I wanted to update and blog what we are doing and continue to do in an effort to save money. I am watching lots of news stories talking about inflation and how the country is not going into a recession. Sorry the more you say it does not make it true. Anyway, here are a couple ways we have found to save money and I will talk a little more about food saving and waste at the end.
- Running our dishwasher and washer/dryer in the middle of the night. This also helps to keep the heat out of the house so it is easier to cool.
- Turning off the stove just before food is cooked. For example, I usually cook pasta for 8 minutes to use in dishes. I will turn the stove off after 6 minutes to save just a tiny bit.
- Using the rain barrels to water the gardens. This week we have been watering at least every other day so this is a huge saving.
- Hanging swim suits and towels up to dry only washing one time per week.
Now on to the food, one of the best ways to save money on groceries is to eliminate as much food waste as possible. Today, I hope to have gotten at least one step closer to that. We have a really busy week ahead so I was able to eliminate and use up some different foods this week and prepare ahead. I have a jar on my cabinet that collects the half containers or less of pasta that does not get used in one meal. It was full of pente, small elbows and medium size elbows. So today, I cooked it up instead of opening new boxes of pasta. I used the taco meet from last week, added pasta, the Mexican cheese that had been left open, and couple of other ingredients to make taco pasta. I also cooked a package of Italian sausage I purchased last Sunday to try a new recipe called “Pumpkin Pasta” The recipe made a large batch so I placed half in the pan and froze a bag for later use. I ended up removing the meat from chicken legs that had sat in the fridge to make a Alfredo chicken bake we ate for dinner. This also used up mozzarella cheese that had been sitting in the fridge. We also pulled out watermelon for desert instead of opening a package of cookies. We froze the remaining grapes in the refrigerator along with the 2 bananas that have been left this week. Unfortunately, I did have to throw out a container of strawberries that were shoved to the back of the fridge and forgotten.
Small things do add up!
Groceries– budget amount is $200 until June. Not Met! $1000 This is the second month in a row that we have been way over budget for groceries. I was able to stock up on 2 Liter Diet Cokes. We also committed to purchasing a whole cow in August. My plans for the next couple of months are to keep my stock up at its current level with everything but meat. I would like to also restock the freezer with some meals that will be good for grab and go once we hit September again. In light of the significant increase in food prices, I am returning the grocery budget to $700 a month. I will see what happens and how I decided to pay for the cow in August.
Auto/ Gas. My goal is $400 a month. NOT met! $760 gas. We have also seen a significant increase in the price of gas. It is currently sitting around $4.25 a gallon. I am going to increase the budget to $500 for now but that may not be enough if gas prices continue to rise or don’t go back down.
Cash Envelope system- We are back to use a majority cash system. I am hopeful that this will work even better in the Summer.
Blogging- 15 post per month. This is post number 13 for the month. I have been much better at posting on a regular basis. So hopefully, i t will continue this summer.
Exercise days- Although my knee is feeling much better. I am at almost a month with no pain so that is at least a 2 week improvement over the relief I got from the first shot. I have not started exercising again. Hopefully I can get to the pool soon!
No Spend Days- ummmmm what ? Yeap another expensive month.
May was super busy as expected. We have received our last check from Matt’s inheritance, so I am hopefully to get a permanent budget in place and look forward to finally getting some repairs we have talked about for the last year completed on the house.
This is a different week as the kids have started Summer break but I am still working. A plan for a couple more weeks and then it will be a free for all.
Breakfast- Saturday- Bacon and Eggs Sunday- Find it yourself, Monday- French Toast, Tuesday- banana chocolate chip muffins, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- eggs, sausage, bagels, bacon, grits, breakfast burritos or waffles are the current choices available.
Lunch- Saturday-Steaks and salad Sunday- Greggs. Monday- Pasta salad. I will be taking salads and leftovers. The kids will eat out at least one day and then find things at home.
Dinner- Saturday- Left-overs Sunday- Brats and sauteed zucchini Monday- Left-overs Tuesday Steak fried rice Wednesday- Walking Tacos. Thursday- Sloppy Joes Friday-new recipe for alfredo chicken bake.
Another busy weekend has come and gone so I wanted to share what we were able to get accomplished this weekend! I am still overwhelmed so I am hoping that by being positive I can tackle the rest of the list tommorow!
This is the first Sunday that I have not had to work because the Guam school year has ended. I really LOVE working with the students, but I do need a break. This afternoon Mom and I headed to the grocery store, we both had list! I was so excited to come home and say that I have finally caught up with the list until Zach announced, “We are out of mustard.” Yeap the story of my life. In other food related news, we schedule to receive our cow this weekend. We are going to purchase a whole cow. It should be ready for pick up the first week of August. I am going to plan and not purchase any cow related meat for the next two months in order to finish cleaning out the freezer and make room and also to make sure we don’t have something get buried at the back and wasted. I have stocked up on 2-Liter drinks with a total of 60 purchased this week. If I chose to go to the store again tomorrow to pick up mustard, I will plan to grab another 10. n I did manage to make pickled radish this weekend to use in salads in the next month. Food Things I have left to get done- Menu plan, make French toast for breakfast (bread is cut and drying out tonight), make banana muffins to use the remaining bananas from last week, cut up watermelon and cantaloupe so that it will get eaten this week and freeze more Kale from garden. I should also prepare myself lunch for several days this week as we are not having alot of left-overs currently.
