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Old 05-28-2021, 07:21 AM   #101
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Ah yes, herb gardens are a great one! We’re lucky to live where we can keep most things growing year round, with the exception of cilantro which bolts in the summer. I’ve been looking at growing basil and cilantro inside.EWGirl, how do you do your basil hydroponically? Is there a benefit to this vs just in dirt?

We also grow a lot of our own citrus, but so far the trees haven’t produced well enough to get by on what we have outside.

As to the rest of my gardening, I love to do it, but when I add up the $, it has to go in the hobby budget for it to make financial sense. We don’t have a great garden setup in the house yet, so it’s been an exercise in frustration for the most part.

Re the phantom power, we use about a kW/hr overnight when most things are turned off. It could be significant savings. Unfortunately I think it’s the refrigerators that are the big draw, but I am curious what killing all the phantom power would do for us. I suspect much of it is refrigerators, though our AV closet gets very warm. I think I would be worried about putting these on something where I cut the power though. One blown component could blow any savings!
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Old 05-28-2021, 07:39 AM   #102
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I hate trying to buy fresh herbs. It's always expensive and I hardly ever use it all. The recipe I'm working on will take like a quarter of the bunch and the rest just goes bad. I'll have to plant some of the perennial ones you mentioned. Being in a northern state, I never thought of planting herbs that would overwinter.
Many herbs freeze well. I do this both bought bunches and excess home grown herbs. Especially with basil, dill and cilantro as they all change significantly in flavor when dried. Since around here cilantro usually bolts by the time tomatoes ripen, I rinse, air dry and then freeze loosely in a stiff ziplock. The frozen cilantro works great for use in later salsa batches and tortilla soup. The texture changes but flavor is still good. I do the same with dill for later pickling or salmon spreads and with basil for cooking and basil margaritas. Fresh ginger root also freezes well and is actually easier to grate when frozen.
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:01 AM   #103
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Many herbs freeze well. I do this both bought bunches and excess home grown herbs. Especially with basil, dill and cilantro as they all change significantly in flavor when dried. Since around here cilantro usually bolts by the time tomatoes ripen, I rinse, air dry and then freeze loosely in a stiff ziplock. The frozen cilantro works great for use in later salsa batches and tortilla soup. The texture changes but flavor is still good. I do the same with dill for later pickling or salmon spreads and with basil for cooking and basil margaritas. Fresh ginger root also freezes well and is actually easier to grate when frozen.
Huh. I’ve always frozen down in oil. It never occurred to me to just freeze whole. We use a lot of both dill and cilantro for several things where the texture wouldn’t really matter. Our Costco business center has huge bags of herbs (a pound!) for $3. Next time I’ll try that!
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:04 AM   #104
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I’m now wondering about how much our av closet uses. I think everything is on switchable surge protectors. Would it be harmful to the components to switch the surge protectors on and off every night?
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Old 05-28-2021, 08:05 AM   #105
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Why say "not to be mean" than follow that with a sarcastic comment? In a thread on cutting expenses?

If a high polyphenol olive oil helps you not get cancer, it could save a lot in medical bills. I also don't quite get why you took tb001's quote out of context and didn't include the part about the chemicals, sugar and unhealthy fats in most commercial dressings.

I think his point he was that it's not much of a savings and the name of the thread is "your best money saving tips". You make it even worse by saying you are "saving" by not getting cancer.... that's like saying I didn't drive today therefore I saved myself thousands by not getting into a car accident.

Then again this thread is going a bit off topic...
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:25 AM   #106
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I think his point he was that it's not much of a savings and the name of the thread is "your best money saving tips". You make it even worse by saying you are "saving" by not getting cancer.... that's like saying I didn't drive today therefore I saved myself thousands by not getting into a car accident.

Then again this thread is going a bit off topic...
Tb001 started the thread, was specifically interested in ways to save that often result in better quality, and said the salad dressing idea was a great idea. Making her own yogurt and carbonated water were part of the OPs post, so salad dressing would seem to fit in with that. Seems like substituting an unhealthy processed food with a less expensive simple to make, healthier anti-cancer food fits the bill and the OP agreed. I don't understand the need for the put downs by you or kingofcheapos. Not everyone is going to find all the suggestions here useful or helpful. No need to put down the ones you don't plan to use or find personally helpful with insults or sarcasm.

Related links: Why You Should Pretty Much Never Buy Salad Dressing at the Grocery Store | Eat + Run | US News; What Are Those Processed Ingredients in Your Salad Dressing? - Delishably, What’s in that salad dressing? | Your Health is on Your Plate
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Old 05-28-2021, 09:42 AM   #107
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Tb001 started the thread, was specifically interested in ways to save that often result in better quality, and said the salad dressing idea was a great idea. Making her own yogurt and carbonated water were part of the OPs post, so salad dressing would seem to fit in with that. Seems like substituting an unhealthy processed food with a less expensive simple to make, healthier anti-cancer food fits the bill and the OP agreed. I don't understand the need for the put downs by you or kingofcheapos. Not everyone is going to find all the suggestions here useful or helpful. No need to put down the ones you don't plan to use with insults or sarcasm.

