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, March 28, 2014

Finances On Friday

I went on my dairy run this week and since I had to get a few non-food items (like dogfood, baby wipes and toilet paper) I went to Walmart.  Two things shocked me.

#1~ While in the cheese section I noticed that the big five pound block of cheese I discovered at Walmart just a few weeks ago was raised $2.00 in price from the last time I was there.  JUST A FEW WEEKS AGO.  $2.00!!

So that was pretty discouraging.  I know that food inflation is a definite problem (and will likely get much worse!)- but that big of a jump in such a small amount of time?  Wow.

I am going to have to really think about how I can combat these inflationary food prices this year.  I hate to expand the garden further (I feel overwhelmed with garden chores by September every year.  To think about adding TO that is daunting...)

~ and ~

#2~ So much of grocery stores is pure JUNK.  Like delicious, yummy, tastes SO GOOD junk.  Jellybeans.  Aisles and Aisles of them. 
Chips- oodles and oodles of them.
Soda- tons and tons of it.

Isn't it kinda ridiculous that there is one baking aisle that includes EVERYTHING you could possibly need to bake breakfast, lunch, dinner, breads, cakes and granola bars and yet there is one whole complete aisle JUST OF CEREAL that you can do nothing with except put milk on it and eat it? 

This is weird, my friends. 

Really weird.

Sometimes I glance at other peoples' carts and do you know what I almost NEVER see in them?  Milk.  Here I am with a cart FULL of milk (five gallons because that is all my fridge will hold) and most carts don't have ANY.

I  must admit- being among the jellybeans and Triscuits and ice cream makes me REALLY, REALLY want them. Like, bad.

 I know that it is just junk...but I kind of want it anyway. 

This is weird too.

    Here are some of my financial efforts for the week...
  •  Quilts, comforters, sheets and jeans went on the clothesline to dry!  Wa-hoo!
  • Made vanilla extract
  • Made a double batch of yogurt

  • Baked all of our bread needs including a lovely marble loaf.  (Purdy.)
  • Attended a (free) knitting class at the library
  • Worked on the cable purse (for knitting class) and Corynn's Easter dress
  • made two batches of (dehydrated) apple chips
  • were given a bunch of clothes and books this past week from friends so I...
  • sorted the bags out into 'keep', 'sell' and 'donate' piles.  I try to get things sorted and make these piles right away and then put in their proper places to avoid getting overwhelmed in clutter.  This sometimes works and sometimes doesn't.  ;-)
  • Boiled  more sap down into maple syrup... (we hit the 1 gallon mark this week!)
  • Took the family to a $9.00 super-awesome, very tickley car wash because I told the children we would after Matt took me to one last year and I excitedly told the kids about it.  They begged for many months to get to go to one until we finally did it.  Cheap thrills.  (And I still have goosebumps on my neck!)  I know~ simple pleasures for simple people.
  • Cut my own hair using this video as a tutorial (loved her right handed trick!):

  • Roasted a turkey (discounted from post-holiday sales) which helped warm up the house on a particularly cold day today.  Used the giblets and neck to make broth to freeze.  This turkey will be stretched for many meals (Three so far!)
  • Made stuffing using bread cubes I had dried previously.  Cut up the turkey liver to add to the stuffing.  Gave the other 'goodies' to the animals to eat.
  • sorted our potato bin.  Got rid of any nasty ones  and set aside some of the very tubered ones (for the garden this year).  Put the rest back in the much-nicer-looking bin for eating.
  • Also sorted out our onion bin.  I admit, I have avoided it ever since I found a few nasty ones on the top this winter.  I bought a huge bag of onions at the store and pretended to forget about the small garden ones rotting up the basement.  Turns out, there are still quite a few beautiful ones to eat.  And I won't be grossed out getting them anymore.  ;-) 
  • was given two leftover used phone cards to use for making any long distance calls.  I never make long distance calls (my poor family have free long distance so they get to call ME if they want to talk!) but just in case...these will be handy.
  • used homemade dishwasher detergent  (Two drops of liquid dish soap and the soap dispenser filled with baking soda.  That simple! And it totally worked!)
  • ordered a 50# bag of cornmeal and 50# ofsoft white wheat berries.  (It was amazing how quickly my wheat berries dwindled when I began making ALL of our bread!)
      The cornmeal cost $21.00 which equals out to be .42 per pound compared a
 24 oz Quaker CornMeal tub from a grocery store for $1.79 which equals $1.19 a pound.
  • Bought two hams for $1.28 a pound.  I hope to find a few cheaper ham sources the closer we get to Easter but I am happy to get meat for less than $1.50 per pound too. I missed my window on Thanksgiving and Christmas this year so I wanted to be sure I got some ham from Easter sales.
  • called phone company to see about lowering our (outrageous) phone/internet bill (that was one of our Booze and Budget goals for the month- talk about waiting until the last minute!)  I found a $7.00 service fee that they took off, was told that we've been getting a 10% credit discount per bill and she gave me $20.00 credited to our account just for inquiring.  Not exactly the savings I was hoping for long term- but it helped and the $20 credit was a nice gesture.  I will seek out some other alternates for phone/internet and see if it would be worth moving to another company. 
How about you?  Any frugal efforts this week?
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