Friday’s Frugal Five

I did well with my January grocery budget of $300.  My total spent was $212 leaving me $88 to sweep into my FA savings account.  You can read more about the Freedom Account Savings here. 

Unfortunately the grocery savings for January will go toward my hospital and physical therapy bills from cutting my finger.  Cutting your finger – NOT frugal!

I will keep my grocery budget for February at $300, because like I’ve said before there are some months that we will meet that budget.  This year I will include the garden expenses of seeds and plants, because our gardens do supplement our grocery expense all year.

As for meats – our pork and venison expense comes to around $550.00 a year.  But that cost is for about 700 lbs of meat.  No we don’t eat 700 lbs of meat in a year, we barter, gift and sell quite a bit of it. 

We track our expense and revenues for the chickens and the egg sales separately.  But, I do use a couple dozen eggs each week.

The meats and egg portion of our grocery budget is factored in annually.  A good estimate is that we spend approximately 90¢ per pound of meat.  That does not factor in the electricity to run the freezer….

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  • Set up our February budget in Dave Ramsey’s Every Dollar.  This was pretty easy to do using last month’s amounts.  There is one travel trip this month to be considered and of course Valentines Day.  Also keeping in mind that it’s a short month.
  • Returned my library books and audio books on time avoiding late fees.
  • Hung laundry on the line and inside on rainy days to avoid using the dryer.
  • Returned a dog lead that I purchased and it broke with in a couple uses.  It was cheap and a purchase I shouldn’t have made anyway.  Our dogs are small, but when they get sight of a rabbit they will take off like a bullet.  Must have a sturdy lead for their walks.
  • Bought groceries for next week and stuck to my list.  Avocados are on sale right now, so I like to make several batches of guacamole and freeze it when they go on sale.  It freezes wonderfully as long as it’s in a size container that will be used up in a single setting.  I hate brown guacamole.  But, if that happens you can always turn it into a salad dressing.

Here is what I bought:

grocery-8

My groceries are very green and brown this week.

I spent $74.00  leaving me $226.00 left of my February budget.

What’s not included in grocery picture is our weekly milk which is $20.00 a month and chicken breast which was $19.00

Hope you and yours have a lovely weekend.

Till next time, Y’all stay safe out there!

Lori

February Goals / Chocolate Nut Bars Recipe

I like to challenge myself with monthly goals.  Sometimes it’s easier to accomplish the big goal by breaking it down into smaller baby goals.  For example instead of saying I want to lose 50 lbs, I can say I want to lose 4 – 5 lbs a month.  That seems much more doable, right?

February goals:

  • I want to lose 5 lbs.
  • I want to wake up early to get my exercise done
  • I want to do yoga 3 times a week
  • I want to continue tracking our expenses and continue with our savings categories.

I suppose I could sum up all of my February goals by saying “don’t get lazy!”  I’ll post that up on my vision board.  “Don’t Get Lazy!”

How about you, do you have some goals you would like to accomplish in February?  I’d love to hear about them.

 

Chocolate Nut Bars

  • 4 cups of nuts, chopped – you can use any kind of nuts you like
  • 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
  • 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 2 Tbsp bitter sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup of maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup of honey

Layer the first 3 ingredients on a baking sheet, bake at 350 for 10 minutes.  Bring syrup and honey to a boil then immediately remove from heat.  Place nut mixture into a large bowl, pour syrup over nut mixture and mix well coating all the nuts.  Pour mixture into a parchment lined rectangle dish and let cool.  Melt chocolate chips and coconut oil in microwave for 10 seconds intervals until melted – stirring at each interval.  Remove nut mixture from baking dish and cut into small bars then drizzle with chocolate mixture.

chocolate-coconut-nut-bars

This one is a keeper.  It’s a good little sweet treat.

Oh, I know, I know….  it’s not lost on me that this chocolate nut bar recipe isn’t going to do me any favors with my goal of losing 5 lbs this month.  Good thing we ate it all up in January. 🙂

Till next time, stay safe out there Y’all!

Lori

Weekend Homestead Happenings

Some people may think it a bit smug to blog about grocery budgets, meal planning and prepping, or homestead happenings right now because some in this country are amidst protesting and expressing their opinions over the newly elected president.  And, I suppose there are more important things right now than my meal plan or the number of eggs the chickens laid yesterday, and believe me, it’s not that I don’t care.

