Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Garden Update

Last night after it rained, I went outside and took some nighttime shots of the garden. I would've waited until morning, but I didn't know if it was going to be raining this morning or not!
One pumpkin's huge!

I FINALLY have a broccoli head forming. Just one so far...but I'll take it!

And here's a tiny pumpkin starting.

A much bigger pumpkin. I didn't know what these were when I planted them...but I'm thinking pie pumpkins now. They're all a little small for carving though :(

More pumpkin vines.

Our volunteer sunflower.


The end.

Adventures in Getting By...part 2

I sat down this morning and while reading my blog roll, I thought I'd check in and see where we are on our budget this month. Our total grocery bill for this month comes to a total of...$171.79!! Yeah me! I couldn't believe it!

I think I may have spent another $10 from my pocket money on groceries...but still! Less than $200 and it's the 29th, not bad. And I don't feel like we've been depriving ourselves either too much. It's awesome.

And we've only spent $150 on gasoline. We've only gotten $80 our for pocket money (of which I still have some left!) and we have gone out to eat, but that has only been a total of $57 and included a pizza I bought for us before Hubby got fired.

We also went to TGI Fridays with some friends this past weekend to celebrate that Hubby found a job! (and I had a BOGO coupon). I don't know a lot about it, but I'm happy for him. He should be hearing from them soon where and when to do the drug screening and then he starts!

He also got his truck running well again. One of the new spark plugs was bad and was causing it to misfire. So, after finding out we don't qualify for cash-for-clunkers because you can't owe anything on your clunker...we have fixed the truck and will continue to use it. (That is unless anyone wants to by and F150 V6 with a third door and 120,000 miles for $4500? :)

It looks like we'll survive this afterall.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Menu Monday (on Tuesday)

I have been menu planning, I just haven't had time to post lately with everything. But I have found that now, more than ever, menu planning for me is important.

The weekend after my Hubby lost his job, I spent part of the time going through the basement pantry and freezer as well as the pantry and freezer in the kitchen to know exactly what I have to I can plan well and use what we have so we can spend very minimal amounts on groceries. So far it has been very helpful :) I am happy to say both freezers are full and the pantries aren't too far behind. I just made a huge batch of chicken stock and got beef bones from the meat locker to make beef stock. I think we'll be okay for a while just getting dairy and fruit for a while :)

I have been making chicken salad on the weekend for Hubby's lunch and a couple of loaves of bread. A lot more sandwiches these days! All of the lunch difficulty I've had with Hubby as a result of him working outside based out of a truck are gone. Yeah! As much as it pains me, the already cooked chickens from Sams club are the cheapest and easiest route for me to go, so that's what I did. It works. I also froze cut up onions and celery (along with the peppers I had before), so it makes it very quick and easy to whip up some chicken salad!

I've also been making a big effort to keep up with snack sized products...jello and pudding for instance. This makes it much easier for me to

So for this week's menu:
Monday - we had tacos. They were delicious!
Tuesday - grilled chicken (extra for lunch), potatoes and salads (from the garden).
Wednesday - pork roast (I went to a wonderful meat locker this weekend and got some fresh pork shoulder!) with dry rub in my new dutch oven ($1 at garage sale!) and then leftovers for sandwiches!.
Thursday - quinoa, breaded pork chops and green beans (from the garden)
Friday - Dinner at our place*! Grilled chicken, corn on the cob (from the farm stand) and potatoes.
Saturday - this is up in the air...don't know where we'll be or what we'll be doing.
Sunday - homemade pizza.

(*Yes Kira, we will be eating at our place this weekend. Hubby is starting to catch on!)

For more menus, check out

Stay tuned for more pics, they're coming soon, I promise!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Adventures in Getting By

I am here, I am still alive, and yes, my bills are even all paid up.

We have been blessed with a few unexpected influxes of cash these last few days and it has been a big help. Bills are now paid and there is at least something in the savings account again!

Hubby is still on the hunt for a job and toying with the idea of going to school...we'll see.

But the garden is doing great. We've been eating salads and beans. I kinda wished I would've started weighing things, but I guess I'll wait until next year to start that.

What I thought was my Stevia plant turned out to be a weed, but I couldn't be sure until it got big enough, so the stevia is a no go so far. I planted seeds again yesterday...but tomorrow is going to be a whopping 70 degrees (F), so I don't know if it'll germinate this weekend or not. I am also pretty much convinced that the lady I freecycled oregano from gave me to oregano plants instead of a marjoram plant as well. So lots of oregano!

I have a few baby pumpkins already, and they're really making me wish I would've planted watermelons. Oooh I want a watermelon. Maybe I'll stop at the farmers market tomorrow and get one...yum.

I've decided to definitely add more beds next year. Yeah!! I can grow things outside, just not inside I guess :)

And last weekend I took a full inventory of the pantry and freezer in the kitchen as well as the basement freezer and pantry. We have plenty of food to be able to just get the basics at the grocery, but we'll definitely have to cut back on what we've been accustomed to eating. No more Kashi Cinnamon Harvest and no more Diet Dr. Pepper for me...and no more Monster for Hubby. Though, I was able to get a really great deal on Kashi at Target this week, so I did get a box :)

Heading to a huge garage sale in my mom's hometown tomorrow and I hope to get some pictures of after that. The garden really is doing well. I have trees for potato plants. Let's just hope there are potatoes under them!

Thanks everyone for bearing with me as I spend my time trying to save money instead of talking about it! I will be back, I promise :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Adventures with Unemployment

I know it's been awhile. I'm sorry again, but life has been crazy.

My husband lost his job last week. Every free minute is now spent calling people who will be wanting money from us every month and explaining why it might now be there.

For the record, I REALLY hate talking to customer service people, especially for credit card companies.

I'm also struggling with the fact that my husband and I both just got life insurance policies, for a total of $120/month. We haven't completed the physicals yet, so I don't know if we can get out of them yet...but I don't want to not have life insurance...I just don't know.

Lots going on in my head and in our life right now. I'm thankful for the food in my garden and all of the wonderful friends and family members we have. We are truly blessed.

I do have a lot of pictures and some exciting info about a black raspberry bush we found, but I'm not sure when they'll get up. My head is just moving to fast to sit down and type.

Pray for us.