Saving on Saturday

This week we are saving by building a cabinet.  We needed some more cabinet space!  I sold an older decorative corner cabinet on Facebook Market place in order to make more room in our dining room.  I attempting to find a new cabinet online with no success within my $500 budget.  So, Matt agreed to build one for me. The total out of pocket expense was $250!

Blank wall

He first built the structure outside and then attached it to the wall

Added sides

Then shelves

Finally doors

And I added all the things!

Project Catch Up with Financial Implications.

We are currently about halfway through the summer. I start back to work on August 17th with the kids all going back to school on August 29th.  We had a list of projects that we wanted to tackle this summer.  Some of the items on the list have been postpone due to financial implication and or time constraints.  We have been working hard on some of the projects, so this is a mid-summer update.

Kitchen Floor– This was our second project with the first being having the shower room floor replaced and repaired. The kitchen was last replaced in March of 2020. At that time, we chose a laminate floor that we had hoped would last 20 plus years.  This floor was not what it promised. The floor started to pull apart and pop up in different areas almost immediately.  It has gotten progressively worse to the point that we could not go barefooted in the kitchen due because it was snagging and tearing clothes and cutting feet.   We have decided to postpone having the shower room floor completed until next summer due to time and money. The kitchen floor did not give us the option. After some discussion regarding our options, we chose to remove the top layer of flooring and return to the previous floor.  The good news is that removal of the floor was fairly simple. We did need to do some minor repair work including screwing some of the floor in place to prevent gaps.  I am happy to report that we were able to complete this task last week. I have ordered a couple of rugs to cover the area that was previously a wall.  The total expense for the project is $120.

Chickens- After much debate and pleading on the kids parts, we have decided to get chickens as our next pet.  The ultimate goal is to have enough eggs that we stop buying but they will also be an additional pet. We knew up front that this would be a rather expensive project.  We are moving very close to getting the chickens which will likely be before the end of July.
Expenses so far:  Clearing of land- $1000
Purchase of chicken coop- $630
Wire for additional chicken run- $20 found next door!
Wood for additional chicken run and landscaping- $372
I will be adding to this and changing as we finish up but I am expecting around $2500

Bike Rake for Trailer- We actually broken even on this as we ended up selling both our luggage box and hitch rake for $100. The bike rake was $50 and we had to spend another $25 to update the wiring on the trailer.

My other goal for the summer is food preparation for the coming school year. This will be an ongoing project so stick around for the rest of the summer!

Weekend Wrap Up

This weekend was supposed to be a slower than usual weekend however we still managed to get a lot accomplished.

  1.  Decided on our next house project.   We installed a new kitchen floor in March 2020.  The floor has begun to split and we have lots of pieces that no longer fit and it is becoming a hazard.  We have been talking for several months about replacing the floor.  We are not certain which direction that we want to go.  Matt and I talked and decided for the short run (less than a year) we will simply remove the new floor and return to the wood planks underneath. The current plan is to re-adjust the plank and attempt to nail in place. This is definitely not a permanent fix but solves the problem and will at least give us a presentable floor. We are going to undertake this project next weekend.
  2. Ordered the wood to finish the chicken coop and for the fence along the back edge of the yard.
  3. We have been watering the garden using county water for over a week now. It takes around 20 gallons a day to water so I am very hopeful that we will get some rain in the next 24 hours.
  4. Placed a down payment on our cow order. We should receive the cow some time the first couple weeks of August. Now we are focused on trying to decide what meat cuts we want.  I am also working on emptying one of our freezers. My goal is to get this accomplished by the end of July. However, it is fairly difficult when at the same time we are beginning to get in our summer produce.  Check and balance is all I can hope for.
  5. We ended up going to Costco on Friday night to use our reward check, I was very proud that we only ended up spending $26 out of pocket.  But that was short lived as we also went to Sam’s today.  We spend $260 of which over $200 was on food. I did stock up on Slim Jim’s (3 boxes) Hot Pockets (which the kids have been asking for) Biscuits and Pop tarts for breakfast in addition to some treats.
  6. We managed to only eat out one time this weekend. Matt has been practicing cooking on his new Blackstone.  He cooked two meals yesterday in addition to breakfast this morning!

Let’s get this week started on a good note!

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!

5 Things Friday

  1. Guam’s school year officially ends on Monday (Sunday for me) this means that I will be only working on Sunday night from now until the beginning of August!
    1. A sweet Guam mother sent a care package that I received on Thursday!  It included all items exclusively available in Guam. I cried!  Everything is beyond delicious.  I really needed this boost!
    2. I will have worked at least 40 hours in Guam in the month of May!  This is after sharing the majority of my caseload with others!
  2. We were able to go 45 days without heat or air. We caved yesterday May 20th and turned on the air condition.
  3. Unfortunately we discovered a water leak last weekend. The leak was in the line to one of our ice makers so that was a $5 fix.  It had been leaking on our HVAC duct work which had to be replaced. I have not received a bill for this yet.
  4. Gas prices have risen significantly over the past several week plus we need to get the oil changed in the van. Our gas budget is going to be higher than previous month but still under the budget.
  5. Grocery prices continue to rise much more than I can ever remember. We have a fully stocked pantry and freezers so I am currently focusing on re-stocking only items that we are absolutely out of in addition to more “convivence” items just to make the weeks go easier with less eating out!

