What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Scraping the Bottom of the Barrel

Well.... it is official! Hopestead is OFFICIALLY ours! We met with a lawyer last week and signed the papers which means despite being burned in the past by trusting untrustworthy people, *this* time, it really IS going to work out. And has.

Along with the celebrated signing of the papers came the dreaded paying of the closing costs.
Enter the failings of a zero-balance budget! (For those new to the concept, a zero-based budget is a budget that purposely allocates every single dollar you earn to particular areas of finance. If it isn't budgeted, the money isn't there.)

Because I hadn't budgeted for the closing costs-and I had no idea that they would be in the THOUSANDS instead of the HUNDREDS, it was a real scramble coming up with the money in one afternoon. The result was gathering money from here, there and everywhere as well as using every.single.dollar from Matts last paycheck. We had just enough money left over to get the livestock feed that we needed and put a bit of gas in the car.

This means- Not a red cent for groceries. Or gas. Or savings. Or diapers. Or anything that any of my budget covers. Not until payday, the 15th.

Now, don't everybody panic and think we are broke. Don't go calling in the authorities or shaking your heads at crazy people who have children but can't afford them. And nobody wire us money as if we were on the verge of dying-this post is not a polite way of begging.

We still have a healthy emergency fund we could dip into if we wanted to. And savings. But, I REALLY hate dipping. I can't think of anything I like less than touching money that shouldn't be touched.

After my initial panic attack-I realized this COULD be an exciting challenge! I do love a good challenge!

I daresay, it might even be fun! At the very least, an educational experience. And that got me to thinking- maybe you guys might like to watch the insanity?!

Until March 15th, I am on a self-inflicted OPERATION: MAKE DO. If you care to join me in this torture er, challenge....check back often. I will be posting the entire days eats-no matter how humble.

I know it really WILL be a challenge-since I had no idea this was coming and hadn't stocked up in a good long while. Actually, I hadn't gone grocery shopping at all a week before. Which means, when all is said and done-it will be nearly four weeks since I last went grocery shopping!

Here is the lowdown:

I used the last of my onions on Sunday. The only potatoes left are the ones I have been saving to plant-I guess we will just have to use them anyway. Not having these two staples are going to make things a lot less fun. With them, I think I could have done this easy, peasy.

We have half a container of FETA, half a block of parmesan and some cheddar cheese left. No mozzerella! (This means no Friday night pizza nights-a first in a very.long.time. Sorry Mattie!)

We only have half a gallon of milk left but I think this is the one area where I will cheat a bit. I have a change jar above the washing machine that I will be dipping into for a few gallons of milk to get us by. It really WOULD be torture without milk. But, we will drink it sparingly and won't have as much as we usually have.

Pretty meager start, don't you think?

We have PLENTY of eggs though. And wheat. And meat. And peanut butter-

well....for the time being anyway.


Though it has been since Friday, I wasn't thinking of recording anything over the weekend....so we will start with yesterday. I can remember that far back.


Breakfast: Apple Butter Oatmeal made with mostly water-just a splash of milk. Half a glass milk each.
Lunch: Egg Salad sandwiches. Used the last of the storebought sandwich bread. Water.
Childrens' Snack: Trail mix. One (generic) Oreo cookie each. (Used the last of the O. cookies.) Cashews. Water.
Dinner: Ziti with Parmesan. Homecanned Pears. Salad with peppers, Feta and homemade croutons.
Dessert: I gave everyone a mini peppermint patty from my secret stash. (Aren't I NICE?!?)


Bonnie said...

Can't wait to see how this pans out, reading all of your genius creativity, and (Best of all) HEARING THAT HOPESTEAD IS YOURS!!!!!!!!!!!

Mary said...

Fist of all, CONGRATS ! It is a great privilege and blessing to own property.

Second, interesting challenge. But you are scary smart in making do, so you will do spendidly.

I could not help noticing the lack of onions. Here is where I think I can contribute. My laziness and good prices when I can buy in bulk has resulted in several freezer bags of onion.

...they call me mommy... said...

You are a better woman than me. I would freak out with no potatoes & onions and go dip into the emergency fund. Yeah. And I wanted to live during the pioneer era. Not. ;)

...they call me mommy... said...

oh and CONGRATULATIONS on your "bit of earth"!!! Know where I got that saying? ;)

Tracy said...

