Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Cooking your own dog food

Ahh, the good old days. When dogs were fed table scraps. Meat scraps. Leftovers of whatever there was, supplemented by some meat.

Then, in the 60's and 70's, there was the rise of the dog food industry. And today, a burgeoning pet food industry. As if pet owners are too stupid to feed their pets on their own. As if dogs are so fragile that they have to have specific diets that are difficult.

Y'all....I don't know about your dog's, but mine will eat cat crap. Just keeping it real. My dogs will eat garbage. Dead baby birds if they find them in the yard. I mean, it isn't like I "allow" them to eat these things (serve them up on a silver platter for them, here....have some cat crap), no, they go looking for these things all on their own.

Then we had the whole melamine in the dog food, dog food recall there, in 2007. Can we trust the companies making the "right and wholesome foods" for our dogs? I don't know anymore.

We hear them tell us "no table scraps" and "no people food". Excuse me? What do you think domesticated dogs have been fed for the past few centuries? Dog food companies have only been around since the early 1900's, prior to that, all they GOT were table scraps and meat from the butcher.

Leading me to my point. I have a new pug puppy. My Pesto. The industry dog food he was on was causing an allergic reaction in him. Because of this, I started cooking his food for him. But, sadly, I didn't do my research and didn't do it smart. NEED to READ before doing!! Dogs do need vitamins and minerals (easily replaced by a crushed tablet sprinkled over their food). I am now working directly with my vet, creating a meal plan for my pug, with the proper vitamins and minerals.

And, frankly, it will be healthier in the long run, making for a better life for him. Plus, it really isn't any more expensive than the bagged dog food for such a small dog. My Pesto....he's worth it.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

My garden is outta control

I am having a fallow season. I admit it. It has been one of those springs, moving in to one of those summers.

Hard to feel motivated to do much of anything. Seems like I complete the minimums of what I need to to keep my family running. Nothing horrible, I cook dinner, grocery shop, do my work, clean, etc. But my garden is suffering.

A few times a week, I look at my garden and think "I really need to weed". I have even weeded about 4 times. Still, the weeds are completely taking over right now.

On a higher note, my potato plants are HUGE. The difference between the potato boxes, where they are waist high, and in the garden, where they are only a few inches high...I think going with the potato boxes it is worth the extra work. I have kept up with them this spring, adding shredded paper and grass clippings to them a few times a week. Fingers crossed that we get ton's of potato's for yummy eating in the next month or so!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Chipp'n it

Using it all up!

I am so tired of trimming our trees, and putting them in the brown barrel (our city's yard debris), and then paying for mulch or barkdust. Feels like I am throwing away money.

However, buying a chipper....oy! They are expensive. You can get a cheapie one that will only chip tiny branches. The better ones, they cost more.

We have put off getting a chipper for exactly that reason. For several years now. Recently, hubby found an old one on Craigslist (you never do know what you will find on there). It wasn't running, but the seller was adding two motors with it. Mechanic-man thought he could make it work, and picked it up.

It took more work than he expected, but take a look! Whoop! This is a heap of tree branches that we trimmed off this morning, turned into mulch for the potato boxes by this evening. Isn't it beautiful? I love using things up.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Shopping it hard core

It's shopping day at my house. Wednesday is the first day of the sales for most stores around here, making it most likely that the stores haven't yet run out of what is on the ad.

I have always been a good shopper. Not a novice by any means! But lately, my friends have been helping me to "kick it up a notch". Opening my eyes to the wonders that are out there.

There are a bunch of extraordinary websites for the dedicated shopper. Coupon Mom is a well-known one. But in MY neck of the woods, we have Frugal Living NW, which clues us in to the exact stores, ads, and coupons that I can use in MY town. It makes my shopping SO MUCH easier! I scan through the ad's on my own to see what works for my pantry, what I am low on that is a good deal, and then I jump onto Frugal Living to see what the hot deals are for the week. I am talking about deals that, with a coupon, are free or nearly free. Then, I pull out my coupon binder and check to see if I still have that coupon. Love it!

Another great one for me is Fabulessly Frugal. And, if you are on Facebook, you can join all kinds of groups for couponers, and they will also direct you to links for free samples (who doesn't like a free sample mailed to them?). It is like getting presents sent to your mailbox!

Today, I went shopping. Used a rebate from my son's contacts ($14) and all my coupons. Spent $26.74 out of pocket, and saved $72.17. This past weekend, Albertson's had coupon doublers, and I walked out with completely free items after using my coupons (Weber grill seasoning, Baby Ray's BBQ Sauce). It is exhilirating to leave a store with goods without paying a penny (with a receipt!).