Thursday Thoughts

  • Today is a remote learning day for both myself, Zach and Kendall. We are expecting serve weather from tropical storm Zeta to move through this afternoon. Zach is already enjoying watching the wind and rain bands move through. It is very different based on the fact that we are all working on school related task but at home. I will admit it takes the fun out of missing school but should make the schedule much easier to manage.
  • Following the storm today, it is suppose to turn much cooler.  With freezing temperatures on Sunday night and Monday night. We still have not turned on heat or air so I am hopefully to make it to at least Monday or Tuesday before needing to turn the heat on.  We are also going to have to harvest the remaining peppers and tomato from the garden. This is actually the longest that I can remember having items still growing.
  • November is a very expensive month for us. We have car insurance ($408.27), Microsoft renewal ($100), my web site renewal ($30) and the rest of Christmas presents.   Thankfully I have a ton of hours in Guam this month. I am hoping to cover most of our December Disney trip. A sad realization is that I receive a paycheck this Friday but will not receive another check until after Thanksgiving.
  • We survived our busiest week so far this year!!  I even have a list on the board of task to complete on Saturday.
  • Budget wise October has been a great month. We are at $250 for gas and $550 for groceries.  I am planning to hit my goal of paying of one credit card by the end of December.  We also should not use most of the grocery budget for November and December as our freezers are full. I am now looking a small holes such as soups for lunch and other convenient items. I have also restocked the paper supplies as well.

Saving on Saturday

The front of our house needed some work. We have not changed anything since we built the living room addition prior to Lily’s birth so 15 to 16 years ago. Here is where we started.

Last weekend, when the kids were in Durham we decided to purchase a new light, replace the hardware for both the storm door and paint.  We spent around $300  total for everything, in comparison it would be around $2000 to replace the door and the side lights.   I am really LOVING the difference!


5 Things Friday

  1. I am full and over the top full in Guam.  I am currently serving 15 schools in Guam and attempting to attend all OT related IEP meetings. What this means is 10-12 hours a week currently.  I have been told that i should be able to reduce my hours by January. I am waiting to decide if this is something I want to do or just continue at the rate I am at.  Currently, I am able to handle most of it but my leisure time and blog posting will be very limited for the next month.
  2. Lily, Kendall and Zach are spending the weekend in Durham with Haley. This is the first time in YEARS that Matt and i have had a free weekend.  Last night we went on a date to Applebee’s  Today we are going to attempt to update the front door.
  3. We are definitively in Fall.  My goal is to go without heat until November 1st.  Our October electric bill was significantly higher than usual due to the summer heat lasting well in September. So far so good as the house is currently sitting at 70 and the outside temperature is 47.
  4. I did a fair amount of shopping on Amazon prime day. Since we are updating our front door including a new keyless entry, we decided to go ahead and start moving toward a smart home. I purchased several echo dots which came with a couple of smart plugs and smart light bulbs and  2 echo flexs (one in my office and one in the kitchen). So far we are enjoying the novelty of them. I also purchased several Christmas gifts and cheap ear buds.
  5. Our December trip will include Braxton, Haley, her boyfriend David and his kids!  We are currently at 60 days!

May In Review

May was another different sort of month. It definitely did not fly by but was not as slow as March or April. I am still working from home. I was able to get an additional 17 hours from my Guam job so that was extremely nice. We decided to go ahead and tackle one more home improvement in the month of May, our sink room. I am glad it is finished and LOVE the results.

The square foot garden is actually growing! I was getting really discouraged in the middle of the month. The weather was just not cooperating at all but finally in the last two weeks we are starting to harvest some small items and even the cucumbers that I had written off have returned to life. We did have to spray with bug killer today so hopefully we will not lose alot to these pesky insects. We continue to get a ton of lettuce and a finally a batch of snap peas that made it inside instead of Kendall eating them all!

Goal #1 Grocery Budget of $550- I was doing so well but decided to purchase 4 gallons of strawberries yesterday and a trip to Aldi put us at $607.45 for the month. I keep telling myself that spending will decrease soon. We have almost 2 completely full freezers! I have added an additional 3 meals this week along with some simple breakfast ideas! I think at this point, unless we are set with meat. Going to make a realistic grocery budget for next month…. stay under $550!

Goal #2 – Record and keep up with gas/ auto purchase- $284.40 is the total for the month which does include taxes and tags on the CRV. The CRV was filled 3 times and the van twice. I do actually expect our driving to go up this month as I finish up work and start to enjoy the summer. We also will be returning to church and going to the pool. The goal for June keep the gas budget down to $300 with the extra going to pay off debit!

Goal #3-Use a cash envelope system for everything possible. Success! No spend days are 3 this month YIKES! I knew going in to May that spending would increase. But still the goal for June is to have at least 5 no spending days. I am going to change a couple of rules. First, we save change all year to spend at the pool so this does not count as spending! Second an purchases for clothing, hair or piano that come out of a budget envelope does not count as spending as these are “spent” each payday when it is placed in the envelope. I am also planning to switch at least half of my grocery spending to cash as well.

Goal #4- Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 17 for the month! At least this is staying on track!

Goal # 5- Fitness- Goal is to walk 3 times a week. yea I did walk 3 times this month but only 3 times. This is something that I definitely need to improve on.

Goal #6 – Bible study- Goal- 3x a week –Not there at all!

Goal #7-Attempt at least 52 new recipes this year.-  Still way ahead of this one! I have blogged on 32 new recipes but I have 3 more to post this week!

Earnings_ $75 in gift cards. Slow and steady.

June is an exciting time of the year! I finish up work, the kids finish up school and we enjoy the summer. I am extremely grateful that we have the pool open this year. I am hopeful that by the end of the summer, our lives will return to normal with a crazy busy schedule! Our first Disney trip is planned for the end of August, my goals for June and July are to save save and find more ways to save!!!