Tuesday, April 27, 2010

DIY: Our Fruit and Vegetable Garden!

I am so excited to report that my fruit and vegetable garden is in! Some of you may know that are new home came with a garden, but it was very overgrown. Last summer, it was so overgrown and disgusting that I couldn't even bear to look at it. It was embarrassing to me for others to see it. I was very pregnant last summer and very busy with other house things, that we never got around to planting a garden. But, finally, this year, with the help of my wonderful neighbors (who have quite the green thumbs) and our lawn guy who tilled the soil for me after I removed 3 loads of weeds, we have our plants in. My boys were great helpers last week too. I probably put in about 5 hours of labor over a few days and I am so pleased with the results. I wish I had a before picture-but unfortunately, I don't.

Here are my little helpers ready to work (or watch)!
My boys were excited about their new gardening gloves. I bought a nice pair too. (They were mis-marked, so I got $11 gloves for only $3.39!)
Total cost for gloves: $9.77

My neighbors recommended I buy this stuff, "organic hummus and manure," and work it into the soil that was already there. When I opened the first bag, and poured it over the area, my middle son said "that's horse poop!" I had to laugh! Its actually cow poop, but close enough!
Cost for 8 bags: $11.68 (after MIR)

My neighbor picked me up 8 tomato plants, 4 green peppers, 2 yellow squash and 2 zucchini. He also got me this black stuff, a very heavy duty, weed preventer cover. I am told this stuff "will last a lifetime." Cost for all this: $13.

We rolled out the black stuff and I used a box cutter to make an "X" in each spot where we would put the plants. I followed the directions for each plant on how far apart they should be.

The raspberry bushes!!! I was so excited that there were two raspberry bushes already in my pre-existing garden and then my neighbors were so kind to give me 10 more! I couldn't believe it. Last summer, we enjoyed picking their berries, daily, now we will have our own!

The completed garden! I did buy 5 packs of seeds for about $5 that included watermelon, cantaloupe, some pumpkins, and winter squash, but I am still deciding whether I should go ahead and plant those or not. I don't have that much space. I am hoping to make this garden even bigger next year if all goes well.

Total cost breakdown:
Gloves: $9.77
Manure: $11.68
Plants/cover: $13
Extra seeds: about $5
Raspberry bushes: FREE
Total: $39.45
(possibly less if I take the seeds back)

I am participating in DIY Tuesdays here.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

FREE Starbucks Coffee--Today only!

Today, April 15th, you can go to Starbucks with your own travel coffee mug and get a free cup of coffee. I just got back from our local shop and they are participating. They filled up two mugs for me too! One for me and one for my husband. Its in honor of Earth Day!


(I still prefer Dunkin Donuts though, but you can't beat the free factor).

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Black Bean Burgers

Are you looking to eat healthier food, need variety, save money, or consume less beef, then you have to try this awesome recipe my husband actually found in my ALL YOU magazine. We've made them twice now and I even made 6 extra ones tonight and I am freezing them for future meals. They are delicious!!! Full of good protein, easy to make, and great on the budget (about $0.67/serving according to the recipe). Here it is, let me know what you think.

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 large egg lightly beaten
1 Tbsp. cumin (this makes them taste soooo good-I found it at the farmers market in town)
1/2 cup bread crumbs (I always used seasoned)
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet
2. Warm oil in skillet. Add celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.
3. Pour beans into a large bowl and mash with fork or potato masher into a thick paste. Scrape vegetables from skillet into bowl. Stir in egg, cumin, bread crumbs, and salt and pepper. Form into 4 patties. Place on baking sheet and bake until firm and set, about 10 minutes on each side.

Serve just like you would a hamburger with all the fixings. This evening we tried them with salsa. Cheese tastes great on them too! Enjoy!

Rite Aid Trip: All free items + $0.55 Money Maker!

Well, you must know by now how much I love shopping at Rite Aid. I just got back from another very successful trip. If you're still not convinced that couponing is really not that difficult and you can save a ton of money with not too much effort (I mean almost every mommy blog tells you exactly what to do), I suggest you read this post.

You can see what I got in the picture. Now here's how I got everything free (after my SCR's) and even made $0.55.

Always Maxi Pads, Ultra Thin Jumbo packs, liners or Tampax Pearl, $6.99
Get a $2 Single Check Rebate when you buy 1 (limit 1)
$1/1 Always Product 3/7/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
$1/1 Always Pantiliners 34 ct+ 3/7/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
B1G1 Free Always Product 4/4/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
B1G1 Free Always Pantiliner 4/4/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
$2/1 Tampax Pearl Tampons 3/7/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
$1/1 Tampax Tampons any 3/7/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)
B1G1 Free Tampax 4/4/2010 P&G Insert (exp 4/30/2010)

Deal Idea:
Get 2 Tampax Pearl (one large box and one small box)
use the BOGO coupon and the $2/1
Pay $4.99 OOP and get a $2 SCR
Final price: $1.50 each after coupons and SCR

AMO Complete Multi-Purpose Solution, $7.99
Get a $7.99 Single Check Rebate when you buy 1 (limit 1)
$2.00 printable here to make it a money maker!
Final price: FREE after SCR +$2.00 overage
(The one I got was a 2 pack BOGO free also. It was the last one at our store).

Post Cereal – $1.88
$2/1 printable
Or buy 2 and use $1/2 from the 3/14 SmartSource insert
As low as free after coupon (I got $0.12 overage).

The other couple items were things we needed and they were on sale this week. My goal was to hit the $25 total so I could use this $5/25 total purchase coupon. Remember, always have them scan this coupon first before your other coupons. This is a PDF that can be printed multiple times.

So, the bottom line tonight was I spent $9.20 OOP, but will get $9.99 back in my single check rebates so everything was free and I made a couple cents!

Thanks to Money Saving Mom and Moms Need to Know for the tips and coupon match-ups!