Saturday, May 25, 2024

How we saved money. Kids update

 I am still working on defrosting, inventoring and organizing the deep freezers.Couple meals this week was leftovers that had been shoved in deep freezers. I also pulled the last of the zucchini bread pancakes. 

I used leftovers to make second meals. M sent over 5 dozen eggs as they were going to visit her family for a couple days. I was shocked when she got home that she sent another 2 dozen. The ones taking care of the home while they were gone and animals said the chickens went nuts laying. I will freeze some and make noodles as I don't have either.

I finished putting the meatloaf patties in deep freezer (vacuum bagged, 20 meals).

I made sourdough bread, put half in deep freezer.

I made strawberry sweet  rolls using sourdough. I wrote on the recipe things I would change that would do better for us.

We combined medical appts with errands. 

I bought clearance spring perennels for my heart garden.

I stocked up on some generic OTC meds from Amazon that was on sale 

We changed dentist due to our dentist closing the local office and not wanting to drive an hour to their other office when we have no other doctor in that area. The new dentist is about half the cost of the old one, was even less than the old one WITH xrays.  I submitted the paid receipt to our RRA for rembursement. Got the money back in 3 days.

We have had turnips, radishes,lettuces, and strawberries from the gardens.

I dehydrated strawberries and dried rose petals for tea.

Due to change in what and how I am putting meals on the table I found I could use 2 more bowls (one metal and one glass) for my kitchenaid mixer. I found them at Amazon and ended up saving$56.16... basically the one bowl was free. I keep one metal bowl in the frig to make blizzards. The other glass bowl will hold a sourdough yeast starter that I use every other week for bread to give us a change in what bread we are eating. 

I bought a milkshake blender on sale.

I have figured out if I make milkshakes at home I will have saved enough in 2 months to pay off the milkshake blender. I make the blizzards in my kitchenaid metal bowl.I just need to get in habit of making ice cream every few days as my machine only makes about 3 qrts.

I set the furnace to run if the temperature goes below 65. It's been in the low 60s at night last week and this coming week. So far we have been able to get the house up to 80 with the heat of the day, then shut it up so it stays warm. Furnace only kicked on once so far.

I need to make a grocery list...SIGH.

Daughter 4 changed jobs and is back to working where she was laid off from 3 years ago. Working 6 days a week on 1st shift and happy about it. 

Son 2 was promoted and changed positions on base. He starts that job in June after his vacation. He also handed over the commander position in the VFW, which we called his second job ( or 3rd job when he was in reserves). That leaves him with his regular job and the secretary job with the combat vets bike club.

Stay safe

Prayers for peace and sanity.

Life just rolling on

 Here is the pond in January 

Here it is now,in fact E's youngest brother took his kids fishing and caught 45 fish, on the small side but big enough for his young family

We have two grass carps.

E said they were between 25- 30  lbs. He's lost a line or two trying to catch one of them

We had a turtle (didn't know we had one) that laid eggs.

Hubby put some posts around it and then ran a rope so we wouldn't step on where the turtle laid them.

We have had some storms (not tornadoes) run through. Twice ended up with water in basement. Hubby started looking at all the drainage tile and found 2 plugged and one running the wrong angle that he corrected. We have 2 other tiles he will have to check also. Lucky we actually had kept some "field" tile so didn't have to buy anything just spend the time digging it up (used tractor back hoe) and then putting the dirt/gravel back in after dealing with the issue. We got hail this last storm.

Hubby was mowing around the asparagus and found lettuce... we did NOT plant lettuce any where close to asparagus LOL.

My perennal heart garden did not do well with this past winter. I only had 1 plant survive. I found several perennial plants on clearance at Lowes so replanted.

stay safe, prayers for peace and sanity

Blessed Be

Monday, May 13, 2024

Half of May gone.

 E dragged up some logs he is not going to use. Also Hubby removed some huge (like 5 ft across) chunks from E's sawmill that he can't cut on his saw and they were in his way. Asked Hubby to help him move them out of the road. Hubby took his chainsaw and cut them up and hauled them to our barn to split for fire wood. Most Amish in this area don't split their wood. They cut down trees that are 6-10 inches around and cut them to length. 

I have the veg/fruit deep freezer done. I have the beef deep freezer done. I am working on inventorying and organizing the pork deep freezer. Still have the old veg.fruit deep freezer that will be the poultry/nut freezer and the small deep freezer in barn that is poultry deep freezer now. Then I will start on the 3 refrigerator freezers.  Why am I doing this? Because things get lost in the freezers, I buy what I already have and don't buy what I really need like we have zero meatloaf. I make  3 lbs of meatloaf, spread it on cookie sheet, score it in squares and freeze it. Next day I break the squares apart and vaccum bag them in "meal" size. I got my hamburger from the butcher shop (tired of recalls) and got a $1 off a pound by getting bulk rate. I wanted 18 lbs (makes 18 meals) he told me 20 lbs was bulk and I would get a $1 off a pound. I bought 20. I thought I was out of dinner sausage patties, I have enough for 6 months.  

I have wrote out what and how much. I will put it on excel sheet on computer and keep better track of it.

I have the heart flower garden replanted as all but one plant died off. I added bee balm to the pollinator gardens.

I planted all the " veggie plants" in the gardens. I still have seeds to plant, turnips, parsnips, rutabages,pumpkin, red kuri squash, baby butternut squash, onions, beans, beets, carrots, radishes, more lettuce etc. 

I have 624 spears of asparagus in the freezer, that is one package of 12 for a meal once a week. Snow peas are blooming, garden peas are starting to bloom. Strawberries are pink, blueberries are turning blue, blackberries and red raspberries are blooming. Rhubarb is growing some more. We have had lettuce and radishes from the gardens.

