The weather in North Carolina is just about as random as my thoughts and updates. Yesterday, it was 83 degrees and sunny, today 52 degree with rain and wind.
- We are currently working on fourth week with no heat or air. I am doubtful that we will make it a full six weeks because of the forecasted temperatures for the end of the week.
- Our electric and water bill for the month of April are both significantly lower than budget. Our water bill is most likely due to fixing the leak that has been present in the front yard for six month or so. We are also utilizing our rain barrels for planting.The electric bill is from lack of heat or air and diligence in turning off things.
- The weather has been helpful in some ways. Because it has been so warm, I was able to begin planting a full 3 weeks soon than I expected this year. I have been very cautious but our last possible frost date is April 30th. I currently have planted 14 cucumbers, 5 yellow squash, 15 sweet peppers, 2 banana peppers, 2 jalapeno peppers, 4 broccoli, 2 cabbage. I also have planted 5 asparagus plants for the future. My oregano, mint and rosemary all survived the winter. The plant is to finish planting the square foot garden this coming weekend.
- I seriously did not think our schedule could get more full, but we were unable to attend piano last week because we did not have an hour of spare time.
- I am spending part of the day cooking ahead for the week. I am scheduled to attend a continuing education class on Friday. The following week, I am working only 2 days as Kendall has field day on Monday and Zach has one of Tuesday.
- Summer plans are starting to come together. Currently, we are planning a trip to Michigan in June and a trip to the beach in August. Swim team and lots of pool time will also be on the schedule.
- We are planning a yard sale in mid May. The kids are actually sorting through toys and clothes today to add to the sell pile.
- Lily has decided to continue in charter school for the next year! We all agree that this is the right decision!
This has been a day of beginning and ending for savings around my house. First I will share the beginning. We are planting fruit trees as part of our landscape. I ordered a set of six fruit trees of dwarf size to plant in the back yard. I specifically picked the dwarf size in order to use them as a bounder. They don’t look like much now but hopefully in five year we will be able to harvest and enjoy some fresh fruit. In case you are wondering we chose two apples up front, followed by two pear, a cherry and peach tree. The big debate is now do we add one or two more to complete the border.
So now we are at the ending, the weather has really started to feel fall like here. During the past week we have several nights that have gotten cold enough for a frost. Tonight, Saturday, the forecast is for a hard freeze. The girls and I went ahead and harvested all the remaining green peppers and tomatoes from our garden and pulled up most of the plants for the compost pile. I am hoping that the tomato will ripen in our window sill over the next week or so. The green pepper were chopped with some being frozen for soup and other left to use during the week.
I have been doing some shopping over the last week and will plan to share all my deals in the next couple of days.
1. My goal for the month was to spend $50 or less on groceries. I am already going to admit defeat with this. We realized Thursday morning that we are completely out of dog food. I know that I could always purchase a small 10 pound bag to last for the month of November but it will cost close to the same 25# pound at Costco. We did make a Costco trip and managed to spend $100. I am hopeful and actually fully expect that we should not “need” any more groceries until December.
2. I was able to cash out for a $25 gift card to CVS on Swagbucks yesterday. This will be my grocery money for the rest of the month. I do not count this in the budget because this is free money.
3. Because of yet another problem with the gas pipeline, gas in our area has jumped again and shortages are expected. The price difference between my town and Costco was 14 cent. We braved it today and actually drove the van until it read 0 MILES TO EMPTY, to fill up at Costco we saved around $3 this way.
4. We were at Costco at lunch time today and since I am not really a fan of hot dogs nor pizza, I picked up a rotisserie chicken to eat for lunch. Zach and Lily ate some with me at lunch. We brought the rest of the chicken home and made an awesome chicken salad. Finally with the skin and bones, I made chicken stock in the crock pot. I was actually able to use 2 crock pots for this and should have about 100 cups of stock!
5. The crazy weather has allowed our garden to continue producing a small amount. We are still harvesting basil, oregano, dill, tomatoes, jalapeños and green peppers. I hope that we will reduce the initial cost next year because we our dill and mint plants will reproduce themselves.
We still don’t have our first frost in the forecast but at least one of the sweet potato vines has started turning brown. We decided it would be best to go ahead and dig up the potatoes while they are still healthy. This is always fun!
We feed the vines to our neighbor’s goats and bull.
The potatoes were HUGE! Now to enjoy the fruits of our labor! The best part is these potatoes were completely free because I started from potatoes from last year!