On Saturday, Matt, Zach and I managed to replace the roof of the greenhouse. This should be a permanent fix. I purchased and planted 7 additional pepper plants from the farmers market and transplanted 4 tomatoes from a bed that was really reallly crowded. This should finish my planting until July when I will find space hopefully for pumpkin seeds that I already have. Now the next several weeks should involve watering and weeding while we wait for the harvest to begin. Garden things left to accomplish- Get pictures of the veggies growing and post as well as compare to the last couple of years!
I have not touched the budgeting stuff so that is an good chunk of time but hopefully I can get to it this week
- Overwhelmed yeap that is currently how I am feeling! Today is the last day of school for Kendall and Zach. This means that for the short run 2 weeks or so we will have less to none things happening at night so maybe I can get caught up on the things that need doing.
- Garden- I am amazed at how much and how well things seem to be growing. We have baby tomatoes, squash and snap peas. We are currently harvesting Kale, radish, dill and chives.. I want to get some pictures up soon! One of the goals for the weekend is to finish planting. Amanda brought over a 8 container garden she built several years ago, I need to fill it along with one more container I found under the house. I have planted additional squash and zucchini this week so hopefully they will grow and produce as well.
- Summer project list- I have started working on the list of summer projects. First up is finding someone to clear the area of land at the back of our house. We will be getting chickens in the near future so this area needs to be cleared in order to build a coop and run. I also need to schedule our septic tank to be pumped. After these two items are completed, we would like to get the bathroom floor re-titled and maybe get some vinyl in the kitchen. That is the short list.
- Saturday goal- Replace the greenhouse roof that was destroyed by hail last week. We are going to convert it to hard plastic in order to extend the life and reduce maintenance.
- Financial goal- I need to do some serious bill pay and establish the new budget for June this weekend as well.
Did I mention I am overwhelmed?
My heart breaks and I can’t even imagine sending my kids to school and they never return.. No worse evil exist in the world. This is to honor those lost.
We are heading into the final stretch of school, I can feel summer break already! Actually I have about 15 days left but this week is our final baseball game, Kendall and Zach finish school on Friday! The weather has also turned summery. I just do not want to cook and eat when it is so hot outside. This week you will notice lots of summer foods and minimal effort being placed. We have been steadily working through the left-overs and this weekend I discovered we would not have enough to use for lunches. Lily has begun working at the pool so that adds another meal that needs to be fairly easily to transport. I decided to make up a couple of pasta salads. We ended up eating these for lunch on Saturday and dinner on Sunday. They should also last at least 2 days for me!
Breakfast- Saturday-Biscuit King Sunday- Find it yourself, I made a fried egg to go over my grits. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday- eggs, sausage, bagels, bacon, grits, breakfast burritos or waffles are the current choices available. I will likely make a final loaf of zucchini bread to use one morning. This will also clear out the frozen zucchini in the building.
Lunch- Saturday-Pasta salad Sunday- Arby’s. Pasta salads will be the best choice this week. I may also make a couple of grilled chicken wraps. This is the last week of preparing lunches for the kids so the amount of convenience foods we need will significantly decrease. They will be able to make their own lunch at home for the next couple of weeks until I finish with school.
Dinner- Saturday- Dinner at Izzy’s Graduation party Sunday- Pasta Salad. Monday- Salad with choice of grilled chicken or pulled pork (both meats are leftovers) Tuesday-McDonalds for the kids, Matt and I will have a date night. My choice will be sushi. Wednesday- Chicken Tacos. Thursday- Fish sticks Friday- Homemade pizza!
3 Mondays of school left and next week is Memorial Day! The final Monday is a workday and Kendall leaves for camp.
- My initial thought that things should get a little tiny bit easier this week was WRONG! This week has been crazy full and busy. We did add swim team practice 4 nights just for 2 weeks until the kids are finished with school.
- My Guam schools end this week. I have a few loose ends to catch up on but that is a huge portion off of my plate starting next Wednesday.
3.. I am so happy and excited about the way that my plants are taking off.. I would love to harvest several hundred pounds of veggies this summer. I have only purchased flowers and 2 cherry tomato plants. I have replanted basil and I directly planted 7 green pepper seeds this week. I am hoping that with a long hot summer and fall these green peppers will have enough time to produce at least during the month of September. We also purchased a lemon and lime tree that will leave on our back deck until the fall and hopefully survive the winter in the greenhouse.
- This weekend is busy with a baseball game tonight, graduation party tomorrow and Graduation Sunday at church on Sunday.
5. I officially have 3 weeks or 15 school days standing between me and summer break. I really want it to hurry up and come but I also need things to slow down so I can finish up on everything I need to before summer break
Above are my “green stock” vertical planters. We have close to 100 “pockets” planted between the two of these!
Front of house beds- 2 tomato beds and a “cooler” plant below
Tomato bed #1
Tomato bed #2. Marigolds are to help with disease, and I have also planted a row of basil in this bed!
Zucchini on both ends with kale, cabbage and broccoli in the middle with at least 30 bush green beans as well!
These are the beds that we moved behind the house.
sugar snap peas
peppers and squash
cucumbers and green beads
Green beans, zuccni and marigolds
I am super excited about how everything is growing this year! My goal is to harvest 100 pounds of food.
This does not include the galloon size ziplock bag that is in the freezer of Kale for smoothies!