I read this week, in several different places, that the prices of certain foods is forecasted to sharply rise in the near future. This is no surprise as I have been noticing food increases every time I go to the grocery store! USA TODAY lists some veggies going to be drastically increased thanks to California's drought and NBC talks about chocolate prices going through the roof. (NOT CHOCOLATE!)
I could read that and think "Aw, shoot!" Or I can read that and say "Well, now is the time to do something about it!" I am more the latter sort of person, myself.
So this week I did some stocking up on chocolate and cocoa powder. (Chocolate keeps in the freezer in perfect condition for a LONG time.)
I will be planting berry bushes in the next few weeks. And I will add grapes this year too. I have been meaning to do this anyway. Thankfully, I have a free source of huckleberries while I wait for the blueberries to mature. And I know two people who are willing to give me baby grape vines...if the offer still stands from last year!
I will try to grow extra tomatoes this year (and/or not let as many fall to the ground as did last year) to compensate for the tomato products we will use in the coming year. I noticed, despite putting up more tomato products than every before last year, we still ran out of them before winter was over so I will need to go over and above the work last year in order to have enough.
I will try not to let my own laziness waste (even a portion of) a perfectly good harvest. This means- dehydrating the cherry tomatoes before they pop and fall to rot on the ground. Canning the corn before it is too mature. Freezing/dehydrating those peppers while they are still crisp.
I will enjoy those fresh round lovelies from the garden more thoroughly this year too. Same with the lettuce. And peppers! Nothing makes you appreciate more what comes from the garden than a hefty price tag for a lesser quality product at the grocery store!!
So it seems, as with every harvest year, the work will require due diligence on my part. And self-discipline. And plenty of sweaty summer days hovering over a canner....
Here are a few more things I did to save money this week~
* planted the fruit trees I bought last week. (I kept them in the pots, knowing there were several nights of frost in the forecast. I put the pots in the Granary on those nights to save the blossoms.)
* used my free mulch to surround the fruit trees
* washed and hung on the clothesline all the laundry for the week on Monday, the only sunny day forecasted for the week. I was able to hang sheets out yesterday too as the sun peeked out enough to dry those.
* Matt helped me make the big cuts on the apple trees that I couldn't prune with my loppers.
* I've been scouring the asparagus patch for shoots. I can't harvest until next year anyway but I have been anxious to see when/if they come up. Not yet. I am getting nervous! I hope, I hope the asparagus survived!
* picked daffodils for the windowsills
* put $150 extra toward principle on mortgage
* paid all bills on time or early to get discounts
* made bread for communion
* was given another bag of clothes which I sorted
* planted some poppies and lamb's ear that were given to me
* Andrew found about 3 dozen additional eggs hiding out in the barn from some stray chickens. I'll float them to see which ones are good enough to eat.
And since it a new month, I think I am in need of a new grocery challenge! What?!?!? I LIKE challenges!
This month, I am going to try to use as much of my pantry/freezer store as possible.
A USE IT UP challenge.
Not exactly a no-buying challenge like February but it will certainly be good to the grocery budget, using much of what I already have on hand. The biggest reason, though, is to clean out the freezers in preparation for a (Lord willing) very prolific and abundant garden harvest this year!
I hope to get one freezer completely cleared out and thawed.
Anyone want to join me? Choose your challenge!
And now- how did you save (or strategically spend) money this week?