Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday Frugal and Homesteading Update

Welcome! We have been a busy bunch! We got a lot accomplished, some of it can be debated as it is frugal, and I got a few lessons on good money decisions.

The outdoor chicken area is done! Yeah! I got chicken wire fencing wrapped along the bottom of the old kennel, the edges by the barn, and over top. All-in-all, I think I have spent $10 for the whole outdoor area. I am still trying to convince Paige to make a "Chicken Cabana" sign for the door as a 4-H project.

The chickens are all alive still! Yeah!

The garden is going great too! Almost everything has come up. The carrots didn't make an appearance. I still might replant in the next few days since they will can handle the fall weather. The acorn squash plants did not make it either and I might put in more beets in their place.

We built a dog kennel over the weekend for Holly. Rob didn't really like that Holly was on a tie-out when we were gone so he designed and mostly built a 10' x 22' kennel for her. We looked at pre-made kennels that size and realized we would be spending $500-800 for a kennel. Rob designed one and we bought materials for $380. With our sweat and blood, we got it built in two days! Yeah! We did use a kennel with a door in it for the opening, but the rest was made from wood.

The biggest news is that I bought a new car. I traded my van in for a 2014 Chrysler 200 Touring sedan. I really struggled with buying a new car, but in the end I hope to have less maintenance costs for a while. With the rebates and trade-in, the new car cost as much as a two-three year old used car. I did have to get financing, but I hope to have this car paid off sooner than later. Even so, my budget will get a bit tighter...

I took advantage of my clothing allowance at work and got a new pair of Keen sandals. If I have not raved over these shoes and sandals before, I should be! They are more expensive ($80-90), but I get 4-5 years of use from them and I don't have sore feet and legs. My current pair is four years old and are starting to lose some support. I can also throw these in the washer and clean them up in a hurry. Holly the dog chewed up one of my good pairs of everyday sandals (I only have two!), so getting another pair was moved up the priority list.

I have been looking for more meatless meals and cooler meals for the summer. We tried Cincinnati Chili this week and Indian Lentils and Rice last week. The meals were edible, I thought they were great, and the kids ate them. I am also making a new section in my recipe binder for egg recipes to get ready for the eggs we will have in a few months. So excited! With meat prices steadily climbing, we will be using less meat.

We have had a terrible time with little flies and fruit flies in the summer. I made my own fruit fly traps using a small glass, vinegar (any kind), and plastic wrap covering the top. I poked some holes in the plastic wrap and held it tight with a rubber band. These have been extremely effective! So cheap and easy to do too!

I made a couple loaves of bread and will be doing so again this week. Much easier to eat sandwiches when it is cold than to eat something hot!

I finally turned on the air conditioning today. I held out for a long time simply because I didn't see the need for it to be on. With the humidity we are having today, the house just feels sticky. I don't like that! Hopefully we will be able to shut it off again soon.

I have been buying seeds for the garden on clearance. I store these in a sealed bag in the fridge and have had seeds last for several years. I do this to keep costs down, to replant in the late summer if I want to, and to have on hand.

I got several freebies in the mail including nail polish, shampoo/conditioner samples, sanitary items, and coffee. I signed up for several more!

This is what I can think of for now!
Thanks for reading!
Erica

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