It rained this week!! We had an abnormally dry July so it has been very welcome to see some precipitation to start out the month of August. While not everyone will rejoice to see rain return, albeit briefly, for even a few days, I’ve been over the crazy heat for a while and my garden very much appreciates the water (as does our utility bill, since I’ve had to water most days right now).
Of course, the weather forecast does show us back in the mid eighties for the most of next week, but we are going to make the most of this weekend in the seventies because that temperature is just so much more pleasant for any outdoor activities beyond laying at a pool or beach. Thursday was also the first day in a good week and a half or more that we haven’t had to turn on our air conditioning because it finally cooled down enough at night that our house isn’t miserably hot without it on.
Again, for those of you in hot areas, I realize that mid eighties to low nineties is nothing extreme (it was way hotter the entire summer when we lived in South Carolina), but it isn’t typical for the Pacific Northwest, and we’re acclimated to not much like it when the temperature soars above eighty degrees.
Friday’s Frugal Five
1. I’ve been inspired by Budget Epicurean’s post last week on tracking her trash, so I’m midway through a week of doing it myself. I pride myself on making a lot of the right choices for the environment, but I do know that I could still do a lot better. This week has been really eye opening regarding the trash I do create, and I’ll expand on this more in a separate post once I’ve finished out the whole week.
One of the big things I’ve noticed so far though is that writing down every single scrap of garbage I produce has made me hyper aware of the little bits throughout the day, and it’s been really good incentive not to buy any food out since almost all restaurant / coffee shop type food includes some amount of waste. Since food and drink spending tends to be my Achilles heel (as well as chosen controlled splurge), I could see this continued challenge of reduced waste to reduce our expenses as well.
2. Because it’s been so hot and dry for the better part of a month, I haven’t needed to use the dryer at all. Better yet, our clothes have been drying incredibly fast because of the heat, and so I’ve been able to take them down the same day I hang them up, which isn’t always typical around here. Hang drying laundry is literally my favorite household chore, so it’s definitely been the highlight of temperatures I wouldn’t appreciate at all otherwise.
Our dryer might not actually be broken, but this time of year it may as well be for how often we use it. It may not save huge amounts of money, but it reduces our energy use, extends the life of our clothes (especially important as I continue my clothing ban), and relaxes my brain.
3. A coworker had a work anniversary this week so my company had a lunch party to celebrate, which meant free food, hooray! Costco pizza may not be the healthiest lunch ever, but they sure are tasty. Plus, I appreciate that we take the time out of the day to celebrate those kinds of things. Dessert was cheesecake and key lime pie, both of which I don’t enjoy, but I did share a piece of the pie with someone else because I do love whipped cream, and it turns out the Costco key lime pie isn’t terrible, which was strange because I tend not to like any kind of citrus dessert.
4. I’ve been posting quite a few of our garden harvests on Instagram lately because it’s just that time of year when I have something to pick every single day. While there is something extra satisfying to be able to pick anything in the middle of winter (ahem, kale), summertime means all kinds of fruits and vegetables are ready for eating daily.
It’s so much easier to eat my fruits and vegetables when they’re MY fruits and vegetables, both for the extra taste that comes from freshly grown food and the extra pride that comes from growing it. I got to pick my first full size tomato this week, a Cherokee Purple, and I ate it sliced up as part of my lunch on Thursday and it was amazing. Homegrown tomatoes have completely spoiled me on middle of winter grocery store tomatoes.
5. And…a total frugal fail this week. So do you remember how I started to make my own kombucha? Well, I made a couple of batches just fine and had plans to dabble in some flavored varieties, but then life got busy. I don’t have a really good excuse, but my last batch sat too long without drinking it, so I dumped it out and used the fresher part of the scoby to brew another batch. Except, I’ve done it again and now I need to start fresh once more.
The problem is, I can’t exactly just push it off for a few months without then needing another scoby, and I don’t want to waste the one I have, but brewing the kombucha to then ignore it for too long again isn’t an answer either. So if anyone has an awesome flavored recipe for me and will bug me to actually remember it once it’s ready, that would be awesome. Otherwise, I think I may just have to chalk up this kombucha experiment to something to try again when I have the bandwidth for the constant process.
On a more successful note than the kombucha, I ran four times this week! My son didn’t nap on Saturday when we spent the afternoon at a friend’s baby shower and fell asleep for the night on the ride home, which meant I had the time to escape for a bonus run after I got him in bed.
I then ran Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday as well as fitting in lifting workouts on Monday and Wednesday, so I’m quite pleased with how much I was able to exercise this past week. Hopefully I can keep it up, because I feel so much better for it.
Do you have any tips for me regarding the kombucha brewing? Should I just scrap the project at this point?