Posted in Chickens, Homesteading, Shopping

What do the Labels on Egg Cartons Mean?

What do the labels on Egg Cartons mean? Does my back yard flock meet these labels? Are my chicken’s eggs healthier vs. store bought eggs? We eat our chicken’s eggs. I sell the eggs. Our chicken eggs are given to our family. It’s important to me to have the best eggs possible.

Marketing always manages to sneak into our subconscious whether it is right or wrong, especially when we really haven’t done the research to ensure the claims are accurate and meaningful. Then there’s the whole question of what is accurate.

Labels you will see on Egg Cartons

ALL NATURAL There is no legal definition for all natural. Does that mean our chickens eat natural bugs vs fake bugs?

FARM FRESH– Again, no legal definition for this. Did the eggs come from a farm, like with crops and cows? Were the eggs from a farm that has 2 million chickens laying eggs in cages? What about my 1 acre, is this a farm since we grow food, raise chickens and have a pack of chihuahuas?

HORMONE-FREE– Are you aware it’s illegal to give hormones to poultry in the USA? Therefore all eggs and chicken are hormone free so the label is redundant.

ANTIBIOTIC-FREE– Laying hens are not typically given antibiotics although some meat chickens may have been if necessasary.

USDA-CERTIFIED ORGANIC– A farm must apply for this designation and undergo inspections to ensure all standards are being met. Chickens are fed organic feed from their 2nd day of life. In addition, the chickens must have access to the outdoors.

I am not certified organic, however, I take great care to meet the needs of my chickens, and they are only fed organic non -GMO food. In addition to a great deal of research on my part, my daughter, Stevie, who works for the USDA specializing in poultry and has been an excellent resource.

Continue reading “What do the Labels on Egg Cartons Mean?”
Posted in Gardening, knitting, Ravelry knit projects, Shopping, Williamsburg, VA, yarn

Wool Sweaters


I haven’t knit myself a sweater since 2017. I felt this needed to be remedied. So I joined the Olive Knits January Gansey Sweater knit along.

JanGan2_sm_medium2
Photo credit to OliveKnits, Marie Greene from Ravelry

The January Gansey Sweater is a pattern written by Olive Knits. There is a KAL group on Facebook and on Ravelry where people are sharing and asking questions. There also are weekly videos discussing the technical aspects of this sweater hosted by Marie Greene of OliveKnits. as luck would have it there happen to be a few other people besides myself making this sweater at the LYS, Flying Needles. I’ve chosen to knit mine with Berroco Ultra Wool DK in a pretty moss green color. I’m using the color #83118 in the dye lot of 7C4778. I’m modifying where I start the cables to what I feel will suit my charming Apple Shape a bit better, but otherwise will be following the pattern.

I chose this specific knit along because it included a technique I always wanted to try, underarm gussets. I would not be surprised if you just read that last sentence and it didn’t even sound like a real thing. Underarm Gusset, indeed. I assure you, all the non-knitters and knitters alike, that it is indeed real and it’s a very old and useful technique.

A Gansey or Guernsey Sweater is a traditional woolen knit sweater often worn my fisherman. Now, I’m not a fisherman, but I will be wearing this sweater. And, I do enjoy learning about historical clothing, especially when it also incorporates knitting.

IMG_8952

As I was working along on my sweater it occurred to me it might be a good time to also go ahead and strip off the lavender flowers from the bouquet I bought at the Williamsburg Farmers Market this fall and make new sachets. While doing this I took this opportunity to add a couple drops of Lavender essential oil to some of the older lavender sachets I had made in the past. I now have freshly protected drawers in which I can store my sweater once I finish it.

I have six or so sweaters I’ve knit and a dresser full of other things knit. Mostly I knit with wool so protection against moths is really important.

So for the next week, I expect I’ll be plugging along on the stockinette body of my January Gansey Sweater. This will have the added bonus of making the fussy cabled section to be minimal. Allowing me to focus on my two oldest sons, Charlie and Ricky,  while they are here for a visit. They will be here this coming weekend. I am very much looking forward to seeing them.

IMG_1537

I will be starting the cables a few inches before the underarm gusset. I expect both these things will require my undivided attention. And in truth, I really want to give my boys my undivided attention, too. So I may have to set the sweater aside when I get to this point. Good thing I have several other projects I can knit as a back-up. You can never be too prepared.

