Emma: 2lbs 15oz ....She had the hiccups the entire time and we could actually see her hair moving in the fluid :)
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Emma: 2lbs 15oz ....She had the hiccups the entire time and we could actually see her hair moving in the fluid :)
Here are the swings we got off of Craigslist for a whopping $50 each (retail $150-200).This is the bedding Grandma got for the twins :) I will get a picture of the actual nursery up as soon as we get it all set up. We also got sage letters with ivory ribbons to spell out their names above there cribs :)And a picture of the new car seats we got for the new little ones...I couldn't resist getting matching ones in pink!
Last Thursday was my Mom's of Multiples meeting where we had a clothing swap. I was able to get a HUGE bag of baby clothes for FREE! Everything from preemie to 6-9 mths and the best part was that since it was from other twin mommies everything I got matched...they are adorable! I know I said I wasn't going to be one of "those" moms that would only dress there little ones in matching outfits and I won't do it all the time but they were such cute little outfits that I couldn't help myself!
Number one I am 90% done with all the homemade Christmas gifts I am making for our extended family. I would post pics and tell you all about them but then it would ruin the surprise for my family who read my blog....I do promise though after Christmas I will tell you all about what I made and a breakdown of how much it all cost (cause what is the point of a homemade Christmas if it breaks the bank in the process!?)
All our Christmas cards are addressed and the snowmen picture frames are all put together I will get some pics of them up once I get the energy to actually get up and find my camera ;P
Plus I am totally caught up on our scrapbooks! That is a major one for me since I still hadn't put in the pics from LAST CHRISTMAS! lol! I knew if I didn't get them done before the babies came it just wouldn't get done so I am very happy that I got them all caught up :)
I still need to finish the Christmas gifts for the men in my family and then get everything packed and shipped and then I should be caught up on all the projects that needed to be done before the babies come! It is getting close people!!!
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Labels: meal planning
Here are the much nagged for new pics ;P
This is my belly shot at 24 weeks.....yes I know I am really starting to pop!
Here we have Baby B's (Lacy) face. She is looking directly into the "camera"
Here is Baby A's (Emma) face...again she is looking directly into the "camera".
And this is the funniest one. That is Lacy curled up into a tight little ball. You see that blob on top of her head and arm? That would be Emma's butt. Poor little thing her sister is already making her defend herself! lol :)
Emma: 1lb 10oz
Lacy: 1lb 6oz
Labels: organic gardening
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Romaine Salad:
$5.76 Whole Chicken
$0 Romaine (WIC)
$0 Condensed milk (WIC)
Not bad for a family of 4 :)
Now as you know one of the basic principles of frugal cooking is to stack recipes so that you use the leftovers from one meal in a totally different meal the next night. Using the leftovers from tonight's dinner I will be making a casserole for tomorrow nights dinner....
Chicken and Rice Casserole with potato cakes:
$0.84 Frozen Veggies
$1.39 Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
$0.94 Cheddar Cheese
$0 Chicken (leftovers)
$0 Potatoes (leftovers)
Again REALLY not bad for a family of 4 especially since this meal will also serve as lunch for the next day.
Plus I have the bones and skin from the chicken cooking in the crockpot right now to make chicken stock....so I am also getting 4+ cups of chicken stock for "free".
Thanks to the Happy Housewife for both these recipes and teaching me how to cook a whole chicken in my crockpot. It was yummy and I will defiantly be doing it again!
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Sunday, October 4, 2009
Labels: cloth diapering. budgeting
So you lovely people are now going to be privy to my research :)
*Price breakdown for first 3 mths (changing the babies every 2 hours when fed)
DISPOSABLES: $254.40 (cheapest diaper brand made)
AIO's: $480 (birth to potty training)
PREFOLDS: $167.40 (diaper covers and Indian prefolds)
*Price breakdown for 3-6mths (changing babies every 4 hours when fed)
*Price breakdown for 6-9mths (changing babies every 4 hours when fed)
*Price breakdown for 9-12mths (changing babies every 4 hours when fed)
At 12 mths I could use the AIO's I already have so we shall stop the comparison here.
