Monday, April 19, 2010

Lord....The Budget....Help Us!

To start with, may I just say that for those of you who money is no object, you probably want to skip to another blog, this one will bore you to tears! Do we know any of those people or do we just sometimes Think we know some of those people! I pray its the later!

Okay, so it's about the middle of the month. We have about two more weeks to payday. Now if you're thinking: if only my wonderful man could just make a little more, we would do so much better...just stop thinking that! A wise woman told me one time that if you can't handle what the Lord has put into your hands today, you won't be able to handle any more.

So fess up, how are you doing? I've already dug a little deeper into my grocery budget than I care, so today, I'm going to include a menu and some of the things I do to cut back on expenses.

We all choose to buy what we like to buy. I do buy some organics, raw milk, grass fed meat, and then we eat our share of cheetoes! I'm just being honest! I can't say that we do it all! We try to eat healthy, but then there is still some "loosey-gooseyness" about us! I pray that we can continue to get better, but it's a day, by day venture!

One of the things that really racks up our budget is if I choose to go out to lunch with the children. That really spikes up the dollars! I've been working on planning what we are eating for lunch each day, just like I do for dinner. It really helps when we are out, because I know what we are going to have when we get home. Better yet, I've been packing a picnic on days we are going to be out. It kills two birds with one stone. We save money and we eat better.

You can read a million blogs about budgeting and how to make homemade concoctions that save. Two of my favorites are Marmees Pantry and The Family Homestead. You can find a myriad of healing herbs, cleaning recipes, homeschooling hints, and dinner recipes and ideas. I really do use those recipes.

For almost four years now, I've on again off again made our laundry soap. I'm "on again" right now. The blog Homestead Revival has a powdered laundry soap recipe that I'm going to try next week. I also have recently started making my own dishwasher soap. Wow, talk about cheap! It takes almost sixty seconds to make, so it is definitely a keeper! I did have to figure out how to keep my dishes from having "powder" on them, but that only took two loads!

Another thing I do is keep different types of beans cooked up. I freeze them in two cup zip bags. It makes cooking so many dishes easy! Last week for lunch, I made us some tortillas and then we used our already cooked beans to fill them. We added some cheese, salsa, sour cream and voila....lunch!

I haven't been too good about this lately, but I'm going to go back to making our bread. When I make bread, I also make pizza crusts and cinnamon rolls as well as dinner rolls. That is money in the pocket book for sure! It doesn't take much time, and it all freezes.

I also don't buy pledge for dusting. I just fill my sink with whatever I'm cleaning with that day and wring out my dish cloth really good and wipe everything but glass down with that cloth. The dust sticks to the cloth and the furniture is not wet. Another good thing is that my precious children haven't taken a $4 dollar can of cleaner and sprayed it on 1 shelf! You know what I mean! I give each child a cloth and they can clean and don't need to "spray" anything. If they really need to "spray" I give them a spray bottle with a bit of cleaner in it and let them clean glass doors.

It's great to do this on days they are arguing. One child gets on one side of the door and the other child on the other side of the door. The can quit cleaning when they agree that the "other" child had done a good job cleaning their side of the glass door! Works like a charm and gives me about thirty minutes of peace!

Well that about sums up some of my frugal ideas. Now onto my menu. It's short and simple this week.

Monday: Chili with (last summers bounty of frozen shredded zucchini, pureed carrots, home grown tomatoes) and corn bread.
Tuesday: Meatballs and pasta (found this recipe on Jamie Olivers' website), salad and garlic bread
Wednesday: Homemade pizza
Thursday: Roasted Chicken, mashed potatoes, spinach salad
Friday: Chicken fried rice, fruit salad
Saturday: Grilled steaks, baked potatoes and salad

For the roasted chicken, I'm going to follow the video on the She Looketh Well blog. I'm also going to be making homemade broth. I'll let you know how it goes.

I'd love to hear how ya'll are cooking simply and frugally. We all want to feed our families nicely as well as feed them lots and lots of love! Hang in there and find a new way to pinch a penny this week!

Hilltop Blessings,


  1. Those are great ideas! I too am "on again--off again" in many areas of my life, including bread making (currently off, but soon to be on).

    As for the cleaning products, my husband suffers from severe allergies and can't take the strong chemical smell of so many store bought products. I clean almost everything with a spray bottle of white vinegar and water. I also have another bottle filled with bleach and water for countertops and the toilet.

    This REALLY works: I clean my tub and bathroom tile with a sopping wet rag and either dish detergent or shampoo. Very inexpensive! Use it for the toilet bowl too.

    I also watched Michelle's video (She Looketh Well) on roasting chicken and I try to stretch it as far as she did! I keep my broth in jars in the freezer. So handy!

  2. Mrs. T, Great idea yourself! I'm going to try the dish soap on the tub. I've decided that I still don't have the dishwasher soap tweaked enough. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them. I think keeping a bleach bottle handy, is one of the best things! I like it on hand, since we have a potty training little one!

    I'm picking up my chickens today, so tomorrow morning is going to be cooking day for the birds!

    Thanks for the feedback!