5 Things Friday

  1. We don’t have any set plans or goal for the weekend!  This is very exciting for me as I have been really really tired the last couple of days!  We also will start AAU baseball in 2 weeks which means an end to Saturdays at home.
  2. We have decided to add electricity to the greenhouse, this will make it much easier to heat and cool as well as adding a watering system.
  3. Matt’ is beginning to receive some of his inheritance from his father. We are staying very quiet about this and plan to use to make some updates and upgrades that are needed.  We have spent many hours discussing what we want to do and will share some things in the upcoming weeks.
  4. Lily has decided not to participate in Youth Theater this fall. She did not feel that she was given a fair chance at auditions. She also did not want to devote the next 2 months to it.
  5. The weather remains really really hot. 2 days in the next week are predicted to be over 90.  At this point I am ready for fall and some cooler weather to stay around at least so we can open the windows soon.

Saving on Saturday- Upcycling a Playhouse

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.

Before pictures….

The inside..

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?

5 Things Friday

  1. Everyone except for Lily has a 3 day weekend. Lily is working all three days. The next scheduled holiday or break from school is Thanksgiving.
  2. Our project for the weekend is to convert the old playhouse to a green house. We will be removing the roof and replacing it with plastic. Adding shelves and a watering system. We are hoping to reuse most of the materials. The plastic has already been purchased with a gift card!  I will plan to share pictures this week.
  3. Zach has officially started baseball practice. We have agreed to let him play both rec ball and AAU team. The AAU team is only going to travel in state and hopefully less than 2 hours away.
  4. The weather has finally decided to start to cool down a bit. We have been at or above 90 degrees for most of the month of August.  Fortunately we have no more 90 degree days in the forecast but I expect it to be close to the end of September before we are able to turn off the air conditioning.
  5. This week we are having a drive way addition installed. It will also include cement around the garden boxes that we bulit in the spring. I can’t wait to have a finished product!

Saving Money

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?

5 Things Friday

  1. We were without air conditioning for a total of 8 days.  I only worked one of those days. We were blessed to borrow a portable air conditioner for 4 days to use. With this we were able to sleep at night.
  2. Our August electric bill came in as the exact same amount as our July bill. I am anticipating that it will be extremely high in September. This electricity was used in an attempt to keep us cool.
  3. I have managed to cook or produced a meal every evening since the air was fixed. Although our budget for August is so far over, this should mean a minimal to no spending month in September.
  4. The kids have all finished their first full week of school with mask being optional. I anticipate this will change next week. As quarantining rules stated that if both students are wearing a mask even with close contact the exposed student does not have to quarantine.  This makes sense to help keep the kids in school.
  5. I finally have a squash bloom. I don’t anticipate that I will actually get a squash but I am continuing to work on improving the soil for next year!

5 Things Friday

  1. Today starts our last full week of summer break. Next week will be filled with last minute appointments and some extra fun if we can arrange it.  Braxton will also be with us for the entire week.  Today is a pool day so we plan to spend most of the day at the pool.
  2. I had a huge food waste fail this week- We had an entire watermelon that had not been cut go back and spilled on the floor. I have definitely become a little bit more aware of our food following the clean up.  I did manage to make half a squash casserole with the remaining squash.  I am also beginning to use dill and basil that has been previously frozen in dishes.  I had forgotten about these treasures until we attempted to organize the freezer. Since I was unable to grow either this year, I am thankful to find them.  I did cook our first official meal this summer that include several items.
  3. Tomatoes are continuing to produce.  I had hoped for much more but I do realize that this summer has not been the best for tomato growing.  We have been able to freeze enough spaghetti sauce for the year in addition to eating several times. I should be able to continue to make a batch a week which means at least 4# of tomatoes.
  4. I talked with the neighbor and will start using goat manure to improve the dirt in my square foot garden. I am hoping that with this and more worm casting next year it will support and grow a garden full.
  5. We received our school supply list. I am excited that we need only to purchase a couple of notebooks and clear water bottles. I have been trying to stock up on items as they have been on sale. I anticipate less than $50 for all supplies for all 3 kids!

Five Things Friday

  1. No Monday Menu will be posted this week. Next week our church is hosting Vacation Bible School from 6 to 8 Monday thur Thursday and a pool party on Friday. Dinner is provided for workers and their children.
  2. Our new oven has arrived!  I have been experimenting and getting use to it over the past couple of days. So far I am very impressed!
  3. With only 3 weeks left of summer vacation, I have established a couple of goals that I want to work toward which will make my life easier in the fall. First- prepare easy to heat and eat meals as much as possible. This week we have focused on making pizza dough. We have all the ingredients but it takes around 2 hours to make the dough. Kendall has made 12 this week. This will make for easy pizza in the fall. Simply unthaw the dough in the morning and add toppings. We also made 2 additional cheeseburger pizza toppings to add to the dough. Second- Stock up and organize the freezers and pantry.  This is also close to completion. I will be adding a couple of cookie, bread and cake mixes during the next week. Finally-enjoy lots of down time by sitting by the pool.
  4. Square Foot Garden- we are making plans to add cement to complete this area but I am also continue to try and figure out how I can improve the soil for next year. We are fortunate to get tomatoes but I am so frustrated that the money I spent on soil is basically worthless this year!
  5. July has turned out to be one of the most expensive months EVER but we are still holding our heads above water. I am ready to start reaping the benefits of all my bargains and saving.

5 Things Friday

  1. No menu plan for this week for a couple of reasons. First we are on week 6 of no oven.  Scheduled delivery is 2 weeks away.  I wanted to use up a lot of the fresh ingredients in my pantry and refrigerator as well as left-overs. And the final reason… I was just too tired.
  2. Made the first batch of spaghetti sauce from the garden this week. IT was awesome.   Unfortunately, we have discovered that the soil that I purchased from Home Depot was not good. We have been working to salvage anything by adding lime.  We were able to harvest some snap peas and some tomatoes. The tomatoes beds were over half full with dirt that I had already been using so they are at least producing a first harvest. I doubt it will be enough to fill the freezer this year but at least I can make a few batches of spaghetti sauce.  The sweet potato bed which is all old dirt seems to be doing the best so maybe I can salvage a few of those as well. My plan is to continue to add lime a bag a month until we get the beds close to where they need to be. Ugggh  I had high hopes and expectations this year!
  3.  We are headed on our beach trip soon. Not going to share all the details but this will be a totally new experience for us. We are planning a trip to Oak Island. I have never stayed on a NC beach!
  4. Lily is really enjoying her job as a lifeguard. She is actually working much more than she hoped and is enjoying spending the money as well.
  5. My summer is officially half over. I return to work in 6 weeks.  I have actually completed all the items on my summer to do list except stock the freezer. I am hoping that the next 6 weeks are at a much slower pace than the last 5!

5 Things Friday

  1. We have entered week 6 of no working oven.. This is actually starting to bother me!
  2. Beach vacation is coming up!  We are going much earlier this year and to a totally different beach. New adventures await!
  3. The garden at this point has been a total failure. Even the plant that I have purchased are not growing!
  4. The good news is that  we are at least starting to figure out and work on the problem. After buying a ph meter, our soil is alkaline.  We purchased a bag of lime this week and have started adding it to the soil.  Even after the first application we started to see some new growth. I am going to stay positive and hope we can at least harvest a few fresh veggies this year.
  5. I have managed to pull a muscle in my back. Not sure how I completed this but it is very painful!