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Showing posts from March, 2017

What's For Dinner This Week... March 17-23

Friday  3/17
Winner, Winner Taco Dinner




This is a good little meal for two. The quantity of taco meat will actually make several meals for us. I had 1 taco and Wes had 3 tonight so 4 tacos total. We like coming up with meals that we will be able to make in the future with our own garden produce. Grow what you eat!! Tonight, 2 tomatoes and 1 head of lettuce was $1.35. And we have enough left over to do a nice salad in the upcoming week. The chicken came from Costco in 2 breast packages which is perfect for the two of us. The taco shells were a pack of 10! Very economical and tasty! 

You will need:

1/2 Cup  Shredded Mild Cheddar cheese1 Cup      Shredded Lettuce1             Roma Tomato Cut up4             Stand & Stuff Taco Shells (Old El Paso)Chicken Taco Filling (recipe follows)Other ideas for toppings: sliced avocado, sour cream, hot sauce or ranch dressing, olives, rice, beans, corn, the sky's the limit!

Chicken Taco Filling

2 chicken breasts
1 jar (15.5 oz) Tostitos Mild Chunky S…

Something For Nothing

This past weekend, our local Master Gardeners put on a clinic all about propagating plants and how best to grow tomatoes. For us, that's fun!

Propagation sounds like a big word, but I bet most of you have done something along the lines without even knowing it. If you've ever taken a fallen leaf off an African violet and put it in dirt and watched it grow into a brand new plant, that's propagation! It can be done in different ways for different plants and with different words; grafting, cuttings, layerings, plant division and others.



 We have several fruit trees, some grapes, 4 types of berries and lavender on our property and to be able to make more plants FROM them without any added expense is perfect when you are watching your budget.



Yesterday we went over to my daughter's house and took 8 cuttings off her Meyer lemon tree and I'm hoping they take. She is going to be moving soon and the lemons off this tree are DIVINE!! And you know.... it only takes 5 years until…

Copycat Vanilla Soy Chai

One of my favorite drinks at Starbucks is the Grande size, Vanilla Soy Chai. But, wow, has it ever gotten expensive! I want to say when I started drinking this drink about 10 years ago it was $3.75, which was expensive but now it is $4.75! Probably a lot like you, I don't always think about the cost when I go in. I have a Starbucks card, I faithfully reload my card about twice a month and I spend what's on there and reload again. 

Now that we are trying to live on quite a bit less but not give up the "good life", I was determined to make the drink at home and make it taste like my favorite coffeehouse drink. To my surprise, it was very simple and economical! 

HERE'S the Video where I show you how simple it is to make!

I'll give you a little breakdown of the expense. 

Soymilk is $2.98 for a half gallon and I use 1/8 of the gallon for the drink, so .37 in milkVanilla syrup is 12.2 oz for $3.98 and I use a little under 1 oz. for a drink, .33 in syrupTazo Chai tea mi…

Preservation Saturday

You'll never guess what we did this week! Went to our local supermarket and bought 50 lbs. of russet potatoes. Yup, the REALLY big bag. I have been getting the canning bug and wanted to make some canned potatoes for my pantry.


Canning is a really good way to save money if your already own your equipment. I've been doing this since 2010 and slowly building up my supplies over the years. Now my canning costs are mainly for jars, rings and lids. I keep the rings and use them over and over but the lids need to be replaced after each use. And the jars I can still pick up on Craigslist pretty cheaply. I also shop the "end of season" sales every year. 
So, I bet you are wondering just how many quart jars of potatoes you can get from 50 lbs of potatoes and the answer would be.... about 18 to 20 quarts. We're halfway through the bag and have done up 14 quarts leading me to believe it will be more like 28 quarts of potatoes in the end. That works out to .35 per jar. Now yo…

DIY Tuesday - Teacup Bird Feeder

Gifts can be challenging when you retire. You want to give something nice that they would enjoy but things just seem so expensive these days. Well, have I got a fun little project for you today! You can make it with things you have or things you find at a garage sale or thrift shop. And it is ADORABLE!! I want these all over my yard in different colors and sizes! And you can even bring them indoors, put little succulent plants inside and enjoy them on counters, walls and coffee tables. 

I found this little idea on Pinterest so the idea didn't originate with me. BUT... oh my gosh you guys... they turn out so cute! Head on over to Pinterest and take a look at all the different ways this can be done. And while you are there, follow me! Here is what you are going to need to make one like my example. 


A teacup and saucer (the fancier the better!)E6000 Glue, clear / glass glue

Masking tape
Bird seed, succulent plants or whatever you envision inside (candy might be good too!)

Here are a few o…

MeatLESS Mondays - Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup

Soup is so good! I could literally eat it at every meal. You can put in meat, veggies, herbs and spices, pasta, rice and the list goes on and on. For today's meal we are going to be making Spinach Tomato Tortellini Soup that I found over on the Damn Delicious website. As I've stated before, it is meatLESS NOT meat free. We do eat eggs and dairy on our meatLESS Mondays. 

What I like about this soup is how quick and easy it is. You buy the fresh pasta tortellini, or in our case this week, little mini cheese filled ravioli. You can used homemade chicken broth or buy that at the store too. And the vegetables and herbs; garlic, onion, spinach, basil, oregano and bay leaf, if you're lucky, can all be grown in a small home garden. The vegetables we use a lot of during the year, we buy in bulk cases from Costco as well as the broth and that helps to keep the overall price down. Also, since it is enough for 4 servings, we can save half the soup for another night this week with sandw…

Growing Saturdays: The Produce Stand

We live in one of the most beautiful places around, the Central Coast of California. Mild winters, hardly any time during the year that you can't grow your own food. Our little town of Grover Beach is surrounded by fields of strawberries, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, blueberries... well you name it and it is probably being grown here!








On our home lot we grow blueberries, grapes, ollalieberries, blackberries, yellow raspberries, fuyu persimmons and apples. Not bad for an ordinary backyard that also has grass. Well, it has grass during some parts of the year. We also have chickens that do their "free ranging" out there so they deplete the grass by the end of summer. BUT, in return, we are given lovely, rich yellow yolk eggs so we don't mind. I also grow 2 beds of various herbs that we use to enhance the flavor of our cooking.





And best of all, we have a share in a community garden just down the street from us. It is a plot that is  12' wide by 20'…