Penny Pinching Peach


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Upcycled Trellises for Gardening

Stroller Trellis
Stroller Trellis

Being a penny pincher who was raised homesteading and upcycling before it was the “in” thing to do, recycling unused items for my garden is like breathing.

*May contain affiliate links,  which help my little family without costing yours any extra money. *

Broken Stroller Trellis

Broken Stroller Trellis

When my cucumbers started getting out of control, it never occurred to me to go buy something to use as trellises. My first instinct was to scour our property for things to be used. I have used pieces of leftover fencing, unused animal cages, tree limbs rigged up and many other myriad random objects to trellis or stake plants with. This year my objects were a wee bit on the creative side.

Order non GMO seeds and supplies using the coupon code SAVE10NOW for 10% off at SeedsNow!

Have you ever used a baby stroller as a plant trellis?

 

It works great! We had this ancient stroller left outside on our property by a former resident and beyond safe use for it’s original purpose. We’d never bothered to haul it off, so I rolled it’s wobbling wheels on over to the end of my garden and started encouraging my cucumbers to climb. The photos illustrate the interesting results. My daughter loves it. She says our cucumbers are babies with their own baby carriage, and is eager to show off her baby cucumbers to anyone who may happen to be around. 🙂

Trellis From Yard Objects

Trellis From Yard Objects

You thought I was finished? I wasn’t done upcycling yet!

I needed more than what the rickety stroller could handle on it’s own, so I went a-searching again. I came up with a couple of leftover pieces of plastic yard edging, barely visible in the picture, and a black metal decorative tower thingamajigger. They both work well for the purpose, as you can see from their barely visible appearance in the featured snapshots.

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”

What items have you upcycled, recycled or reused to trellis your trailing plants in the garden?

In the spirit of sharing, this Kindle book The Upcycled Garden shares over 50 ways to use “discarded” items in new ways for your garden. Check it out!

For one of my favorite gardening tips, please read about my topsy turvy planters I made with my husband.

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Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad

Want a quick & healthy dish for a summer lunch? Try my Tomato Cucumber Macaroni Salad!

It’s super simple, and a hit any time I make it. I made it the night before while I was making baked mac and cheese for supper, and let it chill overnight to marry the flavors better. It really did blend the tastes together even more strongly by morning.

Here’s how you make this easy pleasure macaroni salad:

Boil two cups of macaroni noodles to al dente.

While the noodles are boiling, chop up two medium cucumbers and two medium tomatoes. Toss in a medium sized bowl with a bit of salt and pepper.

When ready, drain the noodles and rinse with cold water until they are cooled off. Dump in the bowl with the chopped veggies.

Pour in ranch dressing to taste and stir well. You can eat it then or chill overnight.

This would be good with sweet onions, shredded carrots, broccoli, chopped olives, tuna or shredded chicken stirred in, as well. It’s a versatile sort of “dump salad”, and oodles of fun for the palate to play with a variety of ingredients. I love to use fresh veggies from my garden for light and refreshing lunches in the summer time, so it varies what I make according to what produce is on hand.

This is great for packing in something like these World Kitchen Pyrex 6-Piece Food Plus Storage Set for lunches, if you have a cooler to carry or refrigeration available wherever you’re headed for work, school or play. Just pop one open on your lunch break and dig in! 🙂

What are some of your favorite lunches? What splendid summer veggies do you have an abundance of to gobble up? Also try my Weeknight Dinners!

Peace, smiles, and good vittles for all! 😉

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


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Let’s Celebrate Food Day!!!

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

Garden Fresh Jalapenos

You love food, I love food, we all love food! I mean, who can help it? We’ve all gotta eat! October 24th is an extra special day in the world of food. It’s not only the official celebration of Food Day, but also the birthday of one of my all-time favorite food lovers- my dear ol’ Dad! It’s only fitting that he was born on the day we celebrate one of his most beloved things (other than his darling children, of course! 😉 ). He sure loves himself some good vittles! Love you and a big happy birthday holler, Daddy!

Food Day isn’t just about any food. It’s about making an effort to eat real, healthy food and about the people who work hard to make sure these choices are readily available. It’s about encouraging families to choose more natural and less processed. According to http://www.foodday.org : In 2014, Food Day will have a special focus on food access and justice for food and farm workers.

