Saving On Saturday

Today was a very rainy and dreary day.  The perfect time to catch up on some meal preparation and food preservation.

  • Matt and I took 2 packages of cube steak from our previous cow purchase, breaded and deep fried them. They will be used for steak biscuits for breakfast for the next 6 months or so.
  • I went ahead and meal prepped for the week. Stuffed green peppers, grilled chicken and bacon cheddar burgers are all ready to go.
  • Sorted through and combined items in the freezers in the house as well as the chest freezer. The plan is to purchase as little as possible over the next 8 months and use the food we have in our freezers and pantry.
  • Soaked and cooked a bag of black beans that Matt can use in his chill. (We have 2 cans of beans so this should last awhile.
  • Packaged up gravy from breakfast into can size bags for use with breakfast pizza. I purchased a single can of gravy to use and it was $2.09…. our breakfast left-overs saved us $5.

We debated but decided against turning off the a/c. The humidity is still really high, and it feels sticky outside.  I will continue to watch the weather and as soon as we are below 80 degrees consistently, we will open the windows.

The kids all caught up on laundry, which means less stress for me.

Remember it is the small things that add up!

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!

Saving on Saturday

This week we saved money by using what we have!!!  When we decided to purchase chickens, I did not want to purchase or even make a brooder box. The reason being my plan is for this to be a one-time experience. In the future, when we need to replace the current chickens because they have stopped laying, I will purchase pullets that are almost ready to lay.

To start with I grabbed a large plastic tote, that we have collected after donating items from my building. This worked well for the first 3 weeks. As the chick’s got bigger, I added a screen that we had used in the past on top of the rain barrel.  However, this week the chickens were even bigger, and I honestly think they could jump out of the plastic tub. I also wanted to add a roast as they were sitting on the top of the food and water containers, I called it playing “king of the hill”.

My mother offered a box that she received from Walmart. To be honest this is likely the biggest box I have seen in a long time!
The screen is again the one from a rain barrel that we are no longer using. The box was FULL of brown paper, so we decided to shred it to use as bedding.  Kendall shredded 2 full shedders from the packaging. We used one each time we change the inside which is every couple of day at this point due to the smell.  Matt helped by drilling a hole in the side of the box and we used an old scrap of wood for a roast.

Happy Chickens at no cost!

Tuesday Thoughts- Updates

  • I am going to turn off the heat lamp on the chickens tonight. Last night, I heard them several times and they woke me up.  Today they have been sleeping most of the day.  They are around 3-4 weeks old today. I k now they will let me know if they are cold, but I enjoy my sleep way to much to have chickens wake me up!
  • Speaking of chickens, the current topic for discussion/ debate… should I go ahead and purchase 2-3 more older chickens they will begin to lay eggs in the next couple of weeks?  I can buy either a dozen eggs or a chicken at this point for the same price. I already have the everything to support the chickens so they would be the only expense.  I am concerned about everyone getting along up front…….
  • I have spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen today.  I used 2 pounds of sausage and a dozen eggs to make up additional 9 breakfast today. I made up 25 omelet bags and 16 breakfast “hot pockets”
  • We harvest enough apples from our apple tree to make a batch of apple butter!  First real harvest from these trees that we planted several years ago!
  • We have earned 3/4 the money we need to purchase a new sun shade for the beach next year by selling on Facebook marketplace.  I also have several items listed on ebay so hopefully we can easily meet this goal.
  • I have been sent several “free” offers this month. Including $20 at Belk’s, which I used Monday to purchase a sweater and holiday shirt. I have $20 for Lane Byrant which I am going to use either this week or next and $25 at Old Navy.  Hoping for a few more for my birthday!
  • I have been focusing on spending 15 minutes a day in the garden so that I don’t become so overwhelmed.  Between Kendall and myself we have cleared the blueberry bed of weeds again. The garden beds are staying weed free as well. I have pulled up several squash and bean plants in order to clear out space for some fall gardening, I also with the help of Matt added dirt to a couple of beds! My goal is to plant on August 15th which is 2 months before our expected first frost date.
  • Because the house has not had a good cleaning in several month. I told the kids that we are increasing the expectation to 8 chores a day for the next 2 weeks. The goal is to get everything super clean before heading back to school.
  • 9 days of summer break left!

