How do You Save Money?

I’m looking for ways to save money as a young family. There always seems to be a new cost creeping up on me. With a new baby on the way, we will be looking at more diapers and wipes! With this pregnancy my nesting phase isn’t focused so much on getting the nursery ready (because, it already is) but on how we can afford what’s coming.

Luckily, with baby #2 being a boy (!), we are able to save a lot of money on clothes. Despite Gideon due 2 seasons after Jack was born the clothing needs will be different. I think I can get away with what we have. I’m hoping this means only a few minor purchases of long-sleeve onsies. I make it a point to never buy new baby clothes since they grow so quickly. I know I can do more.

My main concerns for saving money are related to food, clothing, and diapering these littles of mine. BRING ON the tips and comments with how you’ve saved money as a family.

Here are a few key questions I have:

  • What do you do to save on food costs?
  • Do you grow certain foods in the summer to save for the winter?
  • How do you budget in the occasional date night dinner or family fun outing?
  • Where do you shop/how do you shop to save money on clothes?
  • What is the right price for diapers?
  • Do you use reusable diapers? How?

A Completed Project: Barn

This week we FINALLY have a completed barn! A 7 month planning project and an additional 5 weeks of labor, we are excited to have a completed masterpiece! It wasn’t hard to know that we needed a barn when we bought the house. Our poor greenhouse spent most of it’s summer covering the tractors, tools, and other items that needed storm protection. So, while the completion of the Barn delayed our planting season, it expedited house projects that probably wouldn’t have been completed.

The structure design of the Barn was all Tim. There are two side barn doors and a garage door in the front. He added two additional people doors for easy access and chose the spot to place the barn. I’m impressed by my husband’s planning abilities. #winner

The colors he kindly left to me. I chose not to go with the same colors as our house, because… I don’t like the color of our house. I like bold colors on the exteriors of homes and calm colors on the inside. I chose the barn colors based on my imaginary and free update I would do on the outside of our house; Navy blue siding and a gray roof. We aren’t rich so while my dream home will have black accented windows and cedar shutters, the barn people doors are white, windows have white trim, and the big garage door is white. Over all, the barn looks stunning and provides us with the much needed work space we didn’t have.

My next project will be to plan the landscaping around the barn. Perennials for the busy family are a must, and we’re thinking about planting more blackberry bushes. I’ll always plant annual flowers in the spring, but for now, we’ll go for function over beauty. Any good suggestions for North East plants?

A clean greenhouse!

 

Blackberry Cobbler – Backyard Surprise!

We bought our house in November of 2016, so this is the first summer we are experiencing in our new home and it’s amazing! I’m amazed at how much land we get to explore and the surprises we’re finding along the way. Despite the multitude of hours we have put into the making of our home, we are finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

One of my favorite things about our property are the HUGE blackberry bushes right behind our tiny, old shed. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks walking out every morning and evening watching them grow. This week our blackberries are edible!! Jack and I take morning walks to the bushes and he eats the delicious bursts of gold I pick with great enthusiasm.

Since I am a foodie and I really like summer cobblers, I decided that these blackberries would make as many cobblers as possible. Here is the delicious bourbon cobbler we’ve topped our vanilla ice cream with for the last week…

 

Filling:

1/4 cup of Brown Sugar

2 cups fresh blackberries

2 tbsp of Lemon Juice

3 tbsp of bourbon – I used “Big Ass” Bourbon

Crust:

1/2 cup of butter (one stick)

1 1/4 cup Flour

1 cup brown sugar

1 tbsp baking powder

pinch of salt

cinnamon (no more than 2 tsp)

Directions: 

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Add filling ingredients in a mixing bowl and set aside for 15-30 minutes to marinate with bourbon.

In a medium mixing bowl mix brown sugar and soft butter using hands (wash your hands!). Slowly add flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon to the mixture and mix with clean hands.

Grease a 9×9 glass dish (or similar size) and pour in the blackberry filling. Crumble the crust with your hands over the blackberries and pop in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the top is a crisp and golden brown.

Allow cobbler to cool for 10 minutes before serving over or under vanilla ice cream! Store in the fridge if leftovers accidentally happen.

Enjoy!

Small Farm [Slow] Progress

Slow progress is better than no progress!

The last few weeks have been filled with small house projects (to be announced soon) and a timeline on the building of our barn – which was not dependent on us. Triumphantly – we finally have a structure that greatly resembles a beautiful barn and will soon begin the last fixes needed to have a functioning greenhouse! Yay!


We would love to be moving faster than we are, but these things take time. We’re SO ready to begin planting. I will have more updates soon!

What was the longest part of your process when getting ready to have a functioning greenhouse?