Aug 17, 2010

Farm fresh cooking

I'm about a month into my stint volunteering on the farm in exchange for a weekly CSA share and it has been FANTASTIC. I bring home about 4 bags of fresh fruit and veggies every week in exchage for my 4 hours of labor...not a bad trade off, plus the farmer and his young family are really nice people and we have good time out in the fields. Who'd have thought?

Last night for dinner I made this baked stuffed zucchini and it was DELICIOUS! Even better - all of the veggies I used were straight from the farm and didn't cost me anything out of pocket! Normally the dish would cost a little over $6 to make...but since the fresh stuff was in my CSA share, I spent a grand total of $2.54 to put that yumminess on my table.

In other news, my little guy turned 1 last week! I still can't believe it's been a whole year already. I will be posting a little "Owen retrospective" as soon as I can get a free few minutes to put it together...I have tons of pictures IN the camera, I swear :) Now that he's almost walking it's a full time job keeping him and his brother out of trouble!

I hope everyone is enjoying a fun and frugal summer!

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Jul 2, 2010

A "can-tastic" wedding!

Saw this today on MSN and just had to share - this WA couple is paying for their entire wedding with the proceeds from recycled aluminum cans - not only super frugal but also environmentally friendly!

Pete and Andrea have recycled 400,000 cans to raise the $3800 they needed to pay for their wedding day, collected by them and helped along with donations from a few organizations who caught wind of their plan. If you read the article, they are also using some great ideas to cut costs on their wedding and reception - having put on my own wedding for around $5000 a few years ago I know the value of DIY on your big day! He's having a friend who brews beer provide a couple of kegs for the reception, what a great idea!

Check out their website to see their progress, they are currently collecting more cans, both for their honeymoon and for a donation to Doctors without Borders and Rim Country Land Institute.

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Jul 1, 2010

CSA - for free?

Hi there, remember me?
Yeah, I know - it's been a LONG time since I've posted, I'm taking some time to re-evaluate what I want from this blog and spending some much-needed time managing the crazy place I call home. With me working two jobs, hubby working and going to school, and a 3 1/2 year old and 10 month old keeping me busy, there's not a lot of extra time to blog! I promise, though, that I am planning to get back on the horse soon...

But I HAD to share this little nugget of wisdom while it was fresh in my mind!

I have been wanting to participate in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program for a long time. The basic idea is, you buy a "share" of local farms' produce at the beginning of the season, and each week during the program you pick up a box of goodies (usually from June to October). The farmers get a nice chunk of money to carry them through the growing season, and you get fresh, local produce (and sometimes cheese, plants and other goodies) while supporting local agriculture! It's a win-win situation, but for us it has always been pretty cost-prohibitive. Around here, most full shares go for $500-650 and that's a lot of money for us to come up with.

Well I did some inquiring, and found that a few of my local farms do what is called a "workshare" program - basically, you volunteer a few hours weekly to help on the farm, in exchange for a full share of their CSA....that's a SIX HUNDRED DOLLAR value for a couple of hours of labor! It's not necessarily easy - usually picking in the fields, doing some of the hard labor, etc. But DEFINITELY worthwhile! I just agreed to help out a farm for 4 hours a week picking their crop surplus for donation to the local food bank.

It's another way to save a little money this summer! Check out this directory to find local CSA participating farms in your area, and ask if they offer a work-share type program!

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Apr 22, 2010

Planet Earth on DVD or Blu-Ray - 60% off!

Happy Earth Day!

In honor of Earth Day is offering the award-winning BBC series Planet Earth on Blu-Ray or DVD for 60% off!

You can pick up Planet Earth, the BBC series on Blu-Ray for $37.99 or on DVD for $31.99, and both are eligible for free shipping! This is a fantastic series at a great price, and only good for today.

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Apr 19, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 19th, '10

Happy Patriots Day to my fellow Massachusetts residents! And good luck to those running the Marathon :)

Last week was a definite menu WIN! I *thought* I had made the quiche wrong (and I think next time I would make two regular pie-sized quiches, this time I poured all the batter into a casserole dish and made a big thick quiche) but it actually turned out really good! The mango chutney that went with it was divine...even though I julienned my finger while chopping the cilantro :) Our biggest success was the Crockpot Kielbasa Dirty Rice - super easy, and so good my toddler asked for seconds! Definitely going on the family favorites list.

This week's menu I am DETERMINED to get the Pork Roast cooked! Every time I try to put it on the menu I either forget to thaw it, or our plans change. We're both working this weekend too, so the menu will include stuff that makes for easy leftover dinners.

Here's our table this week, don't forget to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for tons more great menus and recipes!

monday - Black Bean Salsa Chicken over rice - OAMC ($5.32 for 6-8 servings)

tuesday - Pork Roast with Apples and Pears, peas, rice - OAMC ($5.37 for 4-6 servings)

wednesday - Homemade Pizza, salad ($2.95 for 6-8 servings)

thursday - Honey Balsamic Chicken on the grill, baked sweet potatoes, veggies ($6.95 for 4-5 servings)

friday - Dinner with friends (free!)

saturday - Both of us bringing leftovers to work (free!)

sunday - Dinner at the in-laws (free!)

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Apr 12, 2010

Menu Plan Monday - Apr 12, '10

I am SO ready for the good weather! We had a little rain last week but enough good days to rev me up - I love being able to spend the day outside, watching my toddler play. We're getting ready to put up our square foot garden, I'm pretty sure we're finally beyond the frosty nights and my hubby should have a day free this week to build the raised bed :) I found out that I can get FREE leaf compost from the town! Mixed with some of the manure from my mother-in-law's horses, and that should give us some good, rich, FREE planting soil!

The menu last week went really well! The Tandoori Chicken was SO GOOD and EASY!! My toddler was scarfing it down, and we even let the baby try some of the curried couscous. We never got to the Pork Roast, so that's making a return appearance this week. I'm also going to try a few new recipes, I've got kielbasa to use up and I scored some REALLY fresh tilapia for $2.99/lb - it pays to live in a fishing town!

Here's our table for the week, don't forget to visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for tons more recipes and menu ideas!

monday - Quick Curry Quiche (using leftover Tandoori Chicken) with mango chutney(from The Once a Week Cooking Plan), canteloupe slices (cost tbd)

tuesday - Crockpot Kielbasa Dirty Rice ($4.40 for 6-8 servings)

wednesday - Dijon Crusted Tilapia, green beans, rice (cost tbd)

thursday - Pork Roast with Apples & Pears (from The $5 Dinner Mom Cookbook), peas, rice - OAMC ($5.37 for 4-6 servings)

friday - Sloppy Joes on homemade rolls, green salad ($4.62 for 4 servings)

saturday - leftovers (Free!)

sunday - Dinner at the in-laws! (free!)

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Apr 9, 2010

Walgreens photo deals - FREE 8X10 today!

Wags is at it again, with a free 8X10 friday! Go to Walgreens Photo center and upload the photo you want, choose an 8X10 print, and use the code BIG8X10 at checkout - this is good for delivery OR in-store pickup! (shipping charges may apply for delivery).

If you'd rather go to a store, click here for a printable coupon. This is ONLY good for today, April 9th!

If you still have a ton of Easter photos to print up, you can get 50 prints for $5 until tommorrow, April 10th! (additional prints are also only 10 cents each, you just need to order a minimum of 50!) Just use the code BUNNY5 at checkout! These are for the 4X6 photos but do not include collage prints.

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