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.

Running Update

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?

40 thoughts on “Friday’s Frugal Five (2018 – Week 31)

  1. Sounds like a good week – got some rain as well and some fun thunderstorms.

    Tracking your trash sounds interesting – I know I don’t generate a lot, but I’m pretty sure I could do better if I tried!

    The Kombucha sounds disappointing – I had a similar fail trying to make sauerkraut – sometimes it is not meant to be.

    1. More rain again today!! And we definitely create less trash than the average for our neighborhood (noted by our smaller trash can), but it’s well above “zero waste” for sure.

  2. mrs. me makes the ‘buch” but i know nothing about it except i stay far away. i’ll ask her about a flavored one if i think of it. those are some nice looking potatoes… dislike fish and key lime pie? i don’t know what to make of this.

    1. Dislikes include fish, key lime pie, cheesecake, anything sweet that includes peanut butter… at least I’ve come around to liking (some) pizza, chocolate, and ice cream 😉

  3. I didn’t realize how moderate your temperatures were! Being able to pick a few hardy plants in the winter would be extra satisfying!

    You’re killing it in the running/work out department this week!

    1. Yeah, we might get one or two snow falls in the winter, and it never lasts more than a couple of days, so the hardier plants tend to survive if you’ve given them time to get big enough before winter.

    1. Maybe I should send you a scoby then so I’m at least making some use out of it 😉

  4. People should seriously look at the massive benefits of Kombucha, the fermentation process is so critical to our gut bacteria and health of our bodies. We brew about 4 litres a week in winter and in summer 8 litres. We brew our batches in the big 4L mason jars, we use the purest best organic black and green tea we can find (no flavourings!) . Once the initial fermentation is done we typically always do a good amount of finely diced ginger and this week used about 1/2 cup fresh blueberries. They then sit for a week for the secondary fermentation on the darkest part of our counter. Before we put it in the fridge when it’s done we strain it through a cheese cloth to get any solids out and then its good to go. I drink about 500ml per day and am addicted. I honestly think it is the easiest thing we make in our house, there is nothing too it.

    1. Okay okay okay…. time to actually finish the process and start drinking the stuff regularly. Feel free to badger me about it until I do 😜

  5. I like the idea of tracking your trash. It’s for sure an area I could improve and tracking has worked for me in the past with spending and eating better.

    I’m also loving harvest season! We’ve had a few duds this year (our zucchini’s were a disaster and I have no idea why, usually they’re great) but fresh carrots and beans have been so delicious this past week. We’re also planning to make a big batch of apple sauce this weekend because our apple tree was loaded this year.

    1. Like with everything else, there’s no substitution for tracking what you’re doing.

      I’m totally jealous of your apple tree! No fruit trees for us.

  6. Great week! I’m so excited for Monday’s post! And will forever be jealous of all you’re harvesting. This first year in the garden is quite slow… but every year is different and we learn a lot. You can compost the SCOBY! I gave up on mine as well when I forgot about it for… like… 6 months haha

    1. Gardening definitely takes time, but it is so worth it! And I think I’m going to give the kombucha one more go before I scrap it altogether, but good to know at least the excess scoby can go in the compost lol

    1. Do you have a favorite recipe? I think I need to branch out and try some of the flavored stuff.

    1. Yeah we saw almost negligible rain the entire month of July. The few recent days of rain have been awesome, but then we’re back to the heat.

  7. I always look forward to your Frugal Friday posts! I chuckled about the hot temperatures there, as we get temps in the 90s+ over summer in South Australia. A week of temps over 100 is quite common in summer. No point having a dryer here, so haven’t had one for years…. saves heaps of money on power.
    I keep meaning to try making kombucha, as I know it would be good for our health. Gotta look into it! Thanks for the reminder……& letting me know it’s not always a perfect start with it!! LOL! Blessings. Kerryn

    1. Yeah, when we lived in South Carolina the heat around here wouldn’t be worth commenting, but it is scorching for the northwest!

  8. I love your gardening pictures on Instagram!

    I also love kombucha but have never brewed my own. It sounds like a lot of work, which I’m not opposed to but there are so many other things vying for my attention. Since I don’t drink alcohol, I feel like I can splurge now and then and buy myself a kombucha from the store 🙂

    1. Making kombucha is actually very very little work. I’m doing fine brewing it, but then I forget about it while if ferments haha.

  9. Home grown tomatoes are the bomb! My neighbor used to bring me heirloom tomatoes from the farmers market. I finally understood “eating a tomato like an apple”. Best thing ever! When the market was over, I was so disgusted going back to my store bought tomatoes. No taste.
    A Cherokee Purple sounds like an awesome tomato.

    1. Yeah, once you go homegrown tomato you wonder if it’s ever worth buying an out of season tomato again.

  10. Your potatoes look lovely Angela! I used to have a garden and loved the feeling of growing your own food- I think it’s a great way to teach kids to learn and enjoy their food too!

    I’m so impressed with your workout schedule and lifting schedule and life schedule! I barely have time to do anything haha it’s 11:45pm and I am replying to comments on my blog.

    I’ve never actually tried kombucha but I have heard lots of good things about it.

    1. Remember, my kiddo is 3.5 years old now; life gets so much more sane as they get a bit older.

  11. Awesome, keep the running going. That is great progress Angela! I’ve been doing the same as well, and i have to tell you…. it feels awesome!

    I’ve been seeing Kombucha around a lot lately, like really A LOT… i can’t stress that part enough. It’s at Aldi, it’s at the supplement store. What exactly does it do? (i know, probably a stupid question, but i wouldn’t be a pesky reader if i didn’t ask that right?)

    And how much cheaper is it to brew your own batch vs buying at a local grocery store already brewed?

    Cheers Angie!

    1. Go read some of the comments above for the kombucha benefits – they’ve done a good job explaining it. And it is a LOT cheaper to brew your own. All it takes is some loose leaf tea, water, and sugar. And I am not Angie, thanks 🙂

      1. oops sorry! Angela…my bad.

        But yeah, i figured the kombucha benefits would be pretty easy to find if i looked hard enough. I just didn’t suspect it would be right here in your comment section lol.

      2. Yep, people get pretty passionate about kombucha 🙂

  12. Thanks for sharing, TLRE! I like your first mention about tracking your trash. That concept really resonated with me because I’ve been mindful about wasting less food recently. I have been making an effort to use up food that I already have instead of buying more groceries. Smart move on not using the dryer all month, and it’s awesome that you’re growing your own vegetables. I bet they taste so fresh. I don’t have any tips regarding the kombucha but hopefully the next time you experiment goes well.

    1. Well my post on tracking my trash is up this morning! I went pretty detailed for the week, so I hope you enjoy reading it and maybe get inspired to try it yourself 🙂 Eye opening experience for sure.

  13. Citrus is amazing and honestly instead of writing off our friendship, I’m now thinking I should move there so you can give me all the tasty food that you for some reason don’t like 😂

    Wish we could give you some of our rain—we finally had a weekend without any!

    1. I’d throw in giving you all the watermelon I don’t like as well 😉

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