My Blog

My blog has morphed over the years into different things. It is a place to learn about saving money, product reviews, cooking, gardening, and homesteading. It can take you to whatever has my attention at the moment and then back to the day to day. I hope you will learn something here and come back often.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Want to try E-Mealz?

One of my favorite sites is ChaChing on a Shoestring.  She posts all of the great weekly and daily deals floating around the web.  I have signed up to her email, twitter and facebook so I don't miss anything!  You can check out her site using the link in this blog or click the button on the right side of the page.

Right now you can sign up for a chance to win a 3 month subscription to E-Mealz.  I have been reading about them and would really like to try it out. 

So go ahead...Check out all of the links and see if you can save your family some more money!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Garden Update

My garden is my sanctuary.  I love it there.  It is quiet.  It is peaceful. It is beautiful to watch.  I look at it in awe every year as a seed that I planted turns into a plant, produces flowers and then fruit.  It's amazing.  I think that if I ever lose the magic in seeing a plant burst through the ground I will hang up my garden hoe and find a new hobby.

Some one asked me yesterday what I had planted and I was amazed when I wrote it all down.  I have Tomatoes, Okra, Purple hull peas, Green Beans, Squash, Zucchini, and Pattypan Squash, Cucumbers, Lipstick Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Watermelon, Cantelope, Eggplant, Sweet Potatoes, Red Potatoes, Lettuce,  Cilantro, mint, parsley, pineapple sage, basil, lavendar, chives, leeks
In fruits in have figs, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries (well, those that the chickens didn't eat), apples, peaches, plums, and pears.

If everything grows well we will have a lot of food in the pantry this fall!  If I can ever afford a fence in the back yard I will buy a cow and I wouldn't have to go to the grocery store at all.  Wouldn't that be great?!

My newest project is honey bees.  I spent about an hour working on the brood boxes today.  Our bees come in May 22.  I can't wait!  We won't have any honey this year but we will next year.  I will keep you updated on the progress.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Monthly Planning

Do you take any thought of what happened this past month and what you would like to see change during the next month? I really have not been much of a planner. I just take each day as it comes and then wait for the next one. I am learning that by making a conscious decision to “pay attention” that I feel I have more control over my life and I am able to make small changes that impact us in big ways.

This entire blog started because I realized I had no idea how much money we spent a month on food and I really didn’t do anything to save any money in that area. So, I began paying attention. I started keeping receipts and learning how much money we were spending. I learned to use coupons and maximize sales and now our food budget is under $200 a month for a family of 4.

I have also started menu planning. Now this is not something I am consistent with so one of my goals is to do this every week. This is a priority because when I get busy and tired I just give in and say ok…we can go out and eat while we are in town. This is counterproductive! By menu planning, I have everything I need for the week already at the house and I don’t have to look around and try to come up with something appetizing. I’ve done it in advance! I can even use slow days around the house as time to prepare some of the foods in advance.

Want to know my biggest goal for May? Exercise! Yep, that dirty word. We were doing so good at the beginning of the year. We were eating healthy and exercising. The whole family was feeling better and was excited about our progress and then the rug was pulled out from under us. We (and by we, I mean me) are just now beginning to deal with the deaths in the family this year and I guess move forward. The first step in moving forward is taking care of ourselves. So Monday our new treadmill arrives. I have warned the family that with the arrival of the treadmill comes the arrival of our healthy lifestyle.

What is the biggest change you would like to see in your house this month? Take a moment to think about it and determine a way to change it! Talk about it with your family and get them on board with you. You will see how good it feels to be actively accomplishing something rather than be pulled along by life!