Mr. Bargain Shopper

My husband amazes me with his bargain finding. I like bargains too but I just don’t put the time into finding the like he does. I think it’s Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day that Home Depot and Walmart have sales on their charcoal. I think for Home Depot, the sale was Thursday through Sunday (but I’m not real sure). The price is 2 – 18.6 pound bags (used to be 20 pound bags) for $9.98. The regular price is $19.87.  We always get enough to last us and we never have to buy charcoal when it isn’t on sale. We use quite a bit between grilling and Dutch oven cooking and getting it about half off makes a difference.

Trip #1

Trip #1

Trip #1 yesterday – He went before he ever came home. I think he got 5 packs from Home Depot and 6 packs from Walmart. I believe the Walmart bags are 15.something pounds and they’re a little less but it’s almost exactly the same per pound.  That’s 22 bags of charcoal.

Trip #2

Trip #2

Trip #2 – We both went last night. I needed more wasp spray and a few things from the grocery store so he bought 8 more packs from Home Depot so that’s 16 more bags.  That’s 38 bags so far and you can bet he’ll go back in the pickup and get more before the sale is over.

Speaking of grocery stores . . that same United . . I’m not overly impressed with their prices. Walmart and Aldi are way, way less except things that are on sale but when things are on sale .  . United is hard to beat. They have a coupon this week for $5.00 off produce if you buy $5.00 worth. I didn’t even know about the coupon and got peaches and lemons and it came to $7.28 so after the $5 off, I paid $2.28.

They also had a coupon where you get $5 off your groceries if you spend $50. They had Dr. Pepper – 4 – 12 packs for $9.97 and I never see that price any more so we got 8 – 12 packs . . you never know when I might need ONE Dr. Pepper!  We also got some paper towels that were on sale for $12/pack so that was $24. We must have had something else but I don’t remember what. It came to $52 and we got $5 off that. By the time we paid less than $2.50 for a 12 pack of Dr. Pepper and then got more off, that was a good deal.

Maybe I should have him start doing my yarn shopping!  :)

Chickens and Grubs

Friday Vince and I worked outside almost all day. We finally finished planting all the trees we had in little pots and every pot I moved, there was at least one grub underneath it. 

Grub

Grub

Chickens love grubs but, chickens aren’t very bright and they decided my toes must be some edible creature and the nail polish attracted their attention.

Chickens

Chickens

In fact, they were getting a little aggressive. The faster I would walk, the faster they would walk trying to get my toes. Vince said “Why thy heck are they following  you around?” I stopped so he could see what they were after and the minute I stopped, there were about 8 chickens pecking at my toes.

I guess I need to wear real shoes or take the polish off my toes or be prepared to outrun chickens all day!

Kombucha Revisited

Readers have asked lately if I’m still making kombucha and I am. I don’t think there’s truly anything addictive in it but I sometimes feel I could be addicted to it. I want way more of it than I actually drink . . for two reasons:  (1) Too much can create lots of bubbles in the tummy and (2) I don’t produce that much. For a while, I had two batches going so two batches, along with a third big jar of extra SCOBY is just too much stuff sitting around in my tiny kitchen. Kombucha is so easy to make. The only problem I’ve ever had is that sometimes a batch will not be fizzy. I’ve read that not leaving enough head space in the jars can result in less fizz so I’m being careful to leave plenty of space and so far, I haven’t had any non-fizzy Kombucha but I’m not sure if that’s just luck or science.

Kombucha

Kombucha

Kombucha is said to have health benefits. You can read about some of those here. Again, I’m not sure if that’s real or hype. You know how much I like trying new things but if you’re halfway interested and have never tried Kombucha, most health food stores sell it for $3 to $5 per bottle. The first time I tried it, I was hooked.

There are previous blog posts detailing how to make it but there’s an excellent step by step tutorial here.

You will need a starter which is called a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast). Don’t let the name turn you off! You can get a SCOBY from a friend, purchase it or sometimes harvest your own. I had given Chad and Nicole some bottles that I had made and they were able to harvest a SCOBY from the top of their bottles. 

Once you’re making your Kombucha, new layers will form on top of the SCOBY and it will eventually have to be divided.

The last time I made Kombucha, the top layer, where the new growth is always located, tore but I used it anyway. 

Torn SCOBY

Torn SCOBY

It produced a perfect new SCOBY in just one batch.

New SCOBY

New SCOBY

I fuss about Vince never throwing things away but I save way too many SCOBY in what we call a “SCOBY hotel”. First photo, jar on the left is the hotel. I just keep tossing them in there. Every now and then someone will want to start their own Kombucha and I say . . let me give you a SCOBY.

From yesterday’s batch, I ended up with 5 bottles of Cranberry Pomegranate Kombucha. It will sit out for a few days to become carbonated, then it will go into the fridge and sit patiently, waiting to provided refreshment for us.

Kombucha

Kombucha

A new batch is brewing, along with fresh tea for the hotel!

New Batch

New Batch

Since it’s summertime and we’re wanting more, next week, I’m going to go back to making two batches and toss out some of the existing SCOBY. Darn, I hate to do that but I can’t keep everything . . that’s what I tell Vince!