Saving Money

I found a book today about square foot gardening. I will be reading that over the next couple of days to see what we need to get started. I am getting really excited now. Then I need to find out when to start planting things. I figure I will get some seed starters soon and start the process.

Over the next couple of days I am going to be baking a lot of breakfast goodies. My crew loves pop tarts considering that with our family we can go through a box a meal, I refuse to pay the price anymore! I am going to make a bunch of muffins (which they also love), homemade waffles, and pancakes. That way they will have something better and cheaper to eat. I will be making batches chocolate and peanut butter chip muffins, whole wheat muffin, and a streusal topped muffin. I will probably make 4 batches of each. That will give me about 12 dozen muffins in the freezer. That should last us a while.

When that is done (or while it they are baking) I will start on the pancakes and waffles. I figure I will make a couple of batches of each them too. That will give the children a wide variety of breakfast foods. Especially since we have cereal available too.

Menu for the week
Tuesday — Shepard’s Pie, Green Beans
Wednesday — Chicken quesadillas, salad, apple slices
Thursday — Pork chops, flavored rice, broccoli
Friday — Fish Sticks, Mac & Cheese, Applesauce
Saturday — Left Overs (Volleyball tournament so DH is in charge)
Sunday — Roast Chicken, Baked Potatoes, Spinach
Monday — Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Salad

Household Plan
Tuesday — Errands, DH Chaparone field trip, DD Karate
Wednesday — Clean off buffet, pay bills, DD Volleyball practice
Thursday — Vacuum downstairs, bathrooms, master bedroom, DD Karate
Friday — Mop kitchen floor, wipe out fridge & freezer
Saturday — Volleyball Tournament in West VA
Sunday — Church, DS Cub scouts, DS Tennis

Monday I start the spring cleaning!

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Gardens

Continuing with the feeling the pinch thread and reading another friends blog I am considering starting a garden this year. However, my backyard is basically in the shade most of the afternoon. So we are going to plant a small garden in the area that receives the most sun and also so some container gardens on the deck, which remains in the sun most of the day.

Now of course I am trying to figure out how the heck to garden. My family had a garden 1 year that I remember. Nothing grew well because they tried to grow it in red clay. So tomorrow I am heading off to the library to find a book on gardening and see what we need to do start one. I figure this year I will just start small. I will grow things like lettuce, green beans, a couple of tomato plants, squash and cucumbers. I might even try a row or two of corn.

I am hoping to grow enough to blanch and freeze a bunch for the winter. I will also scout out the local farmer’s market when it opens next month. Although the prices there aren’t always the best.

The next thing I want to do is see if I can find a local butcher and see if we can get a side of beef and a side of pork at decent prices. If not I will still keep searching the local stores for the best sales price. There are couple of websites that were posted on another board I am going to try and find. Basically you purchase a share in a local farm and get great prices on produce. The other one provides other farm options like milk, eggs and meats. When I find them I will post them here too. That way I don’t lose them again. 🙂

March 1st and a new focus

The beginning of the week was chock full of running around. You all know the usual for our family. 🙂

Thursday was a sad day, we had to put down our dog Ginger. She was 10 years old and had been battling cancer for the past 18 months and finally reached the point where it was she was too uncomfortable. The older trio were very upset since she has been around their entire lives. The oldest three had a feeling it was coming since they saw how much pain she was in. Of course the babies have no idea. You know what I am finding I miss the most about her, she was our vacuum when the babies would throw those cheerios overboard. Now I have to haul out the dustbuster more. LOL

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Seriously though, I have been having thoughts about what I what to accomplish around the house and with the budget. I am sure you all are feeling the pinch too. Our electric bill went up 72% percent in July 07. It is slated to go up another 15% in July of this year too. Do you even want to talk about gas prices???? How about food prices?? Two years ago I was able to feed my family of 8 for $500. Now it is up to about $700. And that is taking out the increase with the girls. You add them in it is almost $800 a month.

How many of you are carrying credit card debt? That is just a major drain. Thankfully we don’t have much. My goal this year is to get it all paid off. That will just leave us the house and the van payment. I have me semi-following the Dave Ramsey plan to get out of debt. I intend to pick up the intesity and “go gazelle” like he says and have the cards gone by the end of the year. I have some little medical bills, copays and the like I didn’t know about that I am going to pay off this week, an orthodontist to get paid off, another loan and then 5 small credit balances. My grand total is $6,260. Not horrible, not real great. So this is my goal, I figure I will have least $1,500 gone this month.

Today I am writing out a new budget. Seeing where the fat is as seeing how much I can cut off. I know the family isn’t going to like it much. I am going to make those pennies squeal. I am going to have the older girls inventory the pantry and see what we have. Then I will be making out the menus, except for fresh milk, produce and diapers I do not want to buy much this month.