small changes make big differences

Yesterday I talked about sacrifices we both have to make to be able to save.  What exactly do I mean by sacrifices?  First off we both need to make more money, that’s kind of a given.  Since it’s the slow season at C’s work he is hard pressed to get the full 40 hours of work he is supposed to, but we have both agreed that he should try to work at least 30 hours every week (which yesterday meant spending an hour in the freezing cold and snow to fix the compressor), and i will work 15-20 hours of real work, not procrastination work like I usually do.  At this point his pay should cover all our bills while mine will pay for gas, food, and everything else will be savings.  This should be at least $500 a month in savings.  Although these numbers scare me because my income is completely based on me booking appointments with people, holding appointments, and selling products.  Its a bit intimidating, so i’m just going to work with a purpose and hope the rest falls into place.

We are also making some major changes to our daily life as well.  We have made the conscious choice to not have gas this winter, which means we have to find other ways to keep us and the house warm.  We have three small heaters we run when it gets really cold and we also layer, layer, layer, and bundle up.  We have been doing this for the past week and a half now and it’s worked pretty nicely.  Thanks to suggestions from a friend we have also bubble wrapped the windows for better insulation.  The living room typically stays about 70 degrees, and  that’s including the night we had 4 inches of snow.  The kids mind it less than we do too.  They don’t even seem to notice.  We are hoping that the cost the heaters generate is far less than the $150 per month gas bill we were paying last year.  I’ll keep you posted on that one!!

We also dont have cable, we pay $65 a month for internet and $9 for netflix and that keeps us pretty happy.  Although this can’t really count for the “sacrifices” we make for the move because we have been doing this for as long as I can remember, but it’s a good way to start if you are wanting to save some money.

We also are very careful with how we eat.  This is a bit of a source of pride for me because I truly believe you can eat very well, and very healthy without having to spend a lot of money.  The other day I found out that a family of 4 averages $110 a week in food stamps.  C and I couldn’t imagine what we would do with $110 in food.  we just think about food differently.

Dont get me wrong, we don’t STRIVE to eat as cheap as possible, it just kind of happens.  for example: Yesterday morning I made cinnamon pancakes with honey for breakfast.  These are my favorite because (other than the flour and baking powder) everything is free, usually available, and the kids think they are getting dessert for breakfast.  I use the joy of cooking recipe using only 1 egg not 2, whole wheat flour instead of white flour, and i used water yesterday instead of milk because we were out.  I also use honey instead of sugar because it’s better for you, and we got it from C’s parent’s farm, and cinnamon.  i always like to add some sort of flavoring to my pancakes.  pancakes = $0 and 2 very happy kids.

Then we ate kidney bean mac and cheese for lunch.  I like getting the organic mac and cheese when it’s on sale.  we usually buy about 10 of them when they have the 10 for 10 deal.  I like to add stuff to my mac and cheese to make it more like a meal like veggies and/or a protein.  The organic beans are usually $1 too so we have a bunch of them in the pantry. lunch =$2 plus the kids had the leftover pancakes for dessert.

when C got home from work he made a snack of potato hashbrowns with cheese we had left over from dinner the previous night and dehydrated vegetables from the garden.  it was really really yummy but dehydrated poblanos were a tad bit spicy… snack = $1 (a fraction of the bag of potatoes and the cheese).

Then dinner,  dinner is a bit more tricky. I worked last night so C made dinner.  he made fry bread (basically savory pancakes.  he made them with more dehydrated veggies), bologna and eggs.  eggs and bologna were given to us and the fry bread is super super easy.  The bologna is not my first choice of good food to eat, but it was actually pretty good fried up and eaten with the rest of it.  I probably would have added a veggie with it, but he did a great job.  He usually always does.  dinner= $0

so we fed 4 people 4 meals for a grande total of $3.  i probably would have added more fruits and veggies, but i think we did pretty good.

I’m excited about tomorrows dinner.  Curried sweet potato soup with possibly something with rabbit in it on the side.  grand total for that dinner?  $0.

All in all it was a good day yesterday.  I think the most frustrating part of the day was the hour and a half I worked to bring home $10.  That’s ok though.  It just means I have a $100 facial somewhere in the future.  I wish we had money in the savings bottle though.

Money saved: $0

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