So you can see that disposables are almost double the amount of the AIO's while prefolds are the cheapest option. We shall be buying the prefolds this time around and learning all over again the quirks of cloth diapering :) For these comparisons I used www.cottonbabies.com for the prefold information and the local commissary for the disposable prices. For more info on the debate between cloth diapers and disposables please check out this site.
***Disclaimer: These numbers are based on diapering twins, and based on disposable pricing in my area. Prices will differ based on where you live so you will need to do your own comparison to see what works best for YOUR family***
First off I am playing a game with myself to see how much "stuff" I can get used. So far I have not bought anything new for the twins and am very proud of myself. Thanks to craigslist.com I have gotten 2 like new swings for $50 each (retail $200 each!) and three trash bags full of 0-3mth clothes :)
For a grand total of: $220 for everything so far.
Could I have done better well sure but concidering what I could have spent I think that is a pretty decent number considering we now have almost everything we need for the twins for the first 3mths.
We are missing some big ticket items:
*2 infant car seats ($120 for both). We could do without these and just use the convertible car seats we already have but I am going for convenience over thrift on this one. These will be bought new since you should never buy a used car seat unless you know the seller since you can not be sure it wasn't in an accident.
*Double Stroller ($98). Again we could use the double umbrella stroller we already have but I am going for one that the car seats will snap into for convenience. Also will probably be bought used unless I get lucky and stubble over one in the next few months.
*Cloth diapers. ($????) Not sure of the price on these since I am still doing some price comparisons on AIO's and pre-folds...another post to follow on this topic.
* 2 Bouncy seats ($30 for both) I have seen several of these listed on craigslist for $15 each. When I have the time to deal with arranging meetings and pick-ups I will be getting these used.
And that is it folks not to bad of a list! We will of course need to get clothes from 3-9 mths but I am not to worried about that at this time. I will continue to look on craigslist and see what comes available. It is so cool that you can get a whole trash bag FULL of like new clothes for $15! A frugal Mommy's dream come true!
And Baby B....again SO CUTE!
And then one of my favorite shots....4 little feet :)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
I needed an option that wasn't going to use all my Tupperware and that wasn't going to take up my whole freezer. Plus I had all those Ziploc bags just sitting there....OK you know where I am going with this. I put one cup of tomato's in a sandwich bag and then layer the sandwich bags into a freezer bag lay flat in the freezer for 24hours till set and then "file" them standing up in the back of my freezer. Takes up very little space, the sandwich bags were really cheap and I can reuse the more expensive freezer bag as many times as I need to.
All well and good but what about all of those Ziploc bags, the 25lbs of flour, the huge container of animal crackers....the list goes on and on. There really wasn't any room in my pantry for all of these items but I needed them close to the kitchen for the ease of cooking or refilling containers. My solution was to buy a freestanding garage shelving unit and install it in my laundry room in an unused nook that was intended for a free standing freezer....Great vertical usage of space and since it is free standing I can take it with us every time we move with little drama.
Take that can of green beans for example say it is normally $0.50 a can and I have this listed in my little book, then one day I see it has gone down to $0.40 but I don't buy because I know from my little book that the prices always go down even further at Thanksgiving and sure enough I am able to buy that can for $0.20! Now that is quite a savings that I wouldn't have gotten if I didn't have a price comparison book,
The same philosophy holds true for comparing competing stores prices, although it gets trickier when dealing with very different sizes of containers. Say I know that a can of diced tomatoes is $0.99 for 14.5oz at one store but $2.78 for 102oz at another store. Now just doing the rough math on this one it is clear where the better deal lays but what about those items that are right on the line? Say a 5lb bag of flour for $1.99 or the 25lb bag for $8.73. That one is a little harder to do in your head. Although if I had the normal prices of each type of flour recorded in my little book there could also be a cutoff column. A column that shows when the price of the 25lb bag is too high versus the 5lb bag. Say that 25lb bag of flour went up to $9.99 and the 5lb bag stayed the same? Well then I would know that it is not a good deal and time to walk away from that particular bulk purchase.
