So – greenhouse shopping.

So, I am looking for a very simple greenhouse.  More of a hoop-house / cold frame or whatever you want to call it.  I’m going to call it a greenhouse.

I don’t have much experience with greenhouse growing.  A few years ago I constructed a make-shift greenhouse out of an old metal swing-set and some plastic sheeting.  It served it’s purpose at the time to transition plants to the outdoors from indoors, under lights.  Now, I would like to start plants in a greenhouse but honestly do not want to invest thousands of dollars until I gain a little more experience.

Greenhouse shopping online, I found a “deal” at a big-box store.  It’s probably not the best construction but I’m hoping it would be a good learning tool.  If anyone has had any experience with similar greenhouses, please share your thoughts.

Greenhouse

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Frugal Bread Score

Major score on bread the other day.  One of the local grocery stores bulk bags their day-old bakery bread into larger bags that must be at least 36″ tall x 18″ wide.   I think the bag must have weighed about 20 lbs…. no kidding.  Anyway, they then mark the bags as ‘bird food’ and sell them for $2.99.  Keep in mind, this bread shows no sign of mold, nor is it hard, dried out or yucky in any way (believe me, I thoroughly checked).   I definitely applaud them for NOT throwing away perfectly good food even if they’ve marked it for the birds. 🙂

So, bought a bag, brought it home and wrapped all the bread back up into it’s respectible loaves or groups as some of it was buns for subs or brats…. and ended up just about filling the freezer with some really nice bread from the store’s bakery.  From what dear daughter and I figured out, we saved $16-$25 on bread.  Not to bad.

I supposed some might find this kind of weird, eating ‘bird food’ bread but hey…  why not?  If it would have been yucky at all, I would have ended up with some happy birdies so I figure it was a win-win situation.

I’ve got to add one more little thing… I went to the grocery store yesterday with the intention to buy some yeast for homemade bread baking.  You know,  one of those jars of it that they sell.   I almost fell over in the aisle when I saw the price of this stuff in another grocery store near me.  $7.99!!!!!!  I have never seen it that expensive before!  I think I’ll wait until it goes on sale and keep on enjoying the bird bread until I do.

I don’t shop at Wal-mart anymore….

I don’t shop at Wal-mart anymore.  OK…once a month we do go there so my DH can get a prescription filled and we might pick up a thing or two but since we moved, the nearest Wal-mart is now about 40 minutes away.    And that’s ok with me.

Actually, it is one of the best things that could have happened to us.  Wal-mart may be cheap and convenient but it also a place that “invites” you to spend way too much money.  Since it is so convenient, having just about everything you need under one roof, I believe that it also entices you to spend foolishly on things you probably don’t need but end up buying just cuz it’s “a great deal”.  Think about it.  How many times have to “run to Wal-mart” to pick up TP and end up leaving with 6 bags full of STUFF, while scratching your head wondering what happened.

Considering food at Wal-mart  (and this is probably the BIGGEST thing that we’ve learned since moving)…..the quality sucks!  Really, it does.  I would never have believed it either because it looks good but, it does.  Since we moved we found a small-town grocery store.  They don’t have all the conveniences of the bigger chain stores and the prices are a little higher  but what they do have is QUALITY food.  The fruits and veggies are great and more local items are available.  Fresh sweet corn from a farm right down the road is pretty hard to beat.  Produce at the local store or even a farmer’s market….more of it is organic and you’re also supporting your community.  Produce at Wal-mart…well, who knows WHERE that stuff comes from?!   The biggest difference that we’ve noticed, though, is the meat.  The quality of the meat is so, SO much better than the stuff you buy at Wal-mart.  Less greasy, better taste and it’s actually from the U.S.   I don’t care what the % of  fat is on the Wal-mart packages…..it can say the same % as the stuff on the local grocery store but the proof is in the cooking.    I can cook up 1 # of ground beef from the local store and 1# of ground beef from WallyWorld (same percentage of fat, keep in mind) and that one frying pan will hold 2x the amount of grease when the cooking is done.  Go figure.   My family and I have noticed a huge difference in the way we physically feel simply because we don’t buy food from Wal-mart anymore.   We’re all healthier, feel better with more energy and have actually lost weight.  (I’m fitting into shorts that I haven’t worn in over a year LOL)

Lunch With Friends and New Discoveries

Today we were invited to have a simple lunch with Mike’s friends, Phil and Deb.  They have a beautiful home outside of Mauston (way outside of town)….surrounded by woods and farmland.  Lunch was simple, grilled burgers, brats and pork chops with a couple of fresh salad sides.  I think my favorite was a simple salad of tomatoes, cukes, sliced onions and Italian dressing.   But, everything was delish.

Deb showed me around as it was my first time visiting their house up here and she pointed out the coolest birch bark wall switch plates that she had made.  This creative idea of course got me to thinking.  We have a nice sized birch that just fell near our driveway in our yard.  OH the things I can create!!!  I am currently doing some research to get some ideas but my first thought was to make some planters, photo frames and canisters out of the bark.  The ideas are practically endless!!!   One of my goals in moving here was to work on creating items from nature and not rely on so many “commercial” products for creativity.  Of course, many items I create are also from re-purposed or upcycled goodies.

While in Mauston today, we discovered a really cool little store.  The majority of it is craft supplies (scrapbooking taking up a major portion of the store), dishes, home decor, toiletries, tools and toys. Really a cute little store and the prices are really reasonable.  I got some adorable rubber stamps and it is someplace I will be visiting again and again. 

We recently enjoyed 4 days with no air-conditioning needed, great breezes and cool nights.  Unfortunately, the heat and humidity have returned.  And, after about a week with no rain, I watered all of my plants yesterday.  In return, Mother Nature decided that we needed approx 2″ of rain early this morning.  Oh well, now everything should be good for awhile again.  My tomatoes are really starting to get some color and I harves my 2nd mater yesterday.  The Serano peppers are getting bigger and bigger and there are a multitude of them!  I won’t be canning any more peppers this year, but I will be freezing them so I can make pepper bread this winter.

One of the best finds this week…. a FRIDGE!  The one we had had a little leaking problem inside and was pretty small.  Saw this one along the road with a For Sale sign on it yesterday so Mike did a quick turn-around and we went to check it out.  Nice size, clean, works great and the price could not be beat!  

Still working on listing new items in my Etsy shop.  I haven’t been a diligent in listing as I should be but with all the stuff to do around here, it’s sometimes hard to have the energy to keep up with my crafting.  Wood needs to be cut and stacked (Mike and the girls got 2 trees cut and stacked yesterday) but we still have a way to go in order to have enough wood for the winter.  Luckily we have a lot of fallen trees in our yard.