Friday, April 16, 2010

Some Planning...

I tried to comment on Sara's blog, Blessed Simplicity, but for some reason it doesn't like me this morning.  She's looking for real life folks with real life budgets.  How do you feed your family, what does your grocery budget look like, how do you make it all work...those wonderful real family daily living things.  Seems she's thinking she spends too much on grocery goods :o)

We just stocked up, everyone knows that :o)  We spent approx. $1300 to do it and netted a solid 6 months in main menu inventory and I'd say a year or real close in several other things (like basic staples and needs).  For us, a family of 10, that's $271 a month for groceries.

We live on a homestead.  We have chickens, so eggs aren't always a buy.  We don't buy gallons of milk unless there's a knock-down great price on it...we instead stock powdered milk and just eat healthier in other dairy areas.  No, we are not falling apart to brittle bones and arbitrary decalcification here, although lately my mom has had some issues with spinal stenosis and my tailbone is just killing me...but life is life...

That monthly amount was put into main meals here, not so much breakfasts and not so much lunches.  Dinner leftovers have been making up lunches alot lately, although tortillas and tuna salad have crept in.  Breakfast here has a cycle to it...eggs in one form or another, oatmeal, toast-n-peanut butter, once in a while pancakes.  We're just boring and simple.

We did not plan in stock feed in that budget, and that will be coming back to bite us.  We are dog poor here.  Save the comments, it's just what we have.  We did figure in Vet needs mainly because it seems we are there an awful lot lately between over-my-comfort-level goat issues and just needing dog shots.  Aside from dogs, we have 11 goats, which includes 3 babies; we have 17 layers and 3 rogue roosters.  Feed runs approx. $62 weekly, although that isn't what we use weekly...I keep 55 gal barrels filled with feed so that in times such as these, where the flow of income is basically stopped, we have feed in store.  Right now, without goats in milk, the grain will flow much slower.  We have more than enough grazing available here...good thing they are goats and not sheep!  Chickens get a handful of corn daily and their feed is pellets and usually full.  The dogs, well, dogs are dogs.  They get feed.  They aren't forced to diet or anything, but they aren't fed free choice, either.  They have meal-times.

We bake and cook from scratch.  I don't even look twice at boxes of food, though I have several cans...veggies, fruits, some cream of mushroom soup.  We just don't like boxed stuff. We also went shopping with a PLAN.  We made up a menu plan first down to the smallest ingredient, then we inventoried the current freezer and pantry contents, then we adjusted the list and re-wrote the actual shopping plan THEN....AND ONLY THEN...we went shopping.  We took that final shopping list and that's what we bought.  We didn't shop off the list at all.  Might have added a couple extra of this or that from the list if the price was good, but that list was set in stone.  You have to have a plan when you shop and you have to stick to it as though life itself depended on it.  Impulse shopping works...look at all the useless things on those endcaps and front aisles?  It's plain evil, but it works and those grocery stores all know it.  Don't let them sucker you out of your money.  You need it way more than they do.

Now that I've bored you with that, the other plans here are simple...Facebook is already driving me nuts with the blinking light on the cell app.  Thank God I figured out how to turn the message alerts OFF, otherwise I'd be phone-less right now and it would by lying out in the goat pen, being trampled.  Maybe I'll adjust.  Maybe not.  I like quiet, plain, simple.  Pretty much things Facebook is not.  See what impulse does to a person's better judgment?

I'm finished with dishcloths for a while.  LOL...finally ran out of cottons.  Well, I have some left on a couple of cones, but for the most part, I'm cotton-shy here.  I have a tub filled...not sure what my count is right now, but I've got well over 40 I know.  Time to move back to those burps, bibs and bonnets.  The Corinth Farm Market opens June 1st.  Not sure when our local one starts yet as they haven't posted anything.  We need to set a plan there as well...what to bake, how much to bake, etc.  If we lived in a more 'town friendly' location, I could probably sell well next's their annual large item pick-up day.  We called it Dash for Trash back north....plop down at the curb all those too-large items you want to be rid of and whatever might be left at the end of the wee, the recycle or trash trucks will collect.  We're too rural and too far from town to set up and sell, but there will be yard sales in every yard next week I'm sure.  I'm checking on some ideas to get in on the sale potential, though.  LOL...maybe I could just pop open the van doors in the parking lot while Dewey has PT!  Wouldn't be the first time that's been done around here :o)

Dewey's brother came for a visit before heading home.  We made that huge...HUGE...roaster of chicken and noodles, so meals have been pretty boring here the past couple days.  LOL...certainly didn't plan that out very well.  Let's just say we won't be having chicken, or noodles, for a while in the menu rotation.  But, it was sooooo good!

Today is slow here.  School caught back up, maybe a lapbook on trees.  Might give the tiller another shot through the garden.  We have a chance of rain tomorrow, but the temps will drop back out of the mid-80's and be gorgeous next week it looks like (I'm all for those low to mid 70's!)  I need to check the kerosene jug and see how much is left -- really should have done that before -- and get the lamps cleaned and filled for the week.  We average about 2 weeks on a fill with them.  Yes, we use the lamps quite a bit for lighting.  No, the kerosene doesn't have some wicked odor that is killing us slowly.  Yes, we have ample air flow to us the kerosene inside the house, in the small oil's a trailer.  Air-tight isn't even part of the vocabulary around here.  And no, it's not any more dangerous than your gas stove, or your ash tray of smoldering cigarette butts.  It's basically a candle...with a glass container and a glass shield over the flame.  Did I cover all the disclaimer stuff there?

Need to get another load to the line and start outside before the heat catches up this morning.


Blessedmom said...

So sorry my blog was being such a pain in the backside, but I do thank you for sharing your budget. My brain is all frazzled right now with ideas and information, but I do know a change is necessary. My husband has a job, and a steady income, however, I just don't feel like we're being very good stewards with what God's giving us. The grocery bill the last couple of weeks has thrown me for a loop, and I'm trying to figure out where I'm going wrong. I don't know if I've just been blinded up to this point or what, but I'm wide awake now, and a change is a'coming! I'm think bulk is the key word. Something I've never done before. Am definately looking at placing a bulk order through Azure standard this month. Their prices are decent, and they deliver not too far from me. Other than that, we will making a monthly trip to Aldi's, now if I can just get the goat milk for Jacob under control...

I gotta say, wow, 40 dishclothes, do you still have the use of your hands? well, I guess obviously, if you're typing. My hands cramp up with just a single dishcloth.

And I'm liking the idea of selling it out of your van, sounds like a plan to me :D

Hope you guys survive the kerosene poisoning. lol.

Beautifully Veiled said...

We are boring eaters as well. Eggs from the chickens. Milk, etc from the cow. Meat in the freezer from a cow someone gifted us. Cheap canned goods from Aldi down in the basement (no garden last year) But we eat well. And no-one seems to be complaining!!!

Anonymous said...

We aren't lucky enough to live like you do. Mostly because my husband won't do it. Anyway, I lost my job(plant shutdown) and he ran out of work for awhile (painter who contracts with a home builder) and I really had to stick to a budget. Amazingly, I am finding that many things I thought were necessities...really aren't.
I love your blog...thank you for sharing your life with us.


Dawn said...

I don't see ya'll as boring eaters. :) You enjoy comfort food. Yum! :)

You have done a wonderful job stocking and planning, etc.

Have you thought of opening up an Etsy store online and selling some of your dish towels, pinafores, dresses, burp bibs, bonnets, etc?


Jeremiah 6:16
Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls.

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