Thursday, October 23, 2014

Sometimes Our Kids Worry

Remember this? Our kids were thankful we found a washer, that we weren't be spending our grocery money at the laundromat but there was concern of the amount of work it would cause me to do the laundry and the age of the washer. Truthfully I enjoy doing the laundry more and I do it less often and the clothes are coming out cleaner.

Wellllll...see this?
This is the used freezer we just bought.  We had been looking since the other one died. Saved up a couple hundred knowing that a used freezer was just going to be a stop gap until we could afford a new one. Hubby went to a couple auctions, we checked out the want ads etc...always sold or up right or had sat off for a long time with door shut...not good or was a very small freezer. Just when we thought we would have to buy a new freezer that was really too small, there was another auction close by that had a freezer listed. BUT it had been sitting turned off (the door was open so it didn't stink).As the price went up Hubby decided he wasn't willing to sink that much money in a maybe it will start back up freezer. He turned to walk away and an old friend from work ran into him. They got to talking and the old friend told him another coworker that had retired had a yardsale the other weekend and the deep freezer didn't sell and gave him the phone number. Hubby came home and called...and there it just gets interesting.

The freezer was the sister-in-law's that had died and they were clearing the house. They hadn't really put the freezer up for one was really interested in it because it was old but still working, was on and cleaned so they were going to just let it go with the house.It was the size we wanted and a chest.

When we went to get it the store comes out. First it wasn't put up for sale because they used it as the table during the yard sale. A lady had asked about it but since they asked for $50 for it she walked away.The sister-in-law died from cancer. She liked to buy things and then give them away to those that needed my Mother. The co worker's wife's name is exactly the same as my Mother.  The freezer is bigger than we were looking for it, it runs and it's clean AND it's over 40 yrs old. Yep over 40 yrs old...

A blessing and I still believe Mother was looking from heaven guiding us to this freezer.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Amish Produce Auction...Frugal budget

We got two of these boxes filled with small pumpkins for a total 54 pumpkins minus the 2 we gave to a friend.
We got 80 lbs of winter storage onions.
We got 15 lbs of small potatoes the size that is of new potatoes.
we bought 14 heads of cabbage. I gave one to an elderly gentleman that reminded me of my Dad and another to a friend.
We bought 14 lbs of carrots and gave 2 lbs to the friend. This is after I put them in wood chips/shavings for the root cellar in the basement. I did this also with the 10 lbs of turnips we bought.
There is 8 boxes (was 9 , gave 1 to friend) of red tomatoes, 7 boxes of green tomatoes,10 lbs of small green tomatoes, 8 eggplants (gave 8 to friend) 24 butternut squash (gave 8 to friend) sitting on the table waiting to be processed. I wished there had been beets.
And 16 -10 inch pots of mums that we got for 25¢ each.

We spent a total of $211 for enough veggies to last us for several months.

I picked up 6 spaghetti squashes and a 50 lb bag of Chef (baking) potatoes and an apple crumb pie and pumpkin roll for $64 at Hurley's farm market.

I had set the Auction budget at $400. So part of what was left was spent on us eating out and going to  the grocery store, picked up a few beets SMILE, celery and a few odds and ends needed.

Grocery budget stands at $594.54 out of the $600 budget. Leaving $5.46 for the rest of the month....I know we will go over with the acknowledgement that most of the stuff I bought at the auction and farm is going to lower the amount in the coming months so I can spend the regular grocery money on buying stuff for Tday dinner and Christmas baking.

All in all I am happy with the haul for the price.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Scioto Valley Produce Auction

We go to the Scioto Valley Produce Auction which is ran by the Amish in the spring to get our plants for the gardens and flowers. Pictures above are just a very little bit of what I have gotten. I've gotten tomato plants for 25¢ each. Bought several trays of 48 tomato plants for $5. Broccoli, cauliflower,onions,cabbages, pepper plants and more for a lot less than I would pay at a green house or the stores.

Then middle of July to the beginning of August we go again and starting picking up produce that is raised by the Amish. This was some of what we have bought last year. This year we didn't go because my gardens were running us over as it was.Then my deep freezer died and took it all with it. :(  Can you tell I am still upset over it ?

We went last month with some friends, we usually wait until middle of October for fall crops but they wanted to go to the pumpkin auction. I had to leave early before the auction was over so I left Hubby with a list. I wrote 5 b green beans...meaning boxes which was 1/2 bushel each...he got 5 bushels. Granted after canning it the cost worked out to 26¢ a pint, (I can in pints because that is the jars I have) so it ended up a good deal except for Hubby that doesn't like green beans to begin with. He eats them, but doesn't like them. I have over 240 pints and I still have a few coming in from our own plants.He is going to eating green beans every 4 days.

Next weekend we go for the fall crops.

