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Happy Easter + Updates!

2013-03-30 11.06.40

I hope you all had a lovely Easter! The Savvy Student Shopper has been so busy around here with chickens, gardening, cooking, homework, classes, and internship searching that there has been zero time to blog! I hope that things will get less busy soon, but gardening season has started, chickens are growing and I have exams in just over a month. Crazy! Summer will be here before we know it 🙂

I’ll be posting a chicken update, a garden update, thrifty finds, and my latest CVS trip in the near future so don’t go too far!

2013-03-31 10.30.50

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Frugal Tip: What to do when you have 7 million zucchinis?!

Unfortunately the bugs destroyed my zucchini plants and left me with a very short growing time and only a few zucchini. But between the zucchini I picked from my garden and the few I picked up at the farmer’s market, I still have enough frozen zucchini bread and shredded zucchini to last us until next summer 🙂 If you have too much summer produce to handle -freeze it!

I made many batches of zucchini bread this summer. We always ate a loaf or two, and then I’d wrap up and freeze the other loaves. If I wasn’t feeling up to making bread, I would simply shred the zucchini, measure it based on the recipe I follow, and then freeze it up in portioned baggies! This January when we’re craving some fresh summer zucchini bread, I’ll be able to pull out my shredded zucchini and whip up a loaf or two!

If you want to be frugal, you must never let produce go to waste. It can almost always be cooked, frozen, dehydrated, or canned for a later day!

(Squirt sleeping on the counter!)

Gardening Updates 8/6

It has been quite some time since the last gardening post, hasn’t it? I’ve been busy and the garden has been slow. When I went away for the 4th of July, the deer got back into the garden because the piece of fence fell down and my dad someone didn’t bother to put it back up. So that set the tomatoes and peppers back a few weeks and killed some of my lovely potatoes.

I picked this bowl of tomatoes last night. The majority of them are a purple variety… I really have no idea. I figured they would get a darker purple color, but a lot of the tomatoes started to split open from being left on the vine too long, so I just picked them the way they are. I’m sure they’ll taste just fine! And I still have a few blackberries every now and then. After this picture I ate them all! They were nice and sweet.

I’m going to replant some lettuce and some other fall-ish veggies this week if I find the time. I also need to plant some more pumpkins and gourds because those awful bugs destroyed all the big leaves in my garden.

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Savvy Student Shopper’s Garden Update 7/12

My garden was left alone for the week when I went on vacation so it was not in the best shape when I got home! We had a nasty storm right before I left for the beach which knocked over part of my fence and it didn’t get fixed until just the other day. Unfortunately, the deer found their way back in and devoured a ton of tomatoes. They also like tossing green ones on the ground and also taking one bite out of tomatoes and leaving the rest for me. They also ate every single pepper and chewed the pepper plants down to the ground again. Stupid, stupid deer.

See that? Why would they do that to 10+ tomatoes?!

Now this squash thing isn’t from my garden, it was given to my mom at work. The lady has a huge farm on the eastern shore and brought in a ton of these… but she called them Spaghetti squash. It certainly doesn’t look like a Spaghetti squash to me though. Anyone else have an idea?

And the other night, I made some yummy pasta salad -complete with tomatoes from my garden (the few I saved from the deer, that is). And it’s served in a cute Butterfly Gold Pyrex Bowl. Apparently, this is my sister’s favorite pattern! It was my first piece (and it was free!) so it’s sentimental to me.

I’ve been keeping the caterpillars off my cauliflowers leaves, but apparently they just found a new home INSIDE the cauliflower veggie. I’ll save you the details, but unfortunately, I will not get to eat any of it. I picked the last of my radishes and lettuce. The deer also helped themselves to lettuce too. It’s like one giant salad bowl for them in there. Blackberries are coming to an end as well. I need to find a few new things to plant!

I made a few jars of pickles before vacation and I’ll make a few more with the rest of my cucumbers (way top picture). My cucumber plants are not doing well in all the heat we’ve had, so these will probably be some of the last cucumbers I get.

Garden Update 6/25

Here’s yet another late garden update. These pictures are mostly from last week, but they’ll do 😉 I have a thrifting post to write after I gather up the goodies for a picture. Ya know, the other day, I went to CVS and did a nice, big trip. I laid all the goodies out when I got home, went to get my phone to snap a pic, got distracted, cleaned up all the goodies and never did take a picture lol! My mind is just exhausted!

The white cauliflower is growing nicely. My hand is there for size comparison, if that helps. I also spotted a cheddar cauli poking is head out of the leaves too! I’ll take his picture next time.

This is a pretty new addition to the garden (it keeps getting bigger 😉 ). We were getting rid of our old kid’s play fort (kinda like this) so I stole the top part, flipped it over, and decided it would make a great raised bed! I filled her with strawberries (thanks Glenda!) and it’ll be ready for blooming next year.

And here’s an awkward photo of me holding my zucchinis. My phone was charging at the time so it was the only way I could get a picture of them without laying them on the floor. Aren’t they nice looking?

This picture is actually from last night, though those cucumber probably needed to be plucked last week (oops!). I planted normal cucumbers and pickling ones and of course I lost track of where I planted each type. I assume these are the pickling ones, which is supposed to stay small and cute like little pickles 🙂 Blackberries are starting to turn as well! I had to pick a few and I’m sure I’ll be picking for the next few weeks. I’ll need to find time to make some jam (and pickles) in the near future.

