|Click to biggify this picture!|
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
That was the temp in the chicken coop this morning. Even worse, the temp outside had dropped to 18 degrees! J. and I broke out the "chicken furnace" (a ceramic heater) for Henrietta last night since she is in an elevated dog house that isn't insulated. We set it up to blow hot air into the house and then draped a tarp over it, so she was nice and toasty all night. The other girls had to endure the 24.6 degrees this morning, but they don't seem any worse for wear from the experience. Having Henrietta separate from everyone else stretched us thin because we only had one heater. The ceiling light has a plug-in in it, so I think I'll install the brooder lamp above the roost this weekend as an option. I feel much better about having that suspended versus the ceramic heater that could catch the bedding on fire.
But silly me...I tossed and turned and worried about them all night. Would the tarp catch on fire? Would the girls freeze? I'm such a protective chicken mom. So I hurried out this morning and was relieved to find that everyone was fine.
Just one more night of this cold weather and then we're back up into the 70's for the weekend. That's 70's in December! But, hey....who's complaining?
So that brings us to the topic of how to keep your feathered friends warm and toasty when cold weather hits.
But, other than putting up heaters or brooder lamps, there are some other things you can do as well:
- Keep their water from freezing. Either use a heated dog bowl or the farm\critter supply stores sell heater bases that go under the galvanized chicken waterers. If you have neither of these, make sure you check their water regularly and break up any ice that may have formed.
- Use a wooden roost for them to sleep on. Galvanized metal is way too cold for their feet. Also, make sure there is room for at least 6 inches between each hen. When it's cold, they will fluff out their feathers as added insulation and they'll need room to do so.
- Fight frostbite. Combs and feet aren't protected by all those feathers and are susceptible to the cold - especially if you have large breed chickens with large wattles or combs. One way to prevent frostbite is to cover them with Vaseline, petroleum jelly or even olive oil. Do this after they've gone to bed for the night and it will be much easier. Trust me.
- Give them a treat. While not a replacement for daily food, feeding scratch, sunflower seeds, and cracked corn as a treat will actually help to raise a hen's body temperature. Just a couple of handfuls every evening is what I normally feed. And I've been known to give them some yummy warm oatmeal as well.
- Use the deep litter method. Rather than cleaning the coop every month, just deep clean the coop in the spring and layer on a fresh layer of bedding every month. As it packs down, it will provide insulation to the coop and the hens enjoy scratching it up if you throw some corn or sunflower seeds in there. I initially thought this would smell to high heaven but, believe it or not, it doesn't!
- Shovel a path. If it snows, clear a path in the run or the yard for them so they don't have to bust through snow and get wet. If you're a chicken herder like me, you know that chickens hate getting wet.
- Collect eggs regularly. This doesn't really help the chickens, but it will prevent your eggs from freezing.
I hope you found these tips to be useful. If you've got any other tips about keeping our beloved chooks warm (other than plopping them in front of the fireplace), I'd love to hear them. Leave me a comment!
Saturday, November 24, 2012
|Domino and Foster getting ready for a snooze after eating too much turkey.|
Thursday, November 22, 2012
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything Thy goodness sends.
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
In the intro to this series, I talked about paying just $13.00 for our 7 lb ham and 12 lb turkey for Thanksgiving. And I promised that I would give you some more info.
Okay....let's get to it. The number one thing I hear from people when they find out I'm a couponer is "well, I never buy those brands" or "you can't beat Aldi's prices" or "I could never do that". Folks, I've been doing this for over 3 years and I'm here to tell you that none of those statements are true.
Here's an easy example that you can do right now. CVS paid me over $4.00 to shop there yesterday and I came home with a bunch of free stuff including sleep aids, allergy medication and toilet paper. There are 28 free items that you can get at CVS right now and many of those you don't even need coupons for!