All of this gets very confusing and I am in no way saying it is fool proof, there are times when you know you are going to goof and spend a little more because you though you had a good deal. Luckily though I am talking goofs in the $0.72 range like the lemonade from the last post and not $5.00 goofs like I would have if I tried to buy my produce or dairy at a bulk store. Those things I have done some comparison shopping on in the past and know that the commissary is always cheaper on those items. The commissary in my opinion is almost always cheaper except in the situation of the HUGE containers of items that would normally have to be pared down into the smaller containers. In this case you are saving money only because the company selling them has to spend a lot less to package and handle the large containers over the smaller ones. It is only these products that I will even consider buying at a large box store such as Sam's.
Another example on the commissary versus Sam's.....The other day while at Sam's I took a look at their laundry soap. Amazingly it was the exact same size and brand that I buy on base except it was marked $20. while I am able to buy it on base for $11. Now that is why you have to know the base prices at each store!
Another great resource if shopping on base is www.militarylife.com once you register for the site you can see ALL the sales current sales at your local commissary without ever leaving your house! So if you know the base price of an item at the bulk store and the base price at the commissary but see that the commissary price is cheaper that week (again before you leave for your shopping trip) you can compare and see if the bulk purchase is still cheaper! Very cool! There is also a option for the commissary specials that are only on sale for a certain time frame, such as the buy 5 for $5 and such, again another great resource.
All of this takes a great deal of patience to work through and even more to keep it going. After all wouldn't it just be so much easier just to go to one store and get everything you need and say that was the best price you were able to get? Well yeah that is easier and I have been doing that for years, the problem is that my grocery bill was getting out of control. I am talking $1,000 a month! That is outrageous! Now with checking the prices and doing one bulk shopping trip a month I am down to $500 a month. That is a huge savings but I still think I could be doing better after all I hear many a tail of a family of 14 living off of $400 a month! Now I may not be THAT frugal or be that inventive when it comes to the shopping trips but I certainly think that if they can do it for 14 I should be able to spend the same amount with 4 people! Especially important since we have twins on the way and money is getting ready to become even tighter, better to tighten my belt now and put the extra money into savings than have to figure all this out with 2 newborns and no money!
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Today's trip to Sam's I bought:
102oz of Whole tomatoes
111oz of Canned Kidney beans
34qt of powdered Lemonade
192oz of Apple Juice
102.5oz of diced tomatoes
12lbs of Baking Soda
25lb of Bread Flour
Not everything I bought but those are the things on the list that I chose to do a comparison on. So after my trip to Sam's I went to the commissary to continue my shopping as I usually do but this time I wrote down the units and the cost of these items if bought there. Then using simple math I was able to calculate the savings/loss per item at Sam's Club.
Whole Tomatoes: $3.68 Saved
Canned Kidney Beans: $1.97 Saved
Powdered Lemonade: $0.72 LOST
Apple Juice: $0.83 Saved
Diced Tomatoes: $4.21 Saved
Baking Soda: $1.70 Saved
Bread Flour: $1.22 Saved
Now as you can see the cost per unit of the tomato products was a HUGE savings while some things like the apple juice were only so-so....and then there was the lemonade that was actually a loss. The lemonade actually surprised me quite a bit I really thought I was getting a deal there, just goes to show you that you really do have to read the units based on the prices. All in all this trip to Sam's saved me $12.89. Will I be shopping there again in the future you bet your bottom I will especially for the tomato products, though I think I will leave the lemonade to the lovely people over at the commissary!
