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March 2024

Companion planting in the Bachelor on the Cheap Garden

Photo by Aaron Burden on

What a BEAUTIFUL Easter Sunday!

It got up to 80 degrees today in my Kansas neck of the woods and after enjoying a wonderful dinner of spiral sliced ham, scalloped potatoes, and spring peas w/bacon a bit before noon, I slipped outside to play in the garden.

In expanding my garden space this year, I decided to include some sunflowers in the landscape, and bonus, if I can keep the birds at bay, I'll have some seeds to munch on come August/September.  I'm also toying with a lot of companion planting options this season.   If you're not familiar with companion planting, it's a technique of pairing different plants together to enhance growth and productivity.  Companion planting can also aid in pest control and as a side benefit, it can save space and allow you to include more plant varieties in your garden than you would otherwise be able to.

Traditionally, I've done a bit of companion planting, such as planting radishes with carrots.  Carrots take a while to mature (most varieties about 60-90 days, some even longer) and need space to get big.  Radishes mature quickly (about 30 days) and are friends with Mr. Carrot.  Instead of planting a bunch of carrot seeds and having to thin them out with the goal of bigger carrots in mind, I interplant radishes with carrots.  As radishes are harvested, space is created, giving those carrots more room to grow.  Another example of companion planting is putting cucumbers and marigolds together.  The scent of marigolds helps to ward off the dreaded cucumber beetle.

A couple of good companion plants for those sunflowers are pole beans and cucumbers.  Not only is this a space saver, allowing me to add other plant varieties to my garden, but I don't have to break out the trellis to support those beans or cukes, the sunflowers will support them just fine.  In the eight-foot row of sunflowers I planted today, I partnered four feet of that row with pole beans, and the other four feet with some cucumbers.  Whichever fares better, will be a repeat for the next season.

With that done, now I need to figure out what I'm going to plant where the pole beans and cucumbers WERE going to go...  Fun problem!  And out with the Bachelor planting, in with Companion planting!  See what I did there...  

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike



New job opportunities with Sedgwick County, 03/31/2024

Sedgwick County LogoJobs
Temporary Administrative Support V - Aging and Disabilities - Wichita, KS, US
Management Intern - COUNTY MANAGER - Wichita, KS, US
Administrative Support I - DISTRICT ATTORNEY - Wichita, KS, US
Crisis Stabilization / Observation Unit Integrated Care Specialist - COMCARE - Wichita, KS, US
Part-time Crisis Integrated Care Specialist - COMCARE - Wichita, KS, US
WIC Registered Nurse, Nutritionist, or Registered Dietitian - HEALTH - Wichita, KS, US
Transportation Engineer - PUBLIC WORKS - Wichita, KS, US
Older Americans Act (OAA) Case Manager - AGING AND DISABILITIES - Wichita, KS, US
Intensive Supervision Officer I - JIAC - CORRECTIONS - Wichita, KS, US
Center City Field Integrated Care Specialist II - COMCARE - Wichita, KS, US

Total Wine & More in Wichita has everything you need for your home bar

Total Wine & More
2762 N Greenwich Ct, Wichita, KS. 67226

Needing to resupply my home bar and not having yet visited Total Wine & More since they opened in North Wichita in November 2023, I decided a shopping trip to the 'new place in town' was in order.

I knew the place would be huge with a wide selection of wine, spirits, and beer, but when I walked in, well, can you say, "Impressive?'  Yes, yes you can.

It's a supermarket of adult beverages and then some!

They've got wine, spirits, and beer in every style and price range, domestics, imports, hard-to-find selections, you name it, Total Wine & More probably has it and if by chance you can't find it, you most likely won't in the ICT.  

In addition to the best selection of adult beverages in the Wichita Metro, they've got everything else to help you stock the home bar, mixers galore, garnishments of all types, and accessories, including a large area in the store dedicated to cigars.  Four Roses served neat and a good cigar, ah...

Total Wine & More
The Bourbon Aisle

In addition to being impressed by the sheer size of the place, and the well-designed layout and displays, I was also impressed by the prices.  They have something for every taste, and it's all reasonably priced.  I'm a typical male when it comes to shopping, go in the store, grab what you need, and get out.  This is a store I enjoy browsing.  Everybody working the store was also super friendly and knowledgeable, without being sales pushy.  