- iTunes or App Store Gift Cards - buy $75, get back $20 EB (Limit 1) = $20 profit
- Advil Children's Suspension Liquid (1 oz) $2.37, use $1.50 coupon or $1 coupon (9/30 or 10/28 RP) and get back $2.37 EB (Limit 1) = $1.50 - $1 profit
- Glade Scented Oil Base Warmer $1.25, use $1 coupon (or here or 10/14 SS or 11/4 SS) and get back $1.25 EB (Limit 1) = $1 profit
- AirWick Scented Oil Warmer $0.99, buy two and use $2 off 2 coupon and get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = $0.99 profit
- South Beach Diet Meal or Snack Bar (5 ct) $4.99, find package with $1.00 coupon, and get back $4.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE or $1 profit
- 3M Command Hook (single pk) $0.99, use $1 coupon or $0.50 coupon (11/11 SS) and get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = $1 - $0.50 profit
- Charmin Basic (Single Roll) $0.99, use $0.25 coupon (10/14 or 10/28 P&G) and get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = $0.25 profit
- Coke (1.25 liter bottle) $0.99, get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Advil (10 ct) $2.99, get back $2.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Somnapure Sleep Aid (4 ct) $1.99, get back $1.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Carmex Lip Balm $0.99, get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Nasal Ease Allergy Reliever (0.18 oz) $9.99, get back $9.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Nutrawise (Youtheory) Collagen Formula (120 ct) $9.49, get back $9.49 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Bayer Countour Next EZ Meter $10, get back $10 EB (Limit 1) = FREE *Use coupon in Diabetes & You magazine found in stores for a FREE One a Day vitamin WYB this meter
- Street King Energy Shot (2 pk) $3.99, get back $3.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Pur-Absorb Iron (28 ct) $16.99, get back $16.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Haviland Thin Mints or Nips Candy $0.88, get back $0.88 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Kraft Mac & Cheese (5.5 - 7.25 oz) $0.99, get back $0.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Kleenex Slim Pack Facial Tissue (3 pk) or Sparkle Single Roll Paper Towels $1, get back $1 EB (Limit 2) = FREE
- As seen on TV Easy Feet $4.99, get back $4.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Cepacol Sensations (4 ct) $1, get back $1 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Scooby Doo Fruit Snacks (8 oz) $2, get back $2 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Starbucks Double Shot (6.5 oz single can) $1.99, get back $1.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Starbucks Refreshers (12 oz) $1.50, get back $1.50 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Hot Wheels Cars $1, get back $1 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Powerade (32 oz) $1, get back $1 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Play-Doh Soft Pack Resealable Pack $1, get back $1 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Phillips Universal Remote $6.99, get back $6.99 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Thermacare Back & Hip Wrap (1 ct) $3.49, get back $3.49 EB (Limit 1) = FREE
- Illy Issimo Caffe (no sugar) BOGO sale, use BOGO coupon (Diabetes & You magazine found in stores) = two for FREE
- Lindsay Large California Ripe Pitted Olives $1, use $1 coupon = FREE
Now I realize that some of that may be Martian to you, so let's go over the lingo. EB means "ExtraCare Bucks". CVS has a program called ExtraCare and you can sign up for it in the store for free and they'll give you an ExtraCare card. To get these deals, you MUST sign up and you MUST have an ExtraCare card. (Some of us have several....*nonchalant whistling*).
Now let's look at a specific deal, pull it apart, and see how this works. How about this one?
Advil Children's Suspension Liquid (1 oz) $2.37, use $1.50 coupon or $1 coupon (9/30 or 10/28 RP) and get back $2.37 EB (Limit 1) = $1.50 - $1 profit
From this, we know the following:
- The sale price is $2.37.
- There are several coupons we could use. The underline under the $1.50 coupon indicates that it's an online, printable coupon (just click and it will take you to it). Or, if you have the Sunday paper from 9/30/12 or 10/28/12, there was a $1.00 coupon in there. There are often multiple coupon inserts in the Sunday paper and they all have names, including Smart Source, P&G, and RedPlum. The RP after the date indicates that it was the "Red Plum" coupon insert.
- When we buy the item, we'll get back the full amount of $2.37 in the form an ExtraCare Buck, which is a coupon that prints at the end of our receipt. That coupon is good for $2.37 toward any item in CVS with a few exceptions like prescriptions, stamps, and liquor.