Gardening Update 6/9/2012

And here’s another late gardening update! Things are coming along nicely and I think I’ve finally (or temporarily) stopped the stupid caterpillars from killing my broccoli and cauliflower.

I picked the last of my first batch of radishes. And I also harvested some nice lettuce which we made into a pretty salad!

Such a pretty bunch, huh?

I woke up to these happy zucchini flowers smiling at me! I have about 7 baby zucchinis growing. I’d be happier, but I don’t like them 🙁 I’m going to try making bread though… maybe I’ll like that!

I still only have one cauliflower poking out. It’s about the size of a tennis ball! I’m patiently waiting for the other 6 plants to produce their fruits.

I still have quite a few tomatoes coming along, though they are all still green. I haven’t seen any sign of deer sneaking into my garden, so I hope it stays that way! My potatoes are also doing very well. The one can of plants is taller than me!

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I made brownies…

…IN PYREX!

Yep, I made brownies yesterday in my cleaned up flamingo Pyrex dish I scooped up for 2 quarters last weekend. They tasted great 🙂

And then the rectangular brownie got cut into an “A”. 10 Gold Stars to the first person who can guess why my sister needed an “A” dessert last night! Any guesses?

Due to the reason behind the “A”, my sister had some friends over last night. I cashed out some Papa Johns codes and scored them 2 Large Pizzas for $1.99 delivery + tip. I also fixed them up a salad, with lettuce and radishes (both garden fresh!).

And because my sister’s favorite TV Show actress made Kale Chips a few weeks ago, we had to too. I know they are all the rave these days, I’m not too sure why. They weren’t terrible, certainly edible and crunchy though.

So there’s a peek into my Tuesday night… fun huh?

Garden Update (End of May)!

I haven’t posted any recent pictures because I’ve been busy and I was out of town last weekend! Here’s a short (well, my plan is for it to be short) recap of my garden this week…in case you care 😉

The radishes are coming in nicely! I’ve picked a few bunches of them already. I have red and white ones 🙂 See their luscious green tops?

My tomato plants are starting to flower and produce tomatoes! I have quite a few green tomatoes already. As long as the deer stay out of my garden, we’ll be good to go! I have 3-4 larger tomato plants, 5-6 medium, 4-5 small, and then still a bunch of baby plants so hopefully I’ll get tomatoes for quite awhile in batches.

My cauliflower plant (just one) finally started to produce its vegetable!! Unfortunately… I’ve found who is killing the cauliflower and broccoli: caterpillars. They are destroying the leaves and leaving poops and eggs all over!

See the pitiful broccoli plant with the green caterpillar attached to it? Don’t worry… I killed that sucker! I’m hoping the plant comes back, but it’s looking rather sad 🙁

I picked these peppers last night because we needed them for dinner! I wanted to keep them on their plant longer, but dinner was more important!

That’s all for now, folks!

Regrowing Your Produce! (Free & Easy)

Did you know you could regrow a lot of the items that you usually toss? I’ve been regrowing my produce for a month or so and it really works! It definitely doesn’t produce another enormous head of celery or huge bunch of Romaine lettuce, but it’s more than you’d get if you had just thrown the ends away.

It’s really quite simple. First, you’ll need the end of a vegetable. What’s worked the best for me are: celery, cabbage, romaine lettuce, and green onions. Some veggies will not regrow themselves. For instance, carrots will grow some more green, but it won’t produce another carrot. And if you try it with a tomato, you’ll probably get some nice mushy mold. Pineapples also work great, if you’re in a good climate. Before you toss the end of your celery/lettuce/etc., save it and put it in a mug, or container of hot water (like pictured above). Place it in a sunny window. I change the water every few days to keep it fresh.

You may see some growth within a few days! I have Romaine that has been in there for weeks…and it has nothing. I have another that is 2 days old and already has some growth! I don’t know what the trick is, but give it a try a few times before you give up. You’ll notice new sprouts coming up… and maybe even some roots!

You can take these little, new plants and plant them in dirt, or you can continue to grow them in water, in a sunny place. I have a celery and cabbage plant that are doing very well in pots right now (Update: see below!)!

See -it’s very easy, and very fun! You won’t get a feast, of course, but you’ll get enough lettuce to top your taco or some celery for soup. The best part though, is that it’s free! Give it a try and let me know how it works out for you!

UPDATE: 6/13/2012
These guys have been growing for over a month! I’m so proud of them 🙂 Cabbage on the left and celery on the right.

You can join the rest of my gardening adventures here

Gardening Update 5/20

These pictures are from Sunday (I’m always behind on posting!) so everything is a little bit bigger now, especially with all the rain we got yesterday!

I picked a few radishes because they were poking out of the ground, and last year I let them go too long, so I picked a few now even though they are small!

I also have a few peppers growing! I have a few different types, but this is the only one producing veggies so far.

And above you’ll see some of my potatoes! They are growing like weeds! I’m running out of dirt to refill them with. They are also growing all over my compost… which is pretty neat! I know they are loving that dirt.

The radishes and cauliflower (and onions are surrounding them) are doing very well! I can’t wait to have the cauliflower ready to pick because I want to roast it! I’ve never had roasted cauliflower, but it sounds yummy to me.

My zucchini are doing well, as are the tomatoes, blackberries, lettuce, and gourds! My cucumbers are very slow this year, but maybe I’m just too anxious to make pickles!

I’ll post another update in a few days. I hope you all enjoy seeing pictures!