Saturday, August 1, 2009
Labels: homemade crafts
Take for example the dresser that was bought for our oldest daughter when she was a baby. Way back then we were poor....I am talking can't afford to buy groceries and pay the bills in the same month type of poor. But here we were expecting a baby what were we to do? Run to momma of course what would you do! My mother was generous enough to buy my little one an entire bedroom set, but even for her money was an impediment and we got the cheapest set the store carried. Little did we know the dresser and the crib would be in use for so many years to come :) Now almost 6 years later that dresser is still in use.....it is falling apart but it is still in use. It is made of MDF, pressed wood chips formed to make a "wood" sheet, and after lots of use you can imagine it is in a pretty bad state. We do have a wonderful (and expensive) dresser that we bought for our oldest when she moved up to a big girl bedroom set but when we moved the two girls in together there just wasn't room for it in the room so we reverted back to the "baby" dresser until they got a bigger room. We will be moving in a few months and the nice dresser will be moved back into their room and the baby dresser will again be a dresser for baby clothes, at least for a few more years. Now every 6 mths I go into the room armed with a hammer, screwdriver, and wood glue and I put the dresser back together again. And every 6 mths I think to myself why oh why don't I just go out and buy a new dresser? Why? Because I am resourceful enough to know that I can keep that dresser together for another few years and the only thing it will cost me is a wrenched back (every time never fail... you would think I would learn!). I could go out and buy another dresser but why? Because it will look better? Because it will cost me only money and not my time? I would like to think that I am teaching my daughters a lesson with that dresser, just because you can buy something new doesn't mean that it is necessarily the best option.
My next example is my bathroom floor....it is missing a rug. I *could* just go out and buy a new one but where is the resourcefulness in that? Instead it has been a year and a half and my floor is still bare. Not because I am lazy and don't want to spend the money or the time needed to fix the problem but because I am collecting old shirts and sheets to make a new rag rug for the floor. I know that it would be simpler and SO much faster to just buy one but where is the fun in that? Once the rug is finally completed and I place it on the floor there will be a sense of accomplishment that couldn't be felt with a store bought rug. Every time I see that rug I will know it may have taken me years to complete it but that I did in the end get it finished and there will be pride and love attached to that rug.
Some times the easy and the simple way is not always the best way. Sometimes it takes some time and some patience but in the end you do get a finished product that you can be proud of.
*Oh and if anyone has any old shirts they are going to throw away feel free to send them to me I need all the help I can get ;P
Friday, July 31, 2009
Labels: organic gardening
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
I am feeling MUCH better and have finally started to get back in the swing of things around here and am actually cooking again for the first time in 2 months. I hope to be back on here with some new posts about our frugal lifestyle soon, especially since I had to quit working due to this pregnancy.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
Weeks 1-2 Grocery Store: $170
Weeks 1-4 Sam's Club Bulk Shopping: $180
Weeks 3-4 Grocery Store: $190
Random odds and ends needed throughout: $50
TOTAL: $590 for one month
Usual total for one month shopping every week: $680
That makes a savings of.....$90! OK now that is nothing to sneeze at! This was my first month on the program and the trip to Sam's club is a every couple of months trip. I got things such as a 25lb bag of flour (will last about 3 mths), bulk trash bags (again about 3 mths), bulk Ziploc bags, HUGE container of animal crackers, bulk pop tarts, etc.
Next month our goal will be for a total spend of $400 giving us a savings of $280 a mth.....OK so I am officially on board with this program. Anyone game to try with me????
Labels: Family game night
I really enjoy this time with my family without the outside influences of TV and games. I in theory would like to cut out the TV totally but I don't really see that happening over here. My goal for this month is to turn off the TV at lunch time and not turn it on again the rest of the day....a tall order when you have little ones. It is just so much easier when they are bored to pull out a DVD instead of finding a project for them to do or taking them to the playground when it is in the 90's. But I see my weakness and I am trying to address it. So what about you all? What fun things do you do as a family that doesn't include electronics?
Friday, May 29, 2009
But always, if we have faith, a door will open for us, not perhaps one that we ourselves would ever have thought of, but one that will ultimately prove good for us.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Labels: organic gardening
Way back as a newlywed I made these biscuits for Hubby and he has been asking for them ever since. I make them about once a month and it is a huge deal for him. They are a basic yeast roll with bacon, onions, thyme, and olives mixed in. They are super easy to make but they take so long that I hardly ever have the time to devote to them...in total 40min from start to oven! Lol that is probably partly because every time I make them I have a 5yr old "helper" I don't know why but she only wants to help in the kitchen when I am baking....maybe an inner pastry chef coming out in her? I can only hope :)
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Here is a picture of my laundry room storage area. This is where all bulk items are stored as well as my bread maker, mop, broom, and vacuum cleaner....you can see it is quite a state!
