Monday, January 23, 2012

Weak Coffee and Gardening.

I actually like weak coffee, so all of those above things are fun.

Before we moved from the south, neither of us had a strong desire to drink coffee. Geord likes very strong coffee (i.e. chickory) and will drink it if we're sitting at a Cracker Barrel, but I've always been an orange juice or soda or chocolate milk person*.

Mostly a soda person. A Diet Mountain Dew kind of person.

This is no big secret of mine, and those that know me well could tell you that about me. Maybe that's all they could tell you about me**, but it's a very well known fact.

Boston doesn't really care for DMD. They sell it in overpriced grocery stores but not in vending machines or hotdog stands.

And when we realized we had to hoof it back with this cancer causing drink strapped to our backs, I started to wonder if it was all worth it. -dramatic pause-

Shakespeare gotta get her caffeine.

My mother is a confessed coffee addict, as is the older of my two younger brothers and the girlfriend of said brother. When my mom came up to visit for the first time, she gamely brought instant coffee-- this is something she hates. She'll drink it-- oh yes, she'll drink it-- but she's a traditional coffee drinker at heart.

She was staying for 8 days, and my tender heart couldn't stand to see her mix one more powder into her mug***. The day she arrived, I ordered a 13$ french press from Amazon. I anticipated its continued use during my mom's stay and when my brother comes up to visit.

This little guy makes about 2 cups and has a convenient hook for us to hang him when he's done. While my mom was here it definitely served it's purpose (read: he was in constant use-- we're talking 4-5 times a day). When my mom left, we washed him out and hung him up.

Occasionally we would get him down and whip up a couple of cups, but it was a rarity. As soon as the weather changed, we changed. Suddenly we're drinking coffee like 4 times a week (compared to the everytime everyday schedule I'm on with DMD).

One of the most common money saving tips that makes it to all those helpful top ten lists is to a.) not buy coffee out and b.) reuse your grounds.

As I've never bought a coffee out (once, okay) the first part doesn't really apply to me****. The second part now does.

I don't wholly reuse them, in that I don't use the same exact grounds, no more no less, another time. I add half the amount of fresh grounds before I make a new batch and store the french press in the fridge with the grounds inside. Every few days we clean it out. I guess this stretches our coffee, but I've never had any coffee experiences to compare this with. We're still on the same Starbucks blend coffee we got when my mom was here (2 months ago).

Also, what I said about never wholly reusing them is not entirely true: I accidentally just did that. So weak.

While I'm finishing up this weak cup, I look over and see a seed packet on our counter. We're planning on starting a garden this late winter/spring. We don't have excellent prices on produce-- in fact, things that are seasonal, like carrots and cabbage, are ridiculously expensive at our local grocery stores. We're limited in our store choices (after all, we're limited in our money right now), so we've decided to grow some of our own. Hopefully we'll have enough to feed ourselves, though we know we'll have access to a local farmer's market in the summer that has pretty good prices*****.

We're planning on growing tomatoes, arugula, zucchini and squash. These things are supposed to be pretty low maintenance and grow well in containers.

After seeing a post on growing celery from the chopped off ends, I may do that too. I'm not sure-- I helped out with a pretty large garden when I was young and I really didn't like it. Now I'm all excited. Hm. This may not last.

Anyways, my constant goal is to keep our grocery budget for two people under 100 a month. I haven't been able to do that (well, this week being the exception) since we got here. I think a garden will be the just the thing.

*I'm also other kinds of people. I'm a Abraham Lincoln person. Also a basketball and sleeping-in person.
**They might know about my obsession with videos featuring cats, but I don't know. I don't want to speak for them.
***She was on like her eighth one. Also I tried it.
****I regret it to this day.
*****We only got to go on the very last day. We were exploring our neighborhood and stumbled on it. They gave us mounds of leftover produce for 5$.


  1. Why are groceries so expensive? Why has the North not found the solace that is the Bi-Lo Bonus Card? You know the Diet Coke thing was an issue for me. Now that we have the SodaStream, my life has changed. I make my own soda for the fraction of the cost. Although delicious, the soda is not exactly the same as Diet Coke/Coke Zero/etc., but it will do. I can always run out and grab a Diet Coke if I really want one.


  2. For real! Eggs are "on special" at Stop and Shop for 2.29 a dozen. Just plain old eggs. My head exploded.

    But ah! The Soda Stream! I'm so jealous! I enter every Soda Stream blog giveaway that I come across- I may just have to break down and get one. I think the initial cost would be worth it for the convenience and, well, cost. Do they have citrus flavored mixes? I didn't know they had diet coke or coke zero flavored-- I love those too!

  3. I was breastfeeding Oliver as I read this post, and as soon as I got to the part about your mom and instant coffee, Omar started playing "Final Countdown" on Youtube exclaiming, "This was my favorite song when I was little!" (but in eSpanish of course).

    It was a perfect moment.

    Also, groceries were one of the many financial reasons we moved back to Tennessee. Good luck.