But…. the sun will rise tomorrow, the chickens will need to be taken care of and we will have to eat, so here we go…

Weekend happenings…  well first I’m sorry I’m late with this post, but yesterday was a very busy day of snacking and lounging because it was a “snow” day from work for me.  😉

I made yogurt, but I also made coconut yogurt with coconut milk.  Yep, I just took a couple cans of coconut milk and used the exact same process that I always do for making yogurt and it turned out perfect.  My coconut yogurt does contain dairy, because I used a dairy culture (dairy yogurt) to make it.

coconut-milk  yogurt 20   Yogurt 2

I’ve loved adding it to my morning smoothies.  I had those two cans of coconut milk in my pantry for quite a while, so it was time to use them.

Last weeks “eat the freezer” went good.  But, we decided to carry it on into this week because well um…..

freezer

As you can see, there is still a lot of eating to be done.

I did do some meal prep this weekend.  I cut up veggies for meals and snacks for the week.  There is two containers of veggies for us, a bag of veggie scraps and pieces for the freezer for making stock and a nice bowl of snacks for the chickens.

food-prep

Other than that the Z Man continued on stockpiling wood for next year and I pretty much spent the weekend piddling in the kitchen.

Oh, and by the way we got 5 eggs yesterday, just in case you did want to know. 😉

How about you, how was your weekend?

Till next time, stay safe out there y’all!

Lori

 

Frustrated and Friday’s Frugal Five

I may be a bit grumpy today but I feel the need to get something off my chest…..

Seriously people just stop it, just stop it already!!! You are absolutely making fools out of yourselves and it’s getting out of hand!  What are you trying to prove, do you even know WHY you are doing it?  Or, is it just something one of your friends is doing and you thought you would do it too.

Why is it every time you take a picture you have to pucker your lips like your kissing the air.  It looks stupid!  It’s not cute, and it’s not sexy!  Enough already!!!  If you want people to take you seriously then stop trying to look like a carp (which is a fish with big lips that is a bottom dweller sucking trash of the bottom of the lake, just in case you didn’t know). Really, tell me how sexy does this look to you?

carp

There…. that’s my PSA for today.  Just my 2¢

Friday’s Frugal Five:

While I do make most of the food we feed our dogs, because I have access to quality ingredients here on our little homestead and can make good food for them at minimal cost… at the same time I do like to keep some store bought kibble around for the just in case (I’m running late, run out of homemade, too lazy or for whatever reason).  I bought some dog food, kale for smoothies, and I did splurge a bit on some nuts for a recipe I wanted to try, that turned out great.  I’ll post that recipe next week.

Sorry, no grocery picture this week. 😦

My grocery budget for January is $300 this week I spent $43 bringing my total for the month to $161 leaving me $139 for the rest of the month.

Friday’s Frugal Five:

  • I spent a good amount of time on the phone with Direct TV negotiating our bill.  The discounts I negotiated last year ran out and the bill doubled to $109 and that is a big fat NO.  I got it back down to $56 which is $2 higher than what I was paying, but it also included a $4 across the board Direct TV increase for all customers so it’s actually $2 less.
  • This weeks “eat the freezer” was a success and we’ll be doing it again next week because there is still a lot of food in the freezer, and hello my name is Lori and I’m a border line food hoarder.  In full disclosure I need to confess that Monday was one of those HUNGER days.  You know the ones where you could eat your arm off and still be hungry…  well I caved and bought a breakfast biscuit on the way to work.  It was $4 and change, but the balance of the $5 went into the change jug.  I’m not proud of my weakness, but I do feel better having confessed my discretion.
  • I did buy an extra gallon of milk this week because I need to make yogurt this weekend.  I used the last little bit of my homemade yogurt so I also had to buy a new starter for it.  If you want to see how I make yogurt you can read about it here.
  • I manged to drag my lazy self up out of bed early every morning this week so I could get my exercise in before going to work, because it makes me feel better when I exercise and lets face it my ass isn’t getting any smaller.  Exercise = better health = no sick days (hopefully) = working and making money = frugal.
  • Lastly, honestly we are just a couple of people who love our God, our family and our country.  We are not disrespectful to others, we believe in taking care of ourselves, not expecting government or anyone else to take care of us.  We are responsible for our decisions, right or wrong and we do not place blame on others for our shortcomings.  We do our part to not be a drain on society, we pay or taxes, we support our communities and we very often try to lend a hand to others in need when we can.  We are not up to our ears in debt because we live a simple lifestyle and we can and will protect ourselves against the ignorance and selfishness of others.  We represent ourselves.

Have a great weekend.  Stay safe friends!

Till next time,

Lori