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Showing posts from April, 2014

How Do You Not Worry About Money? Simple, By Worrying About It.

Confusing concept, yes? I get asked all the time if I worry about money or how do I not worry about money. There is not simple answer to this because right now, I am always worried about money. I try not to worry and trust that my needs will always be meant as well as my family's and my loved ones. That concept seems easy, but in practice is very difficult to do. Questions and doubts plague me all the time. Do I have enough money coming in to meet the flow of money going out? Will I have a little cushion this month or will it be a really tight month? Will I be able to take care of my family's needs? Will I forced to find another job outside of the home? Or this week's current problem: Do I have enough money to cover the accidental double payment I made to the utilities with the check I wrote to the mechanic? Too late to stop all those checks so the answer will be sketchy until payday next Tuesday. This problem only occurs when I pay bills in a hurry or forget I paid onli

Monday Frugal Update

This week went a bit better than last week except for the big vet bill I get to look forward too. The joy of raising pets who got sick! I was able to get chicken hindquarters for $.88 a pound this week. I bought ten pounds. The thighs became dinner on Sunday. The legs went into the freezer to be used this summer on the grill. The scraps and back bone (?) still attached to the thighs went into the slow cooker to make chicken stock . I was able to get two batches of stock out of those scraps. Two quarts of the stock is in the fridge for a meal this week and I canned eight pints of stock. We did not eat out at all this week! Yes! I did not even eat out for lunch! I remembered to bring snacks and bottles of water for Paige's track meet and avoided the concession stand. By the looks of other attendees, I wasn't the only one! I sold two books on Amazon. Kind of a down week, but still grateful for the sales! I cleaned out more cabinets and spent time getting ready for the ga

Preparedness on the Cheap: Evacuation Plans Part 2

Now that you know where you are going if and when you need to evacuate , you need to plan what to take with you. Whether you decide to have a 72-hour kit or everyone have their own bag or both, you need to have some essentials with you. I am choosing to have a 72-hour kit along with everyone having their own bag. I already have a tote packed and ready to go if we need to go. Several areas need to be covered in your 72-hour kit and/or personal bags: 1. Water 2. Food 3. Clothing/Shoes 4. Important Papers 5. Personal Care and Sanitation 6. Security/Safety 7. First Aid 8. Tools What you are seeing is a top view of my 72-hour kit. I did remove a few things from it so you could see in the kit better. I just used a tote that I had on hand, but the lid is attached. For the most part, everything has a pouch or is in a plastic bag to keep things organized, separated, and dry. What is in my 72-hour kit? Many things and I keep adding: 1. A case of water stored by it on the shel

Monday Frugal Update

We have been practicing no spending unless necessary. I didn't spend anything last week except one meal out for lunch ($4.00), Walmart for a gift and necessities ($30.00), and groceries on Saturday ($94.00!!!). I did have to get gas twice, but we had a lot of running last week too. Speaking of groceries, does anyone else get sticker shock too? I can't believe the meat prices. I picked up my boneless, skinless chicken breasts that I had rain checked two weeks ago at $1.88 a pound and was looking at the other prices of meat at Fareway. Even though I buy my meat mainly from the farmers and the butcher, sometimes I have to supplement with store bought meat. I don't spend more than $2.00 a pound for any meat, but I am starting to wonder if I will have to adjust that, be much diligent about shopping the sales irregardless if I need or not, and/or be very creative/learn to cook even cheaper cuts of meat. Quite honestly, I was in shock from my whole grocery bill. Besides dog fo

How to Make Simple Syrup

Simple Syrup is one of my favorite things to make to sweeten beverages such as Sun Tea . It is very simple, very easy to make, but I am so surprised at how many people don't know how! I prefer it because it is a syrup and blends into the beverage. Nothing against sugar being served, but sugar does not blend in well to cold drinks! How to Make Simple Syrup I use one to one proportions so I use 1 cup of sugar to 1 cup of water. You can change that to preferences such as 3/4 cup sugar to 1 cup water. I use a small pan to make my Simple Syrup in. Add one cup of sugar. I used organic sugar which is brown, but if you want to use white sugar, that is fine. Add one cup of water. Over medium to medium high heat, bring the sugar and water to a boil. You need to watch your pan so the syrup does not boil over! I let mine boil for 2-3 minutes. Take the syrup off of the burner and let cool. Feel free to add it to your beverages! What you don't use can be refrigerate