Now let's go to CVS and find the Advil Children's and take it to the register. Here's what this simple scenario will look like:
- Hand the cashier the Advil and your ExtraCare card (or ask to sign up for one).
- The Advil will ring up for $2.37.
- Hand the cashier your coupon. Let's pretend you printed the $1.50 coupon to maximize your savings.
- The total will now be 87 cents. Pay the cashier.
- The receipt will print and on it will be an ExtraCare Bucks coupon for $2.37. You just profited $1.50! And it only took about 5 minutes of your time.
Now, I don't have kids so I'm sure you would ask why I would want to buy a children's medication. The answer is two-fold. First, it's a moneymaker which allows me to spend the profit on items that I *do* want and need. And, second, I either give away or donate those things that I get for free. Couponing has allowed me to make a ton of donations of products to homeless shelters and women's rescue shelters.
So get those printers going and dig out those old Sunday papers. In Part II of this series, I'll give you tips on how to pay even less in the above scenario, talk about why where you shop matters, and give you some great sites to look at if you want to learn more about couponing.
Anyway, I don't want to turn this into a couponing blog but I've been doing alot of couponing lately and getting some great deals. So I thought I would share it with you in hopes that you could save some money also.
J. and I usually spend Thanksgiving at home together and sometimes we make the dinner with the turkey and trimmings and sometimes we're lazy and just hit the buffet. The problem is that I love turkey pot pie and everything you can do with leftovers and the smell of roasting turkey wafting through the house. So we're cooking this year for the second year in a row.
This weekend, I picked up a 7 lb. ham and a 12 pound turkey, which is enough for the two of us, for just $13.00 after coupons. No, that's not a typo. Given that the ham retailed for over $23.00 and the turkey was $18.00, that's pretty darn good. How did I do it? Combining a sale with coupons.
Our local coupon-friendly Hy-vee has a sale right now where you get the turkey free if you buy the ham. I had a $5 off $50 coupon for Hy-Vee so we're down to $18.00 for both at that point. Then it gets creative. They also had sale on Kraft items where you buy 10 selected Kraft items (cheese, Velveeta, mayo, etc.) and you automatically get $6.00 off at the register. Price Chopper has the same sale, but they are giving you $10 off. Did you know Hy-Vee price matches? Just take the ad in and ask them to price match. But I still would have had to pay for the 10 Kraft items. Luckily, they had Kraft shredded cheese on sale for just $1.00 and I had six $1.00 off 2 coupons. So I bought 10 of them at just 50 cents each after coupon, or $5.00 total, and got the $10.00 off the turkey\ham. That $5.00 "profit" brought the total down to just $13.00 for the stars of our Thanksgiving dinner.
Now you may not have a Hy-Vee or Price Chopper in your area, but price matching and coupons are usually OK at most stores. Several stores are doing the "buy a ham, get a turkey" sale, including ShopRite and HEB. Check your local stores to see if they are offering something similar.
Want to find out how to get 28 ABSOLUTELY FREE items or even make money at CVS today? Check out Part I of my Couponing for Fun and Profit series!
Thursday, November 15, 2012
|Extra credit if you recognize the movie!|
|Domino's contest entry picture.|
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.”
-- "Ulysses" by Lord Alfred Tennyson
|The Heritage and Guardianship status outside the National Archives during our trip to DC in 2005.|
Friday, November 09, 2012
Another beautiful 70 degree day today and I'm stuck at work. I'd much rather be sitting on this front porch watching the world go by. With a glass of iced tea.
More pics of the house are coming tomorrow, I promise!
Thursday, November 08, 2012
|Shhhh...don't move. I think it's the IRS guy.|
Wednesday, November 07, 2012
Tuesday, November 06, 2012
In all seriousness, no matter who you vote for, please get out and exercise your right to vote.
Monday, November 05, 2012
|My autumn harvest!|
|These Roma plants are looking a little sad, bu tthey're dropping tomatoes like crazy.|
|Would somebody PLEASE mow!?|
|Can you spot the strawberries hanging on for dear life in what used to be my strawberry bed? Actually they seem to like being insulated by all those weeds.|
|"It wasn't me!" says Fiona|