As I write this post it is raining...glorious much needed rain! 😊 Oh it makes me so happy! The trees are getting a good soaking right when they need it while producing fruit and so is the rhubarb that has been struggling a bit this year. I'm sure the blueberries, strawberries and cane fruits are loving it too.
Since I am having to stay inside and not work in the yard, I took some more time to go over our monthly budget. I needed to shave another $100 off of it and had been racking my brain how to do so. The answer was staring me right in the face. It was our credit card payment. I decided to just pay the balance off completely and eliminate that payment all together (took the money out of savings). I still have money in savings for an emergency and I can balance our monthly budget. Yay! We are still cutting down in any areas that we are able to so that we can have a "cushion" for those quarterly bills that come due. I breathed a deep sigh of relief when I finally realized what the solution was.
That being said, our food budget will be slashed to $100 a month now. That includes HBA and cat food and litter also. Since we have a very full pantry and 2 full freezers and the garden is starting to produce, I know we can do it with careful planning. We do also get monthly commodities and that is a HUGE blessing and help. I will be preserving as much as I am able from the garden as well as sharing with family and friends and still eating lots fresh ourselves. Yes, it is going to be tight, but hopefully Jeff will get a raise after his probationary period with this new job. He is already proving to them that he is a go getter and team player and they really do appreciate that.
I've been busy looking for recipes that use what we have on hand in the pantry and being very picky about what we buy from the grocery store. Jeff wants to be able to bowl on a league this year but that is not financially possible. However, he could be a substitute and his bowling would be paid for so that is what he is going to do at this point. That was another one of those ideas that popped into my head while going over the numbers with him. He gets to bowl and it is all paid for! We will be using the little commuter car except on the hottest of days when I have to be somewhere away from home. That should save us about $50 a month is gas costs. During the Summer I try to stay home and inside where it is cooler as much as possible anyway. Jeff will be picking up most of small fill in groceries we need in town before he comes home and we will only do a larger shop once a month and I will go with him to do that. I have also talked to him about portion control and not picking up sodas or coffees when he is at work. I am more than willing to put a 12 pack of his favorite soda into the grocery budget each month so that he can have it as his "treat". Everyone needs one treat item right so they don't feel deprived or frustrated. 😉 Luckily he likes the Shasta knock of of Mountain Dew. I have my gardens that produce some of my favorite Summer fruits, so I am covered there already.
I cancelled our out of town trip at the end of the month to go to a wedding. Between hotel costs and gas costs, it was going to go over budget. Realistically, there was a good chance we would have had to cancel anyway since it is in a very hot area and is an outdoor wedding. Heat makes me super ill and I cannot handle it anymore.
Anyway, that is what is on my mind for today...many rambles.