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, May 02, 2014

Finances on Friday

I read this week, in several different places, that the prices of certain foods is forecasted to sharply rise in the near future.  This is no surprise as I have been noticing food increases every time I go to the grocery store!  USA TODAY lists some veggies going to be drastically increased thanks to California's drought and NBC talks about chocolate prices going through the roof.  (NOT CHOCOLATE!)

I could read that and think "Aw, shoot!"  Or I can read that and say "Well, now is the time to do something about it!"  I am more the latter sort of person, myself.

So this week I did some stocking up on chocolate and cocoa powder.  (Chocolate keeps in the freezer in perfect condition for a LONG time.)

I will be planting berry bushes in the next few weeks.  And I will add grapes this year too.  I have been meaning to do this anyway.  Thankfully, I have a free source of huckleberries while I wait for the blueberries to mature.  And I know two people who are willing to give me baby grape vines...if the offer still stands from last year!

I will try to grow extra tomatoes this year (and/or not let as many fall to the ground as did last year) to compensate for the tomato products we will use in the coming year.  I noticed, despite putting up more tomato products than every before last year, we still ran out of them before winter was over so I will need to go over and above the work last year in order to have enough.

I will try not to let my own laziness waste (even a portion of) a perfectly good harvest.  This means- dehydrating the cherry tomatoes before they pop and fall to rot on the ground.  Canning the corn before it is too mature.  Freezing/dehydrating those peppers while they are still crisp.

I will enjoy those fresh round lovelies from the garden more thoroughly this year too.   Same with the lettuce.  And peppers!  Nothing makes you appreciate more what comes from the garden than a hefty price tag for a lesser quality product at the grocery store!!

So it seems, as with every harvest year, the work will require due diligence on my part.  And self-discipline.  And plenty of sweaty summer days hovering over a canner....

Here are a few more things I did to save money this week~

* planted the fruit trees I bought last week.  (I kept them in the pots, knowing there were several nights of frost in the forecast.  I put the pots in the Granary on those nights to save the blossoms.)

* used my free mulch to surround the fruit trees

* washed and hung on the clothesline all the laundry for the week on Monday, the only sunny day forecasted for the week. I was able to hang sheets out yesterday too as the sun peeked out enough to dry those.

* Matt helped me make the big cuts on the apple trees that I couldn't prune with my loppers.

* I've been scouring the asparagus patch for shoots.  I can't harvest until next year anyway but I have been anxious to see when/if they come up.  Not yet.  I am getting nervous!  I hope, I hope the asparagus survived!

* picked daffodils for the windowsills

* put $150 extra toward principle on mortgage

* paid all bills on time or early to get discounts

* made bread for communion

* was given another bag of clothes which I sorted

* planted some poppies and lamb's ear that were given to me

* Andrew found about 3 dozen additional eggs hiding out in the barn from some stray chickens.  I'll float them to see which ones are good enough to eat.

And since it a new month, I think I am in need of a new grocery challenge!  What?!?!?  I LIKE challenges!

This month, I am going to try to use as much of my pantry/freezer store as possible. 

A USE IT UP challenge.

Not exactly a no-buying challenge like February but it will certainly be good to the grocery budget, using much of what I already have on hand.  The biggest reason, though, is to clean out the freezers in preparation for a (Lord willing) very prolific and abundant garden harvest this year! 

I hope to get one freezer completely cleared out and thawed. 

Anyone want to join me?  Choose your challenge!

And now- how did you save (or strategically spend) money this week?


Anne in the kitchen said...

I am so with you on the Use it up challenge. Last month I did the no shopping challenge and I still have a boatload of food in the freezer. Like you I need to use it just to clean space for this years harvest. I have decided I have to use at least one frozen item per day, but I am hoping to use at least 2.

Anonymous said...

We moved last month, so I used as much as I could...the few things that were left I gave to a friend. I've been trying to decide what to can this year...have a question about your spaghetti sauce. Do you use a certain recipe, or do you make it up using what you have? I'm going to try the Ball Blue book pasta sauce "Seasoned Tomato Sauce". (I don't have a pressure canner)It seems to take basic ingredients and since I have a Roma Food Strainer it should make things easier. Wondered if you or any of your readers have tried this recipe. As always love reading your blog and all the sweet pictures. My how the children have grown! Blessings, Janet

Courtney said...

It's so frustrating about food prices going up. I heard coffee was going to double. I'm in for the "use it up" challange! We don't have a big pantry, but I know there are some things that have been in there for a while, so it should be interesting!

Jenn in Indiana said...

I am shocked every week at how prices keep going up. I just planted some spring veggies and my husband and I discussed expanding our garden. I also made a list of what I want to can this year so I have some sort of plan, not just flying by the seat of my pants when harvest time comes (not that I ever do that!). I also told my husband that I need to garden this year like my life depends on it! I loved when you were doing your last challenge that you listed your meal plan. I stole a lot of great ideas from that! You should do that for this challenge too, I am feeling so bored and uninspired with cooking lately.

Terri said...

I'm in on the "Use it Up" challenge. Of course, my freezer and pantry are full right now so it shouldn't be too bad. lol

Thanks for the encouragement each week!

Rhonda said...

I am in on the use it up for May and also to save as much of my grocery and spending budget as possible. So far, it is going good. But rising prices are sure keeping me on my toes,

I hope to join in next week on Friday Finances, I read yours and the links every week.

Rebecca said...

I'm glad to see that I'll have a few people challenging themselves with me this month! Thanks Ladies!

Janet~ last year I did four large batches of sauce and numbered them. I wrote down the recipe (and number corresponding to it) and as we have eaten them, I have thought about which numbers taste best. I use Ball Blue Book often and may have even used that recipe but I am sure I added sugar and lots more garlic. I do that sort of thing. Go for it and then tweak it. One thing to remember is that you can taste it before you can it. If it is bland going into the canner, it will be bland coming out. Taste it as you go and see if you might like to add anything.

Jenn~ I absolutely will! And I am feeling the same way- anxious for fresh garden vegetables to make things interesting again!