Now on to the REALLY messy part of my house...the garage storage area. This is where EVERYTHING goes. From holiday decorations, garden stuff, the kids outdoor play stuff, you get the idea. (yes I am horrified by this picture)
Now I understand what everyone is talking about when they say you save a fortune by shopping once a month. Now I am not quite up to THAT level yet and I am smart enough to know that I am going to have to pick up an item or two over the next few weeks but I know that even with the odd item here and there it will be way less that $300. We shall see how it goes and I will give you all an update at the end of the two weeks when we have the final totals.
Part of this savings came from not using as much processed foods. This is taking some getting used to! My first issue is with using dried beans instead of canned. When you look at the price comparison it is SO much cheaper to buy the dried beans as well as being healthier (have you looked at the sodium content in a can of beans?!) but all the work to cook them before use is a pain in the rear! I have been working on dinner for over 3hrs now because I have to soak/cook the black beans before I can start the soup they go in. Now it is not like it is hard or anything but anyone who knows me knows that I forget everything that isn't right in front of me, so to remember 3hrs before dinner to start the beans is a real pain. I am going to start looking into soak/cooking the beans in a crock pot in the future. This is also an issue with making my own bread, I love doing it and it saves a fortune but remembering to make it with enough time for it to rise is another issue I am having. I have tried making bread for sandwiches in the past and it really doesn't work that well for us, no one uses it and it ends up getting thrown away. I decided to buy the sandwich bread and make the bread sticks/french bread/pizza crusts from scratch and that has been working really well for us.
Friday, May 15, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
"Currently the term 'homesteading applies to anyone who is a limb of the back-to-the-land movement and who chooses to live a sustainable, self-sufficient lifestyle. While land is no longer freely available in most areas of the world, homesteading remains as a way of life. A new movement, called 'urban homesteading', can be viewed as a simple living lifestyle, incorporating small-scale agriculture, sustainable and permaculture gardening, and home food production and storage into suburban or city living."
I also found that many of the people who practice homesteading also use fertility acceptance and home school their kiddos. While I would love to home school I am wise enough to know that it isn't going to work for my children. As I am typing this Hailey is standing beside me asking "Is it time to go to school yet.." it is all she can talk about these days it is going to be a very long summer before she can start kindergarten! As for the fertility acceptance we are currently practicing this lifestyle and are trusting that God will provide not only the children but the ability to provide for them. This is a HUGE step of faith and while I have my moments of doubt I do truly believe that He will provide.
All this reading about people who have successful gardens has made me want to start working on my garden again! LOL! I do have several seed packs still out in the garage so I am thinking about planting them and trying again....not like I don't have the beds out there just waiting!
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
So now that I have a written inventory of my pantry I need to do something with it right? Well I have been haunting the large family websites for ideas on how to feed a large family on a budget (yes I know I don't have a large family but if they can do it with 12 kids I can do it with 2!) and I have come up with some really good ideas. Not only do they have tons of recipes on there that are easy and nutritious they also have meal planning ideas and shopping tips. One of the ideas I have heard for a while now is to only shop once a month....yeah this is a little out there for me....I mean once a month???I am taking baby steps here people and I have worked up a menu for a month but only plan to shop every two weeks for a while to get the hang of it all.
Being that I have TONS of certain spices I took my inventory sheet out and then came up with recipes that will use them, as well as setting certain nights every week to the same dish (i.e. Mondays are spaghetti night). This in theory should save quite a bit of money since I can buy certain items in bulk and then actually use them (novel concept over here). Plus all the meals that I chose are simple to make with only a few ingredients.....no more buying 12 items for one dish! It will be interesting to see how this project works out. I know that at first I am either going to have way to much or way to little of certain items (milk, bread, etc) until I am able to gage the correct amounts per week so I know that I will be going to the store more than once every two weeks for a while but it shouldn't be that hard to figure out right? I will let you know.....
On another cooking related front by garden was a no go....I managed to get one cucumber plant to grow, one tomato plant, and 3 onions. My bell peppers are scrawny and not producing and my zucchini got ate by snails. I did manage to get some basil and flat leaf parsley to grow by bringing them into the kitchen where I can remember to water them. OK so world famous gardener I am not...but hey I tried! Not sure if I will try again....was a lot of money and work for nothing.
