Monday, June 2, 2014

State of Our House Address: May in review

We were so blessed in May! There was so much that happened, so many new and fun experiences that I'm just refreshed and renewed for life.

First, after praying a lot and talking it over, we decided to stay in the town we're currently living. Because of that decision, it did not make sense for me to continue commuting to where I took a position. For now, I'm staying home with Bug but am open to opportunities where we live. I'm so excited we're staying where we live! We love our community and the support we've built here.

Jason worked so much in May. I'm not really sure how he's even still standing. He worked a ton of overtime, completed a bunch of mystery shops and his tutoring business has really taken off. We've been intentional about making sure he has time to refresh and renew himself, and he's completing the C25K program right now. I am super proud and cannot wait to be there at the finish line at his first 5K with Bug to cheer him on!

A smallish haul from one day of garage saling. Total paid: $8.45.
May is really the official start to garage saling and boy, did we garage sale! There is one garage sale in a neighboring town that has an annual yard sale weekend. We spent way more money than I ever imagined because we kept finding things on our list! We bought a new, never opened copy of Peter Pan, a full-length ironing board, a board game, clothes for Bug, a toy for Bug, a George Foreman grill and lots of other items. Garage saling inspired me to look through the house to see if I had anything I could sell. I didn't find a lot, but I managed to list what I had for sale on a local FB group and I made $29. That's huge for me because we live such a minimal life that we don't really have extra stuff to sell.

Our garden is so big this summer! I'm so happy. We have 3 big tomato plants, 4 marigolds, a bunch of carrots, a bunch of strawberries and 2 jalapeno pepper plants. My parents gave us the pepper plants. I'm not too keen on jalapeno peppers but I've found some recipes to use with them that look good. My mom also told me that if I take out the seeds and cut them up, I can freeze them. She said they would taste more like regular peppers once I take the heat out. I'm going to give that a shot and see how that works, assuming I get some peppers from the plants. Once we transplanted everything, I feel like the carrots aren't doing so hot. I've learned so much from gardening already this summer, and this fall, I'll publish a post with everything I learned this year. If you also grow a garden in containers, I highly recommend the Vegetable Gardener's Container Bible. It is the best container gardening book I've read.

Since I'm home with Bug, I've been thinking up ways to earn extra money. Jason's killing it at work and with his side businesses, so I've been devoted to getting as many Swagbucks as possible and working on Bing. I help Jason with his Swagbucks since he's not always home to work on it. We made $50 in gift cards in May, and I placed a huge order that will arrive in June. I also started doing tasks through Amazon's Mechanical Turk program. It's similar to Swagbucks in that you choose when to work on it and what to do, but it's totally dissimilar in the work you're doing. It's a good way to earn a little bit extra. I worked on it very little in June but transferred $2 and change to my account at the end of May. My goal this month is $5. I work on it for a little bit about once a week after Bug goes to sleep for the night. Other people have told me they make a few thousand each year, but I guess I'm just not that ambitious right now.

I've been sewing and creating a lot, and I now have systems in place for both bathrooms for family cloth. I noticed a huge decline in TP usage once the systems were in place. I've still been tracking TP usage and am excited to see what June will look like for usage. It's a rare occasion when the sewing machine is put away because I've been using it so much. I've also been trying to purposefully re-use things I no longer want/need and cannot really be sold.

We went thrift store shopping with a friend in her town and scored all kinds of goodies! Jason only had one pair of jeans and they were in bad, but usable shape. His others had all died. He found two pairs of nice jeans for a total of $11. He also found a ton of board games for $1 each! I've told him he's now cut off from buying games until he thinks up and implements a new way to organize and store the games. We're running out of room where they are currently stored. I hope he thinks up something great - it's hard to pass up a great game for $1! 

Bug is growing up so, so fast. Shesistance. We've played a lot with bubbles, a fort, a laundry basket, flour - everything I can think of. I get a lot of ideas from Pinterest. She's kind of at an odd age - she's too little for coloring and she can't talk yet, but she's ready to be active and do activities. We go outside a lot, too, and she loves to just pull up grass and be silly. We went to our favorite local park near the end of May, and she loved walking in the water. I can't wait until all the "big bath tubs" (aka swimming pools) are open and heated enough for us to go swimming.

We don't watch a lot of TV, but there are times when I like to watch in the evenings when Bug is asleep. I was lamenting to Jason how I really just want to watch old episodes of TV series' that aren't even on TV and he told me about I don't know how they're able to do it, but they have a bunch of TV shows on there you can watch for free. I am re-working my way through the Hills right now, but I have a list of other shows I'll watch, eventually, as I have time.

Much to my horror, Bug is a little obsessed with watching the Princess Bride. We do limit her screen time, but there was a week or two where whenever she watched a movie, this was it and she would literally watch it smiling.

What did you do in May to save money? What kinds of activities did you do in May?

1 comment:

Bethany Rosselit said...

Yay, a fellow thrift store enthusiast! :-) My favorite thing (well, one of them) about the place where we live, is the abundance of second hand shopping.