Monday, August 6, 2007

A New Budget brings New Thoughts

With Kaia's pre-school days coming fast upon us, we found that creating a new budget was a necessity. It's not like we had the close to $180 a month just sitting in the bank. We had planned to start saving for it, but when it became necessary for Dana to find a new job, it didn't happen.

So now we have a livable budget, and it's going pretty good. I'll be packing Dana's lunch several days a week. He bought a new lunch bag today that will be easy to transport on the bike. His new bike (motorcycle) will drop our fuel bill substantially and give him something fun to play with. Yesterday I made a few batches of muffins to use for breakfasts this week. First I made my harvest pumkin muffins. I added a little bit of Smart Fiber cereal, which happened to be the most disgusting cereal I'd ever tasted. But it worked well as a fiber addition in my batter. So healthier muffins, and I won't waste the box of cereal. The next batch didn't turn out as well. They are chocolate cherry and taste ok, but didn't rise, so they are a bit heavy.

I find the budget fun. How much can I do, what can I make and stay within budget. It's a challenge and keeps me on my toes. It also keeps me creative. But now, I need a part for my vacuum. If they can get it in town (he wasn't sure as it wasn't coming up in his computer) it will likely run $30. I found it on ebay for $9 plus $12 shipping and handling. Except I know that it doesn't cost $12 to send the roller brush from Colorado to Washington. If we were to buy a new vacuum the "like" model from Bissell today would be $89.99. I'm sure it will go on sale eventually for 69.99 or something close. I believe that the vacuum is worth the investment of a $30 part. There are no other problems with the vacuum, and we now have a spare belt for it. So I'm back to looking for a part and hoping I find it soon (and for a good price!). With 4 cats and 2 kids, we NEED a working vacuum.

One of my budget friendly meals is the pot of beans we will enjoy tonight. It's one of my favorite meals. A big bowl of pinto beans that have been in the slow cooker all day. Add some onion and a tiny bit of ketchup. A big slice of cornbread on the side, it just can't be beat. Plus I will use the leftover beans to make refried beans tomorrow night. Which I'll serve with salsa (using the ripe tomatoes in my garden), corn tortillas, and seasoned meat that is in the freezer.

Tonight after our meal, I'll be busy putting peat moss on the garden. I also have some lettuce seeds to plant. Sampson finally managed to get the cube of peat moss out from under the deck stairs, and had it spread across the back lawn this morning. I had been putting off getting it on the front garden, but when it's piled in the yard, I can procrastinate no longer.


Kris said...

Good luck with your new budget! Keeping it up is the hardest thing I think. Do you know about the Hillbilly Housewife website? ( You might find it interesting. I like her lentils and rice recipe.

TJ said...

I've heard of hillbillyhousewife, and may have visited it once. There is now a huge list of frugal blogs. Maybe I can join soon. is another great site. Of course I love retro cookbooks and retro cooking.