Tuesday, May 12, 2009
As you may or may not know I took the last month off of work to recover from the loss and to just give my body a break. This resulted in our emergency fund getting cleaned out and less being paid on our debts. So here I am back at square one all over again! I went back to work yesterday so we are on our way back to where we need to be. This has been a real wake-up call for me, we were supposed to be surviving on Bry's income for all our monthly needs and my income was supposed to be just paying off the debt. Once we cut out my income though it was clear that we were using some of my income for our monthly needs as well. I am looking at our monthly expenses seeing what we can cut out to get everything in balance again. This is going to be especially important since I am only working part-time right now and don't plan on going back to full time until at least August maybe later.
The thought pattern with all these changes is that my weight and my stress levels are affecting my ability to get pregnant and then stay pregnant. So by working on my weight and my health and cutting back on my working maybe this will result in a pregnancy that will make it.....we shall see!
Thursday, April 16, 2009
I made the call today to start the miscarriage testing to try and find out why this is happening. We won't know anything for months since most of the tests have to be done over a period of time or timed just right with my cycle. We are taking the Dr's advice and taking a few months off from the baby making. We hope that by the time we get home from our trip back to the mainland in July all the tests will be in and we can start trying again.
Monday, March 9, 2009
*Fetal Heart rate monitor $35
*Gender Predictor test $55
*Easter Dress for Sara (she had dresses she could have worn) $18
For a grand total of $114 in random spending for stuff that I really didn't need in the first place. Does this stop me from thinking about the next thing I could buy? No not for an instant. Take for example my DVD/VCR on Monday the remote died and I couldn't change the channels on the tv without getting up and manually doing it (Yes I know a real hardship but with morning sickness it got real old real fast). I changed the batteries and did some very colorful swearing while smacking the remote on the floor...surprisingly this didn't fix it. What is a frugal girl going to do....why buy a new remote of course and if I couldn't find one I was going to buy an all new DVD player. Yes I know not at all frugal but that little voice was screaming in my head "buy a new one!" Well after thinking and thinking about it I finally talked myself out of buying a new one and decided we would just live with having to get up and change the channel (I am a huge channel surfer so this was a big deal for me). After I made the decision not to buy a new one I started wondering why the stupid thing stopped working in the first place. After a little investigating I found that a certain button got pushed on the remote rendering it useless....press the button again and boom it works again! Now if I hadn't talked myself out of buying the new one I never would have found the solution to the problem. Just goes to show you that sometimes you have to investigate all the options before you run out to the store to buy a replacement.
Now I have a new challenge Bry did the vacuuming last night and tells me that there is something wrong with my 1yr old vacuum. The brush apparently is not spinning now even after he cleaned it off. So what does my inner voice scream "Go buy that $600 one that you have been wanting forever" but I have learned from my DVD player that that is not going to be the solution until I have tried everything else. So I am going to do whatever it takes including taking the darn thing apart if I have to before I will be convinced that I need a new one.
So apparently I have my compulsion for shopping semi under control, big items are out but I am still a sucker for the little items through out the week. Not sure how I am going to get that under control as well....baby steps I guess.
Friday, March 6, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Monday, February 23, 2009
I am going to enjoy the next few weeks and try not to think about anything other than the day I am currently in. I will be praying that I make it to April 3rd, but I will defiantly not be taking it as a given that I will ever make that appointment.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Anyways all this rambling does have a point! Now that I am knocked up again I am faced with the fact that I have NO maternity stuff! So what is a newly frugal mama to do? Hit up eBay of course! I managed to get an entire wardrobe of maternity clothes including several pairs of jeans, shorts, capri's, belly band, dresses, and about 15 shirts for the grand total of $190 and that includes shipping! Now if you add all that up at retail costs of about $20 per item it would have cost me $400 without shipping costs! Not bad if I do say so myself :D
*Homemade Laundry Soap. Cleans just as well as the pre-packaged stuff but for only a few bucks
* Homemade Dishwasher powder. Again works just as well and you can use some of the same stuff that you bought for the laundry soap.
