I have been really quiet the last two weekends, actually really busy. Today, I am going to share why. Initially before purchasing the camper, we decided to add a couple of driveway spots by extending our current driveway. One of the main reason for that decision was the fact we just re-built our square foot garden beds this spring. Once we got the camper in the driveway, I realized how big it actually was and then Amanda hit one of the bed with her new car, we decided to rethink . It was decided that we needed to expand the driveway all the way to the road. I debated and thought about how we could salvage as much or all of the beds.. I also knew that I did not need to worry about the dirt as it was totally useless and needed to be replaced. The concrete guys offered to move the beds however I was not sure or even hopefully that they would maintain them in one piece so for the past two Saturdays, we have been working.
I ended up paying each kid $10 an hour to help with this huge mass undertaking. With a total of $200 spent to the kids each weekend. We also needed to build a small retaining wall next to the driveway to prevent dirt from eroding into the driveway. A third component of this massive project was the square cement pavers that we had place under and around the beds. I was able to purchase most on sale for between 75 cents and a dollar each, however currently they are costing $1.48 each. We have over 100 of these.
I am so happy to save that we have managed to save all the pavers, move the beds and it actually appears like we plan the whole operation.
The garden beds have been moved and filled with dirt except for the new sweet potato bed and one last raised bed. We decided to place two beds directly in front of the house.
The other beds are currently behind the beetle space.
I have no idea what we actually saved but I am very thankful that the entire project is complete.
October has historically been one of the two busiest months of the year for us. This year has been no different. I did make the decision last June that we would not continue piano lessons after the summer. This has freed up one evening a week but I honestly miss hearing the kids practice. Hopefully maybe even next summer they will be interested in resuming but time will tell. I am the only one who is missing it. The kids all had a teacher work day last week so they feel like they have gotten caught up on sleep which is great for them.
Zach has been playing baseball. Last week due to rain we had three games Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Each game started around 7:30 which gave us time to eat as a family but most night we got home around 9:45pm. This week we have games only on Tuesday and Thursday nights.
Lily chose not to participate in the Youth Theater but she is going to youth group on Sundays and also helping with the nursery on Wednesday night. She has complete her first 9 weeks of both high school and college. I know she has been spending alot more time on school work than in the past . I am also very proud and excited to say that currently she has a 4.0 average!
We continue to sneak in an hour or so each Saturday to work on the green house. I am disappointed in how long it is taking to actually get plants started in there but once we get everything working properly it should be well worth the trouble.
Last weekend we purchased a travel trailer/ camper. We have spent several hours getting it all cleaned up and also trying to get it set up the way we want. Currently we are expecting to take ownership of the Tahoe toward the end of the month. We are starting to plan a couple of small trips to make sure we have everything we need. First we plan a 3 day trip to Asheville to visit the Biltmore house right before Christmas. In January we hare headed to Myrtle Beach to shop and go to a show. This will be a longer 4 day trip as well as a longer drive pulling the camper as well.
I have been working in Guam several nights a week. My goal is to reduce my hours again to around 7 hours a week and a maximum of 2 nights. I actually have only 1 night this week but it is a VERY long night!
Hopefully more updates and picture will be posted this week! I am looking forward to slowing down and having more time at home in the next several weeks.
The project for this weekend is to upcycle the old playhouse into a greenhouse. The playhouse is at least 30 years old if not older. The kids are all to big for it. It is very small inside so I wanted to make the most use of space available.
First thing was to remove the roof….
Stage One complete…
Next we added planters and shelves to the inside…
A shelf for new plants and for storage was also needed…
Finally we added plastic to cover the top..
We have spent $0 at this point on the green house. The plastic and wood to secure the plastic were purchased with swagbucks gift cards that we earned. Matt and I decided that we we go ahead and purchase a watering system to use. We already have the rain barrel and by using rain water only we will basically save the cost of the system within a couple of year!
Can you tell how excited I am?
It feels like forever since I have been focused on saving money! I looked back on the blog and realized that in May we started survival mood which meet cooking without an oven. Our new oven did not arrive until after vacation in July. Exactly 2 weeks later our air conditioning went out. This was honestly one of the hardest times for me. But I am very thankful to say that we have both a working stove and working air conditioning. I also want to get a good handle and feel for our budget but this will also be changing in the next month. I will post details once we have things finalized and money in hand!
Now to our ways of saving:
- Using items already on hand to help improve the square foot garden. Today we placed the contents of my shredder on one of the garden beds. We also added the coffee grounds from the week and topped with a good dose of water from our rain barrels. We have also placed banana peels in water before pouring on the garden as well. Hopefully we will be able to improve the soil for the next year.
- Ordering from Amazon- I continue to shop for deals on subscribe and save! We are expecting to be stocked up on soups by our next delivery date. I am also watching for “deals” on any item that we use on a regular basis. This week I found “magic erasers” for fifteen cent each. My goal is to eliminate the need to purchase items not on sale.
- Making meals at home- We have eaten at home every day since Tuesday with two exceptions, Matt purchased Bagel on Saturday morning and we enjoyed Sunday lunch with friends. We are currently in the best financial position we have been in for many years so these small treats will remain part of our regular budget. Just not eating out every day and some times 2 times a day!
- Packing lunches and making sure we have some convenient items on hand for lunches. The kids can eat lunch at school but for Zach this usually means more stomach issues and Kendall simply does not like most of the food.
- Eating items from our pantry and freezer. Although I have spent $234 this month for groceries we are starting to look at and plan ahead for most meals. I have also added some treats that the kids enjoy!
- Saving electric by turning off lights, using both the dishwasher and dryer at night so as not to add heat to the house.
What have you been doing lately to save money?