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

Friday, November 22, 2013

Finances on Friday

 My financial thoughts for this week:

ACK!  We are at the end of the month for groceries and I am beginning to believe that I *can't* keep my food budget within $200.00 a month!  This is our 3rd or 4th month of once-a-month (except dairy) grocery shopping and now I am beginning to see that perhaps I was able to do it so well because I had such a nice reserve of food stocked up.  Now that I am about four months into this once-a-month, bare-bones experiment, I can see our reserve has dwindled substantially and replacing it will be impossible with my food budget as it stands.  I am not sure what to do about that. 

In addition, I really want to start eating salads for lunch every day which means buying some more fresh produce.  I kinda fell off the losing weight bandwagon and would like to hop back on that wagon train before real damage is done.  I wish I were the kind of girl who dealt with stress by not eating.  Instead, I am the kind of girl who, when stressed and depressed, wants/craves/yearns for mozzerella sticks, soda, ice cream and chips.  As a before dinner snack.  So yes, time to buckle down and resume that weight loss goal.  20 more pounds to go.  Storebought lettuce it is.

It will be interesting seeing how this will play out.  I am going to have to figure out a few things if I can make this work.  I am going to spend this week thinking of any other ways I can save substantially on my (already miniscule) food bill. Next week I will let you know what I come up with (if anything.)

My financial efforts this week:

* picked up four bushels of gorgeous Crispin apples. These apples are good keepers and will hopefully provide us with fresh apples for eating and baking through until February or so.  They were $7.00 a bushel.  (A ridiculously low price.)

* paid all the bills on time and overpaid on the window financing.  (It was free financing for a year but if you don't get it within the year, you get walloped.  I have every intention of paying it off within 4 months.)  Note: I would strongly discourage a person from using the 'free financing' option if they do not have enough money to cover it all in the case of an emergency.

* Noticed a discrepancy on a bill I had paid over the phone last month, which said I still owed money when I had paid it in full.  I was so upset to see it I almost just paid it to be rid of it once and for all.It was only $10.00.  But it was the principle of the thing, ya know?  Instead, I called them and it was resolved and the fee was taken off.

* I submitted a review at TOS in order to be considered for a position on the review team...which would allow me the opportunity to review products in exchange for them.  And then I had to do it over again.  And again.  Because I did them wrong.  (Sorry for those of you who had that stinkin' review pop up a bazillion times in your reader!)  I wouldn't pick me if I were them.  (I just found out~ THEY DID!  HURRAH!)

* I didn't order a pizza one night when I really, really wanted to. 

* gratefully received a gorgeous armful of delicious kale which we snarfed in the form of kale chips.  YUM.

* Matt sold the barn beams to the guy interested in them and, thanks to his research beforehand at the going rate of barn beams, made a lot more money than the $50.00 we were originally anticipating.  I only lament burning so much of the barn cleanup last year!  Matt says we probably could have gotten about $10,000 from it had we known.  (I will choose to be thankful for the dollars we got instead of the dollars we burned.)  Lesson:  If an old barn falls down on your property, look online to find a buyer of old barn beams and SELL them, don't burn them.  The end.

* Matt and I didn't go out on a date this week like I had hoped we could.  Instead, I fed the children and put them to bed on a night he was coming home later than usual and we had an at-home date.  He brought home two $8.00 dinners for us and we watched a Netflix.  Much cheaper than a real date and that particular day was a seriously depressing day for me, so I needed that *little* splurge.

*  Matt sold a load of logs to the log company.

* Looked through the Medi-Share and Samaritan Ministries health care options and signed up.  Not looking forward to the monthly payment (which until this point could be used elsewhere) but whatcha gonna do?  I am secretly excited to have some sort of option in case of a real emergency though.  No insurance is fine if you never need care!  ;-)

* made crocheted scarf for a Christmas present using supplies I already had on hand.

* was overwhelmed and flabbergasted when the mailman delivered 'God's Peace' by way of Washington.  (And still am.  Thank you, friend.)

* harvested all the carrots from the garden.  (Only thing left is collards!)

* I signed up to do a craft show with my sister the first weekend in December.  Now, I need to figure out what I can make with supplies I already have on hand within that short period of time!  ACK!

* I helped Corynn make a birthday crown for Adele' and her doll using all supplies we had on hand.  (It is DARLING.  I'll show you next week!)

* Began working on a 2014 photo calendar called "Blooms and Bugs" which I will be trying to sell (if I can get them done in time, that is!)

And while this doesn't necessarily have to do with money, it DOES have to do with de-cluttering, which is another aspect of stewardship in my book. 