Pin It

Wool Sweaters #protectwool #woolprotection #lavender #lavendersachets "lavenderesstionaloil

Happy knitting.

Posted in Home, Shopping

Some ways I save Money

I have broken down some of the ways I save money into sections. I take advantage of apps, store programs, and loyalty cards to name a few.

The biggest way I save has to do with Harris Teeter. Harris Teeter and Kroger are the same company so it’s possible Kroger has similar deals, but we don’t have a Kroger, so you have to check if that’s the store local to you. When you make a purchase using your loyalty card at Harris Teeter they give you fuel points, as well as their VIC loyalty card sales. One point for every dollar you spend, but if you buy gift certificates you get TWO points for every dollar.

We do grocery shop there but I definitely take advantage of that GC deal. I buy GC for restaurants, all sorts of stores, including Harris Teeter and even Amazon. We almost always have enough points to get the maximum of $1 off of our gas purchases. That’s for both my car, Chuck’s car, and even the lawnmower for $1 off per gallon of gas all the time.

Allow me to point out that many of the GCs, especially with Amazon, I then use Ebates for the actual shopping, getting the cash pack for that. I then upload my receipts for Points on Receipt Pal. Then I use the Ibotta App for individual items I purchase to get the coupon refund. Remember, many of my purchases were made with the GCs I bought at Harris Teeter earning those fuel points.

One the ways to save money is with Ebates. Anytime I do online shopping I try to do so through Ebates. You simply log into Ebates and then either search for the store you want in the search bar or look through all the store icons. There’s even a way you can save by shopping in physical stores by linking your credit card. I’ve done this at Plow and Hearth just this past month, I got 12% cash back on that purchase. If you sign up via my link you get $10 and so do I! This is my most used app for how I save money.

Ebates Link

Another great way I save money is with the Receipt Pal app. You take pictures of all your receipts, upload them and you collect points. Then you can convert points into gift cards. I usually convert them into Amazon gift cards. Then I go to Amazon through Ebates and earn cash back!

Receipt Pal App

I use the Ibotta app as a way to save money with their electronic coupons. Choose your store, go through the list of items with “coupons” and check the things you will buy, make your purchases, and take a picture of your receipt. That’s it. You can even link loyalty cards for a quicker process from some stores. They often run specials for people giving and using referral codes so use my link below, please.

Ibotta App. Referral link.

Now let’s talk about Amazon. We belong to Amazon as a Prime Member so we get free shipping and many other perks. [There is a yearly fee for Prime.] But the biggest advantage, if you ask me, is their Subscribe and Save. If you use this and have at least 5 things each month, regardless of how much or what the items are, you save an extra 5% off the already discounted subscriber price. I use this for all kinds of things and I change it around each month as my needs change. I usually use it for things like dishwasher detergent, dog and chicken food, coffee, and Frontline flea and tick for the dogs. You get reminders to edit your cart before it ships, you don’t payuntil it ships and I have it set up to use those GCs before a credit card. And it is delivered right to your door.

Amazon

Another way I save is with Grove Collaborative. This company is a subscription type shipment that I can change monthly as my needs change or even skip shipments as often as I like. They carry brands that have fewer toxic ingredients and more natural alternatives from cleaning to paper products or anywhere in between.

The products are sold at a discount from 7-40% off. And, Grove also offers price matching! SO check around for the best price and just let them know. They have free shipping with a VIP membership that has a $19.99 annual membership fee and VIP’s get free products throughout the year so it’s well worth it. You don’t actually have any minimum amount or obligation to purchase anything at any time. I use many of their cleaning and body products.

If you sign up with my link below you will get whatever the special is, right now it is a free 5 piece cleaning kit and I get $10! Plus you can shop them via Ebates for $2 cash back. Like Amazon, your orders are delivered right to your door. Plus, staying out of the store is another way I save money.

Grove Collaborative

How do I pay for all these things? With my Capital One Venture card. Including the purchase of the gift certificates. I earn points for all my purchases using this card. I can then use the points for things like airfare, hotel stays, rental cars, and restaurant purchases. It is, however, imperative that you pay it off every month. If you don’t pay it off every month all the above things are useless.

This post contain affiliate links, which means I make a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

What other ways do you save? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.

Pin It

Happy saving.