Pantry challenge – week 6

Ooops. An entire week went by and I didn’t record anything. I’ve also slipped up in the spending realm.

Not that I’ve over spent.

Oddly enough, both the kids summer community ed classes were canceled at the last minute so I requested the money be refunded to my card, which left us with a surplus. Then, I looked up how to fix the headlight in my car and discovered that it was super simple and saved me $50.

What do I do with this savings?

This is why we never have money, all the extra is twiddled away. I’ve purchased more in groceries than I budgeted for. We found a great deal on craigslist for a dishwasher and microwave so we went and picked them up. The husband needed a new tractor part, so we made a payment on that.

I need to work on finding a good balance between spontaneous spending and budgeting. A way to have extra but not overspend.

Anyone else have this trouble?

Pantry challenge – week 5

In May we spent $185.89 on groceries. We spent $110.62 on farm supply out of our standard budget. These line items are much lower than previous months – wahoo! The husband sold a piece of farm equipment, so he had income to install more fencing for our goats/sheep and fix my tiller. Another win. Money for the farm gets tracked in the business account only.

Because of my tax refund and careful planning, we were able to catch up on the electric, make payments on a few medical bills, and make the last payment on debt 2 of 5. We even managed to give each family member a paycheck.

Not quite a zero spending month, but I actually felt better about our money than I have in quite some time. I am currently working through this months planning so that I can keep on top of everything even better than last month.

Monday: Salad

Tuesday: At the grocery I felt the desperate need for cheese, tortillas, more lunch meat and chips. While rearranging my basement pantry I found a few jars of salsa. So for dinner we had tacos! So very good.

Wednesday: Tacos again by request. Used the leftover meat and some rice found in the fridge.

We had our budget summit meeting. The general verdict of the panel (husband and kids) is that the pantry challenge is going well. But that pizza, ice cream, and ramen were missed. We discussed where the money was going and the kids were nervous about seeing $2.62 left in our pre-spending budget at the end. I explained zero dollar budgeting (every dollar gets spent on paper first before you spend it for real). Then adjusted a few line items based on reminders from the husband. In the end $0 remains. I am so relieved that my new take home pay still fits into our budget so well.

Thursday: Fend for yourself leftovers. I had some meat and cheese. Our microwave died last night. I’m bummed that I cannot easily melt the cheese on my tortillas or chips. We spent the evening in the garden. The kids are in the Junior Master Gardener program so we went to the community garden first to finish planting, then home to plant our gourd rows.

Gardening is about trying new things, hoping, dreaming. This year we are planting in new areas for our gourds. The husband loves the idea of building our own pumpkin patch that people can come to in the fall.

Friday: Pizza and ice cream

Saturday: Company over, the husband’s mom came and we had her birthday celebration. Hot dogs and hamburger macaroni, dq cake, salad, bread for dinner. Then crackers, meat, and cheese for supper.

Websites of information

http://www.novicefarmer.com/

http://fiascofarm.com/dairy/mozzarella.htm

Queso Fresco – Easy to Make Cheese

Grow Chives for the Best Strawberries

Benefits of the Edible Forest Garden

When Weeds are Good

How we Afford to Homestead

Make a Circle Garden for Beauty and Low-Maintenance

 

https://fareforall.org/

 

Pantry Challenge – Week 4

We went to Ruby’s Pantry in Isanti this past Saturday. We came home with 2 laundry baskets worth of groceries. It was out of this that we made Monday dinner for my parents who are in town from Missouri.

Monday Dinner: Chicken breasts, garlic mashed potatoes, and asparagus (I need to remember to visit the patch more often I lost 2 stalks to seed already.)

Tuesday Dinner: On the fly: kids had after school and 2 hours of ballet. So we grabbed chips and cheese. Then once we were home again I think the kids grabbed sandwiches or doughnuts.

Wednesday Dinner: leftovers. There is a stink in my kitchen that I cannot figure out. I pulled everything out of the fridge and had everyone pick what they wanted to eat. I made a soup out of leftover broth, homemade tomato sauce, and rice. Super yummy. Hubby had leftover sloppy joes.

I had to run to the store because girl child’s class was having a summer birthday celebration and she needed to bring something. I grabbed her Laffy Taffy and at the husband’s request picked up lunch meat and cheese for sandwiches. While browsing the deli section I came to a realization. My children have never had bologna. Why? Because my husband does not like it. Saving grocery money was my priority so I purchased Oscar Meyer brand bologna, cotto salami, white turkey, and chopped ham. Yup, I feed my kids junk sometimes, simply because it is cheaper per ounce. My family will eat just as much or more of the slightly better and more expensive brands or types.

Thursday Dinner: Not sure what they ate. I worked late and ran to junior master gardeners, then rearranged chicks all evening. I had an freeze pop before bed.

Friday Dinner: DQ ice cream (end of school year tradition) and pizza

Saturday morning girl child and I went to Matthew 25 put on by Spirit River. Not as much good stuff as I would have liked. A lot of fruit that had to be processed immediately. I always hope for tons of tomatoes and other vegetables. Instead of yogurt there were brats.

Saturday Dinner: Brats + zucchini fritters

Sunday Dinner: Sorry, don’t really recall. We built a fire and slept outside in the tent. Gorgeous evening.

Monday Dinner: Salad

Sunday and Monday I processed through quite a bit of fruit. Made a small batch of strawberry jam, blackberry jam, froze some strawberries and cherries. Made raspberry and strawberry lemonade ice cubes, and mango ice cubes. Cut up melon, zucchini. Made lemon and orange juice. Banana and zucchini muffins. Raspberry/lemon cupcakes. Super summer stockpile!