As I've mentioned, it is a goal of mine to stick to a tight kitchen and household budget in 2016. Reporting my spending here on the blog has proven to be a great motivator and really holds me accountable, if only to myself. So I'm going to make an effort to report each week on 1) how we saved money 2) what we spent on groceries and 3) weekly menu plan.
1. We have a humidity problem in our home (totally rare on the prairies as it is usually too dry here in the winter. The problem stems from the home being built elsewhere and moved here, onto a concrete basement that had barely enough time to cure before having a house plopped on it. The cement basement floor is poured after delivery of the home, resulting in a LOT of moisture that must go somewhere as the concrete dries out over the next few years). This is all fodder for a future post regarding Ready-to-Move homes (RTMs) but for now my issue is keeping a fan blowing on the glass exterior door that leads from our master bedroom onto a small deck. The humidity inside combined with the cold temps outside is a lethal combination that sees water drip down the door and freeze, eventually rotting the wooden door casing. Now to the point: we have 3 portable fans and suddenly all of them were seized up and wouldn't turn. The larger ones are used by the basement wood stove to circulate the hot air and warm the entire basement (and thus the floor of the main floor). Without these fans functioning my floors are cold and water runs down the glass door. Husband was able to dismantle the 3 fans and remove dust and grease the tiny parts so that things work again. I almost gave in and went and bought new fans as it is important to circulate the air here, but we have bought some time with our old fans instead.
2. My son (3) climbed onto my Duncan Phyfe coffee table and broke one leg off it before Christmas. Husband was also able to fix the leg, saving me from taking it to a furniture repair shop in town.
3. Cauliflower has skyrocketed to $7 a head here. The Canadian dollar is in a tailspin as is our oil-based economy. I am checking the "quick sale" rack in the produce department before I buy anything and got a perfectly fine head of cauliflower for 30% off. The cauliflower is still too expensive but nice to have for a stir fry. You can bet that I will be comparing bags of frozen next time I am in the store!
4. My mom's chickens are laying eggs like gangbusters and she has instructed us to quit buying eggs in town. Having free eggs will save us over $5/week, at least, and gathering eggs is one of my kids' favorite chores at the farm. Win-win!
5. (edited to add) I finally put our satellite TV subscription on a seasonal break. We have 180 days to decide if we will cancel it altogether. I should have done this a year ago and we have talked about it many times. This saves us $75/month--$900 a year!--and we were only really keeping it out of habit. I don't like to let the kids watch much TV (basically a show while I do outside chores) but we do have Netflix and they usually have a show while I make supper. That $75/month can now be used for groceries, bills or an emergency fund.
6. I'm returning to menu-planning and checking the flyer before I get groceries, and am sticking to a strict list. More posts to come!
Have you noticed an increase in the cost of food where you live? Have you been able to save any money this week?