plant looks interesting…” and Heather T who shared “I follow you on pinterest.” Stay tuned for more giveaways… :) :)

quilted northern tissue

Get 36 Double Rolls of Quilted Northern Ultra Plush Bath Tissue from Amazon for $17.06 shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

El Monterey coupons

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.

Fighting Food Waste : Turning My Leftovers into Chicken Lentil Stew

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chicken lentil stew

Lentils, pasta and rice can stretch a meal like nobody’s business. Seriously, if you’ve got water, and any one of those ingredients, you are just a few random vegetables away from a complete meal.

The hard part is, everyone’s recipe will be a little different because obviously, the whole point is really not to follow a recipe, but rather to use up what you have sitting in your fridge so you don’t  you have to toss your perfectly good small portions of food, into the trash.

chicken lentil stew

Ingredients for Chicken Lentil Stew

3 tablespoons bacon fat
1 carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 cup broccoli, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
5 ounces spinach, chopped
3/4 cup leftover shredded chicken
1/2 cup corn {I used canned}
1 cup lentils
4 cups chicken stock
1 {15oz} can stewed tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper

chicken lentil stew

Directions

Saute the onions and carrots in bacon fat until softened. Add the minced garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant but not browned. Next add the cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and pepper and cook and stir together for 1 minute.

Stir in the lentils, chicken stock, tomatoes and their juices, and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and simmer until the lentils are tender, about 20 minutes.

Stir the chopped spinach and cook uncovered until the spinach wilts and them serve with a crusty piece of bread. Or toast. toast works too. :)

~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 Butterfield | Backyard Garden Plot Pictures 1/18/15

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pulling up ivy

I don’t know what the weather is like at your place, but it has sure been a couple of wet and windy days around here. Luckily, I like working in crappy weather. No one else it out, there are no annoying leaf blowers to listen too, and I feel like a real gardener when I work outside in the rain and cold. Weird huh? Maybe I belong in Maine.

weeded side yard

Operation pull up all the ivy from the hillside is in full swing. I am honestly still baffled as to why everyone hates ivy. I LOVE it! Just not where it’s currently residing in my landscape. :)  I’m hoping to have it all pulled up from the hillside by the end of next week. This is the first place we have lived where I’ve had to pull up ivy, and you know what? It’s not that bad.

small leland cypress

Removing the ivy and getting all the leaves and twigs raked up on the side yard will give those Leland cypress privacy trees a good chance at putting on a little weight {and height} this summer. Mrs. Active Wear and I both planted Leland cypress trees between along our property lines in our last neighborhood and I was amazed at how fast they grew. With any luck, the side should have a full on privacy screen in about 5 years.
raised garden boxes

I’ve just begun toying with the idea of installing 3 large garden boxes alongside the side yard instead of creating one huge garden plot up above. One the plus side there would be easy access to a garden hose, the garden a few feet from the door and I could actually see everything I am growing in those boxes from my kitchen window.
galvanized bin I plan on purchasing a garden bench this summer {there’s a guy at the Farmer’s Market who makes them} and setting it up right where I have the giant galvanized bin right now. So, having my garden boxes just steps away would be super convenient and it would also tie the whole area together.

container garden

Plus, since I plan on growing all my tomatoes, cucumbers and beans along the back of the house {where we get the most sun} I really don’t have to worry about the garden boxes being in a semi-shady spot. The side yard gets the same amount of sunlight as the upper lawn, so I think at this point, maybe it should be about aesthetics. future herb garden

I’ll also be growing my herbs, potatoes, lettuce and onions along the back of the house, so really it just comes down to how big do I want this garden to be? These are things I never really thought about until I actually started to look around and work outside in the garden {which really, has just bee the last few weeks}.

seedlings under grow lights

Spring is right around the corner, and if I don’t get this garden plot figured out here pretty soon, I’m going to be stuck with a garden I  may not like. Help! Do you think it makes sense to have a garden just off the kitchen? Or should I put it up on the hill where it will be out of sight?

Opinions welcome!

~Mavis

botanical interests

This years garden is being sponsored by the awesome folks at Botanical Interests Seed Company. You can check out their website HERE, order their new 2015 Garden Seed Catalogor see the seeds I’ll be growing in my garden this year HERE

Up for a tour? Read about our behind the scenes tour of Botanical Interests Seed Company.

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.