Located at 2762 N Greenwich Ct, Wichita, KS 67226, if you haven't visited Total Wine & More yet, you should.  They've got you covered for any adult beverage need.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike

Sedgwick County Bans Most Open Burning in April

Sedgwick County Logo(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Sedgwick County Fire District 1 is reminding residents that a burn ban imposed by the State of Kansas will be in effect for Sedgwick County during the month of April. New open burn permits will not be issued during the month of April, and no current permit holders will be allowed to conduct open burns after March 31, 2024. Open burns can resume after May 1, 2024.

The ban includes all open burning of any waste, including vegetation and wood waste, structures or other material on any premises. The following counties will be affected along with Sedgwick County: Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cowley, Elk, Geary, Greenwood, Johnson, Lyon, Marion, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley, Wabaunsee and Wyandotte.

Exceptions to the open burn ban include pasture, crop, range and wildlife or watershed management. The allowed burning operations will require a valid permit from Sedgwick County Fire District 1. Burn permits may be requested online at or by calling 316-660-3473.The Kansas Department of Health & Environment (KDHE) open burning regulations (K.A.R. 28-19-645 through K.A.R. 28-19-648) apply.

The April burn ban does not restrict the use of barbecue grills, smokers or backyard fire pits in Sedgwick County; yet municipalities within the county might have stricter burn regulations so residents are encouraged to check with the towns where they live.

For more information, visit April Burn Ban | Sedgwick County, Kansas or contact the office of Sedgwick County Fire Marshal at 316-660-3473.

Dress up your outdoor space with Brightown Solar Fence Lights

Brightown Solar Fence Lights
Super easy to install and operate

I've been wanting to dress up the lighting on my backyard patio.

Currently, I've got some of those stick-the-little-post-in-the-ground solar lights in a flower bed that runs the full length of the patio on the north side.  They function just fine, but they do have their limitations, with one issue a repeat one - the darn things are easy to tilt, be it from a garden hose, bumping the lights when planting or weeding or getting knocked crooked by critters.

So to complement the in-ground lights, I picked up a package of six solar fence lights by Brightown.

Featuring 10 different light colors and fade/jump modes, I can simply set each light to display a choice of white light, cool, warm, or bright for everyday use.  I can have fun on the holidays, green for St. Patrick's Day, yellow for Easter, orange for Halloween, red for Christmas, and I can even alternate the lighting to display red, white, and blue for the 4th of July.

Solar Fence Light installed
10 different light colors and fade/jump options

Super easy to install, I was able to put up six lights in less than 15 minutes.  The instructions were straightforward and nicely illustrated to include a template to mark the placement position of the screws provided.  I am impressed with the initial quality of the lights and the product packaging boasts the solar panels will last 15 years.

Costing me $25.49+ tax on Amazon, I'm giving Brightown Solar Fence Lights 5 out of 5 Bachelor on the Cheap Stars.  Easy to install, easy to operate and change modes, these lights do indeed dress up my patio area and secured to the fence posts, these things won't tilt!  Similar light sets on Amazon were priced at $29.99 and up.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike


So simple, so good, so Bachelor on the Cheap Wallet-Friendly 'Americanized' Ramen Soup

'Americanized' Ramen Soup
Made from what you have on hand in your pantry and fridge

Here's a quick, easy-peasy, SUPER budget-friendly, about eight minutes to make snack or meal...


  • One beef or chicken stock cube
  • Two cups water
  • One tab butter
  • One cup noodles (whatever you have on hand)
  • One cup of mixed veggies
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan


Bring the water, butter, and stock cube to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the onion powder, garlic powder, mixed veggies, and noodles, and stir to incorporate.  Cover and cook for the time per the noodle package instructions.  Serve with black pepper to taste, topped with grated Parmesan cheese.  Excellent served with toasted garlic bread.

It doesn't get much cheaper than this for a quick snack or meal at a cost per serving of about $1.  It's filling, and cheap to make.  It's an 'American-what's-in-the-cupboard' Ramen soup if you will...  Nice additions are turkey or roast beef shreds of lunchmeat.

$pend Wisely My Friends...

~ Mike