* I organized the Spare Oom yet again, taking four garbage bags full of stuff out (to donate and to junk). 


Jill Foley said...

all your efforts are so inspiring!

I'm with you on the losing weight bandwagon....I've got 15 pounds I'm trying to get rid of. Let's do this together - I just said a prayer for you!

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

$200 a MONTH!!!!!!!!!!!!! Is that just food??? I can't remember if that included your paper/household goods...wow!

Megan @ Purple Dancing Dahlias said...

Wow, I think we might possibly starve on $200/month,lol. There are days that I wish we could go back to the old, really cheap way of eating but it just doesn't work for our family with the food allergies we have :(

I really need to organize our storage room. Its starting to look like an episode of hoarders. I know that there are items in there that others can use.

Terri Cheney said...

In one of my vintage magazines a food editor and her husband ate collards as their salad green...It's an idea to help cut down on lettuce costs in winter.

I make a really good raw cabbage salad that has assorted colorful vegetables(bell peppers, carrots,red and green cabbage) that is dressed with a cumin and garlic vinaigrette that is really good. So good I CRAVE it.

Thank you for the heads up on the ministry health care plans. It's an alternative I didn't know existed. I've been wondering what I'd do. Haven't had coverage in 17 years and am deeply thankful I can count on two hands with leftover fingers the number of times I've needed attention. Perhaps this coverage would be more affordable. I'll be looking into it.

Full of Grace said...

Rebecca, I think you are doing an awesome job, keeping on top of things, because you put effort into it, and really try to stick with it. You won't always succeed, but there is always success in effort- Remember that! :) Hoping your calendar figured out before the craft show! :)

Anna Yager said...

I am SO HAPPY to hear that you are planning to do a calendar! I can't imagine that the many people who LOVE your photos would not want to buy one or more. Another idea - I have a good friend who is a professional artist and she had a photo of one of her paintings screened onto t-shirts for sale, and they were a BIG hit. I'm praying that God will guide you and bless you in your efforts to find ways of making money so that your efforts to save aren't soley an exercise in doing without.

Tracy said...

If you haven't seen it already, I posted a recipe a day or so ago that calls for a little bit of nothing to throw together, and would put some of your collards to use.
Double it for your crew. xo

Mary P said...

Oh Yes! A calendar of your photos would be wonderful! And what a great christmas gift idea as well - Can we pre-order? :-)

Renata said...

You are doing so well Rebecca. Congrats on the crew. I was on the 2013 crew, but I didn't reapply for a variety of reasons. I hope you have a wonderful year. I sure am going to miss getting the curriculum! The apples look wonderful! We are so far from apple season that your picture is making me hungry for good, fresh apples!
Have a lovely week!

Rebecca said...

Jill- thank you! I need all the support I can get. How about we do this together AFTER Thanksgiving?! ;-)

Amy- yes, it's just food. But it is darn near impossible I am finding out now that our 'stores' are dwindling! I think I will have to raise it to $250 a month. I did the monthly grocery trip yesterday and made it within CENTS of $200 but that was only one weeks' worth of milk. To buy three more weeks of milk I am going to have to put some more money to it. :-(

Megan- OHHHhh to have a storage room! Right now I have a corner bursting at the seams with food shoved in and around (it is out of sight from people because it is tucked in the furthest corner of the laundry nook. Worse yet, is that I have seen mice scurrying around the floor on several occasions...so yeah. I am right there with you on decluttering and organizing the food.

Terri- leftover fingers! HA! That was hilarious...perfectly timed considering we were speaking of health insurance! The best part about these programs is that, by participating in them, you areexcempt from the penalty tax of not using Obamacare while simultaneously NOT supporting abortions (which is a big one for me.)

ELizabeth- thanks for the encouragement. I fail. Miserably. I beat myself up about it. But as you have said, each step is one step closer. And the calendars come this week! I can't wait!

Anna- thank you for your support on this! You are such an encouragement to me!

Tracy- yum! Thank you! I hadn't seen it.

Mary- you guys are fabulous. I am over the moon that some of my blog readers seem interested in these calendars! I will be getting them by November 30th and I will post them in my Etsy as soon as possible! Thank you Thank you for showing enthusiasm. That really thrills me!

Renata- I am excited but after the sample review, I realized it is going to be WORK not all fun. (I had to try several times to get it right.) I am really looking forward to it. I pray I can make the time to do it without sacrificing too much.

GracefulMomto11 said...

So, which one did you go with? Samaritan or the other one? Or both and how did you do both if you did that??

You are doing a great job!