I don't think anyone was putting you down or insulting you (I certainly wasn't). My money saving tip for you is don't take everything so personally otherwise you could get an ulcer and end up in the hospital
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:20 AM   #108
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I just felt the air go out of the room. Fun time is over.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:23 AM   #109
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Take care of your teeth, brush and floss after every meal. Dental repair can get expensive. Save money in the long run.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:32 AM   #110
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As to the rest of my gardening, I love to do it, but when I add up the $, it has to go in the hobby budget for it to make financial sense.

I'm just in the process of starting this, but I think sprouting and mircogreens may have the highest payback for growing your own food in terms of nutrition for your dollars and time. Sprouts only take a few days to mature. Broccoli sprouts are supposed to be especially healthy. Microgreens supposedly have up to 40 times the nutrients of the mature plants.

I bought a seed sprouter on Amazon and so far they haven't turned out great but I think with more practice they will. Next up microgreens.
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:38 AM   #111
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Most recently I discovered Misfits Market, which is an online store that delivers excess organic vegetables and fruits of your choosing (with occasional substitutions.) Very pleased with this after 4 months with the quality and variety. We live rural with somewhat limited grocery and produce access. Pricing generally comparable to Aldi or Fresh Thyme. But we have saved money. But I have learned to order when the order window is open to get the best selections.

Disclosure: This is a link, which if used gets us both a discount on an order

https://www.misfitsmarket.com/?promo=COOKWME-BC4RWL
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Old 05-28-2021, 10:46 AM   #112
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I’m now wondering about how much our av closet uses. I think everything is on switchable surge protectors. Would it be harmful to the components to switch the surge protectors on and off every night?
It would not be harmful but would decrease the natural life of the components. Similar to car driven in stop and go traffic which could wear the engine faster.

I am thinking to get a mechanical timer and put it between the wall socket and the extension cord that powers all my network equip. And have the Internet blackout time set between 10pm and 7am.

But I don't know how to keep the UPS in this connection. Is there a UPS that support timer feature?
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:06 AM   #113
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Money saving tips: try these....

(1) If you spend a lot on travel, why not travel locally where you won't need to get a hotel? I doubt any of us have seen and done *everything* interesting within a 3-4 hour drive of home. Exploring nearby gives you a more in-depth knowledge of your own local area. Read about local history and go look at the relevant locations personally! Fascinating. What do tourists seek out when they come to your area? Go see your own home town like a tourist sees it, just for fun. See what local artists and musicians are up to, and check out the wildlife nearby.

(2) Mentally bookmark any activity that you are enjoying which doesn't have recurring charges. Find free hobbies that you genuinely love. If you are paying for internet anyway, might as well use it to its fullest - - just about everything known to man is on the internet, waiting for you to find it in your explorations. How could anyone get bored these days?

(3) When you buy your next home (if you choose to buy one), consider whether or not it's possible to buy it for YOURSELF, not for potential guests or visitors or for your pets. When my relatives come to town, they stay in a motel or hotel of their own choosing and I take them out for restaurant meals, my treat. This is not a selfish way to treat guests. They really seem to prefer doing things this way since it seems more like a vacation to them. They have more choices of what to eat than just whatever I cook. Also they can keep the hours they prefer. I like it too because I don't need a guest bedroom or large dining room. I was able to buy a smaller house without those rooms, that is more suitable for my needs.
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Old 05-28-2021, 11:42 AM   #114
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It would not be harmful but would decrease the natural life of the components. Similar to car driven in stop and go traffic which could wear the engine faster.

I am thinking to get a mechanical timer and put it between the wall socket and the extension cord that powers all my network equip. And have the Internet blackout time set between 10pm and 7am.

But I don't know how to keep the UPS in this connection. Is there a UPS that support timer feature?
One option would be to use a SwitchBot. I haven’t checked, but I’m assuming the app supports a timer feature. They are great for automating things with buttons. It literally has a little arm that presses a button for you. I guess you would need two for a power switch.

And I love hearing any and all ideas! No way will I give up our dryer, because I dislike the feel of line-dried clothes, but it’s still a great suggestion and might help someone else with less budget flexibility.

I tend to focus on food and energy because those are the areas I have most free reign over. And our food budget is still wildly high, so I know there’s room to cut.

But any and all suggestions are welcome to me.
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Old 05-28-2021, 12:00 PM   #115
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And I love hearing any and all ideas! No way will I give up our dryer, because I dislike the feel of line-dried clothes, but it’s still a great suggestion and might help someone else with less budget flexibility.
I have a spray bottle with water I use to mist line dried clothes to tumble them in the dryer for just for 10 minutes to get the wrinkles out. They feel tumble dried after that. I use wool dryer balls in the dryer I bought on Amazon that help cut down on drying time.