Sun Tea in a Jar

Tea...I love it cold, hot, and always a bit sweet! Green, red, black, herbal, chai, bagged, loose, and any other kind out there. I love it! I have been looking for a more friendly way to make, store, and transport tea. I love sun tea, but in Iowa that is not always practical. Nor is having to store a gallon size container in the fridge. Then I had an idea! A brilliant idea! I could use quart size canning jars! They would be fit in my window sill and sun themselves to completion. They fit in my fridge much, much better. They are easily transported. They can be drunk out of and reduce dishes. These are much, much cheaper than buying cold tea at the store. They are awesome! What do you need: * a quart size jar (or pint if you want smaller portions) * a bag of tea * water Fill jar with water. Add tea bag. Screw lid on jar. Put in a sunny place to brew. Voila! Easy! You can do it too! Thanks for reading! Erica

Monday Frugal Update

This week we did what we could to save money and will continue to keep saving money as well as not spend any money. I did get Easter shopping done, checked out and stocked up on some things from a Kmart that is closing, and bought track tights and shirt for Paige (ouch!). In the next few weeks, I want to share with you in various posts some of the every day things I do to save money. I do a lot around the house that I don't even think about any more, but may be useful to you! Jordan went to prom with her cousin/friend at another school. Being money conscious as she is, she knew Mom would not buy another dress (considering her mother is not buying a dress for her prom - she is!). She borrowed a dress from a friend, Shali did her hair, she borrowed shoes from Shali, and used her prom jewelry from last year. She didn't spend a dime and looked awesome! If I had a good picture, I would post it for you! Dane and I started seeds today in the seed starting pods. I bought the soil

In A Holding Pattern...

Feels like I am just waiting and waiting and waiting. Waiting for the nicer weather that is now here and hopefully staying. Waiting for the chicks to arrive. Waiting to plant my garden. Waiting to get my yard cleaned up and in shape. Waiting to build my raised beds. Waiting to be outside in my favorite outfit, tee shirts and jeans. What is a girl to do while she is waiting? Plan, plan, and plan. Spring clean the house. Reorganize bedrooms. Purge clothes and toys. Figure out where to put the day lilies and how to landscape around them. Watch the amount of sunlight around the barn to make sure the blueberry bushes will get enough sun. Decide what to plant in her planters by the driveway: pretty, functional, or both? Look at lots of chicken coop plans and decide that I don't want to build anything really. I have two buildings at my disposal and have decided that I want to boot the dog out of her dog house in the barn and put the chicks there. I think it was once a place for the milk

Monday Frugal Update

We had some big things happen this week in the house... Rob came down last week and helped to move some of my family to assisted living. We got a free full-size bed, the bedding, and some odds and ends for helping. We set the new bed up in Dane's room and took down the bunk beds. They will be going to Rob's house for the kids to sleep on. We rearranged Dane's room and cleaned out a lot of stuff which has me thinking about having a garage sale. Great weekend to get a lot done! We have a few more things to do and I would like to replace the paneling in his room yet. We shall see. We are also working on Paige's room to clean it out to get her ceiling fixed. It will have to either be re-plastered or put sheet rock over the ceiling. She had a crack start this last fall that has gotten progressively worse over the winter. I also got the outdoor clotheslines tightened up and hung three loads of laundry outside on Sunday! I love the smell of clothes dried outside! Since

$10 Preparedness: First Aid

One of the things I have been trying to do in the last few months is a $10 preparedness challenge. I have mostly been challenging myself and proving to myself that anyone on a budget could prep. I have been budgeting $10 every pay period (bi-weekly) to use towards preps. Preps can be anything! Prepping has many, many areas. If you don't want to be considered a prepper, you still need things to be ready for any emergency or disaster. This particular challenge had me concentrating on what I would consider to be a good start to a first aid kit. I have a couple kits already so this would be additional items to have on hand for me or to start another kit for one of my kids. Either way, you should still have these basics on hand. This prepping challenge took me to Dollar General and I concentrated on a First Aid essentials. This is what I purchased: Hydrogen Peroxide    $1.00 Cloth Tape      $2.00 Non Stick pads      $2.35 Triple Antibiotic Ointment   $2.50 Gauze pad