Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My worldly scholar

The summer is winding down and I, for one, am relieved. I find summer exhausting sometimes! The long days packed with activities and work and beach time, picnics and organizing all the toys and bikes and food...Oi! I am a creature of habit at heart. I enjoy my cosy couch, knitting with a cup of tea and putting a hearty meal Into the Crockpot. You could say I like sweater weather. I have been slowly resigning myself to the fact that the school year will be upon us in a matter of days and that my one and only will be off to kindergarten like the proverbial Pinocchio that he is. I have been on the look out for back to school deals. We decided that he does not need a new back pack, he has two already and the one in better shape is his favourite. Why buy another one? I looked through his closet and he has several pairs of pants. I have been collecting clothes for months in a too large size (clearance sales) so this should get him through the first part of the year. No need to spend more on pants. New shirts were needed, though as all of the summer tees are stained with months of Popsicle juice, beach trips and playing in the sandbox. I looked at the thrift store and found some for three dollars, then I looked at Walmart and found some for...three dollars. New. Glad I kept shopping. The clearance rack had quite a selection of long sleeved tees and I let him choose which designs he liked. We picked out four shirts and a fleece sweater. When I think about the way my son plays in the dirt and gravel and rolls in the grass, paying more than a fin for a shirt seems folly! I found another cool one for $3.50 at A Zellers clearance and it says Peace Rocks in the shape of a guitar. Cute. So, again, I haven't spent a ton on back to school and yet we have all we need. My bargain hunting son even spent his own allowance on a tin Spiderman lunch kit. He already has an insulated cooler bag which I was planning to use again this year, but heck, there is no super hero on it, so we caved. It almost brought a tear to my eye. He loves it, he is so happy and we are well under budget for back to school. Yay.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Everything is just peachy!

Yes, we actually did it. We actually were organized and bought and preserved peaches! This was one of my goals for the summer and so I am very satisfied to have achieved one of my umpteen million mini goals of which I aspire to. Peaches are one goal that is very sweet indeed. These little beauties were half price due to an error in the advertised price. In other words, the flyer was misprinted so they had to sell them at a reduced price. Yay for good timing! We were able to then buy the jars AND the fruit for the same price as the fancier, so called "canning" peaches. After spending the morning comparison fruit shopping, we found these a few minutes outside of town and decided they were worth hauling home. In the land of fruit, prices vary widely as does quality, so I am glad we shopped around. I'm also glad my mental calculator (aka my husband) was along. He was also instrumental to the actual canning process, which, as much as I talk a good game, I am also very inexperienced at. We managed to muddle through and now we have a beautiful bounty of peaches! With the skins and pits that were left over, we boiled them down to reduce, extracted the juice and made a delicious syrup. I didn't bother to process it in the canner, I will just keep it in the frig. It will be fantastic on waffles! Yum!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


I got a free sample of Ocean Spray craisins (dried cranberry snacks) today! I completely forgot that I had signed up for them, oh, six to eight weeks ago, I'd say. What a neat surprise. My sample also came with a little red dress pin in support of cancer research. My husband laughs at me for getting these things in the mail. Secretly, I think he is jealous. He tried to eat my Craisins. Last week I got a perfume sample, Boss Orange from Hugo Boss. I never buy perfume, but hey, free is good. They sent me a repeat a couple days later, lucky me! Makes me want to sign up for more free stuff...
Getting ready for back to school too...more on that later. Did I tell you I love this time of year? Fall is definitely my favourite season. Better squeeze in as much summer fun while we still can though!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Goodywill two shoes

This is thrifting gone too far, to the extreme. Not sure if it is a public post. Click on it and see, if you are curious. If it is public, prepare to be weirded out. Or, as in my case, somewhat intrigued...

Hello August

Just got back from two nights in the tent. What a fun time we had with our friends, eating out of a cooler and making coffee on our propane stove. I love camping! It's the ultimate frugal family fun. It is a little tougher to stick to a tight budget, though. As much as I love camp food, with the province wide fire ban, we could not cook on an open fire. This meant that one lunch was Subway sandwiches and I was OK with that. It was so hot, and I just couldn't face a can of ravioli so I certainly did not mind paying for a little convenience. I bought one fountain drink and filled it up again using the ice to cool my own lukewarm canned pop. That was my friend's smart idea. We shopped as we went, not wanting to have too many leftovers to store in the cooler. Most of our snacks were fresh cherries, apples and water. We also had some hummus, pita, baby carrots and cherry tomatoes. I love summer! We visited a friend's property and my son "stole" some just-about ripe apricots from the tree. He carried them to us in a makeshift pouch from his turned up T-shirt. I bit into one and a bug came burrowing out. I screamed and threw it on the ground. Apparently, that was very entertaining to him. He told everyone we met the story of my apricot. Ah, good times. Now that we are home and I have my loads of campy laundry going and washed all the dust out of my hair, I almost feel human again. I planned the menu for the whole month of August using my recipe box, and a cookbook I have from Better Homes and Gardens called Low Cost Cooking. Yes, this book was purchased from the thrift store. Where else? I have had it since I moved out on my own and I highly recommend it for cheap, healthy meals to feed a family. I'm glad to be back at home. Nothing like two dusty nights on an air mattress sleeping to the peaceful sounds of dogs barking, babies crying and generators running RV air conditioning to make you appreciate the luxuries of creature comfort.
Glad I was only twenty minutes from home!