Friday, January 13, 2012

I made a hat!!

I recently got a bunch of yarn from my late grandmother's things and have been crocheting again. As of yesterday the most I knew how to do was a blanket or scarf. I taught myself how to read patterns a few days ago and this morning started working on making a hat. I have never made a hat before in my life, I had no clue how to make a circle much less make something to fit my big ole head. I am proud to say I made it in ONE attempt and it FITS! I was SO EXCITED I was jumping up and down when I went to show DH Posted Image So here is my hat with the matching scarf Posted Image

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Gonna get my rocking body back!

One of my goals for 2012 is to finally get rid of this baby weight I have been carrying around since the twins were born, and then added to when I got pregnant with our 5th six months later. I have been going back and forth with myself as to how I was actually going to do this. What "program" was I going to follow, could I do it alone? I have decided that NO I can NOT do it alone! I was still debating with myself when a friend on facebook announced she was starting a challenge using the slim in 6 program by Well I am always in for some encouragement and a little good natured competition so I jumped on board!

My goal is to drop down into the 100's while doing the 6 week program. I think if I can get into the 100's again it will be tremendous momentum to keep going. So here I am letting you all know the plan so that I have even more accountability. I will be posting the beginning photo's when I start the program as well as update pictures every 30days through out. I will also be adding a weight loss ticker to my blog so at anytime you all can see how I am doing *gasp!*

The challenge starts on February 5th and I am super excited to get rolling!

Monday, January 9, 2012

How "Old fashioned" are you?

One of the boards I participate in has a thread going right now asking what "old fashioned" skills do you have. Which got me to thinking what skills do I have that others may see as being old fashioned.

Lets see I can:
*hand quilt
*sew (with and without a machine)
*bake from scratch
*Make any type of dairy product (cheese, butter, yogurt, ice cream, etc.)
*water bath can fruit and veg
*Pressure can
*dry herbs
*Do just about anything with livestock (tail doc, castrate, vaccinate, sheer, trim hooves, tag, etc.)
*Operate any form of tractor and attachment (Bailer, batwing, etc.)
*Clean out a barn
*climb a silo without killing myself

Skills I am looking to learn:
*making soap

Wow when you list all of your skills out you seem like a accomplished person! I plan on learning to knit once I get some of my current projects done (more in upcoming post about my current projects.). And I have big plans for learning to make soap! Can we say Christmas presents for next year?!

What about you all? What "old fashioned" skills do YOU have????

Sunday, January 8, 2012

The twins turn 2!


Thursday, January 5, 2012

How Bulk shopping saves us a bundle

You know when ever I talk to people about the fact that we do our shopping in bulk we get a lot of the same responses.

"Does it really save you money?"
"I just don't have the money to do that"
"Where would I put it all!"
"I don't have the time!"

So I thought I would share my responses with you all.

"Does it really save you money?" Why yes it does! Part of it is that we have a super sized family compared to the "normal" American family. When you have more than 2 children stuff just gets eaten faster! I could buy 4 boxes of cereal at $4 a pop or 1 giant box for $ do the math! Even if you don't have a super sized family buying in bulk is still feasible. We buy he giant cans of tomatoes, you know the ones that look like they are supposed to be used in school cafeterias? Well even with 7 mouths to feed I can't use a entire can of those suckers! I instead package it down into 1c. servings and drop them in the freezer. One 14.5 can of crushed tomatoes is about $1 on sale, One ginormous can of crushed tomatoes is $3. I can typically get 20 one cup portions out of the huge can. That is a HUGE savings!

Another way it saves us money is that buy buying in bulk we typically end up with a little more than we needed. I can get a great deal on 7lb packages of ground beef for example but if I only need 6lbs for that month I freeze the extra pound for later. After 2-3 mths of this type of stockpiling you find you have enough in your freezer and pantry to allow you to skip grocery shopping for several weeks! It is a wonderful feeling to realize "Hey I don't have to go to the grocery store this month!"

"I just don't have the money to do that" We didn't start out with any more in the grocery budget than we normally used. I just decided to use it differently. I decided instead of spending it 4 times a month I would spend it once. I found my local costco, made a detailed list of what we needed for that month and went to town! Over time we were able to adjust our budget so that all of our months grocery budget came out of the first paycheck of the month giving me even more wiggle room. You know what we have found though? We spend LESS buying in bulk, about $200 a month less!

"Where would I put it all!" As I stated in a previous post we don't live in a McMansion, far far from it! We have a small chest freezer, a pantry, and a cabinet in our hallway for over flow. That is it! We found that by going to once a month shopping we tend to buy more whole foods instead of processed foods. Flour instead of french bread, popcorn instead of cookies, etc.

"I don't have the time!" I have found it doesn't take me any longer to pic up a 25lb bag of flour than it does to pick up a 5lb bag. A little harder on my back maybe but not on my schedule. Actually I find it SAVES me time because I do one major shop a month then a quick dash in every other week for milk and fruit instead of 4 major shopping trips.

Exploring new options

One of the benefits of underspending the grocery budget is getting to decide how to invest the savings. Due to our once a month shopping we had some surplus in our freezer that has allowed us to not have to grocery shop for 2 weeks out of this month. (More on how this happened in a later post)

This means we have about $210 left in our grocery budget with no where to go. There are several options for what to do with this extra money:

1. Send it to our current savings goal (my Roth)
2. Invest in stockpiling meat and non perishables
3. Investing in Community supported Agriculture (CSA)in our area

We have decided to invest part of the money in a local CSA. By paying $100 now for a membership to a local organic farm I guarantee myself discounted organic produce through March. Not only do I get discounted organic produce but I get to choose exactly what I want via the internet, the price of the vegetables comes out of the $100 I sent them, and if I don't feel like going to the farm to pick it up they will mail it to me! Even better any money I have not used up by the beginning of April will be sent back to me! You really can't get a better deal than that!

Come this spring we will also be buying into the CSA's meat program as well. We will be buying several organic free range chickens and having them slaughtered for us in June, giving us a surplus of chicken to go in our freezer. Now if I can find a place that offers the option of buying a half a cow we will be set!

As we have found with bulk shopping sometimes spending a little upfront can give you big savings later on.

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