We also use a spin dryer which takes very little energy to run - more like a fan than a dryer. It gets clothes damp dry. Even if you don't want to line dry clothes, using the spin dryer first cuts gas or electric dryer time significantly. The Amazon description says that laundry is 90% dry in under 3 minutes. I don't find it to be as efficient as the Amazon description, but it is still impressive, and combined with a water and energy efficient washer really cuts down on energy costs for doing laundry. Not using the dryer cut our energy bills around $40 a month. We have tiered pricing so cutting out the highest priced tiers of electricity usage has a big impact.
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Old 05-28-2021, 01:27 PM   #116
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I'm just in the process of starting this, but I think sprouting and mircogreens may have the highest payback for growing your own food in terms of nutrition for your dollars and time. Sprouts only take a few days to mature. Broccoli sprouts are supposed to be especially healthy. Microgreens supposedly have up to 40 times the nutrients of the mature plants.

I bought a seed sprouter on Amazon and so far they haven't turned out great but I think with more practice they will. Next up microgreens.
I wholeheartedly agree! I started growing sprouts last winter in my basement. I cannot believe how much those things cost in grocery stores!! You can grow microgreens at home for a fraction of the cost of buying them from grocery stores! There's an initial cost to this if you want to make a lot of microgreens (I use shop lights and metal shelves, but all you need is a good light source (I live in Canada so it's not like I can put out trays in the sun in winter...) and some trays which you can pick up for $15 on amazon, like this https://www.amazon.com/NATGAI-Sprout...228958&sr=8-11)

For smaller seeds, you need something to keep the seeds on top of the mesh tray. (I use hemp grow mats. Never tried a paper towel.) Some sprouts like snap pea sprouts, we even stir-fry. (A dish like that costs about $10 in Chinese restaurants.) I also make bean sprouts (the kind you get at stores - the whitish thick sprouts) using grocery-bought dried mung beans - They're surprisingly so easy to make! All you need is cheesecloth, a strainer and a pot with a lid (Youtube has a lot of tutorials on this, but the spouts are ready in just a matter of a few days! You need no light source - you actually cover the seeds with a lid)

Microgreens are said to be very nutritious like you said, so we add tons to our salads. I've grown kaiware daikon radish, broccoli, sunflower, green peas, snap peas and different salad sprout mixes. The only thing I have trouble growing is bak choi sprouts.
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Old 05-28-2021, 02:47 PM   #117
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Money saving tips: try these....

(1) If you spend a lot on travel, why not travel locally where you won't need to get a hotel? I doubt any of us have seen and done *everything* interesting within a 3-4 hour drive of home. Exploring nearby gives you a more in-depth knowledge of your own local area. Read about local history and go look at the relevant locations personally! Fascinating. What do tourists seek out when they come to your area? Go see your own home town like a tourist sees it, just for fun. See what local artists and musicians are up to, and check out the wildlife nearby.

(2) Mentally bookmark any activity that you are enjoying which doesn't have recurring charges. Find free hobbies that you genuinely love. If you are paying for internet anyway, might as well use it to its fullest - - just about everything known to man is on the internet, waiting for you to find it in your explorations. How could anyone get bored these days?

(3) When you buy your next home (if you choose to buy one), consider whether or not it's possible to buy it for YOURSELF, not for potential guests or visitors or for your pets. When my relatives come to town, they stay in a motel or hotel of their own choosing and I take them out for restaurant meals, my treat. This is not a selfish way to treat guests. They really seem to prefer doing things this way since it seems more like a vacation to them. They have more choices of what to eat than just whatever I cook. Also they can keep the hours they prefer. I like it too because I don't need a guest bedroom or large dining room. I was able to buy a smaller house without those rooms, that is more suitable for my needs.
I especially like #3. When I travel, I much prefer a hotel to staying with someone. Just my thing, I suppose. I don't really mind putting someone up in our 2/2 but it can't be as nice for the guest since privacy is compromised for all.

If the local person does the "leg" work and finds a decent, reasonably priced hotel - everybody wins though YMMV.
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Old 05-28-2021, 03:12 PM   #118
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Regarding travel--when we were younger we bought a used pop up tent camper and had a great time traveling in it staying in state and federal parks. It was not fancy but it kept us off the ground and could be towed by a regular car. Saved tons of money on travel. (Then we got too big for our britches and bought an expensive motorhome and a boat but that is for the blow that money thread).
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Old 05-30-2021, 07:53 PM   #119
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When the kids were small I bought a lightly used tent trailer for $3,500 and towed that thing all over the west coast. Stayed mostly in State Parks for twenty or thirty dollars a night. Used that trailer for everything from three day weekend trips all the way up to epic weeks long trips from Central California up through Oregon and Washington State.

I pulled it with a very used high mileage Chevy Suburban, typically packed to the roof with kids, dogs, food and gear. And there was usually more tied to the roof rack.

Good and cheap times!
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Old 05-30-2021, 08:23 PM   #120
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Sometimes rosemary does not survive the winter. But buying a new plant in the spring takes care of that. My sage bushes are 15 years old and I’ll prune them when the flowers are done. They are 3 foot+ shrubs now.

Don’t plant mint. Extremely invasive.
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