SO excited for you, Rebecca!

And really, I'm not the least bit worried about you all. I know you can make things stretch when need be. The eggs alone, though you might get tired of them, will keep you well fed for the next nine days.

Riahli said...

So happy for you all that Hopestead is yours!!! We have had these moments as well were there is just not much left over for the other stuff, including groceries... does help you get super creative doesn't it! I admire your ability to stick to such a budget.

Jinger said...

This is an exciting challenge. Can't wait to learn through your experiences this week ;) Also, look forward to all the Hopestead posts to come!!! Congrats!


Mat. Emily said...

Congratulations, Rebecca!

We are in a similar circumstance. We used our saved tax money to buy windows and doors for our church's new sanctuary. Now, we are on a spending freeze to get it back before April 15th. I am trying not to panic.

Leah T. said...

Congratulations!!! How exciting that Hopestead is yours!!! So happy for you all! :)

I *love* your challenge and if we were living in our own home I'd be joining in for sure! I'll definitely be checking in often.

How about a variation on the theme of pizza like pepperoni rolls or calzones or veggie pizza. I bet you could find tons of ideas on Pinterest!

I love all the pictures! Where did you get the large canisters with flour and sugar in them? I'd love to find some for our kitchen.

lydia.purple said...

love it, great challenge! I used to do this for myself when I was in college and had no money left for groceries... use anything left in the cupboards. sometimes I made up a complete new recipe that became a favorite for a long time. of course cooking for a family of 6 is bit more challenging than for 1. no onions is very hard though! But it can be done!

Mr. G's Mrs. G said...

Congratulations! And, knowing you Rebecca, you will definately turn this in to a learning experience for sure! ;)

As for the onions, my kids have put a couple "whole" onions in to the freezer and forgotten they were there. They were watching Alton Brown on Food Network a couple years ago (when we had satelite) who said that when they were left in the freezer for about half an hour before cutting in to them it would take away most of their pungency. Well, if I could, I'd share those 4 or so onions with you now. ;)

And the potatoes...I have a stash of them to plant as well, but they don't look as good as yours in your picture. I wouldn't be able to use them because they're very wrinkled. :P I couldn't bring myself to eat them anyway. LOL

I can't wait to see what interesting ideas you come up with this week. :)


Amber said...

You don't know me, but I check your blog and read it everyday.
I am so excited for your family.
Not for the great accomplishment of purchasing a home, but for the
love and joy you share. You absolutely can do it. Might I suggest reading the Kit Kitteridge
series of books to inspire you and your sweet children? Post often.
Sweet times your children will always remember and tell their children about. Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Use the change to buy a bag of potatoes along with the milk....potato sprouts are extremely poisonous and I would hate for any of you to get sick.

Happy the house is now your's after your last heartbreak.


Jenn said...

I found your blog through Amanda @ Homegrown and Beeyoutiful. I love a challenge, too! Right now we are living off what is in the freezer, cupboards and pantry. I'm looking forward to seeing all of your creativity in this area.

Rebecca said...

Mary-I really need to do more bulk buying, but since the new cash-only budget, I just don't do it as often as I once did. :-(

Tracy~ payday is twice a month and the last payday was all used up on the closing costs and the last grocery trip was TWO paychecks ago. That fact sounds VERY depressing. But when you said "Nine Days" I thought-REALLY? It is only NINE DAYS AWAY? And I immediately felt this surge of "oh-that's not bad at all!"

So thank you for that! :-)

Mat. Emily~ what a wonderful REASON though, for a spending freeze! Well done!

Leah T.~ I thought of calzones but the lack of mozzerella serves as a major problem. I'll think of something. boo.


As for the canisters, I spent ages pricing them out different places and the cheapest place you can get them is WalMart. I know, the dreaded *W* word. They were 9.00 a piece and when there is a bit of extra money for fluff and nonsense, I hope to get two more. :-)

Amber-thank you for the kind comment! Corynn is VERY familiar with Kit! Thank you for the suggestion!

Janet- don't worry. We pluck the sprouts off before we cook/eat them, making the potatoes quite harmless.

I do hope to save some for planting though-so I will be using potatoes sparingly.

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