I really hope onions, winter cabbage, winter squash (besides pumpkins and acorns that I have plenty of) sweet potatoes, white potatoes, and garlic are in abundance.

 Some of those that sell at the auction sell  what is their over flow from their own gardens. Some have went to growing produce to sell since farm land is limited and they can grow produce on 10 acres of land to support their family instead of 100 acres to raise crops and livestock. Last year was rough with the hard and cold winter we had. Those heating green houses by wood were sleeping in the green houses to keep the fire going where a few were heating with propane watched the cost go through the roof. Putting food on the table is their first priority, selling the rest is second.With talk of another hard winter, not as much is going to the auction as last year.

Blessed Be

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Frugal Accomplishments

I have been trying to keep a list of my Frugal Accomplishments. When you are frugal to begin with you don't always acknowledge what you are doing is frugal.

I finished canning the green beans that we had bought at the produce auction.The cost without the hours of my time (243 pints of green beans, I had pint jars so I didn't go buy anymore). The cost came out to 26¢ a pint, a lot cheaper than buying green beans at the store.

We bought acorn squash and spaghetti squash for 50¢ each that weighed about 2 lbs each.They are running about 79¢ a pound at the farmers' markets which is cheaper than the stores. I haven't been able to grow squash for what ever reason. This is now in the section of the basement that winter squash and potatoes hold well through the winter. I will still pick up butternut, delicata and maybe some kind of hubbard.

I am recording humidity levels in other parts of the basement to find another area for "root cellar" food.

I gave some strawberry starters to our friends so I would have more room in my strawberry bed.

I hung my first strand of onions that our friends gave us. I buy the cheapest panty hose or stockings I can find to store my onions in . Tie a knot between each (I cut panty hose in half) and hang from the beams in the basement. Helps keep them during the winter. If one goes bad it doesn't affect the others and I can just cut an onion off the bottom when I need one. We use 7-10 onions a week.A 3 lb bag from the store doesn't last the week. My onions didn't do well this year.Gave us enough for fresh but not for storage.

I took the hem out of a couple of Pat's pants.

We got the wringer washer set up and usable (I can change water every wash and have hot and cold water to fill with without lugging water)...I timed it yesterday when I used it and I spent an extra hour doing the rinse by hand(Hubby rigged it like a rain barrel so I can drain it without lifting it) and it took the dryer the same amount of time of laundry done at the laundromat which is twice as long as a home washer. I used the clothes line all week except yesterday...was wet here. Since Hubby can actually fix this, no computer YEA!!! I feel the $90 spent on it is well worth the price of my extra hour's time doing laundry comparing to going to the laundromat. AND I got the a lot of fall cleaning done in the basement during loads.Maybe next year I will look for a new washer and deal with computer boards again. Right now I am okay with this.

I gathered seeds from my lettuce plant to replant next year.

I gathered some of the green beans that I let dry on the vine to plant next year. I grow heirloom most of the time. I make sure I mark what is NOT heirloom so I don't waste my time letting it go to seed and gathering it. I have 5 varieties of beans I plant each year.

I made a list of the gag gifts we will be giving for Christmas. We have a large family. The budget has remained the same even as the family quad-tripled. Over half will be made with things we already have on hand. The list helps me keep focused on what I need to keep and do. I try to do 10 gag gifts per person...that's over 400 gifts. Not counting Hubby's guys under him at work we get for.

I didn't list anything to focus on that some more.Make sure that I am keeping things as frugal as I can.

Blessed Be

Monday, October 6, 2014

This week's goals

The goal is to get it done this week, since I also have several appointments to deal with this week I might be more hopeful than realistic on what I can get done.

Priority...finish harvesting the gardens.We dodged another frost but sooner or later we will get nailed so I need to get the last of the tomatoes, cabbages,yellow bell peppers and a zucchini off and dealt with. I might have Hubby cover the zucchini plants as there are blooms on them and they are in an area that we could cover them easily enough.

I need to update the budget. This Thursday we make the final payment to a loan that was half the bring home of the month. I don't want to fritter that money away so I need to have where it goes in place besides the savings acct and on the last of the debt from where Hubby was down to 3 days a week for 2 yrs. We are still rebuilding. The only that didn't take the hit was the retirement fund. Better to work 2-3 jobs now while still able than live in poverty when we are in our 70/80's.

I have apples a friend gave us yesterday to make applesauce and caramel apple jam.

I need to pick the last of the beans to be shelled to plant next year.

We need to finish taking the gardens down and prepping for spring. The last 2 yrs things turned bad for us and it didn't get done.Makes spring planting late getting in when we have to finish what should have been done in the fall.

I need to clear the foundation garden also.

I need to cover the strawberries and fall garlic I planted with straw.

The lilac and rose bush needs trimmed.

I need to cut some corn stalks down for decorations and grab some of the leaves for gag gifts at Christmas.

