Saving Money–April 23, 2016


We had quite a bit of wood stacked up that we didn’t use this winter to heat our home.  We’ve been working all week to move that wood over to my sister’s house.  If our new house has a wood stove, we will use it.  If not, she and my brother-in-law will.  All of the wood we have was cut by us, split and stacked in places where we got a free permit, so it cost us labor and fuel to get.  It saved us a lot of money to heat with wood, so we are hoping we can do the same in our new home.  Time will tell, but at least we have some wood to use if we can.


We just threw it on the trailer and unloaded it into a pile over there.  We have a lot of wood to cut on our property from the logging we did last fall, but won’t be able to get it cut before we move.  So, we have been letting friends cut, chop and split it, saving them money.


We worked in the garden at my sister’s.  We got 4 large tomatoes for $2.50 each at a local garden store.  We took Walls of Water that we’ve had for years, and Rob and Ja’Ana cocooned them so they hopefully will survive.  I hoed, weeded and sprinkled slug bait around the plants that are growing and the baby lettuce, spinach, etc. that are coming up.


Every time we went over there, we did at least 2 things.  We moved a load of wood or other items, worked in the garden, Rob had an electrician look at where we are going to park the camper and made arrangements for the correct wiring so we will have enough power, and a few more things.


I’ve been slowly emptying the right hand compost bin into buckets and taking those buckets over to my sister’s.  We put scoops under the tomatoes we planted, under all the cabbage and broccoli and around the onion starts.  Any extra was put around raspberry plants or just dumped into the general garden to be tilled in.  I don’t know how much I’ll be able to carry over that way, but I love using the compost I’ve worked so hard to make.

Rob had filled several feed sacks with barn cleanings from the chickens.  We took them over and sprinkled them where we will plant winter squash to improve the soil.  I had 3 bags of old coffee grounds for gardeners from Starbucks that I sprinkled on the carrot row.  Coffee grounds are  said to help prevent wireworms and I did see improvements when we used the grounds here.  There were a few carrots coming up, so I crumbled the grounds carefully on the row because I know more will come up and I don’t want to make it hard for the tiny plants to pop through.IMG_2459

I had a friend from out of town visit.  We went to Costco together–fun!  I got my new glasses.  I’m delighted so far.  I can see great for 1/2 the price I paid last time.  I shopped for my sister, too, saving her gas.

I got some boneless skinless chicken.  We have been eating out too much, because things are so topsy-turvy here.  I hope it will help make fast lunches so we can eat at home more.  We ate all meals here today, which felt like a triumph.  Rob barbecued chicken and we have food prepared for tomorrow’s Sunday family dinner.  I still have a few gift cards to use when things get down to the wire with moving, but want to save them until near the end now.  Rob did bring a picnic one night when we were working in the garden, so that helped.  I made a roast in the crock pot one day and we will have the rest of that in the next couple of days.

Both younger girls had orthodontist appointments.  We were able to change things so they were both on the same day to save gas.  (It’s an hour away, one way)  They had an extra dance practice because a recital is coming up.  We were able to share a ride with a friend and save gas.They both had eye appointments this week, too.  They will both be getting new glasses.  Their glasses are covered by their medical cards.  Our children who we have adopted from the foster care system have always been given medical cards until they are 18 as part of the adoption assistance program.  We have supplemented that with personal insurance so they have been double covered in the past (except Patsy since she isn’t adopted yet, so only has medical card).  So, we don’t have to worry when our insurance ends, they will still be covered.  Lovana has insurance through her work, so no worries there, which is a relief.  Now, just us……but we’ll work it out.

I got a medical test done while I’m still covered.  I’ve almost got everything done that will catch me up and give me a breather until we figure the insurance thing out.

My visiting friend wanted to try some Chinese 5-spice, so instead of her buying a bottle, I gave her a bit from mine.  I’ve only used it one time in the recipe I bought it for, so I’m more than glad to share.  I also shared some fish sauce I had. Once again, she has a recipe to try.


14 thoughts on “Saving Money–April 23, 2016”

  1. You are just so creative in using everything available to you. I’m very impressed and pleased for you. You’ve pulled this thing off … well almost but you’re doing great.

    1. Yes. Thanks. I feel like the next few weeks will be pretty intense, but we have a good start on it. It will be much easier than if we had not done all of this pre-prep. I may just sleep for a week once we get into the camper–ha, ha.

  2. Just wondering if you have considered Samaritan Ministries for you medical needs assistance. We have had it for 8 years now and have never had a problem and have used it for surgeries that my husband has had. Google If you are regular church attenders and believers this is a great ministry.

    1. I have some pre-existing medical conditions that I’m not sure they have much interest in. I’m not sure. I’d have to look into it. I do know one lady who loves her faith-based medical sharing plan (not sure which one), and she had a huge surgery and it was paid for. I don’t think I qualify for hers, though. We will be looking at all options soon. Thanks for the info.

