I never did a budget update for June. oops!
My husband gets paid every two weeks. This month, once the paycheck comes in, I have been doing a BIG grocery shopping trip – trying to buy everything needed for two weeks. Then, normally a day or two before he gets paid again, we need a few more things (like fruit). I was able to stick to the budget doing this and had a little extra for unforeseen costs (paying to get into a park and medicine).
I have already gone shopping for the first two weeks in July and I am hoping to have enough extra money to pay to spay the dog…Yes, I said it. We have gone back & forth on this dog thing for about a month now.
My husband wanted to retrain her after she killed a chicken and we were set to get her back a couple of weeks ago (my MIL has been keeping her for us, trying to find a home for her but has been unable to) but then we realized we had to get her spayed…and did not have the money to do so. We told his mother we would take her to the pound this weekend.
I was never really big on having her to keep the chickens safe anyway as our coop and chunnel are really safe on their own. However, as soon as the dog was no longer with us, I noticed bunnies in our garden…A LOT. I decided to put soap in the garden but with all the rain, it was not helping much. Then, the other day we picked some carrots. My son pulled a HUGE one and we saw it was halfway chewed on by a mole (or gopher or whatever).
This is when I talked to my husband about getting the dog back. Yesterday, there was a fox in the blueberry patch and the decision was made. Dog is coming back.
I was always against getting a dog and after the dog killed a chicken, I was even less thrilled. However, I am trying to all but eliminate the grocery bill by having chickens and a garden so if we can keep the dog away from the chickens and the dog can keep all the other critters away, AND we have a way to pay to get her spayed, I am all for a helpful member of the family 🙂
So, how did I go grocery shopping for two weeks and only spend $120 for seven people (when I normally spend $250)? The garden! We have been getting all of our lettuce and carrot needs from garden this month. We have also been getting green beans (snaps) and blueberries galore from the garden all month and most of our kale has come from the garden.
In addition to all of this, we have signs of more produce: baby zucchini, tomatoes, bell pepper, corn, and cantaloupe (or spaghetti squash), and more kale, lettuce, carrots, and snaps – so I am hoping our grocery bill can stay low during the summer months and that money can go towards paying down debt (except for this month, in which that money will pay for the dog to be spayed)!
We have been on the cash system and have not used a credit card since February of this year. We have paid about 30% of our debt and have not incurred any more (that’s BIG for us).
We actually do not have a date for when we expect/want it to be paid off. From my husband’s part time job, we are able to pay our monthly expenses, by God’s grace. Anything else extra (from my part time job or from him booking weddings) goes straight towards paying down more debt. Because this extra income is so sporadic, we do not know when to expect this to happen. We are just trying to stay faithful not using credit cards and staying within or below our budget and we look forward to the day we will be debt free! 😀
How are your budgets going? Anything I can list specifically that may help you to keep a tighter grocery budget?
You are doing well with your budget and your garden. We just bought a quarter of a beef so that should help our budget plus things are just starting to be ready in the garden. Those bunnies can really be a pest and we have a fenced in yard with boards at the bottom and then even bricks here and there to keep them out. Our dog is part of the problem as she smells them on the other side and tries to dig! I have a question that maybe you would know the answer. I want to change another section of my garden into the Eden gardening method. Do you know if it is safe to put unfinished compost down, till it in and then put the wood chips over? Would like to do this in the fall and the compost will not be all broke down by then. Was wondering if that is safe to use it that way. Thanks. Nancy
Paul recommends never tilling – just layering everything (like lasagna gardening) as it would be in nature. i have known people to till compost in and the layer woodchips for the first year. just make sure you NEVER TILL the WOODCHIPS! it will rob the soil of all of its nitrogen! do you want to plant in that section in the fall? if you are just leaving it until spring, just layer the unfinished compost and the woodchips. have you heard of trench composting? it is like that. i did that to prepare my sweet potato and strawberry patches. on top of the ground, i put uncomposted chicken manure and then put woodchips on top. if i planted anything there right now, the manure would likely burn it but because i will not be planting anything until the spring (strawberries) or later (sweet potatoes), that area will have a long time to finish composting and should be ready when i want to plant. hope that helps 🙂
Yes, thank you. I do not plan to plant there till next spring so think I will layer the unfinished compost and then the woodchips. I didn’t even think about just putting the compost down without tilling and I even have the Lasagna Gardening book! Duh! I knew wood chips robbed the soil of nitrogen if tilled in. Do you ever add grass clippings over the wood chips without tilling just to add to the soil and then more wood chips? Or don’t you bag your grass when you mow? Grass has nitrogen. I am finding the things I mulch either with wood chips or grass clippings I don’t have to water as much. Thanks. Enjoy your blog. Nancy
my husband mows our yard and it’s too much of a pain to empty the bag that frequently. i wish he would so we could put it in the run with the chickens, like paul g. does but he’s the one doing all the hard work so i’m not complaining! i’m too concerned about the weed seeds to add it to the garden. it takes all of our effort to keep the bermuda grass out as it is! 😛
i’m glad you’re enjoying the blog 🙂 i like seeing all you are doing as well 🙂
I applaud your budgeting efforts! Reducing debt makes all the difference and is well worth the effort. Cash only is an excellent way to stick to the grocery budget I find. I think it helps to have a visual handle on just how much one is spending and you are far less likely to go over budget at the grocery store. The way prices on basic foods have spiked in the last three years has been hard on those budgets though!
thank you for the encouragement 🙂 it’s hard to stick with it month after month but I pray we do – I can only imagine the freedom I will feel when we will be free from credit card debt!!! 🙂