Decisions Decisions Decisions….

Sometimes life needs to dictate the decisions we make on our mini homestead and we’ve had to make some of those decisions lately deciding to choose needs over wants, or maybe it was wants over needs…  either way,  what we’ve decided is to keep things simple for a while.

A couple of weeks ago I said that I wanted to increase our flock of chickens and free range them.  If you have chickens then you’ll understand when I say they can be addicting.

I do want more chickens and I want to sell eggs, and I want to be a full time homesteader living off of our land and selling our surplus products.  I want to wear an apron all day, gathering eggs, taking care of the animals, working in the gardens, wearing my rubber boots, hanging clothes on the line, baking pies and snapping beans in a rocking chair on the front porch.

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But, that is not going to happen.  The Z Man and I both work full time jobs outside the home and that’s something that we will need to continue to do right now.

We also want to take vacations, go camping, go to the beach, go camping at the beach…  We have a camper, a lovely camper just waiting for us to take her out.

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However, when you have a homestead full of farm animals you can’t just up and leave for a week.  Who’s going to take care of everything?  It’s really hard to ask someone to come over in the early morning hours to feed and water them and then come back and make sure they are all safe in their beds and shut everything up for the night.

We’ve decided that we will not increase our flock of chickens and we will not do the hogs this year.  We are going to have to cull a couple of our older girls this spring as it is time to rotate and add 3 which will keep us with 6 and provides us with all the eggs we need.

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This wasn’t an easy decision, because we truly do love this lifestyle and we are not giving up on our homestead ways, we will continue to burn wood for heat, hang our clothes on the line, stay out of debt, raise our gardens and “put up” those gardens in jars.   Our freezers are full of meat, so we will be fine there, and I do mean seriously full!  I really should challenge myself to not buy any meats for the rest of 2017.

We’re just going to keep it simple this year.

That’s why I named this blog “Z Life Blog”   Because one thing we are certain of is that life changes and leads you in different directions from time to time.  We absolutely love our lifestyle, but we are not “just” mini homesteaders we are lifesteaders.  😉

Till next time,

Lori

Friday’s Frugal Five & A Frugal Fail

Frugal Fail:

I saw a  Schwan’s Food discount for 50% off (up to $50 total) and free delivery so I “thought” that might be a good deal.  I was very excited about the offer and I stupidly didn’t pay attention to the weights of the food items.  When I got my products home and realized the small portions I was a bit surprised and disappointed.

The Z man and I like to take leftovers to work for our lunches which inherently determines the amount of food I cook.  In other words I will make a large meal and we will make many meals out of it, whereas the Schwan’s products are geared more toward single servings, which absolutely can be a good thing for some people as well.

The 50% off code is FIFTYOFF that you key in at check out.   This promotional code is good till February 28th.  If you like Schwan’s which I have found out that many people do, then use it.  Many people like the quality of the food and the portion sizes for dietary purposes.  Absolutely nothing wrong with that.  Sometimes it’s ok to pay a little extra for convenience.

However for our needs, I’m chalking this up as a frugal fail just because I didn’t pay attention to the details.

Here is what I bought.

  • 2 boxes (10 count) of boneless chicken breast (2 lbs total weight)  $35.98
  • 1 box of wild caught salmon filets (8 count and 2 lbs total weight) $22.99
  • 1 box of wild caught cod filets (4 count 1 lb total weight) $17.99
  • 1 mini beef pot roast dinner $17.99
  • 1 box of mini dark chocolate ice cream bites  $7.49
  • 1 box of mini cheese cake bites $18.99

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With the $50 discount and including tax  my total was $73.22

Frugal Five:

  • Celebrated Valentines Day by making the Z Man a homemade card using construction paper I already had and I bought him work gloves that he desperately needed.
  • Returned books and audio books to the library on time to avoid late fees.
  • Returned a case for my tablet that I ordered from Amazon that did not fit and decided to just keep using my old one that has one broken strap.  I hardly ever take it out of the house anyway, I think it will be fine.
  • The Z Man repaired the rear lights on my car himself, he is very handy like that.
  • All of our meals were prepared at home, no carry out and no drive thru food and the meal planning is done for next week too.

