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Back in June last year I posted an article on how to make your own dogfood. See that post here.

Back in June, 2013

Back in June, 2013

It’s been a while since I posted that and I’ve changed my method quite a bit to be cheaper, more efficient and just generally less hassle so I thought an update was in order!

A summary: I chose to feed my dog a high-quality and varied diet.  I did some research and decided to make my own dog food and to only supplement with high quality kibble and other things likes eggs, treats and bones… and maybe the occasional bit of cheese. Theoretically this means my dog also eats less because I have increased the quality of his diet. I have no evidence of this however as I’ve never solely fed my dog kibble for any extended period of time.

If you are looking to save money on dogfood, this is not the post for you. Yes, homemade dog food will be cheaper than feeding only store bought and high-quality foods but it is definitely not cheaper than if you were to feed your dog with whatever the cheapest thing on sale is at your local supermarket. I am very happy with my dogs health, how he looks, how he feels and how little hair he sheds.

Copper the snowdog

Copper the snowdog

Since last May/June I have tweaked my method of dog food making simply by cutting corners because I’m lazy and was looking to waste less time while still making my own dog food. As I said in my last post, I started doing this with little forethought, it was just a random brain fart with the idea of saving money and feeding my dog a good and varied diet.

It takes me slightly longer to make this than if I were to go and buy dog food so time spent is now nearly negligible in calculating cost.

Oats

Oats

Changes I’ve made: I use less tools, spend less time making, use one pot and no longer freeze food or use tubs to freeze it in. One pot, one knife and cutting board. Done. Simple!

Ingredients of today’s batch:
Roughly 3,5lbs of beef, diced.. $2,99 a lb beef sale is why.
several tbsp EVOO used to brown beef first 5 minutes
1 cup of pea/corn/carrot soup mix
500 g diced carrots
1 cup brown rice
1 cup rolled oats
2 bananas, diced
2 apples, cored and diced with peel
1 tsp garlic
Several cups of water

Tools used:
1 large pot
1 cup measuring cup
1 big spoon for stirring
1 cutting board
1 sharp paring knife

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nom beef!

I sliced and diced the beef, added it to a pot with some EVOO and garlic and let it simmer while I continued to slice and dice on the same cutting board, with the same knife. (washed in between). I diced the carrots and added them to the pot when the beef was almost done, it will start releasing water on it’s own so I don’t add any water until I’m done adding the carrots, the carrots take the longest to cook and Copper won’t eat them unless they are soft enough so I boil them the longest. (otherwise he eats around them and leaves them in his bowl).

I then add the soup veggies, and enough water to later be absorbed by the rice and oats and let everything simmer for roughly 30-45 minutes while I do dishes… or sweep, or whatever.

Ingredients of last weeks batch

Ingredients of last weeks batch

After simmering I add the rice and oats and slowly let it cook for another 10-15 while I’m productive doing dishes reditting and imgurring.

End product

End product

 

When the timer goes I turn off the heat add in the fruit and stir thoroughly, today’s fruits turned out to be bananas and apples because they were on sale.

The resulting pot full of stuff should be roughly the consistency of a rice casserole dish, if it’s more like a stew then you’ve used too much water… but don’t worry…. your dog will still eat it 😉

What else… Actually nope, that’s all. Bam, done!  I let it cool down a bit. Put a lid on the pot and put it in my fridge where I will spoon out of it for roughly five days in the morning and in the evening until the pot is empty. Then the process repeats after the next grocery day.

I supplement in between with the occasional boiled or blended egg, dog kibble on days I don’t have a pot in the fridge and copious treats and bones… of course. It works for me, takes very little effort and I have a happy healthy dog. Good stuff.

Rubs?

Rubs?

 

Back when I demo-d the old porch (old link) and replaced it with a bedroom, my washer and dryer were disconnected and moved to the front of the house in the sunroom, where eventually I wanted to hook them up.