* Homemade All-purpose spray. A little vinegar and water and bam there you go, cuts grease and dirt and is really cheap to make.
*Homemade floor cleaner. I used to buy the Clorox mop refills and that was getting really expensive, instead I use warm water and vinegar in the refill bottle and it works wonders with no vinegar smell.
* Dishrags instead of the Clorox pads on the mop. I just use the big dish towels on my mop, works wonders and since it is just vinegar in the mop no need to worry about washing the cloth with the other clothes.
*No more paper towels. Honestly I though this was going to be harder but I don't even notice there gone now.
*Cutting out all the pre-packaged meals. I thought this one would be harder as well but after the initial shock it was pretty easy to do, especially since there is always leftovers from dinner for lunch.
* Cutting the meat in our meals in half and going veggie a few nights a week. Bry is the only one to complain about this one, but since he isn't here for 75% of the dinners who cares! ;D
* Growing my own veggies. This one is taking FOREVER to come to fruition but when it does it will be wonderful. I plan on canning some of the stuff so that will really help out down the line.
What was I thinking?
* Homemade napkins for the dinning room table. Yeah this one was wonderful in theory but took forever to cut down the cloth and then it wasn't cotton but some other material so it wasn't absorbent at all. BIG waste of time!
*Making my own body care stuff. Again great in theory but all of the ingredients in the book I bought on the topic were really expensive and a royal pain to put together. Just buy the cheap stuff and call it a day.
*Homemade bread for the entire week, even bought a bread maker for this. Um, yeah I don't really have the time for this one....actually I don't think anyone does! I do make all of our specialty breads from scratch (French, pizza dough, etc) but when it comes to sandwiches we buy the cheapest loaf at the store and say good enough!
*Making my own cat litter. It wasn't hard and was almost free since I have tons of free newspapers delivered every week but it was SO time consuming I would have had to make 3-4 batches a week and then let them dry for a week or more before using. OK I love my cat but come on! We are back on the store bought stuff and couldn't be happier.
*Making my own diapers. I love my cloth diapers but making them is a pain in the rear and they were never as absorbent as the pre-made ones, plus after I bought all the stuff and paid for shipping it wasn't any cheaper! No thanks I will just buy mine!
OK so there is my list for now. I will be sure to add some more as we go along, if you have any to add feel free!
Labels: organic gardening
I want to replace the lost zucchini and onions but we are waiting till the end of March when we find out if Bry made OTS, if we are going to be moving it is just silly to plant stuff. As it is if he doesn't get the promotion we will be moving anyways to a bigger house since we are having a new baby but the timeframe on that one will depend on how packed the waiting list is.
I also have to say that I am thankful that we have been slackers and have not invested very much in our retirement fund (TSP). We just upped our allotment to 10% (up from 5%) I figure stocks are cheap right now and we don't make very much to start with so there really isn't much of a risk for us so why not up our investment? I did move 40% to the G bill which is very little risk but left the rest in the L section which has its risk based on the amount of time till retirement, we still have 30yrs so it is a more aggressive fund. Hopefully when the tide starts to turn in the stockmarket we will get a nice little boost :D
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Baby step #1: $1,000 to start an emergency fund
OK, so I have over a $1,000 saved in a trip fund but my emergency fund is currently only $100.....so....yeah....need to start funding that again.
Baby step #2: Pay off all debt using the debt snowball
We have already paid off our credit card so that is one thing less on the list. I just went through and added up all of our debt and came to the grand total of $26,230. That includes a car loan, student loans, outstanding balance that student loan didn't cover, and yearly insurance on car and renters insurance. Other than that we are sitting pretty ;D So according to the snowball theory we are supposed to pay off the smallest debt first and then add that payment with the regular payment on the next biggest loan the next month and so on. Following this method we should pay off the insurance, the school bill, the student loan, and then the car loan. I would do this BUT right now I don't owe any interest on the student loan as long as it is paid off before the grace period ends and their is no interest on the insurance or the school bill. So to me it just makes more sense to pay off the student loan first before the interest kicks in then move on to the smaller bills that don't have any interest. So that is the plan, if we stick to the budget the student loan should be paid off in 3-4 months right before the grace period ends!