Grocery wise this has been a spendy month for me so far.  I also bought some grass fed beef roast from my local supplier.  These prices I’m perfectly ok with as I get to actually see the way these animals are treated and cared for, and there is no better beef (or milk) than what I’m able to get at Double M Dairy.   Total spent $43 for 4 roast which works out to be about $6 per pound.  Sorry, no picture.

I also picked up some kale, sweet peppers, almonds, avocado, and bread for the Z Man’s peanut butter and jelly and his egg sandwiches.  Total spent $24.

Spent $141 this week.  Added to my balance of $149 comes to $290 so far for the month leaving me only $10 for the remainder of the month.  This is going to definitely make the rest of the month interesting.  YIKES!

How about you, what frugal fun have you had this week?

Till next time,

Lori

 

Happy Valentines Day

I love this day as I am a hopeless romantic.  Even though I am not at all interested in expensive delivered roses or expensive dinners out at fancy restaurants.  All I really want is to spend as much time as I can with the Love of My Life…

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My idea of expressing love is perhaps cooking a homemade meal with some chocolate goodness for dessert.

Going for a walk or curling up on the sofa holding hands and sneaking as many kisses as possible.

Building a bigger chicken coop because I’m picking up the 12 baby chicks next week. 😉

Happy Valentines Day Friends!

Till next time,

Lori

Weekend Homestead Happenings

This weather is just crazy!  One day it’s cold like winter should be and the next day it’s warm like spring.  Friday it was cold and windy then by Sunday it was sunny and warm.  But the wind was awful, I swear I thought I was going to end up in Kansas walking the babies.

By the way, these are our babies.

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Because it was dry and warm this weekend I finally got the chance to start on my butcher block.  It’s an old butcher block island that needs to be sanded down and refinished.

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I got the top sanded down pretty good, but this is not going to be a quick task.  I also have to rely on the weather because I’m doing it outside.  But, I don’t want to rush this, it needs to be done once and done right.

Weekend eats:

Some brunch: sauted chicken with mushrooms, peppers and kale with fried eggs.

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Some dinner: Beef short ribs with mushrooms and a side caesar salad.

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Some sweet treats:

These look like truffles, but they are actually frozen sweet black cherries, topped with some whipped cream and a sprinkle of good life chocolate chips.  It was quite tasty and not too bad for the waistline.

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However, I did make truffles this weekend.  I used a recipe from the Primal Blueprint cookbook.

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Photo credit: The Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

I used the idea of the Primal recipe, but I ultimately had to add some peanut butter to help thicken the truffles because I used a bit too much milk.  Still, they are very tasty and they are Z Man approved.

If you aren’t familiar with the Primal Blueprint, it’s by author Mark Sisson who writes about reprogramming your genes and eating a paleo based diet while allowing for an 80 / 20 ratio for those who love (perhaps) chocolate and red wine 😉  Yes, hello that would be me.

What is the Paleo diet?  The paleo diet runs on the same foods our hunter-gather ancestors supposedly ate: fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood, and nuts.  Anything that comes in a box, jar, or bag should be avoided on the paleo diet—as should anything that just wasn’t consumed back then. That means no grains, dairy, added salt, or legumes.

I’ve been following the Primal Blueprint for a while now and I’m working on a post about it that I hope to complete next week.

If you’re interested in the Primal Blueprint, Mark has a great website  www.marksdailyapple.com

I have to admit that I also made some brownies for the Z Man.  I didn’t and wont be eating them because they are not allowed in my diet (right now), but clearly I was craving the sweets this weekend.

And thanks to the warm weather I was able to get some meal prepping done on the grill for meals this week.  Grilled chicken and mushrooms and sliced sweet peppers.  By the way, right now sliced sweet red peppers are my “chips” giving me that crunch I want.

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How was your weekend?

Till next time, y’all stay safe out there!

Lori