As our budget is now, I spend about $2.00 per meal (lunch and dinner). The packaged food will probably put us a little over budget. I am hoping that I'll be able to replicate some of the store-bought meals at home though, and save money that way. Some of them are only frozen vegetables with meat and rice. "I just can't bring myself to pay $8.00 for that!" I complained to my brother, while standing in the frozen food aisle at Walmart. "I can cook some rice in the Instant Pot and dump a few cans in for a lot less than $8.00." So, that could also be a solution.
2. Cooking: I made bread in the bread machine. I'm still working on spending less time in the kitchen (while still making food from scratch, on a budget). This week I spent between 30 minutes and 60 minutes per day cooking (plus a similar amount of time washing dishes every night). Doing all of the cooking tasks at once has cut down the time, I believe, by a bit.
3. Gardening: I planted sweet potato slips and green onions in dirt (they were previously in water). I didn't get a chance to plant anything in the garden this week, but I did spend several afternoons peeling straw off of my strawberry patch. We put it on way too thick last year (we just rolled several big round bales' worth out onto the rows) so it was a real task to pick off all of the extra. The good news is that I have plenty of straw to use now.
4. Thrifting: I bought a cardigan and lightweight hoodie for myself at $1.10 each. We found a pair of jeans for Hubs that cost just $3.00 (we don't usually find his size, so that was a great deal!), a glass candlestick for $0.50, a plate for $0.30 and a square basket for $0.45. I use square baskets for organizing like items on shelves.
5. Music: I used a Prime credit to buy a classical music album for $0.09. Recently I've been trying to decide how I want to collect music for my own use, future home school use, etc. Tape and CD players are becoming more expensive and hard-to-find as people move toward digital music; not only that, but CDs are easily scratched up and then they're worthless. It's possible to listen to music for free on the internet, but Pandora doesn't let you pick the songs, and both Youtube and Pandora have commercials. Premium or subscription services don't provide enough value for the cost (commercial-free Youtube is $12.00/mo., Spotify is $10.00). I know that the music I'm looking for (generic kids' tunes, classical music, etc.) is cheap enough to just buy, but it's hard to do that when I know I can probably get it for free somewhere... if I'm willing to listen to enough commercials. But I don't want to waste brain waves on commercials. If any of you have tips on how/where to get free downloadable music, let me know!
6. Books: I ordered a book from the library interloan system.
7. Shower curtain: I replaced three broken shower curtain rings.
I think that's about it for this week.
Til next time,