5 Things Friday

  1.  Shout out to myself!  This is the 8th day in a row that I have posted! And the 5th post for the month of August on the 5th!
  2. I am finally feeling back to normal this week which means I am starting to catch up on all the things I planned to do this summer!  This really does help my mood and energy level to finally see the light at the end of the tunnel.
  3. We are continuing to harvest from the garden! This week, I planted some pumpkins and have hopes to start a fall garden including lettuce and spinach in the next couple of days!  We are also starting to plant some things in the chicken coop area which will make it both pretty and functional!
  4. I have been wanting to list things on Marketplace and Ebay all summer and today was the official day to complete. I have 5 active listing on Ebay and 7 on Facebook marketplace. I know we have at least 2 additional listing to make on Marketplace tonight.  The goal for this clean out is $250 to purchase a pop-up sunshade for beach use next year.
  5. The chickens are continuing to grow. We have turned off the heat light. The book we have been following said to start decreasing their constant temperature by 5 degree this week. The set point would be 75*. The air in our house is currently set at 74 for the day and 72 at night.   So we decided to go ahead and try without the lamp.  They did great last night so I am going to continue. We also are trying to get them outside at least a couple of hours a day right now. I hope to move to daytime outside next week with full time outside the next week.  Because it is summertime, this is a much quicker and easier process. Even when going outside full time the plan is to have them in a coop each night just to start that training process. A very sad update, this afternoon one of the chickens (Gummy) died.  We had been watching her closely today as she moved to the corner and was sleeping.  Not quite sure why it happened but we cleaned and cleaned the cage so hopefully this will be the only lost.

Every Bit Counts

One of the YouTube channels I really enjoy “3 Rivers Homestead” has this challenge for the month of August.  It is specifically for preserving food for the winter. I know that when I return to work in two weeks that this might not be possible, so I started this challenge a week early. For more information read here Monday Musings

Tuesday July 26th- Sloppy Joes
Wednesday July 27th- Taco Meat
Thursday July 28th- Salisbury Steak
Friday July 29th- Made a second batch of Salsa
Saturday July 30th-Shredded Zucchini and Squash
Sunday July 31st- Made protein muffins with remaining ham and eggs.
Monday August 1st- Spaghetti Sauce
Tuesday August 2nd- Additional Chicken pot pie filling- will need to only add crust.
Wednesday August 3rd- 4 dozen ears of corn some frozen with husk on and some off and 2 packages off the cob.
Thursday August 4th- 2 bags of carrots from our garden.

I am very excited with moving forward.

Official food preparation count: 58
Breakfast count : 20
Spaghetti Sauce: 25…… I am going to work on doing a couple of batches of salsa but may also add another batch of spaghetti sauce in the future depending on how the tomatoes continue to produce!

I do have plans for sausage balls and banana muffins this week as well!

Friday Catch-Up

Things got alot crazy around here this week.  I knew that we would be fairly busy with Zach having baseball camp 3 days and Vacation Bible School 5 nights with a pool party for a sixth night.  What I did not count on was adding in the 659 pounds of meat that needed some attention.

I received a text on Tuesday morning that our meat was ready. I was very thankful that Matt had cleaned out and started the old chest freezer on Saturday. After a couple of phone calls I was able to arrange some help and began working on making meals with the meat.

This week I have been able to make and freeze, 14 packs of Salisbury steaks which did not include our dinner today, 2 pounds of Taco meat and 10 packs of taco meat, 10 packs of sloppy joes and 2 additional batches of spaghetti sauce and 2 batches of Salsa.  Here is the official meal total:  I am at least halfway to my goal of 100 meals in the freezer.
Official food preparation count: 45
Breakfast count : 15
Spaghetti Sauce: 20

The other big event of the week was our purchase and bringing home of 6 chickens. The chickens are approximately 2 weeks old and currently hanging out in the living room under a heat lap for the next week. As you realize I have not been able to get the chicken story and how we have prepared for chickens up yet but hopefully I will be able to get this accomplished in the next couple of weeks.

I have 19 days until I return to work.  I will be only working one job so hopefully this will make things a tad less hectic in the fall.

I am continuing to recover from my outpatient surgery. I did overdo things on Sunday and spent most of Monday resting and recovering.  I hope to return to normal activities by next Monday but we shall see as I am currenting struggling.