Jalapeno Poppers

Jalapeno Poppers

I just finally got my late autumn garden of kale, broccoli and butter lettuce planted a couple of days ago to give us a continued supply of some fresh healthy green veggies for a couple more months while produce is getting more and more expensive. I wanted to plant spinach, too, but I waited too long to start the seeds and couldn’t find the plants anywhere locally. I’d love to have more in, but life interfered with my larger plans for this year. The only thing still producing well from my summer garden is the jalapenos you see pictured. They are doing amazingly well! 🙂 If you want to know how I made those yummy unfried poppers in the picture, just click the photo for instructions.

What are you doing to make healthy food choices for your family? How knowledgeable do you think you are about things related to the growth and production of the food we eat? Take this quiz, and let me know how you did! http://www.foodday.org/food_literacy_quiz I took it, and got 12 out of 15 right. A couple of my wrong answers surprised me! Can you outdo me?

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! :)

The friendly face of Food Day. Happy birthday, Dad! 🙂


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Canny Canning

Canny Canning

Canny Canning

Most folks who are avid canners also appreciate the art of saving a buck. I have gathered together a few ways for myself and other savvy food savers to preserve their food and pennies at the same time. Read ’em and whistle! 😉

Outdoor Cooking is running a special through August 18, 2014, giving you 20% off of canning stoves and canning supplies when using the code CANNING14. This code only applies to items in the Home Canning category, but it is a fantastic savings!

Amazon has some wonderful bargains on canning items right now, as well, such as this less than half price Granite Ware Water Bath Canner and this Back to Basics 286 5-Piece Home Canning Kit at 35% off and a Presto 01781 23-Quart Pressure Canner and Cooker at 29% off!!

Ball has a coupon for 10% off using the coupon code C88367. If you need me to explain who they are, you probably have never seen a shiny new mason jar in real life! 🙂

I found something that says you can get a free jar scraper with any online order from  Canning Supply using the code CS2013JS or a free set of four wooden corn on the cob holders with any online order using the code CSS812A.

Please note that I haven’t used any of these bargains. I discovered all of them through sources I have found accurate and useful in the past, so I have every reason to believe that they are valid, but I certainly can’t guarantee anything without having used them myself. Please let me know if you try them out!

 

“Penny Pinching Peach is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com”


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Freezing Peppers

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Freezing Your Own Cayenne Peppers!

I always I try to stretch a dollar while feeding my family with healthy foods is to keep a garden and put up what we won’t eat while fresh for later.

To be honest, I haven’t progressed to the point of having a humongous garden to provide limitless bounty to can for stocking a huge pantry of shelves I don’t yet have. I was raised doing it, but haven’t been able to do it myself yet as an adult on my own. This year I have a little semi raised bed measuring roughly 16′ by 3′, plus a few potted veggies. It won’t provide enough food to last us year round, but it does provide a large chunk of our produce for the spring and summer, plus a bit to put up for later.

*May contain affiliate links,  which help my little family without costing yours any extra.*

One of my favorite vegetables I put up last year was excess peppers.

Order non GMO seeds and supplies using the coupon code SAVE10NOW for 10% off at SeedsNow!

Since I don’t get enough of anything at once to make a big batch of anything, I tend to freeze things more than canning. I can always can most things later if I get enough of something frozen and want to make a sauce or jelly or some such delicacy out of them. I froze bell peppers and cayenne peppers to use in cooking.

Wanna know how to do it yourself? Here’s how I froze my peppers…

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Preserving Your Own Bell Peppers!

Wash and seed peppers, then slice and lay out on cookie sheets. Pop them in the freezer just like that. This step keeps them from clumping together in a big mess in your freezer bags. I left them in for about an hour, then got them out and tossed them into labeled freezer bags. I squeezed out all the air I could before sealing, then laid them flat to freeze. They should keep like this for at least several months. I still have a couple of bags left from last August, and they are fine & dandy.

Which veggies and fruits do you prefer to freeze to keep them fresh & yummy? Which would you like to try freezing, but haven’t yet? Go see how I made some great diy topsy turvy style tomato planters!