Wednesday, September 30, 2015
End of Harvest and Squirreling for Winter
What a week - so much has been happening:
-We celebrated our 10th Wedding Anniversary on Thursday with a Greek meal at our favorite restaurant. We don't go out to dinner very often so when we do we try and frequent places that we know are consistently great. We received the best service that we have had in a restaurant in the last 10 years from a waitress who was holding down a busy restaurant all by herself. She was so calm and professional - we left her a very good tip as she definitely deserved it. The food was amazing as always.
-Hubby's laptop is near death as the battery swelled due to having it plugged in too much. I wish we would have known not to do that but it is too late now as it seems a common problem among all laptop manufacturers and this laptop was only 2.5 years old. It just makes you wonder how they make things these days, definitely not made to last as that simply should not happen. We bought a new one yesterday as it is an integral part of our work and we will see if it is possible to salvage the old one for personal use later with a new battery which has to be ordered from Hong Kong for $200 CAD(*laptop is expensive model, $1100 originally so worth it). He delivers presentations and does web conferencing via computer so time was of the essence. Fortunately we got one on sale and ended up paying less than the last one. We had planned to buy a new laptop in a few months but the process had to be sped up. We lost no data as it continues to work and we transferred all important documents to memory sticks immediately. The offending model was the Samsung Ultrabook but we have now gone back to tried and true HP which all our other laptops and printers have been. I like Apple products but it is not great for our business uses.
-We dropped off our old vent covers and heat registers to Habitat for Humanity Restore that they can either use in a new home or sell in their thrift store. Hubby found a small piece of furniture that fits perfectly in his office to give him additional storage for $25. I had never been in a Restore shop but was shocked to see how much brand new tile, paint and decent used furniture they had and extremely cheap prices. If you haven't been to one, check out your local Restore.
-It is September 30th and I have just plucked off 8 more small tomatoes from my plants. I had removed all but the smallest dime size ones two weeks ago hoping they might get big enough to eat and they have. I sure got my money's worth out of two tomato plants. I definitely want to buy zebra plum tomato and beefsteak plants again next year. I have grown them from seed in the past but this year I spent $6 on two plants and they did better than any home seed grown plants have done. There are two inch long jalapenos still on the vine which I will leave for a couple more days then harvest the end of those as well. My chives and rosemary are massive plants now. The rosemary will be left in year round as well as the chives. I planted some more cilantro two weeks ago but not sure if it is going to come up or not with a bit of slightly colder weather now.
-I ordered some Christmas gifts off amazon using gift certificates received from Swagbucks (affiliate link if interested). My Mom loves reading and couldn't find a couple of books from her favorite author. She couldn't order them into her library and they weren't available on the second hand market/thrift stores. She has no interest in reading books digitally so Kindle wasn't an option. I was able to find them both at reasonable prices with free shipping. I try and buy local but it is not always the cheapest option and sometimes things are just not available here. I don't think it should be necessary to overspend simply to buy local and locals need to understand that and be more competitive/make different products available - as business owners we understand that. I am sure some of you reading this will not agree but that is how we feel. I have seen so many business owners go out of business simply because they refused to change with the times or didn't try to differentiate themselves from the competition. Successful small business owners get it. There are ways to do business in today's global economy while at the same time serving small towns and remaining in business.
-Six months from tomorrow we will be flying off to Spain for our 9 night trip. It seems crazy to plan so far in advance but with our business we have to. It turns out the deal I got on our flights was $100 cheaper per person than the seat sale that went on right after that so I am happy with the price we paid. I have booked our hotels and we are able to cancel them if something better comes along. I will check again within two months of departure to see if there are any better deals there.
-September's grocery tally ended at $606.61 and used $18.77 worth of coupons. The normal food/grocery budget (includes all non-food items such as toilet paper, soaps, and over the counter meds) is $550 per month but due to overage last month I had hoped to be under $500. I went over that on purpose as there were loads of deals that I scurried to get this month, much like a squirrel stocking up for winter. Deals: toilet paper, 40 pounds of rice, 20 pounds of Vancouver Island grown potatoes, 10 kg of chicken legs, 4 packs of chicken sausages that are normally $6.99 marked on for $2 per pack, and loads of other small deals including lots of non-food items. Next year I shall remember September is a great deal month and forget about trying to stick to a lower budget. This month I have to buy a turkey for our early Canadian Thanksgiving but Mom wants to pay for that this year as we always do so I will buy it and let her repay me. We always buy .99 cents or less per pound young turkeys, sometimes Grade A and sometimes Grade B for that price. This month I am hoping to be on budget at $550.
I am hoping to get it together to post more than once a week here but we have just embarked on a really big work project so my personal time is a bit limited. Have a great week everyone!