M sent over eggs twice in one week so she must be getting ran over herself.Since the kids are home as their school is out (they don't have parent teacher days or spring or Christmas breaks or bad weather days off though that one got changed because it's not good for the horses to be on icey roads). She's baking 6 loaves of bread a day plus pies, cakes and cookies. Not surprising as she is feeding 13 and I used 4 long sandwich loaves  per day myself for our family when the kids were home not counting the extra mouths at the table which was more often 12 of us at the table.

Two of our doctors have okayed OTC meds from Amazon. Just need to make sure the same ingredients and same amount of those ingredients are in the OTC. I saved close to $40 between us . 

Blessed Be

Stay safe

Prayers for peace and sanity

Thursday, May 9, 2024


 Daughter 4 bought this candle for me a couple years ago. 

We have had at least 2 medical appts a week for last 8 weeks. We have two this week and next then it should drop down to ever other week for chiro with a few 3 month or 6 month appts. We each had a doctor tells us we didn't need to schedule, if we need to come back in later to just call and make appt. The fuel costs for all the appts has been a budget buster for sure.

We have had bad storms every other week. So far we haven't had any bad damage other than 2 basement casement windows leaking and pump house drain was not draining like it should and a drain that runs to pond back flowing due to how much rain it's getting off barn and house. Hubby will be digging it up this coming week using the back hoe.It connects to the pump house also. 

I have 2 of the chest freezers defrosted. Veggies, fruit and beef have been inventoried. Tomorrow I will defrost and inventory the pork chest freezer.  I need meatloaf patties in the beef freezer. I ordered the ground beef from local butcher (who butchers for local farmers and buys their meat) and got $1 off a pound and I don't have to worry about recalls. That will leave the poultry freezer left to do and the small chest freezer in the barn to do.

I put over 600 spears of asparagus in the freezer plus a daily meal for 2 wks Asparagus is pretty much done. M came over and picked for 2 solid weeks for a meal daily for the 13 of them.

We got our first radishes. I broke down and bought a head of iceberg lettuce when I got milk for salads with the radishes. 

The blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are blooming. I should have different lettuces ready in a couple weeks if the weather stays decent and we don't get any frosts.I have most of the plants in the gardens, still need to plant seeds and finish planting flowers in pollenator gardens that had flowers die. 

We got the back taxes for 2012 paid off. 

We got a refund of school taxes, that will go over to savings to go to IRS.

I paid the first installment 3 wks early for the loan we took to pay the IRS for the taxes from the business closing. I noticed our credit score went up. I plan to not take the 12 months to pay this off but I want to make sure I have the propane paid for and enough in savings for emergencies before I pay it off. Mean time the extra money for it goes into saving at Ally. I think if I can pay it off late Sept early Oct would be great as Hubby's birthday is Oct .

I have the money in CDs for the propane. They mature in June. I hope Propane company (farmer's co op)runs the same deal they did last year, pay early in June, get a free fill of gas grill tank and discount of the amount you prepay for the propane. Depending on the price is what I will base how much we order. We have enough wood cut and stored for this coming winter. 

I watched the virtual annual meeting for electric co (another co op) and got $20 off bill for doing it, also got capital credit (share of profit) off the bill. So electric bill is $87 this month instead of $123. That difference will go over to installment loan savings. 

Hubby is still cutting wood for the winter. We were driving by one of the Amish he used to haul for and saw he had scrap blocks of wood in a pile. He stopped and they agreed to load our dump wagon full for $60. Our wagon hold just over 2 cords.That price is 1/4th of regular firewood. They don't make a mess since the bark is already off it.

He wants to replace roof on the wood shed next month. Materials are on site. He was going to do it this month but needs to fix a drain the runs from the barn and house to the pond that is causing the basement to get water through the casement windows. E and his boys will be helping and Hubby is getting a lift instead of using ladders.

I finally went to the grocery store, saved $51 and change, without COUPONS. ADD that I used to spend $200 every 2 wks (total of $800 for 8 wks)and still buy milk and bread between. I spent $300. to go 8 wks. That's $500 to go on loan.

I am still buying cereal. I've made some granola but it's too sweet for both of us. M is going to ask her mom as the granola she makes is not real sweet as she is diabetic. 

I plan to wait at least 8 wks before going for more than milk. 

Hubby likes the crunch wrap from Taco Bells and I like the Mexican pizza so instead of spending $20 for take out one time, I spent $20 to buy what I didn't have to make it at home. I can make 5 times for the same amount.

He also requested Baconator cheeseburgers (I can do that LOL) but with mozerella cheese sticks and jalapena poppers instead of fries. I picked up breaded mushrooms also.  I have over over 20 hamburger patties in the freezer so I won't need to buy that. 

I am going to prebake some pizza dough (using sour dough starter) and make sure I have precooked sausage, diced pepperoni and precooked bacon to replace the gas station pizza.  We both agreed we will do the once a month pizza from pizza shop as it's the pizza that we both grew up with. We usually do it on a Friday night or Saturday at lunch time as it will make 4 meals if not 5 as we add salad to the meal or raw veggies and dip.

I have been using sourdough starter for my bread, using hops flowers to help lighten it instead of yeast. I found I can make 2 loaves, take one after it's cooled and wrap in press and seal plastic wrap then foil and freeze it and it's fine two weeks later.We don't eat much bread and we don't like to eat the same bread all the time. Making bread for 2 can be a pain when neither of us are much of bread eaters but have doctors wanting us to get it in our diet healthy bread that is not white glue bread which I love. 

We are still having to use the furnace at night or when the days don't get above 65.Hubby has finally understood why I leave the west windows curtains open until the sun goes down behind the barn. Keeps the house warmer into the night. 

Blessed be

prayers for peace and sanity 

Stay safe