Category Archives: Frugal Choices

Hamburger Soup

Sunny, but frosty out this morning and although we are expecting a high of 45F, warm soup will feel mighty good today.

Hamburger Soup

1 lbs grass-finished ground beef (browned)

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 chopped onion

2 cups diced tomatoes

2 cups water or soup stock

1 cup diced celery

2 teaspoons salt (if desired)

1 teaspoon black pepper (if desired)

One pot directions:  brown the ground beef in 1 tablespoon olive oil until no longer pink, add all the other ingredients and simmer.  The longer you simmer it, the more the flavours will meld and veggies soften.

Be creative in ingredients – celery substitute could be the leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower or chopped kohlrabi, leeks would work.  Instead of carrots, maybe turnips, swedes, or rutabaga.  I use my own frozen tomatoes from my garden and since i don’t really cook them down, there is plenty of water in with them, therefore i don’t add more water.  Recipes like this are perfect for emptying the frig or freezer.

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The leaves off the back of a head of cauliflower make a LOT of greens for soup!  Add vitamins A and C plus antioxidants to your meal, not the rubbish bin!

Time Management Lesson

Too many times I engage in projects which end up as time wasted. Case in point this 12×12 chicken tractor. After spending time and money on it, I’m now faced with more time wasted disassembling it. I have no intention of raising layers on pasture again and it’s too awkward to move very far and a waste of space to store it. The high quality tarp from Troyer Tarp will be stored, however, since it is a $100 item. I’m learning, albeit slowly and with the wisdom my children bestow upon me, to utilize my time more wisely.

Cheers!

tauna

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Keeping Records

Yeah, i’ve harped before about keeping good records and tracking expenditures and income, but when i hear the same people complain about having no money to pay bills, yet when asked if they keep records, they say ‘no,’ it causes me to wonder if they just want to complain, don’t have any idea of where their money is being spent, or perhaps don’t want to know.  But, like anything, if one doesn’t make improvements, then you’ll always be able to complain about something and that is stressful.

Here’s a short article i stumbled upon.  “Make a Personal Budget and Keep Track of Spending

It’s imperative and so easy to keep track of expenses.  Most can simply use a notebook and pencil.  Even easier is to have a calculator in the mix. (Coffee optional)  Write down the amount or ask for a receipt when you stop by the coffeeshop for a latte.  Picking up a soda from a vending machine – well, you’ll have to write it down.  Whatever you need to do, keep track of even the smallest expenditure and categorise it.  THEN, you can make decisions to change and improve your financial situations.  Reimburse your cash expenditures by writing a check to maintain your petty cash stash.  Sure, you can take cash out of your paycheck each month, but it makes it more real when you have to write a check.  Keep your petty cash in balance.

This can be applied to businesses as well, but managing one’s household and personal expenses is the first step.  Personal finance record keeping should begin in the preteen years – as soon as you earn or spend money.

Cheers!

tauna

Another no-waste idea

Cutting vegetables this morning for Jerry’s 90th Birthday bash/open house.  Except for the parts that go onto the garden for composting (which was actually only the seeds, pith, and stems of the bell peppers), the rest of so-called waste is in this bag from 2 celery bunches, one cauliflower head, and two small broccoli heads.  This stuff will make great soup stock and soup parts, or chopped up to combine with ground beef or lamb for lumpia filling.  Absolutely nothing went into the bin.

Have fun!

tauna

 

Farm Finance

Every business or family finances have some unique components that you must determine to help your business or home run smoothly.  However, there are some very basic tools that apply to all.

  1. Bookkeeping-every family and small business should employ bookkeeping principles.  These will include records by account, labor costs, profit and loss (income statement), working capital, balance sheet, debt-to-asset ratios.
  2. Use a double-entry system to keep track of where your money is spent.
  3. Set up basic accounts, these may need sub accounts depending on your company, but here are 10 basic ones:  sales, expenses, payroll, and retained earnings for your income statement and cash, accounts payable, accounts receivable, notes payable, inventory, and owner’s equity for your balance sheet.

 

Most of us have taken basic bookkeeping in high school and so already have the foundation for setting up appicable accounts for our own families and businesses.  The stumbling block is actually doing it!  If you wonder where all your money is at the end of the month or year or complain about the lack of funds, then it’s time to make a resolution and commitment to keeping track of where your money goes. This especially includes all those little cash purchases; coffee, candy bar, water bottle, etc.  Remember, too, you don’t have to buy software to do this.  For millenia, record keeping has been done with pen and paper.  However,  if computer software will encourage you to move forward, I think there are some very reasonably priced packages out there.  Many you may be able to try out for free for a short time.

Here’s a budget helper that seems to be free, but i don’t know anything about is.  It is Dave Ramsey’s EveryDollar free budgeting tool.  Plus Dave Ramsey has a bunch of free tools available.

Whether you choose computer software or a pencil and notebook, start this year taking control of your finances.

Cheers!

tauna

Living Debt Free

A quick search on the internet with the above phrase will yield a lot of sites with tips on getting out of debt.  But that is just a start – once you’ve gotten out of debt (completely), then the life skills learnt should encourage  and propel us into living securely.

Dave Ramsey’s 7 characteristics of Debt-Free People

How to Start Living A Debt-Free Life from WikiHow

10 Habits of Debt-Free People – Marketwatch

Six Steps to Debt-Free Living – Focus on the Family

These are just a few articles on simple, basic, no-nonsense, common sense practices to get out of debt.   Evaluate every single purchase.  From a previous blog, i wrote about identifying the ROI (return on investment) and/or whether it is an appreciating or depreciating asset.

Cheers and shalom!

tauna

 

Second Hand Saves

A child after my own heart!  Youngest son, college-bound Nathan, scored well at the second hand shops in Chillicothe today.  He has decided to spiffy up his wardrobe from jeans and t-shirts to a bit better dressed these past months.  Although his shoe purchases were high, there’s not much to be done with that.  He still did well buying new.  Honestly, he was in a shoe poor situation – everything he had is worn out and will be thrown away.

One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat - $5.00.  The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.
One dark blue classic styled 100% worsted wool, fully lined suit coat – $5.00. The other is half lined and not as fancy at $3.00.  Both made in the USA!
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway.  Cost of all three totalled $6.00.  Like new, maybe never worn.
Three dress shirts: Calvin-Klein, Van Heusen, and Hathaway. Cost of all three totalled $6.00. Like new, maybe never worn.
New backpack - $3.00
New backpack – $3.00