I hate starting any post by saying that I’m sorry for not posting for such a long time.
Because I figure that most people are so busy that they don’t even notice how often I post on this blog. And because sometimes my life is so busy that I could start several posts in a row with those words.
But it has been an especially long time since I posted, or have even been active in the Facebook group. And for that, I am sorry!
The funny thing about all that extra time the shut in brought us is that it just made me realize how many things I always want to do around the house and barn but never have time to do.
Well…I found the time for that!
But unfortunately, all those projects have taken away my blogging time.
Finding balance in life between family, projects, life, and work is tough for everybody, I think. I know it’s hard for me!
But I am still passionate about blogging and saving money.
So let’s jump into a new…
5 Ways We’ve Saved Money This Week
One of those big projects I’ve wanted to tackle for a long time is raising our own meat chickens.
Several years ago we raised a few extra roosters of a “dual purpose” breed. They say that you can eat chickens of certain egg laying breeds.
Well…our experience is that there was hardly any meat on the bones of those roosters. Butchering them ourselves was a whole lot of work for almost no food.
This time I bought the real, commercial meat birds (Cornish X). My local feed mill orders them in sets of 25, so that’s how many we got.
So far we lost 2 to predators (which is something I factor in…we’ve lost a lot of birds to weasels, although I think it was raccoons this time).
We found someone to butcher them for $2 per bird, so that’s what we’ll be doing in a couple of weeks.
By my calculations….by the time I pay for the chicks, the feed, and the butchering, each bird will cost me about $13 or $14 to raise. They should finish out at 5-8 pounds each.
In the end we’ll probably pay twice as much as I would usually pay for a whole chicken at the store.
(I do hope they’ll taste better!)
So I don’t know if I can properly say that this is a way we saved money this week. But I like to think that it will keep me from having to run to the store in the fall!
BUT, we chose to raise these chickens for a couple of reasons.
1.) There have been meat shortages and we aren’t certain going forward that there won’t be more shortages in the fall.
2.) I’ve always wanted to raise my own meat chickens…and now I can say I have. It hasn’t been as bad as I expected, and we might do it again.
All that said, I definitely have found some ways to make raising meat birds more frugal. I’ll try to pull a post together all about it soon!
Work From Home
For the past few years, my husband would look for a job. Sometimes he would tell me he found a work from home job.
And I would tell him to just make sure it paid well enough for the divorce attorneys, dear.
Well, during this shut down we had no choice. He ended up working from home for 3 and a half months!
So he set up shop downstairs, away from the noisy kids.
And it actually worked surprisingly well!
I didn’t have to keep the kids quiet while he was on meetings, he had space to get everything done without interruptions. It was good.
But the AWESOME part was how much money it saved us.
Boy did that open our eyes to how much extra money we were spending. Things like gas, meals out, quick stops here and there… just didn’t happen.
And the money piled up in our bank account.
In fact, due to this little experiment, he ended up getting a new job that lets him work from home! So we’re excited to see this savings continue to add up.
Facebook Strikes Again!
I don’t know if I have the best friends ever of if I’m just one lucky girl, but we managed to score a free chest freezer!
If you’ve been looking for a freezer, you know that they are impossible to find. Every store is sold out of new ones, and used ones must get snatched up the minute someone lists them.
I couldn’t find one anywhere.
So I asked friends on FB if they knew of anyone looking to sell a freezer. And what do you know…a friend had found a bigger one for themselves and was willing to give us their old one!
To find one at all was a blessing…and to get it for free was the cherry on top.
(Don’t worry, we’ll be hooking them up with some of our meat when the birds are done!)
A new owner took over the dairy bar in our small town, and she started bringing in food trucks on the weekends.
Well, that was the best game in town during the shut down. There was no where else we could go for a date. So we gave it a try.
Lately our dates consist of grabbing something from the food truck (even after the tip it’s so much cheaper than the restaurants we usually go to).
Then we sit at a picnic table and eat.
Afterwards, we do a lap on the walking path in our local park.
We’re able to actually talk without kids interrupting. We’re not far from home if someone needs us. (Having teenagers is just a lovely thing sometimes!) And we can get in a spur of the moment date without a lot of planning, fuss, or money.
I love it.
But the best news is….
If you have followed Medium Sized Family for any length of time, you know that having a water cistern installed has been a goal of ours for 12 looooong years.
You can read about our weird water situation here. But suffice it to say, we don’t have city water and living on tanks in your basement isn’t fun.
Well as of this week, we have a working cistern!!! It’s outside in our yard!!! We can get the tanks out of the basement and use that space for something more fun!!
Not only did we find someone to do the work…they were able to do it for less than we expected. We paid cash for the job (which feels amazing!).
And now we can focus on the next big goal (which is adding a second bathroom to our house….yeah, 8 people living with one bathroom isn’t the most fun thing, either).
What an awesome week!!
Those are the ways we saved money this week.
The good thing about getting back to my roots is that I have more frugal ideas to share with you! Just as soon as I make the time to write them all up. 😉
If frugal tips are your jam, you don’t want to miss the weekly newsletter. Not only will you get plenty of frugal ideas, you can also join the 30 Day Money Challenge. It’s a great way to kick start some good savings!
How did you save this week?