The $20/$20 Challenge: Vanessa From Kansas Blows Us Away w/ Her Pantry Pics

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vanessa

I am having so much fun with the $20/$20 Challenge. Looking at all your pictures and the way you organize, how you store food and what foods you buy is fascinating to me. Speaking of organizing, Vanessa’s pantry pics are going to blow your mind. The OCD in me was in absolute heaven. Can you head on over to my house, Vanessa, and organize my pantry next?? Pretty please! I can’t stop staring at her pictures. WARNING: You’re going to be jealous! Here’s her story:

Hi, my name is Vanessa. I am wife to Cole and mama to our toddler, Meghan. As a family, we seek to live a life that is simple and natural, believing that we have been called by God to be good stewards of all that he has blessed us with. We are actively pursuing a lifestyle of relative self-sufficiency, rational minimalism, and {urban} homesteading while living within the restrictions of our suburban home owner’s association. We live in Kansas, the wheat state, but due to celiac disease we eat a gluten free diet. I blog about our adventures in urban homesteading over at the Hoosier Homestead.

Once a month I make a list of meals we will eat for the month, check my food stockpile for things we need to make those meals, and do my major grocery shopping trip. I share pictures of these trips on my blog. Throughout the rest of the month I pick up milk or fresh produce as needed. I grocery shop in order to re-stock my food supply. My pantry, freezers, and food storage shelves are almost always full; when I grocery shop, I am purchasing the things needed to make sure that the shelves stay full and use foods on a rotating basis. I purchase seasonal items to store for the year when they are at rock bottom prices. I garden and preserve as much as possible for use throughout the rest of the year.

I purchase the majority of our groceries in bulk through Costco and Azure Standard. I also purchase groceries at Aldi, Whole Foods, Trader Joes, and a few things at Walmart. Where I purchase products is a find balance between our budget and our desire to eat the healthiest/most natural foods available. Being able to buy as much as possible in bulk and when on sale allows us to eat a healthy, gluten free, whole foods diet on a budget.

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When we began shopping for a home, having effective food storage was one of the things I was looking for; this house has amazing resources for food storage! Right off the kitchen (it’s actually the nook behind my stove and the surrounding cabinets) is my pantry. We have all of our food organized into glass jars and baskets. Because Meghan and I eat gluten free and Cole does not always, we have 2 versions of pastas. We also have a wide variety of gluten free flours. Behind the flours, pastas, oats, etc. are bulk spices and baking essentials {ex. baking soda & corn starch} stored in vacuum sealed canning jars. All of our current “in use” spices are in pint jars at the far end of the pantry.

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I use baskets to organize jars, cans, potatoes, and similar items on the shelves. At the very bottom of the pantry are 5 gallon buckets that store bulk goods with gamma seal lids to protect their freshness.

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I absolutely LOVE this space! The glass makes the space look so clean and the labels are made from some of my favorite scrapbook papers. It is a super effective space for storing all of our bulk goods!

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Across the “hallway” from my pantry is my coat closet. My husband installed some shelves for me and it is the perfect space to store some canned goods {the bulk of these are in the basement – this area saves me from having to run up and down all day long!}, extras of bottled and jarred food, and my dessert making supplies. It’s been a perfect little addition!

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We have a side-by-side fridge and freezer in our kitchen. I like my fridge, but cannot get a handle on organizing the freezer! I think that the main problem is that we buy so many of our veggies in bulk and those big bags are just difficult to organize! So while the fridge is neatly organized and all the food is stored with other foods of it’s type – the freezer is just a free-for-all with food crammed in. I guess it works for now!

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The basement storage closet is the last area where we store our food. We have a large shelving unit that stores our bulk canned goods – purchased and home canned as well as some more buckets of bulk gluten free grains.

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I’m so proud of all of those home canned foods! This was my first year of canning with a pressure canner and it feels to good to make a meal knowing that I prepared every part of the meal. It is also incredibly time saving when you don’t have to dice potatoes or cook beans the day you want to use them in a meal!

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And lastly – our deep freezer. This is almost always jam-packed full of fruits and veggies. Many have been bought in bulk, but as our gardens are starting to produce more and more we’re also storing lots of homegrown things. Currently there are sliced green peppers, butternut squash puree, basil for pesto, cilantro, and strawberries in here that we grew this last summer! Like my upstairs freezer, there just isn’t a whole lot of organization to this space….maybe that should be one of my 2015 goals!

