May 22, 2010

can I get some help blogland?

I was talking to my friend the other day about budgets and such. She and her husband (this that the proper grammar?) taught our Financial Peace University class in Feb 2009. If we were graded on our use of FPU we would get an F well maybe a C- lately since we loosely using a budget. Shhh don't tell her that!

Hubby makes decent money. But we always seem to have more week at the end the of the paycheck no matter how we budget. I don't get it. We don't have credit cards. We try not to go out to eat. Our only debt is the house payment. I quit running to the grocery store nightly thanks to better planning during grocery shopping day. We do fill up our SUV once a week every week but that will slow down this summer while extra school activities are closed. We keep the air set a bit higher and run fans. I add vinegar to my fabric softener and cut the laundry soap with water to stretch them farther.

We do all the things people say will reduce spending...

So where does it all go?

What is the normal food budget for a family of 5?
How can I cut the grocery bill without changing over to more processed foods?
Does gardening really save money?
I know there is using coupons but I can't see spending money to buy a newspaper then driving to 5 different stores to save a few $$. I don't live near a lot of shops that take coupons.

I was growing a garden but the seeds died from the temp extremes we had. Hubby is not sure how a garden will save money when we have to buy dirt, seeds, plants, water (a LOT cause summers are dry had scorching hot here), mulch, ect. He is all for healthy eating he just wants to see where it really saves the wallet.

I buy the main bulk of groceries once a month at Costco. I spend around $500-600 ever 5-6 wks depending on if we need tp, paper towels or laundry products. I now just have to pick up milk and bread weekly. So far we cut our grocery bill down but it still seems high. I started making our own bread which is healthier but it doesn't seem cheaper. On occasion we get free farm fresh eggs and veggies from friends and neighbors but I don't count that as "needed".

We run the numbers with the FPU budget sheets and we "see" the extra money on paper it just doesn't go into the bank account. sigh. According to the "budget" we should live on half what Hubby makes. uh HELLO! That is huge! We could take vacations or go on missions, finish remodeling the house, pay off the house faster, finally get into foster care.

big sigh

If the budget worked as good in the bank as it does on paper we would be debt free in under 2 yrs!

I just do NOT get it.

May 19, 2010

Potato Bread Recipe

Potato Bread Recipe

6 C. flour

2 medium sized potatoes

1 C. potato water

1/2 C. butter

3/4 C. sugar

2 eggs with milk to make 1 C. liquid

2 t. salt

2 packages yeast

1/4 C. warm water

Boil potatoes until tender. Mash and add the cup of potato water to a large bowl.

Add yeast to a small bowl with 1 t. of the sugar and add the warm water.

Add the sugar, melted butter and salt to the mashed potatoes. Stir. When the potato water mixture is cool, mix in the yeast. Add the eggs and milk. Add the flour a cup at a time and make a soft dough. Place dough on a floured board and knead it about 10 minutes. Dough should be smooth and elastic.

Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled, covered. Knead a few minutes and divide the dough into 2 loaves. Place dough in greased bread pans and let rise until double.

Bake at 400°F. for 20 minutes. Reduce oven to 300°F. and finish baking for another 25 minutes.

May 18, 2010


Why is it that when I am trying to get ready for any sort of road trip nothing ever goes as planned?!
I make my lists. Nothing too hard. Just the stuff that must be done before we leave and what to pack so hopefully we won't forget something again.

This week I made my list. Started tackling it. Smooth sailing! Oh Yeah!
Then I took an afternoon nap when we got home from the church picnic.

I woke up with a sore neck. Which has turned into terrible swelling, pain, and a trip to the chiropractor. The Dr was able to put things back in place but sadly I was informed the pain and swelling is here to stay for a bit. How on earth does a nap mess up a neck that bad!?

Storms rolled in yesterday and put a stop to more on my list.The city will just have to cite us for the lawn's shaggy look. More storms are expected on either route we take on our trip so putting the suitcases outside the SUV is no longer an option. Great. Now to fit it all inside so new packing arrangements. GRRRR

Today I took the SUV in for a rotor check up since it is vibrating when I stop and an oil change. I thought I was killing two birds with one stone when I found out the tire place now does oil changes. I knew it was bad when the owner sat down by me with 2 papers in his hand. I desperately tried to reach Hubby cause I am not good with "big money" issues. I handed my phone to the tire guy and he explained to Hubby what was wrong. 4 sets of new brakes and 2 new rotors and they would turn the other set of rotors. $$$. OUCH. Not a planned expense. Another move "off list". I called a friend and got a ride home while the SUV gets a makeover.

Friend is tending our rabbits while gone so she was happy to get me home and learn the care and feeding of our beasts. Her children decided our rabbits are super cool and lovable and will make good pelts someday.

So here I sit. Unable to do my errands. No snacks bought for the trip. No pine litter to clean the rabbits or extra water bottles so the buns don't go thirsty. A truck full of trash sitting in a service bay 15 miles away I planned to clean out before we left. My neck in enough pain that house cleaning and packing are the last thing I want to do.

Too tired from lack of sleep to care.
Hubby ever to the rescue says have the kids do all the cleaning and packing while I rest.
Um yeah.
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Words of Faith

"O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago." Isaiah 25:1

"Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" -Matthew 6:27

"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." Isaiah 41:10

"Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy." Psalm 126:5