Frugalwoods

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How We’re Preparing To Make Maple Syrup

Today we’re going to learn about making maple syrup! But first, I must regale you with a story (far be it for me to get to the point quickly… ): One of the reasons my husband and I chose to move to a 66 acre homestead in Vermont three years ago is that we knew nothing about homesteading. Yep. We both felt conversant in city life–to the point of boredom–and wanted a new challenge. I...

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This Month On The Homestead: Apples, The County Fair, and A Plum Thief

September 2018 Early September carries the whiff of summer. It’s warm, the trees are lush and green, and the vegetable garden still pushes out reams of produce. We hop around bound up in our summer lives: mowing fields and grasses, harvesting and preserving vegetables, playing in the creek, and picking late blackberries. But mid-September begins to portend a change. Temperatures dip and we find ourselves closing the windows and reaching for sweaters and socks, long...

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Reader Suggestions: How To Save Money While Raising Teenagers And Teach Them Financial Lessons In The Process

People love to ask me about saving money with kids and lucky for these people, I LOVE talking about saving money with kids! There’s just one teensy, tiny problem: my kids are young. Super young. As in, one of them can’t even crawl yet… So while I have a broad base of ideas to share on saving money with infants, babies, and toddlers, that’s pretty much where I max out on my personal experience. For...

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Woodshed Materials And Other August 2018 Expenditures

August 2018 Expenses All other line items were dwarfed by our annual property tax bill, which we paid in full in August. It’s a whopper since it covers our 66 acres along with our house and barn. However, it’s a bill we’re happy to pay because property taxes are what fund crucial public services such as schools! Vermont has high income tax, a fact that many folks cited when Mr. Frugalwoods and I announced our...

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Reader Case Study: Should I Become A Veterinarian?

Two animal lovers need our help this month! Harry and Sally (not their real names, but very cute!) are a young married couple living in Connecticut, along with their two dogs and two cats. They’re debating selling their home and carving out a simpler, happier life with a potentially gigantic career change. Case Studies are financial and life dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’s...

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This Month On The Homestead: Building A Woodshed And Picking Blackberries

August 2018 August is a languid, rolling experience of heat and bounty so prolific it’s overwhelming. We wait all year for baking sun and endless veggies and then when it happens, it’s almost too much to bear. There’s a temptation to run and hide from the mountains of chard and the opulence of tomatoes. But we pause, we remember that soon enough, it’ll all be gone, evaporated and enveloped by snow. And so we go...

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A Water Heater And Other July 2018 Expenditures

Water heater mania! Well, not really a mania since we only bought ONE water heater, but more of a mania than if we hadn’t bought any water heaters. As eagle-eyed devotees of my Instagram account know–thanks to incriminating photos –we installed solar panels on our barn roof at the end of 2017. I will, at some point, write a full post on our solar decision (complete with lots of math!! I promise!), but in the...

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This Month On The Homestead: Kimchardashian and A Winch

July 2018 Verdant and warm, July on the homestead was awash in the lushness (lusciousness?) of summer. July is the month when the literal fruits of our labors begin to bear. Much of our springtime work is in preparation for July: we till, we weed, we plant, we prepare. And finally, stuff begins to ripen. July is the counterbalance to its half-birthday of January. The striking similarity is the monochromatic landscape: all white in January...

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Reader Suggestions On How To Stay Motivated While Working Toward Longterm Goals

Today we’re discussing how to stay motivated when working toward a longterm goal (which you probably guessed based on the title… ). This is a special edition of doubly solicited Reader Suggestions! I first asked, in our Frugalwoods Facebook Group, what you all wanted to read about in upcoming installments of the Reader Suggestions series and then I selected a question and asked everyone to respond. I love hearing what YOU want to read about,...

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Reader Case Study: Social Workers Who Need To Get Solvent

We’re scooting over to upstate New York in this month’s Reader Case Study to help Sue and Dan–a social worker and a professor of social work–get out of debt, save up an emergency fund, find a way to pay for home repairs, and save for their kids’ college expenses. Case Studies are financial and life dilemmas that a reader of Frugalwoods sends to me requesting that Frugalwoods nation weigh in. Then, Frugalwoods nation (that’s you!), reads through...