I need to gather some of the sticks up out of the yard, keep some for gag gifts for Christmas (the grandkids always look forward to and wonder what gag gifts they are getting)

I have started working on Christmas. We have a large family..that happens when you have a lot of kids and then they have a lot of kids.We spend $12 per person for gifts...I try to make most of it and give gag gifts with $1 cash.

I need to inventory the freezers. I want to have them pretty cleared out so I have some room for turkeys and hams in case we aren't able to get another large deep freezer.

I need to make the grocery list.

I need to finish fall cleaning the pantry and clean the area I keep the root veggies. I would like to add an area for a root cellar but I don't think we have enough stuff laying around to wall the area in.As it is, I would be battling the field mice over the food. I might be able to use the outdoor staircase from the basement. I need to keep track of it's temp and humidity this week and see if it is possible.

I need to caulk some windows after I get more caulking that is on the buy list for this week.

Pat asked for a Lunchable for his field trip on Thursday. Since he has youth group on Wednesday and needs a hair cut (coupon) I thought I would take him to get the hair cut and Lunchable after youth group. Saves a little on gas.

I need to go through some clothes my oldest gave me from her youngest to see if any of it fits Pat or can be altered to fit him before I start hitting the thrift shops to find more winter clothes for him.

I need to go through Hubby's clothes and make the list of what he needs replaced.

I need to go through my own clothes and see what needs replaces. I've lost enough weigh since last winter that my clothes are hanging on me. While doing that I need to find the box that has my winter socks and flannel tights.

I need to call the hospital about a bill that was not done correctly on their end. They are trying to get it fixed but I want to stay on top of it as our ins is saying they haven't filed the corrected papers.

Have a blessed day

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Weather changes.

Our first tree completely turned, the maple trees are still green with slight touches of yellow. Might turn more with the cold front going through tonight with possible frost in the morning. We had a slight frost a couple weeks ago but not much damage to speak of.

I am thankful the picture wasn't blurred with wind blowing like it is.

It has been a good day to check for drafts.I made notes of where they were so I can get enough caulking the next time I go to town for non-food items.

I started the shopping list for winter clothes. I already had a good start on the list for Pat but Hubby and I need some replacements of things also.

We tested the the furnace a couple weeks ago...worked great...figures today it wouldn't kick on when it's cold in the house. Frustrating to figure it out so I am leaving it for when Hubby gets back from town. Worse would be that we have to call the landlord which will call his brother to come fix it. We have secondary heating as long as we have electric.

I decided to sit down and do some planning for this month...we will see how that works out.

Blessed be

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My new washer

Oh yeah, Hubby did...for those that are not old enough to recognize's an old wringer washer. Yes, it works. Yes, I will have to stay with the washer to wash the clothes.I won't go in to detail of all that but it's not a turn on and walk away and the load is done 30 minutes later. I would love to have a second one for the rinse but I doubt if we will find another one at $90. You can get brand new ones for $1000 and I have seen used going for up to $500.

Hubby set up the old washer hoses so I don't have to lug water and I can change the water every load which in the old days we used one fill of water and started it with hot water and whites was washed first.The pump hose it connected to the old drain hose so that is taken care of also. He bought me a new bright pink water tub (they use for farm animals etc) and put a drain and hose on it so I don't have to dump that water either and the hot and cold water hoses reach the rinse tub.

The agitator knob is sticking so he is going to deal with that this week and I will be set to wash clothes at home again and no more $5 a load at the laundromat. which was costing me $75 a week to do all the laundry. I probably will take the comforters,king size blankets and winter coats to the laundromat like my Mother did but that won't be a weekly expense.

The up side of this computer to go out and I can SOAK in the washer instead of a sink. The negative besides the risk of smashing fingers in the wringer is I will be definitely hands on with the washing and rinsing. I figure it might be a side benefit that I can sort boxes and do some cleaning in the basement that keeps getting pushed down the to do list if I am sitting in the basement dealing with the washer. We will see.

I figure the money I save from NOT going to the laundromat can go towards a new washer down the road and I can resell this washer for parts to someone else if it quits running on me.

Blessed be

Sept grocery round up

We finished the month at $468.92...that's over our $350 budget by $118.92.

I don't feel bad about it because $63.00 of that was 4 1/2 bushels of green beans which made 243 pints of green beans.That comes out to be 26¢ per pint (a 15.5 oz can is running $1.69 here) AND we got 12 acorn squash for $5.70 that would have cost us $17.59 at the local farmer's market.

 The rest of the over budget amount was eating out twice while I was canning the 243 pints and then taking Pat out after his last soccer game which they won.

October's budget is $600. I know we will be stocking up on winter squash,onions and potatoes on top of starting to stock up for the holiday baking.

I would love to find a used chest freezer before Nov  but that is low on the buy list.

Blessed Be