Frugalwoods

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Cattle Panels And Other April 2021 Expenses

April was prep month. Prep for the garden, prep for the chickens, prep for the summer, prep for the bulk food orders. The Chicken Coop! Mr. FW began construction on the chicken coop for our twelve chicks, which arrived last week (peep peep!). We also rounded out our chick supplies with a 50lb bag of starter/grower feed and a metal trash can for food storage to prevent rodentia incursion. Also got a bag of pine...

35

This Month On The Homestead: Starting Seeds and Picking Flowers

April 2021: The End of Sugaring Season Final maple syrup count: we made 19 quarts this year! Our sugaring season is over, thanks to the weather warming up, the trees starting to bud out and–crucially–the fact that we ran out of the filters we use to sift sediment out of the syrup. We boiled sap much later in the season than in past years as the gradation in syrup color reflects. We canned five different...

77

How We Buy Cheap Prescription Glasses Online That Fit

Did you know you can buy prescription glasses online? You can! And did you know they are WAY cheaper than glasses bought in a store? They are! Buying glasses (and sunglasses) online is one of those super easy to implement frugal substitutions I love talking about. A frugal substitution is when you find the same product (or service) for a drastically reduced price. This is my favorite type of frugality because you don’t have to...

98

Reader Case Study: Breaking the Cycle of Financial Instability

Kayla and her partner Lauren live in Charlotte, NC with their two dogs and one cat. They both work in banking–at the same bank, in fact–and are feeling settled in the home they bought in 2019. Very soon, they plan to have children, which has them reflecting on their financial priorities. While they still have some debt, they’ve done a fantastic job of paying it down over the years. Now, they’re ready to get serious...

60

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...

79

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...

127

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...

209

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...

33

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...

95

We’re Spending 1,000 Hours Outside in 2021 (maybe, we’ll see how it goes)

I don’t think I’ve ever kept a New Year’s resolution. Ever. In my frittered youth, I made impossible, vague and numerous resolutions. I’d resolve to “lose weight, achieve inner peace and volunteer more,” all in the same year, with no specifics, no action plan and no accountability. I think we can all see why this approach failed. And it didn’t fail just once. It failed every single one of my resolution-making years, which was probably...