The temps hit 71F degrees today and I felt it was finally time to break out of the house! I needed me some frugal retail therapy. There was this Salvation Army store I noted a few weeks ago and now was as good a time as ever to check it out. The store is about 30 minutes from my home. So, using a rewards card, I stopped off first to grab a free cappuccino from Dunkin’ (as well as two crullers) as a great way to start my day.

The Salvation Army store did not disappoint. The place inside was huge and filled to capacity with clothes, clothes and more clothes for every age, gender and group on the planet. I had a field day. And the prices were spectacular. I scored two tee shirts at $2.99 each plus a very warm pair of pajamas for next winter, also at $2.99. I found an adorable little bed for my puppy (for our upcoming RV trips) for only four bucks!

By the time I got back home I was starving but I wanted something extremely healthy. I decided to make a giant pot of fresh minestrone soup using up a lot of the vegetables I grew last summer but never got a chance to cook with. Until now. I used up some of my San Marzano tomatoes (including a leaf of my home-grown basil), half of my green beans and the remaining zucchini. The soup base was a quart of my own chicken stock, with the usual carrot, celery and onion melee’ sauteed in olive oil and tomato paste. A can of cannellini beans, all topped off with a half package of organic spinach. Dinner was ready in under an hour. Click here for the recipe. I completed the meal with a dozen cheddar herb biscuits.

It was the perfect ending to a perfect frugal retail therapy day!