Saturday, December 28, 2013

Coupon Shopping

Yesterday and today, I did a little coupon shopping. =) Picked up 29 cans of soup and veggies for $25. 

And saved $26.95

Grabbed a couple of hams for .89 cents a pound. Spent $25.11 and saved $22.58 on them. I'm going to cut those suckers up into smaller portions, and freeze them for future dinners. (And breakfasts too!)

Look at the size of that one!

Yesterday, while ham shopping, I picked up a few toothpastes. The small ones were too small for my coupon, (less than 4oz) so I went with the larger ones. On sale for $1.99 and eight $1.00 off coupons. Eight tubes for $8.00. Not bad. But *today* they had restocked, and the new smaller tubes were "42% more" making them big enough for my coupons! On sale for 99 cents, with my $1.00 off coupons, these 14 were free!

Well, if I'm honest, and I usually am, I did buy the coupons on eBay for $2.00 so really I paid $2.00 for 14 tubes. Still pretty darn good. =) Well, wait... I bought 20 coupons, but she sent me 22. Does that count as getting my $2.00 back?

And last, but not least, a local store had Birdseye frozen veggies on sale for .88 cents. Again, I bought 20 coupons on eBay for .50 cents off. My store doubles coupons under a dollar, up to a dollar. (Or up to the price of the item.) So these 20 bags were FREE! (Or $2.00)

The shredded cheese was buy 1 get 1 free, and with the broccoli heads, I spent $5.08 on everything in the above picture.

 I'm not quite an "extreme shopper" but I do OK. I do have a rule of only buying stuff that I actually use, and not getting stuff just because I can get it for free. 
My sale and coupon savings was $92.22
 How was your day?

Monday, December 23, 2013

Making Lip Balm

It's my first time making lip balm. The recipe is from YouTube. Though the recipe given isn't quite the same as the recipe that they use in the video. *shrug* I kinda did both. Since I forgot the vitamin E oil the first time, I remelted those tubes into the next batch I made.

First step is to melt your beeswax. Took me forever. The wax in the bottom of the cup is wax that I'd bought from a retired beekeeper, and the honeycomb piece on top is from my own hives. =)

Almost ready. Notice the little dark chunky bits? Pollen. So I had to let it settle and cool down. When it was completely cool, I scraped the pollen out of the wax and melted it again.

Melt and mix all your ingredients.  I used a small Ball jar in a small pot of water. Once it's mixed, pour it in your tubes or containers.

Let them cool for a few hours. I let mine sit overnight.

And, so you know I'm a real person, here's the half-filled tubes that I'll deal with later.

And the one that I forgot to screw back down when I took out the first batch.

So, I have a few tubes now. Anybody want to test one for me?

Sunday, December 22, 2013

A Warm Winter Day, or Two

The news told me that warm weather was coming this weekend, so I got ready for it by making some sugar candy for the girls. Cut it up into six pieces, and I was ready!

Started with the closest hive, at Nancys' house. Looking good, both sides are active and flying.

Added the Imirie shim and the sugar candy.

My only worry is that with the shim on, there's a gap where bees can get through into the other nuc. I did face the inside cutouts to opposite sides, but I don't think that will help much.

We'll have to see how this plays out.

Then, on to the Walkers'. Busy bees! Again, both hives are active. =)

Bring out your dead!

They've been eating the sugar that I put in before.

Shim on, new sugar in.

Second hive, pretty much the same as the first.

Some sugar left.

I took away as much of the wax paper as I could. They're making it easy for me by taking off the sticky stuff. Another shim on! Three down, two to go!

This is how they were when I left them, none the worse for wear.

That night, we had a scout fund-raising event. The kids hosted a Christmas-themed movie night. Served popcorn and lemonade, and showed all the classic Christmas movies. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, A Charlie Brown Christmas. I was as entertained as the kids were! =D

Came home to these beasty boys. We dog-sit for a few families. It's a good thing they get along!

These two are the biggest dogs that we watch. It's funny, the two of them belong to neighbors in a town near us. Must be something in the water there.

Sunday morning, checking on my first two hives. What a difference a day makes, look, there's no snow left!
The wild hive on the right doesn't look alive at all. Oh, dear.

But, to my surprise, they're OK!

Plenty of bees inside, just don't know why they're not flying.

The other hive was a bit more, obvious about it.

More out than in.

But they're in there!

The new sugar in under the lid, inside the shim.

And, I'm done! Here's hoping that the rest of winter will go so well. *knocks wood*

Friday, December 20, 2013

More Soap

I made two batches today, because a friend gave me an empty container. =)

As usual, as soon as I added the Washing Soda, the mild simmer turned into a raging boil (Great band name, the "Raging Boils". Wait, maybe not.) and boiled over all over. Blech. The laundry detergent has a pretty thick consistency, so cleaning it up was nauseating.

Lumpy soap:

Second batch. I managed to skip the messy over boiling this time, but...

I let it cool a little too long before putting it in the bottles. Mmm! Chunk of soap, anyone?

Warmed it up again and stirred. Managed to bottle it. Whew!