The rest of these steps will begin one at a time after the debt is paid off.
Baby Step #3: 3-4 months of expenses in savings
Baby Step #4: Invest 15% of household income into TSP
Baby Step #5: College Funding for kids
Baby Step# 6: Pay off home early
**Obviously don't have to worry about this one, I think I will change it to save for a down payment on a house! **
Baby Step #7: Build wealth and give! Invest in mutual funds and real estate
So that is the plan to get debt free, it has worked for so many other people that I am sure we will be there in no time at all! I will be sure to update as the months go by so I can keep track of how well we are doing!
Friday, February 13, 2009
On a related note we are considering putting Hailey in a private school when she starts kindergarten, but that is only if we are able to get her a scholorship. Bry thinks it is unreal that we are worrying about a scholorship for our 4 yr old ;D I just think that the classes are so much smaller in private schools and she may have a better chance of keeping up with her peers if she is in a smaller classroom situation. I don't know we shall see how we do on the financial paperwork!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Last week was a wonderful week for my budget and I only spent $74 on groceries for the week and we managed not to eat out the entire week. This week I have spent $163 and they way I have been eating I wouldn't be surprised if that doesn't last 3 days. The majority of this weeks grocery bill went to buying fresh veggies and fruit so I am going to have to look at that for next week. Not really sure at this point how to balance nutrition and money but I am going to work on it so we shall see what I spend next week.
I am happy to say that I am still pregnant and doing well. I am STARVING all day and while I am also very sleepy I am actually waking myself up because I am so hungry! I have made the appointment for my blood test and will be going in on Monday to get the official conformation. I am scared of actually doing it but I know that this is going to be a sticky baby and I am going to have to face my fears and get on with it.
My garden is doing really well. The snails came back and had done some major damage to my zucchini but I think I caught it in time and they are going to survive. The cucumbers are growing like wildfire and the tomatoes are actually starting to look like tomato plants. The onions are still small but getting there, and I think I have 2 bell pepper plants but we will have to wait and see as they get larger.
OK, I think that is it from here. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend and I will keep you updated on all the new gossip from my end!
Sunday, January 4, 2009
I am happy to say that my garden is actually growing and looking pretty healthy if I do say so myself :D My zucchini are taking off like you would not believe, as are my cucumbers. My onions and tomatoes just sprouted and are tiny but growing well. I think that the only thing left is the bell peppers and they are taking their sweet time to sprout, I am starting to wonder if they are ever going to come up! My strawberry actually has about 4-5 white berries on it so we shall see if I get to them before the birds do.
I just made the best homemade french bread for dinner, it was so soft and light that I ate about 1/2 of it! LOL! I am happy to say that I won a bread maker on eBay for quite the bargain. Now I know that a "real" crunch mama would continue to make bread by hand but I am a tried mama! With 6 kids in the house under the age of 5 I really don't have the time to do all the kneading and transferring that is needed to make bread from scratch every day. After all you can only rely on the supervisory skills of a 4yr old so much before a catastrophe occurs. So this is my compromise with myself. I will continue to save money by making bread at home I will just be doing it using the bread machine. I am very excited for it to get here!
I also received the cloth napkins I ordered off eBay yesterday and have started cutting them down into smaller sizes for use on our table. I have about 5 done so I am happy to say we are now through using paper napkins!
Kitty litter wise I have to admit I am a complete failure at making my own litter. It was easy to do and the kitty did use it but it just took so darn long to do it! So in the interest of saving myself a little time and energy I have gone back to pre-packaged litter....gasp! My compromise towards being green was that I am not using the clay litter or the crystals anymore, instead I am using the recycled newspaper. For $2.11 a week I am happy to have all the work done for me!
My next project is going to be finding a natural household odor neutralizer. With 2 kids that still wet the bed and lose used Goodnights (YUCK) plus a kitty box just down the hall this house is starting to smell very unattractive! Bry says he can't smell it but I think he just says that so he can get out of helping clean. I use baking soda and EO on the carpets but I need something that I can leave out all the time to absorb the smells on a daily basis. We shall see what I find.
I think that is all my latest news and drama. Hope you guys are having a wonderful weekend!