I was able to spend a good couple of hours working in the garden beds this week.  I have pulled up and replanted one of the beds with pumpkins.  We are continuing to get lots of good tomatoes, several squash, a zucchni and a couple of small cucumbers.  I am hopeful to increase the cucumbers and we also have apples and pears starting to ripen on the trees in the back yard.

Looking forward to a less busy and more normal start to August!


Thursday Thoughts

This is supposed to be our least busy week of the summer. The reason for this is simple.  I had outpatient surgery on Monday.  I wanted to give myself a full week to recover and this has turned out to be a positive thing.   I did not leave the house after returning on Monday until this morning.

Today, I had to take Lily to the orthodontist office in order to get a new top retainer made. This was an expensive process.  Hopefully, this will be the final time it needs to be completed. Lily lost her retainer while packing to come home from Oak Island last week.  When she received her retainers over two years ago, she was informed of the $35 fee to replace. She did pay this portion today but due to changes in technology it was $150 to replace the retainer today.

I also headed to the nail salon to get my manicure and pedicure today as well. I have been budgeting this for once every three weeks along with a dog grooming appointment every month.  I think this will definitely be items we keep in the budget.

The garden is starting to produce, and I am planning on an entire garden/food preservation update for tomorrow.

We purchased a small chest freezer that was delivered this week. This is actually going to be kept in our dining room and used as our convenient freezer. It has items such as chicken nuggets, waffles and pancakes. We have been able to move and arrange the other freezers so that we have one large chest freezer that is empty.  It is currently defrosting and will be cleaned and ready for our cow that is currently being processed.

Our awesome friends provided an awesome dinner last night which was greatly appreciated.

We have purchased the final 27 pavers needed to complete the chicken coop. The goal is to get the pavers placed and the top of the coop finished on Saturday so that we can possibly get chickens in the next week.

I am looking forward to not leaving the house again until Sunday to go to church!

Holiday Plans

This holiday (4th of July) weekend, we have been focusing on some project around the house.  First was installing a bike rake on the trailer.  We also ended up replacing some of the trailer wiring and working on a couple of the bikes. Next was finishing up the kitchen floor, we ended up removing the top layer that has been in place for 2 years. The ultimate goal is the replace this floor but first we need to have a bathroom floor replaced and we also need to decide what we want to replace the floor with.  The other big project will be to finish up the chicken coop area.

While most of this has not been frugal it is needed. We have been able to cook and eat at home for all meals except one and all have been under $5 each.

Saturday breakfast– pancakes
Saturday Lunch– Steak um sandwich- pack of steak-um was $4.97 from Aldi, used a green pepper and onion already here. Zach and I ate on hot dog buns that needed to be used, Matt and Lily used hamburger buns that needed to be used.
Saturday Dinner– I made scallop potatoes and ham. The ham is from the freezer so completely free.
Sunday Lunch- We has squash from the garden, I added onion and a pack of stew beef (purchased on clearance last year) that needed to be used this week.  We also cooked rice. We will sauté another squash on the Blackstone and have a second meal from these.
Sunday Dinner- BLT sandwiches, we have our fresh tomatoes from the garden again lettuce from another meal that needed to be used.
Monday Breakfast- Sausage patties (purchased for $2.34 on clearance) and eggs on bread. We also have an excess of bread this week.

The current plan is for Monday lunch and dinner to be from the refrigerator to use up left-overs. We could also have tomato sandwich or chicken salad or pimento cheese sandwiches as well.

Here to finishing up some projects!

5 Things Friday

  1. Today is Kendall’s 14th birthday. She spent the night with friends last night and we are going to Red Robin for dinner.  She chose a pair of platform converse shoes for her gift!
  2. Kendall and Lily are scheduled to leave for Life (a national youth conference) in Orlando Florida, Sunday morning at 6:30am. We are working on getting everything pack for them. They will be joining us at Oak Island once they return.
  3. After much thought and debate, we removed the top layer of our kitchen and dining room floor. This top layer is 2 years old but a tripping hazard that was also very ugly!  We spent about 3 hours on Wednesday night just with the removal. This weekend the goal is to replace the quarter round and to order a couple of rugs.
  4. I finally (after almost 3 weeks) picked up my car from the dealership today. It needed an O2 sensor replaced as well as the radio. However, the radio is on back order to it will be at least middle of next week before it can be totally fixed. I will have to pay $100 due to the warranty on the car.
  5. My other big plan for the weekend is to plant more green beans, So far we have harvested only a handful. So hopeful the next round will produce better.