Remember what the house looked like when I bought it?:

Way back in September 2008

Way back in September 2008

Destruction:

After the porch was ripped off and before the build

After the porch was ripped off and before the build

and after adding on a new piece:

October 2013. still a few things to do though

October 2013. still a few things to do though

The sunroom in the front is an uninsulated space, and the only room left that needs some significant work done. So, in the two years since I had that piece built onto the side of my house I’ve focused on other projects and the sunroom just kind of sat there. In fact, over time the sunroom became the only room in my house that was still a complete disaster, observe:

I'm not proud of this

I’m not proud of this

I’m not a hoarder by any means but when you’re renovating all parts of your house gradually. STUFF has to go somewhere. Stuff that’s in the way, tools, leftover pieces of dry-wal that shouldn’t be thrown out… and with no basement to store items I really have to store tools in my home, so gradually this space became a dumping ground. I wrote about it before but it wasn’t until this summer that I made one final attempt at really fixing it for good.

The bookcase in the back ended up in my bedroom for a while, I’ve now sold it. The shoerack is gone and at least half of the crap you see in this image has been decluttered, used up or sold. This left me with a fairly blank slate. Since it really doesn’t make sense financially to replace all the old windows and insulate this space right now I decided on a few quick cosmetic fixes. I painted the walls and installed blinds that I got halfprice at Home Depot earlier this summer. Then I hung melamine cabinets above the washer and dryer.

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much better!

While the ceiling still needs a lick of paint and a new floor wouldn’t hurt either, the space looks much more inviting and livable, and with doors on the cabinets, much less clutttered!

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the space in use

In total I spent about $200 on the blinds and the cabinets. The paint I already had from a former project. While this room still has far to go (the washer and dryer are still not actually hooked up, I’m doing laundry five minutes down the road at my parents) this room now fits the rest of my little house.


The bathroom is done (well except for some caulk and a wee bit of touchup paint), the livingroom is done and I have a new couch, I have one new bedroom and the other one has new trim and paint. The entire house has had new flooring and new paint over the past 4 years, new windows and insulation. Even the open dirt basement now has plastic and gravel in it. My little house is finally coming together, and I’ve managed not to go bankrupt. Victory! 🙂

On my bucketlist page you can see an image of the map that’s hung inside my house for the past three years. It’s just a big paper Rand McNally map, stuck on the wall with cork board pins and all the places I’ve been/still want to go on it labelled with paper stickies. Voila:

My old pinmap

My old pinmap

I recently took a bookcase out of my bedroom and turned the corner where it used sit into a sitting & reading corner with a chair and books and a dogbed for the dog, see here:

the old

the old

Which I revamped into this; I was just tired of all the clutter you know? This feels much more bed-room like and I didn’t spend a dime, I actually made $60 by selling the bookcase!

still need to work with the frames, but progress!

still need to work with the frames, but progress!

Anyway, back to the pin board thing. After ‘fixing’ that corner of my bedroom I though I’d deal with the big paper map just randomly hanging on the other side of my bed. It felt very college-dorm like and I wanted something more polished. I’ve always wanted a nice pin map with cork board behind it to mark all the places I have been and the many more places I still want to go, BUT if you’ve ever looked for pin maps to buy you know that prices are simply ridiculous. Check out the etsy listings here. I am not saying they’re not worth it, they are beautiful but unfortunately way out of my price range, in comes DIY.

I decided to keep my pin map small, and picked up this Quattro cork board at Walmart for $14,97+tax:

It looks a bit lonely here still

It looks a bit lonely here still

It looks a bit small on the wall still but I do intend to get larger lamps for my side-tables which will pull everything together more. After finding the cork board I spent what felt like eons searching online for a map that I could trim to size or at the right size. I ended up finding a simple world map posters at allposters.ca (this is not advertising) and waited a few weeks for that to come in. I paid $8,99 for the map, which after shipping and taxes came to $13.72. Then, I simply trimmed the edges;

coming together nicely

coming together nicely 🙂

… And glued it onto the cork board with a glue stick, I also carefully pushed the edges in so some of them are actually slightly behind the cork board trim. I let it sit for a few hours with a pile of books on it before adding my pins. For the pins, I chose simple fine sewing needles:

multicolours!

multicolours!

Which cost me, I think it was $1,97+tax at Walmart. I looked at actual map-pins but for what is basically a glorified sewing pin, I figured I’d stick with these, plus they come in fun colours which is a bonus.

So, for a total cost of $17,07 for the board + $13, 72 for the poster and $2,25 for the pins, I ended up with this, for $33,04. Much cheaper than the $100+ pinmaps I found for sale everywhere else.

Green for travels with Mr. X, Yellow where I want to go and Blue where I have been!

Oh the places you’ll go

What do you think?