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).