  3. You are all hard-workers! Your soil looks so nice! Like what I used to have growing up in NW Pennsylvania. I wonder if coffee grounds would help deter slugs. (I have heard fireplace coals help, but I don’t have a fireplace). I bought one of my kids a pair of glasses at Costco and they are very good quality. I would have bought more but I didn’t realize they take insurance!!! No more buying from the stores connected with our doctors! I also buy (when I am in-between insurance coverage on glasses) from eyebuydirect (.com) and have been happy and usually get coupons from them once in a while. I don’t miss orthodontist days! Andrea

    1. Thanks. That’s actually my sister’s soil. Mine is not so nice, even after years of dumping loads and loads of amendments on it:) Different area. I don’t know if anything will deter slugs here. They are a BIG problem.

      I have no optical insurance, so I just paid for the glasses.

      We are trying (and have been for 1-1/2 years) to get Patsy’s front tooth to come in from where it’s stuck up in her gums. I think it’s finally starting to move–yea! But if you look carefully, she doesn’t had a front tooth, which worked when she was younger since everyone just thought she lost it, and not so much anymore. J had teeth all over the place, especially her eye teeth, which were way up. They’ve done a marvelous job with both girls. This is the same ortho we used with the only other child who needed braces, and we love his work.

  4. Have you made it through inspection yet? I always get nervous over those even though I live in the house and should know about everything there is to know about it. Have you started looking for a new place yet or are you waiting until you are completely closed? Please forgive me and ignore my questions if I’m too nosy. We have live in 12 homes in 23 years, owned 6 different homes in 3 different states, so house transactions are interesting to me. 🙂 You guys are doing such a good job of both finishing out this house and preparing for afterwards. I can usually only focus on one thing or another.

    1. We had the inspection last Monday. I believe we’ve addressed all of the issues to the buyer’s satisfaction (hopefully). Then, it’s on to the appraisal.

      I don’t mind you asking. I hope to do another moving update in the next day or two, and will give more details.

      We are going to move into our camper until we find another place. Everything that is remotely in our budget is taken within days so we need our $ so we can jump onto a good deal that we like.

      1. I’m so glad the inspection and follow-up is done! Whew! Appraisals are icky. We just did one for a refinance and it came out okay, but appraisers are ultra-cautious these days. All the activity in your area will help a LOT with that, though! It’s so much work, but you guys are handling it very well. Once the deal is done you might just want to allow yourself a bit of time to recover, both physically and emotionally, before you really start looking. Praying it all continues to go smoothly!

        1. Me, too! On the 26th of May, we leave for a few days at the coast. It is the 4H campout that we planned months ago. How handy! So, we do plan to relax and re-group. Then, our responsibilities will be very few after that, as well.

  5. Wow! You sure are busy not wasting anything. Hopefully you new home will have a woodstove so you can use the firewood. That was nice of you to let others cut the wood on your property. I know I sure would appreciate that! Question: Do you think those wall o waters are worth investing in? I see Jackie Clay always uses them and I’m wondering if they are all that she claims the are. Have a nice week!


    1. Ahhhh–the tomato battle:) It’s really hard to get any tomatoes where we currently live. It will be much easier at my sister’s house.

      We have a few of the Walls of Water that we have had for years. Where we live right now, we are at a higher elevation, with more rain than down lower in the Willamette Valley. The Walls of Water have helped us get tomatoes earlier and helps protect them from frost and being creamed by the rain storms. We only have 4-5, though, and we have had them for years. We store them and re-use them. Occasionally, a hole appears and they won’t hold water in that section anymore. When we get too many ruined sections, we discard them. We don’t have a lot of money into them because we have only a few and keep them for so long, so I feel I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth from them.

      Another thing Rob has done in years past is he built tomato cages from small pieces of wood. He made 16 and put them in one large, well fertilized raised bed to raise the soil temperature and decrease the sogginess of the soil. He wrapped them in plastic to create mini-greenhouses (including the tops). One year he did that, and the tomatoes all froze right through the plastic, anyway. Some just got nipped, and some died, but the greenhouse effect did cause us to have tomatoes earlier from those bushes that survived. So, we’ve had some success with that.

      Of course, plastic or walls of water, it all has to be taken off once the weather gets really nice and sunny or the plants cook.

      What we finally did for the last couple of years is a combination. We used the cages in raised beds, walls of water for the kids to get early tomatoes for the fair, and planted a large number of tomato plants that we grow from seed in our little greenhouse(I’m talking 75-100 plants). When we started to put a scoop of compost and a bit of organic fertilizer under each one, we did better. Our soil is poor, although we’ve worked on amending it for the last 8 years. We were just getting the hang of getting lots of tomatoes this past 2 years, and I’ve canned and processed a ton.

  6. I can understand your wanting to take your compost with you. It does take some time and effort to make, for sure. We’ve had good luck with Wall o waters here. We didn’t use them this year, but it has helped us get tomatoes in the garden early several years. We bought the replacement cells for when they spring a leak, instead of replacing the entire thing.

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