Okay, for the real money saving stuff:
- Used the new drying rack along with our smaller one and our Japanese sock hangers to dry laundry. I found out I'll probably still need the retractable line up in the garage for doing sheets in the winter as the rack just isn't wide enough to dry them without a lot of nice warm sun. I'm fine with that though - or even just tossing things like linens and towels in the dryer still, as drying clothes on the racks still cuts my electric usage significantly! I was able to dry the sheets and tablecloth on the racks by "ballooning" them over the racks, and I dried an afghan by folding it in half over the chain link fence. Those worked well that day because we had a sunny day with a warm breeze blowing through everything.
- Caught rain on Saturday morning in totes/buckets. I learned a new trick: putting a bucket under the lowest corner of the patio table results in a lot of water caught! There's a little gap between the glass and the metal trim and the aggregate patio is uneven, so water naturally drained out that corner. By staging a bucket in that spot, I got more than two gallons of water. Compared to the bits and bobbits in the storage totes that were just stuck out in the open, that was quite the coup. Everything has been consolidated into one tote that I can cover until I use up the water in the garden.
- Picked up a natural dog magazine at the bookstore because my son spotted a feature listed about natural flea control. Learned several tricks I'll be discussing with the vet and possibly trying, in the hopes of eliminating the use (and cost) of the chemical "spot" treatment for fleas and ticks that we use each month for Miss V. I believe the skin issues she's having may well be from being squirted with insecticide every month, and I certainly don't like the risks to our family (even if we don't pet those areas, she rubs up against things in the house so it's certainly getting on the couch we sit on, etc) and the risks to non-threatening bugs like bumble and honeybees when she's outside in the grass. We'll be picking up some diatomaceous earth (DE) at the feed store and starting there, along with herb and essential oil options I learned in the article, with her vet's input/oversight. (This is easy since her vet is holistic in focus, so I know she'll support the concept - but I trust her more educated opinion on what is safest for the dog too. If she feels it is truly unsafe to try this route due to regional infestations I'm not aware of, I will defer to that and continue with the cash for the chemical method.)
- Ordered a tent Manly found for 30% off at REI on their Labor Day sale along with some other items we do not have for camping. Found a fleece vest on sale for Bub and got a larger size that will last him several years. We also ordered bear spray, which was not on sale but is a strongly wanted item in our area (the military police were tracking bears in our housing again last week). We went in through my Ebates account and received 2.5% cash back on the purchases, and used a credit card for the order that we get 1% store "bucks" for that we save up for large purchases there. I will receive a dividend back from REI on the bear spray because it wasn't on clearance.
- Made cleaning supplies at home with essential oils.
- Harvested over a pound of green beans and about two pounds of tomatoes from the garden.