Wednesday, 14 August 2013

A Frugal Concoction of a Day

Chairs, Cucumbers and Fruit Fizz

Today has been a mixed sort of a day - web work, some research and updating on a long-standing challenge I once set myself to make a huge piggy bank and fill it... but that tale will keep for a bit longer.
This morning, I had a surprise awaiting me in the shape of another three new chairs! Did I show you the two I got yesterday?
Here they are - an old pair of deck chairs that a neighbour would otherwise have taken to the tip. A bit of a scrub and a coat of metal paint should see these as good as new and ideal for entertaining on the patio. Normally, I need to borrow extra seating from next door when visitors arrive for barbecues etc.
This morning, I found myself the proud owner of a further three chairs from another neighbour who is scaling down on surplus furniture.
This lovely pair of dining chairs will be incorporated into the sitting room come guest room in place of the huge office chair I have in there at the moment. After my cousin arrived for a few days' holiday last week, absolutely weighed down with more offcuts of fabric, sewing materials and an electric sewing machine, making some seat and cushion covers can now be added to my 'to do' list. There's some lovely red and cream material that should do just the job!
Finally, on the seating front, there is this handy, comfy, space-saving, sturdy little folding office chair that, once recovered, should make a fantastic addition to my bedroom. Having been spurred into further action during the Home Improvement Hero challenge, I continued into the next room - my bedroom - to give it a budget makeover. Again, I'll save this for another blog post, as it's a total makeover on a tiny budget.
So that's the tale of the chairs, now what's all this about cucumbers and fruit fizz?
I had meant to bottle the champagne-style fizz yesterday, but somehow time slipped away from me and I ended up doing other things. Today became bottling day, so I rinsed and scalded everything in preparation. (See post here for how to make this for pennies per bottle.)
The liquid got strained through a sieve and returned to the bucket before ladling it out with a jug and pouring it, via a funnel, through a coffee filter. So far, I have done 5 bottles, but there's enough left for a sixth if I can find a suitable bottle soon enough to use it. The photo of the bottled fizz doesn't reflect the true colour, as this is a real rosy pink and has already started fizzing and fermenting.
And now for the cucumbers...
CucumberI know I said we were going to have a good crop of courgettes this year, but the cucumbers are also growing at an alarming rate. I popped out to water them while waiting for the fruit fizz to filter and the closer I looked, the more cucumbers I saw. We've already picked and eaten a couple and I gave cousin one away with her for her sandwiches, as she's going off on a frugal campervan expedition this week, but I think I'm going to be looking for ideas of what to do with surplus cucumbers very soon. Some will get traded with neighbours, some will get pickled and as many as possible will get eaten - they are so good - but if they all grow to an edible size, I may need some help!
So that was today's adventure in Frugaldom - 'bottling the fruit fizz' got scored off my 'to do' list, several new items got added and I didn't manage to get out cycling or walking. I priced up the spare parts to get my old bread maker back into full service and compared the price with buying another second-hand one via eBay. The second-hand one for spare parts looks like the money-saving option, so that's also been added to my list.

Until tomorrow,

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