Monday Frugal and Homesteading Update

These last few weeks have been exciting, busy, and exhausting! Many exciting things to tell you about!

Jordan turned 18 last week. I have another "adult" in my life. She is my second born and she is so ready to take on the world. She will graduate high school next May and plans to follow Shali to UNI. Since it is proving to be a great school, I am totally good with that.

Jordan's old car is sold! Yeah! I got $500 for it which went to a bill I needed to pay off. I also like that my car insurance went down since I took that car off of insurance. Double yeah!


I also have been taking a harsh look at my budget. Money has definitely gotten tighter at our household which has me looking for more ways to make money. I already work a full-time job, run an eBay store, and maintain this blog so I will be looking for more things to do from home like freelance writing. Jordan works two part-time jobs and is looking at adding a third. She doesn't need to do more while she is in high school.

I got rid of our home phone line (landline). I know many people will argue for keeping it, but we were paying $55-60 a month for something that was not used. The phone bill also kept creeping up every month with fees and taxes. Enough was enough. I will add a non-data cell phone for house use that will only cost me $10 a month. We shouldn't need it, but there is times where Dane could be home by himself for 15-20 minutes and he does not have a cell phone (no 10 year old should!).

I also went off budget with the utility company after my budget payment increased again for the third time this year. My last four months have been $100-$200 under their budget figure and I want to keep a closer eye on it. I don't agree with their figures and I know we can keep the bill down more. My whole house is electric (no gas, no wood). We are already taking a lot of steps to keep the bills down, but will be doing more such as plastic over the windows for winter and shutting off unused rooms.

We did have to turn the furnace on last weekend which did not thrill me at all. I think I will be turning it off this week because daily temperatures look decent. The overnight temps got down in the 30s over the weekend, but the week looks better and we can always pile on more blankets at night.

We are also off Medicaid now. I have mixed feelings about this, but in the end it is a good thing. According to them, I make too much money. I would like to laugh hysterically at that statement, but I didn't miss paying deductibles. Oh well, time to get on in the world.

The garden is still producing a little bit which is helping me procrastinate putting it to sleep for the winter. I still plan to plant garlic and mulch that heavily. However, we are still getting some tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, and a few green beans. The acorn squash and zucchini decided they were done. I will be sad when the garden is completely done because I have been loving all the fresh produce.


On the chicken front, we have eggs! On the first day, we got three eggs. Since then, we have been averaging one a day. A little depressing, but I know we have more coming in the next couple of months. Otherwise, the chickens are doing great. I am going to get the heat lamp hung up, clean out the coop again (lightly), and add even more bedding. I also agreed to winter four hens for a friend.

We are working on a few other things around here. I got a lot of tomatoes from a coworker and have been steadily canning them. We have been building up our food storage with a little bit cash I have made from selling a few things and taking cans to the redemption center.

I haven't made any attempts to fix the clothes dryer yet. Quite honestly, I don't think I will. If I have to dry things, the laundromat is a block away from where I work. Otherwise, line drying is working wonderfully.

That is about it for this Monday edition. I hope to get more detailed in the next edition!

Thanks for reading,
Erica

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