Frugalwoods

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This Month On The Homestead: A Patch of Grass, A Gallon of Maple Syrup and Some Lambs

March 2021 Grass! Grass! In March, we found a patch of grass and stomped around on it for five hours straight. It snowed again a few days later and stole away our grass patch, but we were warmed by the memory of our early spring reverie. Join Me on Zoom on April 28th Ok this is not related to homestead life, but I’m going to be LIVE at the Bigelow Library in April! Actually over...

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Baby Chicks And Other March 2021 Expenditures

We’re getting chickens. When we moved to our homestead in May 2016 with a six-month-old Kidwoods, we made a pact to not get farm animals until our human animals were more self-sufficient. Littlewoods was born in February 2018, which restarted the human baby self-sufficiency clock. Now that our human babies are three and five, we’re ready (“ready” might be too strong a word… ) to tend some animal babies. I’m still on the fence about...

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Reader Case Study: Military Family Prepares for Civilian Life

Kate and her husband Will lived the military life for the last decade. Will, who is currently an Army Officer, begins his transition to civilian life this summer. The couple–along with their cat Oliver–live in the Seattle metro area, where Kate works in higher education. With this huge change on the horizon, they’d like our help determining where they should move, what types of jobs Will should pursue, if they should buy a house and...

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Reader Case Study: Three Kids, Two Engineers and One Dog

Matt lives in a suburb of Boston with his wife Laura, their three kids, and their yellow lab Waffles. Matt and Laura both work as engineers and share a love of outdoor recreation–skiing, hiking, kayaking and camping. Their oldest child is a freshman in college and his siblings–ages 16 and 14–will each be headed off to college in a few short years. Matt is concerned about their ability to afford college, plan for retirement and...

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This Month On The Homestead: Tapping Maple Trees and Tapping Into Self Care

February 2021 = Maple Syrup Prep! It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Well, it’s the best we can do while it’s freezing cold and snow’s covering everything because… we tapped our sugar maple trees. Yep, walked around and lightly struck each tree. Maple syrup coming soon: by which I mean in a month. Nothing moves quickly out here, which I am on board with, as everyone who has ever emailed me can attest...

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Littlewoods’ 3rd Birthday and Other February 2021 Expenses

Evidently February is a short and boring month. We didn’t buy anything interesting or story-worthy or unusual. So instead of talking about what we DID buy, I’ll talk about what we didn’t buy. Advertiser Disclosure: Frugalwoods partners with CardRatings for coverage of credit card products. Frugalwoods and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers at no extra cost to you. Here’s a boring (but important) explanation of how Frugalwoods makes money. The credit card links in this...

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Reader Case Study: Looking to Leave LA?

Kate is 30 and lives in LA with her kitten Cashew. She works in payroll at a university, which is a stable job with great benefits and low stress. As she approaches the five-year mark in her current position, she’d like to examine her options for moving to a lower cost of living area and a smaller town. Kate also hopes to have children one day and she’d like our help with determining a financial...

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Reader Suggestions for a Wallet and COVID-safe Valentine’s Day

I am not usually a Valentine’s Day type of person. It’s a commercialized, chintzy, kinda made-up holiday. I even once wrote a screed on why it’s dumb: A Frugal Weirdo’s Anti-Valentine’s Day Manifesto. But let me tell you, this year, I am ON BOARD. Sign me up for ALL the tacky holidays. Frugalwoods reader Barbara summed it up perfectly: Mostly, we don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day. But with the pandemic, I feel the need to celebrate...

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Fruit Trees And Other January 2021 Expenses

We’re planting a pear, peach, apple and elderberry orchard this spring! Because why not. In a year (two years?) of unrest and insanity, why not plant an entire fruit orchard. We have a long-standing goal of expanding the perennial foods we grow and this’ll be our latest and largest undertaking. In years past, we planted perennial blueberries, strawberries, currants, cherries and did major remediation work on our existing apple and plum trees. This’ll be our...

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This Month On The Homestead: Pancakes, Snow and Tractor Stuff

December 2020 Christmas at home and online, daily hikes, snowshoeing, baking cookies, fires burning in the wood stove and wrestling children into snowsuits. These are a few of our December things. And Bernie’s visit to the Glamour Shed. Pandemic “Homeschool” Continues My ‘give them real jobs’ approach to “homeschooling” continues with countertop wiping, laundry folding, egg scrambling, dishwasher loading, vacuuming, sweeping and… scribbling on any important paperwork they happen to find. All day long Littlewoods...