Friday, February 20, 2009

Life on a budget

I've gotten a good start cutting our grocery bill, but I still have a long way to go. I'm trying to get the stuff together to plant a small container garden in the back yard to help with veggies this summer. I want to start an herb pot too.

I've priced the stuff to make a shelf to set the pots on and it shouldn't cost more than $15.00. Since I can't get on the ground and will need to tend to them in my wheelchair, I need the pots up off the ground a bit. The biggest cost is going to come in buying big pots, soil and plants. I'm hoping to find a good deal at one of the home building stores or nurseries around here. I have a few pots that might works for smaller plants, but nothing big enough to grow much. I just hope I can grow enough veggies to make it worth the cost and that it helps with the grocery bill.

I've picked up a few bags of beans I can cook to help stretch things. Though techniqually fairly high in carbs, beans have something called resistant starch that works rather like fiber, and doesn't cause insulin surges. I've eaten beans in moderation every now and again on my low carb diet, now I'll just be eating them more often. I also have several cans of beans on hand for when I don't have time to cook dried beans.

I've got chicken fajita's cut, seasoned and ready to cook for tonight, along with a big bowl of salad and some low carb tortillas.
I have stuffed pepper meat ready to stuff some peppers tomorrow night, I added 3/4 cup of rice and 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms to stretch the meat. I should have enough meat to stuff the peppers for us tomorrow and freeze enough for another night. That way I can get two meals from one package of ground meat.

The flax bread still works for breakfast, and I need to make up bowls of tuna and egg salad for lunches over the weekend. We can eat them on lettuce leaves or a few triskets. At least I think there is some triskets up in the cabnet. All in all I think I have a fairly good handle on it. At least for this week.
Wish me luck for next week.


Anonymous said...


If you have eclectic taste, you can buy one big pot at time. They are slightly reasonably priced on clearance. However, slim chance of them matching so if you're eclectic you can pull it off.

You can also buy the big ugly terra cotta pots and paint them. Cheap, fun and you can control the look.

You may also look into whiskey barrels. They are $30 or $45, look great and can be lined to hold the dirt more efficiently. I would poke a few holes in the bottom of the liner for drainage. I think they are plenty big enough to grow some veggies in. To me, cheaper than buying a big pot. I would just buy one at a time so it doesn't hurt your budge too badly as an investment.

Of course you can also look into a raised garden... you could build up the edges, line it and have more control over how big it will be. I have a rustic taste (hence my love for whiskey barrels) so I would use railroad ties to build up the sides. 2 or 3 up should be a good height for ya.

My parents made a few out of bricks they pulled up out of their backyard patio.

You could also lay a few boards on their side and use posts to hold them in place. Actually, that would probably be cheapest.

That's all my ideas at the moment. :D I hope you get a few ideas that work for you from it! :D

Good luck and I'll keep reading to see how it comes along!

Vikki said...

Jenn, Good idea I never thought about whiskey barrels. They would be perfect for things like squash or spinach. Thanks girl.
And your right my best bet is to buy the pots a little at the time. I had planned on the plain old terra cotta pots. It's the back yard and I don't really care what they look like, nothing back there for them to match anyway. But we actually have a yard art place pretty close by that has some pretty clay pots for reasonable prices late in the season, I'll have to see what they are early.

I so so wish I had a saw so I could build a couple of raised beds, but I don't. I priced having them made a couple of years ago and wow! People charge a fortune to build a simple box on legs.
I'm hoping my nieces boy friend can put me some together once they get moved in next year.
Thanks for the tips, I can't wait 'til time to plant, I've always loved planting. Getting my hands in the dirt...giggle guess I never out grew mud pies..:o)

Anonymous said...


This is more along the lines of what I was thinking of:

Should be cheaper to build b/c of no bottom. You can make the design more economical by removing the fancy corner posts and running a fence stake (I think that's what they are called) on each side. I'd do at least two per side so sixteen total.

If you had someone to lay it out you could buy the side boards in the size you need. The come like 9, 10, 12, 16 feet. I might be over simplifying but to me it seems like the construction would be just putting together a puzzle. Set up the boards, hammer the stakes into place to secure them.

Anyways, hope that helps. I'm off to read. :D

Twisted Cinderella said...

One thing I am thinking of doing this year, is going to the local farm and signing up for their weekly veggie basket for the summer. I pay a price up front and then for the rest of the summer I get farm fresh vegetables.

Jennifer said...

Hi Vikki,

How are you? Hope your mom is getting stronger.

I was looking for your other blog - what happened to it?

This blog looks good! :-)