Friday, July 31, 2015

Andy's rapid gardening techniques part one.

Like most of the members of my family, we like to grow things. not everyone has the knack for this but for those who do it can pay off in the long run of things. but without the proper components of  a garden you will most likely fail at it.

 To start at this you will need a good quality soil. This is important as your plants will do poorly in poor soil. this years garden(the first at my home) was started in miracle grow potting soil, this was a mistake as our local hardware store had improperly cared for the bags and they rapidly developed a powdery mildew  and most of the plants died off. the second crop was more successful and was potted in a locally sourced mixture of composted wood chips. the problem with the second crop was they grew too aggressively and my wife and I couldn't up plant them fast enough. the remainder of that crop was only 3 tomato plants that the roots became diseased because of poor drainage. they survived using a technique I will cover later on in this string of posts

The next important step is to have somewhere to start seeds and to finally plant them. Our . initial garden was started in small paper cups this worked out for the most part up until the mold took hold of them and they dropped dead(Ill cover the solution for the mold problem later). the second crop was planted in the black plastic containers you would buy seedlings in that we acquired. they proved to be the best as they had pre determined drainage.

the second phase was the solo cup phase after the plants reached the approximate height of the plastic containers they were planted in. the height of the plant shouldn't exceed the depth of the container they are planted in, otherwise bad things happen with the roots (root bound plants is the keyword here) and they will essentially choke themselves to death.

the third stage had we made it here was going to be some food grade plastic buckets we acquired(acquired meaning free on the side of the road or sourced from a location that would throw them out) where the plant should be able to live for the extent of their life

there are many options available for final planting, most of which can be constructed of discarded materials. this is where we will pick up on the next post as cats have happened  and I am losing the use of my hands to their needs

Making every minute count for something

I hear people talk about how bored they are or how they have nothing to do. These people are fools within the grand scheme of things. I never do just one thing at a time on a day to day basis, I use a combination of timed events such as laundry in conjunction with at will events such as watering my garden or vacuuming. those are just the examples of active things I undertake on a daily basis.
   This is the basis of the next string of posts is to make use of every waking moment that you can and within this string is going to but a few sections on ways of reducing the over all amount of money that you will spend. these methods are not always going to be easy but I never really take it easy myself.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

hyper budget meals

the key to a budget meal is simple, knowing the cost per unit of the ingredients, know how to prepare them so that they are eatable and limiting the quantity of consumption.

My personal key to not only cheap meals but often time healthy meals is this

1: rice
2: potatoes
3: beans

All of these can be purchased in bulk for very little money. A common dish in my household is fried rice as it is not only fast but also cheap. throw in a bit of frozen or canned vegetables and two eggs and some soy sauce or teriyaki sauce and your in business. with potatoes you can add some cheese and a few herbs and again you are good to go. with beans you add tomato sauce and tomato paste and some chili powder. throw it in the crock pot the night before  and let it cook til your hungry.

The best part of these meals is they taste as good if not better as leftovers the next day, I usually package some of this up in a couple Pyrex containers and eat it for lunch the next day. the recommendation I'll make is make sure you have some protein in these dishes. generally speaking chicken and pork will be the most economical choice in comparison to beef. another good option is eggs in some of these dishes as they are very good at soaking up flavors. I leave what you do to your own discretion.

If you want the official recipes that are made at my house then request them in the comments section and I'll compile them for a future post.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

when to use coupons and when you are throwing your money away.

Coupons are the devil some of the time and a savior others. they can bring prices of goods down by a significant amount and in some cases bring the price down to free. the problem with coupons is knowing what you actually use and what your buying because its got a coupon associated with it.
I've often been to yard sales where people are trying to re sell their hordes of tooth pastes and deodorant thinking that they can make a quick buck off what they probably got for free. don't be this person, only buy what you can use within a reasonable amount of time. tooth paste isn't stocks they wont increase in value the longer you have it.

coupon sites are numerous and with the coming of the age of smart phone are even more accessible to most people. one website that I've heard of time and time again is The Krazy Coupon Lady where she lays out what is on sale and how to combine coupons to reduce the price down to pennies on the dollar. but again If you buy 500 tubes of toothpaste then you are still stuck with 500 tubes of tooth paste and significantly less storage.

Another place that you can sometimes find better deals is on  Amazon  and they also offer a subscription to product you have to buy on a regular basis which can save you time and possibility money. I used this extensively while I was overseas to order coffee and I often could get a great deal of coffee for very little money.

There are several other apps available on your phone, Ive used a hand full of them but I don't buy nearly as much as most people. A quick search on Google play or your app store of choice will reveal what option are available

The bottom line is  know what you will use, know what you can acquire for very little money and balance  out you expenditures. I have a set amount for groceries a month and I rarely exceed it But that is a discussion for another post