Buckle Up Baby! It's About to get Rough Again...
I'm getting that worried feeling again. Covid-19 cases are climbing with the new variants in our state and is being made so much worse by the partying college kids at WSU. Our county is going to have to revert back a phase with further restrictions going into place that we just had come out of. That is what is going on locally here. Now add to that all the national debt that our country is adding, inflated housing prices and rising taxes to pay for all the "special programs" and things that for some reason are seeming to be prioritized over what is good for and helps the actual American people as a whole. Why we are paying for gender studies in other countries just baffles my mind when we have so many people hurting here right now that do need help. All this frivolous government spending with no regard to the amount of debt we are saddling our children and grandchildren with just ticks me off to no end. I can also see a huge economic crash on the horizon with hyper inflation, lots of home foreclosures and even more suffering. If you have studied that stock market crash and what led to the Great Depression, you will see a lot of similarities to what has been going on currently. Buckle up people, we are in for a world of hurt if we are not prepared for what is to come.
Bearing all of the above in mind, along with having a goal of Jeff being able to at least semi retire at age 65 before his back gives out (degenerative disk disease that runs in his family), Jeff and I have decided to buckle down even more and try to pay off debt at an more accelerated rate than we have been. Our goal of having 3 months worth of income in our emergency fund is just about there so once that happens, every spare bit of money over what is needed to pay for basic living expenses and some big projects around here will be going to debt repayment.
While Jeff is outside right now working on getting the garden cleaned out and trimming trees, I am inside working on a few things myself. I have rice cooking to go with our dinner of leftovers. We have have lettuce, tomatoes, salmon loaf, carrots, and tamale pie that need to be eaten tonight. I am cooking a large pot of rice to go along with this, making sure that I cook extra to us in future meals. Two loaves of homemade bread just came out of the oven and the leftover bread from earlier in the week has been made into homemade garlic croutons (which Jeff loves). I quickly broiled some asparagus while the oven is still hot and use that to have with dinner also and use some cold in a pasta salad also. Asparagus is one of my favorites and I only buy it when it is on sale in the Spring. By using the same pan that I did the croutons on, I was able to not only use the heat from the oven, but also save on washing another pan and the pan itself already had olive oil and garlic salt on it. All I had to do was add a bit more oil, roll the asparagus around on it and then add some freshly cracked pepper and Himalayan salt to it and pop it in the oven. Easy, quick, frugal and will make for a delicious treat! I will have half of the asparagus with dinner and use the other half in a future pasta salad.
Jeff has been working on making my raised garden beds with free lumber and some old metal roofing. He took down a fence in our yard today and will use some of that on the raised beds also. We are going to go out to Chris and Heather's to see if the dirt that they had cleared for a pad for their future shop will work to help fill the raised beds and all we would have to add is some compost that we are going to be buying in bulk. Jeff has been really good about using our compost pile to put dead grass and kitchen scraps in along with weeds so they can compost down. Tomorrow I need to put the leftover used coffee grounds around the blueberry bushes. They love the acid in it and it helps keep them healthy and productive. Since it is so warm, I am thinking it might be I will get some of the cold weather crop seeds started within the next few days. The hot tub area is the perfect area to start seeds in because it is protected from the wind and if you put the seed trays on the hot tub cover, the warmth from the hot tub helps the seeds get off to a good start.
I want to encourage people to learn as many skills as they can and always look for new ways to save a penny here, a dime there and a dollar today and tomorrow. Be conscious of food waste and freeze things if you cannot use them up right away IF they can be frozen. Try to eat what is in season and stock up on fruits and veggies at their lowest prices. Enjoy them in season and freeze some for later. When you see a good sale on canned goods, pasta, or things that you use on a regular basis and can safely store, buy them so that you do not pay inflated prices later. Look at the thrift stores for things that you need. I even find new sheet sets at Goodwill for 1/4 (or less) of the retail prices. The hand held high pressure shower head Jeff found for $12.99 and installed in our shower retails for about $50 and it has 6 settings. We love it! It has excellent reviews and makes showering much easier for me since I can then direct the flow of water water where I need it and not have to bend and twist as much. I know I sound like a broken record, but YouTube is your friend. You can learn so many new skills, see how to do repairs, learn a new craft, cooking videos and even find some amazing movies there. This is how Jeff and I watch the news too. Honestly, you do not need to be paying for cable TV or monthly streaming services. The Dollar Tree is a great place to buy laundry detergent, dishwashing soap for your dishwasher, huge packages of napkins, bags of Himalayan salt, cotto salami, medicated body powder and the generic version of Neosporin. I also buy my jarred pesto sauce there, garden seeds, kitchen gadgets like scrapers, ziplock type bags and parchment paper, foil containers for freezing homemade make ahead meals in, etc.. I even found a small front door mat there that Isaiah and I will be painting together. Try to think outside the box and substitute things when you can. Even though the road ahead may be rough and bumpy, we can still find ways to cut costs and enjoy life!