So, that’s a tour of our food storage around here. We are really satisfied with it and it works great for our family! If you’re interested in a video tour, I did that as well and you can check it out on our blog.

Happy cooking!!

pantry-pictures-ideas

Are you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

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, Gummi Bears, Presto Pressure Canner, Costco Fruit on Sale, Recipes and More

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morass word of the day

Word of the Day: Morass Definition: Bog,swampy place, marsh. Used in a sentence: That section of the country is a complete morass.

Rain, rain go AWAY!!!! Sheesh, it rained practically all day yesterday here in Western Washington. And if you have a dog, well then you probably know they do not enjoy walking in the rain, period. Poor puggles, someone needs to invent some sort of small umbrella for dogs that straps on to them or something so they’ll go out. LOL. The good news is I got a lot of cleaning done. Hmmm, maybe it should rain more often. ;)

Have  great day everyone and go Hawks!

Mavis

proform treadmill

Amazon Gold Box Deal of the Day - ProForm Pro 2000 Treadmill

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! :)

gummi bears

Amazon has the 12-Pack of Haribo Gummi Candy, Original Gold-Bears, 5-Ounce Bags on sale for just $9.01/$0.75 each shipped when you use the subscribe and save option at checkout.

*Keep in mind you can cancel your Subscribe and Save membership at anytime. To cancel or change your items, simply click on “My Account” and then click on “Subscriptions.” You can easy peasy modify or cancel any of your Subscribe and Save items at anytime, no obligation at all.*

Mens leather belts

Check out these deals on men’s belts:

DIY-Spice-Round-Up-10-Make-Your-Own-Spice-Recipes

Why spend the extra money at the store, when you can make all your own spices at home {plus, they taste WAY better and there’s less junkity junk you can’t pronounce in them!}. Find 9 DIY Spice Mix Recipes HERE. Find more cool projects on my DIY Pinterest Board. 

measuring spoons

Need a new set of measuring spoons? Amazon has the Norpro Stainless Steel Measure Spoon Set on sale for $2.25 as an add on item.

pencil-case

Get a cute little Canvas Pencil/Travel Bag  for just $1.84 shipped. What a great little gift! Fill it with cute little Japanese erasers or give one to your teen girl to hold personal items. ;)

Smithsonian magazine

Get a 1 year subscription to Smithsonian Magazine for $12. This magazine chronicles the arts, environment, sciences and popular culture of the times. It is edited for modern, well-rounded individuals with diverse, general interests. With your order, you become a National Associate Member of the Smithsonian.

pressure cannerAmazon has the Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker on sale for $88.97 shipped. This pressure cooker comes highly rated by Amazon shoppers and has great reviews.

How to Use a Pressure CannerIf you are a scaredy cat and are afraid to use one, check out my easy tutorial on How to Use a Pressure Canner. I walk you through the process of canning vegetables in easy to understand simple steps. Learn how to use a pressure canner HERE or Pin it for Later.

digital scale

Wow! Amazon currently has the Ozeri Touch Professional Digital Kitchen Scale (18 lbs Edition) on sale for $9.77 and it ships FREE with Amazon Prime!

costco produce

Attention Costco Shoppers… I stopped by Costco yesterday and they’ve gone crazy on instant rebates for FRESH Fruits and Vegetables!!! Fugi Apples $3.99 for 5.5 lbs and 2lb packages of fresh, organic green beans for $3.99 just to name a few. The instant rebates are good through 1/19/15.

boot shapers

Amazon has the Household Essentials CedarFresh Boot Shapers, 2 pairs on sale for $6.23. Versatile boot shaper that fits any size and style of boot (4pc set) and helps prevent cracking and sagging

sketchers watches6pm has some great deals on Skechers Watches today… Here are two of my favorites:

Easy-Crock-Pot-Recipes-Chicken-with-Orange-Marmalade

Chicken w/ Orange Marmalade: This recipe is so moist and tasty, your peeps will be asking for seconds {mine did!}. Oh, and did I mention it will take you like 62 seconds to throw together? Yep. Tasty and quick, that’s how I roll. Get the recipe HERE or Pin it for later. Find more recipes on my Crock Pot Pinterest Board.

weck-canning-jars-glass-pantry

Are you getting your pantries camera ready? You can participate in the $20/$20 Challenge by simply sending in pictures of your pantry. Find out more about the $20/$20 Challenge: Show Your Pantry – Fill a Pantry!

special-k-cereal coupons

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.

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